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). If you’d like to submit an ebook to me for review or mention in this column, see my instructions here.
I bought a massive number of ebooks in March — probably the most I have ever bought in my life. This was a one-time event which occurred when I realized that Soho Press, Europa Editions, Mariner Books, Grove Press were discounting some of their titles to 99 cents.
Indie Author Spotlight
Texas author Clay Reynolds is a prolific author. In preparation for making his wikipedia page, I read a lot of his stuff — and really only scratched the surface. Here are some PDFs of recent articles:
- Best Texas Books (Texas Books in Review On Line, 25 March, 2008).
- Sarah Palin — History of a Campaign that Failed. A satirical portrait. (I’m neutral about the subject — well, I’m sorta anti-Palin), but Jack Matthews had an unusual take on Palin: he thought her rabblerousing rhetoric was more in keeping with the American identity than the patrician rhetoric of Obama.
Under the Radar
L’Origine: Secret Life of the World’s Most Erotic Masterpiece by Lilianne Milgrom. (author website) This novel won the 2021 PW Selfies Book award. Can’t wait to read it! Wow, here’s a gimmick. The author visited Paris to do her own painting of the famous painting (and made a video of doing so).
Circus in Winter by Cathy Day
Willing by Lindsay Lees. 99 cents. Novel about sexual dystopia. (Read an interview with the author).
Beasts of Success by Jasun Ether. (author website) 99 cents. Satiric look at business ambition and success.
Blink and It’s Gone
Beginning of Spring by Penelope Fitzgerald. Deftly written historical novel about Russia in the early 20th century.
The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching: Transforming Suffering into Peace, Joy, and Liberation by
Thich Nhat Hanh, Retelling of the Buddha’s life by a noted Vietnamese Buddhist. I already have a hard copy, but having a virtual copy for easy reference was definitely a must.
Only Begotten Daughter by James Morrow. (author website) 1.99 I owned two books by Morrow which I never read (I started to read one, but got sidetracked). While researching this title — about a female deity who comes to rescue the world — I realize that I really want to read more Morrow — like pronto! Unfortunately, the public libraries doesn’t have many Morrow books, but I learned that buying all those Conjunctions anthologies at discounted prices would end up paying off! (Morrow frequently contributed stories to Conjunctions — and I read one (Wisdom of the Skin) which was delightful). Update: Apparently this story comes from the Reality by Other Means story collection .
Library Purchases/Printed books
Stoner by John Wiliams This is supposed to be a classic.
Train to Estelline by Jane Roberts Wood
Tree of Smoke by Denis Johnson
Leaving Brooklyn by Lynne Sharon Schwartz
Faded Coat of Blue by Owen Parry.
Shakespeare by Mark van Doren. Compact book of lit crit by famous professor at Columbia who taught a class on him.
Literary Articles and Essays
Wikipedia tidbit : Andrei Codrescu was a commentator for NPR, and on the December 19, 1995, broadcast of All Things Considered, Codrescu reported that some Christians believe in a “rapture” and four million believers will ascend to Heaven immediately. He continued, “The evaporation of 4 million who believe this crap would leave the world an instantly better place.”
Capsule Book Reviews
Personville Press Deals
I run Personville Press, a small literary book press where all the ebooks cost less than $4. Prices normally appear highest on Amazon, Apple, Kobo and BN, somewhat lower on Google Play Books and lower on the two DRM-free stores which are Smashwords and Payhip. Personville Press is committed to selling DRM-free ebooks and audio files directly from the Personville Press payhip store or from Smashwords.
- 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. ($2) 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. ($1.50). 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. The audio book will be available on audible and other platforms very soon.
- A Worker’s Writebook by Jack Matthews . $2.25 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. $1.25 Philosophical Stories Taking place during the US Civil War.
- Abruptions: 3 Minute Stories to Awaken the Mind by Jack Matthews. Flash Fiction. $2.25
- Hanger Stout, Awake (50th Anniversary Edition). by Jack Matthews. Coming of age novel. $3.00
- 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.