Category: Housekeeping
Housekeeping: Family Book Club and Popular Books 1920-2018 0 comments
A Family Book Club?
HarperCollins published an article suggesting that now is a great time to start a family book club, giving five compelling reasons to bring together the relatives to choose a book and have it read by this time next week.
Read the article 5 Reasons You Should Start A Family Book Club Right Now and send out that text or email to the fam.


My Fam Idea
Our family on my father’s side has a family reunion in March each year – until this year. I suggested to my sister that we needed to start a Facebook page, invite family members, upload vintage photographs and ask everyone to post an update of their lives. The response has been wonderful and many of the younger members of the family are following the page.
Our virtual family reunion is lasting long after our usual meeting on a Sunday afternoon.

Popular in Your Birth Year

Southern Living magazine posted a slideshow of the most popular book every year from 1920 to 2018. Check it out to see what everyone was reading in your birth year here. If you don’t want to go through the slideshow, scroll down the page to see the list.
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Housekeeping Extra: Free listens (not downloads) on 0 comments
Free listens for everyone from Audible
For a limited time while the nation’s schools are closed, Audible is offering great listens free to anyone – no membership required. The selections are for all ages groups and include classics. There are books available in five languages other than English.
The teen section has several books from one series as well as a couple to to help you learn Spanish and French.
This adult is going to listen to every book in the elementary and tween categories.
Go to this website to start listening:


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Housekeeping: Bright spot 2 comments
Bright spot in these uncertain times
As the concern over COVID-19 continues and we have been asked to shelter at home in an effort to stop this lethal virus. Organizations and businesses around the country are opening their virtual information vaults and sharing them with all of us via the internet.
Publishers Weekly, the trade paper of publishers, made this announcement Wednesday:

Everyone can now access the digital edition of PW from or from the PW app on iOS and Android.

Additionally, articles, past bestsellers lists and the reviews database, which includes a search feature and the reviews listed by genre, will be made available to all.

And last, we are very pleased to share access to our recently launched archive database. The archive includes 7,597 past issues, 676,133 pages, 400,000 book reviews, 5,000 author profiles and interviews and, beginning in 1895, bestseller lists.

Important links:
• Access your digital copy each week on Saturday here:
• Access the reviews database here:
• Access the archive here:


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Housekeeping: Thankfulness 6 comments
A Week Later
Last week I posted a few suggestions regarding how to prepare for the COVID-19 outbreak. The worldwide situation has worsened and the concern will probably continue for weeks or even months.
In all events, we have reasons to be grateful. Here’s my what-I’m-thankful-for list:

  • High-speed fiber services that were installed in last fall
  • The internet to receive news, chat with friends, and work from home
  • The internet to order items we need to be delivered to our home
  • Good health that increases our odds of recovery if impacted
  • Plenty of ways to entertain ourselves if we are quarantined at home
  • Faith that God is in control
    We have been praying for healing in our community, state, nation and around the world. Let us know if you or someone close to you has been impacted. Provide us first names and we will add them specifically to our prayer list.
    Please do all you can to protect yourself and your family. Our prayer is that life as back to normal in a short time.

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    Housekeeping: COVID-19 Impacts and Sandman Coming to Audible 8 comments
    COVID-19 Impacts Publishing Industry
    This year’s London Book Fair has been cancelled. Citing concerns about the potential spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, Reed Exhibitions made the announcement at the last minute. The event was scheduled to start next week. Harpercollins, Penguin Random House, Hachette LIvre and Pan Macmillan had announced prior to the cancellation that their staffs would not be attending.
    Concerns of the increasing spread of the COVID-19 virus caused the organizers of the Bologna Children’s Book Fair to reschedule to the first week in May. Publishers, authors and editors have been scrambling to rearrange their schedules to accommodate the change.
    More than 30 children’s book publishers exhibiting at Toy Fair New York in late February reported that they use Chinese factories to produce a significant percentage of their books. They anticipate a disruption in the supply chain because of the virus.
    All of us have heard the precautions we need to practice to minimize contracting the virus. This is my advice:
    1) Download 10-15 great books to your Kindle.
    2) Charge the battery and keep the charging cord handy.
    3) Both hands on your Kindle will keep you from touching surfaces that may have the virus.
    4) Avoid crowds – stay home and read.
    5) Download more books if the virus threat continues.

    The Sandman Audio Drama coming to Audible this summer, narrated by Neil Gaiman

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    Housekeeping: Don’t You Believe It and Free Audible Downloads 6 comments
    Don’t You Believe It
    Sometimes the numbers just don’t add up. I have two snips below for the same book. The first snip is from the Wednesday Daily Deal page.
    Please note the number of reviews: 367.
    The second snip is what appears when you click on the book. Please note the number of reviews: 602.
    I looked at the actual reviews:
    193 – 5 Star
    70 – 4 Star
    27 – 3 Star
    4 – 2 Star
    6 – 1 Star
    300 – Total
    You just cannot trust the numbers when it comes to reviews at Amazon. One page states 367; another 602; when the truth is 300.


    Free Audiobooks for Audible Members
    Audible Members can download these three titles for free through March 5, 2020.
    Billy Kelly: This Is a Family Show!
    Certain Woman of an Age by Margaret Trudeau
    The Messengers by Lindsay Joelle
    Through March 7, 2020, Audible members can download these titles for free:
    Pile of Bones by Michael J. Sullivan
    The Jester: A Riyria Chronicles Tale by Michael J. Sullivan
    Professional Integrity: A Riyria Chronicles Tale by Michael J. Sullivan
    The Undead: Deleted Scene by R R Haywood
    So Long, Lollipops: The Free Until The End of the World Novella by Sarah Lyons Fleming
    The Hospital: The FREE Short Story: The First Mountain Man Story by Keith C. Blackmore
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    Housekeeping: NYPL 125 book list and Wearing Alexa 2 comments
    As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Read the full disclosure here.
    125 Books We Love
    As part of their year-long 125th anniversary celebration, the New York Public Library released their list of 125 books they love. Included are many classics and four graphic novels but no real surprises.
    Feel free to check out The New York Public Library’s 125 Books We Love.
    NYPL also has a daily email featuring their book of the day. I’ve been receiving it for several weeks and have not a recognized book yet. If your mailbox isn’t full enough, you can sign-up here. You will need to select a favorite library location. The very last location in the list is “None” for those of us who live outside the NYC area.


    Wearable Alexa
    One of the latest buzzwords for electronic devices is wearables. Apple watch was one of the first widely available tech devices that customers wear. Phones seemingly attached to teenagers’ hands don’t qualify for the label.
    Amazon has announced the Echo Loop, a smart ring with Alexa – their wearable tech device.
    The webpage says that it is available by invitation only with a price of $129.99. After the introductory period, the price increases to $179.99.
    The Loop will be quite the device:
    • Keep Alexa on hand – This smart ring is your shortcut to quick calls, fast answers, and bits of info that help you stay on top of your day.
    • Help is just a click away – Ask Alexa to set reminders, add to lists, and control compatible smart home devices on the go.
    • Made for real life – Echo Loop is scratch-resistant, water-resistant, and has an all-day battery.
    • Designed to protect your privacy – Wake up Alexa by clicking the action button.
    I clicked to request an invitation and received this reply. I’ll let you know if I’m selected to be one of the first to have a Loop! If you request an invitation and are chosen, please let us know.
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    Housekeeping: Captions Case; Weather Delays and Beethoven 0 comments
    Captions Case Ends
    I have written about the Captions dispute between Audible and publishers. A settlement has been reached.
    According to a court filing Audible has agreed not to include the copyrighted works of the seven plaintiff publishers in its Captions program unless express permission has been given. Only the seven publishers are covered by the injunction but the language of the settlement seems to protect the membership of the Association of American Publishers.
    Sources at Audible have reported that the company has no plans at this time to take the Captions program beyond its pilot of public domain titles for students.


    Weather Delays
    I’ve seen this warning over the past four-six weeks as we have had periods of ice, snow and dense fog in our area. While I enjoy the next day or two-day delivery as a Prime member, nothing I order is worth risking the safety of personnel, vehicles and equipment.


    Happy Birthday, Mr. Beethoven
    Celebrate Ludwig van Beethoven 250th birthday! Prime members can listen to his major works as well as rarities on Amazon Music, all performed by renowned orchestras and players from around the globe.
    Check out the playlists, concertos and symphonies here.
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    Housekeeping: Libraries and Possible $10 Credit 8 comments
    Libraries still popular
    A Gallup survey of 1,000 people completed in December 2019 found that libraries were much more popular than movies, sporting events, live music or theater and other leisure destinations.
    While the price of other options has risen, most libraries remain free or very low cost because of taxpayer support.
    Read more about the survey here.


    Possible $10 Credit
    This popped up on my Kindle page today. No idea if it will work for everyone, but click on this link and see if it takes you to the landing page as shown below. Good luck!
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    Housekeeping: What you cannot return & Book club ideas 2 comments
    No-no Returns
    Amazon is known for great customer service, but even Amazon has a no-return policy on some products:
    • customized/handmade products (unless there is damage, defect or error, such as misspellings)
    • digital music downloaded from the Amazon Digital Music store
    • fresh flowers (but may be refundable)
    • gift cards
    • groceries (including AmazonFresh and Prime Pantry items, though refunds or replacements are possible in cases of spills or spoilage)
    • hazardous materials including flammable liquids or gases
    • live insects (Amazon sells everything from ladybugs to Madagascar hissing cockroaches)
    • live plants (but may be refundable)
    • pet food (but may be refundable)
    • prepaid game cards (for World of Warcraft, Xbox 360 Live, Wii Points, etc.)
    • prepaid phone cards
    • software and game downloads, as well as other digital purchases from the Amazon Appstore
    • theme park tickets
    • videos downloaded from the Amazon Video store
    • wine (but may be refundable or replaceable)
    After reading the list, I understand why most are excluded from the return policy. Some items are on this list are probably because they are often subjects of fraudulent activity and refusing returns minimizes that activity.


    Book Clubbing?
    If you are thinking about starting a book club or revitalize an already established club, Amazon has a few suggestions for you.
    Their blog post of novels to jump-start your book club include several popular titles.


    As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Read the full disclosure here.
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    Housekeeping: Free Audible Originals and Captions Update 2 comments
    Free Audible Pre-Orders
    Audible members can pre-order all six February Audible Originals free. These selections are usually free until February 1 when they are released.
    Cut and Run
    Alone with the Stars
    Malcolm and Me
    Break Shot


    Captions Update
    Last September I wrote about Captions – a unique listening experience created by Audible.
    Captions displays text on the screen while the audiobook is read and the listener does not have to possess the ebook. Large publishers (the ones with enough cash to have lawyers on staff and/or retainer) sued Audible, stating the technology violates copyright law.
    Earlier this month Audible filed a document with the court that an agreement had been reached. No other details were released but Audible stated that they expected to file the settlement documents on January 21.
    I searched the internet but was unable to find a news story confirming that the filing had been completed. I will report when additional news is released.
    Check out the technology by watching a demonstration here.
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    Housekeeping: Audible Deal and Amazon Authors 7 comments
    Audible Membership Deal
    UPDATE TO THE UPDATE: Try this adddress:
    UPDATE: No longer available! Audible is offering a sweet deal for new members. You can save $50 on annual membership, paying just $99.50. The good news is that the 12 credits are available immediately. Go here to get the deal.
    Folks on the Audible community on Reddit stated that members can also get this deal. They contacted Audible customer service, made a request and were given the special price.
    Now is a great time to be an Audible member as it is their annual Daily Deal Rewind Sale through January 21. More than 300 titles are selling for $5.95 each.


    Popular Authors
    The Wall Street Journal published a paywall article that discussed popular authors who have large followings but diminishing sales and are now publishing under Amazon’s imprints.
    Dean Koontz’ The Night Window sold only 40,000 copies during the first 13 weeks after its May 2019 release. Patricia Cornwell was also mentioned as an author who now publishes with Amazon.
    These popular authors may not be the great wins that Amazon had hoped.
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