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Yeah, so I didn’t mean to go so long without posting an entry, but Tuesday, when I’d set some time aside to write a post, I had to rush off to the vet instead.  The new kitten (see previous posts) is stressing out my older cat, and causing his bladder to seize up – this is something that happens to cats under stress, my vet tells me.  I thought it was a urinary track blockage, which as you owner of male cats will know is life-threatening stuff.  But it seems like everything is settling down now.  I know you are relieved.  I will try to refrain from blogging about my cats for the next few weeks, so I will thank you all in advance for your kind wishes and get-well-soon gifts for Rupert.

The Texas Book Festival went well, in case you were wondering.  My panel was a discussion with historian Jacqueline Jones, author of (most recently) Saving Savannah: The City and the Civil War, and we were to talk about different approaches to history.  Frankly, I was a little uptight about this.   First of all, it’s always tough to be in a public discussion with a historian, because most people have this idea in their heads that they are supposed to value non-fiction over fiction, and therefore the historian will always get more questions in the Q&A.  Plus, there are a few kinds of books you never want to share panel time with: primarily those on the Civil War, Word War II, or baseball.  And sometimes dogs.  You get the enthusiasts who come out, and the guy who writes about economic history ends up looking like a loser.  Fortunately, that did not happen.  The audience was pretty well packed with fiction people who had no particular interest in the Civil War, which is how I like them.  I always avoid novels on the Civil War, by the way, and World War II.  I like baseball books just fine.

Perfectly manicured female hand not included.

Perfectly manicured female hand not included.

In other news, The Copper Bracelet, the audio-only multi-author thriller in which I was involved, is now the number one selling book on Audible.  I should do projects with Jeffrey Deaver more often.

And finally, some of my readers are suggesting I stop begging for a Kindle and start begging for the Barnes and Noble ebook reader, the Nook – which some say will be a Kindle killer.  What’s my move here?

5 Responses to “”

  1. Eileen says:

    The Big Money blog is calling The Nook “a doomsday machine that could destroy B&Ns beleaguered business” and possibly civilization itself. Did the toughs at Amazon get to them? Or could it be true? Maybe there’s a novel in this.

  2. Nancy Kempf says:

    You remarked, “I thought Breaking the Waves was unberarable crap gussied up as art. Who’s with me?” I’ve replied with my assessment. I’ve just begun toying with this blog medium, and as far as I can tell, it’s yet another medium for narcissism as opposed to dialog, nowhere near an Addison & Steele Spectator sort of dialog or even approaching an 18th century salon — which is what I had hoped from FaceBook when I first ventured there about a year ago, but instead (duh) it’s just “What are you doing now” narscissism. Is there anyplace in this so-called communication age where any sort of meaningful dialog can take place?

  3. P.Tomblin says:

    I resisted buying a Kindle when it first came out because I LOVE bookstores – and I love the feel of a book in my hands. Because I am a voracious reader – my books are overtaking my home. So, I took a long and careful look at the Kindle 2. I have been using the Kindle now for almost a month and I wonder why I waited so long! It is wonderful – easy to hold, convenient to carry – and books are not piling up all around me. I still go to the bookstore – browse, pick up and hold books, look through them – and then go to have coffee and download them on my Kindle! The best of both worlds!

  4. Holly says:

    David,

    I hope you are doing well.

    Look, I think you should just go ahead and beg for both the Kindle & the Nook. That’s what I’d do, anyway. Why limit your begging?

    Holly West
    Your #1 Fan

  5. I am the latest victim of Amazon’s plot to own all my reading business.

    I received my K2 yesterday, and already would not part with it for… well, I’ll get around to that. Maybe.

    First, and this is a biggie: adding books, short stories and the like is a snap. One may order from Amazon.com. This everyone knows. Less well known, and not explicitly spelled out (to my satisfaction), is that one may attach the device via USB to OS X or Linux (and presumably Windows) computers, at which point the K2 mounts as a device; and then text content can be plopped onto the K2 with a simple drag-n-drop. Text, by the way, includes .rtf, and other formats, though I’m only still in the experimental stages.

    The practical upshot: download all you want from Project Gutenberg (for instance) and load your reader!

    Other attractive features include the variable point size of the displayed text, the clean lines, and the lack of clutter generally. I also got a leather cover, which makes it feel (and smell) like I’m carrying around a fine volume.

    There are a few areas in which the device comes up a bit short; but it’s a little like saying the original IBM PC came up short vs the IBM PC-AT, a later device. Kindle is still, to my way of thinking, a work in progress.

    I have a friend who is vision impaired, a man for whom 24-point type is so comfortable he prefers 30-point. K2 tops out at about 22-point, so I fear this device would be wasted on him. In addition, the type font appears to be Times New Roman, and there is no provision for changing it to something like Papyrus (a font my friend finds easier to read due to the uniqueness of the letter shapes).

    The text-to voice is nothing outstanding, though it’s not bad. On a scale of War Games to ST:TNG, the computerized voice is about 4, maybe 4.5. Pronunciation is okay, but too often based on rules and not on reality.

    Portrait-only display is another area I’d like to see addressed in the next generation.

    Again, though, these are not quibbles; they are areas I’d like to see addressed in future.

    On the whole, I’d recommend this device to anyone who travels, or who has a specific library he or she needs to carry around. Don’t wait for perfection; there’s always another version gonna be available next year.

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