A Milestone I Didn’t See Coming

Twice this week I’ve said I’d post an update on my reading challenge and twice this week I’ve changed my mind. But I do have some fun news to share. Just look:

I don’t hardly look at my stats at this point because I’m content with where I am. Yesterday I just happened to look at them in the app and this beauty of a number was staring back at me. 100,000 views on my little piece of the internet!

I’m of the opinion that views and likes and all of that stuff don’t really matter. Why? Because there are bloggers out there with no following who post fantastic content on a regular basis. I’ve simply managed to find an audience. Johnny Reads is no better or worse than the next blog.

All that said, WOW. This year has been rough for me. I’ve left two jobs in less than four months. I’m again in the midst of a job search that I’m hoping doesn’t last as long as my last one. BUT at the end of the day there’s one thing that’s remained constant throughout 2016. I’m still just a guy who enjoys talking books with like-minded people. That’s what it comes down to.

So whether you’ve been around here for a week or a year, it’s a pleasure to have you. I hope you’ll stick around. 😁

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Another Month Gone

2015 is rapidly coming to a close. And the bloggity here is going with it. I barely started reading posts on here again within the last two or three days. It isn’t that I’m not interested, it’s that in the mornings I’m either sleeping or getting ready for work. And at night I’m usually watching a TV show or basketball game. But I’m just making excuses. I read a bunch of posts last night. And hopefully I will before bed tonight too. All I can do is try. Anyway, let’s talk about November stats.

Posts: 30

Likes: 458

Comments: 418

Followers: 3255

Books Read: 0

Poems: 0

YouTube Videos: 0

Welp. Lows across the board. Of course. Basically what I’ve come to expect at this point. My girlfriend says it best. I’m still on WordPress quite a bit, but I’m not really into it. *sad face* I’m trying, guys.

The one interesting thing that came out of November is that I’m thinking of doing one of two things. Maybe both. I’m thinking of reviving my sports blog OR turning that into a YouTube channel. Probably doesn’t make much sense, but the reason I don’t make more videos on my current channel is because I need to be reading something in order to make a video. Whereas in sports there is ALWAYS something for me to talk about. Always. I guess we’ll see.  Now for some posts.

Top Post

A NaNo Alternative

Favorite Post

What I Learned From Katniss Everdeen

Post you may Have Missed

Saturday Selects #21: My problem with football

No surprise about the top post this month. NaNo is something people are always interested in reading about, and I think I wrote a handful of posts against it in November. Yikes. I’m crazy. Hm. What else? The Hunger Games movies ended for me, which means the series is officially over. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t just a little saddened by this. I love Katniss and that series so much. More than I’ll likely enjoy any series ever again. And it’s over. Maybe one day I’ll go against my rereading rule and reread those three books. Wouldn’t hurt to relive the rebellion with Katniss once again. Wouldn’t hurt at all.

So that’s it. My month in a tiny nutshell. How was your November?

Writing in School

I’m talking about everything that comes before college. How much are students actually required to write? I remember in second grade having to write some kind of essay or paper in class. I think we were being taught something about the format. Similar assignments were given during the rest of elementary school. The writing was always done in class.

But I’m sitting here thinking about my middle school years and I can’t remember writing anything substantial during that three year span. And then in high school we generally wrote one major paper a year and spent months on it. I wrote about Dracula once, violence in video games, and two topics that I can’t seem to recall at the moment. All of that is to say that I was not forced to write hardly at all until I stepped foot on a college campus. And I think this could be a contributing factor when it comes to people saying writing is a dying art. Imagine if millions of students across the country have similar experiences. And then they enroll in a degree program that is not writing-intensive. Mine was, but my degree plan had a grand total of two math classes. College algebra and Stats. I’d prefer a class that required 15 essays in 15 weeks over stats every day of the week. But I imagine there are MANY programs that are just the opposite and have very little writing.

All I’m saying is that perhaps it isn’t the media or non-writers who are tossing around this myth that writing is a dying art, maybe it’s the entire education system that’s pushing this idea along. I don’t know. How much were you required to write in school?


On this day in 2014 I published Listen to Audiobooks?.

 

Amazon’s List of 100 Books Everyone Should Read: #44 Moneyball by Michael Lewis

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Hey look, I’m not waiting months to get my 2015 reading off the ground. I actually started this book last year sometime and I would read and then not and then read. Anyway, I finished it last night and I have some things to say. Remember guys, with the books from the Amazon list I’m just telling you what I think and I’m not going to tell you detail after detail from the books. These aren’t reviews.

This was the fifth book I’ve read from the list since it was released about a year ago. I’m hoping to get a few of these under my belt before this year comes to an end. Now onto the book.

Moneyball

This book follows the 2002 Oakland Athletics of Major League Baseball. Hopefully some of that sentence rings a bell. Michael Lewis followed the team to get a look inside Oakland’s unorthodox manner of building a professional baseball team. Stats like batting average and stolen bases and runs batted in (RBI) were no longer valued as they had been for all of baseball’s long history. Instead Billy Beane and his staff focused more on on-base percentage (OBP) and sabermetrics. In short, sabermetrics are the statistical study of in-game baseball activity.

During the course of the 2002 season the Oakland Athletics set an American League record of 20 consecutive wins while having the second lowest payroll in all of baseball. They were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs.

My Thoughts

Wow. Just wow. I have to admit that I saw the movie adaptation of this book long before ever picking up the book. Chances are that you have too. Brad Pitt. Jonah Hill. Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor Oscar nominations. Yeah. Anyway, so I thought I knew a good bit about the book. Wrong. I knew nothing.

Michael Lewis tells you about the origins of sabermetrics. And how Bill James (a pioneer of sabermetrics) originally wrote for an audience that didn’t exist. No one cared about sabermetrics because they’d never heard of such a thing and figured that baseball people knew what they were doing. It tells the reader a whole lot about how the Oakland Athletics drafted players that were not on other teams’ radars or were heavily undervalued. Lewis puts you in front of these players who sometimes don’t understand why the Oakland Athletics have such interest in them (because no other team does).

But the greatest aspect of this book is how well Billy Beane is described. Billy Beane is the general manager of the A’s and the main subject of the book. See, in the movie we get to see him work his magic during the course of the 2002 season. But in the book we learn so much more. We learn about his playing career. We learn that he was drafted out of high school in the first round and expected to be a Major League outfielder in short time. We learn that he didn’t pan out and ultimately quits baseball to become a scout. The movie is only able to give you snippets of his life prior to his role as the GM.

When the book was originally released in 2003 Billy Beane was the joke of all jokes. Everyone thought he wrote the damn thing to make himself out to be some genius. To make himself out to be smarter than every executive in baseball. But that’s not what I take away from this book. I see a man passionate about his work who refuses to accept mediocrity in its execution and results. And he also didn’t write the book.

All in all, this book far exceeded my expectations. Every baseball fan should read it. I have it ranked as #18 on my list of the best books I’ve ever read. And oh by the way, sabermetrics are used by every baseball team in Major League Baseball today.

The movie is also titled Moneyball.

PS: any newcomers to my blog can check out what I thought of The Fault in Our Stars, The Diary of a Young Girl, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory; also from the Amazon list.