TBR – The Year of Uh by Jud Widing

For the first time in their lives, nineteen year-old Nur De Dernberg and her younger sister Deirdre are leaving Seychelles, Africa. They’ve come to Boston for a year, but not to party with the college kids – they’re here to learn English. Nur, trapped by her inability to speak the language and her sister’s inability to speak in anything other than clipped wisecracks, finds herself in a strange country with nobody to talk to; she is dreadfully, existentially alone.

Until, that is, she goes to language class and meets Hyun-Woo. Despite sharing no common language, Nur feels something distinctly spark-like between them. Thus commences an awkward courtship…maybe? Is it a courtship? Does he feel for her the way she feels for him? Does he know how she feels? Then again, does she? Nur is beset by questions that would be easy to ask, if only she had the words. Those words are coming slowly, though, while her feelings for Hyun-Woo are thundering along at a more breakneck pace.

This sounds uhhhh-mazing.

View on Goodreads.

Book Review: Libraries Partnering with Self-publishing: a Winning Combination was kind of useless

I wasn’t too impressed with this one. It was more fluff than help – basic intro into things I feel like librarians could discover on their own if they are really interested. Without this book.

Half the book is just about the industry – traditional and self-publishing – when the title makes it seem like you should already know a bit about it (though why so much was spent on traditional, I do not know).

In parts, it speaks to self-publishers directly, but doesn’t tell them things like what the hell CIP data is or the routes librarians normally go through to purchase books. There’s no insider perspective here for the authors. ISBNs are covered. Big whoop.

And the book doesn’t really tell libraries how to do said discovering and selecting of self-published books. I got no new help from these pages.

There is plenty of focus on doing author events in libraries or how to set up self-publishing programs. But nothing – NOTHING – to help normalize the actual discovery of self-published authors. What’s more, libraries can’t seem to help indie authors without forcing them to “local” author duties. And even then the spotlight isn’t on their work but the fact they are indie or self-published or are part of “the community”…

That’s not a “winning combination.” It’s not doing a lot of normalizing for the authors or the books.

Let me give you an example: BiblioBoard’s Self-e program selects authors to showcase in it’s main curation and those that don’t make the cut (based on what standards, I do not know) are delegated to sub-packages based on state location. But guess what? If your state doesn’t have a library that subscribes to a sub-package, the “local” ebooks just sit there. Never being looked at. Wasted material. The “local” or “by location” mindset doesn’t do it for this librarian. I want to discover books from all over the world and use my own criteria to select those. Right now, the relationship between libraries and self-publishers is still very one-sided. Libraries are getting all the benefits: desperate authors coming through the door. Foot traffic. Being needed.

The power is still all in the library’s hands.

Sure, we’re giving it to the big publishers screwing over our patrons and stifling diverse voices. It’s great that libraries are trying to meet a community need/want. But I fail to see what the authors are getting out of this. It’s just giving them a hobby. Like genealogy.

What I hear: “Gottah keep the masses busy somehow. They’ve already finished researching their family tree. Why not tell them to write a book about it?” #UGH

Art shouldn’t be treated like genealogy.

We aren’t really making self-publishers more discoverable.

Current mood:

Maybe I wouldn’t have been so mad if this had been written more for librarians and not both parties.

There is a good chapter on open access in here, if you are wanting to look into scholarly self-publishing…Which I can get behind.

 

TBR – End of The World: The Beginning by Nesly Clerge

The year is 2050. The Order of World Society governs the globe, the weather, the currency, and all facets of people’s lives. The Peace for All Agenda is anything but peaceful. Scientist Gayle Conyers’ life in this new societal structure is orderly, routine,focused, safe. Then it isn’t. A renowned scientist forces her to work on a secret project that goes against her ethics and the Order. A protester warns her about the Order’s web of deception and the approaching end of days. Gayle soon finds herself with a foot in two worlds: A scientific realm that intends to alter humanity for all time, and a spiritual one, where she’s enmeshed in stories of prophecy, destruction, and the Apocalypse. Gayle remains skeptical. Until the event that stuns the world, one that causes her to face the realization that this may, indeed, be the beginning of the end.

Woman scientist? Cool, cool, cool.  Also, seems like Christian Fiction. Read the comments on Amazon for more info.

Buy on Amazon.

BOOK REVIEW: So Many Books by Gabriel Zaid

This was a very short little book – 144 pages (now out of print, I think). It had a lot of good quotes and observations on the state of the publishing world and I think every English Major should be required to read it so they consider the weight of what the literary world is doing – how it adds and subtracts from the world.

I disagree with Zaid on 2 points in this work, though. At one point, he says that the world is overpopulated with humans as well as books, but that one is the greater legacy than the other (children). I disagree entirely with this. Even if you write something that barely anyone reads or enjoys, you have connected with a specific group of people who understands you. You get no guarantee that a child will ever understand you, or that they will continue your legacy (once they stop breeding, your DNA becomes a dead legacy). A book lasts longer than generations. Ask Homer.

If humans vs. books, the lesser of two evils is more books. More books means more variety and option. More humans means less of everything. That was such a stupid statement on his part. Too romanticized and too whimsical. It risked undermining all his other observations for me.

It made my mind shoot in anger to thoughts like: What if the aliens could read all the books? What if time was nothing to them? Maybe then all books would matter. And what about the robots? Maybe the robots want all our books. Maybe our books will help better them. How selfish of him to think that books are less than humans. Some stories are certainly worth more than whole countries. Wars have been started in the name of stories and books and authors (religious books not the only ones). Don’t tell me that a single human is worth more than books. There are greater readers than us out there.

The second beef I have with this book is his blind faith that publishing will automatically equal diversity. At the very end he crams it in without it being fully supported by his argument. Half of his argument actually works against the idea of diversity–pointing out the publishing industry’s flaws.  I was left thinking “Wait, what? How did we get here? How did we get to diversity?” But then again I’m not so sure he defines diversity in the book, so we might be talking about two different “diversities.”

He covers sports and other forms of entertainment–comparing them to the book in ways I had never considered. It’s worth a read. And doesn’t take up your time. He makes a point of it not to, because he practices what he preaches.

 

TBR: The Gospel of the Rauschmonstrum

The story of how Jesus was tricked into thinking he was the son of God by a shape-shifting monster known as the Rauschmonstrum.
It is a tale about love, cruelty, misunderstanding, agonizing despair, walking on water, healing the sick, and one unusual case of a person being impersonated after their death.

Sounds plausible.  Sounds irreverent. Sounds worth reading.

The story reminds me of all those Bible specials on the Discovery Channel or History Channel or whatever Wasting Time Channel where they try to blame biblical events on Aliens.

I’m calling it “Jesus fanfiction.”

Really is on my TBR pile.

It’s a novella at 163 pages.

Buy it on Amazon.

 

TBR – Satan’s Grip by Paul Sherman

Inspired by the black magic novels of Dennis Wheatley. Esther’s eighth birthday. The day that her mother, Charlotte, had been fearing. As a teenager, Charlotte had gotten involved in a satanic cult and had made a promise to Satan that he could have her firstborn child. At the time, she really didn’t believe any of this was true. It was just a silly thing she did to fit in. But now… Can Charlotte save Esther from Satan’s grip? Or is she destined to fulfill that long-ago promise?

This is another book I agreed to read but haven’t yet. The cover looks fantastic.

Buy on Amazon.

TBR – Iron Manimal by Harry Seitz

Scotty has had a hard life, and it’s about to get harder. Leon, the ringmaster of the circus he works for, has agreed to transport hazzardous materials in order to make ends meet. A catastrophic accident ruptures containment and exposes the performers and animals to a transformative agent that repairs and enhances them based on their personalities, immediate surroundings, and the extent of their injuries. Gifted with extraordinary powers, they must find a new way to cope with the world and each other. At what point does a person who can read and shape minds begin to question the extent to which he is actually being led and controlled by the thoughts of others? And if power comes through physical and emotional trauma, what happens when a newly powerful person or entity still thinks and feels like a victim? Alcoholism, the death of American rail, and animal rights are also explored.

I actually accepted this book for review, but I just haven’t gotten around to read it because it’s in Kindle format and I never read on my Kindle these days. But animal rights? Count me in!

Buy on Amazon.

UPDATE: I spelled the title wrong in the first draft of this post. I said “Mammal” instead of “Manimal.” I’m a terrible womanimal.

Advertising opportunities on AmandaPandaDuh:

youradhere

Indie publisher or a blogger or maybe something in between?

Like to advertise to my readers?

You’ve come to the right place!

“Advertising” is essentially me posting an image (GIFs count) that redirects to a link of your choice. See the sidebar to the right. If that works for you, please contact me at amandapandaduh (@) gmail.com with the book cover/image you’ve created or have copyrights to and the affiliate link you would like it directed to, and now long you want the ad to run. I will forward the invoice at that point.

Please also specify from the list below what option you’d like and the dates you’d like them to start. If unspecified the default date will be as soon as payment is received an the image goes up. I will try to respond promptly, but if it’s needed in a specific time frame, be sure to set it up at least one week in advance (sooner preferable).

Right now, I’m only posting images in the sidebar widgets. They will be labeled as Sponsored Content. There may be more advertising opportunities in the future, so check back.

Current options include:

1 Week = $5.00

1 Month = $10.00

1 Year = $25.00

All sales are final. I reserve the right to reject an ad based on the image itself and the content it links to. If you decide you want an ad removed after the time it has been posted, you will not be reimbursed, though a new image or link can replace unwanted content. Current stats for 2016 are on average 100+ subscribers on WordPress and average over 20 views a day. My blog is synced with a Twitter of over 500 followers and my Tumbler has over 300. And growing.

Thank you for considering AmandaPandaDuh for your advertising!

TBR – Cristina by Jake Parent

Driven by a desperate need to escape her past, Cristina Rodriguez moves into a picturesque hilltop home with an ocean view. The same place where, four years earlier, a young girl was kidnapped and murdered.

At first, both the house and the scenic California beach town seem perfect. Fresh air. Fresh faces. And the ocean is just ten minutes away. But as Cristina and her daughter set about rebuilding their lives, they soon discover that the past is not about to let go so easily.

A gripping psychological thriller by a #1 Amazon bestselling author, Cristina will grab you from the first page and keep you guessing until the very end.

The cover looks pretty.

Jake Parent also seems like a cool dude.

On Amazon.

TBR – Dark Solus

Dark Solus, An Assassin’s Tale is a dark, science fiction fantasy novel about one of the deadliest assassins on the planet Eorth. The evil wizard Kalifen, along with the ruthless leaders of the Assassins, Thieves and Halflings guilds, murdered Dark Solus’ parents when he was only a child. Haunted by their merciless execution, he now waits and prepares to exact his revenge on all those responsible for their demise. Dark is transformed and trained by the Styg, the warden of the Stygian depths, and his grandfather Mephistopheles, an ancient silver dragon. Twelve years later, Dark is now ready to travel to the City of Duergar, the home of his enemies. Trained in the skills of assassination, and armed with lethal devices and knowledge of the dark arts, he has set himself only one mission…to kill them all! This action-packed book comes alive with ancient imagery, in a time before solid boundaries formed between the mystical kingdoms of Faerie and the mortal world of man. Author David Andrew Crawford grew up in Canada, and currently resides in the small hamlet of Innesville with his two dogs, Ares and Ariel.

What is this? A world where all the vowels are used differently in spelling? Where people have lisps? “Eorth.”

On Goodreads.