Books on my Kindles #1
I often mention here and in the Amazon Kindle forums that I only tend to keep about ten Kindle store books on any of my devices at any given time.
I know some people are surprised by that, because you can keep thousands (over 5,000 on a Kindle Fire), and Amazon has promoted the idea that you can have your whole library with you.
Well, this may be a bit old-fashioned, but I like to keep my devices lean. I do think they operate better and it speeds up searches (both done by the device and done by eye).
I have sometimes mentioned to you what I was reading before, but I’ve never done a “full reveal” like this, I think.
Part of that is because, well, what you read shapes people’s opinions of you. I have certainly in the past read controversial things that might color other people’s thoughts about me…both in good ways and bad ways.
I thought I’d go ahead and do it today, though.
This way, you might find something you’d like…there are lots of ways to discover something to read, and “Read any good books lately?” is a classic. In this case, I’m not going to keep it to good books…I’ll tell you about all of them. I am only counting Kindle store books, though…not magazines, not e-books from other sources. I’m also not going to count the dictionaries that came with the Kindle: I don’t browse through those (although I did read an unabridged dictionary cover to cover when I was a kid).
On Vulcan, my Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ 4G LTE Wireless 32GB
I do most of my reading on this device…thanks to text-to-speech in the car. I like Ivona, the TTS on the current generation of Fires: I think it’s quite superior to Vocalizer, the most recent one we have on the RSKs (Reflective Screen Kindles). I also read on Vulcan at other times…when I’m out waiting, at lunch, that sort of thing. I was surprised that I don’t find it uncomfortable to read on a backlit screen, but that is the case. It’s usually not for more than an hour or so at a time (when I’m sight-reading).
Here they are in “most recent” order:
The Wisdom of Psychopaths: What Saints, Spies, and Serial Killers Can Teach Us About Success
by Kevin Dutton
This is the only sample I have right now, and I have finished it. It was recommended to me by a coworker: it’s a nonfiction look at qualities we could emulate in actual psychopaths. I’ve always figured that anyone who has made it to adulthood has something to teach you, and that all sorts of psychological conditions have benefits…in some circumstances. Something is a pathology to me when it hurts you most of the time, even if it helps you sometimes. Some psychopaths undeniably do some terrible things…but there are probably people who have some psychopathic elements who avoid doing those things…and then benefit from making decisions not based on emotions. I did find the sample interesting, but at $12.99, it’s more than I want to spend at this point (I have a lot to read). I don’t have a hard and fast rule about books over, say, $9.99, but I’m in no real hurry for this one. I listed it at
so I’ll get a free e-mail when it drops in price. That site is one of the most useful things for Kindle owners, by the way. I”ve written about it before, but if you are new to the blog, you might want to check out their myriad free services.
by Philip K. Dick
I got this one when it was on sale, and it’s not going to be for everyone. Dick takes an idea and always puts interesting twists on it. In this case, time is running backwards, sort of. It’s on Earth, in the not too distant future. People, for example, are aging backwards…they are getting younger. There’s a whole industry around digging up people who have died and then come back to life in their graves…with government regulations around it. PKD makes it much more complicated than that, even though there are straight story elements in it as well. It has quite a bit to say about religion, and that certainly might discomfort some readers. I’ve been enjoying it, but I didn’t recommend it to my Significant Other, who would find it…contrived.
The Transparent Society: Will Technology Force Us To Choose Between Privacy And Freedom?
by David Brin
I’d wanted to read this for a very long time, and got it as a holiday gift. I’m not all that far into it, but am finding it fascinating. It’s an exploration of privacy in the modern world. Even though it was first published more than ten years ago, it is still relevant). One of the great ideas in it: let’s say there were two towns. Both of them are equipped with small cameras on every lamp post that see everything. In one, the feeds just go to the police. In the other, anyone any time can tap into any of them. Which would make you feel safer? In the town where anyone can tap into what we would now call webcams, the police office also broadcast. You can see what they are doing with the feeds. I’m sure a lot of you feel like you would hate living in either town…but will you be able to avoid it? I recommend this one.
1,000 Comic Books You Must Read
by Tony Isabella
That’s my borrow from the Kindle Owmers’ Lending Library (KOLL) this month. It’s weird, I don’t usually read comic books, but I have read a couple of books about them. This one…well, it’s what is sometimes called a “seed catalog”. We see an image of the cover, and a brief summary. Isabella knows comics well, and there are some interesting choices…but it was frustrating not to actually be able to read them after I’ve been told I must by the cover. I knew I wouldn’t be able to read them (although there are a lot of public domain comics out there…I’ve read a couple of them from http://digitalcomicmuseum.com/). The author also includes numerous comics that the author actually wrote. That’s fine, I guess, but 1,000 really doesn’t let you get too deep, and those are taking up some of the slots. There is an introduction for each decade that is covered, and Isabella doesn’t stick just to the big publishers, which is a good thing. Still, it’s unavoidably subjective. At $14.99, I wouldn’t recommend it to most people, but I did enjoy it.
How to Archer: The Ultimate Guide to Espionage, Style, Women, and Cocktails Ever Written
by “Sterling Archer”
I also got this one on sale. I think the edgy spy spoof cartoon is one of the best series on television, but it can really offend some (most?) people. I suppose it would surprise many people who know me IRL (In Real Life) that I like it. For example, I don’t drink alcohol, and that’s certainly not the ethos of the show or book. The book, though, does a good job of catching the flavor of the show, and if you like the show, the book is worth reading. The conceit of it is that it is written by the main cartoon character, Sterling Archer, and the voice is definitely there. However, weirdly, we get actual recipes (both for food and alcoholic drinks), which slowed things down.
Strange Animals. An Atlas and History. 1800 to 1977
by George Mitrovic
This is a really strange book. It’s a great example of a case where I wish the author had just given it to someone who was literate to read before it was published. Anybody could have helped it a lot by proofreading it. There is this bizarre, non-consistent capitalization scheme, and the same paragraphs get repeated throughout the book. I can completely see it being a cult classic, though. It’s non-fiction, and has some very out there speculation in there. It also, though, has a good listing of many “paranormal” events (although so far, without source documentation). The writing, when you can decipher it through the lack of editing, can be fun. I got this one from the KOLL last month, and that worked just the way authors want it to work: I ended up buying it (both for myself and for a sibling). I wanted to finish reading it, and that was not going to happen in time to borrow a book in January, in my estimation.
The Science Fiction Megapack: 25 Classic Science Fiction Stories
This one was also a gift, and I haven’t really started it yet. It’s a bunch of public domain titles, including some well-known authors (Ben Bova, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Lester Del Rey). It would probably be my “emergency book”…I’ll dip into it from time to time. It’s currently priced at ninety-nine cents…you could probably find all these yourself for free, but it’s nice to have it packaged up for you.
The Complete 2013 User’s Guide to the Amazing Amazon Kindle Fire
by Stephen Windwalker and Bruce Grubbs
I got this one as a freebie, and haven’t started it yet. I do plan to read it…Windwalker often has useful information and good insights.
Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas
by John Scalzi
Another gift (my family knows what makes me happy…books). I’ve heard Scalzi being interviewed, and I’m excited to read this. It is in some ways a Star Trek parody. The Security Officers on the original Enterprise wore red (different branches wore different colors)…and it wasn’t a profession with a long life expectancy on the show. I made reference to that in my own Kindle-related Star Trek parody: The Kindle Encounter. I expect to start this one pretty soon.
by Anne Sewell
This is the children’s classic and honestly, I don’t remember why I downloaded it. I might have been testing something. That doesn’t mean i won’t read it at some point, though.
by Charles Dickens
See Black Beauty above.
Dawn (Xenogenesis Trilogy)
by Octavia E. Butler
Another one I got on sale. Butler is a controversial science fiction author, and I’m looking forward to it…I’ve enjoyed reading Butler before.
Action Comics (2011- ) #1
by Grant Morrison, Rags Morales, Rick Bryant
I wanted to test out the panel view for comics on my Fire, and I chose this one. It wasn’t bad,a nd while not written for children, it was nice to read a comic that wasn’t all angst. I would say a ten-year old could read this one. At ninety-nine cents, it’s a good one to use for the panel view test, if you want.
On Mindlelito Loveless, my Kindle
I really like my Kindle Paperwhite, but when I’m reading at home on an RSK, it’s on this one. That’s mostly just because I was already reading on it regularly, and didn’t want to switch. I do also read my Fire at home, so I only have one book I’m actively reading on this. I have some others on there I should clean up and remove, but I may dod something with some of them yet.
The one I’m actively reading is
The Fish That Ate the Whale: The Life and Times of America’s Banana King
by Rich Cohen
Another gift (thanks, Amazon Wish Lists). It’s a really interesting non-fiction work about Samuel Zemurray, an immigrant to America who made a fortune and revolutionized the use of bananas. I’m finding the writing to be…well, sort of like a pulp novel (I love those). Quite simply, it seems to me like the author is making up specific scenes and motivations. The story of Zemurray, though, is fascinating. It may be that there are enough interviews and such to justify those sort of Doc Savage-esque passages. At $12.99, I wouldn’t have bought it myself, but I am enjoying the read.
I’ve read these others on the device:
The Midwich Cuckoos
by John Wyndham
Classic science fiction, and I enjoyed it.
Make Room! Make Room! (RosettaBooks into Film)
by Harry Harrison
The basis for the movie Soylent Green, which I now think may have been the best movie adaptation ever. Everything I really remembered about the movie (which I rewatched after reading the book) isn’t in the original…but the original is also good and has elements not in the movie.
Are Women People? A Book of Rhymes for Suffrage Times
by Alice Duer Miller
I stumbled across this one when preparing Ten public domain freebies #3, and absolutely loved it. It’s snarky, political poetry…it seems very modern, with a real cutting edge. I can think of several folks on TV that would enjoy it.
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
by Lewis Carroll
I like to keep this on my devices so I have something to demo for people who ask about the Kindle (although that happens a lot less often than it used to happen). It’s a good one for text-to-speech, for example, although the Mindle doesn’t have that. In fact, I should download it to Vulcan. It’s nice to have a book with which people can experiment without messing up where I am in it. I also like that they are almost always already familiar with it, so no spoilers while they practice.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Book 1)
by J.K. Rowling
When I bought this from Pottermore, it downloaded to all of my devices, and I just never removed it. I don’t mind having it on there, though.
The Complete Wizard of Oz Collection
by L. Frank Baum
This one appears not to be available in the USA Kindle store any more, although there are a lot of alternatives. I never know when I may want to dip back into Oz…one of my favorite places to visit.
There you go…that’s all the Kindle store books actually on my devices right now. Feel free to let me know what you have (although if it’s thousands, you don’t need to list them all). All of these, of course, do not block text-to-speech access. It’s not available on the comic book, but it isn’t blocked there…the TTS just can’t access the text in an image to speak it. I hope these lead you to some to sample, to enjoy, or to give as gifts.
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.