Archive for the ‘Recommendations’ Category

Amazon’s 100 Children’s Books to Read in a Lifetime

July 31, 2015

Amazon’s 100 Children’s Books to Read in a Lifetime

Amazon has created a lot of lists of books to read, and I certainly don’t always agree with them.

I have to say, on this one…I think they got a lot of them right:

100 Children’s Books to Read in a Lifetime (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

Given that they didn’t do two books from the same author (although they cheated by doing an omnibus for Dr. Seuss and others), I’m not immediately seeing a glaring omission. That might sound like d*mning with faint praise, but it is unusual in a list like this.

They also didn’t title it in such a way that it was clear that it was going to be fiction only, if it wasn’t, that would have changed things…but given those rules, I’m pleased.

I read quite a few of these as a child…and some others later.

Let’s see…here’s the list and what I’ve read:

  • A Wrinkle in Time (yes)
  • The Classic  Treasury of Aesop’s  Fables (yes)
  • Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
  • Alice in Wonderland (yes)
  • Amelia Bedelia (yes)
  • And Tango Makes Three
  • Anne of Green Gables (yes)
  • Are You My Mother? (yes)
  • Are You There God?  It’s Me, Margaret
  • Beatrix Potter: The Complete Tales (yes)
  • Betsy Tacy
  • Black Beauty (yes)
  • Bread and Jam for Francis
  • Bridge to Terabithia (I saw the movie…and I wouldn’t recommend that children watch it.  Not sure about the book, though)
  • Caps  for Sale (yes) (and I watched it on Captain Kangaroo)
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (yes)
  • Charlotte’s Web (yes)
  • Chicka Chicka Boom Boom (yes) (and we’ve given it many times as a gift)
  • Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
  • Coraline
  • Corduroy (yes)
  • D’Aulaire’s Book of Greek  Myths  (yes) (and yes, this specific version)
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid
  • Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!
  • Dr. Seuss’ Beginner Book Collection (yes)
  • Encyclopedia Brown (yes)
  • Esperanza Rising
  • From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E.  Frankweller
  • Goodnight Moon (yes)
  • Goodnight Goodnight Construction Site
  • Grimm’s Complete Fairy Tales (yes)
  • Guess How Much I Love You
  • Harold and the Purple  Crayon (yes)
  • Harriet the Spy (yes) (and we watched the movie multiple times)
  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (yes)
  • Holes
  • Island of the Blue Dolphins (yes)
  • Jumanji (yes)
  • Little  House on the Prairie (yes)
  • Little Women (yes)
  • Llama Llama Red Pajama
  • Madeline (yes)
  • Make Way for Ducklings (yes) (and another Captain Kangaroo books)
  • Maniac Magee
  • Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel  (yes) (thanks again, Bob Keeshan!)
  • Mr. Popper’s Penguins (yes)
  • Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH (yes)
  • Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle
  • My Side of the Mountain
  • Olivia
  • Owen
  • Paddle-in-the-Sea
  • Pat the Bunny (yes)
  • Peter Pan (yes)
  • Pippi Longstocking (yes)
  • Press Here
  • Sylvester and the Magic Pebble
  • The Bad Beginning (yes)
  • The Borrowers (yes)
  • The Boxcar Children
  • Call of the Wild (yes)
  • The Complete Adventures of Curious George (yes)
  • The Cricket in Times Square (yes)
  • The Day the Crayons Quit
  • The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore
  • The Giver
  • The House at  Pooh Corner (yes)
  • The Invention of Hugo Cabret
  • The Jungle Book (yes)
  • The Lightning Thief
  • The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (yes)
  • The Little Engine That Could (yes)
  • The Little Prince (yes)
  • The Mouse and the Motorcycle (yes)
  • The New Way Things Work  (I read the original)
  • The Paper Bag Princess
  • The Phantom Tollbooth (yes)
  • The Real Mother Goose (yes)
  • The Secret Garden (yes)
  • The Secret of the Old Clock (yes) (Nancy Drew)
  • The Snowy Day
  • The Story of Babar, The Little Elephant (yes) (right back to childhood just seeing the name!)
  • The Story of Ferdinand (yes)
  • The Tale of Despereaux
  • The Tower Treasure (yes) (The Hardy Boys)
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar (yes)
  • The Watsons Go to  Birmingham
  • The  Wednesday Wars
  • The Westing Game
  • The Wind in the Willows (yes)
  • The Wizard of  Oz  (yes) (as a huge Oz fan, I would actually start children with the second book)
  • Treasure Island (yes)
  • Tuck Everlasting
  • Walk Two  Moons
  • Watership Down (yes)
  • Where the Mountain Meets the Moon
  • Where the Red Fern Grows (yes)
  • Where the Sidewalk Ends (yes)
  • Where the Wild Things Are (yes)
  • Wonder

Also interesting? Almost all of the books are available in Kindle editions. That wasn’t true initially with children’s books and Kindles…and the Fire Tablets have been part of that, certainly.

How about you? Have you read most of these? Are there any books you absolutely think should have been in this list? I’ve cited Captain Kangaroo as an influence for me on several of these books…for some of you, I’m guessing it might have been Reading Rainbow or Wishbone. Are there other childhood reading influencers (besides friends and family…something in the public) you would name? Classics Illustrated comics, perhaps? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.

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

*When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

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.

10 books from my Wish List…and why

July 29, 2015

10 books from my Wish List…and why

My book buying habits have changed, in part because of

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

I’m a happy member of Amazon’s subser (subscription service), but it does make me feel a bit…guilty when I pay for a book outside of that (at least for myself).

There are a lot of books I’d love to read which are not part of KU: at this point, the Big 5 (the biggest publishers of trade books…the ones you would have bought in a bookstore, not things like textbooks) are not participating. I do keep saying that I expect that at least on the Big 5 will put at least some of the backlist titles in KU by the end of the year. We’ll see. :)

So, what I do is put those books on an Amazon Wish List.

Then, I share it with my family at the holidays.

My Significant Other used to be so happy to find a book I didn’t have. On certain topics, I pretty much bought every title that came out…or that I could get used.

Now, there is my Wish List.

When I look at it, it almost feels like going into a bookstore. I now have over 200 things on my main list (I have several lists for different purposes), although not all of them are books.

A bookstore in an airport might have something like that number…oh, they might have a thousand or so titles. Eventually, e-books and print-on-demand (POD) may really change that experience!

I thought I’d list ten of the books, and tell you what interests me about them.

Note: I am not doing this because I’d like you to get them for me. :) I’m going to ask that you not do that:  I want to save that for my family. :)

You do enough for me just by being readers (and subscribers…thanks, subscribers!).

My Wish List isn’t public, it’s just shared with specific people.  That’s an option at Amazon.

For more information on Wish Lists, see

Wish Lists Amazon help page (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

So, in no particular order, here are ten of the books on my main Wish List:

The Monopolists: Obsession, Fury, and the Scandal Behind the World’s Favorite Board Game
by Mary Pilon
4.2 stars out of 5 | 57 customer reviews

In addition to managing a bookstore, I managed a game store. Games have always been an interest of mine, and I always love the stories behind our pop culture.

The Secret History of Wonder Woman
by Jill Lepore
4.4 stars | 182 reviews

Another look behind pop culture. I already know something about Wonder Woman and the unusual life of the superhero’s creator. This one sounds like an interesting accounting of it. Wonder Woman is amongst my favorite heroes.

Fool Moon (The Dresden Files, Book 2)
by Jim Butcher
4.4 stars | 747 reviews

I’ve seen the TV series and read (and enjoyed) the first of these…I’d like to get further into the book series.

Authorisms: Words Wrought by Writers
by Paul Dickson
4.5 stars | 14 reviews

Another interest of mine: words! Paul Dickson is quite good at this sort of thing.

Heroes in the Night: Inside the Real Life Superhero Movement
by Tea Krulos
4.8 stars | 10 reviews

Yes, this is a real thing. Thee are people who actually wear costumes and fight crime. I’ve seen a documentary about this: fascinating!

Struck by Genius: How a Brain Injury Made Me a Mathematical Marvel
by Jason Padgett, Maureen Ann Seaberg
4.0 stars | 91 reviews

Oh, the human brain! We still don’t understand all that much about how it works. Many people have approached it as thought it were a machine, with different parts performing different functions. It appears that perhaps interactions of multiple features may be crucially important.

Life, Animated: A Story of Sidekicks, Heroes, and Autism (Digital Picture Book)
by Ron Suskind
4.8 stars| 202 reviews

Suskind is a Pulitzer Prize winner whose autistic child communicated through Disney cartoons. I heard an interview: really intriguing!

1177 B.C.: The Year Civilization Collapsed: The Year Civilization Collapsed (Turning Points in Ancient History)
by Eric H. Cline
3.9 stars | 350 reviews

I also like more general history…and again, particularly when it illuminates something other than the surface version of what happened.

Generational Insights
by Cam Marston
4.0 stars | 1 review

I’ve been blown away by Marston’s observations on what were the four generations in the workplace. We actually had a presentation on it at work: that’s how I first encountered it…and I want more (I have already read a book of Marston’s, bu not this one).

Forry: The Life of Forrest J Ackerman
by Deborah Painter
3.5 stars | 10 reviews

I didn’t know Forry, but was personally helped by the editor of Famous Monsters of Filmland. Geek culture might not exist without Uncle Forry (legendarily the first person to ever cosplay at a convention, for one thing). I’m not convinced this a great book, based on the reviews, but I’d still like to read it.

There you go! I’d love to get any of these from my family!

What about you? What sorts of books are on your Amazon Wish Lists? 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!

*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.

Top 10 Political Crime Fiction Thrillers by Kris Calvin (in The Strand Magazine)

July 25, 2015

Top 10 Political Crime Fiction Thrillers by Kris Calvin (in The Strand Magazine)

Some of you may be familiar with The Strand Magazine, which published many of the original Sherlock Holmes stories by Arthur Conan Doyle (starting for them with A Scandal in Bohemia in 1891). I have a connection with them, since I republish the public domain Sherlock Holmes stories (including ones originally published in The Strand) in my blog

221B Blog Street

I also have a connection with

Kris Calvin

first time novelist author of

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

In that case, the connection (well, one of them, anyway) is a genetic one: we are siblings. ;)

One Murder More is a mystery which stars a Sacramento lobbyist, and politics is definitely a main theme.

Like most good authors, Kris reads…a lot. I was proud (not that I get to take any responsibility for it) ;) to see

Top 10 Political Crime Fiction Thrillers by Kris Calvin

in The Strand’s online version.

While unabashedly subjective (as lists like this generally are), I think it’s an interesting set of choices. I don’t want to take away from you reading it, but I suspect that you’ll agree with the inclusion of at least some of these titles. I was happy to see

Lud-in-the-Mist (at AmazonSmile*) (available through  Kindle Unlimited(at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*))

by Hope Mirrless included, since it is undeniably geek-friendly (I’m a proud geek)…and that would often make many people exclude it.

There have been lots of science fiction and fantasy books which focus on politics, and could be called political thrillers.

One of the first ones that comes to mind is Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series…but certainly 1984 and Animal Farm qualify, as would The Hunger Games (and many dystopias). Even my beloved Oz series has very clear political plots, including a women’s rights revolution that overthrows the Scarecrow as ruler of the Emerald City.

What do you think? What are your favorite political thrillers? What makes for a good one? Would you include Game of Thrones?  Tarzan (there is a battle for power to lead the Mangani, the “apes” who raise Tarzan)? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.

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

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

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

Round up #302: BAM goes private, Dr. Lao

July 14, 2015

Round up #302: BAM goes private, Dr. Lao

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

You can now send books to multiple devices at the same time

We are now starting to get more robust content management at

Manage Your Content and Devices (aka Manage Your Kindle) (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

I just noticed a big step forward!

When you go to a book and choose the action of “Deliver”, you get checkboxes for all of the compatible devices registered to your account. So, you can check several devices and deliver the same book all at once**!

That’s a nice change.

There is no limit to the number of devices you can have registered to an account (although you can’t do it for commercial purposes).

That’s great for a family. Suppose you get

Go Set a Watchman (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

when it is published tomorrow.

It’s certainly possible that several people on your account may want to start reading it right away (it’s going to be hard to avoid spoilers), and this makes it easier.

I should point out that while you could have a thousand devices registered to the account, usually only six of those devices can have the same book at the same time…if the number of “simultaneous devices licenses” is different from that (some books have fewer licenses, some are unlimited), it will say so on the book’s Amazon product page. This one doesn’t say anything so it’s six.

Nice to see things are still improving!

The Anderson family is buying back Books-A-Million

The second biggest USA bookstore chain is Books-A-Million…they are staying open late for Go Set a Watchman (see above), which is what you want a physical bookstore to do (I’m a former bricks-and-mortar bookstore manager).

It’s been public, but the original family is buying it back.

AL.com article by Kelly Poe

That’s not a bad thing, or an indication of trouble. My intuition is that customers won’t see much of a difference, at least for a while…we’ll see, though.

How big a deal is it to buy the second largest bookstore chain?

$21 million.

Amazon probably sneezes $21 million. ;)

Still, I think there is a place for physical bookstores, and I think many people think of BAM as having more…personality than Barnes & Noble. I’m more confident in genre specific, experience heavy stores making it, but if I had to choose between BAM and B&N keeping a bookstore chain going for the next five years, I think I’d go with BAM. I think B&N has a much bigger name and will continue to exist in some form (certainly online)…and let’s just say they may be happy that “books” isn’t part of their name…

Amazon’s Q2 2015 financials will be announced on July 23rd

It feels to me like Amazon is in a bit of a transition.

Yes, it’s a huge company, and those are hard to turn in a new direction…but Amazon’s direction has been intended to evolve for a long time. It’s not a case of them suddenly deciding to do something else, I think…but of reaching a point they intended.

I’ll be listening in particular to hear if they say anything about

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

and the

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

The former (Amazon’s subser, subscription “all you can read” service) has been around long enough to start giving us some real data.

The latter hasn’t…but interest may be becoming clear.

A recommendation: The Circus of Dr. Lao

I was looking at my main Wish List, and I do have a few books on there that I’ve read before…and which I still own in p-book (paperbooks).

Why would I want a book I already own?

In some cases, it’s because I want it for reference…looking things up in an e-book is a whole lot easier than looking it up in a p-book.

I generally don’t re-read books, although I’ve been doing that with the original (Wizard of) Oz books.

One of the main reasons I want to have them…is so other people can read them. :) We have a “guest Kindle”, and I would love to have Dr. Lao be one of the books available to people while they are here.

A while back, Amazon tried a thing where you could create lists of Amazon products and write comments about them, similar to what they do with movies and TV shows (and actors and such) at

IMDb.com

Well, I’d done a few lists…and when that feature apparently failed, they converted those lists to Wish Lists.

One of my lists was “(re)make this”, which was a list of things I thought should be made or remade into movies or TV shows.

This is what I said about Dr. Lao:

“This is a wonderfully sardonic book which has been cited by writers (including Ray Bradbury) as an inspiration for them. A circus comes to a small town in Arizona, and people don’t see what they want to see, but what they need to see. The glossary in the back is a marvel. It was adapted in an Oscar-nominate​d 1964 version (it also won a special Oscar for William Tuttle for make-up), and I do like that version…but it had a certain George Pal (the director) glossiness. Returning to the source material and amping up the unpleasantness could make for a new cult favorite movie.”

No question that this is relatively expensive (over $10), and it’s not in KU. However, you might want to add it to your Wish List, so someone else buys it for you…or track it at

eReaderIQ

where they will let you know (for free) if it drops in price an amount you choose.

It will also be interesting to see what they do on

Prime Day (at AmazonSmile*)

on Wednesday.

I could even imagine them doing a 10% off on any e-book…although the Agency Model might mess with that…they’d have to be careful about how they do it.

What do you think? Will BAM stick around? Are you ever reluctant to recommend a book because of what it costs? Do you buy books just to loan them to other people? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.

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

*When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

** I just wanted to say that, while I wouldn’t have used it, I figured some people thought of “one fell swoop” in this context. Well, originally, and still the way I use it, a “fell” swoop was a bad thing. It’s when a bird of prey swoops down and gets more than one prey animal at a time, like two mice. In the old days, “fell” was a synonym for evil, and that’s what it means here (from Macbeth by the way).

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.

Pick my read #1

July 3, 2015

Pick my read #1

recently asked my readers to suggest a book for me to read.

I wanted them to challenge me…to give me something to read they thought might change my life.

Most importantly, my hope was to end up with something I might not have chosen myself…to stretch the boundaries of my literary life.

Their choices were certainly intriguing! I’m excited!

However, I’m going to leave the final choice up to you.

I’ll describe the books for you, and then do a poll.

I’ll read whatever gets the most votes…not necessarily as my next read, but soon.

Oh, and these were the rules I set…that will explain the suggestions which were disqualified from being in the poll. I included those at the bottom of this list. I still appreciate the suggestions, and one of my hopes is that this post helps my readers discover things as well. They may not have the same self-imposed limitations I do. :)

  • It has to be available to me in Kindle format through Amazon.com in the USA
  • It can’t block text-to-speech access (it will say that text-to-speech is “enabled” on the book’s Amazon product page)
  • I won’t re-read a book for this, but it’s okay if I already own it
  • I’m going to say it has to be priced under $15…or any book available to me through Kindle Unlimited (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*) (again, that fits the above rules…I just mean any priced book in KU)

Okay, here are the contenders:

Phoenix Rising: A Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Novel (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)
A Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences #1
by Pip Ballantine
4.2 stars out of 5 | 175 customer reviews
steampunk
recommended by EJC

My take: they are saying it is reminiscent of The Avengers (Steed and Peel…I was sorry to hear of the passing of Patrick Macnee recently), which is one of my favorite TV series. I’m pretty confident I would enjoy this…but I can’t say it would be a big stretch.

On Immunity: An Inoculation (at AmazonSmile*)
by Eula Bliss
4.1 stars | 106 reviews
medicine
recommended by EJC

My take: I actually worked in an immunization project, and work for a healthcare organization now. I like reading nonfiction like this…but I don’t think I would have gotten to this one on my own.

The Martian (at AmazonSmile*)
by Andy Weir
4.6 stars | 11,579 reviews
science fiction
recommended by Dave

My take: I’m looking forward to the movie, and I’ve followed the story of the success of the book. I probably would have read it at some point, but I might not have been likely to read it at this price and not in Kindle Unlimited.

Chameleon (The Domino Project Book 1) (at AmazonSmile*)
by K.T. Hanna
Not yet rated (pre-order for August 4th)
young adult dystopia
recommended by jaminord

My take: some of the best books I’ve read have been considered young adult (or even younger): the Oz books; Harry Potter; The Hunger Games, and I’ve read a lot of dystopian novels (even though my temperament leans more towards the utopian). jaminord edited the book, but I specifically said people could suggest books they wrote, so that’s fine.

The Milagro Beanfield War (at AmazonSmile*)
by John Nichols, illustrated by Rini Templeton
4.4 stars | 79 reviews
literary fiction
recommended by Steve

My take: I sold this many times when I managed a brick-and-mortar bookstore. I was always interested in it, but just haven’t gotten around to it.

Trustee from the Toolroom (at AmazonSmile*)
by Nevil Shute
4.8 stars | 148 reviews
literary fiction
recommended by Jennifer Jeffreys Martin

My take: I’ve read On the Beach, but no other Shute. I wouldn’t mind correcting that. ;)

High, Wide and Lonesome: Growing Up on the Colorado Frontier (at AmazonSmile*)
by Hal Borland
4.5 stars | 73 reviews
memoir
recommended by Jennifer Jeffreys Martin

My take: I do like memoirs…I like people, and a good memoir can give you another perspective on the world. I might not get to this on my own.

Huntress Moon (The Huntress/FBI Thrillers Book 1) (at AmazonSmile*)
by Alexandra Sokoloff
4.5 stars | 534 reviews
crime fiction
recommended by Joan huston

My take: I do read some thrillers, but I don’t think I would have gotten to this.

Baby Shark (Baby Shark #1) (at AmazonSmile*)
by Robert Fate
4.6 stars | 46 reviews
hard-boiled mystery
recommended by Joan huston

My take: I’ve played a little pool in my time. I’m not great (although being ambidextrous helps), but I was a pretty good hustler…just for fun, of course. It’s a three game thing. The first game, it doesn’t matter who wins as long as it is close. The second game, you get a stake in it (doesn’t have to be money), and you lose significantly. Then, they are ready to stake more…and you have to be able to win that one. As you can imagine, a big part of this (and any hustle) is picking in the right person.

A TOWN LIKE ALICE (at AmazonSmile*)
by Nevil Shute
4.4 stars | 467 reviews
romance
recommended by Zebras

My take: another Shute, but I think this was a particularly good suggestion. It certainly sounds different from On the Beach!

Jesus the Christ: A Study of the Messiah and His Mission according to Holy Scriptures both Ancient and Modern (at AmazonSmile*
by James E. Talmage
4.8 stars | 215 reviews
Mormonism
recommended by tuxgirl

My take: I really like reading books from different religious perspectives, and have read books that cover quite a range of spirituality and religion. That said, I don’t usually look through the religion section at Amazon, so this could be a very good choice for me.

Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation (at AmazonSmile*)
by Sharon Salzberg
4.6 stars | 151 reviews
spirituality – meditation
recommended by Amy

My take: I’m a big fan of happiness. :) I don’t do formal meditation, but I have done some biofeedback and can relax myself pretty well. I know that’s not the same thing, but I’d be interested in reading this

The Beginner’s Goodbye (at AmazonSmile*)
by Anne Tyler
4.0 stars | 388 reviews
literary fiction – suspense
recommended by Amy

My take: Anne Tyler is in the category of “I can’t believe I’ve never read anything by…” :)

Auntie Mame: An Irreverent Escapade (at AmazonSmile*)
by Patrick Dennis
4.6 stars | 228 reviews
humor

My take: I’m very familiar with Mame, having been made into a beloved movie (and one not so beloved) and I know the play. I’ve never read the original book, though, and I really enjoy reading original sources.

The Theory and Practice of Gamesmanship: or The Art of Winning Games Without Actually Cheating (at AmazonSmile*)
by Stephen Potter
4.6 stars | 16 reviews
humor

My take: this book is right up my alley! I managed a game store, and in understanding what influences behavior is an important part of what I do in my work life.

Disqualified:

Thanks so much to everyone who made a suggestion! I’m thrilled by this process, and I intend  to do it again (although probably not very soon).

Here’s the poll! You can pick more than one, and I’ll leave it open at least through Saturday. I may keep it open the whole weekend,  although I may be champing at the bit to get started. :)

Update: the poll is now complete, and my read has been chosen! I’ll be reading The Martian, recommended by Dave. Dave, as a thank you, I’d be happy to gift you one of the books in the poll. If you’d like that, just let me know which book you’d like by commenting on this post. I can keep your comment private, if you prefer…please let me know in your comment if you’d like it to be private. I appreciate everyone who participated (either by recommending, or voting, or both), and at this point, I fully expect to do this again. :)

Thanks again! I look forward to the results! If you’d like to say more about the books, or about this process, feel free to let me and my readers know by commenting on  this post.

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

* 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.

Challenge me…with a book

July 1, 2015

Challenge me…with a book

I consider myself an eclectic reader, and sometimes state that with pride in this blog.

Books are a form of connecting with other ideas and feelings…and I want to be exposed to as much of that as I can.

I’m not saying that needs to be true for you, certainly, but for me I’m far more concerned that I won’t have read as widely as I would like before I die, rather than that I won’t have read all of the “good books” I should.

I think that the best thing I did when I was a brick-and-mortar bookstore manager was encourage my employees to read a book from every section in the store (and I did do that myself). I didn’t compel them, just encouraged them. :)

Inevitably, doing that, you are going to sail the seas of ignorance.

I mean, I had a broader knowledge of books than most people, of course, but how was I going to pick a good romance, travel book, and “Men’s Adventure” (as it was called back then)?

What I did, and what I recommended to my employees, is that I asked regular customers for recommendations.

I read some great books that way!

I won’t say they were books I would never have read otherwise…but I might have had to live to be a thousand years old. ;)

My life has absolutely been changed by serendipitous reading…the first Doc Savage I read was because they were the only books available where I was.

Still, I don’t just randomly pick a book to read.

I’m willingly to read anything, but I’m more inclined to get certain types of books. If something is science fiction or fantasy, that’s a plus. If it’s non-fiction that might help me in my job, that gives it more weight in the scales of my choice.

That’s probably always going to be true.

However,  I miss the experience I had with reading  those recommended books in the bookstore.

I’m turning to you, my readers.

I’d like you to suggest a book for me to read.

I have to put a few rules on this:

  • It has to be available to me in Kindle format through Amazon.com in the USA
  • It can’t block text-to-speech access (it will say that text-to-speech is “enabled” on the book’s Amazon product page)
  • I won’t re-read a book for this, but it’s okay if I already own it
  • I’m going to say it has to be priced under $15…or any book available to me through Kindle Unlimited (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*) (again, that fits the above rules…I just mean any priced book in KU)

Outside of that, suggest away! :)

Try to make it interesting and meaningful. Fiction, non-fiction…both fine. It’s okay with me if you wrote it.

What I’m thinking I’m going to do, and it’s going to depend on how many suggestions I get, is make it a poll.

There you go…”crowd choicing” a read for me!

I’ll put it into my reading mix right away, but I might not read it next (I sometimes have time pressure to read something).

I know my readers aren’t big on me doing reviews here. I figure I’ll make some comment about it here, and likely right a review on Goodreads. There might be a lively discussion about it in the comments at some point.

I’ll say, modestly, that my reading it might have a minor impact on sales…that happens…but I’d rather you think about something that I might love or that might change me significantly.

What’s your recommendation? :)

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

*When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

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

3 books that changed my thinking

May 17, 2015

3 books that changed my thinking

Books change you.

Yes, I think that every single book you read changes you in some way. I actually think that’s true about all of your experiences. Even if what it does is reinforce a prior held belief, the fact that that belief is now harder to shift is another (and sometimes very) important change.

However, that doesn’t mean I’m choosing these books at random. ;)

In each of these cases, I would say that the change was conscious. I can articulate something that shifted…there is a before and after, and I can see a causal relationship to having read the book.

I also am only picking books which are available in Kindle editions in the USA.

While that is becoming less of a factor, it’s still significant for many books I have read, especially those I’ve read decades ago.

I’m also going to try to pick books I haven’t talked about repeatedly in this blog in the past. I think all my regular readers know that my having read the Doc Savage adventures has shaped who I am today. I keep the Doc Savage oath on my computer at work, and I use that as an inspiration. I do strive to make myself better so that “all may benefit” by it, and to help those who need it. :) That also eliminates

The Book of the D*mned (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

which I know I’ve referenced repeatedly. The basic idea that you should be able to be fluid in your beliefs about facts also informs what I do and how I (tolerantly, I think) approach others’ beliefs.

I’m also not going to limit myself to non-fiction, although they may turn out to all be that. I say they “might” because I haven’t chosen the books yet…I’m going to let inspiration strike me as I reflect and write. :)

We’re off!

The Human Zoo (at AmazonSmile*)
by Desmond Morris
4.4 stars out of 5 | 115 customer reviews

Desmond Morris’ The Naked Ape is one of the most important books of the (relatively) modern era…and is not available in the USA Kindle store. However, this isn’t just a case of “I can’t have that, so I pick this.” ;) The Human Zoo treats humans like other animals (which is what Morris did in The Naked Ape).

The fascinating thing here is the discussion of how living in crowded city conditions affects our behaviors…and the parallels there are to animals living in zoos.

When you think about it, city dwellers may see hundreds of people a day which they have not previously assessed as not a threat.

We don’t have the tactical option to choose “fight or flight” every time…and we know we may encounter some of them again (the bagger at the grocery store, for example).

That means that we can’t use our normal social skills, which changes our behavior.

It turns out that animals in zoos or other artificially crowded conditions have some changes in the same way.

One thing that I remember (and it’s been a long time since I read this) was the idea that rats in a confined space may end up having “teenage gangs” that would rove around and terrorize other rats. That’s not something that happens in the wild, where there is a lot of territory.

An adolescent rat in a confined, crowded environment doesn’t have the ability to establish their own territory…or to move out of a territory already dominated by another rat.

Being in a “human zoo” (a city) doesn’t mean that all the characteristics influenced by that will be negative, of course, but this gave me an intriguing insight into the impacts it does have…and how they aren’t unique to humans.

Thinking, Fast and Slow (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)
by Daniel Kahneman
4.4 stars | 1,688 reviews

I wrote a review

A book I’m reading now: Thinking, Fast and Slow

of this one just over a year ago, but I haven’t talked about it over and over since then.

Quite simply, I think this may be one of the best books you’ll read to understand your own thinking.

Understanding doesn’t necessarily mean that you can change any of it, but if you know you are likely to act in one specific way even when that way is not optimal, it can help you recognize the risks and take steps to mitigate the damage.

The key thing here was thinking about two processing systems in my mind. One that is super quick and where I’m not even aware of it. The other one that is slower and more deliberate and conscious.

Both are absolutely necessary.

In the fast system, for example, you are constantly assessing threats.

When I sat down to write this post, I didn’t say to myself consciously, “There isn’t a mountain lion in this room which might attack me.”

Without being consciously aware of it, though, I had scanned the room.

How do we know that?

Since I would have noticed the mountain lion if there was one. If I wasn’t scanning the room without thinking about it, the mountain lion would be invisible to me until I said to myself, “Initiate threat scan.” ;)

That’s just not the way it works.

This book does a great job of making you aware how the two  systems work together, and what the strengths and flaws are of each.

Passport to Magonia: From Folklore to Flying Saucers (at AmazonSmile*)
by Jacques Vallée
4.8 stars | 18 reviews

One thing true Forteans learn is to not think, “You are wrong, I am right,” since there will be elements of the rightness in the wrong and the wrongness in the right. In the Fortean paradigm, the correct theory and the incorrect theory are actually just different degrees of the same thing.

Let me stress that I don’t mean this about morality, but only about matters of fact.

It’s very simple to substitute one belief for another. However, as John A. Keel said, “Belief is the enemy.”

Let’s take UFOs (Unidentified Flying Objects) for example.

Many people substitute the belief that they all reports of UFOs are the result of hoaxes or misidentifications with the belief that they are structured vehicles from another planet.

It’s not scientific (or Fortean…contrary to what some people think, those come very much from the same place) to say either one.

They are both different possible explanations…and while you certainly might think one is more probable than the other, to say that one is definitely true is to close your mind to new evidence which might sway you.

Passport to Magonia was a shock to many when it was published in 1969. Vallée is an astronomer, and had already written books which people saw as perhaps supporting the ETH (Extraterrestrial Hypothesis).

Magonia suggested something very different: that what we now interpreted as UFOs and aliens was the same phenomenon that we had previously interpreted as fairies (among other things).

What was important about this for me was that it was clear that the consensus reality belief could be wrong without it proving that an alternative belief was correct. They could both be at least incomplete.

It also was a big deal to me that Vallée had to some extent shifted.

To me, I had already assessed Vallée as intelligent, imaginative, perceptive, and empathetic. This was somebody who was scornful and bullying of other’s beliefs, and had the intellectual and emotional tools to really see things in a new way.

Those are things I admire…and if a person like that could set aside a prior leaning and go in a new direction…well, that encouraged me to strive to be able to always do the same.

There you go! Three books which have affected me, and by extension, affected you. :) I would be a different person without having read them, and that means this blog (if existed at all) would be different, too.

Don’t think reading something can change your thinking?

I can tell you something right now that can change your thinking.

However, I’ll warn you…you may not be happy with the change. :)

For that reason, I’m going to put it at the very bottom of the post**, even after my normal “end matter”…so you’ll only read it if you choose to do that. You’ve been warned… ;)

What do you think? Can you point to specific books which changed your paradigm? Is it good to have solidly held beliefs in matters of fact, or is it better to be able to shift…or both? If books do change the way we think, does that justify their suppression (whether in public libraries, school libraries, or by the government)? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.

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

When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

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.

** LIFE CHANGING MATERIAL ALERT…DO NOT PROCEED BEYOND THIS POINT IF YOU WANT TO LEAVE HERE UNCHANGED: Many years, I read a science fiction short story. Unfortunately, I don’t remember who wrote it or what the title was…if you recognize this, please let me know. In the story, someone wakes up in bed…and feels that there is something missing in the room. They look around, and can’t tell what it is, but the feeling persists. Later, the character finds out…they have become invisible, and they are no longer seeing the blurry outline of their nose that you can otherwise always see. That’s the change…from time to time, in the future, because you read this, you’ll suddenly become aware that you can see your own nose… ;) END LIFE CHANGING MATERIAL

Poetry in the Kindle store

May 12, 2015

Poetry in the Kindle store

I do enjoy good poetry
It dances in my mind
It seems like there is mo’ for me
And makes me feel refined

;)

I’m not quite sure why so many people have an aversion to verse.

I’ve seen it run the gamut from people who think it is too high brow and la-dee-da, and those who think it childish and silly.

The truth is, just like prose, there’s a wide variety of poetry, which can appeal to many readers.

Some of it can be quite dark (Poe, for one), and some of it is genuinely funny.

One of the books that I liked enough as a child to seek out and buy again as an adult (I have multiple siblings…I didn’t end up with all the books) :) was

The Birds and the Beasts Were There (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

a poetry anthology edited by William Cole.

It has poems about scientifically recognized animals…and not. It’s a pretty wide ranging anthology, linked thematically, but not necessarily stylistically.

Unfortunately, it’s not available for the Kindle.

Fortunately, though, at the time of writing, there are 79,128 titles in the category

Poetry in the USA Kindle store (at AmazonSmile*)

Okay, that’s only about 2% of the 3,484,407 titles in the Kindle store…but you could read one a day (if they didn’t add any more) and last for over 200 years. :)

27,736 of those are available at borrow at no additional cost as part of

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

Breaking them down by category (and remember that a book can be in up to three categories, so the total might not match the number above), it looks like this:

  • Contemporary (2,187)
  • American (12,497)
  • Anthologies (3,113)
  • Religious & Inspirational (6,508)
  • Women (3,081)
  • British (5,198)
  • Asian American (88)
  • Love Poems (2,694)
  • African (813)
  • Ancient, Classical & Medieval (1,812)
  • Asian (1,154)
  • Australian & Oceanian (546)
  • Caribbean & Latin American (1,369)
  • Chinese (108)
  • Epic (1,486)
  • French (865)
  • German (449)
  • Irish (54)
  • Italian (430)
  • Japanese & Haiku (881)
  • LGBT (363)
  • Middle Eastern (531)
  • Norse & Icelandic Sagas (44)
  • Russian (348)
  • Spanish (690)

Certainly, a large percentage of these books are filed under “American” poetry, but I think poetry is particularly difficult to translate. It often relies on very specific sounds and intonation of the words and language.

I have to say, I think anthologies may be the best way to go if you aren’t used to poetry (and perhaps, even if you are). I think you want to be able to…shake off one set of rhythms and move on to another one, which is not as easy to do if the poems are all by the same person.

I’m going to suggest this one:

The Best of Poetry: Thoughts that Breathe and Words that Burn (In Two Hundred Poems) (at AmazonSmile*)

It’s only $2.99, and is available through Kindle Unlimited. It’s 4.5 stars out of five, although it’s worth noting that it only has 15 customer reviews.

I really like the introduction, and I’ve read through the choices. While this is not about contemporary works under copyright protection, it has, I would say, a decent variety for different times.

If you are interested in sampling poetry, this could be a good place to start.

The way it’s arranged, you may just want to read it from front to back, rather than skipping here and there.

Enjoy!

What do you think? Do you read poetry? Is there a book of poems (or a poet) you would suggest someone read? Can you still recite poems you read as a child? Feel free to let me and my readers know by commenting on this post.

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

When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

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.

Read the book first: 2016

April 10, 2015

Read the book first: 2016

I really don’t need my movies to be original.

I know people say that a lot, but I’m okay with movies based on books, comic books, games…I think successfully adapting something can be a greater challenge, in some cases, than coming up with something from scratch.

Certainly, it’s a delicate balance not to irritate fans of the original while being able to bring something new to it.

After all, a movie is not a book…the structures are very different, as are the expectations.

Hey, I even wrote an article (more than five years ago) in my pop culture (and other things) blog, The Measured Circle, called

Hooray for remakes!

;)

However, I always prefer to read the book before I see the movie based on it. I’ve never had a book spoil a movie for me, but I’ve had the opposite happen.

So, what movies based on novels are scheduled to come out in 2016, so you can read the book first?

Here are a few that caught my eye:

The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling

This is yet another reboot of one of their cartoons, and this one undeniably has an all-star cast! That includes:

  • Scarlett Johansson as Kaa
  • Bill Murray as Baloo
  • Idris Elba as Shere Khan
  • Christopher Walken as King Louie
  • Ben Kingsley as Bagheera

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth-Grahame Smith and Jane Austen

The genre-establishing book of public domain mash-ups gets a big screen version, with stars including Lily James, Lena Headey, and Matt Smith.

Peregrine’s Home for Peculiars by Ransom Riggs

Tim Burton directs…surprised? ;)

The Fifth Wave by Rick Yancey

Young adult dystopia…but this does have Chloë Grace Moretz, which is always a recommending factor.

The Doubtful Guest by Edward Gorey

Gorey wrote and illustrated books which often get categorized as children’s books, but they can be quite bizarre…and this one is no exception.

(In Love and War) by Fred Rochlin

Rochlin wrote Old Man in a Baseball Cap: A Memoir of World War II, and this might be based on that…not sure.

Well, there are at least a few for you…any literary adaptations which  you are looking forward to seeing? Does TV do book adaptations (Game of Thrones, The Vampire Diaries, soon to be The Man in the High Castle) better than movies? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.

Bonus: Full Disclosure News: books by relatives, friends, coworkers, and other people I know.

I wanted to mention that a book by a sibling of mine has just become available for pre-order on the Kindle:

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

I did read an earlier draft, but I haven’t read the final version. I helped crowdfund it, but I will buy a copy. I’m interested to see this final version: I’m told it’s something like 25% different from what I’ve read.

I’ve been impressed with some of the “blurbs” (which you can see on the product page for the hardback, but not on the Kindle page yet): in particular, bestselling mega-author John Lescroart had some nice things to say. :)

Just thought I’d give you a heads-up on it…it’s not being released until June 1st, but I know some of you like to pre-order.

I would feel a bit odd reviewing something for you when I know the person this well, but I do think I may let you know about more books like this, if you don’t mind (I have another sibling with a book in about the top third of sellers at in the USA Kindle store…and it costs over $80!. That should get you intrigued…). ;)

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

When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

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

Don’t judge a book by its genre

March 22, 2015

Don’t judge a book by its genre

I think of myself as an eclectic reader.

I’ll admit, it’s something I’ve cultivated to some degree.

I used to read a lot of science fiction and fantasy, and certain types of non-fiction…and I still do.

However, I also read other things…lots of other things.

When I managed a brick-and-mortar bookstore, I think one of the best things I did was encourage (not require) my employees to read at least one book from every section in the store (I did that myself).

I had them ask a regular for a recommendation.

When it came to romance, I read a Jude Deveraux and a monthly Harlequin (I don’t remember which one).

Since then, I’ve read quite a few romances, although I wouldn’t say that’s my first choice.

Certainly, since getting a Kindle, my reading has become even more varied. Part of that is because of all the free and low cost books, and now because of

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

That also seems true of my readers. When I polled them back in 2010 in this post:

Are genres irrelevant?

I got these responses:

  • Since I’ve gotten my Kindle (or other EBR**) I…
    * Read the same genres I always have 12.87%
    * Read a wider variety of books than I used to read 87.13%
    * Read a narrower variety of books than I used to read 0%

I mention all this because, well, just as there are people who won’t read science fiction, I’m guessing that some of you don’t read romances. ;)

I’ve just finished reading a book which I think could change your mind.

Spinster’s Gambit (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

Full disclosure first: this book was written by a friend of my now adult kid’s. I don’t believe I’ve met the author socially, and have no other connection to the book except as a reader. I purchased mine from Amazon, in the same way that you would.

That said…

I think it would stand for me with most books labeled as “literary fiction”. I’d go so far as to say that it has some of the best character writing that I’ve seen in a recently-written novel.

The plot was good. As regular readers know, my favorite thing in entertainment is to be surprised, and this book did that…something you might not expect if you think of a romance as formulaic.

The characters were relatable, and I felt like it approached a particular topic in a great way.

If you want to read my review of the book, you can do so here:

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1232395668

I’ve posted the same review on Amazon, but we’ll see if they reject it because of my (peripheral) connection. They do that at times. Amazon, of course, is under no obligation to post any review, so they tend to err on the side of caution.

On the other hand, they don’t want to annoy customers by not posting their reviews…I think you can “appeal” if they do reject your review. I suspect that, sometimes, a third party tells them that someone is connected (for a variety of reasons), and that might not always be true…at least, not to the level of disqualification.

I bring this up here because I had one particular problem with the book (even though my experience was overwhelmingly positive).

It had a “love scene”.

Now that, in and of itself, doesn’t make me not like a book. I get accused of being prudish, and I  understand how people get that impression. I do think readers should be informed of sexual content, language, violence, and prejudicial portrayals…but then it is up to the readers to read that or not.

I don’t advocate censorship..but I think being informed is reasonable.

I also want to be clear: in this case, the scene also had good characterization…and it was organic to the plot.

It was just that…I had really enjoyed the book up to location 3179 in Chapter Thirteen. I thought it could have ended well there, and again, stood as literary fiction.

Then came the scene which felt like it was perhaps obligatory to the genre.

Now, I now people feel the same way about some science fiction and fantasy…that it would have been a great novel, if it didn’t have those pesky robots or vampires. ;)

Maybe an NSFW (Not Safe For Work) scene like this is necessary for the genre. It may fit the expectations, even be a defining factor. We used to joke about that with the Bill Bixby TV series of The Incredible Hulk…that they were contractually obligated to have at least one “Hulk out” in every episode. ;)

I guess my question is, should I judge the book by something which makes it true to its genre? The book was labeled as a “Regency romance”: it wasn’t like they were hiding its nature.

I like 19th Century literature, so I was familiar with quite a few of the other elements of the book…I didn’t have to look up what a “phaeton” was, for example, or understand why someone might get cold in the roofless carriage. I’ll admit that I didn’t recognize the term “the ton” right away, meaning the high society people who might judge your behavior. You might still know the term “tony” for something which is luxurious.

Up until the “love scene”, I could largely have believed it was 19th Century literature, so I found that somewhat jarring.

Many of you (I’m guessing most of you) won’t have that feeling, though…and if you are afraid you will, you can stop at the break (the book uses this ~~//~~) at about 93%. :)

What do you think? Is even mentioning sexual content/language/ violence in a book a form of censorship? Do you like to know ahead of time? What books have you read which for you transcended genre? Are there genres you feel like you just won’t like…even before you’ve read the book in question? Feel free to let me and my readers know by commenting on this post.

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

* 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! :) 

**EBR is a term (E-Book Reader) I use for a purpose built e-book reading device, as opposed to a broadly multi-purpose device, like a tablet. There is some flexibility (earlier models of Kindles could play music unrelated to books, for example), but generally, for Kindles, it’s the ones which are not Fires). Other examples which include the Kobo and the non-tablet NOOKs

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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