Denver vs. Carolina: the super books

Denver vs. Carolina: the super books

I’ll freely admit that I’m not the biggest sports fan in the world. Oh, I have a basic knowledge of what’s happening in all the big sports. I’m a very broad based consumer of information: as the Doctor (on Doctor Who) once said, “Everything’s important.”** I know it’s an impossible goal, but I like it to be that I’m at the level where it’s not embarrassing in just about any endeavor. 😉

However, of the big American sports, in my life I probably have followed football more closely than any other (well, except the San Francisco Giants).

I’ve had this discussion with people several times: I think football is the most intellectual of the big sports.

I get pushback on that right away, because some people conceive of it as just big people crashing into each other, but that’s not it at all.

Name another sport where they stop every few seconds to discuss what they are going to do. 😉 I’ve seen a stat that in an NFL game, the actual time played, from snap to down, is about eleven minutes. I use that when I teach time management and project planning. 🙂

When people Monday morning quarterback, they don’t say, “We lost because they were bigger than we were.” They say, “They shouldn’t have gone for it on fourth down” or “What were they thinking, throwing that pass?”

Now, I will entertain an argument for baseball being as or more intellectual, since they do decide every pitch what to throw, who should throw it, where everybody is going to stand in the field, and so on. It feels to me like baseball may be more tactical (a move and response) and football may be more strategic (how does what we are doing now affect what happens several moves from now), but baseball does have some of that as well.

I’ll just put it this way: American football is an intellectual sport. 🙂

So, as someone who is certainly not an expert in today’s game (I do know the mythology of Newton vs. Manning), I thought I’d switch it up a bit.

Let’s look at the authors from the two cities, and see how they measure up!

The first thing I did was find the city for the Carolina Panthers. 🙂 Why are they named after the state instead of after a city? Is the thought that there will ever only be enough room in North and South (they don’t even differentiate that) Carolina for one football team? Anyway, it’s Charlotte, North Carolina.

Denver is Denver, Colorado.

Taking the field first are the authors from Charlotte!

Actually, I’m surprised at how few authors born in Charlotte I could find. There are certainly famous authors born in North Carolina (O. Henry, for one),  and Carson McCullers has a connection to Charlotte…but that’s not quite the same thing.

Writing children’s literature, it’s Newbery, Edgar, and National Book Award winner

Betsy Byars (at AmazonSmile*)

From works as varied as The Summer of the Swans, Wanted…Mud Blossom, and The Keeper of the Doves, Byars is a versatile competitor.

Next up is second generation author

Brendan Reichs (at AmazonSmile*)

Son of Kathy Reichs, they have co-authored books featuring the great-niece of the older Reich’s famous character, Temperance Brennan (Bones). Brendan is currently working on a solo Young Adult novel, due in 2017. Arguably less well-known, look for Reich’s modern thinking to throw the Coloradans…and the relative rookie might just go “Virals”.

Those are probably the two best known authors from Charlotte (there are others).

Now entering from the West side of the field…Deeeeeennnnnnnvveeeerrrrrrrrr!

With a massive eleven Hugo Awards and seven Nebulas, it’s SFWA Grand Master

Connie Willis (at AmazonSmile*)

Having written about time travel many times, Willis’ mastery of the clock should spell Doomsday (so to speak) for the team from Charlotte!

You don’t get much more Denver than our next “play”er Pulitzer Prize-winner playwright

Mary Chase (at AmazonSmile*)

With only two children’s books, the former Rocky Mountain News reporter might seem to have a lack of experience, but the massive hit Harvey just might let Chase pull a rabbit out of a hat!


For the half time show, here are lists of books set in the two cities:

Enjoy the game! I’ll have it on, but mainly for the commercials and the performances…and so it isn’t embarrassing for me when it comes up on Monday. 😉

What do you think? Have I left off your favorite Charlotte/Denver author? I didn’t talk much about the stories set in those cities…any recommendations there? Do you read fiction set in a city/country before you travel there (I have)?  Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.

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* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

** Harriet Jones (played by Penelope Wilton): “Is it important?”
The Doctor (played by Christopher Eccleston): “Everything’s important.”
The Beast Below episode of
Doctor Who
screenplay by Stephen Moffatt
collected in my book, The Mind Boggles: A Unique Book of Quotations (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.


4 Responses to “Denver vs. Carolina: the super books”

  1. John Aga Says:

    Hello. I just read this interesting article in Computerworld by Mark Elgan, titles “This is why Amazon will open physical bookstores”.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, John!

      I appreciate that! I agree that it’s an interesting post, and has some good points to make (the fact that you can pay in an Amazon showroom with your Amazon payment information is an important one. Another is that showrooms could help attract more authors to Amazon’s traditional publishing, since many bookstores generally don’t carry Amazon published books).

      I do have different opinions about some points.

      One is that Elgan says, “Barnes & Noble sells books. Amazon sells everything.” Barnes & Noble has been increasingly relying on non-book items (especially games and toys) for some time. They tout that in financial reports. Does Amazon have a much broader line of products to sell? Absolutely. Does Barnes & Nobel just sell books? Nope. It’s big that B&N is just a retail company, and that retail is just one element of Amazon, but one-trick pony versus one-person band? It’s not quite that.

      I’d also like to see clarification on this: “The Kindle line of e-book readers is for easy ordering of Amazon e-books, as well as other products.” I would question that very many people use Kindle EBRs to order, say, dog food or batteries. It’s just not simple to do on those devices (the Fire Phone, which I still use every day, did do that, as do the Fire tablets…but the Voyage the Paperwhite? Not so much).

      I also thought this was unlikely: “The Fire TV products are designed for easy Amazon Prime Video rentals.” Video rentals are a segment, but Prime is far more important. Prime members buy more and pay more, and they do it on higher margin physical objects. The Fire TV (and Fire TV Stick) do a lot of things, and Prime video is a major focus…but I don’t think rentals are the thing. Hm…looking at the line carefully, I’m not sure what Elgan means by “Prime Video rentals”. If Elgan means streaming Prime videos (not rentals…that’s something different), then I would agree more.

      I think it’s a smart article, and I think we agree in the basic thrust…it’s just the particulars. 🙂

  2. Len Edgerly Says:

    Bufo, this was a fun take on the Super Bowl. The streets outside our home here in downtown Denver were alive with revelers and honking car horns last night. A few white police transport SUVs were in evidence, with cops standing on running boards. But they were mainly waving and high-fiving the revelers.

    The one name that any Denverite would add to your post is Jack Kerouac, who lived in Denver and wrote about his experiences here in the classic beat novel, On the Road. Here is a link with more:

    Go Broncos!

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Len!


      I’ve had my car rocked during a 49ers celebration, so I understand it. Oh, and you know Doc Savage often rode on the running board in those adventures (Doc is one of my fictional heroes), so you gave me a smile with that image.

      It took discipline to stick with “born in”! While I mention it sometimes, I consider myself much more of the place I grew up (California) than where I was born and lived my first few years. Sometimes, people who have adopted a city embrace it very enthusiastically, and can even become emblematic of it. In my area, we think of Robin Williams as being from San Francisco (actually born in Illinois) and Jack London, born in SF, is strongly associate with Jack London (Jack London Square is one of the main attractions in Oakland).

      Before I started doing the research, I thought I would find Carson McCullers for the Charlotte team…turns out the author did live there, but wasn’t born or grew up there. Turns out Columbus, Georgia, the actual birthplace, very solidly claims McCullers. 🙂

      I love that Denver has Kerouac tours! I recently wrote something at work about themed walks, and how they can combine information and fitness. San Francisco has or has had different walking tours. Here’s a website for those:

      A literary tour of San Francisco is likely to include Jack Kerouac, incidentally…we have a street named after the author. 🙂


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