Help us select the book that the MobileRead Book Club will read for August, 2016.
The nominations will run through midnight EST July 26 or until 10 books have made the list. The poll will then be posted and will remain open for five days.
The book selection category for August is: Thriller, Suspense, & Crime.
In order for a book to be included in the poll it needs THREE NOMINATIONS (original nomination, a second and a third).
How Does This Work?
The Mobile Read Book Club (MRBC) is an informal club that requires nothing of you. Each month a book is selected by polling. On the last week of that month a discussion thread is started for the book. If you want to participate feel free. There is no need to "join" or sign up. All are welcome.
How Does a Book Get Selected?
Each book that is nominated will be listed in a poll at the end of the nomination period. The book that polls the most votes will be the official selection.
How Many Nominations Can I Make?
Each participant has 3 nominations. You can nominate a new book for consideration or nominate (second, third) one that has already been nominated by another person.
How Do I Nominate a Book?
Please just post a message with your nomination. If you are the FIRST to nominate a book, please try to provide an abstract to the book so others may consider their level of interest.
How Do I Know What Has Been Nominated?
Just follow the thread. This message will be updated with the status of the nominations as often as I can. If one is missed, please just post a message with a multi-quote of the 3 nominations and it will be added to the list ASAP.
When is the Poll?
The poll thread will open at the end of the nomination period, or once there have been 10 books with 3 nominations each. At that time a link to the initial poll thread will be posted here and this thread will be closed.
The floor is open to nominations. Please comment if you discover a nomination is not available as an ebook in your area.
Like the spellbinding psychological suspense in The Girl on the Train and Luckiest Girl Alive, Megan Miranda’s novel is a nail-biting, breathtaking story about the disappearances of two young women — a decade apart — told in reverse.
It’s been ten years since Nicolette Farrell left her rural hometown after her best friend, Corinne, disappeared from Cooley Ridge without a trace. Back again to tie up loose ends and care for her ailing father, Nic is soon plunged into a shocking drama that reawakens Corinne’s case and breaks open old wounds long since stitched.
The decade-old investigation focused on Nic, her brother Daniel, boyfriend Tyler, and Corinne’s boyfriend Jackson. Since then, only Nic has left Cooley Ridge. Daniel and his wife, Laura, are expecting a baby; Jackson works at the town bar; and Tyler is dating Annaleise Carter, Nic’s younger neighbor and the group’s alibi the night Corinne disappeared. Then, within days of Nic’s return, Annaleise goes missing.
Told backwards — Day 15 to Day 1 — from the time Annaleise goes missing, Nic works to unravel the truth about her younger neighbor’s disappearance, revealing shocking truths about her friends, her family, and what really happened to Corinne that night ten years ago.
Like nothing you’ve ever read before, All the Missing Girls delivers in all the right ways. With twists and turns that lead down dark alleys and dead ends, you may think you’re walking a familiar path, but then Megan Miranda turns it all upside down and inside out and leaves us wondering just how far we would be willing to go to protect those we love.
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.
Nina Borg, a Red Cross nurse, wife, and mother of two, is a compulsive do-gooder who can't say no when someone asks for help—even when she knows better. When her estranged friend Karin leaves her a key to a public locker in the Copenhagen train station, Nina gets suckered into her most dangerous project yet. Inside the locker is a suitcase, and inside the suitcase is a three-year-old boy: naked and drugged, but alive.
Is the boy a victim of child trafficking? Can he be turned over to authorities, or will they only return him to whoever sold him? When Karin is discovered brutally murdered, Nina realizes that her life and the boy's are in jeopardy, too. In an increasingly desperate trek across Denmark, Nina tries to figure out who the boy is, where he belongs, and who exactly is trying to hunt him down.
This was Cain's only novel. He is considered by some to be the most hard-boiled of writers.
“In the matter of grim hardness Dashiell [Hammett] paused on the threshold. Paul [Cain] went all the way.” —Captain Joe Shaw, editor of Black Mask during its golden era
“[Fast One represents] some kind of high point in the ultra hard-boiled manner.” —Raymond Chandler, author, The Big Sleep
Billed as "the most hard-boiled novel of the 1930s" and featuring one of the most brutal finales in crime fiction history, some say this lost 1933 masterpiece took hard-boiled crime writing too far. In the last days of Prohibition and the first days of the Depression, East Coast crime bosses are vying for control of Los Angeles. Caught in the middle of the intrigue is Gerry Kells, a former New York enforcer now living a life of ease on the West coast. As the fiercely independent Kells rejects the appeals of various crime bosses who want to make use of his talents, powerful forces align against him. Being framed for a murder turns out to be the least of his troubles and as the stakes get higher, and the odds get longer, it's only Kells' nerve and toughness that keep him one step ahead of the law—and the reaper.
Enthusiastic blurbs even from luminaries such as Tony Hillerman, Les Standiford and Loren Estleman can sometimes leave readers feeling as if they must have read a different book altogether. Not this time. Box's superb debut, the first in a series introducing Wyoming game warden Joe Pickett, should immediately make him a contender for best first novel or even best novel awards. Young Joe is struggling to fill the shoes of his mentor, legendary Vern Dunnegan, as warden of Twelve Sleep County, and trying to support his wife and growing family on the meager salary he makes. The hours are long, the work hard but satisfying, and Joe's honesty and integrity would pay off if he could avoid "bonehead moves" like ticketing the governor of the state for fishing without a license, for instance, or allowing a poacher to grab Joe's firearm from him. When that very same poacher turns up dead and bloodied in Joe's woodpile with only a cooler containing unidentified animal scat, his life, livelihood and family will never be the same. Upping the excitement are a couple of murders, local political and bureaucratic intrigue, a high-stakes pipeline scheme and an endangered species that Joe's eldest daughter "discovers." No one has done a better job of portraying the odd combination of hardy and foolhardy folk that make their homes in Wyoming's wilderness areas, or of describing the dichotomy between those who want to develop the area and those who want to preserve it. Without resorting to simplistic blacks and whites, Box fuses ecological themes, vibrant descriptions of Wyoming's wonders and peculiarities, and fully fleshed characters into a debut of riveting tensions. Meet Joe Pickett: he's going to be a mystery star.
This critically acclaimed, explosive thriller is a book only prosecutor Linda Fairstein could write. Patricia Cornwall knows the morgue; John Grisham knows the courtroom; but no one knows the inner workings of the D.A.'s office like Linda Fairstein, renowned for two decades as head of Manhattan Sex Crimes Unit. Now that world comes vividly to life in a brilliant debut novel of shocking realism, powerful insight, and searing suspense.
Alexandra Cooper, Manhattan's top sex crimes prosecutor, awakens one morning to shocking news: a tabloid headline announcing her own brutal murder. But the actual victim was Isabella Lascar, the Hollywood film star who sought refuge at Alex's Martha's Vineyard retreat. Was Isabella targeted by a stalker or -- mistaken for Alex -- was she in the wrong place at the wrong time? In an investigation that twists from the back alleys of lower Manhattan to the chic salons of the Upper East Side. Alex knows she's in final jeopardy...and time is running out. She has to get into the killer's head before the killer gets to her.
The Jackal. A tall, blond Englishman with opaque, grey eyes. A killer at the top of his profession. A man unknown to any secret service in the world. An assassin with a contract to kill the world's most heavily guarded man.
One man with a rifle who can change the course of history. One man whose mission is so secretive not even his employers know his name. And as the minutes count down to the final act of execution, it seems that there is no power on earth that can stop the Jackal.
In this classic country noir, featuring a new introduction by Daniel Woodrell, a small town farmer takes a job at a roadhouse, where unbridled greed leads to a brutal murder
Jack McDonald is barely a farmer. Boll weevils have devoured his cotton crop, his chickens have stopped laying eggs, and everything he owns is mortgaged — even his cow. He has no money, no prospects, and nothing to do but hang around filling stations, wondering where his next drink will come from. As far as hooch goes, there's no place like Smut Milligan's, where Breath of Spring moonshine sells for a dollar a pint.
A bootlegger with an entrepreneurial spirit, Milligan has plans to open a roadhouse, and he asks Jack to run the till. The music will be hot, the liquor cheap, and the clientele rough. But the only thing stronger than Milligan's hooch is his greed, and Jack is slowly drawn into the middle of Smut's dalliances with a married woman, the machinations of corrupt town officials — and a savage act of murder.
The charts are downloadable and mostly self explanatory.
He thoroughly dissects the results of different strategies for title length, pricing, release rates, whether to participate in Kindle Unlimited, whether to set the first volume in a series free...
Interesting reading for anybody curious about how the romance cake is baked.
For everybody else, the juicy stuff lies in the general ebook market overview in the first few slides:
- Romance makes up 4.4% of the print book sales captured by Nielsen Bookscan and 45% of paid ebook sales at Amazon. Romance accounts for 235M paid ebook sales a year across Amazon, Apple, Nook, etc. Essentially, two thirds of the romance book market is invisibile to the publishing establishment because 89% of all romance books sold are in digital form.
- More generally: Kindle ebook market share is up to 74%, Apple is running at 11%, Nook 5%, Kobo 3%, Google 2%, and Other 2%. (Back in 2010, when Agency first kicked in, Amazon stood at 54% and Nook at 26%, with Sony around 10%).
Much more at the source, including the usual pretty pictures.
One point to remember: Harlequin policy through the decades was to let most of the titles they published go out of print after a couple of years and, since they considered them "played out", would routinely revert rights upon request. That practice has, of course, ended. But in the years between 2007 and 2012 a whole lot of romance writers rescued a whole lot of titles from out-of-print, typically adding new covers and re-releasing them on KDP. That means they not only brought along the titles but also their "brands" and their readers.
In short: to a very large extent, Indie ebooks becoming a mainstream business is due to romance readers. (With SF&F right behind.)
Our datacenter will perform some maintenance on its optical network on July 20. The window is from 4am to 6am ET. During that time traffic will be temporarily re-routed which means you may experience brief periods of downtime or latency. Sorry about that!
I'd like to announce that Calibre Companion for iPhone has been started. It's been a long time coming! To reintroduce myself, I worked with Chaley on the original Android version a few years ago.
We're still a way off from making a public iPhone version, but the community here has been so fantastic in helping us test that we'd like to ask again. Who would like to be an alpha tester? Obviously you'll need an iPhone or iPad. Update: we now have enough people for the initial test, thanks to everyone who volunteered.
The plan would be to send a version out in about two weeks. It will contain the basic functions for CC: connecting 'as a wireless device', syncing books, sorting and the grouping drawer, and handing books over to a reader app. Testing the connecting is the main thing we'd like help with, as that took us quite a while to get right last time round.
After that initial version, the timeline is a bit more vague. It took chaley and me a few months to get the original CC Android version ready. This time round will be a bit quicker, but it will still take at least a month. So please don't get too excited, even though we do realise you've waited a long time for this. (This time, it will be nice to skip some of the errors we made with the first version. For example, we originally thought people would only want to have 10 to 50 books on their devices at one time. That clearly turned out to be wrong as people now routinely have thousands of books!)