Archive for the ‘Kindle Unlimited’ Category

Buy a Paperwhite, get six months of Kindle Unlimited free!

June 20, 2017

Buy a Paperwhite, get six months of Kindle Unlimited free!

Thanks to reader and commenter Jay Howard for the heads up on this!

Right now (through this Friday, June 23 at 11:00 PM Pacific), when you buy a

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

(which is the model I generally recommend…I like having the lighted screen and that’s unlike the least expensive model, and while I think the Voyage is incrementally better, it doesn’t seem worth the cost difference for most people. The Oasis can’t be purchased without an animal leather cover, so I haven’t tried it. Amazon also describes the Paperwhite as “Our best-selling Kindle”), you also get six months of

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

for no additional cost. KU is Amazon’s subser (subscription service), where you can borrow up to ten books at a time from a selection of over a million and a half (1,602,203 at time of writing) titles! Six months of KU is normally $59.64 (I’m looking at the USA, which is where this offer applies), so this is a great deal!

Note also that KU will be available to everybody at the account, and typically, a book can be read on six devices at a time at no additional cost (if it is different from that, it will say so on the book’s Amazon product page).

So, if you buy a gift of the PW for someone else on your account, you’ll all get the benefit for six months (benefits include select magazines, by the way)…and then, it’s up to you as to whether you continue or not.

We’ve been happy KU members since it started, although it’s not for everybody. Here are some titles currently available through KU (title availabilities change), in case you haven’t looked:

  • The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  • The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
  • 1984 by George Orwell
  • Orphans of Katrina: Inside the World’s Biggest Animal Rescue. What Really Happened on the Gulf and How You Can Help Save America’s Pets Today by Karen O’Toole
  • Signature Wounds by Kirk Russell
  • The Last Woman Standing by Thelma Adams
  • The Lioness of Morocco by Julia Drosten (translated by Christiane Galvani)
  • The Lord of the Rings series by J.R.R. Tolkien
  • Ripper: The Secret Life of Walter Sickert by Patricia Cornwell

Those are just a few of the many choices.

Thanks, Jay!

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

All aboard 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! :) 
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1-year subscriptons to Kindle Unlimited 25% off (today only?)

December 9, 2016

1-year subscriptons  to Kindle Unlimited 25% off (today only?)

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

is on sale in the USA for the 1-year membership. It’s $88.99 instead of $119.88…about a $30 savings.

I’ve been a happy member since it started, and have given it as a gift.

Amazon says:

“A maximum of one prepaid subscription purchased through this offer may be redeemed to a single Kindle Unlimited membership account. Customers may purchase additional subscriptions as gifts.”

If this lets me extend our subscription at a discount, as it appears to do, I’m on it! 🙂

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.

Round up #149: I’m on TKC tomorrow, Brits write about USA libraries

October 21, 2016

Round up #149: I’m on TKC tomorrow, Brits write about USA libraries

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

I’ll be on Len Edgerly’s The Kindle Chronicles this Friday 10/21

I’ve recorded an interview with Len Edgerly of

The Kindle Chronicles

for podcast this Friday!

I’m always honored to be on that show, and it’s a great experience. Len has interviewed many important people, including Jeff Bezos, and the shows are always enhanced by the host’s understanding, wisdom, and compassion.

I had some audio issues (totally not Len’s fault), but I’m hopeful that some technical magic may help cut down on the impact. As usual, I probably talked more than Len expected, so I’m counting on editing. I’ll probably do a post annotating the discussion after the show.

If you have an

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

device (and that includes Echo Dot (at AmazonSmile*), Amazon Tap (at AmazonSmile*), Fire TV Stick with Voice Remote (at AmazonSmile*) ((you don’t need the voice remote…you can use the free Fire TV app), and Amazon Fire TV (at AmazonSmile*)), you can listen to it by asking the device to “Play The Kindle Chronicles on Tune-in”. It officially goes up on Friday, but I’m not sure when…should be available on Saturday for sure.

Took a Trip without an Echo

Another personal story (more newsy stuff to follow). Our two dogs took my Significant Other and me down to Pacific Grove near Carmel for a couple of days this weekend. 🙂 They love going down there…and so do we! The Carmel beach is leash-free, and there’s a sort of hidden (there’s no sign visible from the street driving by) little old growth forest area in Pacific Grove, called the Rip Van Winkle Open Space, which is also leash-free.

elf-tree

We were looking for a quiet couple of days (we only spent two nights there), with a lot of walking and healthy food (we brought our own…literally the only thing we bought down there was that my SO had a latte).

Quiet meant…no Alexa! I could have brought our Tap, but my SO really isn’t fond of Alexa. I think it’s correct to say that it’s harder to ask for a light to be turned on than to flip a switch, and understanding is imperfect. I have a lot of fun with Alexa, and find the imperfections charming, but I get it. We also didn’t watch any TV…I had considered bringing the Fire TV Stick, and we probably would have used it…but just as well.

That doesn’t mean I was Amazon techless! I didn’t bring a Kindle EBR (E-Book Reader), but did have my trusty (now discontinued) Kindle Fire HDX, and got quite a bit of reading done. I finished

Keep Watching the Skies by Bill Warren (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

I really enjoyed that comprehensive encyclopedia of science fiction movies released in the USA in the 1950s! I’ve seen almost all of them (a few were real obscurities; some were…um, not appropriate for me at the time). In print, it’s over 1,000 pages, and I didn’t use text-to-speech, because I wanted to see the photos from the movies and the poster reproductions. 🙂 I’m glad I could buy it for $3.99 during that sale I told you about back then…it’s $14.74 in Kindle format at the time of writing.

On the drive home, which was more than two hours, we streamed a Prime station on my Galaxy S7 Edge (not the exploding Note…I still like Samsung).

When I got home, I was eager to talk to Alexa again, but it was a great trip!

British readers write about their favorite American public libraries

I love this

Guardian article by Tom Stevens and Guardian readers

There are photographs and very personal short anecdotes.

Public libraries are one of the most important institutions that exist, in my opinion. They can change the world, by bringing it (and more than it) to the smallest towns and the biggest minds.

Is there a difference in the concept of British and American libraries? Interesting to me that they are so interested in the architecture…on the other hand, our libraries are relatively modern…not centuries old. 😉

A picture is worth a thousand words…but is a book worth two thousand dollars? 😉

The

Franklin Book Fair

is happening now, and

David Hockney

introduced a book (not yet available through Amazon) with a list price of two thousand Euros (about $2,200, I believe).It’s an art book, and comes with its own stand.

There will be 10,000 copies…gee, I wonder what the Kindle edition will cost? 😉 Just kidding, this one probably won’t be released in e-book form.

Who owns a book’s characters’ unstated lives?

There is a fascinating issue raised in this

L.A. Times article by Michael Schaub

A reader brought up the idea to author S.E. Hinton that two of the male characters in

The Outsiders (at AmazonSmile*)

might have romantic feelings for each other.

The author said definitively that they didn’t and that they weren’t gay.

There was Twitter pushback on that…that Hinton was taking something away from readers.

When I write fictional characters, I don’t feel like I know everything about them. It’s sort of like they only show me so much. I can’t control everything they do, and they often surprise me.

That said, if someone gave a character of mine a secret life that conflicted with what I thought…hm, would I be offended? I think I’d probably be amused.

Look at how Shakespeare has been interpreted in so many ways. That shows, in part, the universality of the writing…and of the character’s feelings.

This is kind of a tough one for me. I feel like Hinton has the perfect right to say that the characters weren’t written as gay, and that the author doesn’t feel like they are gay…in the author’s mind. Letting readers think what they want about the characters seems fine to me.

Brand name authors writing e-book singles

This

USA Today article by Jocelyn McClurg

points out an interesting trend of brand name authors writing short pieces…either short prequels to novels, or short stand-alone stories.

This is something I thought authors like that might independently, but that’s not what is discussed. I also thought publishers might put those sorts of books into

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

Take a look at the

Kindle Singles bestsellers in the USA Kindle store (at AmazonSmile*)

There are some brand name authors here and in KU!

  • #7 and #10 are by Stephanie Bond
  • #9 is on Robert Dugoni
  • #15 is an Outlander work by Diana Gabaldon
  • #18 and #20 are by Melinda Leigh

Enjoy!

What do you think? Is it okay for readers and authors to have different ideas about the characters? Do you travel with an Echo? Do you have fond memories of specific libraries? 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! Do you have what it takes to be a Timeblazer?

* 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.

Amazon introduces Prime Reading…and hits a sweet spot for many consumers

October 5, 2016

Amazon introduces Prime Reading…and hits a sweet spot for many consumers

Amazon has introduced yet another Prime benefit…and I expect bloggers to massively underestimate its appeal:

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

This is included in the regular price of

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

and, speaking as the former manager of a brick-and-mortar bookstore, and as someone who has covered the world of e-books for more than seven years, I think this is going to appeal to the vast majority of readers. Those are what I call “casual readers” as opposed to “serious readers”. I’m a serious reader, and I think most of the readers of this blog are: at a minimum, you can define a serious reader as reading a book a month (many read many more than that).

Most books are sold to casual readers: they read a lot fewer books, tend to read more popular books of which they’ve heard already (or something very genre, like you might get in an airport bookstore), and to buy books as gifts.

They aren’t so much looking for surprising, innovative works, in my opinion. They want reading a book to be what they expect it to be. Sure, these are broad generalizations, but it’s my sense as a bookseller.

They don’t spend $100 a month on books for themselves to read…they may spend that for the year.

What is this benefit?

Prime Members (who may pay $99 a year) can read books from a specific selection (1,014 at time of writing). This includes some well-known titles:

  • Harry Potter
  • The Complete Peanuts
  • Lonely Planet travel guides
  • The Man in the High Castle
  • Pines (Wayward Pines #1)

There are a lot more books in Prime Reading that casual readers may not know…but they are generally clear as to what they are (I was intrigued by how many were arts/crafts oriented).

Again, picture being in an airport and you are about to get on a five hour flight. These are books you might grab for that purpose.

It’s worth noting that a lot of Amazon published books are not in Prime Reading…I didn’t see the original James Bond books or the 87th Precinct series, for example.

What else do you take on a plane to read?

Magazines, and they’ve included that.

Sports Illustrated, People, Entertainment Weekly, Cosmopolitan, Sunset, Vogue, National Geographic Traveler…outside of a notable lack of newsmagazines, this selection could also be in an airport bookstore.

I’m not saying this is going to sell a lot more Prime memberships…but I do think it improves “stickiness”, the odds that someone will stay with Prime.

Does this cannibalize anything for Amazon?

It might. It might reduce book purchases by those casual readers, since many of them will already be Prime members. They also may not care as much about owning books (this service is borrowing them, not owning them). It won’t limit them buying books for others, though, and may encourage them to

Give the Gift of Prime (at AmazonSmile*)

which is a giant benefit for Amazon, since Prime members buy more of the higher profit items (what I call diapers and windshield wipers). They would much rather have new Prime members than a casual reader spending $100 on books in a year.

It also competes with two other existing Amazon services. Let’s talk about the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library first.

The KOLL also lets you borrow something to read…but just one book a calendar month (that’s not a limitation with Prime Reading). It requires you to own a physical Kindle; Prime Reading can be used with Kindle reading apps on other devices. Yes, the KOLL has many more titles but seems a lot more restrictive.

I’m not sure how much it is costing Amazon to maintain KOLL. I’m guessing it’s not insignificant, in part because of the number of customer service calls they must get on it (and those are expensive). It does have the advantage for the consumer (but not for Amazon) that you don’t have to be a Prime member…it may sell some Kindles/Fires. However, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if they quietly let the KOLL sunset.

The other one, and this is more interesting to me, is

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

Like the KOLL, this has many more books than Prime Reading…close to one and half million, much more than 100 times as many.

Every book in Prime Reading (I just can’t bring myself to abbreviate it as PR, because of it being the same as “Public Relations”) is also in KU.

You can get top magazines in both.

The big difference is that you pay an additional $9.99 a month (although it’s sometimes on sale for a longer commitment, as has been the case on Prime Day).

The casual reader may not find that to be necessary. It might seem better if you aren’t also paying for Prime already…but if you are, do you want to add more than $100 a year?

Some will…we pay for Amazon Prime, Hulu, and Netflix in our house, for example…but I wouldn’t describe myself as a casual viewer, either. 😉

I think many bloggers are going to say that it doesn’t have enough books, or diverse enough books…but that’s like when tech reviewers give people pixel per inch counts for phones and tablets and think you should pay significantly more money for more of them. For the typical user, they don’t really care that much about the specs. Good enough might be good enough. 🙂

All in all, Prime just keeps getting better, including the recent addition of

Twitch Prime (at AmazonSmile*)

for videogame fans.

If you can afford Prime, I don’t see why you wouldn’t get it. 🙂

Speaking of affording and Prime members, there is a great sale right now on Kindle EBRs (E-Book Readers) for Prime members! It’s definitely not too early to be thinking of holiday gifts! I don’t know how long this will last, but at time of writing, there are these deals (probably just in the USA):

This may just tie into the Prime Reading announcement, for Prime members who don’t have Kindle EBRs.

I was going to write about Google’s announcement yesterday, which had really significant things to release (including a major Echo competitor), but Prime Reading took precedence…with this sale an added bonus story!

What do you think? Will Prime Reading make you change anything else…like dropping KU or adding Prime (perhaps for someone else)? If the KOLL went away, would that make a big difference for you? Feel free to let me and my readers know what you think by commenting on this post.

One more note: a couple of subscribers noted an interruption from Amazon in the delivery of this blog (and at least one unrelated blog in one case). It seems to be okay now…please let me know if there is still an issue.

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! Do you have what it takes to be a Timeblazer?

* 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.

Kindle Unlimited access to top magazines (and a new Fire TV Stick generation)

September 30, 2016

Kindle Unlimited access to top magazines (and a new Fire TV Stick generation)

This is a great feature for

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

members! We’ve been happy members ourselves since Amazon introduced their subser (subscription service). For $9.99 a month (or we actually have bought it when it’s been on sale on Prime Day, so it’s cheaper than that), we have access to close to one and a half million titles. I’ve read some great books through KU!

We do read magazines, and I read a few on my now discontinued Kindle Fire HDX (Entertainment Weekly and Fortean Times, the latter of which I read on the Zinio app, to name two).

We have tried subscribing through the Kindle store to other magazines, but they are somewhat expensive.

Well, you can also get magazines through your KU membership:

Kindle Unlimited magazines (at AmazonSmile*)

There are genuinely top titles in here…I’ll list what’s there this month shortly.

There are still reasons to pay for a subscription: for one thing, access to back issues. I also think it will be one issue a month (rather than four, if it’s a weekly), but I’m not sure about that yet.

Okay, here’s that list:

  • Sports Illustrated
  • People
  • Entertainment Weekly
  • HGTV
  • Popular Mechanics
  • Dr. Oz: The Good Life
  • Cosmopolitan
  • Shape
  • Bloomberg Businessweek
  • Outdoor Life
  • Vogue
  • GQ
  • Bon Appetit
  • Conde’ Nast Traveler
  • National Geographic Traveler
  • Sound & Vision
  • Transworld SNOWboarding
  • Shutterbug
  • Baseball America
  • Runner’s World
  • Town & Country
  • Esquire
  • Four Wheeler
  • Transworld SKATEboarding
  • Snowboarder
  • Stereophile
  • Martha Stewart Living
  • Baggers
  • Men’s Health
  • Coastal Living
  • Harper’s Bazaar
  • Sunset
  • Rachael Ray Every Day
  • Motorcyclist
  • Golf Digest
  • W
  • Consumer Reports
  • Automobile
  • Motor Trend
  • Powder
  • Surfing
  • Working Mother

Again, these are some of the really top-selling magazines! People is #1 in the Kindle store, Entertainment Weekly is #3.

These appear to work just like books in KU: you can have up to ten at a time (I think that’s ten as a combination of books and magazines, not ten of each). Now, these magazines don’t work on every device…I checked Sunset, and it works on our tablets and my Galaxy S7, but wouldn’t work on our Oasis or Paperwhite.

I’ll check to see if the specific issues change.

Some of you may also be thinking that you could just get a magazine with a 30 day free trial (it’s not always 30 days, I believe)…but you can’t do the same magazine repeatedly with a sample. My guess is that we’ll have the same titles.

How much money could you save with this?

Just to get the current issue of People would cost you $5.99.

So, in KU you can sight read books, listen to text-to-speech (unless blocked by the publisher), get audiobooks, and read magazines…works for me. 😉

Bonus story:

In this

press release

Amazon announced the new version of the

All-New Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote | Streaming Media Player (at AmazonSmile*)

It now comes with the voice remote (which includes Alexa…greatly improved recently) for $39.99. This will be one of their top sellers at the holiday season…but they have a special offer if you activate it by October 31st:

Activate your All-New Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote by October 31st and receive 1 month of Sling TV, 2 Months of Hulu (Limited Commercials), and a $10 Amazon Video Credit.

We pay for Hulu without commercials each month (which we love). Hulu has current TV (not all of it, but a lot of hot seasons), movies (usually a handful of recent well-known ones), and older TV (I’m currently rewatching My Favorite Martian, for example).

The new Alexa control includes controlling playback, searching by title or genre, and more. You don’t need the new one for that, though…my 2nd gen does it now…actually, my Fire TV does it now, haven’t tried it on the Fire TV Stick, but I think it works.

I’m debating whether or not I’m going to bring the Fire TV stick with us when we go on a quiet vacation at the beach with our dogs soon. I’m thinking not…but I can see situations where I would.

Amazon’s really refining their hardware…and still expanding our content options: nice!

Oh, and they picked up the new live action Tick as an Amazon TV series…my favorite Tick version is the animated series, but still… 😉

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! Do you have what it takes to be a Timeblazer?

* 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.

Round up #147: focus on audio

September 21, 2016

Round up #147: focus on audio

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

Interesting results in my recent polls

I recently polled my readers about books and formats

In which format do you read the most books?

and was intrigued and educated by some of the results.

Let me first state, as I assume is apparent, that this is not at all a scientific survey. I do love the scientific method, and I like to look at methodology, but this is simply self-reporting of a small and undeniably unusual group of respondents…my readers. 😉

First, when I look at this question: “In which formats have you read a book in the past 12 months?” e-books are fewer than half of the responses. Pretty evenly split, actually, were paperbooks and audiobooks. I would say I have underestimated the amount of audiobooks for my readers. Regular readers know I’m not a big consumer of audiobooks myself, although I can see the attraction. In terms of the industry, electronic versions of audiobooks have been one of the bright spots for some time.

Second, my readers report reading a lot more e-books than p-books (paperbooks). That’s part of what started that post. Pew had suggested that p-books were twice as popular as e-books…not with my readers. About 30% of the respondents said they read about 1 e-book a week (25-52), the most popular answer. The second most popular response (28%) was that they had read more than 52 e-books in the past 12 months. For p-books, the most popular response was about one per season (1 to 4 in the past 12 months) at 40%. The second one was “none” at 38%.

In terms of paperbook formats, more people were reading mass market paperbacks (the smaller ones) than I might have guessed…that’s a segment that’s been rapidly declining in market share, pretty much supplanted by e-books. My guess here is that many of those read are ones that my readers already owned, rather than new ones that they purchased recently.

I left off a couple of options in the poll (that happens), and they both related to early generation technology. One was listening to audiobooks on EBRs (E-Book Readers). Amazon had eliminated audio from EBRs some time back…but people certainly were listening on older gen Kindle EBRs. Another one was listening to audiobooks on CDs. I probably should also have included the original popular version, “books on tape”…audiocassettes.

Speaking of how my readers play their audiobooks, that was a lively topic in the comments on the blog recently. I naively was thinking that not having the recent

New Prime benefit: Audible Channels for Prime

available for Amazon’s own Fire Tablets at this point (I expect it to come later) might have been because Amazon figured that not that many people listen to audiobooks on tablets who don’t have a SmartPhone option.

That was silly of me: after all, I generally listen to text-to-speech (TTS), which is my preference, on my now discontinued Kindle Fire HDX 7 in the car. For one thing, I’d say the tablet generally has better battery charge life doing the same sorts of functions as the phone does. I haven’t really tested that recently, though.

For my readers, it went like this:

What do you use to play your audiobooks?

  • A SmartPhone 28.3% (45 votes)
  • A tablet 23.9% (38 votes)
  • I don’t listen to audiobooks 16.98% (27 votes)
  • An Echo device 16.35% (26 votes)
  • An MP3 player 10.06% (16 votes)
  • A laptop 3.14% (5 votes)
  • A desktop 1.26% (2 votes)
  • A smart watch 0% (0 votes)
  • A TV streamer (Chromecast, Fire TV) 0% (0 votes)
  • Total Votes: 159

A SmatPhone was highest, which is what I would have guessed. Next a tablet…and then I’m glad I included Echo devices! I’ve done that…listened to some of Dracula read by Tim Curry and Alan Cumming (and others) (at AmazonSmile*). I thought there might be some SmartWatch users…I’ve suggested Amazon could create a wearable for audiobooks, TTS, and so on. I also thought some might have used a TV streamer…Fire TV is so popular! However, how you would do it isn’t that obvious…they don’t have a category for it on the Fire TV homescreen, for example. One way to do it would be to listen to audiobooks on YouTube…they do have an app for YouTube, and there are a lot of audiobook videos there. You can also use the Alexa functionality to listen to your Audible books…I’ve tried that with Dracula, too. Audiobooks on TV seems like a great way to go to me…particularly the family listening to something together, or just while you were doing chores. An Echo device can do that, sure, but I assume more people have TVs at this point than Echo devices. 😉

Anyway, interesting information…thanks for answering!

EBOOK FRIENDLY: 8 Google search tips for book lovers

This

EBOOK FRIENDLY post by Piotr Kowalczyk

is yet another great and useful post from this superior site!

You’ll see how to find books to read online, rich information about authors, comparison shop prices for e-books, and so on.

Well done!

OPEN CULTURE: Hear 75 Free, Classic Audio Books on Spotify: Austen, Joyce, Bukowski, Kafka, Vonnegut, Poe, Kerouac & More

I was writing about audiobooks above, and, well, who knew? Okay, I don’t want to be naïve again…maybe everybody but me. 😉 This

Open Culture post (by Dan Colman?)

list many well-known books read by famous narrators…available for free at Spotify (you need a free account).

These aren’t all public domain (not under copyright protection) books, although many are. Some are read by the author (Langston Hughes, T.S. Elliot, to name two), some by actors (including Alec Guinness, Christopher Lee, and John Gielgud). I would guess there are hundreds of hours of entertainment here.

What happens when an e-book store closes?

I’ve said many times that I am more confident that my e-books will be read by my descendants after I’m gone than that my p-books will be. I’m speaking specifically of my Kindle books…I’m hard-pressed to see a situation in which that valuable an asset would not continue in some way. Either it would become legal for us to break the DRM (Digital Rights Management) because a “decoder” is not commercially available (you would have to download the books first…but I wouldn’t expect Amazon to shutter with no notice), or someone else would “buy the accounts”.

According to this

mobileread post by “chrisridd”

the latter is happening with Sainsbury’s Entertainment on Demand.

According to the memo posted and reported to have come from the company, there are refunds for some types of content (movies, TV, digital magazines), and you can download your MP3s before the shutdown, but e-books are being transferred to Kobo.

An irritation revisitation

I’m talking a lot about audio in this round-up, so I do want to mention one more thing.

My Significant Other needed a new read, and a reader, Carolyn perreau, had recently recommended Dorothy Abbott’s mysteries. Fortunately, what seemed to be the most popular books were part of

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

Since we’ve been happy members of Amazon’s subser (subscription service) since the launch, we were able to read that at no additional cost.

I sent the first one in a series to my SO’s device, and to mine:

Only The Innocent (at AmazonSmile*)

I was looking forward to listening to in using TTS on my way to and from work the next day…I was going to have a commute which was likely to be a couple of hours.

I was disappointed, because although TTS was enabled, the e-book only wanted to play the audiobook. That was even though I had removed the audiobook which automatically downloaded with the e-book, restarted the device, restarted the Kindle reader, removed the e-book, download it again, etc., etc. 🙂

I’ve called Amazon about this a couple of times in the past with different books. I totally understand that most people see the audiobook as a bonus, a big plus. I don’t like to listen to an audiobook unless I’ve already read the book (as I put it, I don’t like the author/actor to interpret the characters for me).

If I could have had TTS on the book, I’d probably be most of the way through it by now (a few days later), if not actually finished.

As it is, I haven’t really started it.

I have books which don’t work well with TTS, so I sight read them…I’ve been reading

Keep Watching the Skies by Bill Warren (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

which I’m really enjoying. It’s about 1950s science fiction movies (in the USA). I’ve seen almost all of the movies (I’m about 2/3rds of the way through…I would guess I haven’t seen fewer than ten of them so far…a couple of real rarities, a couple of “adult movies”)) nudies, as they might have been called then)), which simply wouldn’t have been available to me when I was watching most of these), but am getting quite a bit of insight into them.

There are pictures I want to see, so I don’t want to do TTS with that book.

My SO and I enjoy reading the same book at the same time, so we can discuss it afterwards (no spoilers). I’ll say that we read socially, although I won’t deny a touch of competitiveness in it. 🙂 I’ve kidded my SO about that saying, “I can be less competitive than you can!”

As it is, I’m sure my SO will finish the book first…and be on to the next one (if this one is enjoyed) before I do.

By the way, in case your thought is this might be a publisher thing…it’s published by Amazon’s own traditional publishing mystery imprint. 🙂

Carla Hayden: LoC

I didn’t want to end with a negative, so here’s a nice profile piece on the new Librarian of Congress, Carla Hayden:

The New Yorker post by Daniel. A. Gross

I think Hayden may move the digitization efforts forward in a more focused way, which I would like to see. 🙂

What do you think? What would you like the Library of Congress to do in the future? Do you listen to a lot of audiobooks? Do you worry about what will happen to your e-book collection in the future? 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! Do you have what it takes to be a Timeblazer?

* 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.

 

How to save almost $100 on Kindle Unlimited today…and it’s not obvious

July 12, 2016

How to save almost $100 on Kindle Unlimited today…and it’s not obvious

Hello,

Here’s a copy of the chat transcript you requested:

Initial Question: How do I get the 40% off on Kindle Unlimited as part of Prime Day (being a Prime member)?

10:15 AM PDT Chinmay(Amazon): Hello, my name is Chinmay. I’m here to help you today.
Firstly, I’d like to thank you for being a Prime member.

10:16 AM PDT Chinmay: As I understand that you want to purchase the kindle unlimited subscription with discount. Right?
<snip>
10:18 AM PDT Bufo Calvin: Correct.
<snip>
10:19 AM PDT Bufo Calvin: Yes, that’s right. An Amazon press release said KU would be 40% for Prime members today, but I’m not seeing that reflected online.
Sorry, for 40% off, not 40%. 🙂
10:21 AM PDT Chinmay: Thanks for waiting.
10:21 AM PDT Bufo Calvin: Sure!
10:22 AM PDT Chinmay: Please click on the link below to purchase the subscription with discount https://www.amazon.com/gp/kindle/ku/gift_landing (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*) [NOTE: I’m using a different link than they sent me]
10:23 AM PDT Bufo Calvin: That doesn’t show the discount, though…24 months shows as $239.76, which is still $9.99 per month.
10:23 AM PDT Chinmay: The discount will automatically get applied to 24 months of subscription.
10:24 AM PDT Bufo Calvin: Oh…that will show up at checkout? May I share that link with other people? Is that good for all day today (through midnight Pacific)?
10:24 AM PDT Chinmay: Yes, sure.
it will apply to check out.
10:24 AM PDT Bufo Calvin: Perfect, thanks!
10:24 AM PDT Chinmay: You’re welcome. Is there anything else I can do for you?

10:25 AM PDT Bufo Calvin: Nope, that’s it!
10:25 AM PDT Chinmay: My pleasure helping you today. We are always here to help you.

To close this window, please click the “end chat” link.

Have a great day!!
10:25 AM PDT Bufo Calvin: Love Amazon, Prime, and the customer service! 🙂
10:25 AM PDT Chinmay: Please do not forget to click on END CHAT.
Bye!!
Thank you.

Note that this was set up as buying it as a gift, but I put in the e-mail address under which we currently are KU members, and it worked just fine.

The discount did not show until the very final step, just before payment. It had offered me another discount before that with a new credit card, but that was irrelevant and I ignored it.

At checkout, it showed a “Prime Savings” of $95.90, making two months of KU $143.86…about $5.99 a month instead of the normal $9.99 a month. We did this during last year’s Prime Day, so  that works. 🙂

Check the price before you finalize the order…this may be only for the USA, and I think it’s only for 24 months.

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! Do you have what it takes to be a Timeblazer?

* 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.

 

 

AAP-reporting publishers losing children/YA e-book sales: down 43.3% YoY

April 28, 2016

AAP-reporting publishers losing children/YA e-book sales: down 43.3% YoY

I think I’d better first explain the initialisms in the headline. 🙂

The AAP is the

Association of American Publishers

It gathers statistics from over 1,500 USA publishers, and traditionally, has been considered a good source for information about what is happening with publishing (and by extension, reading) in America.

However, it’s worth noting that I’m not part of it. 😉

I know, I know…you aren’t either, probably. 😉 However, I am a publisher, in a very small way…just my own works. Anyone who makes books for the public to purchase is a publisher, and I feel confident in saying that there are over a 150,000 in the USA. That would mean the AAP might have stats from 10% of the publishers…and it could be a lot lower than that.

Anybody who writes a book and puts into the Kindle store using Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing is a publisher.

Prior to e-books gaining popularity after the introduction of the Kindle in 2007, there was a lot of investment involved in publishing a book. Very few entities had the resources, and the access to distribution (connections with and acceptance by brick-and mortar bookstores for one…I’m a former manager).

E-books can be published and be equally available for purchase by an individual investing no money as by one of the Big 5 publishers.

That means that the AAP may be decreasingly reflective of what people are purchasing and reading.

To be clear, I’m not saying that reduces their relevancy: the most influential and bestselling books still tend to be published by tradpubs (traditional publishers)…it’s just that you can’t consider the AAP’s data now as being a steady state indicator of the popularity of e-books.

I’m setting that up because if it was a constant  measure, the stat in the headline might be terrifying if you thought it was reflective of reading overall, and concerning if you thought it reflected e-book adoption.

Children/YA is a segment of books intended for children and “Young Adults”. Many of those books are read by adults…The Hunger Games is a good example.

YoY is short for “Year over Year”: in the case, how did 2015 sales compare to 2014 sales?

According to this

Book Business report

and other sources, overall book sales were down YoY, and trade books (the kind you would have bought in a bookstore…not tetbooks and such) were up slightly.

Reported e-book sales were down, with children’s/YA’s sales down by close to half.

According to a graph in the article, it looks like paperback/mass market book rose more in dollars than e-books dropped.

What’s happening here? Are e-books a failed experiment?

I certainly don’t think so. 😉

My guess is that, especially young adult, e-book sales are market shifting to independent publishers who don’t report…and perhaps more importantly, to subsers (subscription services), including Amazon’s own

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

Certainly, when I was a “young adult”, KU would have been terrific for me. Some YAs are almost obsessive readers…they want to read a lot of books. That doesn’t mean that you wouldn’t get some books outside of KU, but you could read ten books a week at a manageable cost. My record is 3 1/2 novels in a day. 😉

For young children, Amazon continues to improve FreeTime Unlimited. It might not seem like e-books are a good fit for young children, but they can certainly be one element.

I don’t want to take too much away from the Book Business article (I recommend you read it), but I do want to point out one other thing.

Downloaded audiobooks are way up.

While this may be a coincidence, that has tended to be the case since text-to-speech (TTS) was introduced in the Kindle 2.

Publishers blocked TTS access** after influencing Amazon to give them that option…one argument has been, presumably, that the presence of TTS competes with the sale of audiobooks.

I’ve suggested that it may do the opposite…that TTS may accustom people to listening to books, even though the experiences of listening to an audiobook or TTS are quite different.

There may be other factors. I’m sure a lot more people listen to audiobooks because of their inclusion in KU…but I don’t think those listens will count as sales of downloadable audiobooks (although I’m not sure).

Still, I think it’s hard to argue that TTS has significantly hurt audiobook sales.

My intuition is that children and young adults are reading more than they were five years ago…it’s just not being reported to AAP as much.

Bonus note: Amazon financials call is today (4/28) a 5:00 PM Eastern:

Webcast link

I’ll report on that later.

Bonus deal: the Fire TV Stick with Voice Remote (at AmazonSmile*) is $5 off (which makes it $34.99 for it without a voice remote, $44.99 with one). Without a voice remote (and using the free app), this is the least expensive way to get the Alexa Voice Service, most associated with the Echo. They are doing this to celebrate 100,000 reviews and it is for a limited time.  Makes a great gift…

What do you think? Have e-book sales peaked? Is this one year just a fluke, because there wasn’t a new breakout Young Adult series in 2015? Is there a difference in appropriateness for e-books for Young Adults and children versus adults? What is the role of the AAP in the future? 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! :)

** 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.

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. 🙂

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 GrandPré)
  • 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 Pötzsch
  • 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. 😉

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.

25% off Kindle Unlimited through Sunday

February 9, 2016

25% off Kindle Unlimited  through Sunday

Sales on

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

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

It’s 25% off pre-paid plans.

That’s

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

category of ILMK posts.

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

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

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

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

Okay, on to our borrowed books!

When I Found You
Ryan Hyde January 22, 2016

The Short Drop
Matthew FitzSimmons January 22, 2016

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

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

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

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

A Truth Worth Tellin’
Toni Teepell December 11, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy!

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

When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) By the way, it’s been interesting lately to see Amazon remind me to “start at AmazonSmile” if I check a link on the original Amazon site. I do buy from AmazonSmile, but I have a lot of stored links I use to check for things. 

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


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