Archive for June, 2016

Lois Duncan has reportedly died

June 16, 2016

Lois Duncan has reportedly died

There is something very special about the books you read as a teenager.

No question that you can love and be affected by books you read at any age, but often, teenagers are reading in a way which expresses independence. They may be making their own choices of what to read…independently finding them at the school library, or buying them with their own money (especially, nowadays, at Amazon).

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

wrote popular books which fit that age perfectly. They were too edgy for most young kids, and visceral and exciting.

Perhaps the most famous one was I Know What You Did Last Summer from 1973…it was adapted for a movie almost a quarter of a century later, which starred Jennifer Love Hewitt, Ryan Philippe, Sarah Michelle Gellar, and Freddie Prinze, Jr.

Duncan wrote many books, though, including other suspenseful books for young adults, picture books, and an autobiography.

The author was the recipient of the American Library Association’s Margaret A. Edwards award, for lasting contribution to young adult literature.

Lois Duncan’s official site

shows a thoughtful and engaged writer, with suggestions for readers, classroom guides, and more.

The books live on.

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’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.

 

 

Amazon has made wonderful Kindle ads…for India

June 14, 2016

Amazon has made wonderful Kindle ads…for India

I haven’t always been completely satisfied with Amazon’s advertising for the Kindle.

I’ve written in this blog before about how I felt the commercials didn’t have enough age diversity…they tended to use young, “hip” people. It was marketed like a tech gadget, not like something for readers. Later on, they did add some more diversity to their ads, but it had been really noticeable.

There was also the famous “pool ad”, where the point of the ad was to criticize the iPad as a reading device (this was before Amazon had their own backlit tablet, the “Kindle Fire”). I didn’t like it because I’d rather have them tell me positive things about their own device (and there were so many!) than tell me what was bad about somebody else’s.

Another campaign was the “Kindle couple”: these ads were witty, but they were also snarky.

There was quite a bit of discussion about an ad which featured a same sex couple: there were people who boycotted Amazon over that (or at least said they were going to do so).

None of the ads, though, captured what I loved about the Kindle.

It’s the advantages to readers:  the increasable text size; the convenience of having hundreds of books with you; the ability to buy another book on the fly; the way they are perfect for kids, for readers of classics, and so much more!

Well, I’ve now seen a series of Kindle ads that I love!

They do exactly what I want.

There are moving moments, funny moments, and they exemplify the joy of reading…#readingshouldneverstop, #WeAreTheReaders.

They are made for Amazon Kindle India.

Fortunately, you can see them on YouTube.

I rarely subscribe to YouTube channels, but I’ve subscribed to this one:

https://www.youtube.com/user/KindleIndia

I “binge watched” a bunch of them today. Sometimes, there are multiple versions of the same ad (different lengths, for example), but there were many good ones here.

I feel somewhat capable of judging ads.

My Significant Other studied advertising (although doesn’t work it), and we used to regularly go see the Clio Award winners when they would come to San Francisco. That’s sort of like the Oscars for ads…we wouldn’t be where the awards were given to the winners, we were just watching the winners…but yes, we would spend a couple of hours watching commercials. 🙂

These Kindle India ads have kids, seniors, authors…I don’t want to spoil the ads. Hm, I’ll say that there is a creative way to share a book, and a clever way to interact with the touch screen. You may not know who the authors are, but you’ll still love their stories.

I know people make serious efforts to avoid ads, but I think you might enjoy these!

Bonus deal:

Today’s

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

is 14 of Cara Black’s Aimée Leduc mystery series for $1.99 each! Great deal!

Oh, and the

Amazon Tap (at AmazonSmile*)

is $109.99 right now, $20 off.

That’s the portable version of the Amazon Echo: I’ll be leaving for work shortly (with a smile on my face after watching the Amazon Kindle India ads), and I bring that with me. You could use it to read you a book at lunch…Audible or text-to-speech, or to listed to Len Edgerly’s The Kindle Chronicles podcast!

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’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.

LitHub’s Book Marks: aggregating book reviews

June 13, 2016

LitHub’s Book Marks: aggregating book reviews

With literally millions of e-books available to us, and on average more than a thousand books a day added to the USA Kindle store, the biggest challenging facing many of us as Kindleers is deciding which books to read.

There have been a lot of attempts to help people with that (I even have a category for Discovery on this blog), and Literary Hub (LitHub) has just introduced a new one called “Book Marks”.

LitHub’s Book Marks

In this

press release

they analogize it to the very popular movie/TV review site

RottenTomatoes

…so, Rotten “Tome-matoes”, perhaps? 😉

I don’t tend to use RottenTomatoes, although I think it’s a good site and I’m usually aware of scores. I’m probably more influenced by the simple summary on Fandango (I tend to use that to check movie times).

Both RottenTomatoes and Fandango give two scores: an aggregate of “professional” reviews and an aggregate of viewer scores.

When I’m picking a movie to see with my Significant Other, I’m probably more influenced by the viewer score. If critics say, “Must go!” and viewers say, “So-so”, my guess tends to be that it is perhaps more technically interesting than viscerally interesting, which may not be as successful for us.

I also like the less well-known

MRQE (Movie Review Query Engine)

I mention all that to show that I have some perspective on review aggregating sites.

I’ve looked at Book Marks.

At this point, it generally wouldn’t be helpful for me.

That may change…but there seem to be very few books, and they appear only to be the current “frontlist” (recently issue popular mainstream titles). The fantasy category, for example, appears to have four titles:

  • A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab
  • Arcadia by Iain Pears
  • The Life of Elves by Muriel Barbery
  • Undermajordomo Minor by Patrick Dewitt

Their grades range from B to A+.

I’d love to compare what I thought about the book to their average…but I haven’t found a book at the site yet that I’ve read.

I checked their A rated one, A Gathering of Shadows.

There were excerpts from reviews (including Entertainment Weekly…I’ve been a subscriber for years). That was nice.

You could comment on the book, which will start getting some reader impressions eventually.

There were links to the reviews, so you could read the whole thing…again, that’s a nice feature.

However, their A grade was based on a total of…four reviews.

Now, it’s understandable that there aren’t very many books when they’ve only been live for about a week.

That shouldn’t, though, affect the number of reviews. The book came out in February, I believe…those professional reviewers should have done reviews by now (if they were going to do that).

That’s not a very big data set.

Searching produced a lot of false negatives. Putting in “Mary Roach”, for example, did find me Grunt…but also 17 books not by that author.

The categories were interesting, and did indicate a “literati” mindset…no category, for “science fiction”, but one for “speculative”. That likely would mean that some more casual readers wouldn’t find it.

There were categories for New Books and Hottest Books.

I didn’t see much way to work with the results… wanted to sort them by the lowest to highest grade, and didn’t see a way to do that. I only saw a couple lower than a B- (and C was as low as I saw).

The site looked reasonably professional in terms of graphic design.

The biggest negative for me was not having older books. I think, like a lot of serious readers, I’m not always (or even primarily) reading frontlist books.

I’d suggest you go ahead and take a look at it and see what you think. You may find it more useful (perhaps especially for gifts, but maybe not). I plan to check back in on it in maybe a month to see how it’s grown.

What I would prefer, rather than a RottenTomatoes, is a site like IMDb.com (owned by Amazon). I want stats about books…I want to do know when it was released, who the editor was, who the cover artist was, and so on. Amazon also owns GoodReads, and they come close to that…but they recently shutdown Shelfari (if you try to go there, it redirects you to Good Reads), which was even more valuable to me in that it included elements of the book (like characters and places).

I do applaud LitHub for trying something new!

If you do go and want to tell me and my readers what you think, feel free to do so 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! :) 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.

 

Today’s KDD: 17 popular books rated 4 stars or more, $2.99 each

June 12, 2016

Today’s KDD: 17 popular books rated 4 stars or more, $2.99 each

Today’s

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

has some great choices in it!

I have to say, weirdly, Amazon says “Over 15 popular books…”. Well, I guess that shows the power of 5s and 10s…I shouldn’t say it is “weird”, but I think “17” is easier to write. 😉

The books on sale today (note that the sale may not be in your country…check the price before you click or tap that “Buy button”) include:

  • The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah | 4.8 stars out of 5 | 24,556 customer reviews: you will rarely find a book with this high an average rating with this many reviews
  • The 14th Colony by Steve Berry | 4.4 stars | 548 reviews
  • Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson  | 4.5 stars | 1,122 reviews
  • Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles Book 2) by Marissa Meyer | 4.7 stars | 1,597 reviews
  • Mightier than the Sword by Jeffrey Archer | 4.3 stars | 2,390 reviews
  • A Darker Shade of Magic  by V.E. Schwab | 4.4 stars | 328 reviews
  • How the Light Gets In (Inspector Gamache) by Louise Penny | 4.7 stars | 2,023 reviews
  • Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire | 4.4 stars | 117 reviews
  • Ladies Night by Mary Kay Andrews | 4.3 stars | 808 reviews
  • Don’t Go by Lisa Scottoline | 4.3 stars |  862 reviews
  • First Grave on the Right (Charley Davidson) by Darynda Jones | 4.5 stars | 1,060 reviews
  • Independence Day (Dewey Andeas) by Ben Coes | 4.6 stars | 402 reviews
  • Born of Night (The League) by Sherrilyn Kenyon | 4.3 stars | 337 reviews
  • Sworn to Silence  by Linda Castillo (Kate Burkholder) | 4.4 stars | 652 reviews
  • A Kim Jung-Il Production by Paul Fischer  | 4.6 stars | 129 reviews
  • The Boy Who Drew Monsters by Keith Donohue | 3.9 stars | 100 reviews
  • Home Is Burning by Dan Marshall | 4.5 stars | 94 reviews

There are some mainstream popular authors and titles here! Nightingale, in particular, would have been in the window of brick-and-mortar bookstores (I’m a former manager of one). New York Times bestselling authors include Jeffrey Archer, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Louise Penny, and Lisa Scottoline.

Less well-known books are also still part of the

McFarland books for $3.99 (at AmazonSmile*)

sale about which I’ve written a couple of times. I have not bought so many books for myself in years as I’ve bought because of this sale!

I got myself:

  • Keep Watching the Skies! American Science Fiction Movies of the Fifties by Bill Warren (I’m 7% through it…and so far, I’ve seen and remember every one of them except for one which had very limited release in the USA…for years, people thought it hadn’t appeared here at all)
  • Forry: The Life of Forrest Ackerman by Deborah Painter (I had a moving interaction with one of the originators of fandom…an extremely important figure. It’s not unreasonable to argue that you might not have had Star Wars without Forry’s Famous Monsters of Filmland. This one had been on my Wish List for some time)
  • Broadway Musicals, 1943-2004 by John Stewart (I’ve done a few musicals myself, and love big reference books. My guess is that this will help inform The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip by helping me do dates for those shows…did you know there was a musical about Superman years ago? D*mn Yankees, Brigadoon…lots of musicals fit)
  • Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 through 2010 by Vincent Terrace (Terrace’s books are amazing, and I have some in paper! So much better to have reference books as e-books! Easier to search…and to lift 😉 )
  • The 1957 San Francisco Seals by P.J. Dragseth (my Significant Other’s father was offered a pitching contract with the Seals, although he wasn’t listed in the index. 🙂 No surprise since he didn’t take the contract…he became a plumber at the same time, and it was the same money back then)
  • A History of the Doc Savage Adventures in Pulps, Paperbacks, Comics, Fanzines, Radio, and Film by Robert Michael “Bobb” Cotter (I’m a real Doc Savage fan…I can say that Doc has shaped my personality and behaviors for the better)
  • Universal Horrors by Tom Weaver (this had also been on my Wish List for years…I’m about 10% into it)

That’s a lot to buy for me, since we are happy members of

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

and I like to leave books for family and friends to buy me for gifts. 🙂 I don’t know how long this sale will last, though, and I didn’t want to miss them at these prices. It’s worth noting that the number of books in the sale has fluctuated…from 800-900 initially to over 1400 to now a few hundred less than that.

I did also buy some books for other people…I don’t want to name them, because at least one family member does read this blog. 😉 We don’t do big birthday parties for each at this point in our lives, but I do like to send a book sometimes. So, I have bought a couple and delayed the delivery for the appropriate occasion (which you can do). At $3.99, I also bought one for a former coworker…just a way to say, “Hi!” 🙂

I added others to my Wish List:

  • Internet Horror, Science Fiction and Fantasy Television Series, 1998-2013 by Vincent Terrace (tempted for right now, but I think I can wait)
  • Astro Boy ad Anime Come to the Americas by Fred Ladd
  • The Universe of Oz by Kevin K. Durand (I do like reading essay collections, but they seem less urgent to own than reference books, which I might need at any time)
  • Science Fiction and the Prediction of the Future by Gary Westfahl
  • Science Fiction Television Series 1990-2004 by Frank Garcia
  • Sid and Marty Krofft by Hal Erickson (loved these series, including Lidsville!)
  • Classic Home Video Games 1985-1988 by Bret Weiss
  • The Kaiju Film by Jason Barr (giant monsters)
  • The Batman Filmography by Mark S. Reinhart
  • Science Fiction Television Series by Mark Phillips
  • Regional Horror Films 1958-1990 by Brian Albright (in my area, that would include The Milpitas Monster)
  • Television Horror Movie Hosts by Elena M. Watson (I met John Stanley, a Bay Area host, and was a fan of Bob Wilkins…who did appear in The Milpitas Monster)
  • Television Specials by Vincent Terrace (sorely tempted)
  • Irwin Allen Television Productions, 1964-1970 by Jon Abbott
  • America Toons In by David Perlmutter (I have some good reference books on animated series already)
  • Horror Films of the 1970s by John Kenneth Muir
  • The Evolution of Fantasy Role-Playing Game by Michael J. Tresca
  • Encyclopedia of Television Pilots 1937-2012 by Vincent Terrace
  • War over Lemuria by Richard Toronto (no longer in the sale)
  • Inside Gilligan’s Island by Sherwood Schwartz (no longer in the sale)
  • Hammer Films by Tom Johnson (no longer in the sale)
  • Mass Hysteria in Schools by Robert E. Bartholomew and Bob Rickard

While I have mentioned above some books that have gone back up in price, I might not have noted them all…and again, the sale could end at any time.

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! :) 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.

The value of neutrality

June 10, 2016

The value of neutrality

I can be as sarcastic as the next person.

In fact, I can be devastating and clever (so I’m told). I had to realize that at one point…I was quite interested in a real group called “Sarcastics Anonymous”. I explained to our now adult kid that they (who can do what I can do) basically have a super power. We can reduce people to a blob of quivering protoplasm with a cutting comment…so you can only use the power for good. 😉

I think it comes, in part, from being empathetic. If you don’t understand people, if you can’t get a sense of how they (and the other people around you) are feeling, you won’t come up with that exact point which cuts the deepest.

I can be sarcastic…but I’m not.

Not in public.

Not to that person.

Not to other people who know that person.

I will use self-effacing humor, but I won’t take someone else’s face. 😉

The only time I tend to do it now is when my Significant Other and I are watching competition TV…and then it’s just for fun, and won’t go beyond that room.

That’s not to say that I don’t love a witty remark, even at the expense of someone else. It may combine snark and sarcasm…let’s call it “snarcasm”.

I was reading a summary of an inexpensive movie with dinosaurs a long time ago, and have always remembered their reference to the characters encountering “plasticasauruses”.

That said, I always especially love opinion-free reference works.

That doesn’t mean I always want it to be what is sometimes called a “seed catalog”: a database before databases were electronic. I like those,  too, but my perfect reference works objectively gives me context…relates what I’m reading to other things. For example, if I’m reading about an author who never had a successful book after the one being covered, that’s good context. That can be done without being judgmental. If we base it on sales, it’s objective.

This came up recently when I wrote about an amazing sale in the USA Kindle store:

McFarland books for $3.99 (at AmazonSmile*)

The sale, by the way, is not only ongoing, it has expanded…it’s now over 1400 titles, and I’m buying more. 🙂

Some of my favorite p-books (paperbooks) in my library are reference works: Walt Lee’s Reference Guide to Fantastic Films; Vincent Terrace TV reference books (some are in this sale…others are not part of the sale); and some Jeff Rovin books (for example, on superheroes and supervillains).

Certainly, the first two are really objective…more the seed catalog type.

When I’m reading some of the ones I got on this sale, they are quite critical and opinionated.

Again, I can like that. Clever writing, labeled as opinion, is fine. I don’t extend that to when you criticize the fans of the material, but I’m more than happy to hear your opinion of something.

However, I just wanted to say that I like neutral references as well.

I’ve decided with

The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip 

not to put in my own opinions there. I will link to articles I write about the books/TV shows/movies and so on that you can get to through TMCGTT, but I wanted the timeline itself to not be about my opinions of the works. I’m hoping comments can eventually be made there by other people…but I want it to have a neutral stance.

Sure, there is unavoidable bias on display in what gets chosen for it, but that seems different.

I think, though, I’m seeing fewer neutral works…maybe the ability to do the research yourself instantly on the internet is making that sort of reference work seem to have less value.

Well, that’s just my opinion about writing without opinions! What do you think? 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!

* 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.

Are e-books good enough?

June 8, 2016

Are e-books good enough?

I found this a very interesting

TELEREAD post by Chris Meadows

In referencing a piece by Jason Illian of Bookshout! about the lack of technical innovation in e-books, Meadows says:

“There’s no consumer demand for better e-books.”

That’s an intriguing postulate, and I wanted to discuss it with you.

I love innovation: I think a lot of people do. My favorite thing in reading a book or watching a TV show or a movie is to be surprised…I like that with my tech, too.

Show me something I’ve never seen before, and I’ll smile.

However…

Most people don’t want change in something which is already working and on which they depend.

I can relate to this with my work.

I’m a trainer (I train technology to medical people…I train other things to them, too, but that’s my main job). I also do “performance improvement”…workflow analysis and optimization, that sort of thing.

People present these formulae for how to improve performance, and I’m amused by one thing which I see taught as a standard technique.

They want you to observe the top performers; see what they are doing which is efficient. Then, you get the moderate and lower performing users to do things that way.

The theory, I assume, is that the top performers have found the best way to do it.

There usually is no best way for everybody.

Since people are different and have different approaches, there are different “best ways”. I’m not a visual person: make me make choices based on icons, and I’ll be slower than making choices based on words. There are other people (probably more people) who will do better with the icons.

The other thing is that top performers with tech are top performers in part because they like change.

If you observe them again three months later, they’ll be doing it a different way. Do you go back and retrain everybody else to do it the new way?

A top performer with tech says,  “What does that button do? What if I do this instead of that?”

The average doctor, nurse, medical assistant, and so on, doesn’t want to intellectually engage with the tech while providing patient care. They want to concentrate on the patient, and have the tech just support them unobtrusively. That includes when they are “charting” (documenting what happened).

Top performers (with tech) tend to have a multi-tasking temperament. They can effectively do one thing while effectively thinking about something else.

You can’t transfer that to someone else.

Many of us feel like we “depend” on books. If we want to read a book and can’t do it, it upsets us. That is, by the way, how I, as a layperson, conceptualize addiction. It’s an addiction if it feels bad if you don’t do it. 🙂

E-books, right now, work. I can pick up my device, start reading, and I’m good to go.

After all, that’s how print books worked for centuries. You picked them up and read them and the tech worked.

Now, that doesn’t mean that I don’t really appreciate the innovations that e-books give me over p-books. Being able to carry a bunch of books in my pocket, having the book know where I finished my last reading session, and especially the increasable text size are all great.

If text sizes had been static, though, that wouldn’t have stopped me from reading e-books. I would have had to wear reading glasses, just as I would have with print books, or bought ones with larger text.

It’s true that I don’t buy books where the publisher has blocked text-to-speech access, but that’s an ethical stand, not a personal use one.

There are things that irritate people (the way that some models justify ((align the edges)) of the text, for example), but I doubt that most people feel like the e-books are below a standard acceptable level.

The question is this: why should Amazon (or other retailers, or the publishers) innovate on e-books?

Innovation costs money. It’s not just in the development; it’s in the customer service, which can be quite expensive. You risk people not liking it (ask Microsoft about Clippy the paper clip assistant for Microsoft Office)…if you even just change where a choice is in a menu, you get pushback.

There are strong reasons not to innovate.

Why, then, have we ever gotten innovation?

Competition.

That’s not the only reason…companies also innovate because it is fun, because it supports departments (the engineers you need to deal with changing conditions, say, a new internet standard, also need something to do when those don’t occur…it’s good for their morale, too), and because it gets media attention.

The biggest reason, I believe, is competition. For Amazon, that included competition with Barnes & Noble, Sony, and Kobo. We’ve seen that with the Kindle and the NOOK…for example, Barnes & Noble had a frontlit device before Amazon had the Paperwhite. It also, significantly, included competition with p-books…e-books have tried to match p-books competitive advantages, by adding lending, for example (we still don’t have a “used” e-book market, though).

Does any competitor with Amazon on e-books have current features which are so much better that Amazon as to worry about people switching? The only one that comes to my mind is a water resistant EBR (E-Book Reader)…but I don’t think someone with a significant Kindle library would drop it for, say, a Kobo Aura H20. They might have both…

Given the costs associated with e-book format innovation, the question is this: should Amazon devote resources to it?

I thought I’d ask you:

If you have additional comments, feel free to leave them on this post.

Special note: I’d said yesterday I wanted to get another post out last night, but I’d had dental work done yesterday, and it affected me more than I expected. 🙂 It’s not bad, but I think it’s still affecting me this morning. My Significant Other is back from helping our now adult kid move, though, so that’s good.  🙂

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! :) 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.

 

Books on sale June 7 2016!

June 7, 2016

Books on sale June 7 2016!

I wrote yesterday about a massive sale on mostly reference books from the publisher McFarland. I’ve bought multiple books from that sale at $3.99 (some of them are more than 80% off) each (both for me and for gifts).

I wouldn’t normally write similar posts two times in a row, but the Amazon owned Goodreads has alerted me through their deals e-mails as I wrote about it here:

Goodreads introduces Goodreads Deals

to a couple more really good deals! I’ll try to write another post today as well on another topic. 🙂

Wolf Hall (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)
by Hilary Mantel
3.7 stars out of 5 | 2,229 customer reviews
$2.99
Man Booker winner

The Forever War (at AmazonSmile*)
by Joe Haldeman
4.3 stars | 1,752 stars
$1.99
Hugo and Nebular winner, science fiction classic

Oh, and my sibling tweeted out that

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

which is a first novel with 4.7 stars (the highest of the three books in this post) and 84 reviews is on sale…it’s $4.99.

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! :) 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.

It’s a McFarland sale! Great reference books at great prices

June 5, 2016

It’s a McFarland sale! Great reference books at great prices

I recently wrote about getting an alert from eReaderIQ that

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

was on sale for $3.99 (the digital list price is $29.99).

I’d had that one on my Amazon Wish List for some time, and snapped it up at that price.

What I didn’t realize was that this is a sale on many titles from the publisher McFarland!

I know McFarland best for producing high-quality reference works on topics that generally get short shrift. You aren’t going to find a heavily researched book on “monster movies” (as is Universal Horrors) from most university presses.

Typically, the books are not inexpensive. $29.99 is a lot for a Kindle edition, usually, but this falls into that category for me where it’s a legitimate price. It’s not like a novel.

These books will make excellent gifts! You can delay delivery of a Kindle store book for the appropriate gift-giving occasion. Even though I don’t often buy books for myself any more, since we have

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

but some of these are too good not to have in our library.

Here’s a search for 885 (!) McFarland books for $3.99 each (those seem to be the ones on sale…not all McFarland books are) in the USA Kindle store right now. Some of these may be false positives…Amazon’s search sometimes seems…imprecise, and an author of “McFarland” may be returned when I searched for the publisher McFarland (using Amazon’s own advanced search):

McFarland books for $3.99 (at AmazonSmile*)

I have no idea how long this sale will last, so check the price before you click or tap that sale button. I might be getting some gifts for other people, too. 🙂

Oh, one other note: these are often “coffee table” type books…they will be large files to have on an EBR (E-Book Reader, and may have color pictures which render best on a tablet)

Here are some that caught my eye:

  • The Bundy Murders: A Comprehensive History by Kevin M. Sullivan
  • The Literary Monster on Film: Five Nineteenth Century British Novels and Their Cinematic Adaptations by Abigail Burnham Bloom
  • Ghosts and Shadows: A Marine in Vietnam, 1968-1969 by Phil Ball (there are a lot of Vietnam memoirs/histories)
  • Keep Watching the Skies!: American Science Fiction Movies of the Fifties, The 21st Century Edition by Bill Warren and Bill Thomas (I bought this one)
  • Illuminating Torchwood: Essays on Narrative, Character and Sexuality in the BBC Series (Critical Explorations in Science…by Andrew Ireland and Donald E. Palumbo  (put it on my wish list…love the show, but this interest seems too narrow for me to buy right now)
  • The Indy Car Wars: The 30-Year Fight for Control of American Open-Wheel Racing by Sigur E. Whitaker
  • The Critics Say…: 57 Theater Reviewers in New York and Beyond Discuss Their Craft and Its Future by Matt Windman and Robert Simonson
  • Italian Horror Film Directors by Louis Paul
  • Visions of Mars: Essays on the Red Planet in Fiction and Science by Howard V. Hendrix and George Edgar Slusser (bought as a gift)
  • Sounds of the Future: Essays on Music in Science Fiction Film by Mathew J. Bartkowiak (wish list)
  • Cipriano Baca, Frontier Lawman of New Mexico by Chuck Hornung
  • Henry Clay and the War of 1812 by Quentin Scott King (lots of military history, too)
  • Mass Hysteria in Schools: A Worldwide History Since 1566 by Robert E. Bartholomew and Bob Rickard (Bob Rickard is a driving force at Fortean Times) (bought as a gift and wish list)
  • Hammer Films: An Exhaustive Filmography by Tom Johnson and Deborah Del Vecchio (wish list)
  • In the Peanut Gallery with Mystery Science Theater 3000: Essays on Film, Fandom, Technology and the Culture of…by Robert G. Weiner and Robert G. Weiner
  • Super-history: Comic Book Superheroes and American Society, 1938 to the Present by Jeffrey K. Johnson (wish list)
  • Inside Gilligan’s Island by Sherwood Schwartz (wish list)
  • A History of the Doc Savage Adventures in Pulps, Paperbacks, Comics, Fanzines, Radio and Film by Robert Michael “Bobb” Cotter (bought this one! I just wrote a piece on Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson being cast as Doc Savage…Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as Doc Savage: a fan’s view)
  • Creating Characters: A Writer’s Reference to the Personality Traits That Bring Fictional People to Life by Howard Lauther)
  • James Ellroy: A Companion to the Mystery Fiction: 6 (McFarland Companions to Mystery Fiction) by Jim Mancall and Elizabeth Foxwell
  • Encyclopedia of Television Pilots, 1937-2012 by Vincent Terrace (digital list price $99.99)
  • Fright Night on Channel 9: Saturday Night Horror Films on New York’s WOR-TV, 1973-1987 by James Arena
  • Teaching with Harry Potter: Essays on Classroom Wizardry from Elementary School to College by Valerie Estelle Frankel
  • Of Bread, Blood and the Hunger Games: Critical Essays on the Suzanne Collins Trilogy (Critical Explorations in…by Mary F. Pharr
  • The Body in Tolkien’s Legendarium: Essays on Middle-earth Corporeality by Christopher Vaccaro
  • Encyclopedia of Imaginary and Mythical Places by Theresa Bane
  • Respecting The Stand: A Critical Analysis of Stephen King’s Apocalpytic Novel by Jenifer Paquette
  • The Wizard of Oz as American Myth: A Critical Study of Six Versions of the Story, 1900-2007 by Alissa Burger
  • A History and Critical Analysis of Blake’s 7, the 1978-1981 British Television Space Adventure by John Kenneth Muir (this show came up in a comment recently on this blog)
  • Fan CULTure: Essays on Participatory Fandom in the 21st Century by Kristin M. Barton and Jonathan Malcolm Lampley
  • Kermit Culture: Critical Perspectives on Jim Henson’s Muppets by Jennifer C. Garlen and Anissa M. Graham
  • The Heritage of Heinlein: A Critical Reading of the Fiction: 42 (Critical Explorations in Science Fiction and…by Thomas D. Clareson and Joe Sanders
  • America Toons In: A History of Television Animation by David Perlmutter
  • The Video Games Guide: 1,000+ Arcade, Console and Computer Games, 1962-2012, 2d ed. by Matt Fox
  • The American Popular Novel After World War II: A Study of 25 Best Sellers, 1947-2000 by David Willbern
  • Marketing Your Library: Tips and Tools That Work by Carol Smallwood and Vera Gubnitskaia
  • Doc Holliday in Film and Literature by Shirley Ayn Linder

I could keep going and going, but I’m worried about the sale ending while I’m writing this. 🙂

I’ll get this out, and I might add to it later. If you are thrilled (or puzzled) by any when you go to check it out (which I recommend) feel free to let me and my readers know by commenting on this post. Update: I did add…I couldn’t leave off the Vincent Terrace book(s)…I have some in hardback, and they are terrific!

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! :) 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.

Round up #142: flat rate royalties, eReaderIQ worked for me

June 4, 2016

Round up #142: flat rate royalties,  eReaderIQ worked for me

The ILMK Round ups are short pieces which may or may not be expanded later.

eReaderIQ saved me $25

I frequently recommend

eReaderIQ

to my readers. I think it’s the best resource for Kindle owners on the internet. One of the useful features is that you can list a book there, and get a free e-mail when it goes down an amount you specify.

I listed

Universal Horrors (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shoppin*)
by Tom Weaver, Michael Brunas, John Brunas

a long time ago. I was a big fan of Famous Monsters of Filmland and have watched a lot of the old horror movies (Frankenstein, Dracula, the Mummy) from Universal…multiple times. The book is supposed to be a good history…but the digital list price is $29.99. I’ve had it on my Wish List, and thought I might get it as a gift…but when I got the e-mail from eReaderIQ that it had dropped to $3.99, I bought it. 🙂

My Significant Other is out of town for a few days (those are always difficult days) helping our adult kid move, so it was good to have a special book to read.

This is a book I’m not going to do with text-to-speech in the car, because of all the pictures I want to see.

I’m about 5% into it, and while it is certainly an important work with good documentation, I’m a bit disappointed. In writing about the Lugosi Dracula (1931, and the one that really kicked off the sound cycle of Universal Horror), the authors adopt the all too common position of “If you were educated like us, you wouldn’t like it.” I want to be fair, so I’ll quote them:

“The flaws inherent in Dracula are so self-evident that they are outlined in nearly every modern-day critique; only Lugosi freaks and the nostalgically inclined still go through the motions of praising and defending the film.”

There is nothing wrong with having an opinion and including it in your writing, of course…that can be done without condemning opposing opinions, though. I may have been old-fashioned in expecting a more neutral tone in a history.

Still, to be clear, I think the book is well worth it. If you need to get a gift now for someone who was a “Monster Kid” or otherwise is a fan of these movies (and Universal is starting them up again, as their own “Cinematic Universe”, a la Marvel), this is a great price! You can delay the delivery until the appropriate gift-giving occasion. Check the price before you click or tap that Buy button…it can change any time.

Great illustration of the value of eReaderIQ!

Judging a book by its Amazon-friendly cover

This is an interesting

Wall Street Journal article by Lucy Feldman

talking about how publishers are designing their covers to optimize sales on Amazon (which the article says now sells 45% of the books in the USA).

That means the book has to stand out in a thumbnail…maybe a couple of centimeters (one inch, roughly) tall.

The article has a great illustration with a bunch of current books which have yellow covers.

It makes sense…you could hypothetically have different covers for e-books and p-books (paperbooks), but that would reduce the impact of multiple exposures to the same item (often necessary before someone buys it)…and they aren’t talking about just e-books, but p-books bought on Amazon.

PrimeNow comes to Walnut Creek, CA

Amazon Truck

We don’t live in Walnut Creek (across the Bay from San Francisco and farther east than Oakland), but I do work there sometimes.

This Amazon delivery truck was recently spotted there…probably connected to

PrimeNow

just starting up delivery there.

That means that I could hypothetically be at work, and order, say, a Nylabone chew toy for the dogs and get it within two hours…at no additional cost beyond our Prime membership.

Remarkable!

If we suddenly find out we are going to a party and need a gift, we could have a

Fire TV Stick with Voice Remote (at AmazonSmile*)

in hand in two hours…one hour, if we are willing to pay $7.99 (I haven’t checked, but I assume that’s available in Walnut Creek).

There’s what looks like a weekly 50% off section, and I get $10 back on the first order.

This feels like a game changer…

Kindle for Kids bundle on sale for a limited time

The

Kindle for Kids Bundle with the latest Kindle, 2-Year Accident Protection, Blue Kid-Friendly Cover (at AmazonSmile*):

which is the basic Kindle, plus a cover, plus a better warranty than you usually get…and it’s $89.99 right now.

With royalties, is flat where it’s at?

How authors get paid may seem esoteric, but it has a huge impact on what you read.

Not every author makes their living writing…but for the ones that do, how they get paid, and how much they get paid affects not only whether they write at all (or give it up and get a different sort of job/income stream), but what they write.

Back in the pulp days, authors might get a penny a word…and the same pulp magazine wasn’t going to publish five stories from the same author in the same issue.

That meant that authors might write in a wide variety of genres and under a number of different pen names, just to get as much published as they could.

For example, Robert E. Howard, best known for Conan the Barbarian, wrote boxing stories (I’ve read some…bought them with a misleading cove, but I did enjoy them), Westerns, detective stories, comedies…even “spicy” stories.

When an author (often through an agent, traditionally) licenses the rights to a publisher, it’s for a specific format or formats. One publisher might have the hardback rights and another one might have the paperback rights (less common today than it used to be).

E-books are a relatively new format (Amazon turned it from fringe to…somewhat mainstream in late 2007), so new negotiations and new rates are involved.

That’s all been pretty confusing and in flux. What is the right royalty rate for an e-book? Should it be based on the suggested retail price (the list price), on what was actually paid for it, or on the profit? What about an advance…should that be like a hardback?

Oh, a couple of quick term definitions. A royalty is something paid to the author for each book sold (I’m keeping this simple). An advance is something paid by the publisher to the author before the first book is sold. The publisher then keeps the royalties from sales until they equal the advance. That’s usually something for either well-known, “brand name” authors, or perhaps a celebrity who doesn’t usually write books (someone involved in a scandal might get one). The advance may happen before the book is even written…which might allow the author to not have another job while writing it.

Different pay method are being explored and suggested.

This

Publishers Weekly article by Rachel Deahl

looks at the idea of a “flat rate” across formats…authors would get the same rate for a sale, whether it was an e-book or a p-book.

I have a tough time seeing how that would work. Oh, I suppose it could work if it was all based on profit, not list price or sale price. Otherwise, the publisher has different cost burdens for different formats.

Authors would generally not want something to be based on profit, because you effectively have to trust the publisher on that. Many an actor who took a percentage of the box office was surprised when somehow, a blockbuster movie didn’t make any profit. 😉 The studio might charge expenses (like sets and costumes) for a whole franchise to a single movie’s costs, for example.

I had something like that happen to me.

I was managing a game store…hadn’t been there long. As the manager, I got a bonus based on the holiday sales. I was doing well…yes, I was working 120 hours a week (I didn’t want to make my assistant managers work 80 hours a week on their salaries, so I opened and closed the store all the time), but my Significant Other and I figured we had a hefty bonus coming.

Well, I could do the math. I said, “What happened?”

Owner: “You bought the bags.”

Me: “I bought the bags?”

Owner: “We have four stores, right? We rotate which store buys for all four stores each quarter. This quarter, your store did…and being the holidays, there were a lot of bags.”

That was a surprise!

Authors and agents don’t want surprises.

In the article, they talk about maybe a 50% royalty rate for e-books.

That brings up the challenge for publishers.

Authors can independently publish through Amazon, and by meeting certain not complicated guidelines, get seventy percent.

That means that publishers certainly don’t have all the power in the relationship.

Amazon’s terms are very clear, generally easy to understand for a newbie. They revolutionized the pay cycle, with authors getting paid more often.

Right now, authors who already have successful relationships with traditional publisher are understandably reluctant to switch away to something which is still developing.

New authors, especially agentless ones, won’t have the same reluctance.

Then there is the whole issue of subsers (subscription services), but that’s a ride to take another time. 😉

What do you think? Can traditional publishers continue to offer services to authors which are worth the writers getting lower royalties? If you have PrimeNow in your city, why do you ever go to a store for something it carries? Will we see the end of intricate book covers? 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! :) 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: June 2016

June 2, 2016

Monthly Kindle Deals for $3.99 or less each: June 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 many times that now: 720 at the time of writing…a remarkable 421 more, more than double than last month. Welcome to the summer reading season! They are up to 80% off…but in a return to form (and continuing the last three months’ trend), none of them are more than the normal $3.99 top limit.

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 357 of them (249 more than last month…again, more than double) 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.

  • Yellow Crocus by Laila Ibrahim (KU) (my Significant Other both read this one and thought it was good…4.6 stars out of 5 | 9,498 customer reviews at time of writing (it will likely hit 10,000 this month)
  • The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco and William Weaver
  • Casino Royale (James Bond – Extended Series Book 1) by Ian Fleming (KU) (you can have a James Bond summer with this sale…or with KU)
  • Commando Dad: A Basic Training Manual for the First Three Years of Fatherhood by Neil Sinclair
  • Chicago Assault (Hawker) by Randy Wayne White
  • Lilith’s Brood: Dawn, Adulthood Rites, and Imago by Octavia E. Butler
  • Veronica Mars – the TV series: Caller ID (Kindle Worlds Novella) by Laurie Baxter
  • How to Be a Power Connector: The 5+50+100 Rule for Turning Your Business Network into Profits by Judy Robinett
  • Love Fed: Purely Decadent, Simply Raw, Plant-Based Desserts by Christina Ross
  • The Return: A Titan Novel by Jennifer L. Armentrout
  • Peace with God: The Secret of Happiness by Billy Graham
  • Pizza: A Slice of American History by Liz Barrett
  • Arthur Lost and Found (Arthur Adventure Series) by Marc Brown
  • When I Found You by Catherine Ryan Hyde
  • Goodnight, Little Monster by Bonnie Leick and Helen Ketteman
  • White: The Circle Series by Ted Dekker
  • Whatever You Are, Be a Good One: 100 Inspirational Quotations Hand-Lettered by Lisa Congdon by Lisa Congdon
  • Killer Germs by Barry Zimmerman and David Zimmerman
  • Cinderella Man: James Braddock, Max Baer, and the Greatest Upset in Boxing History by Jeremy Schaap
  • It’s Not Over: Getting Beyond Tolerance, Defeating Homophobia, and Winning True Equality by Michelangelo Signorile
  • Never Too Late to Go Vegan: The Over-50 Guide to Adopting and Thriving on a Plant-Based Diet by Carol J. Adams and Patti Breitman
  • Elizabeth Baxter’s Ten Secrets to a Happy Marriage by Karen Kingsbury
  • The Big Book of Gross Stuff by Bart King
  • A Dark Lure by Loreth Anne White (KU)
  • Flat-Out Love (Flat-Out Love Series Book 1) by Jessica Park (KU)
  • Resident Evil: The Umbrella Conspiracy by S.D. Perry
  • Chalk by Bill Thomson (KU)
  • A Summer to Die by Lois Lowry and Jenni Oliver
  • The Beast Side: Living (and Dying) While Black in America by D. Watkins and David Talbot
  • Congo: The Epic History of a People by David Van Reybrouck
  • Bread and Roses, Too by Katherine Paterson
  • Heist: The Oddball Crew Behind the $17 Million Loomis Fargo Theft by Jeff Diamant
  • Arghh: Being the Vexing Letters from Pirate Anne Bonny to her Secret Sister (The Adele Bonny Adventures) by Wendy Wilkinson
  • The Perfect Son by Barbara Claypole White (KU)
  • Ghost Gifts by Laura Spinella (KU): 4.4 stars | 2,594 reviews
  • The Orphans of Race Point by Patry Francis
  • The Dark Man (The Graveyard: Classified Paranormal Series Book 1) by Desmond Doane (KU)
  • Walk Me Home by Catherine Ryan Hyde
  • Disney U: How Disney University Develops the World’s Most Engaged, Loyal, and Customer-Centric Employees: How…by Doug Lipp
  • The Complete David Bowie by Nicholas Pegg
  • The Winter Prince (The Lion Hunters series Book 1) by Elizabeth Wein (KU)
  • The Moon Dwellers (The Dwellers Saga Book 1) by David Estes (KU)
  • The Whistling Season by Ivan Doig
  • Lean Six Sigma for Service: How to Use Lean Speed and Six Sigma Quality to Improve Services and Transactions by Michael L. George
  • How to Raise a Wild Child: The Art and Science of Falling in Love with Nature by Scott D. Sampson
  • Normandy: A Graphic History of D-Day, The Allied Invasion of Hitler’s Fortress Europe (Zenith Graphic Histories) by Wayne Vansant
  • Rat Pack Party Girl: From Prostitute to Women’s Advocate by Jane McCormick and Patti Wicklund  (KU)
  • The Dummy Line (A Jake Crosby Thriller Book 1) by Bobby Cole (KU)
  • Shiloh, 1862 by Winston Groom
  • The S Word: A Short History of an American Tradition…Socialism by John Nichols
  • Raising Vegetarian Children: A Guide to Good Health and Family Harmony by Joanne Stepaniak and Vesanto Melina
  • Casino Royale (James Bond – Extended Series Book 1) by Ian Fleming (KU)
  • Crimes Against Magic (The Hellequin Chronicles Book 1) by Steve McHugh (KU) (and other books in the series)
  • Watch Me Die by Lee Goldberg
  • Above Suspicion by Helen Macinnes

I was more impressed last month, but there are still good choices here…

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 has often been four) books to own (not borrow) for free…these are books which will be actually released next month. The choices this month are:

  • Intrusion by Mary McCluskey: psychological suspense
  • The Temporary Agent by Daniel Judson: thriller
  • Cold (A Joe Tiplady Thriller Book 1) by John Sweeney: espionage thriller
  • The Last Woman Standing  by Thelma Adams: historical fiction
  • Journey’s End (Gilded Promises) by Renee Ryan: inspirational historical romance
  • Pierced by the Sun by Laura Esquivel, translated by Jordi Castells: literary fiction

People like to know which one I pick…and for the second month in a row, I’m not particularly inspired. There isn’t any science fiction or fantasy, and while I read a lot of types of things, that’s a default. Historical fiction can be good, but that offering just isn’t drawing me into it for a choice. I’m going to go with the Laura Esquivel (Like Water for Chocolate), despite my not great experience in the past with Amazon translations…

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! :) 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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