Happy July 4th!


Nothing to post today, in celebration of Independence Day in these United (at least officially) States of America. Enjoy some time with your family and friends, take in a parade, enjoy the weather, have some good food and drink, or catch up on your reading (or maybe all of the above).

And, since we’re all about reading here — take a moment and read the document published 242 years ago today.

To people outside this country, happy Wednesday?

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No . . . just . . . No (or Initial Thoughts on Netflix’s announced adaptation of Atkin’s Wonderland)

According to Variety and Deadline stories today, another actor has been tapped to take on the role of Robert B. Parker’s Spenser: Mark Whalberg. He’ll be starring in Peter Berg’s movie for Netflix, an adaptation of Wonderland — the second novel Ace Atkins wrote about the Boston sleuth — as the potential first in a series.

I’m not Whalberg’s biggest fan, but given the right material, he’s good and he can pull of the physicality needed (and then some, but, whatever). And I have more trust in Peter Berg than most directors (Battleship notwithstanding). And the source material is great.

BUT. . .

From Deadline‘s story:

The movie will differ from the novel, in that it begins with Spenser emerging from a prison stretch, stripped of his private investigator license. Here, he gets pulled back into the underbelly of the Boston crime world when he uncovers the truth about a sensational murder and the twisted conspiracy behind it.

Stripped of his PI license after a prison stretch???? I know that adaptations have to make changes to the character, that’s the whole point of adapting. But this is striking at the core of the character. Spenser a felon? That’s a deal breaker. That makes almost all the changes in The Dresden Files series seem acceptable. It’s like making Edward a werewolf and Jacob a vampire. Or using an animated tiger in Life of Pi à la Bedknobs and Broomsticks. I’m having trouble here, okay? You can get the gist of what I’m saying.

So, I’m happy for the Parker Estate, Ace Atkins and anyone else who made some money off this. I’m happier yet for anyone who discovers Parker/Atkins/Spenser because of this.

But…nope. Just flat-out no. Count me out.*

*(which everyone knows is a giant lie, I’m totally going to watch this because I’m weak, I’m a sucker, and a Spenser-addict)

Something had to give…

Yeah, nothing for a couple of days here — just how I want to follow-up one of the best weeks I’ve had traffic/share/etc.-wise. I’ve got a couple of posts ready to go for Friday, and I’ve finished 5 books already this week, so it’s not like I’m hurting for material. Just hurting on time and energy.

There’s a good reason for this — and I’ll talk about it sometime. In the meantime, come back Friday.

Saturday Miscellany – 8/19/17

Odds ‘n ends over the week about books and reading that caught my eye. You’ve probably seen some/most/all of them, but just in case:

Lastly, I’d like to say hi and welcome to Shaun Hume, dreamnoiseblog, Alice @ Arctic Books and thrillersuspense for following the blog this week.

Saturday Miscellany – 8/12/17

Such a good week of books — reading, listening, and picking up from the library — just wish I had a few more hours to write things up. It’s a week to make me remember why I maintain this blog (not that I’d forgotten, but it’s easier some weeks). Also, I just bought my daughter her first Toby Daye novels (having learned from what she’s done to my Anton Strout books, she doesn’t get to borrow mine). It’s nice to see her developing tastes and moving beyond things written for younger readers (nothing against YA, etc.), even when her tastes go in different directions than mine.

First, this week I made some snarky comment about the LA County Coroner having a gift shop in my post about Jo Perry’s Dead is Good. Shortly after my post went up, Perry tweeted me the URL for the Gift shop, “Skeletons in the Closet.” Yes, it exists, yes, it’s online — the LA Coroner has knick-knacks and Tshirts! Which I find disturbing, yet oddly compelling. I filled up a shopping cart with over $50 worth of merchandise before forcing myself to close the window and walk away. Something tells me a few of my readers would find the place equally disturbing and shoppable.

Anyway, here are the odds ‘n ends over the week about books and reading that caught my eye. You’ve probably seen some/most/all of them, but just in case:

    This Week’s New Releases I’m Excited About and/or You’ll Probably See Here Soon:

  • Fox Hunter by Zoë Sharp — Charlie Fox, the toughest personal security agent you know, is on a manhunt in the Middle East and Europe in a book I can’t sum up in a sentence, read original post on it here.
  • American Ghost by Paul Guernsey — the ghost of a would-be writer and pot-grower dictates the story of his murder and his attempt to solve it via an Ouija Board. Or something like that. I’m going to have to read it, I think.

Lastly, I’d like to say hi and welcome to Priya’s Blog, Books-and-all and Holly B / Dressedtoread for following the blog this week.

Inkitt for Android Launches (launched) Today!

It’s been one of those days, this is going up about 10 hours after I meant it to. Such is life in the middle of the worst winter storms in my area since the 80’s. Sorry, Inkitt.

A couple of months back, I talked about an iOS App for Inkitt — well, today, they launched the Android version. Who’s Inkitt, you ask?

On the surface, Inkitt (www.inkitt.com) is a platform where aspiring writers can share their novels and inquisitive readers can unearth fresh content. But under the hood, we are democratizing publishing: The Inkitt algorithm analyzes reading behavior to predict future bestsellers. In other words: if readers love it, Inkitt publishes it.

It looks like the iOS App was pretty well received ( featured on the US App Store but also on numerous other App Stores around the world, as well as on the front page of Product Hunt, ranking in the top 10 in Tech).

“It was a great reward to see Inkitt featured as a top app in numerous App Stores around the world and receive such great feedback from users” says Inkitt’s Founder and CEO, Ali Albazaz. “Readers were really excited about the iOS app but kept asking when we’re launching on Android too. We heard them, worked really hard and today we’re bringing Inkitt to Android devices. All readers will now be able to discover tomorrow’s bestsellers on the go and read great novels by upcoming authors wherever they are.”

Inkitt for Android – 4 key features:

  • Access to thousands of novels from all fiction genres: fantasy, sci-fi, mystery, thriller, horror, romance, drama, action, adventure, YA and more
  • Personalized reading suggestions: hand-picked novels based on a reader’s favorite fiction genres
  • Customizable look to match user preferences (e.g. font size, color combinations)
  • Online/Offline: readers can save novels to their offline library to access them anytime

Beyond being a platform connecting aspiring authors with book lovers, Inkitt’s mission is to become the world’s fairest publishing house: Its in-house developed algorithm analyzes reading behavior to determine the potential of a novel to become the next bestseller. Using this unique data-driven approach, Inkitt wants to ensure that great works by new and talented writers never again stay in the dark.

Here’s some screen shots:
Phone App

Tablet App

Check out some more details about the app back on my post about the iOS version.

So far, I’ve really enjoyed my interactions with the folks at Inkitt and what I’ve read from them — give it a shot. I’m downloading the App as soon as I hit “Publish.” Once again, the link for the Android app is: https://inkitt.app.link/androidglobal.

Some of this material was taken from Inkitt’s Press Release provided to me by the company. I assume they don’t mind, since they put it better than I could.

Introducing Inkitt’s iOS app

A couple of months ago, I was emailed by someone from a publishing company called Inkitt — never heard of them before, but the book they gave me was pretty cool, and I made a note to keep my eye out for more by them. They describe themselves as:

a platform where budding writers can share their novels and inquisitive readers can unearth fresh content. But under the hood, we are democratizing publishing: Inkitt is built on an algorithm which analyzes reading patterns to predict future bestsellers. Using this unique data- and readers-driven approach to uncover highly addictive stories, Inkitt’s goal is to remove the middle person so that a blockbuster book is never rejected by a publishing house again. In other words, if readers love it, Inkitt publishes it.

I kinda dig the idea — I’m not sure it’ll give us the highest quality books, but it should give us some entertaining reads.

Their next step? Launching an app — today, I should stress — for iPhones, iPads, etc. (the Android version is coming soon, I’m assured, so I can use it). Check out this video…

Introducing Inkitt for iOS: Read great novels by up-and-coming authors on your iPhone and iPad from Inkitt – The Hipster’s Library on Vimeo.

In less than 2 years, Inkitt has attracted over 700,000 unique readers: the iOS app will give book lovers and publishers greater access to Inkitt’s digital library of over 80,000 stories by up-and-coming authors.

“As more people read digitally we want to make it easier and faster for people to access great literature wherever they are, whether on the go or relaxing at home,” says Inkitt’s Founder and CEO, Ali Albazaz. “Inkitt’s iOS app will better enable emerging authors to share their work with test readership groups and give readers globally the opportunity to turn the page on one of the world’s next best sellers.”

Key features include:

  • Access to 80,000 stories in every genre: fantasy, sci-fi, romance, thriller, horror, adventure, action and more
  • Personalized suggestions: hand-picked novels based on reader’s preferences
  • App customization according to user preferences (e.g. font size, colors)
  • Online/Offline: readers can save novels to their offline library to access them without an internet connection

It looks like a pretty cool app — I will be grabbing the Android version ASAP (and probably mentioning it here). Give it a go.

Oh, before I forget, here’s some screenshote of the app. But first, one more time, here’s the download link: https://inkitt.app.link/reading-app-iphone-ipad


(parts of this post were cannibalized from a press release from Inkitt — hope they don’t mind too much, but they said it better than I could paraphrase)