Abbreviations: KU means Kindle Unlimited, 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. Finally, I just started a mailing list for my publishing company. Will mail out every 2 months and will include excerpts from my Robert’s Roundup columns and other random stuff.
I’m happy to say I finally made my Personville Press home page semi-decent. In the last few years I’ve been too busy to spruce it up as much as it should.
I’m very proud to finish the ebook My Heart For Hostage by Robert Hillyer (Special Critical Edition). Worked a long time on this one. It’s a free download, and you can also read it entirely online here.
Indie Author Spotlight
Under the Radar
Writing As the Sky Rains Death by John Twelve Hawks
Octogenarian Blues: If It Ain’t One Thing, It’s Another by Robert R Randall
The Neighborhood by Thom Young
Natural Orders: Email Marketing Automation Strategy for Small Online Business by Matt Treacey. I’m in the middle of setting up a mailing list.
The Anthropologist by Jon Ferguson
A Sparrow Falls by Vicki Olsen
Down the Tubes by Kate Rigby.
Casualties and Survivors: Stories by Len Joy
At Trail’s End: Homecoming by John Strother. Satirical YA novel about a high school teacher in a small Texas town.
The Long Way Home by Rob Bauer. Bittersweet romance by a historical novelist.
Beasts That Create Us: The Misfit Diaries by Jim Hard (series).
Dystopia Game by Adam Wodyk. Dystopian novel by Polish sci fi author (author page).
Word Paintings: From the mirror of our imaginations come vivid life impressions by Larry Yoke, Charlotte Nystrom (author page). . Cowritten poetry book, divided into 4 parts and alternating between 2 poets. Also Nystrom has Falling Skies chapbook. Nystrom’s book has lots of praise from readers (and you can read some of them on her FB page).
Blink and It’s Gone
Erin’s Diary: An Official Derry Girls Book by Lisa McGee. (both ebook and printed book for Xmas!) The ebook was decent, but you really want to get the printed book.
Roger Ebert’s Four-Star Reviews (1967-2007). Bought this gigantic 945 page ebook for 2.99. Unfortunately everything is listed alphabetically, and there is no index, making it next-to-impossible to find what you want. Still, a great buy.
Library Purchases/Printed books
“WAR STOPS LITERATURE.” (William Dean Howells). In this 1917 ebook Joyce Kilmer wrote a brilliant series of author profiles before serving (& dying) in WW1. Amy Lowell, EA Robinson, Ellen Glasgow, Booth Tarkington, etc. Super-awesome! I misplaced the ebook on my Kindle app and want to reiterate how great this ebook is! (Joyce Kilmer unfortunately died early in life — killed in WW1 and is mainly known for a single poem
On Self-Translation: Meditations on Language (SUNY Press Open Access) by Ilan Stavans
Literary Articles and Essays
Great interview with Hilary Mantel.
Two things really irritate me.
First, Public Storage storage facility which is a quasi-monopoly has raised its rates to ridiculous amounts. Went from $50 in 2018, to $60 in 2019 to 75$ in 2020 to 90$ in 2021 to $120 in December 2022. I use it to store books, papers, and random furniture. Nothing would please me more not to have to pay for this storage!
Second, it’s not a complaint, but on my Kindle reader, I’ve been putting everything into collections on my Kindle readers. That’s really the best and only way to do it. The problem is that you have to remember to put everything into at least one collection, or you’ll fall behind, and then you’ll have a pile of unsorted ebooks you have completely forgotten about. At the moment I have 2992 Uncollected Ebooks (which is an improvement after I assigned about 100-150 ebooks to collections yesterday. It is so tedious — and yet so necessary to do this.
Third, I mentioned this bug which disables hyperlinks in the Kindle app for Android. Hey, it’s fixed!
Capsule Book Reviews
Book Roar Review
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. The prices listed here are the non-discounted price on Amazon. Check the links to see if they are discounted at the moment (it happens often).
- My Heart For Hostage by Robert S. Hillyer. This tender love story between a young American lieutenant and a French girl in Paris after the first World War was published by poet (and Pulitzer Prize winner) Robert Hillyer in 1942. Out of print for several decades, this novel will be re-released for the first time as a low-cost ebook. A New York Times critic called it a “superbly written book, written perhaps as only a poet with and expert in the discipline of verse could write it.” Includes a critical essay by Robert Nagle. Free download from the publisher’s site, but also available at a nominal price from ebook stores: Payhip | Smashwords | Google Play | BN | Apple | Kobo | Amazon | Amazon UK. You can also read the whole thing online!
- Second Death of E.A. Poe and other Stories by Jack Matthews. $2.99. 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 is available from most audiobook streaming services like |Audible $6 | Apple $3 | Google Play $3 |
- 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. $1.50 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.