Abbreviations: KU means Kindle Unlimited, LE means that lending of this Kindle title is allowed, and APUB means it was published under an Amazon imprint. NYP means “Name Your Price” (that’s an option on Smashwords and other booksellers).
(Dec 31 Update. God, this roundup looks like crap. I’ll catch up and add stuff to it in a few days!)
Happy to report that my Personville Press has published a new story collection by Jack Matthews called Second Death of E.A. Poe and other Stories. In my book description, I say, “In contrast to previous story collections (which lean more to the cerebral or poetic), the Matthews stories collected here are down-to-earth yarns: gently satirical and reminiscent of John Cheever’s fiction. Most are like pleasant strolls through Midwestern neighborhoods, glimpsing random people at backyard parties, cafes and parking lots.”
Also I bit the bullet and bought the 2021 Kindle Paperwhite. I found the previous generation of Paperwhites to be practically unusable — mainly because of the bad interface, ad clutter, puny display and difficulty finding the right spot to turn the page or do basic commands. This version has .8 inch more height,
Indie Author Spotlight
How to win with your data visualizations by Elizabeth Clarke. This was a 99 cent special and contained great info about using visual information.
Under the Radar
I think I’ve blogged about Scott Bradfield before, but I was delighted to learn that most of his fiction titles are priced at 99 cents today on Amazon. Also, Why I Hate Toni Morrison’s BELOVED: several decades of reading unwisely looks fun to read. (Bradfield talks about classic books and postmodernism on his youtube channel). Update: Why I hate Toni Morrison is a fun collection of curmudgeonly essays, most about bookish topics. highly recommended. Also Millennial’s Guide to Death: Stories, Animal Planet, What’s Wrong with America and History of Luminous Motion.
Daisy Fields by Maki Matsui
Brilliant White Peaks by Teng Rong (author’s website)
Ping-Pong Champion of Chinatown by James Hanna (author website). I liked his Call Me Pomeroy book from a while back. I’ll buy anything he writes, and h
Old Men Who Row Boats and Other Stories by David Joseph.
Fire Escape Belongs to Brooklyn by Chuck Cascio. I’ve bought the other story volumes that describes
All the Broken People by Amy Rivers. (author website) This book won her national prize as best author by the Indie Author Project. It’s a suspenseful family drama about secrets. Other regional winners are here. That was 2021. Here are the regional winners from 2020.
Blink and It’s Gone
Berlin Diary by William L. Shirer
Homeland and Other Stories by Barbara Kingsolver
Flights by Olga Tokarczuk. 1.99.
Chronicle in Stone by Ismail Kadare. I’ve read several Kadare novels; this appears to be the most accessible and have the best translation. 1.99 and discounted often.
A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century by Barbara Wertheim Tuchman
Based on a True Story by Norm MacDonald. I admit, I’m fascinated by this transgressive comedian, and the first chapter was actually insightful.
Library Purchases/Printed books
Song of the World Becoming : New and Collected Poems, 1981-2001 by Pattiann Rogers
Dawn Powell, 1944-1962 : My Home Is Far Away – The Locusts Have No King – The Wicked Pavilion – The Golden Spur
Literary Articles and Essays
Capsule Book Reviews
Book Roar Review
Great Early interview with John Barth in the 1970s (He’s a former teacher of mine). Gosh, what a windbag! (But very fun to listen to. I will say, in the 1980s, he was really sharp and witty). He reports asking Robert Creeley how long it takes him to write a poem. Creeley replied, “Half an hour. How long does it take to write a novel?” “Seven years,” Barth replied.
Personville Press Deals
I run Personville Press, a small literary book press where all the ebooks cost less than $4. Most are regularly discounted, so prices may be cheaper than appears here. You can buy DRM-free ebooks and audio files directly from the Personville Press payhip store or from Smashwords. These two places generally have the cheapest prices because they offer a higher percentage of royalties to the publisher. Alternatively, you can buy cloud-based ebooks from Google, Amazon, BN, Apple and Kobo. Check them out! Fall 2021 Personville Press will have a mailing list to help people to stay informed about upcoming sales and promotions.
- Second Death of E.A. Poe and other Stories by Jack Matthews. Did Edgar Allen Poe fake his death? That’s what a Baltimore doctor needs to figure out in the title tale for this 11th story collection. Payhip| Smashwords | Google Play |BN | Apple | Kobo | Amazon US | Amazon UK |
- Minor Sketches and Reveries by Alberto Balengo. ($4) Introspective tales involving animals, allegories and the melodrama of everyday life. Payhip | Amazon | Smashwords |Google | BN | Apple | Kobo.
- Interview with the Sphinx. By Jack Matthews. ($2.99). Hyperintellectual Tom Stoppard-like play which reads like a novel about a strange interview with the ancient Sphinx character. Freud and Florence Nightingale show up too. I loved this play and even produced an audio version of it which you can buy for $2 on payhip (mp3/m4a) but the script reads well too.
- A Worker’s Writebook by Jack Matthews . $1.75 Matthews distributed a photocopied version of this writing guide to his Ohio U. creative writing students over the decades.
- Soldier Boys: Tales of the Civil War by Jack Matthews. $3.00 Philosophical Stories Taking place during the US Civil War.
- Abruptions: 3 Minute Stories to Awaken the Mind by Jack Matthews. Flash Fiction. $1.50
- Hanger Stout, Awake (50th Anniversary Edition). by Jack Matthews. Coming of age novel. $3.00 (But it’s cheaper on payhip!)
- Three Times Time Story Sampler by Jack Matthews (Always Free!) US Amazon customers can sometimes get it for free, but to make things easier, you can down these files directly without having to register: Epub, Mobi.