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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.
MAILING LIST: 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. MASTADON: https://booktoot.club/@nagletx
I’m curtailing my ebook purchases during December, but this month will instead include lots of library books and Project Gutenberg titles and what not.
Hey, some big changes are a-coming. I’m flirting with the idea of changing the design of this blog. Although I really like the sidebar with all the ebooks and links, I’ve fallen out of love with Smashwords. Besides, my Google Analytics tells me that a lot of visitors are on mobile phones instead of laptops.
Over Christmas I met two people from Tennessee — and realized that I didn’t know any authors associated with that state. How about: James Agee, Peter Taylor. Here are two listicles about the subject. The distinguished university University of the South (which hosts the famous Sewannee Review) is in Sewannee TN. Apparently Alice Walker‘s Color Purple and Barbara Kingsolver‘s Flight Behavior and John Grisham’s novels take place in Tennessee, so there you go. Flight Behavior has been recommended in several different places, so I’ll probably be reading that soon.
Indie Author Spotlight
Under the Radar
My Hilarious Sex Life by Andy Halmay. Mostly true tales of a songwriter about sex and other stuff.
Luminous Sandwich by Michael Vaughn (novella). Also, Climies. Vaughn is a very prolific author (25+ books) and tends to have several items for free on Amazon at any given time. I haven’t read anything by him yet, so maybe I should do so sooner rather than later. his Youtube channel is very active and on Jan 1 he released a 27 minute roundup of all his reads of 2022 (basically he read a lot of quick-read popular novels, sci fi, horror and gave two sentence reactions to them). His tastes differ from my own, but I enjoyed hearing his talk about authors I typically overlook.
Blink and It’s Gone
Stalin: Waiting for Hitler, 1929-1941 by Stephen Kotkin. 1.99. 2nd in a series. This biographer is very interesting; check out his interviews or podcasts or lectures (such as here or here)
Library Purchases/Printed books
Literary Articles and Essays
Capsule Book Reviews
Book Roar Review
LIT YOUTUBE : Here’s a great & fun reading & performance piece by @brianbilston (whose Twitter poems I have been following for a long while). Language is always clever & beautiful; I’m so grateful when authors do readings on Youtube;; I don’t care so much about appearances than the sound of an author’s voice + rhythm + manner of speech..
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.