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Sat December 20 2014

January 2015 VOTE

11:04 AM by WT Sharpe in Reading Recommendations | Book Clubs

MobileRead Book Club
January 2015

Help us select the next book that the MobileRead Book Club will read for January, 2014.

Book selection category for January is:

Second Chance

There will be no nominations this month. The way Second Chance works is that the poll will be comprised of selections that either came in second place or tied for second place during the previous 11 months.

The poll will be open for 5 days. There will be no runoff vote unless the voting results a tie, in which case there will be a 3 day run-off poll. This is a visible poll: others can see how you voted. It is You may cast a vote for each book that appeals to you. Here are the selections you will be considering:

The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
The Right Stuff by Tom Wolfe
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
Cocaine Blues (Phryne Fisher #1) by Kerry Greenwood
Starship Troopers by Robert Heinlein
Your Inner Fish: A Journey into the 3.5-Billion-Year History of the Human Body by Neil Shubin
The Time Machine by H.G. Wells
The Giver by Lois Lowry
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells
The Iron King by Maurice Druon
The Canterville Ghost by Oscar Wilde

<><><> Descriptions <><><>

February: Romance
The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
Zola (Exclusive)

Full Description (from Zola):

The Time Traveler’s Wife, one of the best romance books of all time, is now available as an eBook!

Audrey Niffenegger's dazzling debut is the story of Clare, a beautiful, strong-minded art student, and Henry, an adventuresome librarian, who have known each other since Clare was six and Henry was thirty-six, and were married when Clare was twenty-three and Henry thirty-one. Impossible but true, because Henry is one of the first people diagnosed with Chrono-Displacement Disorder: his genetic clock randomly resets and he finds himself misplaced in time, pulled to moments of emotional gravity from his life, past and future. His disappearances are spontaneous and unpredictable, and lend a spectacular urgency to Clare and Henry's unconventional love story. That their attempt to live normal lives together is threatened by something they can neither prevent nor control makes their story intensely moving and entirely unforgettable.

Plus, the long-awaited sequel to Audrey Niffenegger’s time-traveling love story is finally here!

The ebook includes the first 25 pages of Niffeneger’s sequel featuring Henry and Clare’s daughter, Alba. Gifted with Clare’s beauty and Henry’s unique abilities, Alba finds herself caught between her real-time husband, Zach, and her other husband, Oliver, a fellow time-traveler and musician.

Get your ebook today and dive into this classic romance novel. Find the rest of Audrey Niffenegger’s books here and more of the best love story books. Shop eBooks today!

March: Travel/Adventure
The Right Stuff by Tom Wolfe
Amazon Ca / Amazon US / Barnes & Noble / Kobo

From National Geographic:

With all the flash and fireworks of Wolfe's writing, it's easy to overlook that, at bottom, he's a great reporter. And this long and intimate look into the lives, minds, and deeds of the men who rode the first American rockets into space remains Wolfe's best book and the first true classic from the dawn of space exploration. The race with the Russians, the dauntless Chuck Yeager—Wolfe piles story upon story, and the pile glows.
Bantam, 1996.

April: Classics
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
Patricia Clark Memorial Library: Oz Omnibus: BBeB/LRF (Illustrated) / ePub / Kindle / Kindle (Illustrated)

We all know and love the movie, but as we all know "the book is always better than the movie". Let's find out if that is true and discuss together...

May: Mystery/Thriller
Cocaine Blues (Phryne Fisher #1) by Kerry Greenwood
Amazon US / Kobo

The Amazon description:
From Publishers Weekly
The growing American audience for Phryne Fisher, Australian author Greenwood's independent 1920s female sleuth, will be delighted that her diverting first mystery is finally available in the U.S. Fisher's off-the-cuff solving of a high society jewel theft leads her to her first professional engagement when a witness to her brilliance asks her to investigate a possible poisoning-in-progress. The detective's admirable willingness to intervene to help those in distress involves her in a variety of other puzzles, including identifying the King of Snow, who has taken over the Melbourne drug trade. Many of the members of Fisher's entourage familiar from later novels make their debuts as well.

From Booklist
Australian Greenwood has been exporting her outstanding Phryne Fisher series to the U.S. for the past several years, but the books haven't arrived in chronological order. Finally, we have the series debut, which explains how the irrepressible flapper (the series is set in the 1920s) became a detective. Phryne fans will relish the chance to see how beloved characters like Bert, Cec, Dot, and Inspector Robinson wandered into Phryne's life, and newcomers will enjoy getting to know ultrafashionable Phryne, who's wealthy enough to do whatever she wants but whose previous poverty has created a strong empathy for the working class. In Melbourne to investigate the mysterious illness of the daughter of a family friend, Phryne stumbles into a case involving two of the 1920s' signature evils: cocaine and back-alley abortions. Banding together with a crew of colorful local characters, and finding time to indulge in some erotic fun with a sexy Russian dancer, Phryne soon leaves her mark on Melbourne. From beginning to end, Greenwood infuses her series with evocative settings, multidimensional characters, and satisfying mysteries.

June: Award Winners
Starship Troopers by Robert Heinlein
Amazon US

In one of Robert Heinlein's most controversial bestsellers, a recruit of the future goes through the toughest boot camp in the Universe--and into battle with the Terran Mobile Infantry against mankind's most frightening enemy.

July: Non-fiction
Your Inner Fish: A Journey into the 3.5-Billion-Year History of the Human Body by Neil Shubin
Amazon Au / Amazon Ca / Amazon UK / Amazon US / Barnes & Noble / Google Play

Spoiler: Review
Oliver Sacks on Your Inner Fish:
(Since the 1970 publication of Migraine, neurologist Oliver Sacks's unusual and fascinating case histories of "differently brained" people and phenomena—a surgeon with Tourette's syndrome, a community of people born totally colorblind, musical hallucinations, to name a few--have been marked by extraordinary compassion and humanity, focusing on the patient as much as the condition. His books include The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, Awakenings (which inspired the Oscar-nominated film), and 2007's Musicophilia. He lives in New York City, where he is Professor of Clinical Neurology at Columbia University.)

Your Inner Fish is my favorite sort of book—an intelligent, exhilarating, and compelling scientific adventure story, one which will change forever how you understand what it means to be human.

The field of evolutionary biology is just beginning an exciting new age of discovery, and Neil Shubin's research expeditions around the world have redefined the way we now look at the origins of mammals, frogs, crocodiles, tetrapods, and sarcopterygian fish—and thus the way we look at the descent of humankind. One of Shubin's groundbreaking discoveries, only a year and a half ago, was the unearthing of a fish with elbows and a neck, a long-sought evolutionary "missing link" between creatures of the sea and land-dwellers.

My own mother was a surgeon and a comparative anatomist, and she drummed it into me, and into all of her students, that our own anatomy is unintelligible without a knowledge of its evolutionary origins and precursors. The human body becomes infinitely fascinating with such knowledge, which Shubin provides here with grace and clarity. Your Inner Fish shows us how, like the fish with elbows, we carry the whole history of evolution within our own bodies, and how the human genome links us with the rest of life on earth.

Shubin is not only a distinguished scientist, but a wonderfully lucid and elegant writer; he is an irrepressibly enthusiastic teacher whose humor and intelligence and spellbinding narrative make this book an absolute delight. Your Inner Fish is not only a great read; it marks the debut of a science writer of the first rank.

August: Science Fiction
The Time Machine by H.G. Wells
Amazon US / Barnes & Noble / Kobo

The Time Traveller, a dreamer obsessed with traveling through time, builds himself a time machine and, much to his surprise, travels over 800,000 years into the future. He lands in the year 802701: the world has been transformed by a society living in apparent harmony and bliss, but as the Traveler stays in the future he discovers a hidden barbaric and depraved subterranean class. Wells's transparent commentary on the capitalist society was an instant bestseller and launched the time-travel genre.

September: Banned/Challenged Books
The Giver by Lois Lowry (Tie for 2nd place)
Amazon US / Goodreads

From Goodreads:

Jonas' world is perfect. Everything is under control. There is no war or fear or pain. There are no choices. Every person is assigned a role in the Community. When Jonas turns twelve, he is singled out to receive special training from The Giver. The Giver alone holds the memories of the true pain and pleasure of life. Now, it is time for Jonas to receive the truth. There is no turning back.

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee (Tie for 2nd place)
Amazon Ca / Amazon UK / Amazon US / Angus & Robertson / B&N / Google Play / Kobo US / Overdrive

Harper Lee's Pulitzer prize-winning masterwork of honor and injustice in the deep south—and the heroism of one man in the face of blind and violent hatred, available now for the first time as an e-book.

One of the best-loved stories of all time, To Kill a Mockingbird has been translated into more than forty languages, sold more than thirty million copies worldwide, served as the basis for an enormously popular motion picture, and was voted one of the best novels of the twentieth century by librarians across the country. A gripping, heart-wrenching, and wholly remarkable tale of coming-of-age in a South poisoned by virulent prejudice, it views a world of great beauty and savage inequities through the eyes of a young girl, as her father-a crusading local lawyer-risks everything to defend a black man unjustly accused of a terrible crime.

October: Patricia Clark Memorial Library
The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells
The Patricia Clark Memorial Library: EPub | Kindle

No synopsis given.

November: Foreign (originally non-English)
The Iron King by Maurice Druon
Amazon US / Kobo CA / Kobo US / Overdrive

Goodreads blurb:

The Iron King – Philip the Fair – is as cold and silent, as handsome and unblinking as a statue. He governs his realm with an iron hand, but he cannot rule his own family: his sons are weak and their wives adulterous; while his red-blooded daughter Isabella is unhappily married to an English king who prefers the company of men.

A web of scandal, murder and intrigue is weaving itself around the Iron King; but his downfall will come from an unexpected quarter. Bent on the persecution of the rich and powerful Knights Templar, Philip sentences Grand Master Jacques de Molay to be burned at the stake, thus drawing down upon himself a curse that will destroy his entire dynasty

Originally published in 1955 in French.

December: Short Stories
The Canterville Ghost by Oscar Wilde
Patricia Clark Memorial Library: ePub (Complete Works) / LibriVox (Audiobook) / Project Gutenberg (Various Formats)

From LibriVox:

The American Minister and his family have bought the English stately home Canterville Chase, complete with the ghost of Sir Simon de Canterville - blood-stains, clanking chains and all. But these modern Americans will have no truck with ghostly goings-on, and set out to beat the spectre at his own game. (Summary by David Barnes)

[ 12 replies - poll! ]


Sat December 13 2014

MobileRead Week in Review: 12/06 - 12/13

07:00 AM by Alexander Turcic in Miscellaneous | Week in Review

Been away? Fear not! Here is your chance to check out what appeared on our frontpage this week:

E-Book General - News

E-Book General - Reading Recommendations

Now on Scribd: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

06:35 AM by NickyWithNook in E-Book General | News

I'm doing a free trial and I'm glad to see this addition!

At long last, we’re thrilled to welcome Houghton Mifflin Harcourt to Scribd. They’ve long been one of our favorite publishers, with a long history of publishing books from some of the most beloved and celebrated writers of all time, from Nathaniel Hawthorne to George Orwell, Virginia Woolf, Robert Penn Warren, Umberto Eco, Ursula K. Le Guin, and more.

[ 2 replies ]

Thu December 11 2014

Pointing users to drm stripping software isn't copyright infringment.

04:30 PM by JoeD in E-Book General | News

Telling users how to strip the DRM from their legally purchased ebooks is not contributory copyright infringement, according to a ruling last month by a federal judge in New York.

eff summary of the decision

I'm a little surprised by this ruling but quite pleased it went the way it did.

[ 127 replies ]

Sun December 07 2014

The 2015 Annual Reading Challenge List Thread

01:50 PM by Nyssa in E-Book General | Reading Recommendations

2015 Reading Challenge List Thread

Welcome to our 6th Annual Reading Challenge!

The Annual Reading Challenge is neither a race, contest, nor an "exclusive club", anyone can join! This is just a fun activity that some of us have enjoyed doing in the past. Many of us have found reading challenges to be an entertaining way to set goals for ourselves, get ideas for books, and see what others are reading.

This thread is for you to keep a running tally for your chosen challenge. I would request that you please state your goals at the top of your post (in the title line if you can), and then start your list in the body of your post. As you read books, edit your post to update your list of books read.

[Please Remember: No discussion posts in this thread. Please use the other thread for that. Non-List posts will be deleted or moved to the other thread]

Discussions & Ideas can be found here: 2015 Annual Reading Challenge Discussion Thread

Post #2 is dedicated to a Table of Contents for all participants in this thread. Names will be added, to this TOC, in alphabetical order with a link to that individual’s post number from this thread.

Previous threads were for 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011 and 2010

[ 43 replies ]

Sat December 06 2014

MobileRead Week in Review: 11/29 - 12/06

07:00 AM by Alexander Turcic in Miscellaneous | Week in Review

Another week, another steady stream of e-book goodness here on MobileRead. Our authentic roundup of what's been going on:

E-Book General - News

E-Book General - Reading Recommendations

Miscellaneous - Announcements

Thu December 04 2014

B&N buys out Microsoft's Nook stake

12:09 PM by fjtorres in E-Book General | News

From the WSJ:

The bookstore retailer bought out Microsoft’s preferred interest in Nook for about $120 million in cash and stock, freeing the software giant from further investments in the business.

Barnes & Noble added it expects the planned split of its Nook Media unit from its retail stores to occur by the end of August, behind its initial projection for a separation by March. Ending the partnership would also make it easier for Barnes & Noble to sell the division if it chooses to explore that option.

The disclosure came as Barnes & Noble reported a much weaker-than-expected profit for its November quarter, helping push its shares down more than 13% in early trading.

For its second quarter ended Nov. 1, the Nook segment’s revenue fell 41% to $63.9 million, while digital content sales fell 21% to $45.2 million. Device sales fell 64%, though cost-cutting helped stem the division’s loss in the quarter.

Sales at the company’s retail unit, meanwhile, fell 3.6% due partly to store closures.

More at the source.
If link expires, google the headline "Barnes & Noble, Microsoft End Nook Pact".

[ 58 replies ]

Wed December 03 2014

MobileRead Guideline Refinements

09:53 AM by Alexander Turcic in Miscellaneous | Announcements

Below I present a few refinements to our existing guidelines. Nothing big there, but if you have the time, please quickly skim through them.

Book Uploads according to Life+70 Rule

Two weeks ago we successfully moved our servers to a new host. We said goodbye to Montreal, Canada and welcome to New Jersey, USA. Because of differing copyright laws, eBooks uploaded to this site must now be in the "life+70" public domain or licensed under a compatible Creative Commons license. This means that the author (or translator) of the book must have died at least 70 years before the start of the current year.

Feel free to use the report button if you have questions about a book's copyright status.

MobileRead Amazon Referral Tag

I want to be upfront. We're going to experiment by adding an official MobileRead tag to Amazon links posted here. So,


For example, every time someone asks for some information on something, and you include a link to Amazon in your response, that link gets updated to include our tag. The commission we'd receive when a user makes a purchase through this link would help contribute towards the running costs of the site. The only difference is that Amazon will know that you came from MobileRead; no other information is shared and prices are the same.

As always, I appreciate your feedback and I want to make sure it is cool with most people.

Our general guideline remains. It is generally not allowed to deliberately post links containing commission, referral or affiliate tags in the forums (with very few exceptions, such as in clearly marked signatures, subject to moderator approval).

Keeping things family- and work-friendly

TL;DR: It is not permitted to post sexually explicit or erotic content.

We pride ourselves on being a family- and work-friendly community. Children visit this forum and, for better or worse, our conduct sets an example that can either foster or hinder a life-long interest in reading books. We also want parents to feel confident that this community is safe for their children to visit.

It goes without saying that flaming, cursing and trolling are not acceptable.

What's more difficult to define is where we draw the line with explicit content. It's been our policy for as long as I remember that users must not publish images or video that contain adult content, sexually oriented material, or might otherwise be considered offensive. Also sexual connotations or references have no place in this community. Yet, as of late we've noticed a trend among a handful of authors presenting literary works that would clearly fall under the rule of not being family-friendly. By clearly I mean the kind of content that you wouldn't want a child to see or that you might be embarrassed to view at work in front of colleagues. This could be a cover image, a book summary, or even endorsing links to said book. We will not accept this type of content any longer and reserve the right to remove posts that we deem inappropriate (yup, it's a judgment call).

Examples of related content not permitted include, but are not limited to, nudity, pornography, extreme profanity, erotica, sexually suggestive or explicit text.

Trust me this is not an expression of conservative views. Rather, it's about what we consider inappropriate when welcoming a broad audience including children from all over the world. Overall, I'm just repeating what I guess everyone already knows and it shouldn't affect much of our community.

Discussions related to DRM

A very long time ago eBooks were only for geeks (remember the Sony LIBRIe? ) Back then, discussions related to DRM were mostly in the interest of those who liked to tinker with technologies (and crack existing protections) and those who didn't want to pay for their content (i.e. warez it). Times have changed, and nowadays the topic of DRM is much more related to discussing the various eBook formats and vendor lock-ins. In this context, we have slightly updated our rules.

While DRM removal may be discussed in the abstract, the following are not allowed at MobileRead:

  • discussing DRM removal to pirate content;
  • providing detailed how-to instructions;
  • uploading of DRM-removal tools;
  • direct download links to DRM-removal tools.

Nothing really new here, except, now it's OK to name the relevant tools and also to provide links to legitimate sites that may discuss certain aspects of this topic in more detail than we would permit. For example, a link to this Ars Technica article is now OK.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask or contact me directly.


[ 56 replies ]

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