Sunday Salon—October 9, 2011

Apple mug

Since I write mainly about books over here, I haven’t had much occasion to discuss what a huge Apple fan I am. I write this on my MacBook, which I use to write almost all of my posts. Steve Jobs was a creative genius and a brilliant leader. Believe it or not, I’m beginning to see posts to the effect that we shouldn’t be sad, or that the outpouring of grief over Jobs’s death is inappropriate. To those folks, I say, don’t tell others when and how to grieve. That is unseemly. If you are so inclined, you can read my post at my education blog, where I talk about technology much more often. I am not ashamed to admit that I did cry a little. I know I didn’t know Steve Jobs, but I think, like a lot of people, that I felt like I knew him at least a little.

In any event, I think Jobs was poised to change the world of reading as much as he did music. I think the Kindle is still quite a strong competitor for the iPad, particularly as the Kindle Fire recently released is much cheaper than the iPad. However, I think mostly readers will purchase the Kindle Fire, whereas the iPad has appealed to people who are looking for a tablet computer. I could be way off in that prediction. Without the iPad, I don’t think we’d ever have seen the Kindle Fire. We may also be able to blame the iPad for the boom in popularity of e-books. The Kindle came out earlier, and the Nook may have also (I’d have to check that date), but the iPad ushered in a great deal of interest in e-books.

[amazon_image id=”B0037KN05C” link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” class=”alignright”]Jane Austen: The Complete Collection (With Active Table of Contents)[/amazon_image]A colleague actually asked me last week if I ever read paper books. I don’t know when owning a Kindle became this all or nothing proposition, that it means I don’t read paper books. Sometimes, I actually prefer them. It depends on the book. Certainly if I have any notion I might have the book signed, I will buy a paper book. And sometimes, the paper version is a better value. On the other hand, I just bought a Kindle version of all of [amazon_link id=”B0037KN05C” target=”_blank” ]Jane Austen’s works[/amazon_link], including all six complete novels, The Watsons, Sanditon, and Lady Susan, and selected letters and juvenilia. For 99¢. I’d never be able to buy a paper copy of all of that writing for 99¢.

It has occurred to me before that it would be smart to grab a public domain book, compose notes or an introduction, and format it in Scrivener for the Kindle Store and sell it for 99¢. I have had friends who have done this, and it’s such a smart idea. I think you need to add some functionality, such as a working table of contents or annotations, to make it worth the buyer’s while because so many of those books are available for free. Of course, the free versions are often not well formatted and have no working table of contents.

Speaking of Jane Austen, I have been spending quite a lot of time this week curled up with [amazon_link id=”9626343613″ target=”_blank” ]Sense And Sensibility[/amazon_link] this week. Juliet Stevenson is a fabulous reader. Have you heard that quite a few actors are lending their voices to new audio books? Including our favorite Mr. Darcy, Colin Firth. He’s not on this list, but I can only find one audio book read by Alan Rickman: [amazon_link id=”1572705701″ target=”_blank” ]The Return of the Native[/amazon_link] by Thomas Hardy. I tried to read that book, and I never got far. If Alan Rickman read it to me, I just might finish it. Heck. I have four Audible credits. I ought to give in and just get it.

I am rereading Sense And Sensibility for the Sense and Sensibility Bicentenary Challenge, but I am having a little trouble deciding which other book to read for the challenge. If you have an opinion on either of this books, feel free to vote in the poll.

[amazon_image id=”0385340869″ link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” class=”alignleft”]The Cookbook Collector: A Novel[/amazon_image] [amazon_link id=”0385340869″ target=”_blank” ]The Cookbook Collector[/amazon_link] by Allegra Goodman. Emily and Jessamine Bach are opposites in every way: Twenty-eight-year-old Emily is the CEO of Veritech, twenty-three-year-old Jess is an environmental activist and graduate student in philosophy. Pragmatic Emily is making a fortune in Silicon Valley, romantic Jess works in an antiquarian bookstore. Emily is rational and driven, while Jess is dreamy and whimsical. Emily’s boyfriend, Jonathan, is fantastically successful. Jess’s boyfriends, not so much—as her employer George points out in what he hopes is a completely disinterested way.

Bicoastal, surprising, rich in ideas and characters, The Cookbook Collector is a novel about getting and spending, and about the substitutions we make when we can’t find what we’re looking for: reading cookbooks instead of cooking, speculating instead of creating, collecting instead of living. But above all it is about holding on to what is real in a virtual world: love that stays.

[amazon_image id=”140222267X” link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” class=”alignleft”]Willoughby’s Return: A tale of almost irresistible temptation[/amazon_image] [amazon_link id=”140222267X” target=”_blank” ]Willoughby’s Return[/amazon_link] by Jane Odiwe. A lost love returns, rekindling forgotten passions… In Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility, when Marianne Dashwood marries Colonel Brandon, she puts her heartbreak over dashing scoundrel John Willoughby in the past.

Three years later, Willoughby’s return throws Marianne into a tizzy of painful memories and exquisite feelings of uncertainty. Willoughby is as charming, as roguish, and as much in love with her as ever. And the timing couldn’t be worse—with Colonel Brandon away and Willoughby determined to win her back, will Marianne find the strength to save her marriage, or will the temptation of a previous love be too powerful to resist?

[amazon_image id=”1402253893″ link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” class=”alignleft”]Expectations of Happiness[/amazon_image] [amazon_link id=”1402253893″ target=”_blank” ]Expectations of Happiness[/amazon_link] by Rebecca Ann Collins. International bestselling author of the Pemberley Chronicles series explores the beloved characters of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility. Acclaimed for historical accuracy and emulation of Jane Austen’s voice as well as the depth of her depictions of the complex and evolving society of the day—especially what life was like for women—Collins imagines three sisters dealing with what happens when a spirited girl grows into a scandal-prone young lady who defies society’s rules and must then pay the consequences.

So which one do you think? I already own the first, but it doesn’t have high reviews on Amazon (hence my indecisiveness). Its reviews on Goodreads are about par for the course on that site.

Which Sense and Sensibility spin-off should I read?

  • Willoughby's Return, by Jane Odiwe (100%, 2 Votes)
  • The Cookbook Collector, by Allegra Goodman (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Expectations of Happiness, by Rebecca Ann Collins (0%, 0 Votes)
  • I have another suggestion for you (please leave a comment) (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 2

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I hope you are curling up with a good book and a warm beverage on this fine fall Sunday. Happy reading!

The Sunday Salon

photo credit: re-ality

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