Fujitsu announed today what appears to be the first commercially available (in Japan) color e-paper reader, the FLEPia. Here is the official press release.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Monday, March 16, 2009
Lethal Legacy is a murder mystery wrapped in bibliophilia. A library curator is mysteriously attacked in her New York apartment; later, in the same apartment, a housekeeper who is wearing the clothes of a wealthy heiress is murdered. Finding the killer involves Assistant DA Alexandra Cooper in a journey through rare books and an almost-mythical map, hidden spaces in and under the New York Public Library, and a highly dysfunctional, if wealthy, family. It's a strong story, and the background about rare maps and books (and their quirky collectors) is clearly a fascinating labor of love for the author.
Thursday, March 12, 2009
One of the awesome Kindle enthusiasts at www.mobileread.com, Daithi, has produced a nice download portal for the Kindle, 1001books.com. At one location, you can browse or search for books that reside, if they are free public domain works, at sites such as mobileread.com and feedbooks.com, and if they are under copyright and for sale, at Amazon.com's Kindle store. If you select a book, the site will:
- Download the book from one of the free sites if it is in the public domain
- Allow one to buy the book from Amazon if it is available but not free
- Request Amazon to ask the publishers to make the book available if it isn't available
Monday, March 9, 2009
I happen to be reading Linda Fairstein's new crime novel, Lethal Legacy. At the front of the book, the author offers a dedication: "For libarians -- guardian angels of the mind and soul." I certainly agree with that sentiment, but the lines also made me think: extend current trends into the future, imagine that the "digital divide" is solved and everyone has access to the internet. Now imagine that all books are bought or borrowed wirelessly, the way you can buy books for the Kindle now.
Friday, March 6, 2009
Orbit's dollar book this month is Empress by Karen Miller, which is reviewed on several sites, such as this review in Fantasy Magazine online.
Also until the end of this month, Kitty Raises Hell by Carrie Vaughn is free if you buy Kitty and the Dead Man's Hand. Both of these are fantasy novels dealing with the paranormal, werewolves, vampires, and such. Monsters and Critics has a short review of the latter novel here.
Closing out March 9 (so there are still a few days left) is a similar deal involving mystery author Cara Black, whose novels are set in Paris. If you buy Murder in the Latin Quarter before March 9th, you will receive Murder in the Marais for free. One review of the latter can be found here.
I haven't read any of these, so it would be great if anyone who is familiar with these novels or their authors would leave a comment or two!
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Amazon has added some new magazines, including The New Yorker (even cartoons, which render quite well on the Kindle), Women's Adventure, and U.S. News Weekly. The list of magazines available from the Kindle store is now:
Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine
Analog Science Fiction and Fact
Asimov's Science Fiction
Cash: Personal Finance for Real People
Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine
MIT Technology Review
The New Yorker
Opinionated: Voices and Viewpoints on America
U.S. News and World Report
U.S. News Weekly
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
As a number of sites have reported, there is an official Amazon "Kindle for iPhone - With Whispersync" app. I first saw the info on the awesome Mobileread forums, where, if you look through the forum posts, you will find a discussion about it. PC World has an article here. Time magazine has an entry in the doesn't-quite-get-it category here. Engadget, which does get it, chimes in here. Business Insider also has an article. The Books-on-the-Knob blog has posted pictures of the iPhone and both Kindles open to the same page--very nice work, Karen!
Obviously, as this blog has already covered, reading books on the iPhone has some drawbacks for serious readers and lengthy works. However, there's plenty of genre literature and even short literary works that can be absorbed in the stolen moments on a commuter train or in the grocery line, when one is likely to have one's phone. Furthermore, those of us who have both devices, due to the ability to mutually sync to the last page read on either device, can now keep up with even a long book during those moments where we may have our phones but do not have our Kindles. Not everyone spends so much time reading that the Kindle is worthwhile, but many casual readers would be happy to have access to the Kindle bookstore on a device as handy as the iPhone.
Owners of both devices are in reading Nirvana. Once you download the iPhone widget, you can link to your Amazon account and download any book from your archives. If it is a book you are reading on the Kindle, it will sync to the last page read. You can also sync to the last page read in the other direction of you are switching from the iPhone back to the Kindle. There's virtually never a need to be without your current book, and have your place kept for you! Or, as Engadget says in their geekier-than-thou style: "It's a huge win for owners of both devices, considering that the Kindle's still just a little bit big to be carrying everywhere you go, but your phone -- well, if you don't have that everywhere you go, you're just plain weird!" Great minds think alike, but often express themselves differently.
Of course, there are features the Kindle has that are not replicated on the iPhone, such as text-to-speech and dictionary lookup. There's no special front-end for the Kindle Store either, but you can use the built-in Safari browser to buy books. On the other hand, book covers are in color!
It's a free download for the iPhone, so it's certainly worth a try.
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
I myself am a relative latecomer to the novels of Charlie Huston; like many readers, the critical acclaim of The Mystic Arts of Erasing All Signs of Death caught my attention (reviewed here). That, and some free book offers for the Kindle. Those of you who have followed this author from the beginning can have your moment of superiority. Enjoy.
The rest of us, who may be looking for an introduction to Charlie Huston's 9 (by my count) novels, would make a good start with Caught Stealing, a dark suspense novel that begins a trilogy involving Hank Thompson. In Caught Stealing, we learn how Hank gets into the mess that occupies the following two novels: from being a promising high school baseball player, talented enough to be followed by scouts, to being overwhelmed by a series of events that seem largely out of his control that drive him ever deeper into a world of mayhem, murder, and a bag full of 4 million much-contested dollars. The humor is dark, the prose is taut, and the main character is well developed. My only real complaint about the novel is that some of the other characters are painted deftly but perhaps too deftly as versions of stereotypes. Yvonne, a girlfriend, a bar owner who befriends and employs Hank, and a cat named Bud, are in my view the next best developed characters, and consequently the ones with whom the reader can most empathize with. The novel takes place largely in Manhattan and Brooklyn, New York, and knowledge of place and history are evident but lightly applied when appropriate. All in all, a well-paced and well written novel in the mystery genre.
I would offer the following as a thought for discussion for anyone who has read or will read the novel. Hank is the antithesis of many central characters in mystery novels. Often these are antiheroes, but antiheroes who stick to a code of honor (not society's code, but a self-consistent one) and are intensely intelligent and observant as well as tough, which qualities are often the ones that solve the mystery and allow them to save themselves from peril. Hank is somewhat the opposite: overcome by events he doesn't understand, forgetful at critical moments, and morally compromised even by his own standards. Read and discuss (in the comments below)!
Monday, March 2, 2009
At least, not at Harlequin. To celebrate 60 years of reading pleasure, Harlequin is giving away 8 Kindle editions: Once a Cowboy, by Linda Warren; Hide in Plain Sight, by Marta Perry; Kiss Me Deadly, by Michele Hauf; Crime Scene at Cardwell Ranch, by B . J. Daniels; Irresistible Forces by Brenda Jackson; Baby Bonanza, by Maureen Child; Price of Passion, by Susan Napier, and Homespun Bride, by Jillian Hart.
Kindledude is not a romance novel aficionado himself, so he welcomes any comments, reviews, or recommendations from any readers who are. But, really, if you're a Harlequin fan, how can you go wrong with free?
Orbit, a fantasy imprint, is featuring Pleasure Unbound by Larissa Ione, for one dollar (the regular price is $6.99). From the description: "Someone has been cutting up demons and removing their body parts, and this doesn't make sense to doctors Eidolon and Shade, the only surgeons in the world who care exclusively for demons. One patient after another has been arriving at the "demon ER" with missing internal organs, and Eidolon vows to find who has been targeting his race and for what purpose." There's more, that's only a taste. This novel is the introductory book of the Demonica series. Hmm, I may have to review this one!