Category: Housekeeping
Housekeeping: American wins Man Booker Prize; Amazon’s Delivery Policy, Twitch Prime and Cheap Reads 0 comments
broom.panAmerican wins Man Booker Prize
Author Paul Beatty has won the 2016 Man Booker Prize for Fiction for The Sellout ($9.99). Beatty is the first American to win this coveted recognition since it was expanded to include books by authors from outside the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth of Nations. The prize also includes a £50,000 award.
The Man Booker Prize is a literary prize awarded each year for the best original novel, written in the English language. The winner is generally assured of international renown and success.
The Sellout ($9.99 Audiobook $4.49) A biting satire about a young man’s isolated upbringing and the race trial that sends him to the Supreme Court, Paul Beatty’s The Sellout showcases a comic genius at the top of his game. It challenges the sacred tenets of the United States Constitution, urban life, the civil rights movement, the father-son relationship, and the holy grail of racial equality—the black Chinese restaurant.


Late Delivery – What Amazon promises
Many of us place orders with Amazon that require physical delivery. Did you know that Amazon has recourse for you if your package arrives later than promised?
If your order qualifies for Guaranteed Accelerated Delivery, your shipping costs can be refunded if Amazon’s promised delivery time is missed. The list of conditions is long and you will have to decide if it is worth contacting customer care.
amazon-prime-logoIf you are a Prime member, a late delivery may extend your Prime membership by one month. If you have repeated late deliveries, you may be eligible to receive up to 12 extensions in a year. To me, that’s worth a call to customer care.
Read more about Amazon’s delivery policy here.


Prime membership now includes Twitch Prime
Amazon has added Twitch Prime (premium video game streaming content) to the growing list of goodies for Prime membership. Twitch’s website lists these benefits:
• Ad-Free Viewing Experience Across Twitch: avoid viewing ads during the broadcast.
• Free Twitch Channel Subscription: Prime members receive a free Twitch channel subscription every 30 days to use on a Partnered channel of their choice.
• Member Access to Free Game Content: get access to select free games and in-game content that will be available through Twitch Prime, including access to content before it is available to the general public.
• Exclusive Member Savings on Physical Games: On Amazon, Prime members receive discounted pricing on physical new releases from pre-order through two weeks after launch, including on pre-orders and collector’s editions. Members also get release-day delivery, and the Pre-Order Price Guarantee, ensuring that on release day, you pay the lowest price offered on Amazon for these games, regardless of what the price was when you pre-ordered.
Go here to connect your Twitch account to your Prime membership.

Cheap Reads – Historical fiction bundle for only 99 cents
Buy three books in The Knights Templar series by Michael Jecks for only 99 cents today. Then pick up the other books in the series for only 99 cents each.

The Knights Templar Collection (only 99p) THE KNIGHTS TEMPLAR COLLECTION brings together three engrossing novels in the widely acclaimed and much loved Knights Templar series. Escape into the evocative medieval world of Sir Baldwin de Furnshill and his friend Bailiff Simon Puttock, as you join them on the suspenseful trail of three murder mysteries.
Set includes:
More books in The Knights Templar series are selling for only 99 cents each. Browse the 15 books selling for 99 cents each here.
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Housekeeping: No Shipping Woes with the Kindle; Free Audiobook Short & Cheap Reads 0 comments
broom.panPublishers and Shipping Woes
The Hanjin Shipping Company, which filed for bankruptcy in August, has had its ships stranded at sea or seized by creditors, causing weeks of delay for major publishing houses awaiting inventory.
One container ship was scheduled to arrive in New York on September 12, but did not dock until October 14. The ship was carrying books from a number of publishers including HarperCollins, Bloomsbury, St. Martin’s Press, Viz Media and others.
Downloading your books through Kindle means never having to think about Korean shipping companies declaring bankruptcy.


Free Audiobook Short
Download a free audiobook today. Narrated by Sean Penn, Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff (Free) is a short listen of two and a half hours.
Description: By turns tender and terrifying, Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff captures America on the verge of political upheaval in 2016 and introduces us to a man who just might be able to save us from the oncoming horror. Yes, Bob Honey – carnival carny, sewage specialist, and government operative, among other occupations – has spent years in preparation, crisscrossing the world in the employ of a mysterious government program that pays in small bills.

Historical Fiction Bundle – Today Only

The Novels of Alexander the Great ($3.99) Open Road Media is selling this special three-in-one edition of Mary Renault’s acclaimed historical novels about the life and times of Alexander the Great at a great price today only. The set includes Fire from Heaven, The Persian Boy, and Funeral Games. This ebook features an illustrated biography of Mary Renault including rare images of the author.

Cheap Reads – Cookbooks for Every Palate
Fall and winter are favorite times to try new recipes. These cookbooks are selling for only $1.99 each!

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Housekeeping II: Prime Photos Experience with Family Vault & $60 in credits 0 comments
broom.panPrime Member Photo Storage
For those who snaps pictures often or have thousands of digital images, Amazon has announced that Prime members can now share unlimited photo storage space and up to 5GB of video storage space with up to five people through Family Vault, a private, easily-accessible home for photos and videos. The sharing with others is without additional cost when you are a member of Prime.
With the all-new Family Vault, bringing family photos together is as easy as one-click or swipe from a computer or mobile device. Customers can start using the new features of Prime Photos today at or through Prime Photos mobile apps.



You can view and collect everyone’s photos together in the Family Vault and your photos stay private until you choose to add them to the Family Vault.
Prime Photo also has smart search technology. Prime Photos’ new search technology makes finding photos based on people, places, or things a snap. Looking for pictures from a wedding? Search for “wedding” and relevant photos will show up.
Customers can now order photo books, cards, and prints directly on the web from their Prime Photos account. Amazon Print products start at just nine cents a print, and ships with free delivery for Prime members. Customers can learn more and order prints today by visiting


Use Prime Photo; Get $60 in Credits
Amazon is making a sweet offer for anyone who uploads even one photo through Prime Photos. Through Monday, October 31, you will receive a $20 credit toward computers and tablets, $30 credit toward cameras and $10 credit toward software when you sign up and save a photo.
An email will be sent on or about November 3 with your discount codes which must be used by December 3. As usual, there are rules which can be read here at the bottom of the webpage.
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Housekeeping: Amazon Unlimited Music; Free Kindle book/audiobook and Cheap Reads 6 comments
broom.panAmazon Unlimited Music
Yesterday Amazon announced Amazon Music Unlimited – a streaming music service for a monthly subscription fee. Per the press release the

on-demand music service redefines music streaming by putting a catalog of tens of millions of songs and thousands of hand-curated playlists and personalized stations not just at the tips of your fingers, but also on the tip of your tongue. Amazon Music Unlimited makes discovering new music or listening to favorites easier and more fun than ever with a redesigned Amazon Music app as well as with innovative new Alexa voice controls.

Amazon Music Unlimited is available at the breakthrough price of $7.99/month or $79/year for Prime members–$9.99/month for non-Prime customers. That’s one account, all devices. A family plan is coming soon for up to 6 family members for $14.99 a month.
You can download for offline listening, too!
Exclusive “for Echo” subscription plan is available for only $3.99/month with full access to Amazon Music Unlimited.
This new service for the Echo makes having an Echo or buying one a great idea! Here are just a few of the things Alexa can do with this subscription:
• Ready to listen to Sia? Just ask, “Alexa, play Sia” and Alexa will create a playlist of Sia’s most popular songs
• Want to hear the latest hit by Green Day? Just ask, “Alexa, play Green Day’s new song” and Alexa will play their latest single, “Bang Bang”
• Have words to a song stuck in your head but can’t remember the name of the song? All you have to do is say a few words and Alexa will play the song. For example, just ask, “Alexa, play the song that goes, ‘I was doing just fine before I met you'” and Alexa will play, “Closer” by The Chainsmokers
• Want to re-live the music from your college days? You can ask Alexa to play hit music from a decade or a specific year or month. Just ask, “Alexa, play the most popular rock from the 90s” and Alexa will take you back in time



Download free Kindle book; download free audiobook
When you download the free Kindle version of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Lewis Stevenson, you can also download the audiobook for free. This novella is about a London lawyer named Gabriel John Utterson who investigates strange occurrences between his old friend, Dr. Henry Jekyll, and the evil Edward Hyde. There are two personalities within Dr Jekyll, one apparently good and the other evil.

Non-fiction for only 99 cents each
Enjoy a bit of science, history and more when you purchase these Kindle books for only 99 cents each.

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Housekeeping: Oasis Review by Brooke; Amazon Review Changes and Cheap Reads 0 comments

broom.panAn Oasis Review by Brooke
Early last spring when Amazon announced the Kindle Oasis ereader ($289.99), Brooke sent an email explaining why she planned to buy the newest device. It recently arrived and Brooke sent a review to share with all of you:

I live in Mexico half the year and use my Kindle Voyage for hours (and hours) a day, and told you I was considering ‘upgrading’ to an Oasis except the color I wanted was backordered for months. I’m now back from Mexico and have the Oasis. Here’s my very short review.
If you’ve got a Voyage, there is definitely only one reason you might want to buy an Oasis: used without the cover, it is the first Kindle you can comfortably hold in one hand for an extended period of time. With the Voyage this requires splaying your thumb and forefinger in an L and then using the second hand for page turn. With the Oasis you can hold it naturally and easily use that one hand to turn pages.
Every other improvement of Oasis versus the Voyage is so minimal as to not be worth the upgrade. Back-light, screen sensitivity, highlighting, note taking, battery life – all are nominal improvements. The price of the Voyage plus leather origami cover isn’t much different than Oasis (which comes with leather cover) so if you don’t own the Voyage and are deciding what to buy, I’d go with the Oasis.
One possible Oasis drawback is that it is of no value with the cover on. You lose the ergonomic shape that makes holding it comfortable, and the added weight makes a huge difference (remember most of the Oasis battery is in the cover, so it is relatively heavy). Also, I miss the origami cover of the Voyage.
I get 5 hours of reading from the Oasis without the cover. When you re-join the Oasis to its cover, the cover recharges the Kindle after about 30 minutes. I need to recharge the Oasis with cover (plugging it into the wall) every 5 or 6 days. With the Voyage I get 4 to 5 days use.
I’m keeping my Oasis and will use the Voyage when I want to rest the Kindle upright using the origami cover (such as reading magazines while I eat lunch).
I hugely recommend ordering the Oasis and seeing what it feels like to have an ereader you can actually hold like a paperback. You can always return it within the 30 day period. Within a week you’ll know whether it is for you.

Brooke talked me (Paula) into ordering the Oasis which will arrive on Monday. After reading Brooke’s comment I realized that I seldom read from my Voyage while seated. Brooke identified the reason – it’s just not comfortable. I’m looking forward to giving the Oasis a try.
Amazon now prohibits incentivized reviews

amazon-vineAmazon announced earlier this week that incentivized reviews (reviews in exchange for free product) are now prohibited except through their Amazon Vine program. You may have read reviews where the statement was included that the product was received free in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.
Hopefully this will raise the quality of reviews and perhaps eliminate fake reviews. Reviews previously published which indicated the product was provided free will remain if they are not excessive and comply with Amazon’s guidelines.
Amazon does state that they “will continue to allow the age-old practice of providing advance review copies of books.”
Read more about it here. This webpage also explains the Amazon Vine program.

Cheap Reads – Six Imogene Museum Mysteries
Buy books 2-5 in the Imogene Museum Mystery series for only 99 cents each today.

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Housekeeping II – Free Kindle Reading for Prime Members and Kindle Ereader Deals 4 comments
broom.panFree Kindle Reading for Prime Members
Yesterday Amazon announced its newest benefit for Prime members – Prime Reading. If you are a Prime member you can read as much as you like from a selection of over a thousand top Kindle books, magazines, short works, comic books, children’s books and more – all at no additional cost.
According to the press release “Prime members can now enjoy unlimited reading from a rotating selection of books, magazines, comics and more.”
I am interpreting this to mean that some books will be available for a limited time in Prime Reading. Naturally magazines would rotate out as new issues are made available.

The press release also states:

Enjoy best-selling Kindle books including The Hobbit, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, The Man In the High Castle, The Millionaire Next Door, Half Way Home and When I’m Gone, comics such as The Complete Peanuts Vol. 1 and Transformers: Robots in Disguise Vol. 1 as well as short works including Kindle Singles from Andy Borowitz, Stephen King, Jane Hirshfield and classic works from Gloria Steinem, Norman Mailer and Kurt Vonnegut.
Explore current issues of premium digital magazines including Bon Appétit, National Geographic Traveler, People, Sports Illustrated, HGTV, Popular Mechanics, Golf Digest, Runner’s World and more.

When I selected Browse the Catalog from the Prime Reading webpage, a quick view of the books available shows that most are published by Amazon and do not include major trade publishers. There are a couple of novels published by Simon & Schuster including The Lions of Lucerne.
Check out what is available through the benefit here.

Prime Member Exclusive Deals on Kindle E-Readers
To encourage Prime members to use Prime Reading, Amazon has reduced the prices on four Kindle ereaders through next Tuesday afternoon.
Kindle E-reader – $30 off now until 10/11 at 4 pm PT – Only $49.99
Kindle Paperwhite E-Reader – $30 off now until 10/11 at 4 pm PT – $89.99
Kindle Voyage E-Reader – $50 off now until 10/11 at 4 pm PT – $149.99
Kindle for Kids Bundle – $30 off now until 10/11 at 4 pm PT – Only $69.99 (Regular $124.99) – This Kindle does not have sponsored screensavers and includes a cover and a 2-year no-questions-asked replacement policy.


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Housekeeping: All-New Fire TV Stick; Wall Charger and Cheap Reads 0 comments

broom.panThanks for your patience
We appreciate your patience as we continue to determine what is causing the text to overwrite the graphics on our posts. Today we changed how we set up the Daily Deal and we are hopeful that this will resolve the issue. Our IT guy is stumped and he is the best.
If you continue to see text over the top of graphics, please let me know. We will keep changing, tweaking, and seeking expert advice on how to remove the gremlins.
All-New Fire TV Stick
Amazon announced this week the all-new Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote, the most powerful streaming media stick available. Up to 30 percent faster than the original best-selling version, the next generation Fire TV Stick is more powerful, offers access to over 300,000 movies and TV episodes, and includes the Alexa Voice Remote—for only $39.99.
An added bonus, when you buy this All-New Fire Stick, eligible customers who purchase and activate their device by October 31 will also receive a free content package worth up to $65, including one month of Sling TV, two months of Hulu (Limited Commercials), and a $10 credit for Amazon Video to rent or purchase new releases or old favorites. Sling TV and Hulu credits are valid for new customers only.
The new Fire TV Stick is available for pre-order. Shipping begins October 20, 2016.


Lumsing USB Wall Charger 4-Port
If you never have enough outlets to charge your devices (especially when traveling) you need to buy the Lumsing USB Wall Charger 4-Port. Choose from grey, orange or blue color for $9.99 (regularly $19.99).
The deal is sweeter when you enter promo code YA45F4WI at checkout to save an additional $4. That brings your final cost to $5.99 to make charging easier.
The deal gets even sweeter: This wall charger is eligible for Prime shipping. If you choose the free no-rush shipping, you will get a $5.99 Prime Pantry credit. That’s getting the wall charger free!

Cheap Reads
Buy these crime fiction and mysteries from Pocket Star Books for only 99 cents each. Get ready for the cooler weather and reading season.

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Housekeeping: Government overreach; What I’m reading and A Cheap Read 4 comments

broom.panGovernment Bullies
The popularity of the Little Free Library has swept around the world and become a neighborly way to share used books with others. The concept is simple: Build a small structure to protect the books; place it in an accessible location; add a few books from several genre for children, teens and adults and spread the word that anyone is welcome to take a book and/or leave a book.
lflibraryNo good deed goes unpunished as a 9-year-old boy in Leawood, Kansas, learned when he was ordered to remove his Little Free Library or face fines when at least two people complained to the city. After much press and citizen outcry, the city council graciously decided to exempt the small structures from the city’s ordinances. Read more about this brave young man here.
Another article tells other stories of local governments trying to stifle the free exchange of books.
In this time of 24 hour/7 day political stories, we are reminded that people need to be involved in the process to work for the best government possible.
My Reading/Listening List
These books that I’ve read or listened to in the last month are ones that I recommend. NOTE: All were purchased when selling for cheap prices.
The Negotiator by Dee Henderson ($8.32) – Inspirational romantic suspense by one of the best in the business, first book in the O’Malley Series
Best Kept Secret by Jeffrey Archer ($9.99) – Third book in the Clifton Chronicles, a family with trials, tribulations and an occasional happy event
At the Scent of Water by Linda Nichols ($4.99) – Amazing inspirational novel of second chances
Taken by Dee Henderson ($8.64) – Stand-alone inspirational suspense
Somewhere in France by Jennifer Robson ($8.99) – Very good WWI historical fiction
Oceans Apart by Karen Kingsbury ($7.99) – Grab a hanky and read this phenomenal novel by a popular inspirational author – a tale of forgiveness

Lullaby by Ed McBain ($4.99) – 87th Precinct police procedural – good read with several plots. Build your 87th Precinct library with these three books for $1.99 each
Open and Shut by David Rosenfelt ($7.99) – Another very good legal mystery (not a thriller)
Circle of Quilters by Jennifer Chiaverini ($11.99) – Very good contemporary women’s fiction – solid series that I’m slowly collecting
Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple – $7.99 – A quirky story filled with contemporary characters that are spot-on
Murder Gets a Life by Anne George ($7.99) – Another Southern Sisters cozy – good, quick read
Starry Montana Sky by Debra Holland ($4.99) – Sweet historical romance; fast read
Clementine by Sara Pennypacker ($4.99) – A beginning chapter book for children – cute and entertaining; love how she names her kittens!
Conspiracy in Death by J. D. Robb ($7.99) – Another solid novel in the Eve Dallas series of futuristic mysteries
Attachments by Rainbow Rowell ($9.99) – A different novel about office life, email security and working folks
At Home in Mitford by Jan Karon ($9.99) – The first book in her popular series
A Cheap Read – Historical Mystery
Enjoy a Maggie Hope historical mystery this weekend when you buy this novel for $1.99.
His Majesty’s Hope ($1.99) World War II has finally come home to Britain, but it takes more than nightly air raids to rattle intrepid spy and expert code breaker Maggie Hope. After serving as a secret agent to protect Princess Elizabeth at Windsor Castle, Maggie is now an elite member of the Special Operations Executive—a black ops organization designed to aid the British effort abroad—and her first assignment sends her straight into Nazi-controlled Berlin, the very heart of the German war machine.
Relying on her quick wit and keen instincts, Maggie infiltrates the highest level of Berlin society, gathering information to pass on to London headquarters. But the secrets she unveils will expose a darker, more dangerous side of the war—and of her own past.

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Housekeeping: All-New Echo Dot, Fun cartoon and Cheap read 2 comments

broom.panAll-New Echo Dot – Now only $49.99
Amazon has announced the second generation of the Echo Dot, available for pre-order now for only $49.99. If you order five, you will receive one free (see ordering instructions). Order 10, you will receive two free (see ordering instructions). Delivery begins October 20. Buy the Dot in white now, too.
• Echo Dot (2nd Generation) is a hands-free, voice-controlled device that uses Alexa to play music, control smart home devices, provide information, read the news, set alarms, and more
• Connects to speakers or headphones through Bluetooth or 3.5 mm stereo cable to play music from Prime Music, Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio, and TuneIn
• Controls lights, fans, switches, thermostats, garage doors, sprinklers, and more with compatible connected devices from WeMo, Philips Hue, Samsung SmartThings, Nest, ecobee, and others
• Hears you from across the room with 7 far-field microphones for hands-free control, even in noisy environments or while playing music
• Includes a built-in speaker so it can work on its own as a smart alarm clock in the bedroom, an assistant in the kitchen, or anywhere you might want a voice-controlled computer
• Always getting smarter and adding new features, plus thousands of skills like Uber, Domino’s, and more

Cartoon Fun
Cheap Read
The Book of General Ignorance ($1.99) Challenging what most of us assume to be verifiable truths in areas like history, literature, science, nature, and more,The Book of General Ignorance is a witty “gotcha” compendium of how little we actually know about anything. It’ll have you scratching your head wondering why we even bother to go to school.
Think Magellan was the first man to circumnavigate the globe, baseball was invented in America, Henry VIII had six wives, Mount Everest is the tallest mountain? Wrong, wrong, wrong, and wrong again. You’ll be surprised at how much you don’t know!

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Housekeeping: Read books to live longer; A letter to Amazon about updates & Cheap reads 6 comments

broom.panRead books to live longer
Book readers live longer than non-readers according research.
More than 3,500 people over the age of 50 participated in a large health study, answering questions about reading. In the 12 years of follow up, compared to non-readers, those who read more than three and a half hours a week are 23% less likely to die. Book readers lived an average of nearly two years longer than non-readers.
You can read newspapers and magazines and still out-live non-readers, but not as long as book readers.
According to Becca R. Levy, a professor of epidemiology at Yale:

People who report as little as a half-hour a day of book reading had a significant survival advantage over those who did not read. And the survival advantage remained after adjusting for wealth, education, cognitive ability and many other variables.

Read more about the study here and here.
About those upgrades
Dear Amazon,
Please! No more updates until you have them perfected. The last few have been disasters.
Remember the one you sent to my 8.9” Kindle Fire that caused my device to deregister? Admittedly, it was an inconvenience to get that fixed, but my Fire has never been the same. New books, apps, and music no longer appear on the carousel. Strangely, audiobooks do.
I’ve tried to convince the Fire to correct itself by rebooting, deregistering/re-registering and sending new books directly to it. The book I sent directly appeared on the Books tab, but not the carousel. I’ve accepted that I will not have the Fire I once had.
Recently my everyday reader, the Voyage, has been giving me fits. I wanted to remove a newly download book from the home page. “Remove from Device” was not available. The option was “Delete this Book.” You may not know this, but if I choose to delete a book, my Voyage will never be able to find it again. The book is in my Amazon archive and I can send it to the device from Amazon’s website, but my Voyage will not retrieve it.
I rebooted the Voyage and had the Remove from Device option for a few books. New books downloads required a reboot to bring Remove from Device back.
Being a dutiful Kindle owner, I went to the support page
and looked for updates. A new version was available and I downloaded it to my laptop and side-loaded it to my Voyage. Surely my frustrations were gone!
No, things were worse. The publisher’s book covers no longer appeared. The title and author appeared in cover-shaped box. Remove from Device is available on some books, but not all.
I spoke to a customer care rep and explained to him what happened and he told me that according to the manual, only Remove from Device is available. I can’t have a Delete this Book option because it isn’t on his list. Sigh. That’s a whole ‘nother column.
This last week the book covers have returned. I’m still frustrated at not being able to remove books from my home page.
Amazon, I’ll be happy to be a beta user of your updates. I will find those bugs before you push to users and all of us will have a better experience.
Up to 60% off select series bundles
Amazon has bundled 60 fiction series published under its imprint and has reduced the price when all books are purchased at one time. The bundles have 2 to 6 books. Most bundles average less than $2 per book.
There are specific instructions on how to get the great bundle price, so please read the details at the top of the page.
Click here to browse the 60% off select series bundles

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