Archive for March, 2016

80 books of the Eighties

March 31, 2016

80 books of the Eighties

CNN’s documentary series The Eighties

The Eighties

starts tonight, and I’m working on a big post on another blog of mine, The Measured Circle, about all kinds of geek-friendly content in that decade (and it was quite a decade!). I probably won’t get that done by tonight, but the series will run for some time. I’m hoping to get another post done that will take a lot less time for TMC, but I wanted to do something here as well. ūüôā

That said, here are eighty books (in no particular order) from the 1980s!

  1. Beloved by Toni Morrison
  2. The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera
  3. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
  4. The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
  5. Watchmen by Alan Moore (graphic novel)
  6. It by Stephen King
  7. The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley
  8. Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café by Fannie Flagg
  9. Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry
  10. Maus by Art Spiegelman (graphic novel)
  11. Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
  12. The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie
  13. A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein
  14. Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
  15. A Time to Kill by John Grisham
  16. The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver
  17. The Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy
  18. Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe
  19. Presumed Innocent by Scott Turow
  20. Foucault’s Pendulum by Umberto Eco
  21. The Accidental Tourist by Anne Tyler
  22. Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan
  23. A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn
  24. The Colour of Magic (Discworld #1) by Terry Pratchett
  25. Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns
  26. Bright Lights, Big City by Jay McInierney
  27. The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher
  28. Gorky Park by Martin Cruz Smith
  29. The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum (Bourne #1)
  30. The Witches of Eastwick by John Updike
  31. The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat by Oliver Sacks
  32. The Rules of Attraction by Bret Easton Ellis
  33. A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking
  34. Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!
  35. The Black Dahlia by James Ellroy
  36. The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
  37. Glengarry Glen Ross by David Mamet
  38. Cosmos by Carl Sagan
  39. Empire of the Sun by J.G. Ballard
  40. Jacob Have I Loved by Katherine Paterson
  41. 2010: Odyssey Two by Arthur C. Clare
  42. Batman: The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller (graphic novel)
  43. Tracks by Louise Erdrich
  44. Red Dragon by Thomas Harris
  45. The Cradle Will Fall by Mary Higgins Clark
  46. Schindler’s List by Thomas Kenneally
  47. A Great Deliverance by Elizabeth George (Inspector Lynley #1)
  48. Lake Wobegon Days by Garrison Keillor
  49. Still Life with Woodpecker by Tom Robbins
  50. Sphere by Michael Crichton
  51. Flaubert’s Parrot by Julian Barnes
  52. The Postman by David Brin
  53. The Cat Who Walks  Through Walls by Robert A. Heinlein
  54. Foundation’s Edge by Isaac Asimov
  55. Holy Blood, Holy Grail by Michael Baigent
  56. And the Band Played On by Randy Shilts
  57. Dawn of Prophecy by David Eddings (The Belgariad #1)
  58. The Snow Queen by Joan D.  Vinge
  59. City of Glass by Paul Auster
  60. Superfudge by Judy Blue
  61. …And Ladies of the Club by Helen Hooven Santmyer
  62. Dragons of Autumn Twilight by Margaret Weis (Dragonlance Chronicles #1)
  63. Dances with Wolves by Michael Blake
  64. Slaves of New York by Tama Janowitz
  65. Continental Drift by Russell Banks
  66. The Mosquito Coast by Paul Theroux
  67. Proof by Dick Francis
  68. Catch Me If You Can by Frank W. Abagnale
  69. Noises Off by Michael Frayn
  70. Watchers by Dean Koontz
  71. Firefly Summer by Maeve Binchy
  72. Growing Up by Russell Baker
  73. When the Bough Breaks by Jonathan Kellerman (Alex Delaware #1)
  74. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr.
  75. Neuromancer by William Gibson
  76. Deadeye Dick by Kurt Vonnegut
  77. The Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean Auel
  78. Sarum by Edward Rutherford
  79. Moo, Baa, La La La! by Sandra Boynton
  80. North and South by John Jakes

I think I probably personally¬†sold every one of those as the manager of a brick-and-mortar bookstore. ūüôā I’ve heard of all of them, and read many of them.

How about you? How many of them have you read? Any of these that are complete strangers to you? ūüėČ What other books from the 1980s do you especially remember and/or would recommend? Feel free to tell me and my readers by commenting on this post.

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

All aboard our new The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

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‚Äôll 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)‚Ķand the good feeling you‚Äôll get.¬†:)¬†Shop ‚Äôtil you help!¬†:)¬†By the way, it‚Äôs been interesting lately to see Amazon remind me to ‚Äústart at AmazonSmile‚ÄĚ 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.

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Unlocking the universal translator: over 600 Star Trek books go DRM free

March 30, 2016

Unlocking the universal translator: over 600 Star Trek books go DRM free

Star Trek was a TV series.

I say “was” because it became so much more.

There was a coordinated¬†effort to keep Star Trek on the air after the second season, which was successful…even if the uneven quality of the result made “third season” a geek slang term for something that wasn’t very good (“That lunch was really third season”).

Then there was an animated series with many of the original cast returning to voice their roles. There were movies, games, comic books, role-playing games, and, of course, novels.

The novels are important, and were important to other fandoms which followed.

It’s worth noting first that Star Trek was always connected with books. The series had actively sought science fiction authors (Theodore Sturgeon, Richard Matheson…) to contribute scripts. It was seen as unusually cerebral television…perhaps even literary.

While there had been tie-in novels and novelizations before (including¬†an original Star Trek novel for “juveniles” written by Mack Reynolds called Mission to Horatius), James Blish’s Spock Must Die! published in 1970 (after the original series was off the air) brought an official, authorized, new story.

The title may have been “Spock Must Die!” but the message was “Star Trek Won’t Die!”

There would go on to be literally more than 500 official Star Trek novels (and short story collections).

500!

For the vast majority of them (and for decades) they’ve been published by Pocket Books (one of the original paperback companies), which is part of Simon & Schuster.

It even has its own stand-alone website:

http://www.startrekbooks.com/

Many of them are available in the USA Kindle store. A search for

Star Trek published by Pocket (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

gets 696 results at the time of writing.

I’ve been happy to see that the Star Trek novels have been available in the Kindle store.

One of my great disappointments with a publisher, though, has been Pocket/S&S choosing to insert code into the files which blocks text-to-speech (TTS) access.

TTS uses software to read a book out loud to you (I typically use it for a week in the car). It’s something I’ve written about many times before because I believe that blocking it disproportionately disadvantages people with disabilities.

That seems particularly inappropriate with Star Trek books to me. Star Trek (especially in the original series, but beyond that) championed diversity, even if it was imperfect in doing so. The original series made a point about prejudice against those with vision issues (who we would now say are “print disabled” or “print challenged”), and Star Trek: The Next Generation (there are novels from all of the series) had Geordi La Forge, a main character who wore a vision-enabling visor.

A Kindle with text-to-speech can read any text downloaded to it (including personal documents) unless that access is actively blocked by the publisher.

I was, therefore, very pleased to see that S&S is removing Digital Rights Management (DRM) from the Star Trek books going forward (they show 611 as currently available).

With no DRM, you can convert the file you receive to different formats (so you can buy a book and read it on a NOOK, Kobo, or Kindle, for one thing).

That should also mean that the TTS access is no longer blocked.

It appears that the new files have not yet been uploaded to Amazon, which makes sense. While Amazon doesn’t¬† specifically label books as DRM free or not (something which I think they should do), they do indicate the number of SDL’s (Simultaneous Device Licenses) available for a book.

Unless it says otherwise, the number of devices registered to the same account¬†to which you can download the same compatible book at the same time is six. Some few books have fewer…and some will show as unlimited (books without DRM are unlimited).

Tor went DRM free some time ago, and I said that other publishers would watch carefully to see how that affects sales and rights infringement.

We haven’t heard any horror stories about Tor’s experience with going DRM free.

This is a major move in that direction.

I applaud Simon & Schuster for this decision.

Live long and prosper…

\\//,

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

All aboard our new The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

*¬†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‚Äôll 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)‚Ķand the good feeling you‚Äôll get.¬†:)¬†Shop ‚Äôtil you help!¬†:)¬†By the way, it‚Äôs been interesting lately to see Amazon remind me to ‚Äústart at AmazonSmile‚ÄĚ 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.

There are over a million e-books you can’t read, unless…

March 29, 2016

There are over a million e-books you can’t read, unless…

People used to be really concerned when Amazon would get the exclusive rights to a book.

They didn’t want one company controlling our literature. It wasn’t just Amazon, of course: Barnes & Noble had exclusives, too.

I’d say there was more pushback about Amazon, though.

I’ve written posts about Amazon having e-book exclusives on certain books by

  • Catherine Cookson
  • Albert Einstein
  • David Morrell
  • Ron Paul

and more.

Amazon even has a section on the store for exclusives:

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

How many exclusives?

Well over a million!

1,262,865 to be exact.

Think about that…when the USA Kindle store opened in 2007, it didn’t have 100,000 titles…not a tenth of what they now have exclusively.

That’s about 28% of the total titles in the store.

How did that happen?

Mostly through Amazon’s independent publishing platform, which is now called Kindle Direct Publishing.

These are the numbers (you’ll notice that they add up to more than the total number…that’s because a title can appear in more than one category):

Exclusive Content

Looking at the ten most reviewed, the top one has over 10,000 reviews…that’s a lot of reviews! It also means a lot of engagement. It’s the Wool omnibus¬†by Hugh Howey.

I’ve read that one…and my Significant Other and¬†I have both read the second one, Yellow Crocus by Laila Ibrahim.

I looked as far as the top fifty…and they were all part of

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

meaning that members of that subser (subscription service) paying $9.99 a month can read them at no additional cost.

This is all very impressive to me.

I was curious, so I checked Barnes & Noble’s NOOK book store.

They have a total of 731,896.

That’s right…Amazon has about half again as many exclusive e-books as the NOOK book store has books!

Is this dangerous?

If Amazon went out of business, would we lose access to over half a million books?

It could be tricky: these books are, after all, exclusively with Amazon. There might be some kind of rights reversion, so that the authors could license them to some other publisher, but I don’t know that.

What do you think? Is it a bad thing that Amazon is the exclusive publisher for so many books? Does it make a difference to you? When was the last time you looked at the Barnes & Noble books? Does this increasingly make Amazon independent of the Big Five publishers? 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!

All aboard our new The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

*¬†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‚Äôll 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)‚Ķand the good feeling you‚Äôll get.¬†:)¬†Shop ‚Äôtil you help!¬†:)¬†By the way, it‚Äôs been interesting lately to see Amazon remind me to ‚Äústart at AmazonSmile‚ÄĚ 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.

A perfect storm for writing

March 28, 2016

A perfect storm for writing

I’d better keep my fingers limber this week! ūüôā

Actually, before I tell you why, I’ll tell you about a hand limbering exercise. I was never a magician myself, but I knew somebody who was in the Society of American Magicians.

Take a rubber band. Put your thumb through it, and make sure it gets down past the ball of your thumb. Now stretch it¬†behind your fingers (you are hooking it over your pinkie…so pinkie, behind your hand, and over your thumb), and move that below your knuckles. You’ll figure it out: it should have some tension on it.

Now, take it off…but only by using that hand. ūüôā You can’t use your other hand, and you can’t rub your hand on anything. You do it just by flexing your hand.

Okay, so why do I need to be limber?

The end of this week is a perfect storm for writing for me!

On Thursday, the 31st, our

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

and

Amazon Tap (at AmazonSmile*)

devices are set to arrive.

I’m going to want to test them and write something up pretty quickly (certainly, within a few days). I think the Dot is going to be a big hit, more popular than the original Echo. I expect the Tap to be less so…not to do poorly, but I see it as more of a gadget while the Dot is more practical.

CNN is also starting its series The Eighties on the 31st. When they did the Seventies, I did two pieces…one for this blog, and one for The Measured Circle (which more generally covered geeky culture):

I Love My Kindle: Books in the 1970s

The Geeky Seventies

I like to do that again. The Eighties had some very interesting trends in literature, and general geek pop culture was fascinating as well.

Then, it’s the first of the month.

I do my Snapshots on the first of the month, and that takes, oh, an hour and a half or so. It’s one of the most labor intensive posts I do, and not the most popular…but it’s one of my favorite parts of the blog. ūüôā

Snapshots

I’ll also be following my regular posting routine throughout¬†this time.

Finally, I’ve set April 2nd as the day I promote

 The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project

outside of my own circle (which includes you).

I’ve been making real progress on “retrofitting” existing entries, so you can get something out of them. I’m happy with how many of them work now: you can click on a book and read it right in the browser in many cases, if it’s in the public domain. If it’s under copyright, I’ve been linking to a search at Worldcat, so you can find the book in a public library.

For authors, I’ve been pleased with adding YouTube searches and Twitter searches. I’ve found some really cool videos by using the YouTube search (author interviews, for example), and the Twitter search gets much more diverse results than I would have expected (pictures of collectibles, for one).

It’s going to keep getting better, especially when I get some collaborators (I won’t do that before April 2nd, but if you are interested, let me know).

When I started it, I focused too much on quantity (although that is a goal), and not enough on quality…I’m fixing tht and that includes how I put entries into TMCGTT.

Oh, and every Saturday, I do a box office thing on The Measured Circle…that takes, oh, 45 minutes to an hour.

All of that doesn’t mean we won’t do our normal two hours at the dog park…unless it is raining. We did see Batman v Superman ^\/^v\S/ yesterday…and that’s¬† a long movie! ūüėČ

Should be a fun week!

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

All aboard our new The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

*¬†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‚Äôll 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)‚Ķand the good feeling you‚Äôll get.¬†:)¬†Shop ‚Äôtil you help!¬†:)¬†By the way, it‚Äôs been interesting lately to see Amazon remind me to ‚Äústart at AmazonSmile‚ÄĚ 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.

 

Today’s KDD: Up to 80% Off Over 25 of the Best Reviewed Kindle Books

March 26, 2016

Today’s KDD: Up to 80% Off Over 25 of the Best Reviewed Kindle Books

While I do like themes of things in general, I also like it when the

Kindle Daily Deal (at AmazonSmile…benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

presents us a “theme” which ends up with an eclectic set of books.

Today it is “all-time customer favorites”…in other words, ones with very good customer reviews/ratings.

My guess is that you could find something you would enjoy here…and something that you could give as a successful gift (you can buy a book today at the discount, and delay the delivery for the appropriate gift-giving occasion. Or print out the gift so you can wrap it and give it whenever you want).

Some of them are also available through

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

Amazon’s subser (subscription service) at no additional cost (beyond the normally $9.99 a month membership fee).

Note: check the price before you click that Buy button. The prices may not apply in your country.

Take a look:

  • The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
  • Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
  • Take Me With You by Catherine Ryan Hyde (KU)
  • The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson) by Rick Riordan
  • The Art Forger by R.A. Shapiro (KU)
  • Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari
  • Old Man’s War by John Scalzi
  • The Sisterhood by Helen Bryan (KU)
  • Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah
  • Wildest Dreams (Thunder Point) by Robyn Carr
  • Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
  • Still Missing by Cheryl Stevens
  • Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay
  • Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen (KU)
  • The Winner by David Baldacci
  • The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom
  • The Wedding by Nicholas Sparks
  • The Ladies’ Room by Carolyn Brown (KU)
  • Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
  • Hold Me by Susan Mallery
  • Warriors #1: Into the Wild by Erin Hunter and Dave Stevenson
  • The Lion’s Game by Nelson DeMille
  • Matterhorn by Karl Marlantes
  • Still Missing by Chevy Stevens
  • Saving CeeCee Honeycut by Beth Hoffman
  • Hold Me by Susan Mallery
  • The Girl Who Came Home by Hazel Gayno
  • Little Girl Los by Brian McGilloway
  • Crow Hollow by Michael Wallace (KU)
  • The Beginning of the End by Manel Loureiro and Pamala Carmell (KU)
  • The Bloodletter’s Daughter by Linda Lafferty (KU)

Enjoy!

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

All aboard our new The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

* 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.

Kindle Spanish Monthly Deals

March 25, 2016

Kindle Spanish Monthly Deals

I’m happy to see Amazon continuing to expand its support¬†for more languages…and not just because our adult kid is a linguist. ūüėČ

More languages often means more diversity of opinion. Even when a book is translated from one language to another (as Amazon does into English with its AmazonCrossing imprint), idiom can change.

When I was in high school, I took more than three years of Russian, because I wanted to be able to read certain things (especially non-fiction) in the original language. I never really got fluent, though. I did much better with Spanish, which I can still read to some extent, at least simple things.

So, I was excited to see the addition of

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

Interestingly, the

Kindle Monthly Deals

usually say up to 80% off, and these said up to 50% off. There were also 57 books in the Spanish deal, and 339 in the English deal, but it’s¬†still something. 21 of them were in

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

a much higher percentage than the English list.

That’s great if you want to learn Spanish! I used to read comic books and the Yellow Pages (remember those?) in Spanish when I was learning it…I think that helped a lot.

It looked to me like these were mostly translations: there was a special selection of Haruki Murakami, and Isaac Asimov’s “Yo, Robot” was also featured.

There were also a lot more categories in the  Spanish store! Many of them focused on KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) books, and there is a big promotion for the Mes de autopublicación: (month of self-publishing, I think).

It also seems like once a sale has been created, it sticks around. ūüôā

Here’s that list of categories:

eBooks Kindle en Espa√Īol
  • Novedades (25)
  • Especial Vargas Llosa (11)
  • Romances de invierno (200)
  • Novedades Exclusivas (27)
  • Cada d√≠a un bestseller (116)
  • San Valent√≠n (85)
  • Selecci√≥n Kindle 2015 (10)
  • Breve Historia al 50% (107)
  • Los mejores Kindle Flash del a√Īo (12)
  • Kindle Flash especial Reyes (11)
  • El√≠sabet Benavent (10)
  • Libros √ļnicos (27)
  • Julia Navarro con hasta -20% (11)
  • Mes de autopublicaci√≥n: eBooks a $0.99 (5,878)
  • Mes de autopublicaci√≥n: eBooks con hasta un -75% (3,575)
  • Mes de autopublicaci√≥n: Salud, familia y desarrollo personal (499)
  • Mes de autopublicaci√≥n: Ciencia Ficci√≥n y Fantas√≠a (510)
  • Mes de autopublicaci√≥n: Negocios e Inversi√≥n (640)
  • Mes de autopublicaci√≥n: Literatura y Ficci√≥n (1,332)
  • Mes de autopublicaci√≥n: Infantil y Juvenil (442)
  • Mes de autopublicaci√≥n: Autoayuda (650)
  • Mes de autopublicaci√≥n: Religi√≥n (748)
  • Finalistas del 2.¬į Concurso Literario de Autores Indies (5)
  • Mes de autopublicaci√≥n: eBooks (9,453)
  • Ismael Cala (5)
  • Stephen King (11)
  • Mafalda (11)
  • Participantes 2.¬ļ Concurso Literario de Autores Indies 2015 (948)
  • Kindle Direct Publishing (22)
  • Mes de autopublicaci√≥n: Misterio y Thriller (232)
  • Matilde Asensi (11)
  • Black Rock (6)
  • Lecturas de agosto (47)
  • Mes de autopublicaci√≥n: Er√≥tica (278)
  • Promoci√≥n Libros Kindle (5)
  • Ficci√≥n Concurso KDP (158)
  • Polic√≠aca, negra y suspenso Concurso KDP (36)
  • Ciencia ficci√≥n y Fantas√≠a Concurso KDP (57)
  • Autoayuda Concurso KDP (23)
  • Romance Concurso KDP (22)
  • Romances de verano (96)
  • Lecturas de verano (196)
  • ABC (4)
  • Especial firmas de autor (8)
  • Mes del libro (31)
  • Ciudad de Libros: Mar√≠a Pilar Queralt (4)
  • Ciudad de Libros: Joaqu√≠n Borrell (7)
  • Ciudad de Libros: Philippa Carr (11)
  • Especial Marzo (36)
  • Especial marzo (22)
  • Ciudad de libros (2)
  • Mafalda en Kindle Unlimited (31)
  • Especial libros de pel√≠cula (49)
  • eBooks TEC (77)
  • Especial Mafalda (33)
  • Lo mejor de Kindle Flash (10)
  • Romances de Navidad (97)
  • Fiestas 2014 (36)
  • Selecci√≥n Kindle (11)
  • 50 imprescindibles (44)
  • Breve historia de (100)
  • Black Friday 2014 (36)
  • El Buen Fin 2014 (36)
  • Especial octubre 2014 (25)
  • Especial Octubre (361)
  • Rius en la Tienda Kindle (33)
  • Harlequin Verano (92)
  • Algarab√≠a eShoppe (62)
  • Especial D√≠a del Padre (29)
  • Cinco de Mayo (36)
  • Especial D√≠a de la madre (135)
  • Gabriel Garc√≠a M√°rquez (17)
  • Backup Node (83)
  • eBooks a mitad de precio – segunda quincena (57)
  • eBooks a mitad de precio – primera quincena (53)
  • Especial en novela rom√°ntica: eBooks desde $0.99 (96)
  • Especial Navidad 2013 (69)
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¬°Feliz lectura!

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

All aboard our new The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

* 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.

 

 

Checking in on checking out…books of Kindle Unlimited March 2016

March 24, 2016

Checking in on checking out…books of Kindle Unlimited March 2016

It’s been a while since I’ve written in this blog about some of the interesting books in

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

That’s Amazon’s “subser” (subscription service). Members pay $9.99 a month, and can have up to ten books at a time borrowed on an account…out of 1,285,096 (at time of writing) books.

I’ve been a happy member since it started. My Significant Other and I have both read lots of KU books.

Now, I do want to be clear: I may be paying more than I was before KU…at least, right before.

Before e-books, I would typically spend well over $120 a year on books.

With e-books, that dropped off considerably.

I like 19th Century books…and I can get those legally for free.

Then, there are lots of other inexpensive books, and other books legally offered for free.

So, a nice thing about KU is that I’m reading more expensive books again.

It’s hard for me to justify spending more than, oh, $4.99 for a book for myself¬†when I can read all I want for much less than that.

I also like to keep the more expensive books for other people to give me as gifts. ūüôā

Books can hypothetically move in and out of being in KU, so even if I’ve mentioned a book in the blog before, I’ll do it again this time.

Here are just a small slice of the books available through KU:

  • The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins
  • The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling (illustrated by Mary GrandPr√©)
  • The Lord of the Rings series by J.R.R. Tolkien (including The Hobbit)
  • Wool (the Silo series) by Hugh Howey
  • Yellow Crocus by¬†Laila Ibrahim (we both read this recently and liked it)
  • The Giver by Lois Lowry (only that book in the series)
  • Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
  • The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  • Pines (Wayward Pines) and many other books by Blake Crouch
  • 1984 by George Orwell
  • The Hangman’s Daughter by Oliver P√∂tzsch
  • The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People by Stephen R. Covey
  • What to Expect When Your Expecting by ¬†by Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel
  • Kill the Competition (and others) by Stephanie Bond
  • What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions by Randall Munroe (this was on the New York Times bestseller list while it was in KU)
  • Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
  • Terms of Enlistment by Marko Kloos
  • Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain
  • Guns (Kindle Single) by Stephen King
  • The Princess Bride by William Goldman
  • The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker (I found this book quite interesting)
  • Whiskey Sour – A Thriller (Jacqueline “Jack” Daniels Mysteries Book 1) by J.A. Konrath and Jack Kilborn
  • Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell
  • No Ordinary Billionaire (The Sinclairs Book 1) by J. S. Scott
  • The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick
  • How Dogs Love Us: A Neuroscientist and His Adopted Dog Decode the Canine Brain by Gregory Berns (I thought it was fascinating!)
  • Childhood’s End by Arthur C. Clarke
  • The Walk by Lee Goldberg
  • The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams and Gennady Spirin

I’ve read many of those, and liked them. I’m sure there is $9.99 worth of choices there for most people! You may also be eligible for a trial month.

All of the above have something in common: at least 1,000 customer reviews at Amazon.

There are many well-known books below that threshold…older books often don’t have as many reviews at Amazon. You can read all of the original Ian Fleming James Bond books through KU, for example (they are now e-published by Amazon). Amazon also publishes the 87th Precinct books by Ed McBain…and they are also in KU.

Another draw for KU: audiobooks (available with “Whispersync for Voice”)…over 10,000 of those.

That can be particular valuable with classics. While you can get the e-book for free for these, these audio editions aren’t usually freebies.

Regular readers know I don’t normally listen to audiobooks (although I listen to text-to-speech for hours a week)…unless I’ve already read the book, which is commonly going to be the situation for the public domain books.

Here are some audiobooks available through KU:

  • A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
  • Solaris by Stanislaw Lem
  • Friday’s Child by Georgette Heyer
  • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
  • Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
  • April Morning by Howard Fast
  • Black Beauty by Anna Sewell
  • Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

While it is always better modeling for an adult (human) to read to a child, these could also be read by the Alexa Voice Service devices…you can see those here:

Echo, Dot, Tap, or Fire TV? Which Amazon Alexa device is right for you?

Am I saying that Kindle Unlimited is right for everybody?

Nope. ūüėČ

I think, though, it is right for more people than are currently members.

I do think KU is impacting the market, and may increasingly do so. Amazon isn’t giving those figures, and I’m not suggesting that subsers will wipe out individual book sales (people still buy individual videos, even with Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime…we have all three).

I’m just saying you might want to consider it…and consider it as a gift for others. We did that for a family at the holidays.

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

Oh, and while it hasn’t gotten to be very popular, I do have the

ILMK Readers’ Recommendations: book discovery zone

where you can recommend KU books to people by “voting” for them.

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

All aboard our new The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

* 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.

Frequently Asked Kindle Questions: March 22 2016 update deadline edition

March 22, 2016

Frequently Asked Kindle Questions: March 22 2016 update deadline edition

Q. Amazon really wants me to update my Kindle! I’ve gotten e-mails, a postcard through the mail, even a phone call. I’ve had my Kindle for more than five years, and there have been a bunch of updates, but they’ve never done this before. What’s up?

A. This is a different kind of an update. Updates in the past have generally either been “bug fixes”, where you don’t really see a change but things work better, or they bring new features, like Cloud Collections or¬†the Family Library. In some cases, features have gone away on the Kindle with an update, but what’s happening here is that something external is changing and your Kindle needs to be up to date to work with it. If your Kindle isn’t up to date, it’s not going to be able to connect wirelessly with Amazon. That means you won’t be able to shop from your Kindle itself, or download books from it that you’ve already bought on your account. Amazon doesn’t want to deal with upset customers who wake up in the morning, try to get something perhaps for a morning commute or worse, for a vacation, and not be able to connect without knowing why. That’s bad for the relationship between Amazon and the customer, and it’s expensive to have them call Customer Service to get it fixed.

Q. Why is Amazon changing that connection thing? Is it just to make me buy a new Kindle? I’ve heard it’s so that I have to see ads and recommendations on my homescreen…I like things the way they are.

A. Amazon isn’t the one changing it. They just need to make sure their devices can use an internet protocol which is changing. While they would probably be happy if you bought a new Kindle and if you saw their recommendations, this change doesn’t mean you have to do it either. The vast majority of devices are probably already updated. When your device connects to Amazon’s servers, it generally automatically updates. Even if you have an older device, it’s likely to have updated to a compatible version some time ago. If it hasn’t, turn on the wireless and it should update, although that doesn’t necessarily happen right away (it can sometimes be days, but that’s usually when they are rolling out a new release, not the case this time). You can also download the update to your computer and transfer it to your device using a USB cable. You can see all the information about it here: Critical Software Update for Kindle E-Readers (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*) including a link to get the software to update it. In terms of the ads and recommendations, it’s important to note that there isn’t simply an update that makes your Kindle compatible: you are updating the newest version of the operating system, and on some devices, that does come with a new homescreen view. The view has covers and “reading lists”. However, although it’s a bit buried, you can go back to the style that just has the book listings without the covers: Home ‚Äď Menu ‚Äď Settings ‚Äď Device Options ‚Äď Personalize Your Kindle ‚Äď Advanced Options ‚Äď Home Screen View ‚Äď (turn off) Home Screen View: Display recommended content from store and enable learning lists.

Q. So, does the new update give me those Special Offers I hear about?

A. No, there’s no connection with that. If you aren’t subscribed to Special Offers, you still won’t be. If you are subscribed you still will be.

Q. What happens if I don’t update? Is my Kindle a brick?

A. No. You can still use it. You just won’t be able to connect to Amazon wirelessly with it. It’s possible to download books, either new purchases or from your Archive/Cloud, to your computer and transfer via USB cable. However, your Kindle will presumably not be able to get future updates.

Q. Does the update cost anything?

A. No. Like all Kindle updates so far, it’s free.

Q. I bought the Kindle and I bought the books. How can Amazon take them away from me? Don’t I own them?

A. Yes, you own the device and you bought licenses for the books. This doesn’t impact the books: you could read them on other devices on your account which have been updated, or in free Kindle reading apps. Your device will continue to do what it has done before…it’s just that a step between that device and Amazon servers will no longer work.

Q. You are saying this isn’t Amazon doing this: does that mean I’ll have to update non-Amazon devices I own?

A. If they aren’t compatible with the new protocol (which I believe goes into effect January 1st, 2017…Amazon is just getting a bit ahead on this to give people a chance to update before it’s suddenly necessary), then either you’ll have to update them or they won’t connect. Hopefully, other companies will have updates available, but it’s possible you have devices where that won’t be the case (some companies have gotten out of the EBR…E-Book Reader business). Early Kindles have lasted an unusually long time for some people, compared to some types of devices. There have been Kindles in use for more than eight years. That probably means that more people may be using, soon to be unable to connect Kindles, than, say, tablets.

Q. I guess this might be a good time to update to a new model of Kindle. Can I get a trade-in?

A. There is a trade-in program at (but it’s not exactly by) Amazon. Amazon Trade-In Program (at AmazonSmile*).

Q. Okay, I’ll guess I’ll do the update. How do I know if my device needs it?

A. Go to this page: Critical Software Update for Kindle E-Readers (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*). It lists models, and what the necessary version of the software is so you can see if you already have it. If you don’t, you can go from that page to where to get it. You could also just turn your wireless on and leave your device¬†on for a day or so to see if it updates. You can plug it in when you aren’t reading it so it has enough power.

Q. What if I need more help?

A. Feel free to ask me (and my readers) by commenting on this post. You can also contact Amazon through http://www.amazon.com/kindlesupport (at AmazonSmile*). I usually have them call me (that normally happens in seconds, and I’m speaking to someone with in a minute, and I have generally found them friendly and helpful.

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

All aboard our new The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

* 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.

April 2016 Kindle book releases

March 22, 2016

April 2016 Kindle book releases

While I don’t generally pre-order Kindle store books myself, I know many of you do.

I understand the fun of just having the book show up, but I figure I’ll order when I want it…since I could have it within a minute, usually.…

However, it’s worth noting that pre-ordering at a low price will tend to preserve that price. Back when the Agency Model was solidly in place, Amazon couldn’t guarantee that books sold by the publishers using that structure wouldn’t go up in price after you pre-ordered them. It wasn’t likely, it was just that Amazon couldn’t control it. We have largely returned to the Agency Model, but Amazon is allowed to discount in some circumstances.

These aren‚Äôt necessarily the most popular of the pre-orders‚ĶI‚Äôm just going to list ones that catch my eye. Since we might not agree on that, here‚Äôs a link to the 6,213¬†(at time of writing…eight more than last month):

April releases in the USA Kindle store (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of you choice by shopping*)

Of those, by the way, 951 (27 more than last month) are in

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

As usual, I won’t be deliberately linking to books which block text-to-speech access blocked**.

We’ve gone back and forth recently on whether the top four were the

Kindle First (at AmazonSmile)

picks for this month.

Amazon no longer does the ‚ÄúNew and Popular‚ÄĚ search as a default, but does ‚ÄúFeatured‚ÄĚ. Presumably, a human being picks those titles in some way‚Ķand the list is clearly not the same. ¬†This month, again, Kindle First titles dominate.

The other thing is that some of those Kindle Unlimited titles are way up on the list. I’m concerned (and I’ve alerted Amazon about it) that people are confused: they think they are pre-ordering a KU borrow, when they are actually pre-ordering a purchase. In other words, they may be thinking they’ll get the book at no additional cost, and actually be charged for it. Amazon has confirmed for me: you can not pre-order a borrow from KU.

Okay, books!

  • Twenty Yawns by Jane Smiley and Lauren Castillo
  • Chains of Command (Frontlines Book 4) by Marko Kloos (KU)
  • Now That I’ve Found You (New York Sullivans #1) (The Sullivans Book 15) by Bella Andre
  • Disrupt Aging: A Bold New Path to Living Your Best Life at Every Age by Jo Ann Jenkins
  • The Kasari Nexus (Rho Agenda Assimilation Book 1) by Richard Phillips
  • Aztec by Gary Jennings
  • They Drew as They Pleased: The Hidden Art of Disney’s Golden Age by Didier Ghez and Pete Docter
  • It’s Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided with the New Politics of Extremism by Thomas E. Mann and Norman J. Ornstein
  • The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley
  • The Big Fear (Hollow City Series) by Andrew Case
  • Freshwater Road by Denise Nicholas
  • Mockingbird: A Portrait of Harper Lee: From Scout to Go Set a Watchman by Charles J. Shields
  • Prison Writings: My Life Is My Sun Dance by Leonard Peltier and Harvey Arden
  • The Blooding by Joseph Wambaugh (and lots of other Wambaugh books)
  • Hitler Youth: Growing Up in Hitler’s Shadow by Susan Campbell Bartoletti
  • Gone to Soldiers by Marge Piercy
  • The New Space Opera by Gardner Dozois and Jonathan Strahan
  • The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner: Stories by Alan Sillitoe
  • Lullabies for Little Criminals by Heather O’Neill
  • Geek Parenting: What Joffrey, Jor-El, Maleficent, and the McFlys Teach Us about Raising a Family by Stephen H. Segal and Valya Dudycz Lupescu
  • More Than a Season: Building a Championship Culture by Dayton Moore and Matt Fulks
  • The Complete Poems by Anne Sexton and Maxine Kumin
  • Aimee & Jaguar: A Love Story, Berlin 1943 by Erica Fischer
  • Mom Candy: 1,000 Quotes of Inspiration for Mothers by Jena Pincott
  • Words Like Loaded Pistols: Rhetoric from Aristotle to Obama by Sam Leith
  • Inventing The Middle Ages by Norman F. Cantor
  • Girl in the Blue Coat by Monica Hesse
  • The Genius of Birds by Jennifer Ackerman
  • Sister Light, Sister Dark (The Great Alta Saga) by Jane Yolen

Feel free to suggest other books being released in April in the USA Kindle store in March. If you are the author, or are otherwise connected with the production or publishing of the book, I’d appreciate you saying so. That won’t stop me from publishing the comment, but it should be in your own words and not an ad.

Enjoy!

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

All aboard our new The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

* 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! :)

** A Kindle/Fire 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.

To your scattered books go

March 20, 2016

To your scattered books go**

One of the big arguments made in favor of limited copyright terms is that books (and other content) become our society’s shared culture.

We all have some awareness of Shakespeare, and Dickens, and the Wizard of Oz.

However…

The ease of publication of digital media is disintegrating that cultural cohesiveness.

I’ve heard of many interesting TV shows…that I’ve never seen.

They are on services I don’t get…or, there are simply too many things for me to watch.

In the old days there were three networks (well, there were four, but how many of you remember Dumont?), and maybe a couple of local channels.

Now, there are hundreds of channels.

In 2006, there were effectively six big publishers of “trade books” (the kind you would buy¬†in a bookstore…not textbooks and such). Yes, there were some others, but those six¬†dominated the market.

Now, there are thousands of publishers (often just the author of a book)…and the output of the now Big 5 (following the merger of Penguin and Random House) is a sliver of what’s published each month.

At least, my guess is that we are fragmenting. ūüėČ

I think that going forward, it may be much less likely that you’ll be able to have a conversation with somebody about a book you’ve both read.

I always like to try to test my hypotheses, though…

What I’m going to do here is see how familiar you are with bestsellers.

I’ll start with the current top ten bestsellers in the USA¬†Kindle store, and the current New York Times bestselling hardback fiction.

Then, I’ll jump back to before the Kindle really established the e-book market…we’ll go back to this week in 2006.

After that, I’ll go back ten more years.

Now, I know that it’s not an apples to apples comparison, going back that far. It will be interesting to me if more people have read books on the bestseller list from twenty years ago than from the Kindle store list today. ūüôā

Hmm…just looking at those lists was interesting! I could tell you what I’ve read, but I think I’ll wait until I see some of your responses.

I can see a lot of challenges to this methodology,¬†naturally…maybe people are less likely to read a book when it first gets on the bestseller list. Maybe hardbacks tend to stay on the list longer.

Let’s go with another poll which will get your impressions:

Something occurred to me. I’m actually a lot more likely to read a book my Significant Other has read now…because we are on the same account. We sometimes read the book at the same time, or if it is in

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

it might not be the same time, but we might both read it.

Before the Kindle, I hadn’t read Janet Evanovich…now I do, because of book sharing. Before that, my SO would read them…and then pass them off to a sibling.

Having read them in the same family, though, isn’t the same as a society’s shared culture.

What do you think? Is the ease of digital publishing breaking up our group literary culture? If so, will that become  more true in the future? What impact might that have on society? 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!

All aboard our new The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

* 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!

** The post title is a play on To Your Scattered Bodies¬†Go, the first book in Philip Jos√© Farmer’s Riverworld series.¬†¬†

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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