A Reader’s Journey

A while back I worked on a list of my Top 10 favorite authors. I had a hard time picking the ten; there have been so many enjoyable reads. For the most part I chose those that had a big or lasting impact on my life.

Encyclopedia Brown and Wayside School got me interested in reading. They were the first books I did for book reports–much to the mocking of my classmates. Ironically, I would later figure out that they probably didn’t even read a book. I also got some grief from my teachers who saw pop culture literature as “low.” They also didn’t like sci-fi or fantasy, not even the classic fantasy or science fiction. That left the classics. Frankly, they were boring.

It wasn’t until the Wishbone series that I started enjoying the classics. The series made the classics more interesting, relatable, and understandable. 

Then when Wishbone and Animorphs ended, I had to look for something else to read. I did read books based on DC and Marvel characters; but since the authors for those change with each book, I couldn’t find any more. 

Eventually, I wondered the aisles looking for something (that couldn’t be found). Later, a made-for-TV movie aired called Sole Survivor. I watched and found it interesting. Soon, I learned that the movie was based on a book by Dean Koontz. As soon as possible, I headed to the bookstore. I found another book by Koontz called Odd Thomas. I tried it out; found it great; and wanted more. Too bad there weren’t any more at our local bookstore.

Seemed like my adventure was over. 

Enter the library book sale. I found some other books by Dean Koontz. But it was one book that interested me in particular: Mr. Murder. I knew of this one. As I looked at the other Koontz books, I learned that I’d read others of his and enjoyed them. I’d been a fan before I knew it.

The trouble was Koontz was still a contemporary author. According to pretty much everyone I knew, if it wasn’t a classic…it wasn’t good. Or if it wasn’t some deep-thought story or some story that could make you look good by reading it, it wasn’t “proper.” So in the beginning, I kept my interest secret; but eventually, I said, “I like what I like. Get over it.” You can like the classics or the philosophy stories if you want, but I liked these.

I find it funny to this day that while growing up when I told people I liked stories with werewolves, vampires, wizards, and zombies, they would laugh at me or call me a loser. They would again say that I wasn’t spectacular like them because I read the “low forms of writing.” Then, one day…Harry Potter. Everyone loved wizards and then vampires and zombies. Science fiction and fantasy became popular.

So, I had to give Dean Koontz the top spot on my list because if I hadn’t found any of his books, I probably would have given up on reading. It is really difficult to find a new book to read when you don’t know any author names or don’t know what kind of genre you like. Or in my case, everyone telling you that the genres you like are “not good enough” or “lowbrow.” It really doesn’t encourages people to read when you tell them the stuff they like is uncouth and silly.

Until the next wormhole…thanks for reading!


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From Dean Koontz…comes an epic thriller about a terrifying threat to humanity and the singular compassion it will take to defeat it.

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For the first time in twenty-five years, Wayside School is back in session in this brand-new, fourth installment in the perennially beloved and bestselling series by Newbery Medal-winning author Louis Sachar.

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Mysterious Space Signals

The following is inspired by a news article about signals from space that return every 16 days. You can read the article here.

Brain yelped a cheer interrupting my nap. 

Ever since the news story about strange signals from space every 16 days, Brian’s been at his equipment trying to decode the blips and static. It was interesting for about the first 15 hours. 

“I did it!” said Brain. He adjusted dials and knobs as I yawned and scratched my head. “In a matter of moments, we will discover the nature of these pulses.” Brain continued to adjust wavelengths and double-check readouts; I moved from Brain’s cot to the seat next to him. “Scientists are debating if the pulses are caused by an orbiting object blocking the source or if the source is orbiting an object. Another possibility is the source itself is pulsing.” 

The machine whined for a minute, which woke me up even further.

“Translation of cosmic pulses complete,” said SPOT, the artificial intelligence.

Brain and I fell into a deep hush. The machines beeped a couple times before the answer came.

“Eat at Joe’s,” said a friendly voice bouncing out of the speakers like a used car salesman who’d spotted a customer from across the lot. “Save 20 percent on your first online order. Offer expires 500 million years from broadcast date–Galactic year 2151.”

A hologram calendar appeared above my watch. “Drat!” I said. “It expired yesterday.”  

“Remember,” the ad continued, “if your order doesn’t arrive in 30 parsecs, it’s free.”

I sighed. “Why does everyone get that wrong? Parsecs are not a measurement of time!” I glanced over at Brain; he stared forward like a fish that’d just learned hooks are bad. “What’s wrong?”

“The greatest scientific mystery of our age…and it is a commercial.” He covered his face with a hand. “Why is the universe such a cruel mistress?”

Until the next wormhole…thanks for reading!

Copyright 2020 Joe Rover. All rights reserved.


Always Dripping | Poem

Drip.
Drip.
Drip.

Always. 
Drip, drip, drip.

Kevin sits curled,
head covered.
The sounds echo.

Drip.
Drip.
Drip.

Winds howl.
Bats screech.
And always...
drip, drip, drip.

Stalagmites. Or stalactites? 
His mind tries to focus
on anything other than 
the dreary now.

Does anyone miss him?
Does anyone care?

They should.

It'd make the news.
"Field trip cave-in,"
Kevin's mind wanders.
Anything to escape the
drip,
drip,
drip.

Should have stayed with the group.
Couldn't.
The bullies push and shove.
The never-ending laughter.
Always the laughter.
Like water.

Drip. Drip. Drip.

Should have stayed.
Would be safe.
The rescuers come for them.
Not him.

Drip, drip, drip.
The sound still mocks.

Kevin curls further in.
No one misses him.

Drip, drip--

Kevin unfolds.
That horrid sound...
Quiet.

A new sound.

Digging!

The rock breaks!
A figure appears!

Kevin knows that cape and howl.
Dogboy.

A friendly paw helps him stand.
Safe arms hold him well.
A single step, the boy is safe.
Parents greet with warm love.

The job is done,
all are found--
thanks to the Heroic Hound.

Until the next wormhole…thanks for reading.

Copyright 2020 Joe Rover

All rights reserved.


It was a dingy, stormy day; the kind of day that makes everything seem black and white. Johnny Blewz played his sax over the radio filling my office with jazz music.

Who Pranked JR. Releases Mar. 24, 2020. Pre-orders at many eBook retailers.

Weekend Read | Review

Over the last few days, I’ve been looking over the app Weekend Read by Quote-Unquote Apps.

The app let’s you read various screenplays, and not just independent, hardly heard of screenplays but from movies like Big Fish, The Boxtrolls, Wizard of Oz, and more. Along with the ones provided, you can add your own through links or Dropbox.

The interface was fairly easy to use–not perfect but not difficult. With the app, you can also switch between a “modern” version of the screenplay and a version of the one submitted to studios.

I wasn’t too found with only being able to store four files in the library–unless I wanted to pay more, but you can delete screenplays you’ve already read.

The app’s look isn’t flashy; it is pretty standard for a file reader. But the simple look makes it easy to locate what you want. The simple look also makes the app inviting. I didn’t feel like this was something only a big-time screenwriter could understand. The app isn’t filled with confusing jargon; it is designed for everyone in mind.

Compared to other apps, it isn’t the most exciting, but it is a fairly inexpensive tool if you are looking into writing your own screenplay and want examples. It is also good for, just as the name states, a weekend read. 3.9/5

For more reviews and geeky antics, consider following.

Until the next wormhole…thanks for reading.


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