My Year in Reading 2019

Happy New Year Tater readers! I’m back with my yearly look at my reading. I was a bit down this year. It is the first time in a while that I have not reached my goal of 100 books read. There are several reasons for this: better TV, too much assigned reading, mental state, etc. Hoping for a change in 2020.

Top ten books read in no particular order

  • Wanderers by Chuck Wendig
  • The Outsider by Stephen King
  • The Institute by Stephen King
  • The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo
  • An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon
  • Dirty Streets of Heaven by Tad Williams
  • Full Throttle by Joe Hill
  • Deposing Nathan by Zack Smedley
  • Security by Gina Wohlsdorf
  • The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch

Honorable Mention

  • Sadie by Courtney Summers
  • Educated by Tara Westover
  • Dry by Neil Shusterman
  • Mobituaries by Mo Rocca
  • On The Come Up by Angie Thomas

Book I would most recommend

This is a tough one. I would probably go with Wanderers by Chuck Wendig even though it is 800 pages long and most of my friends would never read one that long.

Worst Books I Finished

This is a tougher one. I gave a lot of books 3 stars this year. The only one I gave 2 stars was Target: Alex Cross, so I guess I will go with that.

Book I Dustbunnied

It looks like I finished every book I started this year.

Number of books read: 84

Number of pages read according to Goodreads: 28,795. According to that math that is 78.9 pages a day. That’s 10 pages a day less than last year, That means another 15 -20 minutes reading a day would get me back to where I want to be. Seems doable.

 

Tater’s 2019

In which I look to see what I did that was noteworthy in the past year.

Winter:

We went to Orlando in January since both kids were free. We went to Harry Potter World for the first time and also visited Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios.

I turned 50 in February. We went to DC to have lunch at Old Ebbitt Grill since I have wanted to go there for years and had never gone. It was worth the trip.

Spring

I will call May spring otherwise I won’t have much to say besides celebrating my daughter’s birthday in March,

In May I attended the Maryland/Delaware Library Association Conference where my pub quiz team won first place. I did not really contribute at all.

At the end of May I traveled with my wife to her conference in Baku. I loved the city. More people should visit. It is a nice place and is not overwhelmed with tourists yet.

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We also did a 24 hour layover in Istanbul and toured the city.

Summer

In June I went to the American Library Association conference in DC where I met Henry Winkler.

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I also went to another Bowling for Soup concert

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We went to Kentucky to visit family and went kayaking

Fall

Not much notable for fall. My daughter went back to school so we were empty nesters again. I went to Kentucky over Veteran’s Day weekend to visit my brother and his family. My sister also visited one day and then I had lunch with her in my hometown. I went to multiple middle school basketball games to watch my niece play, went bowling and just had a nice relaxing weekend.

Trudging my way through December now. Only 4 more days of work after today and I head to Kentucky for a nice long break.

My Year in Blogging 2019

I’ve decided to go ahead and do a recap of my blogging year since I doubt I will post much before I head to Kentucky next week.

First, my overall stats for the year. They are actually not bad for my boring little blog. I’m still ahead of last year even though I stopped posting regularly last month:

Views – 8467 Visitors – 5104 Likes 2310 Comments – 566

Visits by Country – USA – 5661, UK – 859, India – 781, Canada – 251. No other country broke 3 digits.

Top 5 posts:

  1. The Lori Loughlin Scandal in Full House GIFS – It is what the title says. The college admissions scandal in GIFS from Full House.
  2.  I’m Done: A Tater Rant – A profanity-filled rant inspired by me being done with a lot of stuff. I’m still done. Probably more done than before.
  3. Tater Talks the Crazy Disney Mom Rant – My thoughts on the mom who ranted that people without kids should be banned from Disney. Spoiler alert – I disagree.
  4. Tater Talks Teachers – A post for National Teachers Day where I talk about some teachers who made an impact on my life.
  5. Tater Talks Leadership – Some thoughts on what I think it means to be a leader.

I was on a roll there for a while. I was writing stuff. People were actually reading my stuff. I thought maybe my blog would grow a little bit. Then a lot of my little daily frustrations exploded and left me is a state of mind that took me out of the blogging mood. I’m still pretty pleased with my stats. I’m sure most bloggers get 10 times the traffic, but it was a good year for me.

I’m thinking that whenever I start up again I might go toward more thoughts on TV and current events and less on my actual life. It might make it easier to want to write.

I guess this is a good time to post the link again where you can give me money to support the blog or to buy me a cup of coffee to drink while I’m writing. So, click this sentence if you feel the need to give a random blogger money.

 

My Year in Reading 2018

Hello and Happy New Year! I’m back from Christmas hiatus and just watched my Kentucky Wildcats beat Penn State in the Citrus Bowl. I will celebrate by writing up my year in books. It was a struggle to get to my 100 books again, but I made it. I need to spend less time looking at my phone in 2019 and more time reading. On to the books! All of the stats are from Goodreads(as pictured below). My top books are the ones I gave five stars and then the four-star books I felt were the best of the rest. I will not include re-reads.

Top ten books read in no particular order

  • Speak: The Graphic Novel by Laurie Halse Anderson
  • For Every One by Jason Reynolds
  • There There by Tommy Orange
  • She Rides Shotgun by Jordan Harper
  • An Unkindness of Magicians by Kat Jordan
  • One of Us by Craig DiLouie
  • Spoonbenders by Daryl Gregory
  • The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell
  • Lethal White by Robert Galbraith
  • Kill the Farm Boy by Delilah Dawson

Honorable Mention

  • Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant
  • Noir by Christopher Moore
  • The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline
  • Roughneck by Jeff Lemire
  • Rabbit & Robot by Andrew Smith

Book I would most recommend

There There by Tommy Orange, but listen to the audio. It has a great voice cast. She Rides Shotgun is a very close second, possibly a tie.

Worst Books I Finished

  • America 51: A Probe into the Realities That Are Hiding Inside the Greatest Country in the World by Corey Taylor – His rants are usually fun. These were not.

Book I Dustbunnied

Space Opera by Catherynne Valente. I know some people liked this one. I felt like she was trying to be Douglass Adams and failing spectacularly.

Number of books read: 101

Number of pages read according to Goodreads: 31860. I did the math and that averages to 87.2  pages a day. Once again, I think I can do better.

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A Look at Tater’s 2018

Looking back over my 2018 photos(the only way this old guy can remember a lot of the year) I was reminded that this was a year of big events and changes for the Tater family. This year they were all positive events. Let’s look back.

January/February – I never do much in the winter months. We come back from Kentucky and hope for snow days to relax. In January I chaperoned my daughter’s last youth group trip and possibly the last youth event I will ever chaperone. February I turned 49 and did my normal tour of free food I get from restaurants. Not much else happened that I can recall.

In March we finally got our snow. Unfortunately, it happened right when I was supposed to head to Philadelphia for the Public Library Association Conference. I was able to switch my train ticket to the night before I was supposed to leave and get my hotel for an extra night and I beat the storm there. We finally got our snow day while I was away at the conference. I got a good shot of the convention center in the snow.

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The spring had some big events. I presented at the Maryland Library Association Conference early in May. The rest of the month had two major events. My daughter’s senior prom and high school graduation and inching closer to an empty nest.

Her graduation gift was a trip to England and Paris. We went to London, Oxford, Bath, and Dover in England and then headed to Paris for a couple of days. It was the first trip in a while with all four of us. It was nice to be together as a family again. It was a good trip.

In July. my wife’s annual conference was in India and I once again tagged along. I’m glad I went and experienced India, but it was one of my least favorite trips for the conference. There was not much to do around the hotel, not much assistance from the hosts and India tried to kill me with a stomach issue and a tree attacking me and cutting my arm. I was really happy to get back to the US this time.

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August marked the beginning of our empty nest when our daughter moved into her dorm. After that big event, the rest of the fall was uneventful. I spent a lot of time at home alone and didn’t do anything exciting. The closest to exciting I got in the fall was volunteering where my son is an intern helping them get deer off the property. We didn’t travel for Thanksgiving. I went to some Ravens games. Nothing really to talk about at all.

This month we met the kids in DC to go to Zoo Lights and then go to dinner. It was nice to do something Christmasy where the kids could easily take Metro to meet us. We should do more DC stuff.

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This past week was another big milestone for the Tater family. My son graduated from college on Wednesday. That went by really fast.

My year was full of big events with some lulls in between, but it was a good year. 2019 should have fewer big events. I hope it is a good one.

My 2018 in Blogging(So Far)

I decided to go ahead and post a Year in Blogging review tonight, mainly because I have nothing else I want to write about at the moment. I’ve had a pretty good year for me. It wold probably not be that impressive for other bloggers. Here are the details.

I have 7621 views from 4116 visitors. This has resulted in 2280 likes and 798 comments.

Most of my views come from WordPress Reader and Facebook with Twitter and The Bloggess also each resulting in triple digit views.

5415 views are from the US, 656 from the UK., 418 from India and 367 from Canada. Those are the only ones with above triple digits. There are a lot of random countries represented. I’m sure all of them were disappointed when they got here.

The following search terms were recorded as bringing people here:

friends boring strangers

hangover movie memes
the tater family bad influence
alan meme
read before commenting
 and then “unknown search terms”
My top five posts were as follows:
My Philly Adventure with 134 views
Exploring Career Options with 109 views
A Short Rant with 92 views
So, that’s my boring look at the numbers behind my year in blogging. Almost 2000 more views than last year. Maybe next year I can get close to 10,000.

My Year in Reading 2017

This is the year I finally got lazy and stopped keeping my written list of the books I read. I might try to go back to it this year. You never know when Goodreads might disappear. All of the stats are from Goodreads. My top book are the ones I gave five stars and then the four star books I felt were the best of the rest.  I started the year with a 1000 page book and ended the year with a 700 page book.This year will be an easier start for me. So, here it is – my year in reading for 2017:

Top ten books read in no particular order

  • Strange Weather by Joe Hill
  • Serpent King by Jeff Zentner
  • Revolver by Duane Swierczynski
  • Impossible Fortress by Jason Rekulak
  • The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
  • Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
  • Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick(I might have a crush and it was audio so she read it to me)
  • The Nix by Nathan Hill
  • Dark Matter by Blake Crouch
  • Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

Honorable Mention

  • Sleeping Beauties by Stephen and Owen King
  • The Chalk Man by CJ Tudor
  • IQ by Joe Ide
  • Spoiler Alert by Michael Ausiello
  • Unbelievable by Katy Tur

Book I would most recommend

The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner. It was close between this, Impossible Fortress and The Hate U Give

Worst Books I Finished

  • Who Is Rich by Matthew Klam
  • History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera(though a teenager implied I was too old to get it)

Book I Dustbunnied

None this year. I finished History is All You Left me because it was for work. I’m not sure why I kept reading Who is Rich. I need to be better about abandoning bad books.

Number of books read: 104

Number of pages read according to Goodreads: 30869. I did the math and that averages to 84.5 pages a day. I think I can do better.

 

Tater’s 2017

The first part of these posts is always hard because I can never remember what I did at the beginning of the year. I should start keeping note. I do think, though, that part  of it is that we really don’t do much in winter – that or I’m old and forgetful. Maybe both.

I can recall two things from January/February 2017 – I chaperoned a youth group weekend trip to a conference in Ocean City and I did my free food tour for my birthday. The conference was fun, but I can’t help comparing it to when I used to work regularly with a youth group.  In the olden days youth events were easy for me because I knew most of the kids and their families. I was a regular presence in their lives. Now, I’m just a random dad who pops up on occasion as a chaperone. I don’t know the kids. It makes a big difference. The free food tour is just me going to all of the places that give me free food for my birthday because I signed up for their email list or rewards program.

March 2017 had two major events – my daughter turned 17 and we held my Human Library event at the library. The Human Library is an event where people come to the library, but people are the books. We had people from a wide variety of backgrounds who acted as books. The customers could “check out” a book and have a conversation with them about their experiences. It was well received and we are planning another one for this coming March.

April/May – I went to see Bowling for Soup in concert again. I went alone because I have no friends. You should feel sorry for me here. It was once again a great show and I will be back the next time they come to town. In May I was once again the emcee for the library’s professional development day. I really don’t understand why they keep asking me to do it. There has to be multiple better choices. I also attended the Maryland Library Association Conference in May. It was at a swanky hotel in Cambridge this year so I booked an extra night and my wife met me for the weekend to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. It rained most of the time I was there.  I also bought a new car around this time so I could give my daughter the old one. I make sacrifices like this all the time.

Summer was eventful. My daughter got her driver’s license and her first job. We went on college tours in the midwest, spent some time in St Louis(where we got the greatest family photo ever) and then spent time with family in Kentucky. While I was there I also attended my 30 year  high school reunion. I still don’t understand how everyone else got old and I’m still young and handsome. It is a mystery.

We had a fall full of travel. My wife had a conference in Manila, so we tagged along. You can read more about that here.img_2616

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In November we went to New York City. I love the city and I was happy to have time to walk around and enjoy the sites, but the main reason we went was to see Hamilton. I had purchased the tickets way back in March. It was a long wait to finally get to go, but it was so worth it. My son went with us and said that he might want to go see more shows now after seeing it. It was phenomenal. We also stopped at Carlo’s Bake Shop in Hoboken on the way out of town. You can read more about the trip here.

So far in December the most exciting thing to happen is that my daughter received her first college acceptance letter. We are one step closer to an empty nest. I’m not sure I’m ready for that.

If anything exciting happens over my Christmas vacation I will be sure to post about it. I’m sure you are all so relieved to have that news.

All in all 2017 was a good year. It was much better than 2016. 2016 sucked and the worst part of 2017 was dealing with the depression caused by 2016. Did I mention 2016 sucked? It did. A lot.