Friday, October 31, 2008

eBook Discounts - Regular Discount Page on hold this week. A different kind of eBook discount. . .


This picture represents the current state of my hand.  Am doing all typing -- hunt and peck with my left hand. . . .not very efficient! 

So this week, as my body is healing we are offering a 20% discount on every book in the Mind Body section that at $9.95 or more.

Use discount code GigiHand4 to get your discount.  The more you buy the more you save. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Author Tony Hillerman - RIP

Last year it was Kurt Vonnegut; this year it is Tony Hillerman. Two of my my favorite storytellers have written their final chapters. I suppose it says something about their ability to weave a good tale that neither one of them wrote in my favorite genres,

Tony Hillerman's eighteen mysteries about the Navajo Tribal Police are not just great stories, they are also filled with Native American lore, rituals and taboos.

Lovely Leaphorn (Lt Joe Leaphorn) is one of my all time favorite characters: Lightly cynical, always logical, forever slightly removed. He is a character to study and respect.

At one my point in my life I lived (briefly) in Flagstaff, Arizona. I had a teacher friend who introduced me to life on the reservation. He lived there and taught in one of the "mission schools". That was the beginning of a fascination with Indian culture and lore.

During that time I also spent some time in Tuba City. Oh yeah . . .

In fact, it was my teacher friend who sent me a beat up copy of Hillerman's first novel: The Blessing Way. And I was hooked. I have waited for each and every title and devoured them in a day.

Above and beyond the exploration of "white" vs "Navajo" culture; Hillerman is a master of describing social strata and class in America. Wealth and privilege are starkly drawn as are poverty and helplessness.

Monday morning I read a number of obituaries and storied about Hillerman. This may be my favorite:

Hillerman was one of the nicest authors we ever met, and he was so obliging in signing copies of his books that one bookseller joked that a rarity in the Southwest was an unsigned Hillerman mystery.

The New York Times piece about Hillerman is worth reading.

If aren't acquainted with Hillerman's work; do you self a big favor and start reading his series today. Here is a list of the titles in the series in order of publication:

  1. The Blessing Way (1970)
  2. Dance Hall of the Dead (1973)
  3. Listening Woman (1978)
  4. People Of Darkness (1980)
  5. The Dark Wind (1982)
  6. The Ghostway (1984)
  7. Skinwalkers (1986)
  8. A Thief of Time (1988)
  9. Talking God (1989)
  10. Coyote Waits (1990)
  11. Sacred Clowns (1993)
  12. The Fallen Man (1996)
  13. The First Eagle (1998)
  14. Hunting Badger (1999)
  15. The Wailing Wind (2002)
  16. The Sinister Pig (2003)
  17. Skeleton Man (2004)
  18. The Shape Shifter (2006)

To start reading: Just follow this link!

Monday, October 27, 2008

eBooks, Amazon and Oprah

It's been quite a week for Amazon. On Thursday they announced a revised projection for 4th quarter sales: somewhere between $6 and $7 billion. I don't care who you are; that is a LOT of money!

oprah kindleBefore you start feeling sorry for them; consider that on Friday Oprah endorsed the Kindle. Called it a "life changing" product, no less! She says it changed her life and even says "It's absolutely my new favorite favorite thing in the world."

Oprah is, of course, a marketing machine and this endorsement is sure to help Amazon's bottom line. And you can be sure that publishers are hoping it helps them as well.

The thing that really strikes me is that when it comes to eBooks, Amazon has fixed it so that they realize revenue off of almost every eBook sold for portable devices. Take a look at the chart listing the various popular reading devices and the reading software that they use to read DRM protected eBooks.

Adobe eReader MobiMS ReaderPropr- ietary Palm










Nokia Phones











Almost all of them use Mobipocket as the reader of choice. And just guess who owns Mobipocket. Amazon, or course. So, as long as publishers insist on using DRM on their titles, Amazon wins big!

It might be inaccurate to say that Jeff Bezos has bet the farm on digital reading, but however you look at it, he has certainly hedged his bets!

This is very good for Jeff and Amazon, I am not so sure that it that good for authors, publishers or even readers. Amazon is in the extraordinary position of control both access to the market (authors and publishers) and product placement in the market (readers). It always makes me nervous when any company has that much control (or even influence) in a particular market.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

eBook Discounts for October 24, 2008

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Turn the clock back, get in to your PJs, light a fire and grab a book. And if you need to get out of the house -- go to the movies and see The Secret Life of Bees. Use coupon code at check out and be prepared to enjoy!C3KL9
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Speaking for Myself eBook edition
by Blair, Cherie
Even if she hadn't married Tony Blair, Cherie's story would have been amazing. . .Here she reveals for the first time what it was like to combine life as a working mother with life married to the prime minister. She writes about her encounters with scores of foreign leaders and her friendships with Presidents Clinton and Bush, as well as with Hillary and Laura. And she offers inside details of her relationships with the royals, including Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles, and Princess Diana.
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List Price : $21.99
Your price $16.92 (Using your 10% discount and $.89 in eBook Reward points)
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A Most Wanted Man eBook Edition
by le Carre, John
New spies with new loyalties, old spies with old ones; terror as the new mantra; decent people wanting to do good but caught in the moral maze; all the sound, rational reasons for doing the inhuman thing; the recognition that we cannot safely love or pity and remain good ""patriots"" -- this is the fabric of John le Carré's fiercely compelling and current novel A Most Wanted Man.
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List Price : $17.99
Your price $13.84 (Using your 10% discount and $ .73 in eBook Reward points)
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My Stroke of Insight eBook edition
by Taylor, Ph.D., Jill Bolte
A brain scientist's journey from a debilitating stroke to full recovery becomes an inspiring exploration of human consciousness and its possibilities. A fascinating journey into the mechanics of the human mind, My Stroke of Insight is both a valuable recovery guide for anyone touched by a brain injury, and an emotionally stirring testimony that deep internal peace truly is accessible to anyone, at any time.
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List Price : $24.95
Your price $19.20 (Using your 10% discount and $1.01 in eBook Reward points)
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The Secret Life of Bees eBook edition
by: Monk, Sue
Tthe story of Lily Owens, whose life has been shaped around the blurred memory of the afternoon her mother was killed. When Lily's fierce-hearted "stand-in mother," Rosaleen, insults three of the town's fiercest racists, Lily decides they should both escape to Tiburon, South Carolina¿a town that holds the secret to her mother's past.
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List Price : $14.00
Your price $10.77 (Using your 10% discount and $ .57 in eBook Reward points)
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Kama Sutra of Vatsyayana (ILLU (Microsoft Reader Desktop) eBook edition
by Vatsyayana, Mallanaga
This edition of the "Kama Sutra" is based on the outstanding (and heavily annotated) 1883 translation by Sir Richard F. Burton, the famous British explorer, linguist, ethnologist and sexologist. This edition has significantly improved upon Burton's edition (such as fixing numerous textual errors and reorganizing several chapters for logical consistency), it is otherwise a complete, faithful, unexpurgated and high-quality reproduction, completely preserving the overall flavor of the Burton edition.
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List Price : $11.95
Your price $10.22 (Using your 10% discount and $ .54 in eBook Reward points)
Our guarantee: If you have bought one of these titles from eBooks About in the last 15 days -- we will gladly offer you a rebate on the book; just contact us

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Heat Lightning by John Sandford eBook edition

There are two things that I always enjoy about the writing of John Sandford:

  • His characters all seem to have some likable characteristics, even the bad guys.
  • His plots are based not so much on the hidden denouement as on the ending that satisfies the need for the good guys to win.

 Heat Lightning is no exception.

I won’t tell you the story, the book is worth reading., You should buy it if you want to spend a day with people you will probably like more than most of the people in the real world. And if you ever spent any time in Minnesota you will especially like Sandford’s brightly drawn word pictures of the lakes and woods that dominate the scenery there.

Let it suffice to say that the book’s ending is as satisfying as its beginning and the parts in between are fun and engaging. Sandford is developing a character in Virgil Flowers that wears well. His highly developed world of laid back Minnesota natives and scenic beauty has the underlying themes of greed, stupidity, vengeance and political ambition that make this novel interesting as a mystery.

Beyond that he seems to be exploring the prospects of literary advancement from the bounds of a strictly genre writer in this new series. His characters are taking on more form and substance and his comments on and allusions to the uber society outside of Minnesota are growing sharper and more defined.

I can heartily recommend this book to any of you who like characters that live lives we can all imagine but seldom experience. I can also recommend his prior works as worthy of reading for those of you who might not have discovered him as yet. His name is among the top ten in my pantheon of writers that have never failed to fulfill my burst of happiness when I find a new title written by them.

Here's the official stuff:

Fresh from his "spectacular" (Cleveland Plain Dealer) debut in Dark of the Moon, investigator Virgil Flowers takes on a puzzling-and most alarming-case, in the new book from the #1 bestselling author.

John Sandford's introduction of Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension investigator Virgil Flowers was an immediate critical and popular success: "laser-sharp characters and a plot that's fast and surprising" (Cleveland Plain Dealer); "an idiosyncratic, thoroughly ingratiating hero" (Booklist).

Flowers is only in his late thirties, but he's been around the block a few times, and he doesn't think much can surprise him anymore. He's wrong. It's a hot, humid summer night in Minnesota, and Flowers is in bed with one of his ex-wives (the second one, if you're keeping count), when the phone rings. It's Lucas Davenport. There's a body in Stillwater-two shots to the head, found near a veteran's memorial. And the victim has a lemon in his mouth. Exactly like the body they found last week.

The more Flowers works the murders, the more convinced he is that someone's keeping a list, and that the list could have a lot more names on it. If he could only find out what connects them all . . . and then he does, and he's almost sorry he did. Because if it's true, then this whole thing leads down a lot more trails than he thought-and every one of them is booby-trapped.

Filled with the audacious plotting, rich characters, and brilliant suspense that have always made his books "compulsively readable" (Los Angeles Times), this is vintage Sandford.


Monday, October 20, 2008

The Shrinking Library and eBooks

home library 1We have a lot of books! Since we are contemplating a move after many years in our home the issue of what to do with our books has arisen once again. I am seriously and surprisingly moved by my attachment to these things that seldom leave the shelves after we read their final pages.

Admittedly once in a while I have to use some of the more factual books to look up something I vaguely remember that I once knew. Rarely do I disturb these denizens of our library room otherwise. I can trace my progression of interests by simply looking at the titles on a few shelves. The book collection is as eclectic as our lives have been; a montage of experiences with a range and breadth that we both cherish.

The current debate is whether or not to sell this house and simply move on in our lives. It makes little economic sense to hold onto either the books or the house.  On the other hand a lot of memories live in both.

If we sell the house the books will go. We have both agreed that getting rid of the books is the best solution to the problem of owning a ton or two of printed matter that really don’t matter anymore. Our lives have moved on to digital books and that library is a little lighter and easier to carry.

Books have been such a huge piece of both our lives that just contemplating dismantling our library slows us down. It is a room with all of the walls lined with Red Oak shelves around every wall from floor to ceiling. Of course there are books in every room in our house but this room was given over to its main function years ago.

The idea that it is possible to carry a whole collection of books, (a 2007 tower collection bigger than the one in this room,) around on a key chain hasn’t really sunk in to Henri's consciousness.  The idea that I can access more information than exists in the Library of Congress by just hooking up to the Internet still boggles the mind.

We are not hoarders -- have never found acquiring things to be particularly satisfying. Tools for Henri, shoes for Gigi and books are the only weak points in our armor against consumerism.

The tools and the shoes are already leaving for our daughters homes. Their husbands will find use for them, or not. The girls will wear the shoes.   But the books, our precious books, are hard to part with and even harder to leave behind.

I guess what it comes down to is the the emotionally wrenching choice that getting older brings to everyone. How do you give up your past one piece at a time?

We need a microchip for our memories. I am told that too will come eventually. See that book over there written by Ray Kurzweil. It talks about that very thing. Meanwhile we are agonizing over the options for the only room we both have ever truly loved and may just simply dismantle soon.

It is not nearly as pleasant as I would like it to be, but then change is sometimes the only option even if it is not at all comforting.

Friday, October 17, 2008

eBook Discounts for October 17, 2008

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It's starting to get cold outside -- time to light a fire, grab a snack and curl up with a good book. Here are a few to keep you reading.

Use coupon code B2J8G to get this weeks' discounts.
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The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life eBook edition
by Schroeder, Alice
Here is THE book recounting the life and times of one of the most respected men in the world, Warren Buffett. The legendary Omaha investor has never written a memoir, but now he has allowed one writer, Alice Schroeder, unprecedented access to explore directly with him and with those closest to him his work, opinions, struggles, triumphs, follies, and wisdom
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List Price : $27.95
Your price $21.51 (Using your 10% discount and $1.13 points in eBook Reward points)
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One Fifth Avenue eBook Edition
by: by Bushnell, Candace
One Fifth Avenue, the Art Deco beauty towering over one of Manhattan's oldest and most historically hip neighborhoods, is a one-of-a-kind address, the sort of building you have to earn your way into--one way or another. For the women in Candace Bushnell's new novel, One Fifth Avenue, this edifice is essential to the lives they've carefully established--or hope to establish.
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List Price : $18.95
Your price $14.59 (Using your 10% discount and $ .77 iin eBook Reward points)
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Cooking Basics for Dummies (Mobipocket) eBook edition
by Miller, Bryan / Rama, Marie
There are many great reasons to learn how to cook -- pleasing your dinner guests, ensuring that your meals are good-tasting and good for you, and saving money among them. Now, with Cooking For Dummies, you can begin preparing excellent dishes for yourself, your family, and your friends -- even if the only recipe you've ever followed consisted of "Just add water."
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List Price : $21.99
Your price $18.80 (Using your 10% discount and $ .99 in eBook Reward points)
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Twilight eBook edition
by: Meyer, Stephenie
Isabella Swan's move to Forks, a small, perpetually rainy town in Washington, could have been the most boring move she ever made. But once she meets the mysterious and alluring Edward Cullen, Isabella's life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn. Up until now, Edward has managed to keep his vampire identity a secret in the small community he lives in, but now nobody is safe. . .
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List Price : $10.99
Your price $9.40 (Using your 10% discount and .49 in eBook Reward points)
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How To Become A Rainmaker eBook edition
by: Fox, Jeffery J.
In today's business culture, sales is one of the most competitive fields. There are more products and services available than ever before. To succeed in sales, you must be above average. To be a star, you must make it rain. The rainmaker is the sales person everyone else wants to be. The rainmaker brings the art of the deal to new levels.
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List Price : $11.95
Your price $10.22 (Using your 10% discount and $ .54 in eBook Reward points)

Our guarantee: If you have bought one of these titles from eBooks About in the last 15 days -- we will gladly offer you a rebate on the book; just contact us

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Emma's Table eBook edition

 Emma's Table it that is was a far better book than I had thought it would be!  A friend begged me to read it and told me that it was told "a sort of Martha Stewart roman à clef."

I am not a Martha Stewart Fan, I know nothing about interior design or auctions.  And I certainly don't know the difference between a Nakashima table from an Ethan Allen one. 

I grudgingly started the book noting that it was mercifully short.  I spent the first half hour hating every single one of the characters.  They are at first meeting totally unappealing and deeply flaw characters. 

But slowly my attitude began to change.  There is no discernable point of change just a gradual understanding and even a little empathy for these fearful and imperfect people.

Yes, Emma is self absorbed, perfectionist, manipulative.  She is also insecure, self castigating and deeply wounded.  Benjamin Blackwell, her weekend assistant is an obsequious commitment phobe who cares deeply about the kids in his school.  Gracie, one of Ben's school kids, is an awkward, fat and sneaky kid who just wants to control something in her life.  Casey, Emma's daughter is slightly less sympathetic as a lonely, angry nymphomaniac who just want her Mom to acknowledge her.

Every one of the characters in the book are simultaneously despicable and empathetic.  Quite a feat!

The writer, Philip Galanes has done a masterful job of creating these characters out of the most unlikely material.  He keeps the simple the plot moving and he doesn't stint on detail.  This is a man who knows interior design and people.

This is a great weekend read!

The publisher tell us:

From the moment Emma Sutton walks into the esteemed FitzCoopers auction house, the one-time media darling knows exactly what she wants: an exquisite antique dining table. What she doesn't realize is what she's getting: the chance to set things right.

Fresh from a year-long stretch in prison and the public bloodletting that accompanied her fall, Emma needs a clean slate. She finds her life just as she left it, filled with glittering business successes and bruising personal defeats—rolling television cameras and chauffeured limousines, followed by awkward Sunday dinners at home. She knows, deep down, that she needs a change, though she can't imagine where it might come from or where it will lead.

Enter Benjamin Blackman, a terminally charming social worker who moonlights for Emma on the weekends, and Gracie Santiago, an overweight little girl from Queens, one of Benjamin's most heartbreaking wards. Together with an eclectic supporting cast—including Emma's prodigal ex-husband, a bossy yoga teacher, and a tiny Japanese diplomat—the unlikely trio is whisked into a fleet-footed story of unforeseen circumstance and delicious opportunity, as their solitary searching for better paths leads them all, however improbably, straight to Park Avenue and the dynamic woman at the novel's center.

Sophisticated yet accessible, lighthearted but also telling, Emma's Table is a thoroughly winning and surprisingly affecting tale of second chances.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Misspent Youth eBook edition

This latest offering by Peter Hamilton, left me wondering where Science Fiction might be headed. Of course it actually has been on a wrong course since it was clumped together with fantasy way back when. And Misspent Youth is more fantasy than science.  Basically it pulls more from Greek Tragedy than putting forward and exploration of the future.

The only problem with the hopelessness and angst evident in its pages is that it is used badly. Blending those ingredients with the sexual dysfunction of a rejuvenated jerk turned this book into a geek tragedy.

I find it hard to fathom where Hamilton thinks the future is going from many of his novels. This one makes it clear where he sees things developing in Britain and it is obvious that he is not happy.

His tendency to blend the mystical with the far future science of his dreams is evidently over for now. This book is social commentary in the most Orwellian vein. Amazingly Hamilton has never found this approach before while injecting his ideas into the heart of scientific inquiry. Perhaps he should abandon it before it ages him badly with his audience. There is evidently no return from the process of aging if he is to be believed.

Instead of one central theme the reader is left with a mix of: Here the theme is the destruction of intellectual property, there it is the destruction of freedom by the European central nanny state, next it is the innocence of real youth versus the decadence of false youth. None of these themes ever really take over and this book stumbles from Geek Tragedy to Morality Play to the sadly inevitable failure of science in rebuilding youth in an aged human body.

I think it is interesting in the way most morality plays turn out to be interesting in what it tells us about the author and his times. His characters left me as cold as his denouement for Jeff, his main victim. His plot mumbled when it did not shout. His themes rambled and his grasp of the future failed to inspire anything but despair for his future as a writer of Science Fiction. I do not recommend this book especially for fans of Hamilton who deserve better.

The publisher says:

Readers have learned to expect the unexpected from Peter F. Hamilton. Now the master of space opera focuses on near-future Earth and one most unusual family. The result is a coming-of-age tale like no other. By turns comic, erotic, and tragic, Misspent Youth is a profound and timely exploration of all that divides and unites fathers and sons, men and women, the young and the old.

2040. After decades of concentrated research and experimentation in the field of genetic engineering, scientists of the European Union believe they have at last conquered humankind’s most pernicious foe: old age. For the first time, technology holds out the promise of not merely slowing the aging process but actually reversing it. The ancient dream of the Fountain of Youth seems at hand.

The first subject for treatment is seventy-eight-year-old philanthropist Jeff Baker. After eighteen months in a rejuvenation tank, Jeff emerges looking like a twenty-year-old. And the change is more than skin deep. From his hair cells down to his DNA, Jeff is twenty–with a breadth of life experience.
But while possessing the wisdom of a septuagenarian at age twenty is one thing, raging testosterone is another, as Jeff discovers when he attempts to pick up his life where he left off. Suddenly his oldest friends seem, well, old. Jeff’s trophy wife looks better than she ever did. His teenage son, Tim, is more like a younger brother. And Tim’s nubile girlfriend is a conquest too tempting to resist.

Jeff’s rejuvenated libido wreaks havoc on the lives of his friends and family, straining his relationship with Tim to the breaking point. It’s as if youth is a drug and Jeff is wasted on it. But if so, it’s an addiction he has no interest in kicking.
As Jeff’s personal life spirals out of control, the European Union undergoes a parallel meltdown, attacked by shadowy separatist groups whose violent actions earn both condemnation and applause. Now, in one terrifying instant, the personal and the political will intersect, and neither Jeff nor Tim–or the Union itself–will ever be the same again.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Cash from eBooks and Best $elling Authors

The conventional wisdom in the eBook publishing world is that the way to make money in publishing is to write pithy, useful  non-fiction title. 

money Everyday I get at least one email or Google alert telling me that I can ensure my financial future, or make big money, or even thousands of dollars by writing and promoting an eBook.  Preferably theirs.

At least once a week I get an email from someone telling me about their great eBook idea and how it will make thousands of dollars, just as soon as they can get it written. . .

More often than I would like, when I search for a specific piece of information I stumble on to a site that has clearly been put up by the author in an effort to make his fortune.  Occasionally I even bite and buy the book.  I can only think of once case where I was not disappointed.

iStock_000002687179XSmall So it is with great interest that I study the annual Forbes list of the top selling authors and an estimate of their earnings.  Here they are for this last year (June 07-June 08) :

  1. J.K. Rowling, $300 million 
  2. James Patterson, $50 million
  3. Stephen King, $45 million
  4. Tom Clancy, $35 million
  5. Danielle Steel, $30 million
  6. John Grisham, $25 million
  7. Dean Koontz, $25 million
  8. Ken Follett, $20 million
  9. Janet Evanovich, $17 million
  10. Nicholas Sparks, $16 million

Not a non-fiction author is sight!  We have one YA (young adult) author, two horror and three romance writers and four suspense novelists.

Also missing is anything close to an author who write literary fiction.

What they have in common is that they are all authors with multiple titles, often in a series or two.  And with the exception of Rowling have at least their new titles in multiple book formats including eBook and audio book.

But most importantly (IMHO) is that they all provide the reader (you and I) with an escape from ordinary, daily life.  I know I have contributed to several of these authors earnings.  How about you?

If nothing else, this list is fascinating for what it says about popular culture and the reading public.

Friday, October 10, 2008

eBook Discounts for October 10, 2008

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Here are the books you asked for last week. I'm always intrigued by the varity of choices.

Use coupon code A9JG4 at check out to keep these terrific discounts.

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The Stress Answer eBook edition
by Lawlis, Dr. Frank
Dr. Lawlis takes on the single biggest difficulty that most of us, children and adults, face every day: stress. . . . Using the latest research on neuroplasticity, Dr. Lawlis redefines stress and shows readers how they can retrain their brain to prevent stress from taking its toll
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List Price : $24.95
Your price $18.24 (Using your 10% discount and $ .96 points in eBook Reward points)
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A Cedar Cove Christmas eBook Edition
by Macomber, Debbie
Mother-to-be Mary Jo Wyse arrives in Cedar Cove on Christmas Eve, searching for her baby's father. David Rhodes had said he'd be in town. But he isn't. Which leaves Mary Jo stranded, pregnant and alone. And there's no room at the local inn....
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List Price : $15.25
Your price $11.74 (Using your 10% discount and $ .62 iin eBook Reward points)
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Michelle: A Biography eBook edition
by Mundy, Liza
She can be funny and sharp-tongued, warm and blunt, empathic and demanding. Who is the woman Barack Obama calls ""the boss""? In Michelle, Washington Post writer Liza Mundy paints a revealing and intimate portrait, taking us inside the marriage of the most dynamic couple in politics today.
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List Price : $17.99
Your price $13.84 (Using your 10% discount and $ .73 in eBook Reward points)
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Misspent Youth eBook edition
by: by Hamilton, Peter F.
The master of space opera focuses on near-future Earth and one most unusual family. The result is a coming-of-age tale like no other. By turns comic, erotic, and tragic, Misspent Youth is a profound and timely exploration of all that divides and unites fathers and sons, men and women, the young and the old.
More Info
List Price : $18
Your price $13.85 (Using your 10% discount and $ .73 in eBook Reward points)
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Autism Life Skills eBook edition
by Sicile-Kira, Chantal
From the award-winning author of Autism Spectrum Disorders and Adolescents on the Autism Spectrum, here finally is the book that arms parents with information and advice to help every child reach his potential and enjoy a satisfying and productive life.
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List Price : $14.95
Your price $12.78 (Using your 10% discount and $ .67 in eBook Reward points)

Our guarantee: If you have bought one of these titles from eBooks About in the last 15 days -- we will gladly offer you a rebate on the book; just contact us

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

New Release eBooks -

This is obviously the political silly season that comes before every major election. The details of the behavior of every candidate are dissected down to the atomic level. What they say, what they wear and how they respond to the endless stupid questions posed by the press is analyzed over and over again. Every bit of information related to everything except the candidates’ qualifications to solve problems is the subject of every newscast in the twenty four hour news cycle.

Of course, I know all this because I was up way too late last night watching the debate.  No book review this week; I was too distracted.

I woke up this morning with a burning question:  How do you escape all of this bombast?

And then it came to me.  In one of those "of course" statements.  Just unplug the TV and pick up a good book (or even a piece of total thrash that appeals to your personal taste). Go back and read one of the classics or grab the latest escape novel off the shelf.  Do anything but read a book on politics.

For the science fiction and fantasy fans there are several new offerings that released this last month:

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For the Romance fan there are a lot of new moans and whispers of undying , well you know how it goes.

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For the mystery fan there are new releases galore and some of them will take you totally away from the monster on the wall or on the nightstand. You know what I mean, the one eyed loud and obnoxious window into the real world.

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Whatever else you do, please escape this election cycle for a few hours with a book. It will get you one day closer to the ever shorter time between political silly seasons and some real peace and quiet.

So here's the deal -- buy any book in the store for a 5% discount.  Use coupon  Crazy108 to get your discount at check out.

Let sanity prevail.  Come on, even a novel about deep and abiding psychologically twisted behavior is better than this!!!!

Monday, October 6, 2008

The Sony PRS 700 and the eBook Reader Market

sony_prs-700_readerLast week Sony proudly announced the 3rd generation PRS series eBook Reader.  It has some nice features; particularly the reading light and the fact that it has a touch screen.

And yet I can't help thinking that something is broken in the marketplace! This new Sony readers and the rumored Kindle device prove to me that the Reader design world is stuck in neutral.

There is little happening in the narrowly focused electronic reading world that makes sense to me. It is now nearly twenty years after we tried putting books on a CD ROM disc to stimulate reading opportunities. Over time the Internet and cheap hard drive space have removed the CD disc from the equation.

Today, the digital publishing is still very much alive and growing rapidly (if not broadly). The best reader that money can buy is still very expensive ($800) and excruciatingly dumb.

The consumer is quite happy with a multifunction device that has about three inches of screen space.  After all you can read books, handle email, surf the net and listen to music all with one device.  And that doesn't even take into consideration the convenience of being able to make and receive phone calls!

Reading devices are still being designed by people who know some technology.  What they don't seem to know much about is the consumer generally or publishing specifically.  And therein lies the rub.

So where is publishing headed? Debates about that vary from the sublime to the ridiculous as do most debates. The one thing everyone seems to agree on is that the Internet or its children will provide the delivery vehicle.

Cell phones with substantial screens or projection capabilities are going to hit the market soon. With their programmability based on open operating systems they almost certainly will become the device of choice for both computing and reading. They will also probably take over the world of TV show presentation to major audiences everywhere.

So what is possibly wrong in that world? The idiots that keep designing readers persist in building devices that will not compete. They are holding back the market that they need to develop before it is too late for them. Goodbye Sony reader: Goodbye Kindle: Hello open systems and the new old revolution.

All that cell phones really still need to own this market should appear in the next generation phones. I am hoping that happens because the brain dead place holders made by Amazon, Sony and Phillips make no sense. Or maybe they make as much sense in this market as one hundred thousand dollar CD recorders would make in today’s data transfer marketplace. Yes folks,  twenty years ago a CD Recorder cost a hundred g’s.

Cell phones are following that cost and value curve and dedicated reading devices are not.  Wether they recognize it or not -- this game is already over.  The spindle, ah the bindle, no the, don’t help me, I’ll get it. . . oh yeah, THE KINDLE,  that’s it, is dead. It was slaughtered by a real market before it mattered to anyone anywhere except a few engineers and those of us early adopters who bought their bad designs.

Friday, October 3, 2008

eBook Discounts for October 3, 2008

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Evidently, escape to other worlds, other cultures or even a simpler time is important during times of turmoil and confusion. It's been my refuge in the last crazy week! Not sure how a book on Diabetes figures into this, but then we all know that readers are a strange and wonderful group of people!

Use coupon code DH59Y at checkout to get this weeks' discounts.
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Enriques Journey eBook edition
by Nazario, Sonia
In this astonishing true story, award-winning journalist Sonia Nazario recounts the unforgettable odyssey of a Honduran boy who braves unimaginable hardship and peril to reach his mother in the United States. Enrique’s Journey is the timeless story of families torn apart, the yearning to be together again, and a boy who will risk his life to find the mother he loves.
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List Price : $9.95
Your price $8.51 (Using your 10% discount and $ .45 points in eBook Reward points)
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Diabetes: The New Type 2 eBook Edition
by Biermann, June, Virginia Valentine and B
With 1.5 million new cases diagnosed each year, diabetes is a certified American epidemic-7 percent of the U.S. population will be diagnosed with diabetes in their lives. . ,in this book a registered nurse specializing in diabetic ailments and two diabetes educators (two of whom are diabetics themselves) deliver medical and lifestyle advice with good humor, high energy, and straight talk
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List Price : $16.95
Your price $13.05 (Using your 10% discount and $ ..69 in eBook Reward points)
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Brisingr eBook edition
by: Paolini, Christopher
Following the colossal battle against the Empire’s warriors on the Burning Plains, Eragon and his dragon, Saphira, have narrowly escaped with their lives. Still there is more at hand for the Rider and his dragon, as Eragon finds himself bound by a tangle of promises he may not be able to keep. Can this once-simple farm boy unite the rebel forces and defeat the king?
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List Price : $22.50
Your price $19.24 (Using your 10% discount and $1.01 in eBook Reward points)
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Dead Till Dark eBook edition
by: Harris, Charlaine
Sookie Stackhouse is a cocktail waitress in small-town Louisiana, but she keeps to herself and doesn't date much because of her "disability" to read minds. When she meets Bill, Sookie can't hear a word he's thinking. He's the type of guy she's waited for all of her life, but he has a disability, too--he's a vampire with a bad reputation
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List Price : $5.99
Your price $4.61 (Using your 10% discount and $ .24 in eBook Reward points)
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Liberty eBook edition
by:Keillor, Garrison
A national holiday in Lake Wobegon is always gaudy and joyful. But what is going on between Clint Bunsen and Miss Liberty? Clint Bunsen is one of the old reliables in Lake Wobegon- the treasurer of the Lutheran church and the auto mechanic who starts your car on below-zero mornings. . . And then there is his friendship with the 24 year old girl who dresses up as the Statue of Liberty for the parade.
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List Price : $l25.95
Your price $19.97 (Using your 10% discount and $1.05 in eBook Reward points)

Our guarantee: If you have bought one of these titles from eBooks About in the last 15 days -- we will gladly offer you a rebate on the book; just contact us

Thursday, October 2, 2008

e-Reading - the changing landscape

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I stumbled on a white paper publisher by Springer.  It is a very interesting synopsis of two studies about eBook adoption and benefits.  Springer asked librarians and users about their views on eBooks.  The original study was done in 2007 and focused on librarians. The followup study was done in 2008 and addressed users. 

The executive summary concludes:

The survey uncovered some encouraging results regarding eBook adoption. Most users were aware of eBooks and had accessed them at least once. Respondents also overwhelmingly said that eBooks are useful and that they would like to incorporate eBooks into their information experience more frequently.
Some of the other points of interest include: 
  • The main use for eBooks is for research and study
  • eBook usage is still less concentrated than online journal usage
  • Users find eBooks through using Google or accessing their library
  • The primary benefits of eBooks as sited by readers are convenience, accessibility, and enhanced functionality
  • Current users expect to prefer eBooks to other reading formats over the next five years
The study summary is as follows:

Users are not reading eBooks cover-to-cover in the traditional sense but instead approach them as a resource for finding answers to research questions.

I have been thinking about this for the last few days.  Thinking about how I read and how my reading habits have changed as I have adopted eBooks.

What I realize is that how I read for pleasure has not really changed much.  But the way I read for information has undergone a profound change. 

If I wanted a specific piece of information in the past I would go to the library and use the card index or microfiche, spend hours of time and more often than not end up frustrated. 

Now, if I want a specific piece of information I Google it.  Usually I can find it very quickly.  And then a funny thing happens -- I start browsing related links.  Before long I have spent hours of time, but I have enriched my knowledge base in a significant way.

If I want a specific piece of information from a book, I search on key words or phrases and it generally pops up pretty quickly.

Nice to know that I have become a typical reader <g>.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Banned Books Week

I do not want to let this week pass with out noting that it is Banned Books Week.  This is a time set aside to celebrate the freedom to read . 

This annual event was created to remind us not to take this precious democratic freedom for granted.

Banned Books Week (BBW) celebrates the freedom to choose what you want to read.  And the freedom to express your opinion even if it is considered strange, unpopular or just plain wrong.  It is your opinion and you have the right to write about it or alternatively to read about it. As the ALA points out:

Intellectual freedom can exist only where these two essential conditions are met.

It is a quirk of human nature that we seem to want to try to suppress opinions and ideas that we don't agree with.  In our modern world we have developed a new language for banning books -- we call it a challenge. 

A challenge is defined as a formal, written complaint, filed with a library or school requesting that materials be removed because of content or appropriateness. 

I think that is a lot like banning, don't you?

I am fascinated by the “10 Most Challenged Books of 2007.”

  • 1) “And Tango Makes Three,” by Justin Richardson/Peter Parnell
    Reasons: Anti-Ethnic, Sexism, Homosexuality, Anti-Family, Religious Viewpoint, Unsuited to Age Group
  • 2) The Chocolate War,” by Robert Cormier
    Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Violence
  • 3) “Olive’s Ocean,” by Kevin Henkes
    Reasons: Sexually Explicit and Offensive Language
  • 4) “The Golden Compass,” by Philip Pullman
    Reasons:  Religious Viewpoint
  • 5) “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” by Mark Twain
    Reasons:  Racism
  • 6) “The Color Purple,” by Alice Walker
    Reasons: Homosexuality, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language,
  • 7) "TTYL,” by Lauren Myracle
    Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group
  • 8) "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” by Maya Angelou
    Reasons:  Sexually Explicit
  • 9) “It’s Perfectly Normal,” by Robie Harris
    Reasons:  Sex Education, Sexually Explicit
  • 10) "The Perks of Being A Wallflower,” by Stephen Chbosky
    Reasons:  Homosexuality, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group

I find it interesting that books that are sexually explicit or unsuited to an age group make up 8 of the 10 titles. 

Makes me wonder about two things:

  1. What ever happened voting with your pocketbook (or just not buying/picking up/reading a book)?
  2. And where are the parents of these kids -- isn't protecting them and teaching them about making responsible choices what parents do?


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