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A year of free reading

January 1st, 2012

Last year I joined a lovely Ravelry Forum called “52 Books in a Year.”  Obviously, reading 52 books in a year is not a particularly difficult goal for me being part of the subset that read more than 200 books. (Obviously, being deployed heavily contributed to my reading numbers along with eBooks and Audiobooks).

Listening to books and reading books electronically can  be financially wallet breaking if you are not careful since it is extremely easy to just hit the buy it now, load and go. All of the on-line book stores continually have special deals as does Tantor, Audible, GraphicAudio and numerous other sources for audiobooks. (please note that I am not providing links for you, I am not going to facilitiate increased expenditures).

This year, instead of spending large amounts of money on reading and audio material, I am going to concentrate on what I can read for free. I have a decent local library; that solves the best sellers reading. I have plenty of access to paperback swap shelves, so portable books for take-offs and landings are solved. My backlist of audiobooks to be heard is long enough that it should last months. Finally, there is a wealth of free eBooks – I must have a good hundred between various accounts (B&N, Amazon, Kobo) and more are available every year.

The end result is that I plan on reading what I find, writing reviews, recommending new authors and limiting my spending. I am willing to be honest in a review here; I am unlikely to post on an otherwise open site if writing is significantly lacking. Something about the old “if you can’t say anything nice…….”

There are some others from Ravelry joining in. If you want to play as well, just let me know. I am more than happy to link to anyone else participating and also put up links for anything interesting that I find. Pixel of Ink and Books on the Knob are a good sources for listings and recommendations on free eBooks. ITunes has the occasional freebie, not as often as Amazon or Barnes&Noble but more than snow in Florida.

Currently on hand from the Library:

Aloha from Hell (A Sandman Slim Novel) – Richard Kadrey which I thoroughly enjoyed. Yes it is violent; no – there are no vampires. Gritty Urban Fantasy with imagination and minimal romance.

Three-Day Town (Deborah Knott Mystery) – Margaret Maron. Deborah and Dwight on their one year delayed honeymoon no sooner arrive in NYC than there is a murder in their apartment. Bringing Sigrid Harald (1980s-1995 mystery series) in as one of the NYC detectives is both interesting and effective.

The House of Silk – Anthony Horowitz. After writing a whole series of YA mysteries – Horowitz was selected by the Arthur Conan Doyle Estate to pen a new Sherlock Holmes Mystery. It is next on my reading list.

Son of Stone (A Stone Barrington Novel) - Stuart Woods. The latest in the Stone Barrington novels – sometimes life takes some rather interesting turns.

Spellbound – Blake Charlton. With all these mysteries – I just had to pick up one fantasy book complete with dragons didn’t I?

What are you reading? Write a post, write a review, I will happily keep the links and conversation going.

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  1. January 2nd, 2012 at 00:35 | #1

    I think I might be able to do this…I, too, have a great library and a backlog of already purchased books to draw from.

  2. January 2nd, 2012 at 21:03 | #2

    My daughter got me Finn Family Moomintroll by a Finnish woman, written somewhere around the time Frank Baum was creating the Oz series–old, and geared towards children. Apparently this was a whole series of classics I’d never heard of, and I’m guessing it could easily have been the inspiration for Sandra Boynton’s hippos. Even the bad guys turn out to be nice, and there’s adventure with only just enough danger.

  3. Joanne
    January 5th, 2012 at 02:41 | #3

    Okay, I had to google Ravelry to find out what the heck it means. I thought it was a reading thing. Turns out its about another kind of yarn altogether.

    You know I love books. I just came from a used book store …..

  4. Brad
    January 5th, 2012 at 02:42 | #4

    The Prague Cemetery by Umberto Ecco.

    Depressing. Interesting well researched history of Italy (as it became Italy), and France in mid to latter part of 19th Century.

    I would not recommend it to you, as the main character is pretty despicable, has a split personality, and makes his living forging documents about various conspiracies involving the Knights templar, the Jews, and the masons, oh yes, and the Jesuits. You tell him who you want to cast aspersions on, and he does it.

    I find the history the only saving grace, seeing the politics of the era as though I were living it.

    I love Ecco’s Name of the Rose, so bought it based upon the author. I will see this through, but then sell or give away. Would never read it again, unless being asked a question of the various factions of the Italian unific

  5. Ann
    January 5th, 2012 at 02:44 | #5

    ust finished The Help. Have you read it? Couldn’t put it down! I took it to Palm Springs and it was the perfect vacation book. Now I’m reading The Confessor by Daniel Silva because it was small (paperback) and I’ve wanted to read Silva for a while, and I had it on my shelf. So far, so good.

  6. April
    January 5th, 2012 at 02:44 | #6

    dresden files

  7. Helen
    January 5th, 2012 at 03:36 | #7

    Currently reading, ‘The Brain That Changes Itself’ (Norman Doidge,MD)….maybe I can save my own brain!

  8. January 6th, 2012 at 05:53 | #8

    Today I finished reading Root Beer Lady, the Story of Dorothy Molter, by Bob Cary, published by Pfeifer-Hamilton of Duluth, Minnesota in 1993. This book is about a woman who visited the Boundary Waters Canoe Area as a young woman, long before it was the BWCA, in 1934, and who decided to spend her life in the wilderness. She worked at a wilderness resort with an older friend, Bill Berglund, until he died, and then took ownership of the resort herself, making her living by renting a few cabins to visitors and selling supplies at her little store. She was self-sufficient and very strong and athletic, and did a lot of listening and watching to learn her wilderness skills. She was a markswoman on her Chicago high school sports team, so was already a good shot, and her father, who was a security officer for railroads, was a wilderness sports fisherman. My mother gave me this book years ago. It is signed by the author, who lives in Ely, Minnesota, which is pretty much the closest ‘urban’ area to Dorothy Molter’s Isle of the Pines ‘resort’. This is a simple book, telling a regional story. The important thing about regional stories is their fine grandularity. When you look at a larger issue (the BWCA, wilderness presevation, rules and regulations, priorities and principles) in the fine detail of a local-regional story such as this one, the simplicity of the larger issue is obscured.

    It is a good thing to have the large issues obscured. We need to remember the many sides of every story and problem. We need to be challenged to explain what our principles and priorities really signify. Dorothy Molter was a homesteader of a wilderness that could support very few, and in the eyes of the local people, she lived on and used her land gently and responsibly.. When Society at large decided there was some sort of value in restricting the use of land which she in fact owned, and restricting the way people could use the land, then Society took rights from her to live where she chose and to make a living as she had been for decades. It’s not a very Libertarian thing to do, really. (I deliberately used the word Society, not Government, because Government is only a tool of the tyrany of the powerful, whether that is the Majority, or the Wealthy or the 1%.)

    I don’t necessarily recommend that you (in the sense of ‘you all’) read this particular book, but I do recommend stopping for a moment now and then to read som regional stories. Because the world is not composed of the stories of issues. It is the stories of people, one interesting and beautiful person at a time.

  9. January 6th, 2012 at 06:00 | #9

    @Ann
    Read it and enjoyed it. It is a fun read. I know it doesn’t tell it like it was – I remember, I am that old. But I though it was good that this book and the movie bacame so popular, because we don’t want to remember how bad those times were. And kids think of segregation and predjudice as an abstract.

  10. george rehm
    January 7th, 2012 at 17:00 | #10

    Won`t bore you with what I am reading in German, but I strongly recommend my last English read, from Michael Lewis, particularly for those of you either irritated or frustrated by unending headlines about financial crises and predicting the end of the Western financial system (not to mention your 401(k)). His most recent book is entitled Boomerang, and provides a most entertaining, if not frightening description of the sovereign debt crisis, that is gripping Europe and US markets. I also recommend his classic work The Big Short, about the 2008 collapse, not to mention the entertaining baseball book, Moneyball, now a movie that I, unfortunately, still have not seen.

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