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Review

Review: Wool Gathering by Various Authors
July 4, 2014 | 4:25 pm

wool gatheringI loved Hugh Howey's Wool series, and while I had heard that he had opened it up to the Kindle Worlds program, I had not checked out any of the new additions---until now. I heard about this via a blog I follow, and I love the concept. [easyazon-link asin="B00IZRAUD2" locale="us"]WOOL Gathering[/easyazon-link] is a sort of sampler anthology which presets stories from some of the 'top' authors in the Wool Kindle Worlds community. The proceeds go to support National Novel Writing Month , a cause I appreciate. It's a win-win situation---I get to test out some new authors, and support the Nano...

Amazon Prime Streaming Music is terrific for Prime subscribers
June 17, 2014 | 3:41 pm

Juli gave her review of Amazon Prime Music yesterday. Now I’ll have my say. First of all, as Slate and the Verge point out in their reviews, Amazon Prime Streaming Music is not a Pandora or Spotify killer, and it’s not meant to be. It really isn’t even a new service at all, so much as an extension of an old one. Amazon has offered cloud music storage since 2011, after all. You can already upload music to Amazon’s cloud and stream it, or stream mp3s you buy from Amazon’s mp3 store. Prime Streaming Music just lets you stream...

App Review: Google Play Books for Android
June 17, 2014 | 12:19 pm

Screenshot_2014-06-17-10-57-52I hadn’t paid much attention to Google Play Books before. I’d installed and even paid for readers like Aldiko and Moon+ (TeleRead review), and snagged a couple freeish ones like UB Reader, but Play Books just sat in my app drawer, unused, like most of the pack-in Google apps. But when I came across this Lifehacker piece calling it “the best e-reader for Android,” I figured it was worth trying out. And darned if I don’t by and large agree. Offering a simple and easy-to-use reading interface and cloud reading-position sync with all books, Google Play Books is...

Techno-thriller about Taiwan, China was 10 years in the making
June 16, 2014 | 6:25 pm

Dragon Storm coverFor T.J. McFadden, writing the military thriller [easyazon-link asin="B00ITUEKYA" locale="us"]Dragon Storm[/easyazon-link]-- about a potential war between China and Taiwan -- was a labor of love and part of a ten-year learning process. A recent thumbs-up review in a newspaper in Taiwan has given the Ohio author a feeling of success, even if sales are still slow. To write the Kindle ebook, McFaddeen was able to use many of the things and terms he learned in serving as a military journalist in the U.S. navy, he told this reporter in a recent email. ''I was a journalist assigned to the USS Ashland," he...

Gadget Review: RAVPower Dynamo-On-the-Go
June 13, 2014 | 2:07 pm

RAVPower Dynamo-on-the-goI've been a fan of RAVPower ever since they sent me a 14000 mAh external battery to review. So when they offered me a [easyazon-link asin="B00KKCQ7SC" locale="us"][2-in-1] RAVPower® Duo 7800mAh Portable Charger[/easyazon-link], I said, "Yes please!" It's ironic that it's described as great for camping, and they offered it to me a day before I was leaving for a camping trip, which meant it didn't arrive in time for me to use it. However, I can certainly see why it would a great camping accessory. I hadn't really clued in on the fact that it's cammo-colored, so I had a good chuckle when I...

E-book review: The Chronicles of the Kencyrath is fun, dark fantasy
May 26, 2014 | 2:22 pm

godstalkIf you’re looking for something interesting to read, I’m going to talk about an underappreciated, inexpensive series of e-books from Baen that I’ve grown to love. It’s called the Chronicles of the Kencyrath, and the first book, God Stalk, was written by Patricia C. Hodgell back in 1982. Go and buy and read it right now, links are at the bottom of this post. You want me to tell you more about it? What, don’t you trust me? Well, all right. I first came across God Stalk back in the late ‘90s, as one of the top-ranking books...

Book Review: Every Short Story 1951-2012, Alasdair Gray, Canongate Books
May 25, 2014 | 2:00 pm

With the near-destruction of the renowned Glasgow School of Art building designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, it's a good time to celebrate one of its most famous alumni: Alasdair Gray, artist, author, polemical Scottish nationalist, and dyed-in-the-wool Glaswegian. He started writing in the late 1950s, although he only began seriously publishing in the 1980s, with his landmark novel Lanark appearing in 1981. And Every Short Story 1951-2012 collates every published story in his five published collections: Unlikely Stories, Mostly (1984), Lean Tales (1985), Glaswegians (1990), Ten Tales Tall and True, (1993), and The Ends of Our Tethers: 13 Sorry Stories (2005). The Endnotes,...

Kindle Paperwhite In-Depth, Part 3: The Final Verdict
May 21, 2014 | 12:25 pm

kindle paperwhiteYesterday, I highlighted some Kindle-only features I particularly liked. Today, I will talk about some quirks which were less appealing, and then give my final verdict. Will I be keeping the Kindle Paperwhite, or will I continue trucking along with my Kobo Glo? Firstly, let's talk about one feature I do miss from the Kobo---Pocket integration. The Kobo did this very well. You could save articles from sites like Longform, straight from the on-board web browser! And you had full control over what to do with them when you were done---delete from both the device and the server, archive, save to favourites...

Kindle Paperwhite In-Depth, Part 2: Kindle Features Up Close
May 20, 2014 | 12:25 pm

kindle paperwhite in depthIn Part 2 of my Kindle Paperwhite review, I am going to look more closely at some of the Kindle's features. You can do a lot more than just plain read on this thing! Here are some features which jumped out at me. 1) Goodreads Integration This was not a huge deal for me because, while I do use Goodreads, I don't just rate the book but I review it too. That's a lot easier to do from a computer! But if you just want to shelve and star your books, and you get most of them from Amazon, then having this feature...

Kindle Paperwhite In-Depth, Part 1: Kindle vs Kobo
May 19, 2014 | 10:25 am

kindle vs koboI recently found out that my sister had a Kindle Paperwhite 2 she wasn't using, and further, that she was having a timely visit with my mother which would enable her to get it to me without us having to pay to ship it. My Kobo Glo has been a little glitchy lately and I found that, given my dislike of the iOS Kobo app, I was really missing the ability to coordinate my reading across my devices. Perhaps I was ready to return to the Kindle fold? I resolved to take in my sister's abandoned Kindle (she reads on her...

Book Review: Burnt Black Suns by Simon Strantzas, Hippocampus Press
May 10, 2014 | 10:02 am

Regular readers of TeleRead will probably have seen by now coverage of Canadian dark fiction author Simon Strantzas. His latest collection, Burnt Black Suns from Hippocampus Press, is doing a good job of confirming him as one of the premier writers in the field. He has written very well and eloquently elsewhere on the current state of dark fiction and horror, and here is his latest creative contribution to the debate. This is a collection that is very much about variety, as well as some very assured paying of dues and tributes. “Beyond the Banks of the River Seine" is a homage...

Follow-up: Reading A-Z.com. Almost a month later
April 25, 2014 | 4:24 pm

reading a-zI wrote earlier this month about a great reading website I recently subscribed to on behalf of my school. The website has printable ebooks at a variety of levels, some of which include worksheets and bonus content, and I thought it would be a good resource for teachers to use with their students. Almost a month in, how is it going? Great, actually! There have been a few small hiccups and complaints, but I've seen several other teachers besides me printing and using these cute little books. Here are some examples: 1) To level up an accelerated student This has been MY use...