Category: Housekeeping
Housekeeping: Amazon fails on the Daily Deal; Changes to review reading and Cheap Reads 4 comments

broom.panAmazon fails on the Daily Deal
Last Saturday, August 22, the Kindle Daily Deal included five books from the Kathleen Turner series.
On June 25, 2015, the Kindle Daily Deal included two books from the Kathleen Turner series.
On August 2, 2014, the Kindle Daily Deal included five books from the Kathleen Turner series.
On January 27, 2014, the Kindle Daily Deal included four books from the Kathleen Turner series.
Amazon brags that “over one million books are available for Amazon Kindle.” Yet they have featured this one series four times in the last 19 months. Surely with a little effort, Amazon could find other selections for the Daily Deal.
I did a little math. If only one-quarter of one million books were worth posting and 5 books were posted every day, it would take 137 years to post them all. If only 10% of one million books were worth posting and they posted 10 books every day, it would take 27 years. This is assuming no new books are added to the collection.
BTW – If you have wanted to purchase the Kathleen Turner series and haven’t yet, it isn’t Amazon’s fault. They have pushed it on us frequently.
 
Changes to review reading
Review Pic 1Amazon has made positive changes to help you read reviews by offering options to filter what you see. To use the new feature, you need to scroll all the way down the webpage to below the reviews and click on See all xxx customer reviews as shown in the example on the left.
A new page should open of the book’s reviews. From there, you need to scroll down below the most helpful positive review and most helpful negative review and you will see the new options.
Review Filters 4
You have the option to select Most Recent or Most Helpful. You can also select All Reviewers or Verified Purchase Only. You can also read all reviews or limit your review list to the number of stars given, All Positive or All Critical. You can only choose one of these options at a time.
The most helpful option now for Kindle users is the feature that lets you limit the reviews to ones for the Review Pic 2Kindle edition only. Woo-hoo! We can now learn about spelling errors, formatting issues and any other quirks unique to the e-reader format without wading through paperback reviews. And we won’t have to read about packaging and delivery problems. The improvements also include a keyword search function.
Thanks, Amazon, for making review reading more efficient.
 
Cheap Reads
Fantasies and sci-fi novels have been the great deals from publishers this week. If you enjoy these genre, now is the time to load up the Kindle with these great buys. The three below are only 99 cents each.
 

Read More..
Housekeeping: Amazon in the News; Amazing Bookcases; Have you read? and Cheap Reads 14 comments

broom.panAmazon in the News
The New York Times published a scathing article about the “bruising” workplace environment at Amazon, declaring that “the company is conducting an experiment in how far it can push white-collar workers to achieve its ever-expanding ambitions.” Several former employees tell their stories of working for the world’s largest internet company.
The founder of Woot.com, now an Amazon company, wrote this on his new website about his experience at Amazon:

After the acquisition of Woot, I worked at Amazon in Seattle for just over 3 years. My first 18 months were. . . The honeymoon phase. The best of times. The good ol’ days. No one wants to hear about that. It’s too boring. Not enough drama.
My last 18 months were more like the NY Times article. A special kind of hell that I may never recover from. Ok, that’s too far. But it’s the interesting part that people want to hear about. I went to work every day thinking I was going to get fired. Then I got promoted. And then I thought for sure I was going to get fired.

The government is taking the NYT article seriously according to this article in Publishers Weekly.
It is interesting reading if you want a glimpse inside the company as given by former employees.
 
Amazing Bookcases Ideas
Read Bookcase2Even those of us who love our e-readers have favorite print books. These amazingly creative bookcases may give you an idea or two of how to store your collection. The article is titled 23 Creative Bookshelves That Will Make You Want To Ignore Your Kindle. No bookcase has ever been made that will cause me to ignore my Kindle, but these examples are excellent pieces of art.
This unique bookcase on the left delivers its own message.
 
Has anyone read. . . . .?
If you have read either of these books, please comment whether you would recommend them or not.
Wendy is wondering if anyone has read Esther ($1.99) by Angela Hunt. The book is the fictionalization of the book of Esther in the Old Testament. Plot: When an ambitious tyrant threatens genocide against the Jews, an inexperienced young queen must take a stand for her people.
Cindy asked about this book which we posted on our site last week: State of Fear (99 cents) by Michael Chrichton. More than 1,600 reviews and the averaged 3.4 stars. Yes, it is only 99 cents, but is it worth the time? Plot: When a group of eco-terrorists engage in a global conspiracy to generate weather-related natural disasters, its up to environmental lawyer Peter Evans and his team to uncover the subterfuge.
 
Cheap Reads
Amazon has priced shorter romances and paranormal fiction sold by its imprints at just 99 cents each. Enjoy these stories before the summer has ended.
 

Read More..
Housekeeping – Another lawsuit about book prices, Paula’s Top 4 to date in 2015 and Cheap Reads 0 comments

broom.panAnother lawsuit about book prices
Only in America.
Two groups, The American Booksellers Association and Authors United, have filed complaints with the Department of Justice requesting that the DOJ begin an anti-trust investigation into the activities of Amazon for their book prices. The two groups claim that Amazon charges consumers too little for books.
The complaints state that Amazon is a monopoly in the book business and threatens the book marketplace. According to this article in TheDailySignal, Amazon sells 40% of print books and 65% of the e-book market. That’s not a monopoly.
For those of us who purchase many e-books and print volumes from Amazon, we enjoy those low prices. Authors should be paid a fair price for their product, but markets drive prices. I’ll let you know how this request to the DOJ proceeds.
 
Paula’s Top 4 reads from first half 2015
I’ve read many books so far this year. These are my favorite reads in the first 6 months of 2015.
 
Maybe it’s my age, but Ove’s story tugged at my heartstrings.
Billed as a “delightfully quirky debut novel from Sweden,” A Man Called Ove ($10.99) is a commentary of the loneliness of older citizens.
Ove, seen as grumpy and anti-social to many, struggles with a deep void in his life. He transforms from a shell of a man to one with purpose and a reason for living. Ove’s story is revealed slowly, but it’s worth the wait.
This novel has humor; quirky, lovable characters of all ages and a few twists.
I purchased the book when it was a Daily Deal. It was also an Audible Daily Deal.
 
Last winter my husband and I attended a cowboy poetry reading by Baxter Black. We shared a table with a young rancher who said he enjoyed C.J. Box’s Joe Pickett series about a crime-fighting game warden in Wyoming. I bought Force of Nature ($7.99) and had my socks scared off with non-stop action and suspense. Great read for guys.
Nic Tatano has become a favorite author of quirky romantic comedy. Wing Girl (99 cents) is a sweet story of the young lady who blossoms with the help of her friends. It’s laugh-out-loud funny and a great read for new adults and anyone who wants to learn about today’s dating scene.
If you live in a state that has a strong and bitter rivalry between two major universities, you might enjoy A House Divided ($3.99) by Jennifer Peel. A great summer read, it’s a sweet, clean romance about second chances. Two teens succumb to family pressure and end their relationship. One goes to Auburn; one to the University of Alabama. The story is their reunion years later.
 
Cheap Reads
Enjoy these three non-fiction reads for only 99 cents each.
 
Shop Your Closet (99 cents) Just when you feared your overstuffed, eyesore of a closet was a lost cause, here’s the antidote to all your closet woes. Closet expert and style maven Melanie Charlton Fascitelli is here to help you whip your closet into shape, refreshing your wardrobe and saving you time along the way.
The 24-Hour Turnaround (99 cents) With a glut of health information assailing readers, there’s never been a better time to bring the best, most reliable facts together in one source. Jay Williams provides a proven, quick ‘jumpstart’ action that will give you results within 24 hours – and inspire to keep going with more valuable lifestyle changes.
The Genome War (99 cents) On May 10, 1998, biologist Craig Venter, director of the Institute for Genomic Research, announced that he was forming a private company that within three years would unravel the complete genetic code of human life—seven years before the projected finish of the U.S. government’s Human Genome Project.
The long-awaited story of the science, the business, the politics, the intrigue behind the scenes of the most ferocious competition in the history of modern science—the race to map the human genome.

Read More..
Housekeeping: Errors were made and Cheap Reads 3 comments

broom.panDefying Description
Dragons3 sent a comment that the description on one of yesterday’s post wasn’t the correct. I sincerely appreciate when you tell me about these types of things. I want this blog to be as error-free as possible and appreciate your help in identifying the mistakes and typos.
One of the reasons that Dragon3 sent the comment was to ask the title of the book that fit the description as that book appealed to her/him. Here is the blurb matched with the right book:
Now or Never (99 cents) She can keep the doors locked. The lights on. Her fingers crossed. But she can’t stop the memories of a terrifying crime. Or keep it from happening again.
The murderer took his time choosing his pretty victims. Then he took his time killing them. What was left when he finished made even veteran Boston cop Harry Jordan feel sick. But this time the killer made a mistake. His victim was found alive.
Armed with a police sketch of the man, Harry wanted national publicity, the kind he could get from Mallory Malone, the “TV detective.” Her top-rated show reenacted heinous crimes and often jogged witnesses’ memories enough to shake loose the clue that could break the case. But not this time.
This case was different for self-made career woman Mallory Malone. This cop was different. The case scared her; the cop was falling in love with her. Her instincts told her to run. But the killer already knew her name. Her address. And a secret that could destroy them both.
 
Children’s Books Selling Cheap
A child who reads (1)I want to believe that the sentiment on the graphic on the right is correct. I know that almost all adults who enjoy reading for pleasure were also avid readers as children.
One could conclude that readers have active imaginations as they visualize events in their mind’s eye, solve mysteries, resolve conflicts, and more through the books they read. We certainly learn and expand our horizons.
If you are like me and enjoy children’s literature or know a child who would enjoy the gift of a Kindle book, Simon & Schuster has reduced the price of many of their books for children ages 4-12.
 
 
These six books are for young readers ages 4-8 and are selling for $1.99 each:

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
These nine books are for ages 8-12 and are selling for $1.99 each:

Read More..
Housekeeping: Record book sales, Apple loses in court again and Cheap Reads 0 comments

broom.panGo Set a Sales Record
Go Set a Watchman ($13.99) by Harper Lee sold more print copies in its first week than any book since Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol ($7.52). Watchman sold more than 746,000 copies last week, while Symbol sold more than 1.1 million print copies in the week after its release (September 2009), according to Nielsen BookScan.
In the United Kingdom, Lee’s novel moved to the top spot on the bestsellers list, selling over 207,000 copies. The author, aged 89, also becomes the UK’s oldest chart-topping writer by over a decade.
 
Apple Loses Appeal (Let the puns begin!)
Some stories just will not end. Remember the Agency Pricing Model? It just keeps going.
The Second Circuit Court of Appeals, by a 2-1 margin, has affirmed Judge Denise Cote’s 2013 finding that Apple orchestrated a scheme to fix e-book prices.
The decision now paves the way for Apple to refund a hefty $400 million to consumers. But don’t expect payments anytime soon. The agreement also allows Apple to appeal the case all the way to the Supreme Court.
Assuming we live long enough to see this case go through the court system, I do not know how the $400 million will be distributed. Will it go to consumer who purchased through the i-Books store? Or will it go to all e-book purchasers no matter where the books were purchased?
Perhaps we will receive another credit notice in a few years.
 
Cheap Reads
Enjoy these three mysteries this summer – only $1.99 each.
The Missing Place ($1.99) Set against the backdrop of North Dakota’s oil boom, two very different mothers form an uneasy alliance to find their missing sons in this heartrending and suspenseful novel.
The Guilty One ($1.99) Moving and suspenseful, Lisa Ballantyne’s The Guilty One is a psychological thriller about the darkness in each of us. It explores how we are all tied to our pasts, and what it means to be guilty.
A Good Killing ($1.99) Former federal prosecutor and critically acclaimed author Allison Leotta’s spellbinding thriller follows prosecutor Anna Curtis as she heads home to Michigan to defend her sister in a case that will bring her to her knees.

Read More..
Housekeeping: Prime Day Boxbots and Cheap Reads 4 comments

broom.panConfetti-spewing box robots
You have to wonder if the advertising campaigns for Amazon events are done by inside staff – a group of pseudo-marketing people who haven’t worked in the cut-throat ad business.
I just don’t think that a self-respecting team from Madison Avenue would have ever approved the name Prime Day. The name was as flat as the event. It’s reminiscent of Test Day or Fish Stick Day. No pizzaz.
Other than the little boy under the tree reading his Kindle, Amazon’s fallen short in recent years with graphics and sales campaign names. I’ve criticized The Big Deal Sale name as blah. The Daily Deal isn’t any better, but it is half-way honest. It is daily; whether it is a deal is still open for discussion.
The confetti-spewing box robots (let’s all them boxbots) were okay. At first glance, they were awkward and heavy. I got the impression that box packers and dockworkers were goofing off in the warehouse one day and a boxbot was the end result. Highway construction workers make similar art from orange cones.
BoxbotsAmazon has been using the box idea for years and Prime members might have made the leap from boxbots to free shipping. By featuring the boxbots prominently, you could infer Amazon didn’t plan to include much digital content selling cheap on Prime Day.
The confetti added color and an air of festivity. Too little; too late.
 
Cheap Reads
Check out the price reductions on books published by Simon & Schuster. There aren’t many big name authors, but you might find a few you will want to add to your library, including non-fiction titles.
Click on the links below and then use the categories on the left side to narrow the search to the genre you enjoy reading. I encourage you to browse through all the pages as this is sorted by most popular and books that were higher priced will sell fewer copies and be further in the search.
 
Simon & Schuster books priced from $1.99 – $2.99 – 3-star or more reviews
 
Pocket Star books priced from $1.99 – $2.99 – 3-star or more reviews
 
Pocket Books priced from $1.99 – $2.99 – 3-star or more reviews
 
Touchstone books priced from $1.99 – $2.99 – 3-star or more reviews
 
Washington Square Press books priced from $1.99 – $2.99 – 3-star or more reviews
 
Scribner books priced from $1.99 – $2.99 – 3-star or more reviews
 
Gallery Books priced from $1.99 – $2.99 – 3-star or more reviews
 
Atria Books priced from $1.99 – $2.99 – 3-star or more reviews
 
Free Press Books priced from $1.99 – $2.99 – 3-star or more reviews
 
Howard Books priced from $1.99 – $2.99 – 3-star or more reviews – Inspirational Books
 
Strebor Books priced from $1.99 – $2.99 – 3-star or more reviews – Books for and about African-Americans
 
MTV Books priced from $1.99 – $2.99 – 3-star or more reviews – Books for those who enjoy MTV
 
Simon Pulse Books priced from $1.99 – $2.99 – 3-star or more reviews – Books for teens
 
Margaret K. McElderry Books priced from $1.99 – $2.99 – 3-star or more reviews – Books for teens
 
Atheneum Books for Young Readers priced from $1.99 – $2.99 – 3-star or more reviews for teens and children
 
Aladdin Books priced from $1.99 – $2.99 – 3-star or more reviews – Books for children
 
Simon Spotlight Books priced from $1.99 – $2.99 – 3-star or more reviews – Books for children

Read More..
Housekeeping: Prime Day 2015 – What it was and what it wasn’t and Cheap Reads 29 comments

broom.panPrime Day 2015 – What it was and what it wasn’t
When I was a child way back in the 60s and 70s, our small Midwestern town’s Chamber of Commerce sponsored an annual event in July. To lure shoppers, local merchants would advertise enticing prices on popular items and drastically reduce the prices on their stale inventory. The merchants set up their tables, clothes racks and more outside their stores and the Chamber called it the Sidewalk Sale.
My family would rise early and join the throngs to buy winter coats that didn’t sell the previous fall, shoes that were more function than fashion and other items that just didn’t move for the merchants.
Everyone knew it was an attempt to stir the slumping summer sales and clear the back room before the fall and HPD 2015Christmas merchandise arrived.
Prime Day at Amazon was the 2015 Sidewalk Sale. Amazon even convinced customers to spend $99 to be able to shop their stale inventory! That’s pure marketing genius and worked well according to Amazon’s press release after the event.
 
The Good and the Fleeting
Prime Day had a few popular items at good savings and it appeared that a large number were offered for sale. These included the Kindle reader, the 7” Fire HD, the Kid’s Fire, and the 6” Fire HD. I purchased a 7″ tablet – which will be delivered August 12.
The price on the Fire TV Stick was good, but the supply didn’t last long. Seems that everyone wanted a spare stick for another TV in the house. The deal sold out quickly, but at least the one I ordered has already been shipped.
The Amazon Echo was selling for $50 off. For 15 minutes, I used three different laptops to try to buy one. The site kept spinning until I was offered a chance to join the wait list.
In a bragging mid-day press release, Amazon announced that 4,000 Echos sold in 15 minutes. 4,000? Seriously Amazon? Why did you even bother? If you don’t have enough cupcakes for everyone in the class, don’t bring them to school!
That same press release stated, “The Kate Spade purse was gone in less than a minute.” Was there only one? Shame on you, Amazon!
 
The Books and Clothing Bust
The Kindle Daily Dud on Prime Day did nothing to excite the massive Kindle customer base. Even though the Kindle Deal is available to Prime and non-Prime members, Amazon missed an opportunity to offer something meaty that would have been popular.
A bestseller for $2.99 or $3.99 would have been welcomed. Mila 18 by Leon Uris was not a winner. However, it was originally published in 1961 when Sidewalk Sales were in their heyday so maybe it was appropriate.
Where were the book deals–not Kindle books, but traditional print books? The sale had a few Harry Potter novels, some business books and several less-popular cookbooks. The prices were mediocre at best. Amazon forgot what made it the company it is today. Epic fail!
Clothing was selling for 30% off. Really, Amazon? 30%? My dear mother-in-law will model an outfit that she purchased at Belks for 25% off. I smile and compliment her on her shopping savvy. The truth is I don’t even slow down at a 50% off sales rack; I give a 70% off rack a cursory glance and buy from the 80%-or-more-off rack.
Most customers need a steeper discount than 30% for clothing.
 
The PC Items
Practically everything else offered on Prime Day fell into the PC category – Piddly Crap. For every decently-priced, practical item featured, there were seven iPhone covers, charging cords and/or HDMI cables. How many does a customer need?
Many items were selling for 60% or 70% off, but few of those were 100% claimed. I was surprised to see that the Sassy Jungle Theme Grooming Set sold out, but maybe only two were available.
To offer a lightning deal of only 20% off is almost insulting. There’s no sha-zam in 20% off. It’s reminiscent of every department in the grocery store offering up a deal for the weekly ad and the health-and-beauty department discounts store-brand make-up brushes 20%. It’s a waste of advertising space because no one buys make-up brushes at the grocery store. Few people clamored to a product at 20% off on Prime Day, either.
 
Why it Worked
If Prime Day was such a bust for the customer, why did Amazon do it? The $99 membership fee is a big reason. Also, statistically Prime members spend more money than non-Prime members. Logically if the Prime membership grows, Amazon sales will increase. Prime Day was about building membership worldwide and if the warehouses were cleared of stale merchandise, it was a win-win.
Amazon also played off the psychology of the buyer. If you were a new Prime member and spent $99 for the privilege of shopping at this sale, you were probably determined to buy something – anything – to justify the expense. You didn’t really want or need a Gordie Howe & Bobby Hull Autographed Picture, but at 60% off and free shipping, you one-click bought it to give to your brother-in-law next Christmas.
Amazon will have another Prime Day in 2016, when all the new members this year are up for renewal and need an enticement to make it worth another $99. I’ll be there watching the lightning deals and trying to get an Echo as I didn’t rise to the top on the wait list this year.
PD RobotBTW – I did not put my name on the wait list for the Spiralizer, but I was amused that there was a wait list. Were you one of the lucky customers who bought one?
 
What did you think of Prime Day? Boom or bust? Did you get your Christmas shopping completed? Let us know your thoughts!
Next week I’ll talk about the confetti-spewing box robots in the Prime Day advertising.
 
Cheap Reads – Contemporary and historical mysteries for only 99 cents each
Officer Elvis (99 cents) After performing at a local old-folks home, off-duty police officer and part-time Elvis impersonator Tommy Reylander smoothes out his pompadour, climbs into his pink Caddy, and gets all shook up—fatally so, when a bomb explodes. Whether he was killed for his police work or bad singing is a mystery that detective Darla Cavannah is determined to solve.
Medium Dead (99 cents) Under Victoria’s reign, women are barred from calling themselves physicians, but that hasn’t stopped Alexandra Gladstone. As the first female doctor in Newton-upon-Sea, she spends her days tending sick villagers in the practice she inherited from her father.
After the corpse of village spiritualist Alvina Elwold is discovered aboveground at a church boneyard, wild rumors circulate through the charming seaside village, including one implicating a certain regal guest lodging nearby. Alexandra will need all the help she can get, because she’s stumbled upon dangerous secrets—while provoking a deadly adversary who wants to keep them buried.

Read More..
Housekeeping: Coming tomorrow – My thoughts of Prime Day 2015 6 comments

Check in tomorrow when I’ll give my complete analysis of Not-Quite-Ready-For Prime Day 2015.
I was up at 2:00am Central time Wednesday to post all the great Prime Day bargains, checking diligently for deals all day long. I remained awake until 2:00am Central time today (Thursday), eagerly watching Amazon.com to see if I would receive notice that the Paderno World Cuisine Spiralizer Pro, 4-Blade was available after I joined the wait list.
Friday I’ll tell you my impressions of the first ever Prime Day. You will have a chance to respond then, too.

Read More..
Housekeeping: Prime Day, Discussions Found and Cheap Reads 2 comments

broom.panPrime Day – July 15
Maybe this is big enough that we should be on-line at midnight Pacific Time and stay on-line for 24 hours so we don’t miss a single one of the great deals on July 15. Then again, maybe the deals on Prime Day will be similar to the Daily Deals in recent months – just not that great.
However, I am hopeful that Kindle devices and tablets will be included in the day’s deals. In the United Kingdom Kindle Store, Amazon recently featured the 8.9″ HDX for one day at 65% off regular price. Perhaps a similar deal will be featured on Prime Day in the United States.
If you do find a few deals AND Amazon offers the $1 credit on Kindle books for taking the slow delivery method, you might get enough credits to purchase a current bestseller.
Prime Day is a global shopping event, offering more deals than Black Friday, exclusively for Prime members. On Wednesday, July 15 new and existing members will be able to shop thousands of Lightning Deals, Deals of the Day, and will receive unlimited Free Two-Day Shipping. Members will find deals starting at midnight PST, with new deals starting throughout the day, as often as every ten minutes.
Not a Prime member? Try Prime today and get immediate access to deals on July 15.
 
What were we talking about?
Kathy asked recently where the Kindle Discussion Forum had gone.
If you look at any webpage in the Kindle Store, the menu ribbon includes a link for Discussions:
Menu Ribbon
If you click on that link, you open a page on the discontinued Tag feature.
After a bit of amateur sleuthing, I found the Kindle Discussion Forum. You might want to bookmark the page.
 
Cheap Reads
Fill your Kindle with these mysteries and thrillers – selling today for only $1.99 today.
 

The Coffee Trader ($1.99) In his richly suspenseful ovel, author David Liss once again travels back in time to a crucial moment in cultural and financial history. His destination: Amsterdam, 1659—a mysterious world of trade populated by schemers and rogues, where deception rules the day.
Playing Dead ($1.99 Audiobook $4.49) “Dear Tommie: Have you ever wondered about who you are?”
The letter that turns Tommie McCloud’s world upside down arrives from a stranger only days after her father’s death. The woman who wrote it claims that Tommie is her daughter—and that she was kidnapped as a baby thirty-one years ago.
Mrs. Pollifax and the Hong Kong Buddha ($1.99 Audiobook $3.49) Although recently married, Mrs. Pollifax is packed and ready to go to China, where a young agent, Sheng Ti, holds the answers to goings on at the sinister Feng Imports–a one-time agency front.

Read More..
Housekeeping: Extra! Extra!; Independence Day; Eight Myths about Audiobooks and Cheap Read 0 comments

broom.panEXTRA! EXTRA! Extra posts today!
Scroll all the way down the page and continue on to Page 2 as we have extra posts today to make up for being off-line on Thursday. You will find mysteries, histories, romances, and more to read this holiday weekend.
 
Independence Day
Enjoy this Independence Day, celebrate our country and the bounty we have been given. Wave the Stars and Stripes and praise or criticize our government, remembering we have that freedom.
Read a newspaper, watch a news broadcast or shout at the radio as you remember the freedom of the press.
Sing a rousing chorus of God Bless America or The Battle Hymn of the Republic and remember we have Fourth-of-July-USA-Independence-Day-Quote-Wallpaper1the freedom of religion.
Shake hands with a neighbor, relax at the lake or enjoy a baseball game and remember we have the right to gather as we please.
Light a few firecrackers, put a punk to a sparkler and write your name in the nighttime sky Marvel in the beauty of the fireworks large and small, get a crick your neck, and smile at the wonder in the children’s eyes.
Revel in the delight of summertime foods – grilled meat and vegetables, corn on the cob, fresh tomatoes, ice cold watermelon, homemade ice cream and fruit pies.
Hug those you love, listen to a story told by an older person and thank anyone who has served in the military. Be kind to one who may not deserve it, smile at everyone and visit or call someone who needs a friend.
Celebrate the wonderful United States of America. She’s the grandest nation on this earth, bar none. We are blessed to live within her borders.
 
Eight Myths about Audiobooks
In the last two years I have become a huge fan of audiobooks. In the first half of this year, I’ve listened to more than 60 books.
Bookriot.com published an article titled “Listening to Books is Cheating” and 7 More Myths About Audiobooks. The author counters the comments often made by people who prefer books over audio.
The first myth: I’ll miss out on something if I don’t read the print. Yes, I’ve been distracted, tuned out, or even talked over the narrator when listening to books. When reading a traditional book, I’ve also skimmed pages and read the words without paying attention. I learned quickly to be a better listener to hear the important passages.
Another myth: Audiobooks narrators have super annoying voices. Having listened to more than 200 audiobooks, I’ve encountered one super annoying narrator. The men and women who read books are professionals. Listen to enough books by the same narrator and they become a friend.
If you haven’t tried audiobooks, I encourage you to take advantage of the Audible free trial. You receive two free audiobooks just for checking it out. You might become a hugs fan, too.
 
Cheap Read
This Independence Day weekend might be the perfect time to read this book. In this shattering and iconic American novel, PEN prize-winning writer, Smith Henderson explores the complexities of freedom, community, grace, suspicion and anarchy, brilliantly depicting our nation’s disquieting and violent contradictions.
Fourth of July Creek ( $1.99 ) After trying to help Benjamin Pearl, an undernourished, nearly feral eleven-year-old boy living in the Montana wilderness, social worker Pete Snow comes face to face with the boy’s profoundly disturbed father, Jeremiah. With courage and caution, Pete slowly earns a measure of trust from this paranoid survivalist itching for a final conflict that will signal the coming End Times.
But as Pete’s own family spins out of control, Pearl’s activities spark the full-blown interest of the F.B.I., putting Pete at the center of a massive manhunt from which no one will emerge unscathed.

Read More..
Next Page »