Downloading to Kindle

August 27th. 2010

I’ve been trying to get better acquainted with my Kindle simply by using it more. This summer I’ve discovered the fast and easy way to acquire books without ever having to change out of my pajamas. Though preferring the smell of a crisp binding, paper and ink–e books have their place in my library. Before I tell you about the assortment of books I’ve read, let me tell you two wish list items I have for the Kindle 7 or 8 whenever those are invented –flexible font sizes for those us in denial about needing reading glasses. And back lighting for night reading. The one thing I do not like about Kindle is not being able to flip through the e-book easily. I’ve been known to read my fair share of back pages first (don’t judge me, you’ve done it too) and that’s hard to do with an e-book. For one thing the little page turner button does one page at a time. If you’re stuck in a boring section and want to skip ahead this can be a tedious process, not to mention frustrating since you can’t stick a bookmark in the section you’re temporarily escaping and jump around. But, overall, I’ve become a fan of the e-book reader and though I can’t really compare it to an iPad since I don’t own an iPad, I’ve heard others say that the simpler one application Kindle is easier to to hold your attention than something that can all but dance in your hands.

So, what have I been downloading? A wide variety of things actually. That’s the beauty of a free e-books, cheap e-books and $9.99 for a bestseller. It’s affordable to read across genres because I don’t sweat spending $26 on a book only to find out the book is dismal. I’ve been reading Susan May Warren this summer–always a delight. Revisiting some classics because in addition to being free, many of them are just great–Carson McCullars. Found a fun (if racy) author in Meg Benjamin–her books are freakishly like mine except for the sexual content. And Seth Godin.

What have you been reading this summer?

Jeffery Archer does it again

August 18th. 2010

Years ago, I discovered Jeffery Archer, the author (aka British representative in one of their political parties and fallen from grace national icon.) I liked his books. The first one I read, Kane and Abel, is still easily accessible in my memory. So, when I ran across another of his books recently, I snatched in from the discount bin. Who knew he was still writing? I thought he was hiding under some table at one of those cozy British pubs. Well, to get on with it, let me say this novel, Paths of Glory, was worth waiting for. It’s plum Jeffrey Archer–which means well-researched, not too schmaltzy and engaging to the bitter end (even when you know in advance that the end will be bitter because it was based on a true story.) In one of those too weird to be coincidence moments, I was scanning MSN’s news page the other day (might I add three days after I’d started this novel) when one of their feature stories was about the mysterious death of George Mallory (the previously unmentioned hero and subject of this novel.)  I loved that these two events coincided and now wonder if there’s some deeper meaning to the whole conflagration of fact and fiction. Am I to become yet another researcher of George Mallory? Am I to be a biographer of Jeffrey Archer? Am I supposed to scale Mt. Everest? Wow. . .you know this spinning could go on for a while. As it is, I’ll just take comfort knowing that lives well lived are far more fascinating than anything fiction could dream up and maybe I should spend a little more time living large than just writing about. So, see you next time, after I’ve done a bit of bungee jumping or something equally death defying. And PS I did enjoy the book.

Kindle e-books and hot summer days

August 9th. 2010

Since the summer season seems predestined to be a reading season–ergo all the Turner Classic Movies and Nick at Nite episodes showing people picking blackberries then leaning against tree trunks with Hardy Boy novels and purple stains around their lips. (Okay, maybe that’s just one movie.) I willingly walked into the stereotype. I must be “off” though. I can’t seem to get into a book to save my life. Maybe its in small part to the emotional distractions involving with getting a firstborn ready for university life, but I think it could be the novel writers. At the beginning of the summer I downloaded about twenty books to my Kindle. And traveling on vacation with a Kindle is wonderful and a major luggage improvement, But with the exception of the Linda Lael Miller trilogy “The McKettrick Men” or something like that, I couldn’t tell you there was one memorable story in the bunch. And I’m bummed about it. I wanted great page-turners, some vicarious emotional release courtesy of a great cliff-hangers. I’d taken several Amazon recommendations into consideration when buying these e-books and now I’m thinking the authors’ mothers must have written the recommendations because I put myself to sleep with some of those books. I’m not going to name names because if I get my books recommended on Amazon I don’t want irate mothers coming after me with bad press. Just go wisely into the sunset and I hope you have better e-reading than me.