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  1. #661

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    Thanks for sharing about Dark Places - I bought it together with Sharp Objects but haven't gotten around to reading it. I'm not sure what to do now, though. I am fairly squeamish so the animal torture and graphic murders would be tough to get past, but the rest of the book sounds worth reading.

  2. #662

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    I finished P.D. James' "Death Comes to Pemberley" during the blizzard and enjoyed it, even if I'm not the biggest Jane Austen fan. It was nice to get the postscript on the Darcys and the Bennett clan and get a sort of closure on all their stories.

    I'm now reading "Cut to the Heart" by Ava Dianne Day (who wrote the Fremont Jones mystery series I've been listening to in the car). This one feature Clara Barton tending an injured Colonel in South Carolina during the Civil War while a derragned serial killer stalks the area collecting body parts for his "experiments." Clara Barton was born in my hometown so I've always been interested in her life and family (her birthplace is a small museum). This is fiction, but Day used original sources in her research and so far she seems to have captured the characters well.
    I'd rather be thought of as absolutely ridiculous than as absolutely boring.

  3. #663
    snarking for AZE
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    i havent been keeping up with the thread so i dont know if this has been mentioned, but i just finished former people: the final days of the russian aristocracy by douglas smith. i really enjoyed it. it focuses on a couple of families. the details are really sad. one of the amazon reviewers said people who like downton abbey will like it.
    I feel like I'm in a dream. But it can't be a dream because there are no boy dancers!

  4. #664
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    Amazon is apparently planning to sell used ebooks.

    *blink* *blink*

    I find the concept mindboggling. And very bad. Because my experience with used textbooks has been that such things are, in the long run, very bad for the consumer.

    As is explained here: http://curtisagency.com/blog/2013/02...uy-e-book.html
    "The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."-- Albert Einstein.

  5. #665
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    That's just... weird. I just can't get the concept of a piece of data being 'used', in the traditional sense. It's the exact same piece of data as a new one, in this case.

  6. #666
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prancer View Post
    Amazon is apparently planning to sell used ebooks.

    *blink* *blink*

    I find the concept mindboggling. And very bad. Because my experience with used textbooks has been that such things are, in the long run, very bad for the consumer.

    As is explained here: http://curtisagency.com/blog/2013/02...uy-e-book.html
    All the authors I've read/spoken with about this are "terrified" and "pissed". Yes, their words. It's not hard to imagine some crafty tech geek finding a way around protections, making a zillion copies of an ebook and reselling them all. This is such a strange concept, but Amazon wants to rake in the dough and this is another way to do it.

  7. #667

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    Selling a used e-book seems incomprehensible. I'm not sure how this benefits anyone except Amazon in the long run. Unfortunately, I'm not sure if many book buyers will realize this.
    "If people are looking for guarantees, they should buy appliances at Sears and stay away from human relationships."~Prancer

  8. #668
    From the Bloc
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    This part of the article Prancer linked makes the most sense to me:

    Still, the whole phantom of a secondhand ebook marketplace might not ever amount to much. As Marcus Wohlsen notes, Amazon may have secured the patent simply to bury it, to eliminate any possible threat of a secondhand ebook market to its standard business.

  9. #669
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spinner View Post
    It's not hard to imagine some crafty tech geek finding a way around protections, making a zillion copies of an ebook and reselling them all.
    Everything has already been done but the resale.

    Quote Originally Posted by Spinner View Post
    This is such a strange concept, but Amazon wants to rake in the dough and this is another way to do it.
    Is there a business that doesn't want to rake in the dough? There are a lot of people in the book business who believe that Amazon's primary goal in all things book-related is to drive publishers out of business and corner the market themselves, and everything they do tends to be seen in that light, so it's very possible that a lot of the reaction is just paranoia. OTOH, a lot of the things that Amazon can be hard to see in any other light.
    "The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."-- Albert Einstein.

  10. #670

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    My husband and I were talking about this last night and he was wondering whether Amazon cared much about their book (regular and e) sales these days since it seemed to him that most of their profit must come from other stuff. Then I saw this today:

    http://news.yahoo.com/amazon-shares-...--finance.html

    The success of Amazon's Kindle business is important because it is more profitable than some of the company's other operations, Devitt said.

    The Kindle business, which includes the gadgets and related digital content sales, generated about 11 percent of Amazon's sales last year and 34 percent of the company's consolidated segment operating income, or CSOI, Devitt estimated. The CSOI is a closely watched measure of Amazon's profitability.

    "The Kindle franchise is a profit pool that subsidizes investments in other growth initiatives," Devitt wrote.
    But that doesn't really help me understand the concept of a used e-book.
    Creating drama!

  11. #671
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prancer View Post
    Everything has already been done but the resale.
    Yes, I think we all know this. Pirating abounds.



    Is there a business that doesn't want to rake in the dough? There are a lot of people in the book business who believe that Amazon's primary goal in all things book-related is to drive publishers out of business and corner the market themselves, and everything they do tends to be seen in that light, so it's very possible that a lot of the reaction is just paranoia. OTOH, a lot of the things that Amazon can be hard to see in any other light.
    I don't believe Amazon wants this at all, nor did I imply it. I just said they want to make money, which they do. If implemented, this is another way. But as Jenny astutely pointed out, it could all be just to make it go away.

  12. #672
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spinner View Post
    I don't believe Amazon wants this at all, nor did I imply it. I just said they want to make money, which they do.
    I didn't say that you said it, nor did I imply it.

    But the fact remains that a lot of people in the book business think Amazon wants to run book publishers out of business so they can corner the market for themselves, and see this as another step in that direction.

    That doesn't mean they are right, but the perception is certainly there.
    "The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."-- Albert Einstein.

  13. #673
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    "Sweet Tooth" by Ian McEwan was a good, breezy read. I didn't expect that as it is about Britain's MI-6 and thought it might turn tragic. I'm also reading Laurie King's "The Pirate King." She and Holmes are traveling with many actors and crew to a movie shoot in Lisbon. This mystery is fun.

  14. #674
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    I found a Book Crossing book at work yesterday. It's "Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict" which isn't something I'd normally pick off the shelf but it literally fell into my hands so I feel I owe it a try anyway.
    "Beautiful things don't ask for attention." -The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

  15. #675
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    Hardcovers arriving this week included "Firefly", a gorgeous hard cover full of series facts and screenplays - worth it for any fans of the show; also received my long lost copy of Massie's 'Catherine the Great' - it was shipping in September!! And the last one was a sequel to "The Forgotten King", called "The Broken Sword".

    Kindle wise, I'm reading "Swan Song" and love it. A bit gory in spots, but I guess anything written about the aftermath of a nuclear holocaust should be icky.

  16. #676
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    The used ebook thing is extra interesting since Amazon does't even sell ebooks, they lease them.

    I finally finished Clean Code, which was very good but took me ages to read. I'm currently giving Lois McMaster Bujold a second try with The Warrior's Apprentice (from her Vorkosigan series), and it's a very easy read and is quite funny in places, but I'm just not compelled to pick it up and continue reading. I'm not sure what to read once I wrap that up either. I seem to be stuck in a bit of a rut.

  17. #677

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    A very Eville friend introduced me and my Kindle to www.freebooksifter.com over the weekend. Appently it find several hundred new ebooks offered for free every day on Amazon and then sorts them by category for you. I've found several that look interesting. My locig is that while I might balk as spending real money for electronic literature, I can adjust to getting bits and bites for free.

    Meanwhile on the paper front, I finished the Clara Barton book - I'd give it a B; and started James Patterson's third Witch and Wizard YA "Fire". I also have Clive Cussler's "Atlantis Found" going on audio in the car. I like it a lot more than I expected to and it's great for long car trips.
    I'd rather be thought of as absolutely ridiculous than as absolutely boring.

  18. #678
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evilynn View Post
    I'm not sure what to read once I wrap that up either. I seem to be stuck in a bit of a rut.
    Have you read 1Q84 yet? I finished it a few weeks ago, and it's made it to my "know I'll re-read this one" pile. It's good if you're in the mood to question the nature of reality. Connie Willis's To Say Nothing of the Dog is a good choice if you are in the mood for another funny but well written book.

    I just finished the last of the Christmas stack my darling husband bought me. Here's the order I'd rate them in:

    #1. 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami- I don't know how I could find three pages of a character sitting and watching the moon so enthralling, but I did. I have to go read ALL his other books if they are this good.

    #2. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon - just the right mix of heartbreak and hope.

    #3. The Time Traveller's Wife- I liked this a lot more than I was expecting

    #4. Oryx and Crake- I liked this less than I was expecting. I forgot how annoying I find it when Atwood writes SF like this. She explains every single detail, as if her audience won't get it without it being spelled out.
    ‎"You emerge victorious from the maze you've been travelling in." Oct 21,2012- Best Fortune Cookie Ever!

  19. #679
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    I finished a couple books this week while on vacation. The Big Sleep was mostly what I was expecting, though as a person who knows little about cars/cigars/alcohol/etc. in the modern society, I feel like I missed a buttload of references of similar items from when the book was written. And it's hilariously politically incorrect, but that I definitely expected. I get that this detective is apparently quite famously popular in the hardboiled genre but I thought he was kind of an ass. Or is that part of the appeal?

    I also read Mariette in Ecstasy by Ron Hansen, which was just beautiful. The prose was amazing, poetic and lyrical. Again, as an atheist who has never gone to any sort of actual church ceremony except 1 wedding and 1 funeral, there were a lot of things about Catholicism I had to look up or which I'd never heard of before. I would highly recommend this book though. It's not at all as cliche as one would expect a stigmata story to be, and is mostly about the beauty of worship combined with the various nuns dealing with their feelings as a postulant in the convent experiences the stigmata, and the ways in which their reactions are Christian and un-Christian. Really, really beautiful book, and not very long.

  20. #680
    Port de bras!!!
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    I've been on a major Henry James kick: Wings of the Dove, Portrait of a Lady, finally took on the Golden Bowl and the Golden Bowl won. It's the insufferable pointless circumlocution, devoid of beauty or literary value. You can sick a departmentful of English grad students on me, I don't care. The story is great, the characters are beautifully constructed, fascinating, complex 3D creatures who slog through the squelchy and quicksilvery mire of James' prose. So I put it aside for now, love the story and characters, hate the writing.

    Moved on to his buddy Edith Wharton and her Twilight Sleep which resulted in another love/hate relationship. Going through the interminable and stupendously boring daily to-do lists of one Pauline Manford, a wealthy New York matron, for the first 100 or so pages was inducing of real and not twilight sleep. Then things obtained shape and direction and I obtained perspective and so started pitying Mrs. Manford quite a bit. The Gothic, Northanger Abbey-ish denouement would have pleased Catherine Morland but I found it OTT. The book does have value though and I would recommend it to Wharton fans.

    And now I am reading To Marry An English Lord. My husband wanted to know if this is a manual No, just real life stories of wealthy American girls who bought themselves English titles and coronets. This book apparently inspired Downton Abbey and there was indeed and American heiress named Cora who married an Earl and became a countess. I deserve a little frivolity after all that James, although naturally, James references abound.
    "Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."

    from Speedy Death

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