Category: History/Biography
Housekeeping: Page Flip, Echo Alexa Upgrades & Cheap Reads 2 comments

broom.panPage Flip
On Tuesday Amazon announced an upgrade coming to Kindles, Fire tablets and the Kindle App – Page Flip. The feature was described in the press release:

Page Flip, a reimagined Kindle navigation experience that makes it easy to explore books while always saving your place. With Page Flip, readers can easily flip back and forth between pages to reference different parts of the book while they read. Page Flip will be delivered as part of a free, over-the-air update starting today to Kindle E-readers, Fire tablets, and the free Kindle app for iOS and Android.
Explore your book
Zoom out to get a bird’s eye view of the book and quickly find what you’re looking for. At a glance, easily recognize specific pages as you jump around. Pictures, charts, your highlights, and the layout of each page are easy to see with Page Flip’s pixel-accurate thumbnails that automatically adjust as you change your font and margin settings.
Save your place
Page Flip automatically saves the page you’re reading in a book, pinning it to the side of your screen for easy navigation. Flip back and forth in a book with confidence, knowing you can instantly jump back to reading with a simple tap of your pinned page.

When I receive the update I will test the feature and post about my experience. If any of you receive the update and give Page Flip a try, please let us know your impressions whether it is useful, easy to use, or just another gimmick.
 
Finally – Amazon Echo Alexa skills easy to add
On Tuesday Amazon announced a much-needed improvement to the Echo Alexa device ($179.99). From the press release:

As the selection of skills continues to grow, Amazon is introducing new, simple ways to discover and enable Alexa skills. The skills section of the Alexa app is now completely redesigned. Starting today, customers can browse Alexa skills by categories such as “Smart Home” and “Lifestyle” in the Alexa app, apply additional search filters, and access their previously enabled skills via the “Your Skills” section.
Also available today, Alexa customers can use their voice to enable skills: simply say “Alexa, enable NBC News” or “Alexa, enable 7 minute workout” and access them instantly.

For anyone who owns an Echo, adding skills through the Alexa app has always been cumbersome. I’m thrilled with this upgrade.
 
Cheap Reads for the Independence Day Holiday Weekend
America’s Women ($1.99) America’s Women tells the story of more than four centuries of history. It features a stunning array of personalities, from the women peering worriedly over the side of the Mayflower to feminists having a grand old time protesting beauty pageants and bridal fairs. Courageous, silly, funny, and heartbreaking, these women shaped the nation and our vision of what it means to be female in America.
How the States Got Their Shapes ($1.99 Audiobook $3.99) How the States Got Their Shapes is the first book to tackle why our state lines are where they are. Here are the stories behind the stories, right down to the tiny northward jog at the eastern end of Tennessee and the teeny-tiny (and little known) parts of Delaware that are not attached to Delaware but to New Jersey.
Give Me Liberty ($1.99) For thirteen–year–old Nathaniel, an indentured servant in colonial Virginia, life is hard. Though things improve with the help of a kind master named Basil–who shares music, books, and philosophies on equality–around him the climate is heating up.
It’s 1775 and colonists are enraged by England’s taxation. Patrick Henry’s words “give me liberty, or give me death” become the sounding call and the American Revolution is about to errupt. Nathaniel and Basil must make a choice about joining the fight and face a larger conundrum about the true meaning of liberty.

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Two historical fiction novels: Fields of Glory & Blood on the Sand – $1.99 each 0 comments

Fields of Glory ($1.99) The year is 1346 and King Edward III is restless. Despite earlier victories his army has still not achieved a major breakthrough and the French crown remains intact. Determined to bring France under English rule and the French army to its knees he has regrouped and planned a new route of attack.
And on the beaches of Normandy his men now mass, ready to march through France to victory. But the French are nowhere to be seen. The Battle of Crecy will be a decisive turning point in the Hundred Years’ Wars. This is the story of that battle and the men who won it.
Blood on the Sand ($1.99) Calais, 1346. Berenger Fripper and his men are stationed in the ancient port city, a city under English control and surrounded by enemies. They are here to defend their newly won territory from the French and their allies the Genoese.
When the vintaine is attacked at sea and captured by the Genoese it looks as though their luck has run out. Can Berenger defeat the enemies that surround him and keep the English victorious?

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The Shadow Factory: The Ultra-Secret NSA from 9/11 to the Eavesdropping on America – $1.99 0 comments

James Bamford has been the preeminent expert on the National Security Agency since his reporting revealed the agency’s existence in the 1980s. Now, Bamford describes the transformation of the NSA since 9/11, as the agency increasingly turns its high-tech gaze within America’s borders.
The Shadow Factory reconstructs how the NSA missed a chance to thwart two of the 9/11 hijackers and details how this mistake has led to a heightening of surveillance to insure that it never happens again. In disturbing detail, Bamford describes exactly how every American’s data is being mined and by whom, and what is being done with it. Any reader who thinks America’s liberties are being protected by Congress will be shocked and appalled at what is revealed here.
Buy this history today for $1.99.
Click here to purchase The Shadow Factory

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Two Revolution War hero biographies – Just $1.99 each 0 comments

The Revolutionary Paul Revere ($1.99) The story of Paul Revere is the story of the American Revolution.
Always smack dab in the thick of things, he was an ordinary citizen living in extraordinarily turbulent times. Revere played key roles in colonial tax fights and riots, the infamous Boston Massacre, the Tea Party, the Battle of Lexington and Concord, and even the rati?cation of the U.S. Constitution. In this fast-paced, dramatic account, Paul Revere’s life pulses with energy as author Joel J. Miller explores his family and church life along with his revolutionary contribution as a spy, entrepreneur, express rider, freemason, and commercial visionary.
Washington ($1.99) His name is carved in granite, his likeness cast in bronze, his legend as large as the role he played as America’s first president. But before he was a commander-in-chief, George Washington was a general in a revolution that would decide the future of the people and land he called his own. If victorious, he would gain immortality. If defeated, he would find his neck in a hangman’s noose.
Author Paul Vickery tracks the unlikely rise of Washington, a man whose stature in command of a young army became prelude to a presidency.

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The Winter Palace: A Novel of Catherine the Great – Historical fiction – Only $1.99 0 comments

Her name is Barbara—in Russian, Varvara. Nimble-witted and attentive, she’s allowed into the employ of the Empress Elizabeth, amid the glitter and cruelty of the world’s most eminent court. Under the tutelage of Count Bestuzhev, Chancellor and spymaster, Varvara will be educated in skills from lock picking to lovemaking, learning above all else to listen—and to wait for opportunity. That opportunity arrives in a slender young princess from Zerbst named Sophie, a playful teenager destined to become the indomitable Catherine the Great. Sophie’s destiny at court is to marry the Empress’s nephew, but she has loftier, more dangerous ambitions. What Sophie needs is an insider at court, a loyal pair of eyes and ears who knows the traps, the conspiracies, and the treacheries that surround her. Varvara will become Sophie’s confidante—and together the two young women will rise to the pinnacle of absolute power.
Purchase this historical fiction novel today for only $1.99.
Click here to purchase The Winter Palace

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Maybe You Never Cry Again – A memoir by Bernie Mac – Just 99 cents 0 comments

By the tender of age of five, Bernie Mac had found his calling:making others laugh. Now this amazing comedian delves deep inside to share the poignant story of his childhood and the people who shaped him into the strong, self-reliant man and ruthlessly funny comedian he is today.
When Bernie was just sixteen, he lost his mother to cancer.
A tough but loving teacher, she showered the unwilling boy with life lessons and “Mac-isms” that would later carry him through many hardships and give him strength during his slow rise to stardom. Maybe You Never Cry Again recounts this ascent in hilarious detail, from eight-year-old Bernie’s stand-up comedy performance at a church dinner to open mike nights in Chicago, the jobs he juggled to make ends meet and eventually, his success in entertaining huge audiences on stage, in film, and on television.
Buy this memoir today for only 99 cents.
Click here to purchase Maybe You Never Cry Again

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Who Discovered America?: The Untold History of the Peopling of the Americas – $1.99 0 comments

The iconoclastic historian’s magnum opus, Who Discovered America? calls into question our understanding of how the American continents were settled, shedding new light on the well-known “discoveries” of European explorers, including Christopher Columbus. In Who Discovered America? he combines meticulous research and an adventurer’s spirit to reveal astounding new evidence of an ancient Asian seagoing tradition—most notably the Chinese—that dates as far back as 130,000 years ago.
Menzies offers a revolutionary new alternative to the “Beringia” theory of how humans crossed a land bridge connecting Asia and North America during the last Ice Age, and provides a wealth of staggering claims, that hold fascinating and astonishing implications for the history of mankind.
Buy this thriller today for $1.99.
Click here to purchase Who Discovered America?

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We Band of Angels: The Untold Story of the American Women Trapped on Bataan – $1.99 0 comments

In the fall of 1941, the Philippines was a gardenia-scented paradise for the American Army and Navy nurses stationed there. War was a distant rumor, life a routine of easy shifts and dinners under the stars. On December 8 all that changed, as Japanese bombs began raining down on American bases in Luzon, and this paradise became a fiery hell. Caught in the raging battle, the nurses set up field hospitals in the jungles of Bataan and the tunnels of Corregidor, where they tended to the most devastating injuries of war, and suffered the terrors of shells and shrapnel.
But the worst was yet to come. After Bataan and Corregidor fell, the nurses were herded into internment camps where they would endure three years of fear, brutality, and starvation. Once liberated, they returned to an America that at first celebrated them, but later refused to honor their leaders with the medals they clearly deserved. Here, in letters, diaries, and riveting firsthand accounts, is the story of what really happened during those dark days, woven together in a deeply affecting saga of women in war.
Buy this history today for $1.99. Audiobook: $3.99.
Click here to purchase We Band of Angels

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America’s Hidden History – A collection of extraordinary stories – Only 99 cents 0 comments

Kenneth C. Davis presents a collection of extraordinary stories, each detailing an overlooked episode that shaped the nation’s destiny and character. Davis’s dramatic narratives set the record straight, busting myths and bringing to light little-known but fascinating facts from a time when the nation’s fate hung in the balance.
Spanning a period from the Spanish arrival in America to George Washington’s inauguration in 1789, America’s Hidden History details these episodes, among others:
The story of the first real Pilgrims in America, who were wine-making French Huguenots, not dour English Separatists The coming-of-age story of Queen Isabella, who suggested that Columbus pack the moving mess hall of pigs that may have spread disease to many Native Americans. The little-known story of George Washington as a headstrong young soldier who committed a war crime, signed a confession, and started a war!
Full of color, intrigue, and human interest, America’s Hidden History is an iconoclastic look at America’s past, connecting some of the dots between history and today’s headlines, proving why Davis is truly America’s Teacher. Buy this history today for only 99 cents
Click here to purchase America’s Hidden History

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Vienna Nocturne: A Novel – Sweeping historical love story and a portrait of an age – $1.99 0 comments

In late-eighteenth-century London, a young girl takes her first singing lessons with a mysterious castrato in exile. Her life is forever changed. Having learned everything he can teach her, Anna leaves behind all the security and familiarity of home and journeys to Naples and Venice to struggle and triumph in Italy’s greatest opera houses. Only sixteen, she finds herself in an intoxicating world of theaters, nobility, and vice, overwhelmed by her newfound freedom and fame. Her first bitter experience of love and heartbreak inevitably follows.
Within a few years, Anna is invited to sing in Vienna, the City of Music, by the emperor himself. Anna first meets Mozart, a young virtuoso pianist and striving, prodigiously talented composer. They are matched in intellect and talent, and an immediate and undeniable charge occurs between the two, despite both being married to others.
Rich in historical detail and beautifully wrought by Vivien Shotwell, Vienna Nocturne is a dramatic tour de force of a woman’s struggle to find love and fame in an eighteenth-century world that controls and limits her at every turn. Buy this biographical novel for $1.99 today.
Click here to purchase Vienna Nocturne

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