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Thu October 20 2016

November 2016 Book Club Nominations

12:02 AM by WT Sharpe in Reading Recommendations | Book Clubs

Help us select the book that the MobileRead Book Club will read for November, 2016.

The nominations will run through midnight EST October 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 November is: History.

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.

Official choices with three nominations each:

(1) 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

From Goodreads:

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.

(2) Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari
Goodreads | Amazon US / Overdrive search
Print Length: 414 pages

From a renowned historian comes a groundbreaking narrative of humanity’s creation and evolution that explores the ways in which biology and history have defined us and enhanced our understanding of what it means to be “human”

One hundred thousand years ago, at least six different species of humans inhabited Earth. Yet today there is only one—homo sapiens. What happened to the others? And what may happen to us?

Most books about the history of humanity pursue either a historical or a biological approach, but Dr. Yuval Noah Harari breaks the mold with this highly original book that begins about 70,000 years ago with the appearance of modern cognition. From examining the role evolving humans have played in the global ecosystem to charting the rise of empires, Sapiens integrates history and science to reconsider accepted narratives, connect past developments with contemporary concerns, and examine specific events within the context of larger ideas.

Dr. Harari also compels us to look ahead, because over the last few decades humans have begun to bend laws of natural selection that have governed life for the past four billion years. We are acquiring the ability to design not only the world around us, but also ourselves. Where is this leading us, and what do we want to become?

Featuring 27 photographs, 6 maps, and 25 illustrations/diagrams, this provocative and insightful work is sure to spark debate and is essential reading for aficionados of Jared Diamond, James Gleick, Matt Ridley, Robert Wright, and Sharon Moalem.

(3) The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson
Goodreads | Overdrive AU/DE/NZ/UK / Overdrive US / Overdrive US Audiobook

Print Length: 447 pages

From Goodreads:

Author Erik Larson imbues the incredible events surrounding the 1893 Chicago World's Fair with such drama that readers may find themselves checking the book's categorization to be sure that 'The Devil in the White City' is not, in fact, a highly imaginative novel. Larson tells the stories of two men: Daniel H. Burnham, the architect responsible for the fair's construction, and H.H. Holmes, a serial killer masquerading as a charming doctor.

Burnham's challenge was immense. In a short period of time, he was forced to overcome the death of his partner and numerous other obstacles to construct the famous "White City" around which the fair was built. His efforts to complete the project, and the fair's incredible success, are skillfully related along with entertaining appearances by such notables as Buffalo Bill Cody, Susan B. Anthony, Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison.

The activities of the sinister Dr. Holmes, who is believed to be responsible for scores of murders around the time of the fair, are equally remarkable. He devised and erected the World's Fair Hotel, complete with crematorium and gas chamber, near the fairgrounds and used the event as well as his own charismatic personality to lure victims.

(4) William the Conqueror by Edward Augustus Freeman
Goodreads | Amazon US / Barnes & Noble / Kobo US / Project Gutenberg
Print Length: 131 pages

From Goodreads:

William I of England better known as William the Conqueror, was Duke of Normandy from 1035 and King of England from 1066 to his death.

To claim the English crown, William invaded England in 1066, leading an army of Normans to victory over the Anglo-Saxon forces of Harold Godwinson (who died in the conflict) at the Battle of Hastings, and suppressed subsequent English revolts in what has become known as the Norman Conquest.

His reign, which brought Norman culture to England, had an enormous impact on the subsequent course of England in the Middle Ages. In addition to political changes, his reign also saw changes to English law, a programme of building and fortification, changes to the vocabulary of the English language, and the introduction of continental European feudalism into England.

As Duke of Normandy, he is known as William II. He was also known as William the Bastard.

(5) Jacksonland: President Andrew Jackson, Cherokee Chief John Ross, and a Great American Land Grab by Steve Inskeep
Goodreads | Amazon US
Print Length: 422 pages

From Goodreads:

Jacksonland is the thrilling narrative history of two men—President Andrew Jackson and Cherokee chief John Ross—who led their respective nations at a crossroads of American history. Five decades after the Revolutionary War, the United States approached a constitutional crisis. At its center stood two former military comrades locked in a struggle that tested the boundaries of our fledgling democracy. Jacksonland is their story.

One man we recognize: Andrew Jackson—war hero, populist, and exemplar of the expanding South—whose first major initiative as president instigated the massive expulsion of Native Americans known as the Trail of Tears. The other is a half-forgotten figure: John Ross—a mixed-race Cherokee politician and diplomat—who used the United States’ own legal system and democratic ideals to oppose Jackson. Representing one of the Five Civilized Tribes who had adopted the ways of white settlers—cultivating farms, publishing a newspaper in their own language, and sending children to school—Ross championed the tribes’ cause all the way to the Supreme Court. He gained allies like Senator Henry Clay, Chief Justice John Marshall, and even Davy Crockett. In a fight that seems at once distant and familiar, Ross and his allies made their case in the media, committed civil disobedience, and benefited from the first mass political action by American women. Their struggle contained ominous overtures of later events like the Civil War and set the pattern for modern-day politics.

At stake in this struggle was the land of the Five Civilized Tribes. In shocking detail, Jacksonland reveals how Jackson, as a general, extracted immense wealth from his own armies’ conquest of native lands. Later, as president, Jackson set in motion the seizure of tens of millions of acres—“Jacksonland”—in today’s Deep South.

Jacksonland is the work of renowned journalist Steve Inskeep, cohost of NPR’s Morning Edition, who offers here a heart-stopping narrative masterpiece, a tragedy of American history that feels ripped from the headlines in its immediacy, drama, and relevance to our lives.

Harrowing, inspiring, and deeply moving, Inskeep’s Jacksonland is the story of America at a moment of transition, when the fate of states and nations was decided by the actions of two heroic yet tragically opposed men.

CANDICE MILLARD, author of Destiny of the Republic and The River of Doubt
“Inskeep tells this, one of the most tragic and transformative stories in American history, in swift, confident, colorful strokes. So well, and so intimately, does he know his subject that the reader comes away feeling as if Jackson and Ross’s epic struggle for the future of their nations took place yesterday rather than nearly two hundred years ago.”

(6) Midnight at the Pera Palace: the Birth of Modern Istanbul by Charles King
Print Length: 494 pages

From Amazon:

"Timely . . . brilliant . . . hugely enjoyable, magnificently researched and deeply absorbing.” — Jason Goodwin, New York Times Book Review

At midnight, December 31, 1925, citizens of the newly proclaimed Turkish Republic celebrated the New Year. For the first time ever, they had agreed to use a nationally unified calendar and clock.
Yet in Istanbul — an ancient crossroads and Turkey's largest city — people were looking toward an uncertain future. Never purely Turkish, Istanbul was home to generations of Greeks, Armenians, and Jews, as well as Muslims. It welcomed White Russian nobles ousted by the Russian Revolution, Bolshevik assassins on the trail of the exiled Leon Trotsky, German professors, British diplomats, and American entrepreneurs — a multicultural panoply of performers and poets, do-gooders and ne’er-do-wells. During the Second World War, thousands of Jews fleeing occupied Europe found passage through Istanbul, some with the help of the future Pope John XXIII. At the Pera Palace, Istanbul's most luxurious hotel, so many spies mingled in the lobby that the manager posted a sign asking them to relinquish their seats to paying guests.

In beguiling prose and rich character portraits, Charles King brings to life a remarkable era when a storied city stumbled into the modern world and reshaped the meaning of cosmopolitanism.

(7) Soul of a People: The WPA Writers' Project Uncovers Depression America by David A. Taylor
Goodreads | Amazon US
Print Length: 273 pages

From Goodreads:

Soul of a People is about a handful of people who were on the Federal Writer's Project in the 1930s and a glimpse of America at a turning point. This particular handful of characters went from poverty to great things later, and included John Cheever, Ralph Ellison, Zora Neale Hurston, Richard Wright, and Studs Terkel. In the 1930s they were all caught up in an effort to describe America in a series of WPA guides. Through striking images and firsthand accounts, the book reveals their experiences and the most vivid excerpts from selected guides and interviews: Harlem schoolchildren, truckers, Chicago fishmongers, Cuban cigar makers, a Florida midwife, Nebraskan meatpackers, and blind musicians.

Drawing on new discoveries from personal collections, archives, and recent biographies, a new picture has emerged in the last decade of how the participants' individual dramas intersected with the larger picture of their subjects. This book illuminates what it felt like to live that experience, how going from joblessness to reporting on their own communities affected artists with varied visions, as well as what feelings such a passage involved: shame humiliation, anger, excitement, nostalgia, and adventure. Also revealed is how the WPA writers anticipated, and perhaps paved the way for, the political movements of the following decades, including the Civil Rights movement, the Women's Right movement, and the Native American rights movement.

(8) The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William L. Shirer
Goodreads | Amazon US
Print Length: 1614 pages

From Goodreads:

Hitler boasted that The Third Reich would last a thousand years. It lasted only 12. But those 12 years contained some of the most catastrophic events Western civilization has ever known. In The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, William L. Shirer gave us the definitive book on Hitler's German Empire. Based on his personal experiences as a war correspondent as well as the voluminous documents that came out of Germany after the war, this thrilling account of Hitler's reign is widely acclaimed to be one of the greatest historical works of our time. Now available as an exclusive anniversary edition, this volume is as compelling as ever. Everything about the period is explained to the fullest, beginning with Hitler's rise to power, the Nazification of Germany and the march to war. The accounts of how the United States got involved and how Hitler used Mussolini and Japan are astonishing, and the coverage of the war-from Germany's early successes to her eventual defeat-is must reading.

Nominations are now closed.

[ 54 replies ]


Wed October 19 2016

Japan-only 32GB Kindle Paperwhite announced.

10:26 AM by pdurrant in E-Book General | News

It seems that Amazon Japan are launching a special version of the Paperwhite that has 32GB of storage. Apparently this is for use with (large) graphic novels.

News from The Verge.

[ 2 replies ]

Tue October 18 2016

Bookeen announces two new ebook readers

03:55 PM by pdurrant in E-Book General | News

As reported by The Digital Reader, Bookeen have announced two new ebook readers:

* Muse Light: 166pi (600x800) Carta screen with frontlight, 4GB, microSD and wifi for €89.90
* Muse HD: 300ppi (1072x1448) Carta screen with frontlight, 8GB, microSD and wifi for €129.90

See also the Bookeen blog announcement

[ 15 replies ]

Amazon removes Kindle app from Windows 10 store

05:16 AM by Katsunami in E-Book General | News

Amazon removes Kindle app from Windows 10 store

A translation of the article:

Amazon has announced that it will be removing the Kindle app from the Windows 10 store on October 27. The company refers users to the desktop version of the application. Nothing was said about the app for Windows 10.

Amazon simplifies it's ebook applications, and will focus its attention on the desktop application. Amazon reports that the app will keep functioning after the removal from the store, but it can't be reinstalled.

The company has put a help page online, to help users migrate to the desktop application. People who use Windows RT are referred to the Amazon Cloud Reader, which is a webapplication that offers the same functionality as the store app.

There is no information with regard to a universal app for Windows 10 as well as Windows 10 Mobile, which is the way Microsoft wants companies to develop new applications. Amazon does have a mobile app. That one looks like to still be available after October 27.

The choice to cancel support for the application is striking. Microsoft has been encouraging developers to use the store, for example by giving them the possibility to easily convert 'old' applications to a version that can be put into the Windows store.

[ 35 replies ]

Mon October 17 2016

Bendable electronic paper displays whole color range

06:02 AM by wodin in E-Book General | News

Bendable electronic paper displays whole color range

They don't say how it works, just that it's got gold and silver in it so it's bound to be expensive.

[ 16 replies ]

Sat October 08 2016

MobileRead Week in Review: 10/01 - 10/08

06:00 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

Fri October 07 2016

Amazon Prime Reading

08:56 AM by jhowell in E-Book General | News

From the Press Release:

Amazon today introduced Prime Reading, a new reading benefit for U.S. Prime members. Prime members can now enjoy unlimited reading from a rotating selection of books, magazines, comics and more – at no additional cost. Prime Reading joins the growing list of all-you-can-eat benefits for Prime members including unlimited fast, free Prime shipping, unlimited access to Prime Video, Prime Music, Prime Photos, Audible Channels, early access to Lightning Deals and more. Members can start reading now by downloading the Kindle app for iOS and Android or using any Kindle or Fire tablet. To learn more about Prime Reading or start a 30-day free trial of Prime, please visit

Sort of a Kindle Unlimited lite.

[ 86 replies ]

Wed October 05 2016

New Zealand adds 15% GST to (some) ebooks from today

05:24 AM by GeoffR in E-Book General | News

From 1 October 2016, non-resident companies selling more than $60,000 of goods and services to New Zealand consumers will be required to collect 15% GST on sales. Previously only companies resident in New Zealand were required to collect GST, although imported physical goods over $400 were taxed at the border.

GST law change for non-resident businesses supplying remote services [IRD]

'Netflix tax' to take effect from tomorrow [NZ Herald]

Under previous law, the Government was missing out on $180 million a year by not collecting GST on online purchases, including $40 million from shopping on iTunes, Netflix, Spotify and other online services.

GST Move Good for Big Kiwi Tech Firms But Government Still Missing Out on Revenue [Booksellers NZ]

briefly checking some prices on Kobo, it appears that ebooks by small- and self-publishers have increased by exactly 15% overnight, but no change to prices of some big publishers such as Hachette, HarperCollins, and Macmillan UK who are perhaps absorbing the GST to maintain their price points.

[ 117 replies ]

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