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Has anyone else had problems with the Sync to Furthest Page grayed out on a Kindle Paperwhite 3G No Ads?  The sync feature works between my Fire and iPhone, but not the Paperwhite.  I've restarted the device twice.  I've turned the sync service off and on at the Manage My Kindle page on the website.  I can download content and samples, but no dice on the syncing.  Very odd.

My Firmware version is 5.3.3.  I think this problem started with the most recent update.

Any ideas other than contacting Amazon? 

The Book Corner / Your 2013 Reading Bucket List
« on: December 08, 2012, 06:18:17 pm »
What are you planning to read in 2013?  I'm feeling ambitious.

Four big biographies:

1. The Last Lion: Volume 2: Winston Spencer Churchill: Alone, 1932-1940 by William Manchester
2. The Last Lion: Volume 3: Winston Spencer Churchill: Defender of the Realm, 1940-1965 William Manchester
3. Van Gogh by Steven Naifeh
4. Franz Kafka: Representative Man: Prague, Germans, Jews, and the Crisis of Modernism by Frederick R. Karl  OOP DTB Only.

Three huge novels:

1. Parallel Stories by Peter Nadas
2. Through the Valley of the Nest of Spiders by Samuel R. Delany
3. Great North Road by Peter F. Hamilton

I'm also thinking about À la recherche du temps perdu (or In Search of Lost Time).  That's a big commitment.  There is a Goodreads group that's going to read the seven novels: 2013: The Year of Reading Proust

I might be biting off more than I can chew for 2013.

Book Klubs / December 2012 Group Book Count
« on: November 29, 2012, 07:39:37 pm »
1. Last Exit to Brooklyn Hubert Selby,  Jr.NovelKindle 3691 locations 12/02/20124.00 Stars
2. The Third Reich Roberto BolañoNovelAudio 8:53 hours 12/06/20123.50 Stars
3. Adulthood Rites Octavia E. ButlerScience FictionKindle 3748 locations 12/06/20122.99 Stars
4. The Last of the Just André Schwarz-BartNovelDTB 374 pages 12/11/20123.75 Stars
5. The Unit Ninni HolmqvistNovelKindle 3620 locations 12/15/20123.50 Stars
6. Defending Jacob William LandayMysteryAudio 12:35 hours 12/17/20124.00 Stars
7. The Mighty Angel Jerzy PilchNovelKindle 2512 locations 12/18/20123.00 Stars
8. Nine Prnces in Amber Roger ZelaznyScience FictionAudio 5:31 hours 12/20/20124.25 Stars
9. Bill Phelan's Greatest Game William KennedyNovelDTB 288 pages 12/22/20124.00 Stars
10. The Hoard Alan RykerHorrorKindle 2731 locations 12/23/20122.75 Stars
11. The Drowned World J.G. BallardScience FictionKindle 2927 locations 12/27/20123.99 Stars
12. Bluebeard Kurt VonnegutNovelKindle 3593 locations 12/29/20123.75 Stars
13. Arguably Christoper HitchensEssaysKindle 11996 locations Currently Reading
14. The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined Steven PinkerPsychologyAudio 36:43 hours Currently Reading
15. Swann's Way Marcel ProustNovelKindle 8008 locations Currently Reading

***** Reading Stats For 2012 *****
    FORMAT       JAN       FEB       MAR       APR       MAY       JUN       JUL       AUG       SEP       OCT       NOV       DEC     TOTAL

Not Quite Kindle / RIP: Boris Strugatsky, Science Fiction Author
« on: November 20, 2012, 07:49:11 pm »
Boris Strugatsky: Russia mourns death of sci-fi writer – even Vladimir Putin

Perhaps the best of Soviet Science Fiction.  I've read three or four books by the Brothers Strugatsky: interesting and a bit different from American and British SF, but still good.

Fire Talk / Black Specs on Screen
« on: November 17, 2012, 10:18:29 pm »
Does anyone else see black specs on the screen?  I have a tiny black spec at the bottom of the screen.  I'm not sure if it's a flaw, a scratch, or dead pixel.  Looking at the screen when it's off and dark I think  can see a small imperfection in the glass.

Do other people have this problem?

I can buy screen protectors, I suppose.  But this has never happened to my iPad or iPhone.

Not Quite Kindle / Big Mahler Box Just $0.99
« on: September 01, 2012, 04:02:43 pm »
I've always enjoyed Mahler.  Not every one agrees on his greatness, but at $0.99 is a great download deal nonetheless.  All 9 symphonies and some song cycles.   I don't know how long it will last.

The Book Corner / When Did Non-Indented Paragraphs Become Acceptable?
« on: July 13, 2012, 11:52:51 am »
I was considering buying a very popular indie science fiction book, recently option by a major film director, but when I downloaded the sample, I noticed the paragraphs skip lines and don't indent.  OK, that's fine for forum boards, but I always expect books to follow standard formatting for the English language .  It has over 1,000 five star reviews and just a half dozen 1 star reviews. 

Am I turning into a fuddy-duddy thinking eBooks should have proper paragraph formations?  Or is this now just a blasé formality?

I bought the book anyway since samples don't always have the same issues, but the problem is still there.  I could return it, but it seems as if the reading pubic as accepted this a legitimate style.

Not Quite Kindle / Farewell to Carlos Fuentes
« on: May 15, 2012, 02:38:09 pm »
Carlos Fuentes, Latin American literary giant, dies in Mexico

I read the mind boggling Terra Nostra in the 80s.  Wow, what a book!  I've been waiting for the Kindle release to reread, it was a great book.

The Book Corner / Publishers Push for More Books From Authors
« on: May 12, 2012, 10:02:39 pm »
Publishers Push for More Books From Authors

An interesting article.

I must say, this is not how or the way I want to read.  I'm totally fine an author writing a book once every year or two or three; in fact, I'd probably grow weary of authors who published too much too quickly.  Quality, not quantity.  Unlike one of the readers quoted, there is a limit to the number of books I'd buy or read by authors within a range of time.  I think reading three, maybe four, books in twelve months is the upper limit before burnout would start to set in.  Maybe it would be different if there were vast difference between styles and subject, but I'd probably still prefer branching out.

Of course, I don't read series; I don't enjoy the format, style, or storytelling of episodic books and this push to produce more and more books are a byproduct from the plague of series.  I'm glad to see that literary novelists are so far exempt

I also find it odd that readers would want an "intimate relationship" with authors through social media.  I feel no compunction to email or contact authors.  If I were on a airplane sitting next to Iain M. Banks or Philip Roth, I'd not say an extra word to them (other than normal interaction for the circumstance) even though I do enjoy their books.  But that's just me. 

Not Quite Kindle / Free Audible Gift Subsciptions Available
« on: February 21, 2012, 08:15:58 am »
As a long time member of Audible I have two complimentary gift Subscriptions to give away.  Instead of letting them expire, I thought I'd offer them up to friends here on the Kindleboards. So if you're interested in audiobooks but haven't wanted to try, here is a chance.  There might be a catch somewhere, but if there is, I don't know what it is.  You don't have to be a friend friend to get one.  Just post your name here I'll pick out two lucky people to get them.

You have 2 Audible gifts you can give to a friend, colleague, or loved one, and these gifts are complimentary, so there's no cost to you (or them).

Your recipient will receive a 3-month Gift Membership to Audible, which includes:
• Their choice of 1 audiobook per month from any of our 100,000+ titles
• 24/7 concierge service in case they need help getting set up or finding their first great listen
• All the benefits of Audible Membership for 3 months

They will never be asked for a credit card, and there is no obligation to stay an Audible member. It's just our way of saying thanks and enabling you to share your love of audiobooks.

The Top Ten: Writers Pick Their Favorite Books/url]

125 of modernity’s greatest British and American writers — including Norman Mailer, Ann Pratchett, Jonathan Franzen, Claire Messud, and Joyce Carol Oates — “to provide a list, ranked, in order, of what [they] consider the ten greatest works of fiction of all time– novels, story collections, plays, or poems.”

It's an interesting list.  A few surprises, but nothing I'd completely disagree with, though not all would be my choices.  I haven't read 8 or 10 and only parts of 3 and 9, but I've read the rest.

1.   Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
2.   The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
3.   In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust
4.   Ulysses by James Joyce
5.   Dubliners by James Joyce
6.   One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
7.   The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
8.   To The Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
9.   The complete stories of Flannery O’Connor
10.   Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov

I'm sure if "readers" were asked, the list would be more weighted towards popular selections like Harry Potter, Hunger Games, and Spooky Stackhouse.

There is Kindle version of the book.

The Book Corner / What Did You Read In 2011?
« on: January 01, 2012, 01:45:48 pm »
I keep a database of what I've read, so this is easy peasy for me.  But I'm curious if any one else can list their entire reading list of 2011.

1. Insectopia Hugh RafflesGeneral ScienceKindle 8210 locations 01/03/2011
2. The Worst Hard Time Timothy EganHistoryKindle 6009 locations 01/07/2011
3. The Finkler Question Howard JacobsonNovelAudio 12:32 hours 01/11/2011
4. The Mote in God's Eye Larry NivenScience FictionKindle 9807 locations 01/12/2011
5. Lead Me On Victoria DahlRomanceKindle 4579 locations 01/15/2011
6. The Breast Philip RothNovellaDTB 96 pages 01/16/2011
7. The Dead Path Stephen M. IrwinHorrorAudio 14:13 hours 01/18/2011
8. Mind Wide Open Steven JohnsonGeneral ScienceDTB 274 pages 01/18/2011
9. Zendegi Greg EganScience FictionKindle 6388 locations 01/20/2011
10. The Beast in the Jungle Henry JamesNovellaAudio 2:18 hours 01/20/2011
11. The Reluctant Fundamentalist Mohsin HamidNovelAudio 4:38 hours 01/22/2011
12. Skippy Dies Paul MurrayNovelDTB 661 pages 01/27/2011
13. Sleight Malice Vicki TyleyMysteryKindle 3622 locations 01/29/2011
14. The Morgow Rises Peter TremayneHorrorDTB 183 pages 01/30/2011
15. Last Argument of Kings Joe AbercrombieFantasyAudio 27:01 hours 02/04/2011
16. The Grapes of Wrath John SteinbeckNovelKindle 9194 locations 02/06/2011
17. The Luzhin Defense Vladimir NabokovNovelAudio 8:38 hours 02/09/2011
18. Nothing to Envy Barbara DemickJournalismKindle 5350 locations 02/10/2011
19. The Case of Charles Dexter Ward H.P. LovecraftHorrorKindle 2542 locations 02/12/2011
20. The Chronoliths Robert Charles WilsonScience FictionDTB 314 pages 02/15/2011
21. On, Off Colleen McCulloughMysteryAudio 12:42 hours 02/16/2011
22. Swamplandia! Karen RussellNovelKindle 6263 locations 02/22/2011
23. Tao Zero Poul AndersonScience FictionKindle 3226 locations 02/24/2011
24. Blackout Connie WillisScience FictionAudio 18:48 hours 02/26/2011
25. The King of Kahel Tierno MonénemboNovelKindle 4432 locations 03/01/2011
26. The Eyes of Heisenberg Frank HerbertScience FictionAudio 6:30 hours 03/02/2011
27. A Single Shot Matthew F. JonesCrimeDTB 246 pages 03/10/2011
28. Birds Without Wings Loius De BernieresNovelKindle 10096 locations 03/14/2011
29. Omivore Piers AnthonyScience FictionDTB 221 pages 03/16/2011
30. Amber Rising Steve GerlachHorrorDTB 23 pages 03/16/2011
31. All Clear Connie WillisScience FictionAudio 23:46 hours 03/18/2011
32. The Land that Time Forgot Edgar Rice BurroughsScience FictionAudio 3:42 hours 03/20/2011
33. The Scarlet Plague Jack LondonScience FictionAudio 1:56 hours 03/21/2011
34. The War of the Worlds H.G. WellsScience FictionAudio 6:35 hours 03/24/2011
35. Damage Josephine HartNovelAudio 6:04 hours 03/28/2011
36. The Winds of War Herman WoulkHistorical NovelKindle 18929 locations 03/29/2011
37. Hersey S.J. ParrisMysteryKindle 7306 locations 04/03/2011
38. More Than Human Theodore SturgeonScience FictionAudio 8:18 hours 04/04/2011
39. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society Mary Ann ShafferNovelKindle 4121 locations 04/06/2011
40. The Awakening Kate ChopinNovelAudio 4:37 hours 04/06/2011
41. The Dead Yard Adrian McKintyCrimeAudio 11:09 hours 04/15/2011
42. Kraken China MiévilleFantasyKindle 9326 locations 04/17/2011
43. Two-Way Split Allan GuthrieCrimeDTB 198 pages 04/19/2011
44. The Golem Gustav MeyrinkNovelKindle 3568 locations 04/23/2011
45. Bloody Redemption Gene O'NeillHorrorKindle 521 locations 04/24/2011
46. Pushing Ice Alastair ReynoldsScience FictionAudio 19:39 hours 04/25/2011
47. Hard to be a God Arkady & Boris StrugatskyScience FictionKindle 126 locations 04/27/2011
48. The Weird of the White Wolf Michael MoorcockFantasyDTB 159 pages 04/28/2011
49. Something Missing Mathew DicksNovelAudio 9:00 hours 04/29/2011
50. Little Boy Blue James A. MooreNoveletteDTB 37 pages 04/29/2011
51. The People that Time Forgot Edgar Rice BurroughsScience FictionAudio 3:49 hours 05/01/2011
52. House Arrest Ellen MeeropolNovelKindle 4570 locations 05/02/2011
53. The Humbling Philip RothNovelDTB 140 pages 05/03/2011
54. Galactic Pot-Healer Philip K. DickScience FictionAudio 5:23 hours 05/04/2011
55. This Boy's Life Tobias WolffMemoirKindle 2724 locations 05/06/2011
56. The Big Time Fritz LeiberScience FictionAudio 4:42 hours 05/06/2011
57. Who Goes there? John W. CampbellScience FictionAudio 2:35 hours 05/08/2011
58. The Mind Parasites Colin WilsonScience FictionDTB 196 pages 05/08/2011
59. Into the Forbidden Zone William T. VollmannJournalismKindle 1069 locations 05/09/2011
60. The Alchemist and the Executioness Paolo BacigalupiScience FictionAudio 5:33 hours 05/10/2011
61. Of Mice and Men John SteinbeckNovelDTB 112 pages 05/10/2011
62. The Chrysalids John WyndhamScience FictionKindle 3156 locations 05/14/2011
63. A Beggar in Jerusalem Elie WieselNovelAudio 6:39 hours 05/15/2011
64. The Great Gatsby F. Scott FitzgeraldNovelDTB 182 pages 05/15/2011
65. Invisible Monsters Chuck PalahniukNovelAudio 5:56 hours 05/19/2011
66. The Parasite Arthur Conan DoyleHorrorAudio 1:58 hours 05/21/2011
67. The Enemy Christopher HitchensJournalismKindle 246 locations 05/21/2011
68. Within His Reach Steve GerlachScience FictionDTB 107 pages 05/22/2011
69. The Seige of Trencher's Farm Gordon M. WilliamsCrimeDTB 159 pages 05/23/2011
70. Ghosts and Lightning Trevor BryneNovelDTB 318 pages 05/28/2011
71. Fatale Jean-Patrick ManchetteCrimeDTB 98 pages 05/29/2011
72. Infernal Devices K.W. JeterScience FictionKindle 3592 locations 06/01/2011
73. The Separation Ronald MallfiHorrorKindle 915 locations 06/01/2011
74. Quarter Share Nathan LowellScience FictionKindle 3167 locations 06/04/2011
75. Thirteen Richard K. MorganScience FictionAudio 22:13 hours 06/08/2011
76. Black Hills Dan SimmonsNovelDTB 487 pages 06/10/2011
77. To Kill a Mockingbird Harper LeeNovelDTB 376 pages 06/13/2011
78. Solaris Stanislaw LemScience FictionAudio 7:43 hours 06/15/2011
79. Go the [expletive] to Sleep Adam MansbachHumorAudio 0:06 hours 06/16/2011
80. Unafamiliar Fishes Sarah VowellHistoryKindle 2956 locations 06/17/2011
81. Playing for Keeps Mur LaffertyFantasyKindle 4334 locations 06/19/2011
82. Quantum Man Lawrence M. KraussGeneral ScienceAudio 9:11 hours 06/22/2011
83. Death in Spring Mercè RodoredaNovelKindle 1917 locations 06/22/2011
84. Petals of Blood Ngugi wa Thiong'oNovelDTB 410 pages 06/27/2011
85. Darkness Conjured Sandy DeLucaHorrorKindle 1387 locations 06/28/2011
86. The Bloomsday Dead Adrian McKintyCrimeAudio 11:00 hours 06/30/2011
87. Room Emma DonoghueNovelKindle 6557 locations 07/03/2011
88. Metal Storm Kevin J, AndersonScience FictionKindle 10164 locations 07/09/2011
89. A Small Death in Lisbon Robert WilsonSuspenseDTB 451 pages 07/10/2011
90. The Year of the Hare Arto PaasilinnaNovelKindle 2274 locations 07/12/2011
91. The Damned Don't Die Jim NisbetCrimeDTB 158 pages 07/13/2011
92. Among the Living Steve Rasnec TemHorrorKindle 905 locations 07/14/2011
93. The Dreaming Void Peter F. HamiltonScience FictionAudio 22:38 hours 07/23/2011
94. Out of Time's Abyss Edgar Rice BurroughsScience FictionAudio 3:42 hours 07/25/2011
95. Gone With the Wind Margaret MitchellNovelKindle 18818 locations 07/30/2011
96. The Hound of the Baskervilles Arthur Conan DoyleMysteryAudio 5:52 hours 07/30/2011
97. Rescuing Evil Ron RosenbaumJournalismKindle 22 locations 07/31/2011
98. Paranormalirty Richard WisemanGeneral ScienceKindle 3819 locations 08/02/2011
99. The Stainless Steal Rat Harry HarrisonScience FictionAudio 4:56 hours 08/03/2011
100. Feed Mira GrantScience FictionKindle 7727 locations 08/07/2011
101. The Glass Castle Jeanette WallsMemoirKindle 4532 locations 08/13/2011
102. Money Martin AmisNovelAudio 15:07 hours 08/16/2011
103. Guards! Guards! Terry PratchettFantasyDTB 355 pages 08/16/2011
104. Mygale Thierry JonquetCrimeDTB 129 pages 08/18/2011
105. Before the Swarm Nicholas GriffinGeneral ScienceKindle 397 locations 08/18/2011
106. Bleed for You Michael Louis CalvilloHorrorKindle 933 locations 08/19/2011
107. The Devil All the Time Donald Ray PollockNovelAudio 9:13 hours 08/20/2011
108. The Quantum Thief Hannu RajaniemiScience FictionKindle 4909 locations 08/24/2011
109. My Prizes Thomas BernhardAutobiographyKindle 1090 locations 08/25/2011
110. God's Man Lynd WardNovelDTB 166 pages 08/26/2011
111. Audition Ryu MurakamiCrimeKindle 2348 locations 08/27/2011
112. Mad Man's Drum Lynd WardNovelDTB 144 pages 08/27/2011
113. Bob the Book David PrattNovelKindle 2728 locations 08/28/2011
114. Tree of Smoke Denis JohnsonNovelKindle 11532 locations 09/06/2011
115. It Drinks Blood J.F. GonzalezHorrorKindle 1360 locations 09/07/2011
116. Blind Lake Robert Charles WilsonScience FictionDTB 399 pages 09/12/2011
117. Passing in the Night Michael KingswoodScience FictionKindle 698 locations 09/13/2011
118. Día de los Muertos Kent HarringtonCrimeKindle 2693 locations 09/17/2011
119. To a God Unknown John SteinbeckNovelDTB 240 pages 09/19/2011
120. Nixonland Rick PerlsteinHistoryAudio 36:46 hours 09/20/2011
121. The Pirates of Somalia Jay BahadurJournalismAudio 8:34 hours 09/26/2011
122. The Uplift War David BrinScience FictionKindle 1284 locations 10/02/2011
123. Lying Sam HarrisPhilosophyKindle 562 locations 10/03/2011
124. Do the Work! Steven PressfieldBusinessDTB 98 pages 10/03/2011
125. The Tourist Olen SteinhauerMysteryAudio 12:00 hours 10/04/2011
126. The Housekeeper and the Professor Yoko OgawaNovelKindle 3199 locations 10/05/2011
127. Dreams of the Ragman Greg F. GifuneHorrorKindle 1600 locations 10/06/2011
128. Mr. Pip Lloyd JamesNovelKindle 2953 locations 10/09/2011
129. The Temporal Void Peter F. HamiltonScience FictionAudio 25:15 hours 10/19/2011
130. Doc Mary Dora RussellHistorical NovelKindle 7944 locations 10/19/2011
131. When She Woke Hillary JourdanNovelAudio 10:49 hours 10/26/2011
132. A Door Into Ocean Joan SlonczewskiScience FictionDTB 406 pages 10/28/2011
133. Shadowed Bill GautheirHorrorKindle 1299 locations 10/29/2011
134. Medusa's Children Bob ShawScience FictionKindle 3287 locations 10/31/2011
135. Nairobi Heat Mukoma wa NgugiCrimeKindle 2871 locations 11/04/2011
136. The Warded Man Peter V. BrettFantasyAudio 18:14 hours 11/06/2011
137. Song of Solomon Toni MorrisonNovelDTB 337 pages 11/08/2011
138. Steppenwolf Herman HesseNovelAudio 7:46 hours 11/09/2011
139. Vortex Robert Charles WilsonScience FictionAudio 10:30 hours 11/16/2011
140. The Prague Cemetery Umberto EcoNovelKindle 6006 locations 11/17/2011
141. Beyond the Door Jeffrey ThomasHorrorKindle 947 locations 11/18/2011
142. Mother Night Kurt VonnegutNovelKindle 2910 locations 11/20/2011
143. Farther Along Donald HaringtonNovelKindle 3299 locations 11/23/2011
144. 1861 Adam GoodheartHistoryAudio 18:54 hours 11/24/2011
145. Dead Tree Forest Brett McBeanHorrorKindle 1514 locations 11/24/2011
146. Why Call Them Back From Heaven? Clifford D. SimackScience FictionDTB 191 pages 11/25/2011
147. The First Assassin John J. MillerHistorical NovelKindle 6122 locations 11/28/2011
148. In the Suicide Mountains John GardnerNovelKindle 1535 locations 11/29/2011
149. Unearthed Gina RanalliHorrorKindle 923 locations 11/30/2011
150. Destiny of the Republic Candice MillardHistoryKindle 6805 locations 12/03/2011
151. The Night Strangers Chris BohjalianNovelAudio 14:07 hours 12/06/2011
152. Legs William KennedyNovelDTB 320 pages 12/06/2011
153. Vehicles Patrick LestewkaHorrorKindle 2530 locations 12/07/2011
154. The Many Deaths of the Firefly Brothers Thomas MullenNovelKindle 7951 locations 12/11/2011
155. Get That Rat Off My Face [Unpublished First Draft] Luke BurrageScience FictionKindle 1617 locations 12/12/2011
156. The Sense of an Ending Julian BarnesNovelKindle 2161 locations 12/14/2011
157. Brown's Requiem James EllroyCrimeKindle 4769 locations 12/17/2011
158. Apartment Seven Greg F. GifuneHorrorKindle 1346 locations 12/17/2011
159. The Evolutionary Void Peter F. HamiltonScience FictionAudio 24:45 hours 12/21/2011
160. 1Q84 Haruki MurakamiNovelKindle 21994 locations 12/29/2011
161. The Underdwelling Tim CurranHorrorKindle 1454 locations 12/30/2011

Not Quite Kindle / A Beef At Barnes & Noble
« on: December 25, 2011, 02:34:23 pm »
On December 24th, I needed a last moment extra gift for my wife, and I stopped off at Barnes & Noble for a book.  I paid full cover price.  On my way out, as an afterthought, I decided to have it gift wrapped by the kids working for some charity.  I asked how much and the girl replied it was all for donations: nickels, dimes, quarters, anything.  I said, rather wryly, I could spare a few dollars. 

As the girl started wrapping, I opened my wallet to discovered I had nothing less than a five.  I went up to cashier and asked for change.  The cashier said she wasn't allowed to make change without a cash sale.  The other cashier was (seemingly) making a cash sale, but he said he wasn't allowed to make change at all.  So I just gave the gift wrappers the five dollars; I would have given two or three dollars, in any case, so it wasn't a big loss, but it was annoying.

I talked to the district manager after the wrapping was done, saying I don't think I'd be a Barnes & Noble customer again.  She immediately offered to make change, so did a customer overhearing my complaint.  But it was too late, I'd donated the five bucks already, and I wasn't about to alter that after the fact.

But here is the rub: Barnes & Noble is fighting for its life and one of its big advantages is their store fronts.  Yet a petty (accounting?) policy of not making change made shopping there an unpleasant experience.  In the long run, it isn't the extra two bucks to charity, but the narrowed minded adherence to bureaucratic polices that ticked me off.  What if I only had a twenty?  Should I have just stiffed the wrappers?  If Barnes & Noble wants remain in the book business they should do whatever to make their retail shops a place where customers want to buy books, especially at full cover price. 

I'm thinking of emailing Barnes & Noble HQ with my beef. Is it too petty?   Is asking for change an over-the-top request?  Was I out of line?

My apologies for a late start in moderation.  I originally thought I would have been off work for December and would have had lots of time for deep research and review, but instead I have a job with a long commute through next month.
Why Banned?  Since my theme is banned and censored books, I have to wonder why this novel ever got put on a banned list.  Sure, there is a little sex, violence, and bad language, but as a middle age white man I didn't see the language as degrading to blacks, and accusation of promoting a homosexual agenda is either completely off base or so subtle as to be negligible.  But other readers can chime in.

Here is very short interview clip with the author that goes over a major theme of the novel.  Isn't much of a spoiler, so if you haven't read the book, it's OK to watch.

<a href="" target="_blank"></a>

Not Quite Kindle / For LibraryThing Users: Unsuggestions
« on: October 05, 2011, 10:29:11 pm »
On the LibraryThing Home page, there is a tab four over from the left called "Recommendations."  Click on it.  At there is a space "Unsuggestions" with "For [Your username" below.  Click on it.  Wait for the system to process.  Mine took a few minutes.

It will return a list of least likely books to be found in your library.  Post your top five: let see what's not you.  (I guess I'm not going shopping.   ;D

1. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
2. Shopaholic Ties the Knot by Sophie Kinsella
3. Someone Like You by Sarah Dessen
4. My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers
5. Shopaholic Takes Manhattan by Sophie Kinsella

Other (non-Kindle) eReaders / Goodbye Microsoft Reader
« on: August 15, 2011, 09:06:27 am »
Microsoft Reader R.I.P.

I was a pre-Kindle ebook reader and remember the thrill of Microsoft Reader when I first had my handheld PDA.  I still have lots of ebooks I can't read anymore, but as the applications closes down I should be able to legally convert the DRM to the Kindle format.

The Book Corner / 2010 Complete Reading List
« on: January 01, 2011, 10:53:33 am »

The Cold Six ThousandJames EllroyMysteryBook6721/4/10
The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt and the Fire That Saved AmericaTimothy EganHistoryUnabridged Audio10:021/5/10
Dying InsideRobert SilverbergScience FictioneBook28061/7/10
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and SweetJamie FordNoveleBook46111/10/10
DiasporaGreg EganScience FictionBook3461/15/10
Dark Is the SunPhilip José FarmerScience FictionUnabridged Audio14:401/17/10
BloodrootAmy GreeneNoveleBook54661/18/10
JheregSteven BurstFantasyBook1731/19/10
PrimitiveJ.F. GonzalezHorroreBook48931/20/10
Quarry in the MiddleMax Allan CollinsMysteryBook2061/22/10
The Ghosts of BelfastStuart NevilleMysteryUnabridged Audio11:001/26/10
Johnny Got His GunDalton TrumboNovelUnabridged Audio7:421/31/10
TimescapeGregory BenfordScience FictionBook4991/31/10
The Glass RoomSimon MawerNoveleBook71892/7/10
Looking Like the EnemyMary Matsuda GrunewaldAutobiographyBook2272/8/10
Rainbow's EndVernor VingeScience FictionUnabridged Audio14:452/12/10
The Briar KingGreg KeyesFantasyeBook104212/13/10
Things We Didn't See ComingSteven AmsterdamNoveleBook27002/13/10
The LikenessTana FrenchMysteryBook4662/19/10
Red ChaserJon SpoelstraMysteryeBook52142/22/10
DaemonDaniel SuarezMysteryUnabridged Audio15:572/23/10
BoneshakerCherrie PriestScience FictioneBook88462/28/10
Dead Witch WalkingKim HarrisonFantasyeBook67783/6/10
Wizard: Gaean Trilogy, Book 2John VarleyScience FictionUnabridged Audio15:023/8/10
The Collaborator of BethlehemMatt Beynon ReesMysteryeBook25863/8/10
Right AscensionDavid DerricoScience FictioneBook31013/10/10
Devil's Coach-HorseRichard LewisHorrorBook1683/11/10
The Madonnas of LeningradDebra DeanNoveleBook28803/12/10
MaelstromMichael MacConnellMysteryUnabridged Audio11:503/13/10
In the Courts of the SunBrian D'AmatoScience FictionBook6843/16/10
Methland: The Death and Life of an American Small TownNick RedingJournalismUnabridged Audio9:243/17/10
The Man from BeijingHenning MankellMysteryeBook76843/20/10
Miles from NowhereNanmi MunNoveleBook33223/25/10
The Corpse Wore PastiesJonny PorkpieMysteryBook2233/25/10
HyperionDan SimmonsScience FictionUnabridged Audio20:443/29/10
BlindsightPeter WattsScience FictioneBook52853/29/10
The Divine InvasionPhilip K. DickScience FictionBook2133/31/10
CounterknowledgeDamian ThompsonGeneral ScienceeBook14894/1/10
The Crime WriterGregg HurwitzMysteryUnabridged Audio10:554/5/10
Two RiversT. GreenwoodNoveleBook50684/5/10
AnthillEdward O. WilsonNoveleBook46104/8/10
People of the BookGeraldine BrooksNoveleBook56294/11/10
DwellerJeff StrandHorrorBook2924/13/10
MatterhornKarl MarlantesNoveleBook71154/19/10
Empire in Black and GoldAdrain TchaikovskyFantasyBook6124/25/10
The Fall of HyperionDan SimmonsScience FictionUnabridged Audio21:494/26/10
TinkersPaul HardingNoveleBook16514/26/10
Scattered Suns: The Saga of Seven Suns Book 4Kevin J. AndersonScience FictioneBook112844/30/10
They Shoot Horses, Don't They?Horace McCoyMysteryBook1164/30/10
The IslandVictoria HislopNovelBook4745/3/10
The White TigerAvavind AdigaNoveleBook39985/5/10
Demon: Gaean Trilogy, Book 3John VarleyScience FictionUnabridged Audio19:365/7/10
Blood's A RoverJames EllroyCrimeBook6405/12/10
The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for EvolutionRichard DawkinsGeneral ScienceUnabridged Audio14:395/14/10
VelocityDean KoontzSuspenseBook4605/14/10
The Charnel PrinceGreg KeyesFantasyeBook107405/18/10
Rendezvous with RamaArthur C. ClarkeScience FictionBook2435/20/10
Hellhound On His Trail: The Stalking of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the International Hunt for His AssassinHampton SidesBiographyUnabridged Audio15:095/22/10
A Fraction of the WholeSteve ToltzNoveleBook110415/25/10
InfernoLarry NivenScience FictionUnabridged Audio5:425/25/10
IslandRichard LaymonHorrorBook5045/26/10
Dead I Well May BeAdrian McKintyCrimeeBook54915/29/10
Nobody's AngelJack ClarkCrimeBook2205/30/10
ViciousKeven O'BrienSuspenseeBook63456/2/10
Singularity SkyCharles StrossScience FictionUnabridged Audio13:066/3/10
MiddlesexJeffrey EugenidesNoveleBook94966/6/10
The Yiddish Policemen's UnionMichael ChabonNovelBook4186/13/10
ZombieJoyce Carol OatesNoveleBook19906/16/10
Spandau PhoenixGreg IlesSuspenseUnabridged Audio26:316/21/10
ManiaCraig LarsenSuspenseeBook48936/22/10
The Mists of AvalonMarion Zimmer BradleyFantasyeBook215436/24/10
Permutation CityGreg EganScience FictionBook3776/27/10
EnduranceJack KilbornSuspenseeBook56986/29/10
Manifold: OriginStephen BaxterScience FictioneBook77837/5/10
Geek LoveKatherine DunnNovelUnabridged Audio15:217/7/10
Shame the DevilGeorge P. PelecanosCrimeBook3747/7/10
GreyhoundStaffan PiperNoveleBook43017/10/10
The Angel's GameCarlos Ruiz ZafónNoveleBook91227/14/10
Old Man's WarJohn ScalziScience FictioneBook53387/17/10
GrubsDavid McAfeeHorroreBook30807/19/10
EndymionDan SimmonsScience FictionUnabridged Audio23:217/23/10
The Blood KnightGreg KeyesFantasyeBook98757/26/10
The Star KingJack VanceScience FictionBook1477/27/10
Of Fire and Night: The Saga of Seven Suns Book 5Kevin J. AndersonScience FictioneBook97557/31/10
Star IslandCarl HiaasenMysteryeBook65968/2/10
Faithful PlaceTana FrenchMysteryUnabridged Audio16:178/4/10
Mapping the EdgeSarah DunantNoveleBook39858/7/10
Whipping StarFrank HerbertScience FictionUnabridged Audio6:528/8/10
The Hunger GamesSuzanne CollinsYoung AdulteBook47078/10/10
Blind Descent: The Quest to Discover the Deepest Place on EarthJames M. TaborGeneral ScienceUnabridged Audio10:018/11/10
The Naked and the DeadNorman MailerNoveleBook136208/22/10
The Rise of EndymionDan SimmonsScience FictionUnabridged Audio25:528/24/10
The Atrocity ArchivesCharles StrossScience FictioneBook66498/28/10
Still AliceLisa GenovaNoveleBook44648/30/10
Helliconia Spring: The Helliconia Trilogy, Book 1Brian AldissScience FictionUnabridged Audio17:529/1/10
ZuluCaryl FéreyCrimeBook4009/4/10
The Art of Racing in the RainGarth SteinNovelBook3249/5/10
Agent Zigzag: A True Story of Nazi Espionage, Love, and BetrayalBen MacIntyreBiographyUnabridged Audio10:549/8/10
The Gone-Away WorldNick HarkawayScience FictioneBook93139/12/10
The Four Fingers of DeathRick MoodyNoveleBook134789/23/10
The Disassembled ManNate FllexerCrimeeBook32909/25/10
Pandora's StarPeter F. HamiltonScience FictionUnabridged Audio37:229/26/10
TimequakeKurt VonnegutNovelBook2509/27/10
Small CrimesDave ZeltsermanCrimeUnabridged Audio8:419/29/10
House of SunsAlastair ReynoldsScience FictioneBook848210/4/10
Naked in DeathJ.D. RobbMysteryeBook539110/8/10
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The City & The CityChina MiévilleFantasyeBook609010/18/10
Judas UnchainedPeter F. HamiltonScience FictionUnabridged Audio40:5910/20/10
Waiting for ColumbusThomas TrofimukNovelUnabridged Audio10:1510/25/10
Every Man Dies AloneHans FalladaNoveleBook1057210/28/10
The Wrong BloodManuel de LopeNoveleBook367810/31/10
The Elegance of the HedgehogMuriel BarberyNovelBook32511/4/10
NecropathEric BrownScience FictioneBook551011/7/10
The Blade Itself: The First Law, Book 1Joe AbercrombieFantasyUnabridged Audio22:1811/8/10
NemesisPhilip RothNoveleBook257411/9/10
The Name of the WindPatrick RothfussFantasyBook72211/15/10
The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and SurvivalJohn VaillantJournalismUnabridged Audio12:0511/18/10
The Totem (Original Version)David MorrellSuspenseeBook650011/20/10
Cat's CradleKurt VonnegutNoveleBook361511/22/10
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Sutface DetailIain M. BanksScience FictioneBook1065811/28/10
The Grand DesignStephen HawkingGeneral ScienceeBook238711/30/10
Empire of the SunJ.G. BallardNovelBook27912/4/10
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Hull Zero ThreeGreg BearScience FictioneBook450512/11/10
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The Bone PeopleKeri HulmeNovelBook55312/26/10
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Before They Are HangedJoe AbercrombieFantasyUnabridged Audio22:3712/31/10

The Book Corner / Who Doesn't Give a Fug About the Movie?
« on: December 29, 2010, 09:15:52 pm »
With all these threads about books and movies, I'll throw in a new category of not giving a fug about the movie.  For example, some of my all time favorite novels, The Trail, Lolita, and The Sound and the Fury may or may not have been or will ever be made into movies, but the bottom line is I don't give a fug.  I read the books, I liked the books, and have obsoletely zero interest in ever seeing a movie version.   

I've heard Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian is being made into a movie.  I don't give a fug.  Someday I'll reread the book, but nothing on Hell or Earth can ever spark in interest in me about the movie.

So what movie versions of books do you not give a fug about?

Not Quite Kindle / Basic Religion Test Stumps Many Americans
« on: October 03, 2010, 12:55:05 pm »
Interesting article.  I wonder if the results would hold up in other surveys.

Basic Religion Test Stumps Many Americans

Now take the test yourself.

Now tell your results, if you dare: (Try to be nice everyone!)
15 out of 15 for this atheist.  The test is way too simple, I think.  Only one or two questions even caused to me pause and think.

My guess is that, as readers, Kindleboarders should do well.


Not Quite Kindle / Did Astronomers Discover Earth Like Planet?
« on: September 30, 2010, 08:34:16 am »
This is really exciting.  If if Gliese 581g has water, there is a good chance it will have life of some sort, if Earth is any example.

Planet Hunters Discover a World That Could Harbor Life

Astronomers Discover 'Class M' Planet

The Book Corner / Who Else Disliked The Hunger Games?
« on: September 25, 2010, 12:00:10 pm »
There are a few threads about how much readers have enjoyed The Hunger Games.  Rather than peeing in their pots, I'll start one for people who didn't like it.  I admit that the fad for young adult novels does nothing for me as a jaded middle-aged man.  

On a very superficial level, the novel was entertaining, but I've read 100s of better action books.   I'm completely baffled why this novel is so wildly praised.  It best, it was wholly average, and completely forgettable.

Here is a short list of some faults:
  • The writing was perfunctory, dull, and simple.
  • The characters were more archetypes than realistic people.
  • The characters behaved inconstantly (e.g. "I won't kill you this time because you were kind to so and so, but next time you're dead!")
  • For a violent story it was actually kind of tame and sanitized.
  • The story was very unoriginal (e.g.  The Running Man by Stephen King or Battle Royale by Koushun Takami.)
  • A deus ex machina saved a character from almost certain death (e.g. The mutations that took out this character so that character wouldn't have to fight.)
  • Not enough details, or, the pace was too fast.
  • It read like the author was imaging the movie version her in head.
  • The author really pulled her punches at the end by allowing the "rule changes" to the games to stick. It truly would have ruined the novel despite the other flaws.
  • The faulty end was obvious from the beginning.

I'd give The Hunger Games only 1 1/2 stars.

The Book Corner / Odyssey Editions Unavailable
« on: August 02, 2010, 10:07:13 am »
Now showing unavailable for all titles:  Odyssey Editions.

I hope these come back.  I only bought The Naked and the Dead, but I wanted more, even if I owned the DTB.

The Book Corner / Could This Book Be Missing Text?
« on: March 29, 2010, 05:58:35 pm »

OK, converting pages to locations isn't a fixed science, but I recently bought Matterhorn by Karl Marlantes thinking it was going to be a long book, 592 pages, but it is only 7115 locations.  It seems kind of shorter than expected.  I was guessing 10 to 11K locations.  On average, you can estimate 17 locations per printed page, but Matterhorn comes in at 12.  Just about as low as I've ever calculated.

Has anybody else started reading it?  Could there be text missing?  Or am I just off base?

Here are some samples.   

Matterhorn 592711512.02
Manifold: Origin544768214.31
City at the End of Time8404849416.94
The Glass Room416719717.30
Perdido Street Station6401140517.82
Tree of Smoke6241153218.48
Man from Bejing384768420.01

Not Quite Kindle / Books to Movies Ratios
« on: March 22, 2010, 09:18:50 am »
A sub thread to What movies will you watch, got me thinking about Books read to Movies watched ratios.  For most of the world, people will watch many, many more movies than read books, but maybe it's different here.  So post your numbers if you've got them.  Guess if you don't.  I'm into keeping data on things, so I know what I read and watched:

2010: (so far)

Books: 32 (Books\Kindle\Audio)
Movies:  1 (DVD)


Books: 128 (Books\Kindle\Audio)
Movies: 8 (Theater\DVD)

Or a Books to Movie ratio of 16 to 1


Books: 153  (Books\Kindle\Audio)
Movies: 15 (Theater\DVD)

Or a Books to Movie ratio of 10 to 1   :-[

I'll stop there.

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