Category: Housekeeping
Housekeeping: The Deep Freeze: Fill the slow cooker and snuggle in with a great book 2 comments
Baby, it’s cold outside
Here in the Midwest the coldest weather of the season is barreling our way. The holiday week has already been cold, but highs over the coming few days probably won’t be above zero.
Thankfully we will be able to stay in during the worst of the cold snap. Activities across the area are being cancelled or rescheduled to keep people inside.
Most of our meals have been prepared in the slow cooker – ham and beans; beef stew; chicken and noodles – recipes such as are in the book below.
We have several great books on our Kindles and are snuggling in for the duration. Hope you are warm, eating well and reading your favorite authors this New Years weekend, too.


Book Description: Finally, all in one handsome volume, the best 1400 slow-cooker recipes!
Collected from some of America’s best home cooks.
Tested in real-life settings.
Carefully selected from thousands of recipes.
Eight small “galleries” of full-color photos of delectable slow-cooker dishes from the collection add sparkle throughout the cookbook.
This is the perfect BIG COOKBOOK! Easy to understand, easy to use. Buy it today for only $1.99.
Click here to purchase Fix-It and Forget-It Big Cookbook

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Housekeeping: Upgrading your Kindle readers – Paula’s thoughts 20 comments
Upgrading your Kindle
Last week DonnaC dropped a note saying that she is going to upgrade her Kindle reader and asked my opinion on which Kindle device is the best.
Serious readers need to invest in the best tool they can afford to enjoy the hours spent engrossed in great books. I commend DonnaC for recognizing that means a dedicated e-reader. The quality of the resolution and the unique screen lighting is superior to a tablet for hours-long reading.
I don’t recommend the lowest priced Kindle for anyone who is an avid reader. Children and casual readers are good candidates for the low-end Kindle. If you want a second Kindle to throw in the purse or vehicle, it’s a good choice.
Amazon offers three higher quality readers with built-in lighting. To me, the Paperwhite and Voyage are similar, with their outer appearance a major difference.
The Paperwhite surface is glass with a case surrounding. That inset glass is a catch-all for dust and whatever is around. Example: I had my Paperwhite on the table when my husband and I went to breakfast at a local diner. I found donut glaze in the corner later that evening. If you are a neat-nick, this device’s casing might frustrate you.
The Paperwhite is also entirely touch-driven. Without buttons to advance or reverse, it is not always convenient or comfortable. In the winter months when I’m snuggled deep under the covers, swiping a finger across the screen upsets the cocoon I’ve created.
The Voyage is a flat front with solid glass surface that is easier to clean. With buttons (PagePress) on both sides for forward and backward, this device has easier navigatation. The PagePress buttons give a silent haptic response (slight vibration). The screen also accepts touch page turns.
As far as clarity, the resolution is the same in the Paperwhite and Voyage.
I purchased the original Oasis, but do not use it. The device is small and doesn’t have heft or presence compared to the PaperWhite or Voyage. Honestly, you can lose it in a sweater pocket. The viewing screen is the same size as the Paperwhite but the surrounding frame is smaller. I use my Kindle readers without a cover and that may be why I’ve not taken to the Oasis.
The new Oasis has a 7” screen which tells me that readers wanted to see a bigger page. If anyone reading this has the new Oasis, please comment how you like it.
I recommend that that anyone considering a new device visit here to read Amazon’s comparison of the four readers selling now. Scroll down the page to the grid.
Amazon is offering a Black Friday deal on the Paperwhite, cutting the price to $89.99 ($30 savings). The Voyage and Oasis are not listed in their Black Friday week deals.
DonnaC – to answer your question:
If you have budget considerations, the Paperwhite is the best device.
If you are able to purchase any of the three devices, I recommend the Voyage ($199.99).
What device would you recommend to Donna C? Please comment with your preferred device and any words of wisdom, plus or minus, you have about the devices.
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Housekeeping: A bit of book fun 4 comments

Name the genre
An actual first line of a book blurb in the Kindle Store:

BOOK TITLE is a gripping, nonfiction novel combining absolute realism, humor, and a moving, supernatural twist.

Seriously, how many nonfiction novels have you read?
Find-and-replace fail
I recently read a novel about a young man named Peter, which must have been the author’s second choice for the hero’s name. He was originally Tom. How did I know this? Because the global change in the word processing program gave it away:

When it was over, he tried to kiss me but our braces became tangled together. Anxiety twisted in my sPeterach at the memory.

An apple and a book a day
Research confirms what you already know: Reading is good for you. Read this article to learn the six scientific reasons why.


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Housekeeping: Kindle Fatigue and Dictionary Fun 16 comments
Kindle Fatigue
Amazon just announced the latest Kindle e-reader – the All-New Kindle Oasis E-reader ($249.99). This one has several improved features:
• Higher resolution – at what point does this become indistinguishable?
• Thin and light design with an aluminum back – no joke, this was listed as the second feature on the press release
• The first waterproof Kindle – for the very few Kindle owners who sometimes use their Kindles in the tub, close enough to the pool to get wet or on the beach as the tide is rolling in
• Audible built in – for the 2% of the population who doesn’t have 2, 4 or 6 Fire tablets to listen to their audiobooks
If I’m sounding a bit snarky, it’s because I’m suffering from Kindle fatigue. Amazon has introduced new and improved Kindle readers year after year. The Paperwhite was the last significantly improvement over prior models. The Voyage and Oasis are fine devices, but not remarkably different. The Oasis is especially designed for those who read for hours at a time, which is probably a small percentage of all Kindle users.
Are you excited about this new and improved e-reader? Or did you yawn and move on?


Words for the Bookish has a fun slide show titled Words All Book Lovers Should be Using. Take a few minutes to read through the presentation to test your vocabulary.
If you are a logophile, has a wealth of fun learning presentations.
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Housekeeping: Romance readers, get a $3 credit to spend on select books 0 comments
Credit for romance novels
You can get a $3 credit to redeem on select Romance Kindle novels sold by Amazon Publishing.
Simply click here, sign in and the credit will be applied to your account.
Browse the large selection of romances click here. I redeemed my credit on three novels priced at just 99 cents each.
Click on this link; sign in to redeem the credit and choose a book or two or three.
The $3 credit must be claimed and redeemed by September 30th.
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Housekeeping: is merging with Goodreads 12 comments
Amazon Tracking to end
I’ve infrequently used Amazon’s tracking system to record what I’ve read or decided wasn’t worth the effort. The system lists every book – Kindle and print – you have purchased through Amazon.
A recent visit to the website notified me that the data will be merging with Goodreads, an Amazon-owned website.
The good news is that Amazon will send you a spreadsheet of every book you have purchased from them. I received my list just a few minutes after submitting the request.
If you are not familiar with the feature, go to

You may need to sign in. You may need to select Your Books to display your purchases. On the far right, you can limit the selections to Kindle only or choose to view all books.

To request the download of your book list, you need to click on Learn more in the gray box (Important information about at the top of the page. You will be linked to a page that explains what is happening with Goodreads and giving you options to link your two accounts and send your book list to Goodreads.
Even if you choose not to track your reading on Goodreads, I strongly encourage you to request the booklist.
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Housekeeping: Prime Members: Win an Echo and Just How Dangerous Is Alexa? 1 comment
Prime Members: Win an Echo
Eligible Prime members who listen to any Audible selection on a list of devices (Fire tablets, Echo devices, Audible App on other devices) from July 5-11 are entered into a drawing for 100 free Echo devices. You can enter each day just by listening for more than 5 seconds.
You can download a Prime-exclusive audiobook Funny Amazon Reviews for free if you need help selecting a title.
Read more about the opportunity here. Official Rules apply.


Just how dangerous is Alexa?
We don’t recommend you register to win an Echo if you have a fear of your conversations being recorded. Shelly Palmer has written an article regarding Alexa, privacy and the 60 seconds recorded before you say the wake word.
It’s an interesting read and may assuage some of your concerns or keep you awake at night. The technology, the data gathered and what is done with that data is fascinating thinking.
Shelly Palmer is the CEO of The Palmer Group, a strategic advisory, technology solutions and business development practice. Mr. Palmer is also Fox 5 New York’s on-air tech and digital media expert, writes a weekly column for AdAge, and is a regular commentator on CNBC and CNN.


Prime Day 2017
We will be here at 6:00p.m. PDT on Monday evening (July 10), posting the first Prime Day deals. I won’t be able to keep track of what is selling all day long, but we expect some deals to be good the full 30 hours. You can shop some deals now by going here. Go to this page to see the daily deals prior to Prime Day.
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Housekeeping: Response from Audible 8 comments
Audible Responds
A couple of weeks ago I posted about my unhappiness with Audible for raising the prices on titles that were great deals because I had also bought the Kindle Version. I had chatted with a care rep, but had not received a reply.
Yesterday I sent an email through Audible’s Contact Us page. I recounted how I had fallen in love with listening to books and that I often purchased the Kindle version to get the audiobook. I mentioned my very long wish list and my habit of buying 10-15 titles at a time.
I went on to express my disappointment with the price increase and how the change was prompting me to reconsider my yearly membership to Audible.
To close the email I reminded them of Amazon’s argument to publishers that lower prices mean more sales that will mean more profit in the long run. Isn’t it ironic that Amazon didn’t apply that argument to their own products?
The reply came back within a few hours:

Thank you for contacting Audible!
We care about bringing you the best audiobook experiences by investing in innovative technologies like Whispersync for Voice, while still offering fair compensation to our authors, too. Tens of thousands of titles in the Whispersync for Voice catalog are priced at $2 or less, and no Whispersync titles cost more than $12.99.
We are sorry to know that you are not happy regarding the higher price and we’d like to inform you that our business team is working on it as we received many of our customer’s [sic] feedback on this issue. We value your business and hope you’ll give us an opportunity to prove the quality of our service to you in the future.
As soon as your request becomes available, we will definitely let you know about this through our website. Our priority is to ensure that your Audible experience is exceedingly positive.
For the inconvenience we have applied the promotional credit of $10.00 to your account, this promo balance will be applied automatically on your next purchase.

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Housekeeping II – Check out this book in the Kindle Store – Kindle in Motion 0 comments

You must go to this webpage and give this a look-see – The Matchmaker’s Playbook [Kindle in Motion]
The book is Kindle in Motion:

This book can be read on any device, including Kindle E-readers. Kindle in Motion books include art, animation, or video features that can be viewed on certain Fire tablets and the free Kindle app for iOS and Android. You can switch features on or off at any time.

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Housekeeping: Audible’s unpleasant surprise! 10 comments
Boo Audible!
Amazon via Audible has done it again. I’ve become addicted to audiobooks and have enjoyed more than 700 titles over the last five years. Short stories, children’s books, classics, contemporary favorites, new authors, protracted histories – I’ve listened to all of them.
I also admit to buying Kindle versions of books because the audio version is only $1.99 or $3.99 or some price below $5. My Audible wish list has more than 250 titles – many at great prices for buying the Kindle version – just waiting for me to click them into the shopping cart. Every 4-6 weeks, I shop my wish list to restock the audio library.
I recently clicked on the wish list and found many books are now priced at $7.49. When I purchased the Kindle version, the offer to buy the audiobook did not state a time limit. Usually, I do not buy the audiobook at the same time for two reasons: 1) small purchases on my debit/credit card trigger a fraud alert and 2) I like to read reviews of the audio version before buying.
I contacted a care representative via chat to ask about the price change. The person forwarded my question to marketing, but assured me that some books on my wish list were still $3.99. Is this a diversionary tactic? The rep doesn’t address my concern over price increases, but tells me some books are still $3.99. It’s worth noting that many of those books at the lower price are inspirational fiction.
Today I loaded the shopping cart with over 40 books selling at $1.99 and $3.99 before the price changes. A $7.49 version of an audiobook is no longer a great deal. Amazon may have lost a very good customer – both at Kindle and Audible. They have taken away the incentive to buy the Kindle book to get the audiobook at a great price. My listening addiction may be going on cold turkey.
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