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On this blog we will track down the latest Amazon Kindle news. We will keep you up to date with whats hot in the bestsellers section, including books, ebooks and blogs... and we will also bring you great Kindle3 tips and tricks along with reviews for the latest KindleDX accessories.

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September 2016
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How the Digital Revolution has Changed the Nature of Reading

I’ve been reading a lot of good books lately.  Some kept my attention better than others though.  I just finished Tina Fey’s hit autobiography, Bossypants.  It has been awhile since I’ve laughed out loud so much while reading a book.  I highly recommend this one.

After reading an article about how distractions from social media and YouTube have changed the nature of reading, it made me realize how true that is just from observing my own recent reading habits.  The whole social media is distracting concept is not new, but sometimes we just have to be reminded how much of a time suck it really is.

I have always been a voracious reader.  I used to could lie on a couch immersed in a book, or in more recent years, my Kindle, for hours on end.  I have always liked how the e-ink Kindle has managed to continue to create a quality, relatively distraction free reading experience. Enter the iPhone, and later the iPad and those days were mostly gone.

Books don’t grab my attention like they used to.  I’m finding that it is harder and harder for me to focus on one book for a length of time.  Even with one as good as Bossypants, I was still mindlessly checking my email or Facebook every so often.

So what will instant access to other forms of media do to reading?  It has and will continue to become more fragmented.  Twitter has introduced the idea of saying what you need to say in just 140 characters.  We go in to get what we want, and move on.  The good thing about this is that more people than ever before have access to information.  Most people are reading something, even if it is just blog articles.  So, this is a big step in the right direction for literacy efforts.

With that said, I do hope that good books hold their charm for years to come.  There are times when our overstimulated brains just need a break from the mindless social media checking.  I sometimes like to leave everything behind and go sit in a park on a nice day and just read.  Hide your phone, or revoke your Kindle Fire’s wi-fi access, and escape into another reality for awhile.

Top 10 Editor’s Picks of 2011 So Far

There are a number of particularly poignant books on the Top 10 Editor’s Picks of 2011 so far.  I thought I’d provide a quick synopsis of them.  They are all available for the Kindle.

Lost in Shangri-La: A True Story of Survival, Adventure, and the Most Incredible Rescue Mission of World War II

Just reading the story description and reviews of this book gives me the shivers.  Lost in Shangri-La by Mitchell Zuckoff is the story of the three remaining survivors of a plane crash that killed 21 members of the United States military.  The trio land in the jungles of New Guinea towards the end of World War II and believe it or not, this is a true story.  The survivors include a member of the Woman’s Army Corps, a lieutenant, and sergeant. In addition to facing serious injuries and threats from the jungle, they have to constantly be on the alert for cannibalism.  It is quite a powerful story of survival and heroism.

The Tiger’s Wife: A Novel

Obreht weaves three stories in one in her debut novel.  The novel is set in an unidentified country, but is rumored to be somewhere around her native Croatia.  The Tiger’s Wife’s main character is Natalia, a doctor, who sets out to unveil secrets from the past.  In 1941 during the German bombardment, a tiger escaped from the zoo and befriended a deaf woman.  Hence, the title The Tiger’s Wife.  This story is intertwined with Natalia’s care for orphans and a family in search of bones from a long dead relative.  Then there’s the deathless man…

Quite an impressive novel for such a new and young author!

In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin

Continuing the World War II theme, the Garden of Beasts comes from the point of view of the first American ambassador to Berlin during Hitler’s regime. Ambassador Dodd recognizes the dangers that Hitler will bring in his quest for absolute power.  You’ll also read about Dodd’s daughter Martha, who seeks out the glamorous life with the elite in Berlin and ends up in close relations with the head of the Gestapo.  Quite fascinating and scary to hear such a close account of the rise of Hitler.

Blood, Bones, & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef

Gabrielle Hamilton, the chef-owner of the successful restaurant in New York City, Prune, writes a compelling memoir of her childhood and the twists and turns that finally led to her success.  In the beginning, she had a great childhood living on a farm.  That all fell apart when her parents divorced.  Hamilton lost any direction in life and education, traveled around Europe, worked menial jobs.  Through all of this, she gained an appreciation for food and the comfort of being fed.  Her experiences add quite a bit of depth to the memoir.

The Tragedy of Arthur: A Novel

Arthur Phillips wrote an interesting, yet questionable tale of living with a con artist father and twin sister who has a deep love for Shakespeare.  Part of the story is written like a memoir while the other part deals with the supposed unpublished play “The Tragedy of Arthur” that Arthur and his sister set out to get published and set on stage.  Personally, I’m not a big fan of Shakespeare, but this book is still a good read regardless, especially with the humor mixed in.

Bossypants

Gotta love Tina Fey.  Check out the post I wrote on her memoir, Bossypants.

22 Brittania Road: A Novel

Another compelling World War II novel.  A Polish family of three tries to reestablish themselves in England at the end of the war.  Silvana and her son Aurek spent years in the Polish woods.  Aurek does not know how to do basic tasks like sleep in a bed, at eight years old.  So, forgetting the past proves quite a challenge.  The reader finds out what measures this family has to take to become whole again.

Before I Go to Sleep: A Novel

This novel reminds me of the movie, 50 First Dates.  The main character, Christine, was in an accident that leaves her with strange memory loss.  Every day she wakes up and has to be reminded basic details of her life by her husband Ben.  After she reads her journal and sees that she wrote “don’t trust Ben”, the novel turns into a thrilling account of trust. Who can you trust, particularly when you don’t have the memory to recall what has happened in the past.  Scary thought.

Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything

Joshua Foer goes through a year of memory training and acquires amazing memory skills that enable him to enter the US Memory Championship.  The key is to find your brain’s niche and ability so that it can naturally remember more.  I find this fascinating because I have a really good long term memory, but my short term memory is horrible.  So, in order to retain anything, I have to commit it to my long term memory.

Please Look After Mom

Bestselling Korean author Kyung-sook Shin writes a memorable story of a missing mother and her family.  It is told from the point of view of two of the children, the husband, and finally the mother herself.  There is much regret over neglecting to take better care of the mother.  The reader also gets a good glimpse of Korea as well.  It is a tale of how one family overcomes great barriers to become unified again.

So, this is a great selection of memoirs and novels on World War Il, tragedy, humor and the importance of family.  Quite a diverse collection of books from a unique set of authors.  Enjoy!

 

 

Bossypants for Kindle

bossypantsI fondly remember the SNL episodes with Tina Fey on Weekend Update and as Sarah Palin.  It is uncanny how much they look alike.  I love her ability to take life’s busyness with humor and wit.

Fey has a bestselling book called Bossypants available on the Kindle that has awesome reviews.  It covers her family life and experiences on SNL, 30 Rock and other comedy appearances.

I cracked up at the “Praises for Tina Fey” section on the Bossypants product page, especially the “quote” from Mark Twain: “Do not print this glowing recommendation of Tina Fey’s book until I’ve been dead a hundred years.”

Alan Mazer

“It seemed a little uneven starting out, but quickly transitioned into some very interesting pieces about her early jobs, her work with Second City, and then her transition into writing for SNL and her eventual creation of 30 Rock. Interspersed are stories about growing up and dating, her eventual marriage, and her struggles to balance work and family life, as well as some candid advice for other women on how to make it in a male-dominated industry.”

Meghan C. Wilker

” It’s (unexpectedly) full of really good advice about how to be a good boss. I mean, maybe I should have gleaned that from the title but I expected it to be more of a comedic autobiography than a sincere look at how to effectively manage people. And she’s got some really great thoughts in this book about how to be a leader.

- Where books by other comedians are pretty much only for laughs (see: Chelsea Handler), this book also contains some social critique. And, not in a preachy way – in a very funny way. But Fey raises some excellent questions about how women treat each other, being a working mom, dealing with institutionalized sexism, and other hilarious topics!”