To Kill a Mockingbird voted best-loved​ novel

PBS released the results of their Great American Read survey and To Kill a Mockingbird was voted by viewers as America’s #1 best-loved novel.

A gripping, heart-wrenching, and wholly remarkable tale of coming-of-age in a South poisoned by virulent prejudice, it views a world of great beauty and savage inequities through the eyes of a young girl, as her father – a crusading local lawyer – risks everything to defend a black man unjustly accused of a terrible crime.

I had always heard about this novel but never read it, two years ago I got the Audible version and listened to it and thoroughly enjoyed it.  I’m not sure how the rest of the country sees it, but I was born and raised in the south, and my grandfather was a local judge so I could easily put myself into the shoes of the main character Scout.

If you’ve not read it I’d recommend it. Then after you’ve done that, find the movie version on Netflix and watch it.

The top ten novels in their results are as follows:

  1. To Kill a Mockingbird
  2. Outlander (Series)
  3. Harry Potter (Series)
  4. Pride and Prejudice
  5. Lord of the Rings
  6. Gone with the Wind
  7. Charlotte’s Web
  8. Little Women
  9. Chronicles of Narnia
  10. Jane Eyre

Visit PBS for the complete top 100 list. Lots of great books on it.

SEO is still king

I’m not huge on looking on stats but about once a month I try to go through some and see where traffic is coming from, what posts are popular and attempt to get a general feel on what’s resonating with people.

While looking today I looked at referrers for the past 90 days and was blown away how much was still from search. Here is a pie chart showing the breakdown.

 

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Referrers for 90 Days

 

  • 76% is search
  • 9% is WordPress Android (not sure what this is)
  • 6% Twitter
  • 4% Facebook
  • 4% Linkedin

These stats are all from a site that has almost 50,000 Twitter followers, 27,000 Facebook, and 16,000 Linkedin.

I find it interesting because so often when you work hours on a post and then it doesn’t get any traction on social media, you feel demoralized. Just remember social traffic is only getting a portion of your followers and it’s always fleeting. Keep your head down and keep working.

Early voting

It’s election season again, time to do our civic duty and vote for politicians that will work for us and carry our voice.

It sure doesn’t feel that way anymore, hyperbole aside I always dread voting because of the long lines and it taking forever. The past two elections I’ve started early voting and it’s been so much better.

If you have the ability, don’t wait until the general Election Day, cast your vote early and be in and out in mere minutes.

1Password for 2FA

The common security precaution is to never reuse the same password and the only sane way you can do that is by utilizing a password manager. There are few different companies making these and even Apple has one integrated, and I recommend you use one of these. Especially with how prevalent hacks are nowadays.

My password manager of choice is 1Password and it’s fantastic with its integration into all my Apple products. I can’t speak for Windows, Android, or any other operating system. Outside of just being a password manager it also offers an often forgotten feature where you can use it as an authenticator for two-factor auth.

They call this feature one-time passwords and to set it up all you need to do is visit the service where you want to add 2FA, get the QR screen and then follow these steps.

On the Mac

  1. Open and unlock 1Password, select the Login item for the website, and click Edit.
  2. Click the item type menu to the right of a new field and choose One-Time Password.
  3. Click the QR code icon to open the QR code scanner window.
  4. Drag the window over the QR code from the website.

    If you can’t scan the QR code, most sites will give you a code you can copy and paste instead.

  5. Click Save.

On iOS

  1. Open and unlock 1Password, select the Login item for the website, and tap Edit.
  2. Tap “Add new one-time password”.
  3. Tap the QR code icon to scan the QR code from another device.

    If you can’t scan the QR code, most sites will give you a code you can copy and paste instead.

  4. Tap Done.

Check their support docs for more details and for instructions on other operating systems.

After you have it set up the login flow is so smooth. You visit a site, it enters your user/pass combo, then automatically copies the 2FA code to your clipboard so you can then paste it in on the next screen. Finally, after a few seconds, it restores your clipboard back to what it was previously.

It’s amazing how nice the integration is and it works on all your computers, so when you are on your desktop you don’t even need your phone.

Book Review: A Higher Loyalty

A Higher Loyalty by James Comey has been out for a few months now and it is one I was hesitant to start reading because I assumed it to be a completely different book than what it actually is. I wrongly assumed it was all about politics and I was thoroughly surprised when it wasn’t.

James Comey is a man that I didn’t know much about before reading this book. I knew he was the leader of the FBI and that I disagreed with him on the encryption battle that raged a few years ago, but beyond that, all I knew is both political parties seemed to hate him. To me, that means he is doing something right.

A Higher Loyalty is a book about truth, lies, and leadership and written from his point of view that goes through his personal life. I enjoyed the style of the book and hearing his side of the story on the Martha Stewart trial, the Bush administration’s torture policy, the Clinton Emails, and of course his firing by Trump.

What I most enjoyed was his commentary on Clinton’s emails and seeing the case through the FBI lens versus the talking heads that everyone seemed to parrot back during the election season. Of course, the left thinks he handed the win to Trump because of his actions around the case, but I’ve never agreed with that. I think most people had already made up their minds on who they are going to vote for before then. At least that is the vibe I get from my area which granted is a hard red state.

Then the final chapters were devoted to the Trump presidency and his meetings with the president up until he was fired. What is funny to me is Comey could be lying about everything but, for me, he gets the benefit of the doubt because of how often Trump lies.

This paragraph really hit home to me and what I struggled with during the entire 2016 election season, and sickeningly it’s still happening today:

I see many so-called conservative commentators, including some faith leaders, focusing on favorable policy initiatives or court appointments to justify their acceptance of this damage, while deemphasizing the impact of this president on basic norms and ethics. That strikes me as both hypocritical and morally wrong. The hypocrisy is evident if you simply switch the names and imagine that a President Hillary Clinton had conducted herself in a similar fashion in office.

Even with all this, he concludes that he optimistic on the future and that we will reverse course and the balance of power of the three branches will come back closer to what the founders intended.


Overall, I really enjoyed this book and it kept me engaged all the way through. The chapters were short, and it was an easy read. I’d recommend it if you have any interest in the law and like to see things from many different angles.

You can pick up a copy on Amazon for $16, but I was able to get a used copy for less than $5 with free shipping.

My Everyday Carry

I have an affection for everyday carry items. I love looking at checking out blog posts, or Instagram posts that feature what others carry. Of course, I work from home and half the time I’m in my PJ’s so I don’t carry a lot, but when I do go out here is my current items.

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Here is a list of each of the items:

  • Opinel №8 – At $15 it’s an inexpensive knife that gets the job done. It also has a whole subreddit for enthusiasts.
  • Kaweco Fountain Pen – This was recommended to me by a friend and I absolutely love it. They make cheaper versions with plastic cases but there is something satisfying about having something with the nicks and scratches you put on it.
  • iPhone XS – I’ve been happy with this phone and love the camera.
  • Apple Airpods – These things are amazing.
  • Duckbill Money Clip – I just got this money clip based on a recommendation and it lives up to the hype. It’s the easiest clip I’ve used to get your money in and out. Just be warned shipping is a little slow. It took two weeks for it to arrive.