Happy my birthday, 2016!

February 12, 2016

Happy my birthday, 2016!

February 12th is my birthday, and continuing a tradition, I’m giving you presents!

This is to thank you for making another year of my life richer. I have a lot of fun writing this blog, and I sometimes get to help people…and what could be better than that?

Part of KDP Select (the program through which users of Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing make books available for eligible Prime members to borrow through the KOLL…Kindle Owners’ Lending Library) is the ability to make books free for five days (they need not be consecutive) in a ninety-day period.

Please check that a title is free for you before buying it.

I have asked Amazon to make them free on February 12, but I can’t say exactly when it will happen. I think they may also only be free to customers in the USA.

Some might be fun to give as a little Valentine’s Day present…you can buy it today as a gift, and schedule delivery for the 14th.

So, you can click on the titles before, but please make sure it is free when you click the 1-click buy button.

The Mind Boggles: A Unique Book of Quotations (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

When this one was first published in December of 2012, it was the number one bestselling book of quotations at Amazon…including paper! That didn’t last long, but it was fun while it did. :)

Love Your First Generation Kindle Fire: The ILMK Guide to Amazon’s Entertablet (at AmazonSmile*)

This one has been a bestseller. It was written before the Kindle Fire HDs and HDXs, so it doesn’t match up exactly with those. If you do have the first generation Fire, though, I think you’ll find it useful.

The Kindle Kollection: Three Early Books about the Kindle (at AmazonSmile*)

This one combines the three below into one volume:

* ILMK! (I Love My Kindle): Being an Appreciation of Amazon’s E-Book Reader, with Tips, Explanations, and Humor
* Free Books for Your Kindle
* Frequently Asked Kindle Questions

ILMK! (I Love My Kindle!): Being an Appreciation of Amazon’s E-Book Reader, with Tips, Explanations, and Humor (Revised Edition)(at AmazonSmile*)

This has some fun stuff…and other things that are out of date. If you want The Happy Little Bookworm, this one has it. :)

The Collected I Love My Kindle Blog Volume 1 (at AmazonSmile*)

This is the first 101 posts in this blog. :) I did 101 posts so I wouldn’t cut off Doctor Watson’s Blog: A Kindle Abandoned (which is a four-part story). I’m still working, off and on, on a “best of” book. I’ll include posts that are less time-dependent…if you have any opinions on ones that you remember, feel free to let me know. I don’t know when that book will happen…as I mentioned recently on

My February 5th interview on The Kindle Chronicles

I am working on a different sort of project which should go live on February 29th. That is taking some of my focus (although this blog comes before that, of course). I’m guessing it might happen before it grows into the best of the first ten years, but we’ll see. ;)
Remember, double-check that they are  free to make sure before buying.

Happy birthday! ;)

Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

*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! :) 

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.

All seven Harry Potter books in one download for $14.99…and an 8th HP book in July!

February 11, 2016

All seven Harry Potter books in one download for $14.99…and an 8th HP book in July!

Update: it looks like my glitch hypothesis for this pricing may have been correct. The price is back up to $56.64. My guess is that they accidentally priced the seven-volume omnibus with the price for the eighth book (see below…especially for those of using screen readers, I’ll link it here, too: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – Parts I & II (Special Rehearsal Edition): The Official Script Book of the Original West End Production (at AmazonSmile*)). Based on the reviews posted yesterday, some folks did get it a that price, which I consider to be legitimate (it’s the price that was posted…by accident, probably, but when you are buying the book, you don’t know that and shouldn’t be expected to evaluate it). Again, many thanks to jabag01 for tweeting me on this, so I could share it with you. Back to the original post…

Thanks to jbaga01 for the heads-up on this!

I don’t know why this is happening**, and I don’t know how long it will last, but it looks legitimate to me at first examination.

Harry Potter: The Complete Collection (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

for $14.99!

That’s all seven of the novels from Pottermore!

Is it a glitch? Is it price-matching? Is it introductory?**

I don’t know at this point, but I’m getting this out quickly so you have a chance to get it at this price.

Remember that you can give these as gifts and delay them for the proper gift-giving occassion…and they are going on our guest Kindle!

Check the price before you click or tap that Buy button…e-book prices can change at any time and this might be only in the USA.

Enjoy!

**Update: this is probably why…a new, official eighth book in the Harry Potter series is coming out this July!

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – Parts I & II (Special Rehearsal Edition): The Official Script Book of the Original West End Production (at AmazonSmile*)

You can pre-order now for that same price point of $14.99.

We have to be clear about what this book is (besides a super bestseller, of course). ;)

It will be a script, not a novel, and it won’t be the final script version of the play. It’s  so designated because the staged version will likely evolve. I’ve been in original scripted plays (I’ve written couple) and they can be like a TV show, where they keep handing you new pages (“Today we are using the green pages, we aren’t using the blue pages.”)

J.K. Rowling (the original Harry Potter author) is one of the writers credited on the story on which the script is based, but the script is by Jack Thorne.

None of that will matter much to the sales. ;)

Reading a script is a different experience…I enjoy it, but not everybody will. It’s much more structured than a novel, and that can take some people out of it (you keep seeing the name of who is speaking, for example, and there may be stage directions rather than a narrative description of something).

I’m also sure some of you are wondering if Jim Dale will do an audiobook version…

Regardless, this is exciting!

Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

* 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! :) By the way, it’s been interesting lately to see Amazon remind me to “start at AmazonSmile” if I check a link on the original Amazon site. I do buy from AmazonSmile, but I have a lot of stored links I use to check for things. 

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.

Update your Kindle or lose access on it to your Cloud, the store, and other Kindle services

February 10, 2016

Update your Kindle or lose access on it to your Cloud, the store, and other Kindle services

Big thanks to regular reader and commenter Lady Galaxy for letting me know about an e-mail from Amazon about a looming deadline.

One of the other Kindle Forum Pros (we get that designation from Amazon for being helpful on the Amazon forums, but we aren’t employed by them) pointed me to this Amazon help page with the details:

Critical Software Update for Kindle E-Readers (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

The basics are this:

For many older Kindle EBRs (E-Book Readers), if you don’t update them by March 22, 2016, they will no longer be able to access the Kindle services. You would still be able to read e-books from the Kindle store you have already downloaded to your devices, but…

  • You would not have access on that device to your Cloud: the books (and other items) that you have purchased from the Kindle store and are being stored for you by Amazon
  • You would not be able to buy new items from the Kindle store on that device
  • “Other services” would likely include subscriptions (including blogs like this one), Send to Kindle, Whispersync between your device and other devices on your account, and backing up your annotations

First, I do want to say that this is going to be a pretty small group of people (which does include Lady Galaxy). Devices generally automatically update “over the air”. I would guess that not one percent of devices out there are not updated.

However, people do choose not to update. For example, I know of people who chose not to update a device after Amazon allowed publishers to block text-to-speech access. That meant that they didn’t get the books wirelessly on those devices, they downloaded them with a computer and transferred them via USB…which is what could happen after this deadline passes, I assume.

What I don’t like here is that was voluntary: this won’t be.

Second, it’s important to note that Amazon is not taking away people’s purchases. They can continue to read them and they could do it using Amazon’s free reading apps.

The “however” on this one is that if they want to read those books on an e-ink device, they would have to buy another one (or have another one registered to the account).

Third, and significantly, this could lose people access to active content (games and apps) unless they update. You can’t use those in the reading apps. They don’t work on the current devices.

So, this is a takeaway, although not for very many people in many situations.

Still, I don’t like that. We don’t commit to updating our devices to continue to have the access we have when we purchase a license from the Kindle store.

Now, this may be unavoidable in some way.

Since this is going to affect all devices back to the 2007 model, it clearly indicates a change in the Kindle network/server side, not on the devices.

They aren’t suggesting that you have to get a new update, just the current ones.

Personally, especially given how small this group is going to be, I think Amazon should compensate them in some way.

One smart thing to do would be to offer them a small discount on a current device and to promote the trade-in.

Amazon could give them a $20 discount on the purchase of a new device. They don’t have to do that; Amazon is, I believe, within their contractual obligations to require this update. It would be good Customer Service (and Amazon has great Customer Service), and help alleviate fears that this might inflame about eventually losing access to your Amazon purchases. It’s not my intent, but this post may spark a bit of a tweetstorm about Amazon taking away access. Of course, it might not: I don’t get quoted all that often. ;)

I’m writing this to give you a heads-up so you can take some actions if you want.

You could download things to your current device. Downloaded e-books and active  content and such should continue to work (although features like Wikipedia look up and sharing quotes probably wouldn’t). You could then use them…until it died.

You could update it…while you might lose some things you like, it would be fully connected.

You could emotionally prepare yourself to switch to (or at least add) another device. :)

Even if Amazon doesn’t offer a discount to those affected people, there is a trade-in program (probably won’t get you much, but could get you something):

Amazon Trade-In Program (at AmazonSmile*)

Also, and I don’t think there is any connection, but most of the current line up of EBRs and Fire tablets are on sale right now.

I had started to write a post about that, but this story is important to me…so I’ll paste what I was writing here:

It’s not just KU that’s on sale: so are many devices!

I wrote recently about

Kindle Unlimited (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

 being on sale through this Sunday:

25% off Kindle Unlimited through Sunday

Many of the Fire tablets and Kindles are also on sale!

In terms of the EBRs (E-Book Readers), this is similar to a deal they did in November…$20 off, with the Voyage not on sale.

So, I’ll copy in what I said then:

Kindle, 6″ Glare-Free Touchscreen Display, Wi-Fi – Includes Special Offers (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*) $59.99 (down from $79.99)

The $20 off also means you could get it without the Special Offers ($79.99, down from $99.99) for the same price you would normally pay for an ad-supported model.

This is the entry level model, and it’s a good one. Here are some of the differences between this and the Paperwhite (which I’ll link below):

  • No frontlighting, so you read it like you would a p-book
  • Fewer pixels per inch (167 versus 300), so the image isn’t as sharp (but I would say sharp enough for most casual reading…you might notice it with images, like graphs)
  • Available only in wi-fi…no wi-fi and 3G option (for more money)
  • A bit less heavy, a bit thicker

Kindle for Kids Bundle with the latest Kindle, 2-Year Accident Protection, Kid-Friendly Blue Cover (at AmazonSmile*) $79.99 (down from $99.99)

This is like the above, but includes a ruggedized cover and an extended warranty…since each of those costs $20, this is a big savings, even without the discount.

Certainly something to consider for a gift.

All-New Kindle Paperwhite, 6″ High-Resolution Display (300 ppi) with Built-in Light, Wi-Fi – Includes Special Offers (at AmazonSmile*) $99.99 (down from $119.99)

The Paperwhite (this is the latest generation) is a great model Kindle! I’d say it may be my favorite (price and everything taken into account), with the Kindle 3 (Kindle Keyboard) being second…well, wait, lack of TTS makes that a tighter battle. For sight-reading, it’s my favorite. :)

Why would you literally pay $100 more (right now) for a top of the line

Kindle Voyage (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

?

You do get a few more things:

  • Adaptive light sensor
  • Page press buttons (in addition to touchscreen…these all have touchscreen)
  • Quite a bit less heavy and a tad smaller

Also on sale are the least and most expensive Fire tablets:

Note that all of these prices are for the USA, and are for a limited time…as always, check the price before you click or tap that “Buy button”.

Here is Amazon’s list of the devices affected by the deadline:

Device and Year Software Release Your Device Needs Update via wireless (3G) or Wi-Fi
Kindle 1st Generation (2007) 1.2.1 Use 3G
Kindle 2nd Generation (2009) 2.5.8* Use 3G
Kindle DX 2nd Generation (2009) 2.5.8* Use 3G
Kindle Keyboard 3rd Generation (2010) 3.4.2 or higher Use Wi-Fi
Kindle 4th Generation (2011) 4.1.3 or higher Use Wi-Fi
Kindle 5th Generation (2012) 4.1.3 or higher Use Wi-Fi
Kindle Touch 4th Generation (2011) 5.3.7.3 or higher Use Wi-Fi
Kindle Paperwhite 5th Generation (2012) 5.6.1.1 or higher Use Wi-Fi
Kindle Paperwhite 6th Generation (2013) 5.6.5 or higher Use Wi-Fi
Kindle 7th Generation (2014) No Update Needed No Update Needed
Kindle Voyage 7th Generation (2014) No Update Needed No Update Needed
Kindle Paperwhite 7th Generation (2015) No Update Needed No Update Needed

* For these devices, even if you are running software version 2.5.8, if you have not connected to wireless (3G) since October 5, 2015, please connect now.

Let me be really clear: I’m not mad at Amazon about this. It’s clearly part of Amazon improving services for the vast majority of their users. Inevitably, that can cause some losses to some people. Building something that’s great for cars may be bad for people who ride horses. Building something that’s great for electric cars may be a negative for people who use internal combustion engine cars. I do think it would make sense for Amazon to give something to the people who are losing something, but I don’t think it’s required…

What do you think? Do you have one of these “unupdated” EBRs? What do you plan to do about it? Had you gotten the e-mail? Whether you have one or not, do you think Amazon should compensate people in some way for the change? Do you think we as consumers will see changes to the Kindle service on all of our devices after March 22nd, or is this just a “behind the curtain” change? If you do think there will be visible changes, what do you think they will be? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.

Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

* 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! :) 

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.

25% off Kindle Unlimited through Sunday

February 9, 2016

25% off Kindle Unlimited  through Sunday

Sales on

Kindle Unlimited (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

have been quite rare, but there’s one going on right now for St. Valentine’s Day!

It’s 25% off pre-paid plans.

That’s

  • 6 Months: $59.94 – Now $44.95
  • 12 Months: $119.88 – Now $89.91
  • 24 Months: $239.76 – Now $179.82

I’ve been a happy member of Amazon’s subser (subscription service) for e-books  since it debuted.

I looked immediately to see if we could buy it at the discount to add on to our current pre-paid plan, but not too surprisingly, you can’t. The terms of the deal include:

  • Customers who are on a monthly plan and have previously purchased a pre-paid plan that is currently associated with their account and customers who have purchased multiple pre-paid plans that are currently associated with their account are not eligible.
  • Existing Kindle Unlimited subscribers with monthly subscriptions who have not previously purchased a pre-paid plan are eligible for this promotion. For those subscribers who choose to participate, automatic renewals will be temporarily suspended for the duration of the monthly package purchased and will automatically restart at its conclusion.

I definitely think it’s worth it, but I should explain that a bit.

Normally, you are paying $9.99 a month for an “all you can read” selection. You can have up to 10 titles out at the same time on one account (and typically, you could have an individual title on six devices on your account at the same time).

That’s out of 1,228,126 titles at the time of writing (in the USA…that’s what I’m discussing today).

One of the big things I see with this is that I get books I wouldn’t have read otherwise…often due to price.

I like public domain books, and I could read all I want without spending a dime, I think, by just reading those free out of copyright titles.

However, there are certainly in-copyright books I’d like to read. :) I put some on my wish list for family members to see on gift giving occasions, but there are others that I’d just like to read.

So, with KU, it’s not that I get a book for which I would have paid for free (well, technically, for no additional cost)…it’s that I read different books.

My Significant Other, who isn’t a big fan of technology, is now also downloading KU books, mainly to read on the treadmill. :)

I’ve recommended KU books a number of times in the past…see the

category of ILMK posts.

Today, though, I thought I’d let you know what we actually have out right now. I think that may give you some ideas, and my feeling is that some readers like to see that little window into our lives. :)

I copied this from the listing…the dates are the dates borrowed. If it’s one I’ve read or am reading, I’ll give you some thoughts.

Before I start, here is an obvious question: why do we still  have the books if I’ve finished reading them? I tell myself that I’ll review all the books I read on Goodreads, but I don’t always get to it. I think I do tend to indicate I’m currently reading them, so at least there is that. You can follow my reviews on Goodreads here:

I do make an effort to write an “artful” and helpful review, which why I don’t just crank them out.

Okay, on to our borrowed books!

When I Found You
Ryan Hyde January 22, 2016

The Short Drop
Matthew FitzSimmons January 22, 2016

Alan Mendelsohn, The Boy from Mars
Daniel Pinkwater January 14, 2016

I’ve finished reading this one, and I did enjoy it. Pinkwater writes what are seen as young adult and children’s books, but I would say they are Baby Boomer informed. They are goofy and surrealistic. I wouldn’t say this was the best one, but it was worth it.

The Man Who Fell to Earth
Walter Tevis January 6, 2016

David Bowie was perfectly cast in the movie, and if I’d read the book, it was a long time ago. This was a case where both the movie and the book were good. I’d actually say the book had some superior elements, but this was a good, cynical read.

A Truth Worth Tellin’
Toni Teepell December 11, 2015

I really enjoyed this one, and it’s not science fiction or fantasy. :) This is a book that could find an audience and become well-known, but it’s just a question of whether or not it breaks through.

Angles of Attack (Frontlines Book 3)
Marko KloosSeptember 25, 2015

I read all of these military science fiction books (well, the first three main books), and they were both old-fashioned (as in 1950s) and more modern. They have more character development and more human interaction elements than you might anticipate. Again, worth reading

Experiencing Lithuania: An Unconventional Travel Guide
Columbia Warren June 20, 2015

I had relatives going to Lithuania, and I was looking for something that wasn’t the typical guidebook. This fit the bill: it was much more experiential…what a friend would tell you who came back from living there. The only major gap I saw was no mention of the Three Stooges (the actual brothers, Moe, Curly, and Shemp are of Lithuanian descent). That’s a quibble; I thought it was fun and useful.

A King of Infinite Space (Long Beach Homicide)
Tyler Dilts September 6, 2014

Earth: An Alien Enterprise: The Shocking Truth Behind the..
Timothy Good August 14, 2014

Good’s Above Top Secret was one of the most popular books about UFOs and secrecy, and they are entertainingly written. I wouldn’t say it’s going to convince anybody who isn’t already leaning strongly in favor of the idea (not just of UFOs being genuine alien craft or some kind, but of the government covering it up). If you are in that camp, or if you want to just read it as entertainment, it works.

Whether this is for St. Valentine’s Day or not, I would think about this. We gave KU to a related family…mainly for the two kids, but the adults will get to use it, too. :) I think that might have been my favorite gift that we gave this last holiday season.

Enjoy!

Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

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! :) By the way, it’s been interesting lately to see Amazon remind me to “start at AmazonSmile” if I check a link on the original Amazon site. I do buy from AmazonSmile, but I have a lot of stored links I use to check for things. 

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.

Denver vs. Carolina: the super books

February 7, 2016

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.

Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

* 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.

My February 5th interview on The Kindle Chronicles: the annotations

February 6, 2016

My February 5th interview on The Kindle Chronicles: the annotations

I am the featured interview on Len Edgerly’s The Kindle Chronicles podcast for Friday, February 5th, 2016, and you can hear it here:

TKC 392 KINDLE BLOGGER BUFO CALVIN

It was a great experience!

Len and I exchange occasional e-mails, and I’ve been on the show a couple of times before. We’ve never met in real life, though…our mutual admiration comes from each other’s work. ;)

I also have to say that I think Len did a terrific job editing our interview! We actually spoke for well under an hour, so it wasn’t so much cutting out things as it was polishing them. I did make one mistake, and referred to our adult child by a gender specific term, which I don’t do here in this blog (I’ll explain in a moment). Len was nice enough, and skillful enough, to edit that out for me when I mentioned it.

On this blog, I don’t identify inherent characteristics, such as my own gender. There are some other things I don’t reveal as well. There are two reasons for that.

The first is that I want this to be a place where people can participate based solely on their ideas and feelings. When people make comments (which I always appreciate), I don’t want them to feel that they should reveal gender, or marital status, or age…or anything they don’t want to do. :) They are welcome to do so if they want, but if I do it, I think people would be less comfortable not doing it.

The second reason is that it’s a challenge and fun. ;) I’ve taught people how to use the same skills we use in improv to have better interactions at work. One of those is the ability to think about one thing while you are doing something else (for example, thinking about how what you are saying will affect someone at the same time you are saying it). One thing I’ve had people do, with no warning ahead of time, is stand up and talk for thirty seconds about what brought them to this place in their lives…without using the word, “I”. Great trainers (that’s my “day job”) can all do that pretty smoothly. Most people have a very difficult time.

While I definitely would like you to listen to the show, and I think I was completely fairly represented, I thought that some annotations might be helpful.

Here’s the first thing:

You can hear one of our dogs on the show. ;)

What you actually hear is Elf squeaking a favorite toy, a plush mustache which is about the same length as the dog (who, while a rescue and undoubtedly mixed, turned out to apparently be primarily Portuguese podengo pequeno wire-hair). It’s pretty quiet, but you can hear it in the background at one point. Elf will squeak it repeatedly for minutes at a time….I actually encourage that by saying, “Squeaky! Squeaky!”

Two things about that, and one which is not just about me. ;)

I did the interview at home. As I said, it took under an hour, so I blocked some time on my work calendar, recorded it during what was basically my lunch break, then went to my nearby office.

The second thing, and Len and I were both impressed with this, was that I did my end on my now discontinued Fire Phone (I was one of the few who paid the initial about $200 for one) with the earbuds and in-line microphone that came with it.

The sound quality is quite good! I use those earbuds at work, but I haven’t recorded anything for broadcast with them before.

We did the interview via Skype, and I tried a couple of other configurations first, including a headset I got for use with Dragon (a very popular speech-to-text program…you talk, it types)…but this was the best.

You aren’t going to buy a Fire Phone at this point, but you can buy the headphones:

Amazon Premium Headphones (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

At $14.99 at time of writing, I think they are a good deal. You could use them with other SmartPhones and devices…you know, unless the next iPhone drops the headphone jack, which is a rumor. ;)

We covered a lot of topics, and they tie back into five things you can read from me. Two are previous posts in this blog:

The first one we discuss explicitly. The second one addresses the idea of “inheriting” e-books…I wrote it back in 2009, but the basic information should still be current.

There also a question and some discussion about

The Collected I Love My Kindle Blog Volume 1 (at AmazonSmile*)

which you can read as part of

Kindle Unlimited (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

or it’s available in the USA for $0.99.

My other blogs came up a couple of times. I mentioned a funny statistic about my Sherlock Holmes blog, and my broader pop culture blog was named. Those are:

Another item that was mentioned was one of my sibling’s first novel

One Murder More (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

I didn’t mention it by name, because I didn’t want this interview to feel like I was promoting items, but I did refer to it.

Not something I’ve written or that a family member or someone I know has written (you can see those at I know these authors!) but that I referenced was software that can give you a virtual background when you are on a video call. I’ve used

ManyCam

It’s free, and a lot of fun!

I do want to clarify something about that part of the conversation.

I said that I had used it at work to have an office background, and jokingly told Len not to tell my company. ;)

I’m a very honest person, as I think my readers know. I never did this to trick anybody. I was actually authorized to test out the technology for possible use at my company. Yes, I did “fake” an office background, but I would always tell them before the end of the call to get their feedback.

One question (about public libraries) was asked by a reader who was named on the show, but I didn’t get that question directly here, so I’m not naming names…I’ll just say thank you, and I’ll name you if you like. :)

I want to make very clear my gratitude to people who subscribe to this blog through the Kindle store! I mentioned that they really make it possible for me to do this, but I don’t think I said the words, “thank you”, so…thank you!

Finally, I mentioned a project I have that I will make public on February 29th. I think readers of this blog will find it interesting, and I’ll announce here it here when it is ready.

I’d be interested in any feedback you have for me about the show, or additional questions about topics we didn’t cover. Feel free to let me and my readers know by commenting on this post.

Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

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! :) By the way, it’s been interesting lately to see Amazon remind me to “start at AmazonSmile” if I check a link on the original Amazon site. I do buy from AmazonSmile, but I have a lot of stored links I use to check for things. 

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.

Google breaks through “book under glass”

February 5, 2016

Google breaks through “book under glass”

One of the knocks on e-books, from some people, is that they really haven’t taken advantage of their own technology.

Certainly, in the beginning, the marketing was about how much like a paperbook (p-book) they could be. After all, p-books have been an incredibly successful and satisfying technology. They have changed over time (popular paperbacks, as we know them, haven’t been around for a hundred years yet), but if I take one of my hardback original Oz books over the shelf, which is more than a century old, it feels and operates very much like a hardback you could buy today.

Why mess with near perfection?

Well…

Many of us already like some features in e-books that aren’t part of p-books.

A big one for me is the ability to increase the font size. Like a lot of folks, my vision isn’t what it used to be.

The in situ dictionary is also very popular.

However,

Enhanced Kindle Books (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

just haven’t taken over.

Some of them sell pretty well…there’s a yoga book, for example, that is a bestseller.

Still, I keep reading pieces by writers wondering when we will move away from the “book under glass”.

The time…is now. :)

It’s just beginning, but Google has announced an “experiment in unprintable books”…and you can try a sample now (in addition to buying them).

Editions at Play

I tested a sample on my now discontinued Kindle Fire HDX tablet…and it worked. :)

One of the things that I do think is cool about this is that they are trying different things.

The one I tried, Entrances & Exits by Reif Larson, shows you explorable Google street view maps of locations.

Did it still feel like a book?

Sure, there was a page of text…that’s one of Google’s few requirements, that they have pages.

When I went to the street view part, though, it didn’t feel integrated to me.

In another book, you can take sides…read the same story from two different viewpoints.

There are other ideas for books, and others that are coming soon. In one of them, the book deals with someone with memory issues…and the text will in some way erode to reflect that.

What might be the most fun for my readers is that you can submit ideas for books by tweeting

https://twitter.com/editionsatplay

They are careful to say that this is not intended to replace books under glass…it’s another format, certainly.

Overall, I think it’s fascinating…and intriguing that Google got there before Amazon.

I guess that makes sense…Google is known for being experimental, and if Amazon did something, people would expect it to be a real consumer product when it debuted.

By the way, this is Google Australia, but I don’t think that matters much in this case…I’m in America, and i could get a sample and presumably purchase it. There’s also another company involved, Visual Editions.

I’d be interested in what you think about it. There is a presentation here:

https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1_mnJdwO2apVzmKau9J4UBW5zRHzuRMecpAh-TMCAzvA

but if you are interested, go to

Editions at Play

and get a sample.

It won’t work on an EBR (E-Book Reader) like a Kindle…it says it will work on Android and iOS, although as I mentioned, at least the one I tried worked on Fire OS (which is a “forked” version of Android).

If you do submit an idea for a book and want to share (or if it is selected for display by Google…I assume you’ll be willing to share then), I’d appreciate you letting me know.

What do you think of the idea? Intrigued? Uninterested? Do you think Amazon should have done it first…and should do it now? How popular do you think they would be? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.

Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

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! :) By the way, it’s been interesting lately to see Amazon remind me to “start at AmazonSmile” if I check a link on the original Amazon site. I do buy from AmazonSmile, but I have a lot of stored links I use to check for things. 

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.

Rumor: is Amazon planning to open hundreds of brick-and-mortars?

February 4, 2016

Rumor: is Amazon planning to open hundreds of brick-and-mortars?

I’m a former manager of a brick-and-mortar bookstore. I also managed a game store, worked in a Nature Company type store, and my first real job was in a novelty store.

I think I can safely say that I was a successful manager, and I think I understand something about the physical retail business, even though I haven’t been in it (except as a customer) for some time.

I was intrigued when Amazon recently opened one physical bookstore in Seattle, which I wrote about here:

Who would be foolish enough to open a new brick-and-mortar bookstore in the Age of Amazon? How about…

Well, yesterday (on Tuesday), General Growth Properties’ CEO (Chief Executive Officer), Sandeep Mathrani, answered a question in a way that suggested that Amazon might open hundreds of brick-and-mortar stores (possibly in malls).

That statement has been walked back a bit, but many analysts saw this as responsible for a deep drop in Barnes & Noble stock since the announcement (it’s down about 15%).

Money.CNN Graph

Do I think this is true, that Amazon is going to open hundreds of stores?

It’s possible…we’ve had these kind of leaks before that then became reality.

There has been speculation about them being much more than bookstores…maybe a place to do physical returns, for example.

I can see Amazon doing “showrooms” for books and devices, similar to the current store in Seattle.

I have a hard time seeing them doing anything close to a department store.

I don’t think that’s a good model for success in today’s world.

When you run a retail store, you are constantly fighting the rent (if you don’t own the building…which has its own complications, including property taxes).

I just don’t see it working for Amazon to have a store with 25,000 item in it. That would be a tiny fraction of what’s at Amazon.com. You can’t have people comparing what’s in the store with what’s online.

This is what I think they could do:

  • Showcase books, like they are doing in Seattle
  • Show off Amazon devices, which might include simulated rooms, like you can see in some electronic stores
  • Amazon lockers, where you pick up some things you order online before you get there
  • Have a Fed Ex store part of it, to handle returns, but whatever else you wanted to ship
  • Maybe have a print-on-demand machine, to do print books
  • Perhaps have a sort of test kitchen/coffee place, but I’m not sure about that. It would help them to have people try some of the things online
  • Amazon’s “home of tomorrow”, showing off possible future things, including doing focus groups
  • Author talks by Kindle Direct Publishing/Amazon imprint/Amazon independent paperbook authors

That could all make it an experience, a destination…and they really wouldn’t need to sell much in the store to have it as a driver of sales to the website and as a place for conversation.

I think, though, that most likely we would see an expansion of the Amazon Books concept first. I think they will continue to experiment with locker locations, but those two don’t necessarily go together.

Would this be the final straw for Barnes & Noble and perhaps for Books-A-Million, as some investors and writers seem to think?

I don’t really see it as the same space, as a head-to-head competition. What they would do would be very different.

I also don’t see it as having a huge impact on independent bookstores…again, different lanes.

Now, if Amazon wanted to open used bookstores, fed by their third party sellers…that would be a crushing blow for many smaller used bookstores, where there isn’t a whole lot of customer service. Stores with great customer service or other unique experiential elements would be unaffected.

I would like to see Amazon expand Amazon Books. If there was one in my area, I’d go to see it.

My intuition is that this CEO didn’t make it up out of whole cloth…that Amazon has been kicking around the idea, and perhaps has talked to malls.

As to it actually happening?

Um…I’d say I’m about 55/45 in favor of it being in the works, with us seeing the start of it this year.

I also think we need to consider that they would do it extensively outside the USA before they would do it here. There are markets where Amazon could really fill a need by opening physical stores.

Update: nice, informative

re/code post by Jason Del Rey

about the Amazon team involved with the brick-and-mortar retail effort. It does suggest that there could be some stores this year, perhaps eventually adding up to hundreds of stores…which is what I was trying to indicate by us “…seeing the start of it this year”.

What do you think? Does it make sense for Amazon to have hundreds of brick-and-mortar customer-frequented locations (as opposed to fulfillment centers and such)? If they did, what should they have in them? What impact would it have on existing brick-and-mortar stores? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.

Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

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! :) By the way, it’s been interesting lately to see Amazon remind me to “start at AmazonSmile” if I check a link on the original Amazon site. I do buy from AmazonSmile, but I have a lot of stored links I use to check for things. 

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.

Big new update coming to current Kindle EBRs in February

February 3, 2016

Big new update coming to current Kindle EBRs in February

Amazon sent me an e-mail yesterday announcing a major update for the current Kindle EBRs (E-Book Readers), and I appreciate that reader Jay Howard gave me a heads-up as well! Letting me know about stories, especially linking to them, is always welcome, even if I’m already aware of it. It helps me judge interest, and sometimes links me to a different perspective on it.

You can see the high-level announced features here:

February 2016 EBR Update Amazon page (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

This is a major redesign to the User Interface (UI)…one of the biggest changes we’ve had.

Since the first Kindle in 2007, the homepage has looked pretty much the same…a listing of books (and some other items, like blogs, newspapers, and while they were around, active content games and apps). We did get the ability to display them with thumbnails (small pictures) of the covers, but the only other big change really was the presence of ads if you bought one of the more popular ad-supported models.

This changes that.

You get a look that’s more like a tablet, with different sections.

This is customizable, but you might have one section with the covers of a few recent books, another section with your lists (Amazon Wish Lists, samples you’ve downloaded, your Goodreads “Want to read” list), another one with recommendations…it looks pretty configurable.

Now, it’s worth noting that all three of those “Reading Lists” can really be more “Shopping Lists”. They can be used for different purposes, but most people use Amazon Wish Lists for things they would like to get, at least hypothetically (that’s why they are called “wish” lists). A sample is intended to help you make up your mind about whether you want to buy a book or not. You might have a lot of Goodreads shelves, but it’s the one that is aspirational that it says it will list.

That’s fine with me, and not a surprise…we’ll see how configurable it all is, but it looks like the main point is to make it easier for you to get another book from Amazon.

In fact, almost all of the features on this page can have a positive impact on sales.

They talk about a recommendation engine (you say what you like, it recommends books for you).

That helps inform what happens at the bottom of your screen, but they want to use a number of approaches. The page says, “…show you personalized book recommendations, books your Goodreads friends are reading, best-selling titles, and more.”

Don’t worry, it’s not all about you buying books…it’s about you selling them, too. ;)

How do you sell books for Amazon?

You do it by sharing the information about them with other people…and they are making that quite easy. Right from the book, you’ll be able to share a quotation to Goodreads, Twitter, or Facebook, and Amazon will link a preview of the book, which can be used in a browser. The preview will, I’m sure, have a link to buy the book.

They are also simplifying the settings: Airplane mode, for example, will be available with one toolbar tap.

Now, lest this post sound cynical, I think people will like the update. It will make things more visually interesting, more controllable, and I think we readers will find it to be simpler.

Remember also that we want Amazon to sell books! We want them to make money…that encourages them to continue to support EBRs, and to do new development. We also don’t want Amazon to go out of business…ever. :) That would be a serious problem for our Kindle libraries.

The update will happen over the air during February for your device.

Update: if you’d prefer to download it yourself (so you don’t have to wait), you can do so here:

Kindle Software Updates (at AmazonSmile*)

I think Amazon’s instructions are pretty good on this one.

This update is coming to the current Kindles:

I don’t think this homescreen redesign will come to the earlier generations, although that doesn’t mean they won’t ever get another update.

I might have written about this yesterday, but I was being recorded by Len Edgerly for Friday’s

The Kindle Chronicles podcast

and that took up what would otherwise have been writing time, perhaps. :)

It was a great experience, and I look forward to hearing the finished show! A question from one of my readers was included by Len, which I appreciated!

So, what do you think about the upgrade? Is it exciting to see Amazon updating the EBRs? Do you worry that they’ll eventually drop them in favor of backlit devices…or will there be, perhaps, a technological merging of the two? Do these features look exciting to you, or do you question whether it helps Amazon more than it helps you? When you buy an EBR, do you accept that it won’t always have all of the cutting edge features? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.

Updated update on the update: I updated! ;) I left my Paperwhite on wi-fi all day today, came home, and it had updated. I also left it plugged in, by the way. Over the next couple of days I’ll go through it thoroughly. I plan to produce a “menu map” before Sunday. In the mean time, I really appreciate the comments my readers are making to this post, giving their first impressions. Thanks, readers!

Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

* 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! :) By the way, it’s been interesting lately to see Amazon remind me to “start at AmazonSmile” if I check a link on the original Amazon site. I do buy from AmazonSmile, but I have a lot of stored links I use to check for things. 

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.

Monthly Kindle Deals for $3.99 or less each: February 2016

February 2, 2016

Monthly Kindle Deals for $3.99 or less each: February 2016

Amazon does the Kindle Daily Deal (at AmazonSmile…benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*), which used to discount four books a day (often general fiction, a romance, a science fiction/fantasy book, and a kids’ book). Now, it seems like it is generally more books than that, and not categorized.

They also do Monthly Kindle Book Deals for $3.99 or less each (at AmazonSmile). There used to be about 100 of them, but there are ten times that now: 311 at the time of writing…904 fewer than last month. I think last month was so high because they carried some of them over from the holiday sales in December. They are up to 85% off…but some of them are more than the normal $3.99 top limit. Weirdly, the most expensive one I found was $12.99 (which is down sixty-five cents from last month), and did not appear to be discounted…I thought that might be a fluke last time, but having it happen four months in a row is a pattern. This time, there were also two titles higher than $3.99…better than last month where there were two pages. ;)

Those prices only apply to the USA, and one weird thing is that some of the books seem to sell out at that price sometimes (or become unavailable for some other reason).

Another thing is that 113 (557 less than last month…which is actually also a considerably lower percentage) of these are available through

Kindle Unlimited (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

Amazon lists that information prominently…and it’s now commonly a filter in search results. If they are, then you need to consider whether it is worth buying them…even at these low prices. While they are in KU, you can, if you are a subscriber (and there’s a free month available right now), read them at no additional cost. There are, of course, advantages to owning books, especially if you want to re-read them. A book could move out of KU at any time. Even if you think you want to own it, if you are a KU member, you could always read it first to make sure. ;) I will mark them with KU.

By the way, in the new version of the

eReaderIQ advanced search

you can make KU a filter. So, you can search for books by an author, a keyword, an average customer review which you can read as part of your KU membership…nice! I’m not associated with eReaderIQ except as a user (we have had some correspondence), but I do think it is the most valuable website for Kindleers.

I’m going to list some of the books in this sale that caught my eye…I’m not necessarily recommending them, but I do think they are interesting.

The ones I link (if I actually link to specific books) also don’t block text-to-speech access**…but I think blocking it is becoming rarer.

  • The Hope Beach Collection: Tidewater Inn, Rosemary Cottage, Seagrass Pier (The Hope Beach Series) by Colleen Coble
  • The American Slave Coast: A History of the Slave-Breeding Industry by Ned Sublette and Constance Sublette
  • Take Your Eye Off the Ball 2.0: How to Watch Football by Knowing Where to Look by Pat Kirwan and David Seigerman
  • The Paradise Trilogy by Ted Dekker
  • Churchill’s Trial: Winston Churchill and the Salvation of Free Government by Dr. Larry Arnn
  • My Horizontal Life: A Collection of One Night Stands (A Chelsea Handler Book/Borderline Amazing Publishing) by Chelsea Handler
  • One Night: Promised (The One Night Trilogy Book 1) by Jodi Ellen Malpas
  • A Hobbit, a Wardrobe, and a Great War: How J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis Rediscovered Faith, Friendship, and Heroism…by Joseph Loconte
  • The Perfect Assassin by Ward Larsen
  • Mansfield’s Book of Manly Men: An Utterly Invigorating Guide to Being Your Most Masculine Self by Stephen Mansfield and William Boykin
  • Upstairs at the White House: My Life with the First Ladies by J. B. West and Mary Lynn Kotz
  • Nonviolent Communication by Marshall B. Rosenberg and Deepak Chopra
  • The Rise of Islamic State: ISIS and the New Sunni Revolution by Patrick Cockburn
  • Against All Enemies (A Jonathan Grave Thriller Book 7) by John Gilstrap
  • Fly By Wire: A Jammer Davis Thriller by Ward Larsen
  • Delights and Prejudices by James Beard and Julia Child
  • What Doctors Feel: How Emotions Affect the Practice of Medicine by Danielle Ofri
  • No Quarter Asked by Janet Dailey
  • Manning: A Father, His Sons and a Football Legacy by Peyton Manning and Archie Manning
  • Splintered by A. G. Howard (and other books in the series)
  • Black Like Me: The Definitive Griffin Estate Edition by John Howard Griffin and Robert Bonazzi
  • 9 Things You Simply Must Do to Succeed in Love and Life: A Psychologist Learns from His Patients What Really Works…by Henry Cloud
  • The China Study All-Star Collection: Whole Food, Plant-Based Recipes from Your Favorite Vegan Chefs by LeAnne Campbell and T. Colin Campbell
  • The Addictocarb Diet: Avoid the 9 Highly Addictive Carbs While Eating Anything Else You Want by Bruce Roseman and Kenneth Paul Rosenberg
  • January 1973: Watergate, Roe v. Wade, Vietnam, and the Month That Changed America Forever by James Robenalt and John W. Dean
  • Sleep in the Woods by Dorothy Eden KU
  • Tomorrowland: Our Journey from Science Fiction to Science Fact by Steven Kotler KU
  • The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson
  • I Am Crying All Inside: And Other Stories (The Complete Short Fiction of Clifford D. Simak Book 1) by Clifford D. Simak and David W. Wixon (also available through Kindle Unlimited: KU)
  • The Fight in the Clouds: The Extraordinary Combat Experience of P-51 Mustang Pilots During World War II by James P. Busha
  • The Language of Hoofbeats by Catherine Ryan Hyde KU
  • Tracks of Her Tears (Rogue Winter Novella Book 1 by Melinda Leigh KU
  • Honey for a Child’s Heart: The Imaginative Use of Books in Family Life by Gladys Hunt
  • Silent Cry: The True Story of Abuse and Betrayal of an NFL Wife by Dorothy J. Newton and Sheila Walsh
  • Graveyard of Memories (A John Rain Novel) by Barry Eisler KU
  • Crimes Against Magic (The Hellequin Chronicles Book 1) (and other books in the series) by Steve McHugh KU
  • If I Did It: Confessions of the Killer by The Goldman Family and Pablo F. Fenjves
  • Mr. Ferris and His Wheel by Kathryn Gibbs Davis and Gilbert Ford
  • You Look Like That Girl: A Child Actor Stops Pretending and Finally Grows Up by Lisa Jakub
  • Ferment Your Vegetables: A Fun and Flavorful Guide to Making Your Own Pickles, Kimchi, Kraut, and More by Amanda Feifer
  • War Brides by Helen Bryan
  • Dawn (The Xenogenesis Trilogy Book 1) by Octavia E. Butler KU
  • Talking to Crazy: How to Deal with the Irrational and Impossible People in Your Life by Mark Goulston
  • The House by the Sea by May Sarton and Beverly Hallam

It’s definitely worth looking at the list: I’d be surprised if you couldn’t find a gift for somebody here (e-books from the Kindle store can be delayed until the appropriate gift giving occasion).

I noticed a few themes:  there were a number of faith-based books, books about sex, and vegetarian cookbooks. Hmm…I don’t think that’s a matrix. ;)

If there were others you’d like to mention for me and my readers, please comment on this post.

Prime members, don’t forget to pick up your

Kindle First books (at AmazonSmile*)

You can get one of the six (same as last month…previously, it had been four) books to own (not borrow) for free…these are books which will be actually released next month. The choices this month are:

  • The Last Girl (The Dominion Trilogy Book 1) by Joe Hart (thriller)
  • Ghost Gifts by Laura Spinella (romantic suspense)
  • North of Here by Laurel Saville (contemporary fiction)
  • Little Sister (A James Palatine Novel) by Giles O’Bryen (international thriller)
  • Winter Men by Jesper Bugge Kold, K.E. Semmel (war fiction)
  • All the Lasting Things by David Hopson (literary fiction)

People like to know which one I pick…and this month, I could have gotten several of them. Last month, I had Alexa (in our Amazon Echo) randomly pick one…that one was okay. I think I’m going with North of Here. Might work well for my Significant Other on the treadmill, which is one of the goals. ;) It does look like it might be downbeat, though…we’ll read those, but I don’t think that making people feel bad equals literary significance. :) I may need to rethink my approach to this. These books all become part of KU, so maybe I should make the decision based on what other people in my account in the future may want to read, not what we want to read right now…

Enjoy!

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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! :) By the way, it’s been interesting lately to see Amazon remind me to “start at AmazonSmile” if I check a link on the original Amazon site. I do buy from AmazonSmile, but I have a lot of stored links I use to check for things.

** A Kindle with text-to-speech can read any text downloaded to it…unless that access is blocked by the publisher inserting code into the file to prevent it. That’s why you can have the device read personal documents to you (I’ve done that). I believe that this sort of access blocking disproportionately disadvantages the disabled, although I also believe it is legal (provided that there is at least one accessible version of each e-book available, however, that one can require a certification of disability). For that reason, I don’t deliberately link to books which block TTS access here (although it may happen accidentally, particularly if the access is blocked after I’ve linked it). I do believe this is a personal decision, and there  are legitimate arguments for purchasing those books. 

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.


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