It is with a great sadness that we announce the closing of All Romance eBooks, LLC. For the first year since opening in 2006, we will be posting a loss. Despite efforts to maintain and grow our market share, sales and profits have declined. The financial forecast for 2017 isn't hopeful. We've accepted that there is not a viable path forward.
All Romance has always been a labor of love. Over the years we've developed wonderful relationships with the vendors we've worked with, the publishers whose content it's been our pleasure to sell, the authors who supported us, and the customers who it's been our honor to serve. On midnight, December 31 our sites will go dark. Between now and then, we encourage consumers finalize any transactions, download purchases, and back up libraries.
If you directly publish content for sale through our platform or All Romance has acted as your publisher via our Publishing in Partnership program, you should be in receipt of an email from us with additional information. If not, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*** Special thanks to Dazrin for providing the list of runner-up titles! ***
Help us select the next book that the MobileRead Book Club will read for January, 2017.
Book selection category for January is:
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 7 days (2 days longer than usual because of the holidays). 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:
2016 runner up choices: February: mystery - The Case of the Velvet Claws (Perry Mason #1) by Erle Stanley Gardner March: Patricia Clarke Memorial Library (tie) - Starfish by Peter Watts &Music of the Spheres by Wander Bonanno April: Award Winners (fiction) - The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu May: Science Fiction - The Door Into Summer by Robert A Heinlein June: Science (tie) - Crack in the Edge of the World by Simon Winchester &Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are? by Frans de Waal July: Free-For-All (tie) - Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison &Death in the Dordogne (Bruno Chief of Police Book 1) by Martin Walker August: Thriller, Suspense & Crime - Carved in Bone (Body Farm Book 1) by Jefferson Bass September: Classics - Hiroshima by John Hersey October: Humor - Rivers of London (US title: Midnight Riot) by Ben Aaronovitch November: History - Lawrence in Arabia: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly and the Making of the Modern Middle East by Scott Anderson December: Fantasy - The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
California lawyer Perry Mason takes client Eva, hated as "all velvet and claws" by his secretary Della Street. Her husband George Belter is behind tabloid editor Locke, blackmail of Congressman Harrison Burke at bungled robbery with Eva, and takes bullet to the heart after bath. Forged will benefits nephew Carl, engaged to secretive housekeeper Veitch's daughter.
The influence of the television series has given the general public the impression that Mason is highly ethical. In the earliest novels, however, Mason was not above skulduggery to win a case. In The Case of the Counterfeit Eye (1935) he breaks the law several times, including manufacturing false evidence (glass eyes). Mason manipulates evidence and witnesses, resulting in the acquittal of the murderer in The Case of the Howling Dog (1934). The Case of the Curious Bride (1934) is
… a good Perry Mason except for one great flaw, which the author would scarcely have been guilty of later on: he tampers with the evidence, by having a friend move into an apartment and testify to the state of the doorbells. … One is left with the uncomfortable idea that maybe the murder did not take place as Mason reconstructs it.
March: Patricia Clarke Memorial Library (Tie) • Starfish by Peter Watts Patricia Clark Memorial Library:ePub | Kindle Print Length: 384 pages
From Jon's description on the upload page:
Welcome to Beebe Station.
You're three kilometers below the surface of the Pacific Ocean. You're perched on the shoulder of an active volcano. The local fauna is very large and very nasty. If it doesn't kill you, a mudslide or an erupting smoker probably will.
Your fellow employees are rapists, pedophiles, borderline psychotics, and victims of same.
You feel very lucky to be here.
This is a damn sight better than the life you left behind.
• Music of the Spheres by Wander Bonanno Patricia Clark Memorial Library:ePub | Kindle Print Length: ???
Margaret Wander Bonanno (born 7 February 1950; age 66) is a science fiction author from New York, with over twenty novels to her credit, including several set in the Star Trek universe. These include Dwellers in the Crucible, Strangers from the Sky, and Catalyst of Sorrows.
She rose to the spotlight of Star Trek apocrypha when her novel Strangers from the Sky made the Time bestsellers list in 1985. But the story that gave her more fame in Trek circles was what would follow.
She is also credited with writing Probe, though in her words it is "not her novel." She was contracted by Paramount to write a novel she called Music of the Spheres, based on the Whale Probe of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. However, due to the undesired intervention of an editor at Paramount, the story was nearly completely re-written without her consent, and they refused to remove her name from the project.
After the unpleasant experience, she focused on projects other than Star Trek novels, such as the science fiction book Saturn's Child co-written with Nichelle Nichols.
She was interviewed for the Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (Special Edition) DVD, hosting the special features section entitled "Vulcan Primer," in which she explains a brief history of the Vulcans and why they are so popular among fans.
Music of the Spheres is something of a legend in Star Trek circles. It’s not quite a ghost story, spoken of in hushed whispers. Indeed, author Margaret Wander Bonanno has made the manuscript available to interested fans via her website, and has used it to raise money for a variety of worth causes. She’s documented the difficult story of how her original novel warped in Probe in a wonderfully wry and insightful essay, offering a glimpse at the inner workings of Pocket Book and Paramount towards the end of the eighties.
The work was serialized in Science Fiction World in 2006, published as a book in 2008 and became one of the most popular science fiction novels in China. It received the Chinese Science Fiction Galaxy Award in 2006. A film adaptation of the same name is scheduled for release in July 2016.
An English translation by Ken Liu was published by Tor Books in 2014. It won the 2015 Hugo Award for Best Novel and was nominated for the 2014 Nebula Award for Best Novel.
From the description:
1967: Ye Wenjie witnesses Red Guards beat her father to death during China's Cultural Revolution. This singular event will shape not only the rest of her life but also the future of mankind.
Four decades later, Beijing police ask nanotech engineer Wang Miao to infiltrate a secretive cabal of scientists after a spate of inexplicable suicides. Wang's investigation will lead him to a mysterious online game and immerse him in a virtual world ruled by the intractable and unpredictable interaction of its three suns.
This is the Three-Body Problem and it is the key to everything: the key to the scientists' deaths, the key to a conspiracy that spans light-years and the key to the extinction-level threat humanity now faces.
May: Science Fiction • The Door Into Summer by Robert A Heinlein Goodreads | Amazon US Print Length: 304 pages
When Dan Davis is crossed in love and stabbed in the back by his business associates, the immediate future doesn't look too bright for him and Pete, his independent-minded tomcat. Suddenly, the lure of suspended animation, the Long Sleep, becomes irresistible and Dan wakes up 30 years later in the 21st century, a time very much to his liking.
The discovery that the robot household appliances he invented have been mass produced is no surprise, but the realization that, far from having been stolen from him, they have, mysteriously, been patented in his name is. There's only one thing for it. Dan somehow has to travel back in time to investigate.
He may even find Pete ...
June: Science • A Crack in the Edge of the World by Simon Winchester Goodreads Print length: 512 pages
Unleashed by ancient geologic forces, a magnitude 8.25 earthquake rocked San Francisco in the early hours of April 18, 1906. Less than a minute later, the city lay in ruins. Bestselling author Simon Winchester brings his inimitable storytelling abilities to this extraordinary event, exploring the legendary earthquake and fires that spread horror across San Francisco and northern California in 1906 as well as its startling impact on American history and, just as important, what science has recently revealed about the fascinating subterranean processes that produced it—and almost certainly will cause it to strike again.
What separates your mind from an animal’s? Maybe you think it’s your ability to design tools, your sense of self, or your grasp of past and future—all traits that have helped us define ourselves as the planet’s preeminent species. But in recent decades, these claims have eroded, or even been disproven outright, by a revolution in the study of animal cognition. Take the way octopuses use coconut shells as tools; elephants that classify humans by age, gender, and language; or Ayumu, the young male chimpanzee at Kyoto University whose flash memory puts that of humans to shame. Based on research involving crows, dolphins, parrots, sheep, wasps, bats, whales, and of course chimpanzees and bonobos, Frans de Waal explores both the scope and the depth of animal intelligence. He offers a firsthand account of how science has stood traditional behaviorism on its head by revealing how smart animals really are, and how we’ve underestimated their abilities for too long.
People often assume a cognitive ladder, from lower to higher forms, with our own intelligence at the top. But what if it is more like a bush, with cognition taking different forms that are often incomparable to ours? Would you presume yourself dumber than a squirrel because you’re less adept at recalling the locations of hundreds of buried acorns? Or would you judge your perception of your surroundings as more sophisticated than that of a echolocating bat? De Waal reviews the rise and fall of the mechanistic view of animals and opens our minds to the idea that animal minds are far more intricate and complex than we have assumed. De Waal’s landmark work will convince you to rethink everything you thought you knew about animal—and human—intelligence.
Invisible Man is a milestone in American literature, a book that has continued to engage readers since its appearance in 1952. A first novel by an unknown writer, it remained on the bestseller list for sixteen weeks, won the National Book Award for fiction, and established Ralph Ellison as one of the key writers of the century. The nameless narrator of the novel describes growing up in a black community in the South, attending a Negro college from which he is expelled, moving to New York and becoming the chief spokesman of the Harlem branch of "the Brotherhood", and retreating amid violence and confusion to the basement lair of the Invisible Man he imagines himself to be. The book is a passionate and witty tour de force of style, strongly influenced by T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land, Joyce, and Dostoevsky.
• Death in the Dordogne (Bruno Chief of Police Book 1) by Martin Walker Goodreads | Amazon UK Print Length: 262 pages
It's market day in St Denis, a small town in the Périgord region of South West France. The locals are on the alert because inspectors are expected to make a 'surprise visit' in an attempt to enforce the unpopular and bureaucratic EU hygiene rules. But for Captain Bruno Courrèges, St Denis' Chief of Police, this particular market day turns into something far more serious.
An old man, head of a local immigrant North African family, is found viciously murdered. Suspicion falls on the son of the local doctor, but Bruno isn't so certain. He believes it to be an act of vengeance, with its motive hidden deep in France's divisive war-time past. As rumour and mistrust grow, Bruno must look beneath the surface of this normally calm community to find a brutal killer.
On the campus of the University of Tennessee lies a patch of ground unlike any in the world. The "Body Farm" is a place where human corpses are left to the elements, and every manner of decay is fully explored -- for the sake of science and the cause of justice. The scientist who created the Body Farm has broken cold cases and revolutionized forensics, and now, in this heart-stopping novel, he spins an astonishing tale inspired by his own experiences.
A woman's corpse lies hidden in a cave in the mountains of East Tennessee. Undiscovered for thirty years, her body has been transformed by the cave's chemistry into a near-perfect mummy -- one that discloses an explosive secret to renowned anthropologist Bill Brockton. Dr. Brockton has spent his career surrounded by death and decay at the Body Farm, but even he is baffled by this case unfolding in a unique environment where nothing is quite what it seems.
The surreal setting is Cooke County, a remote mountain community that's clannish, insular, and distrustful of outsiders. The heartbreaking discovery of the young woman's corpse reopens old wounds and rekindles feuds dating back decades. The county's powerful and uncooperative sheriff and his inept deputy threaten to derail Brockton's investigation altogether. So do Brockton's other nemeses: his lingering guilt over the death of his wife, and the fury of a medical examiner whom Brockton dares to oppose in court.
Carved in Bone is a richly atmospheric, superbly suspenseful, and magnificently rendered trip into the world of forensic science, the heart of the Appalachian Mountains, and the dark passageways of the human psyche. Full of vivid characters and startling twists and turns, this thrilling novel heralds the debut of a major new voice in crime fiction -- and an unforgettable work from the hand of a scientific legend.
From the blurb for one of the Kobo editions in the UK:
Hiroshima is John Hersey's timeless and compassionate account of the catastrophic event which heralded the coming of the atomic age. The Pulitzer Prize-winning author went to Japan, while the ashes of Hiroshima were still warm, to interview the survivors of the first atomic bombing. His trip resulted in this world-famous document, the most significant piece of journalism of modern times. "Nothing that can be said about this book," The New York Times wrote, "can equal what the book has to say. It speaks for itself, and in an unforgettable way, for humanity."
From the Kindle UK description:
"The room was filled with a blinding light. She was paralysed by fear, fixed still in her chair for a long moment. Everything fell.'
2015 is the 70th anniversary of Hiroshima, when, on 6 August at 8.15am, an atomic bomb was dropped over the Japanese city, killing one hundred thousand men, women and children in its white fury. John Hersey's spare, devastating report on the attack was first published in the New Yorker in 1946. Written in the immediate aftermath of the disaster, it chronicles what happened through the eyes of six civilians who survived against the odds. It is a classic piece of journalism, and a defining moment of the nuclear age.
"I'll absolutely second Rivers of London/Midnight Riot. This is witty more than funny, but definitely left me regularly chortling and reading passages to my DW. (Best nomination you've made, Jon!)"
My name is Peter Grant and until January I was just probationary constable in that mighty army for justice known to all right-thinking people as the Metropolitan Police Service (as the Filth to everybody else). My only concerns in life were how to avoid a transfer to the Case Progression Unit–we do paperwork so real coppers don't have to–and finding a way to climb into the panties of the outrageously perky WPC Leslie May. Then one night, in pursuance of a murder inquiry, I tried to take a witness statement from someone who was dead but disturbingly voluable, and that brought me to the attention of Inspector Nightingale, the last wizard in England. Now I'm a Detective Constable and a trainee wizard, the first apprentice in fifty years, and my world has become somewhat more complicated: nests of vampires in Purley, negotiating a truce between the warring god and goddess of the Thames, and digging up graves in Covent Garden . . . and there's something festering at the heart of the city I love, a malicious vengeful spirit that takes ordinary Londoners and twists them into grotesque mannequins to act out its drama of violence and despair. The spirit of riot and rebellion has awakened in the city, and it's falling to me to bring order out of chaos–or die trying.
November: History • Lawrence in Arabia: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly and the Making of the Modern Middle East by Scott Anderson Goodreads | Amazon US Print Length: 618 pages
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY
New York Times • Christian Science Monitor • NPR • Seattle Times • St. Louis Dispatch
National Book Critics Circle Finalist -- American Library Association Notable Book
A thrilling and revelatory narrative of one of the most epic and consequential periods in 20th century history – the Arab Revolt and the secret “great game” to control the Middle East
The Arab Revolt against the Turks in World War One was, in the words of T.E. Lawrence, “a sideshow of a sideshow.” Amidst the slaughter in European trenches, the Western combatants paid scant attention to the Middle Eastern theater. As a result, the conflict was shaped to a remarkable degree by a small handful of adventurers and low-level officers far removed from the corridors of power.
Curt Prüfer was an effete academic attached to the German embassy in Cairo, whose clandestine role was to foment Islamic jihad against British rule. Aaron Aaronsohn was a renowned agronomist and committed Zionist who gained the trust of the Ottoman governor of Syria. William Yale was the fallen scion of the American aristocracy, who traveled the Ottoman Empire on behalf of Standard Oil, dissembling to the Turks in order gain valuable oil concessions. At the center of it all was Lawrence. In early 1914 he was an archaeologist excavating ruins in the sands of Syria; by 1917 he was the most romantic figure of World War One, battling both the enemy and his own government to bring about the vision he had for the Arab people.
The intertwined paths of these four men – the schemes they put in place, the battles they fought, the betrayals they endured and committed – mirror the grandeur, intrigue and tragedy of the war in the desert. Prüfer became Germany’s grand spymaster in the Middle East. Aaronsohn constructed an elaborate Jewish spy-ring in Palestine, only to have the anti-Semitic and bureaucratically-inept British first ignore and then misuse his organization, at tragic personal cost. Yale would become the only American intelligence agent in the entire Middle East – while still secretly on the payroll of Standard Oil. And the enigmatic Lawrence rode into legend at the head of an Arab army, even as he waged secret war against his own nation’s imperial ambitions.
Based on years of intensive primary document research, LAWRENCE IN ARABIA definitively overturns received wisdom on how the modern Middle East was formed. Sweeping in its action, keen in its portraiture, acid in its condemnation of the destruction wrought by European colonial plots, this is a book that brilliantly captures the way in which the folly of the past creates the anguish of the present.
Percy Jackson is a good kid, but he can't seem to focus on his schoolwork or control his temper. And lately, being away at boarding school is only getting worse—Percy could have sworn his pre-algebra teacher turned into a monster and tried to kill him. When Percy's mom finds out, she knows it's time that he knew the truth about where he came from, and that he go to the one place he'll be safe. She sends Percy to Camp Half Blood, a summer camp for demigods (on Long Island), where he learns that the father he never knew is Poseidon, God of the Sea. Soon a mystery unfolds and together with his friends—one a satyr and the other the demigod daughter of Athena—Percy sets out on a quest across the United States to reach the gates of the Underworld (located in a recording studio in Hollywood) and prevent a catastrophic war between the gods.
For the 8th year, MobileRead has an Annual Reading Challenge!
But unlike most reading challenges, for this one you make up your own target, and then track your progress through the year.
Maybe you would like to read a certain number of pages this year, finish a certain number of books, concentrate on a specific genre, or deplete your ever-growing TBR list.
If you'd like to join in, reserve a post in the 2017 Reading Challenge List Thread. In this post you should set out your 2017 challenge, and track your progress (by editing your post) through the year.
Above all, remember that 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.
Whatever you do, please do not worry about whether or not you will complete your challenge for 2017.
"Older individuals, regardless of gender, health status, wealth, or education, showed the survival advantage of reading books,” says Becca Levy, a professor of epidemiology and psychology. The survival advantage, she adds, persisted after adjustment for baseline cognition—meaning that it was the benefits of reading, rather than the readers’ previous cognitive capacity, that helped lengthen life spans. “More questions need to be answered,” Levy says. “But we know that reading books involves two cognitive processes that could confer a survival advantage: the slow, deep immersion needed to connect to content; and promotion of empathy, social perception, and emotional intelligence."