Introducing Free Kindle Books Worth Reading · 5 April 2011
Because your time is valuable.
I purchase a print book because I think there’s a good chance I’ll like it. But ever since I unwrapped my shiny new Kindle for Christmas, I’ve made it a point to browse Amazon and download free books, books I probably wouldn’t have paid for, but can’t help avoid giving digital shelf squatting rights to. And because I really like the form factor of the Kindle, I’ve started reading on it in preference to the stack of print books I have waiting to be read. The end result is that I’ve spent a decent amount of time on books that wouldn’t have made it past my sniff test if I had a paper version to flip through first.
This shouldn't be construed as a complaint. I love the idea of authors promoting their work by lowering their prices and I’m happy to get exposure to works that I wouldn’t normally. But I’m willing to spend the time to shift through things I don’t like in order to experience the thrill of discovery in uncovering a new find. This series is for those who don’t have the time or inclination to pore through piles of books and will feature free Kindle books I deem worth the time of reading.
Let me get my prejudices out on the the table. I’m no longer in the young adult demographic. While I can remember liking the Sweet Valley High series and Christopher Pike’s teen thrillers, I don't think I’d appreciate them if I read them again now. This is not to say that I don’t enjoy young adult fiction. I adored Harry Potter and while I don’t read a lot of young adult, I picked up both The Graveyard Book and Varjak Paw completely unprompted by any younger influences. I even admit to liking the Twilight series.
What I expect from a young adult book is one that delivers the same qualities that any good book does: imagination, intrigue, and tension. Since young adult paranormal has become so popular, there are a lot of authors trying to break out of the pack by offering up their work for free, and some of them don’t provide anything except shallow teen angst set to a paranormal soundtrack. Those books won’t be making my recommendations list.
With those disclaimers out of the way, I’ll have reviews up later this week on the first set of freebie finds.
This Week's Tidbits · 8 August 2007
It’s time for another post about tidbits.
First up, I’ve posted my review of Crystal Rain by Tobias Buckell in the Reviews Section.
In the interest of full disclosure, I obtained my copy of Crystal Rain directly from the author, under the understanding that I would write a review of it.
Second, I've updated my About section and posted my general review guidelines in it, so if you're interested in reading about my journalistic integrity, check them out there ;).
Third, Dark Orpheus posted her Meez the day after I was talking about them with Jackson, and after seeing how cute hers was, I couldn’t resist making one myself. It’s a bit silly, but it was fun and it actually (sort of) looks like me and my alchemical experiments in the kitchen.
Finally, after being inspired to examine why I blog and recognizing that I’ve been slipping a bit on my creative writing, I did a brief writing exercise. It’s not a story, more of a scene, but it’s in keeping with the “write something everyday” philosophy.
Since it’s not intended for future publication, I thought I’d share it here.
There was a moment, gone almost quicker than realized, when she thought she might choke. And then, as if she were a fish taking to water, Stella’s reflexes had taken over. Her cerebellum floundered, subsumed by the lower, spinal, nature of the medulla oblongata. And so, instead of gasping for breath, she swallowed. Lemony water slithered down her throat, harmlessly past the passageway to her lungs, a disaster averted without conscious thought.
A three-year-old would have pressed onward, choking and sputtering for air. Stella, a veteran of previous attempts to breath in fishlike fashion, acted against what reason would tell us is instinct, and stopped breathing. And yet, there had been no conscious will guiding the contraction of her throat, the abrupt ceasing of her inhalation. Her mind had been on other things, the plans of the evening, the stack of bills looming in the hallway. Two steps forward, a sip, and then the feeling that not all had gone as planned.
A reaction set in motion too quick for thought or relief. Reflexes called upon from experience, stored unused yet not forgotten.
Truly, we are amazing creatures.
June Site News and Updates · 13 June 2007
I have a confession to make. I’m a bad blogger.
The unspoken creed of the blogging community is that “Thou Shalt Participate!” (better known as “Show me the link loving!”).
I know, it’s been almost six months since I started this blog and I have no excuses. But, I just don’t have the time I would like to read around and sift through the millions of blogs out there. So, I’ve cheated a bit. I’ve linked to several of the really popular blogs, which I do read, and a few of the newer smaller blogs that I’ve started reading recently and want to spread the word about.
Expect my blogroll to change. It’s titled “Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens. . .” for a reason. It isn’t intended to be the end-all list of blogs that I like, or even blogs that I read. It’s just a list, and I don’t want it to get 400 items long, so I’ll be swapping things around. My goal is to have an unabridged list up on del.icio.us by the end of the summer, so absolutely no one gets slighted and I can share the linky love as is my blog given duty.
In other news.
I cleaned up a few small things on the site that have been bugging me, icon placement, messy CSS, etc.
I changed the format of how readers will access book reviews, and included a list of books that I’ve read since the inception of this blog. You can check out the new page here or by hitting the “Reviews” link at top. I installed the Library Thing Widget on this page, because I’m a sucker for pretty book covers, but (as you’ll notice) I’ve only got 4 books up on Library Thing. Adding more is a project for another day.
I finally tackled the format for leaving comments. It took a lot of poking around, but I think I’ve beaten the Textpatten tags into submission on this one. The text box is bigger, the styling matches the rest of the site, and I get a special color when I post! One reader noticed that he didn’t submit a few comments after viewing the preview. I tried to address this by removing the “Preview” function, but I think I’d have to write my own plugin (beyond my skill at the moment) so I’ve added a reminder on the preview screen to hit the “Submit” button so your comments get posted, and not just typed up.
I’ve also updated the social bookmarking options at the end of each post. If, by any chance, I’ve excluded your favorite site, let me know. I’m using this very handy Textpattern plugin, which supports many more sites than I chose to clutter my articles with. But . . . I can be bribed! For a limited time, all you need do is post a few comments on the actual blog, then make your request here and if I’ve got the capability, I’ll add your site. (Yes, that was a caveat that I won’t be adding sites of people who just comment to get their site’s button added).