Round up #314: Discovery Zone, A Truth Worth Tellin’
The ILMK Round ups are short pieces which may or may not be expanded later.
This is how Kindle Unlimited should work
I read a good book recently.
Now, that shouldn’t be a rare thing. :) I often say I’ve never read a bad book, and I do believe that. I think I’ve gotten something good out of every book I’ve read…although there have been parts of books I haven’t liked and certainly, there have been some with massive flaws.
That doesn’t mean I’m uncritically accepting, or think that all books are equal. ;)
It was refreshing to read a novel that I felt had a strong voice, good plotting, and wasn’t gimmicky.
That book was
A Truth Worth Tellin’ (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)
by Toni Teepell
This isn’t a case where I know the author at all, or had even heard of the book.
What happened was that my Significant Other wanted a new book to read (especially on the treadmill).
We are happy members of
Kindle Unlimited (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)
Amazon’s subser (subscription service). People pay $9.99 a month (although there have been discounts for longer subscriptions) for an “all you can read” service. You can have up to ten books out at a time, and multiple people on the account can be reading a book at the same time.
We like to do that. :)
If we both read the same book, we can then talk about it later…it’s a social thing.
I looked for a book, and I started by looking for Southern fiction. That’s something my SO particularly likes…both more serious, like Pat Conroy, and funny, like Fannie Flagg.
I think I searched for “Southern fiction” in Kindle Unlimited, then limited it to Contemporary Fiction, and then sorted by average customer review.
I skipped what appeared to be romance (I read that sometimes, but it’s not my SO’s preference)…the publishers pick the classifications, by the way.
Then, the cover of A Truth Worth Tellin’ caught my eye…and it currently has 18 customer reviews, all 5-star.
I don’t want to build this up too much, ;) but that was a good rating…so we tried it.
It is, in a sense, a bit old-fashioned. By that I just mean that it isn’t saying, “Hey, look at how I’m disrupting the traditional novel by adding graphic sex, non-linear storytelling, and characters you hate!” ;) I’d say it could have been written in the 1950s…not in a bad way. :)
It was interesting: I didn’t even look at the price of it until I started writing this post. It’s $4.99.
I’m hoping that some of you read it and enjoy it…both for your benefit and for the author’s.
When people criticize KU, they tend to bring up the alleged lack of well-known novels (although there are actually a lot of famous books, they don’t tend to be current bestsellers). A Truth Worth Telllin’ (a first novel) exemplifies the argument for KU as discovery for lesser known novels.
And of course, if you borrow it, read a bit of it, and don’t share my opinion, you can just move on to another book…
Why Star Wars: The Force Awakens is an argument for permanent copyright
More than five years ago, I published what may be my most controversial post:
In it, I explored the idea of making copyright permanent in exchange for greater Fair Use provisions.
In other words, an author and the author’s estate would continue to control the commercial use of a creation (which might, of course, include having licensed it to a publisher) in perpetuity, but the work could be used for educational and research purposes generally without compensation.
That’s the simplified version.
There are reasonable arguments on both sides.
One thing I hear from people is that a work staying in copyright deprives society of a common culture…that te world (or, at least the USA) should own works like Shakespeare and Alice in Wonderland.
Well, I have to point out: is Star Wars any less of our shared culture than Romeo and Juliet?
Do people know “May the Force be with you” less than they know “Wherefore art thou, Romeo?”
Do they talk about Star Wars less than they do about Shakespeare? Are fewer kids named after Star Wars characters and actors than Romeo & Juliet ones? Well, okay, there are a lot of Romeos out there…but I wouldn’t be surprised if there were many Lukes and Leias born in early 1978. ;) There also aren’t that many Mercutios…
You might guess it’s because Star Wars is more contemporary…but, based on the original copyright terms in the USA, it would have been in the public domain by now (the original term was 14 years, renewable once for a total of 28, if the author was still alive…not as probable then as it is now).
Three quick tips
- On a touchscreen device, “long press” (hold your finger or stylus on something for about a second) for more options
- Menus often look like three horizontal lines on top of each other
- To get help, you can go to http://www.amazon.com/kindlesupport
Help other readers find books
Just a reminder about
ILMK Readers’ Recommendations: book discovery zone
There will be many people new to KU in the next couple of weeks, especially since you can
Gift Subscriptions to Kindle Unlimited (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)
You can help them out by going to the Book Discovery Zone and “voting” in the polls to endorse books, and by narratively suggesting books I can add.
Skipping the Flip(board)
Ooh, this was tough for me!
I skipped my morning
Flipboard (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)
read this morning, although I will do it later today.
To avoid Star Wars spoilers. :)
My favorite thing in entertainment is to be surprised, and it can be hard to do. For that reason, I really don’t like spoilers, myself…and I also think they are…well, when done intentionally, I would consider them morally wrong.
Let me be clear: I don’t mean when you accidentally reveal a twist in a story, or when you do it without thinking about it.
I mean when people do it intentionally.
I read an article recently where the writer recalled standing outside of a movie in the Star Wars franchise, shouting the twist at people before they entered the theatre.
To me, it’s a form of intellectual bullying. That’s not to minimize traditional bullying. I think, though, it comes from similar impulses. You are using your superior power (knowledge, in this case), to take something away from someone else.
I love discussing movies (and books), but only when everybody present wants to do that.
I also think there is no statute of limitations on spoilers.
I believe that a nine-year old reading The Wizard of Oz in 2015 has the right to the same experience of the book as a nine-year old reading it in 1900 had.
I’ve been very pleased to see that mainstream media, and much of social media, has recognized the value of avoiding spoilers with regards to SW: TFA.
However, Flipboard (at least the way I have it configured) contains many non-traditional sources, and I’m guessing there will be spoilers in it this morning.
We are seeing the movie at 11:25 this morning…so I’ll read Flipboard after we’ve seen it. ;)
Jeff Bezos is one of Barbara Walters Most Fascinating People of 2015
Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s CEO (Chief Executive Officer) has had an interesting year: space news, an attack on the Amazon work culture, and an explicitly political comment.
Here is an
of Barbara Walters’ “Most Fascinating People of 2015” segment with Bezos.
What do you think? How did Jeff Bezos do on Barbara Walters? What will happen to Amazon after Jeff? Should people make references to plot twists openly (for example, jokes about maybe the Wizard of Oz in relationship to public figures), or should there be spoiler alerts? Have you discovered any books or authors through KU? 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.