This article from Digital Shift covers the views and reactions of several key library personnel and advocates to the new subscription services I mentioned yesterday. It sounds like their offerings are heavy on self-published and public domain works, at least for now.

Here’s a quote:

As surveys by LJ and others has shown, regular library users tend to read many more books each year than the average U.S. consumer. They borrow more, buy more, and use e-readers more frequently. For now, [Massachusetts Library System Small Libraries Advisor] Chadwick said she thinks that these new subscription services will likely fold into many users’ reading habits without an adverse effect on libraries.

 

I hope that’s right.

 

 

For the reader who doesn’t think Lawrence Block writes Bernie Rhodenbarr Burglar mysteries fast enough, there is also likable antihero Junior Bender in Hallinan’s growing series. I have the ARC of the latest title, Herbie’s Game.  The from-the-streets realism, vivid characters and dark humor are all a lot of fun.  This just came out and has a few holds on four copies. Would anyone like the leisure of enjoying the ARC?

 

“It’s Herbie's game : a Junior Bender Mysteryeveryday business when Wattles, the San Fernando Valley’s top “executive crook,” sets up a hit. He establishes a chain of criminals to pass along the instructions and the money, thereby ensuring that the hitter doesn’t know who hired him. Then one day Wattles finds his office safe open and a single item missing: the piece of paper on which he has written the names of the crooks in the chain. When people associated with the chain begin to pop up dead, the only person Wattles can turn to to solve hisproblem is Junior Bender, professional burglar and begrudging private eye for crooks. But Junior already knows exactly who took Wattles’s list: the signature is too obvious. It was Herbie Mott, Junior’s burglar mentor and second father–and when Junior seeks him out to discuss the missing list, he finds Herbie very unpleasantly murdered. Junior follows the links in the chain back toward the killer, and as he does, he learns disturbing things about Herbies hidden past. He has to ask himself how much of the life he’s lived for the past twenty years has been of his own making, and how much of it was actually Herbies game“– Provided by publisher.

 

It seems the latest development in the evolution of the eBook market is the subscription service – basically offering subscribers a large selection (hundreds of thousands of titles) for a monthly fee, with unlimited reading time for whatever title you can find.  Three players have jumped on the scene: Scribd, Oyster, and (naturally) Kindle Unlimited.  Limiting factors for these new services include lack of publisher cooperation and the fact that they tend not to get the real frontlist.  That is understandable, as the services’ low cost model prevent them from compensating publishers and authors sufficiently to carry the hottest new titles. Read here for more information.

Annotations from Baker & Taylor or Ingram
Listed by Author
Havana Storm  Gray Mountain  Shopaholic to the Stars: A Novel  The River
Havana Storm
Cussler, Clive
Investigating a toxic outbreak in the Caribbean Sea that is threatening the United States, Dirk Pitt is embroiled in a post-Castro power struggle for control of Cuba; while his children, Dirk Jr. and Summer, embark on a high-stakes treasure hunt. The three of them have been in desperate situations before . . . but perhaps never quite as dire as the one facing them now. By the best-selling authors of Poseidon’s Arrow.
 
A.D. 30
Dekker, Ted
Step back in time to the year of our Lord…A.D. 30. The outcast daughter of one of the most powerful Bedouin sheikhs in Arabia, Maviah is called on to protect the very people who rejected her. When their enemies launch a sudden attack with devastating consequences, Maviah escapes with the help of two of her father’s warriors–Saba who speaks more with is sword than his voice and Judah, a Jew who comes from a tribe that can read the stars. Their journey will be fraught with terrible danger.
 
Gray Mountain
Grisham, John
The Great Recession of 2008 left many young professionals out of work. Samantha Kofer was a third year associate at Scully & Pershing, New York City’s largest law firm. Two weeks after Lehman Brothers collapsed, she lost her job, her security, and her future. A week later she was working as an unpaid intern in a legal aid clinic deep in small town Appalachia. There, for the first time in her career, she was confronted with real clients with real problems. She also stumbled across secrets that should have remained buried deep in the mountains forever.
 
 
Shopaholic to the Stars
Kinsella, Sophie
Joining her husband in Los Angeles, Becky Bloomwood pursues work as an A-list celebrity stylist only to find herself caught between two rival stars, a situation that is further complicated by her father’s mysterious agenda. By the best-selling author of The Undomestic Goddess.
 
The River
Lewis, Beverly
Tilly and Ruth, two formerly Amish sisters, are plagued by unresolved relationships when they reluctantly return to Lancaster County for their parents’ landmark wedding anniversary. Since departing their Plain upbringing, Tilly has married an Englisher, but Ruth remains single and hasn’t entirely forgotten her failed courtship with her Amish beau.
The Handsome Man’s De Luxe Café
McCall Smith, Alexander
In this delightful fifteenth installment, Mma Ramotswe has her hands full both at home and in the office. To add to her current challenges, her devoted partner, Grace Makutsi, has decided to branch out on her own and open The Handsome Man’s Deluxe Cafe. But even “Miss 97 Per Cent” can’t quite meet all the demands of running a business – not to mention those that a lightning strike makes on her building. Eventually, she’ll have to accept all the help she can get – even if it comes from a completely unexpected source.
 
Prince Lestat: The Vampire Chronicles
Rice, Anne
The novel opens with the vampire world in crisis…vampires have been proliferating out of control; burnings have commenced all over the world, huge massacres similar to those carried out by Akasha in “The Queen of the Damned.” Old vampires, roused from slumber in the earth are doing the bidding of a Voice commanding that they indiscriminately burn vampire-mavericks in cities from Paris and Mumbai to Hong Kong, Kyoto, and San Francisco.
 
Desert God: A Novel of Ancient Egypt
Smith, Wilbur A.
Game of Thrones meets Ancient Egypt in this magnificent, action-packed epic. On the gleaming banks of the Nile, the brilliant Taita–slave and advisor to the Pharaoh–finds himself at the center of a vortex of passion, intrigue, and danger. His quest to destroy the Hyksos army and form an alliance with Crete takes him on an epic journey up the Nile, through Arabia and the magical city of Babylon, and across the open seas. With the future of Egypt itself on his shoulders, Taita enters a world where the line between loyalty and betrayal shifts like the desert sands, evil enemies await in the shadows, and death lingers on the edges of darkness.
 
Pegasus
Steel, Danielle
Warned by well-placed friends to flee late 1930s Germany because he is partly Jewish, the aristocratic Nicolas von Bingen heads to America with his two sons–and two snowy white Lipizzaner horses, which serve as Nick’s entree into the magical world of the Ringling Brothers Circus. Wouldn’t you know he falls in love with a tightrope walker? Inspired by the author’s own family history.
Posted by Jenifer Brown

This was a “buzz” at BookExpo and seems like an interesting new take on the post-apocalypse. (Do you get the impression some people almost crave collapse?)  I have an extra ARC and will be reading the other one this weekend. I’d love to pass both on eventually. Let’s compare notes.

 

“An audacStation eleven : a novelious, darkly glittering novel about art, fame, and ambition set in the eerie days of civilization’s collapse, from the author of three highly acclaimed previous novels. One snowy night a famous Hollywood actor slumps over and dies onstage during a production of King Lear. Hours later, the world as we know it begins to dissolve. Moving back and forth in time-from the actor’s early days as a film star to fifteen years in the future, when a theater troupe known as the Traveling Symphony roams the wasteland of what remains-this suspenseful, elegiac, spellbinding novel charts the strange twists of fate that connect five people: the actor, the man who tried to save him, the actor’s first wife, his oldest friend, and a young actress with the TravelingSymphony, caught in the crosshairs of a dangerous self-proclaimed prophet. Sometimes terrifying, sometimes tender, Station Eleven tells a story about the relationships that sustain us, the ephemeral nature of fame, and the beauty of the world as we know it”– Provided by publisher.

 

For aficionados of Scandinavian crime fiction, complete with a prosecutor heroine, but with more legendary and mystical elements. And apparently Oprah likes this author, too! Comment to claim.

 

The Second Deadly Sin

Oprah.com raved that Asa Larsson’s Rebecka Martinsson is a crime fighter who has all the needed gut instincts,” and listed the series as “Mysteries Every Thinking Woman Should Read.” In The Second Deadly Sin , dawn breaks in a forest in northern Sweden. Villagers gather to dispatch a rampaging bear. When the beast is brought to ground they are horrified to find the remains of a human hand inside its stomach. In nearby Kiruna, a woman is found murdered in her bed, her body a patchwork of vicious wounds, the word WHORE scrawled across the wall. Her grandson Marcus, already an orphan, is nowhere to be seen. Grasping for clues, Rebecka Martinsson begins to delve into the victim’s tragic family history. But with doubts over her mental health still lingering, she is ousted from the case by an arrogant and ambitious young prosecutor. Before long a chance lead draws Martinsson back into the thick of the action and her legendary courage is put to the test once more.

I’m not one to gobble up the Da Vinci Code read-alike list, but this one intrigued me for its focus on American history and the central question Lincoln faced and seemingly answered: Is the union perpetual or can states just leave if a majority of their populations really want to?

The Lincoln Myth uniquely covers the role of the LDS Church in preserving and challenging the union and the link between the Founders, Abraham Lincoln and Brigham Young.  There’s also a spy vs. spy love triangle and non-stop action around Europe, Utah, D.C., and even Des Moines.  Berry’s writing style is crisp and punctuates thought patterns to guide the reader through an intricate plot.  The Lincoln Myth has a holds queue but I do have the arc for the first commenter.

 

The Lincoln myth : a novel

American President Cotton Malone tackles the secrets of Mormonism, a U.S. Senator’s stealthy secession plan, and a history-shaping letter that was handed down through the chief executive line.
“September 1861: All is not as it seems. With these cryptic words, a shocking secret passed down from president to president comes to rest in the hands of Abraham Lincoln. And as the first bloody clashes of the Civil War unfold,Lincoln alone must decide how best to use this volatile knowledge: save thousands of American lives, or keep the young nation from being torn apart forever? The present: In Utah, the fabled remains of Mormon pioneers whose nineteenth-century expedition across the desert met with a murderous end have been uncovered. In Washington, D.C., the official investigation of an international entrepreneur, an elder in the Mormon church, has sparked a political battle between the White House and a powerful United States senator. In Denmark, a Justice Department agent, missing in action, has fallen into the hands of a dangerous zealot–a man driven by divine visions to make a prophet’s words reality. And in a matter of a few short hours, Cotton Malone has gone from quietly selling books at his shop in Denmark to dodging bullets in a high-speed boat chase. All it takes is a phone call from his former boss in Washington, and suddenly the ex-agent is racing to rescue an informant carrying critical intelligence. It’s just the kind of perilous business that Malone has been trying to leave behind, ever since he retired from the Justice Department. But once he draws enemy blood, Malone is plunged into a deadly conflict–a constitutional war secretly set in motion more than two hundred years ago by America’s Founding Fathers. From the streets of Copenhagen to the catacombs of Salzburg to the rugged mountains of Utah, the grim specter of the Civil War looms as a dangerous conspiracy gathers power. Malone risks life, liberty, and his greatest love in a race for the truth about Abraham Lincoln–while the fate of the United States of America hangs in the balance” — from publisher’s web site.

 

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