Archive for the ‘Pick my read’ Category

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 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
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
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
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
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
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

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

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.


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.


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