Thursday, June 5, 2014

Top 10 Android Apps of the Week – June 6 2014


Welcome to another beloved installment of the Good e-Reader Android Apps of the Week! All of these apps are available via our App Store and can be downloaded without registration by clicking on the name of the app!

100 Ballz – The goal of the game is to get the balls through the glass by opening the gate. For each ball you manage to get through the glass you're rewarded with a different amount of points, depending on its color. If the ball misses the glass, it dissapears. When you lose all of your balls, the game is over.

Zombie Diary 2: Evolution
– The war between humans and zombies continues. So many heroes have already fallen, but you've managed to survive. Don't pat yourself on the back just yet because danger is around every corner. You need to do all you can to resist the walking dead and rescue as many survivors as possible. It's a brand new gaming experience that's unlike anything you've played before!

Wikipedia Beta – You can install Wikipedia Beta alongside your current version of Wikipedia for Android, so you can test our new features before they go live for all Wikipedia for Android users. Your feedback will help us fix bugs and decide what features to focus on next.

Rival Knights – Live the fantasy: Be a knight & joust your way to victory! Compete with thousands of other players in games of glory & adventure! This is the most intuitive, action-packed & visually stunning knight combat game on touch screens!

FTBpro – The Soccer News App – FTBpro is the largest fan generated media platform in soccer for all the latest breaking soccer news, transfer rumors, fixtures, results, tables, schedules, live scores, and more – straight to your phone or tablet.

Fruit Splash Mania
– Play the addictive new puzzle game from the makers of Candy Blast Mania, Jewel Mania and Bubble Mania! Take a bite into Fruit Splash Mania with its unique line-drawing puzzle gameplay! Match together festive Fruits that ripen into colossal combos!

EndlessTV: Videos, TV and News – Tired of the dreaded spinning wheel of "waiting to download"? Then get Endless TV. Start to watch streaming videos of news, celebrity gossip, sports, history, music, and more. Swipe to watch a different show in the same channel. Swipe up to change channels. The videos stream continuously, without lag or latency. Wallow in great videos on your phone or tablet!

Topps Bunt – The exclusive digital trading card app of Major League Baseball, is the only real-time, real-world MLB digital trading card game where the cards you own and collect earn points based on how your players perform on the field each day.

Look & Cook – Experience Food! – Look & Cook is like having your own private sou-chef. Step by step instructions, with stunning food photography, close-up images and how to HD videos, help you make the most delicious meals. Within each recipe you can find a shop section: a list of hand-selected accessories and gadgets available for in-app shopping, for perfect, professional looking dishes.

Red Bull Wallpapers – Red Bull Wallpapers brings the World of Red Bull directly to the palm of your hands. Customize your lock and home screen with the best free sports wallpaper, breathtaking action sports backgrounds in HD, and portraits of your favorite Red Bull athletes.

Top 10 Android Apps of the Week – June 6 2014 is a post from: Good e-Reader

Global Audiobook Trends for 2014


The Audiobook industry has certainly grown up in the digital world. The rise of audio publishing is directly proportionate to the rise of digital distribution. In 2007 a paltry 3,073 titles were available and rose exponentially to over 20,000 published titles in 2013. The entire industry is said to be worth over two billion dollars, which is a huge jump from $480 million in retail sales in 1997.

The audiobook industry first gained momentum in 1970 when low cost cassettes allowed libraries to easily purchase and distribute them to their patrons. The industry was rather niche until 2002 when CDs became the dominant medium and represented 78% of all sales in 2008. The standard CD audiobook declined in 2011 in favor of digital downloads, which currently accounts for 61% of all sales in 2013.

The United States is currently the dominant audiobook market in terms of sales. The United Kingdom has only generated £126 million in 2013 and has been experiencing an annual 6.8% growth rate. The largest four players in the industry are estimated to account for 49.8% of revenue. With the exception of defunct AudioGo Limited, the industry is dominated by well-established publishers that already operate in the print publishing market and have access to a wide range of titles that can be easily converted to audiobooks. Concentration in the industry has declined slightly over the past five years as more enterprises have entered and competition has intensified. The industry remains fairly fragmented as smaller enterprises have access to just a few titles for publishing.

The most dominant content distribution platform for audiobooks currently is Amazon owned Audible. This company has the highest market penetration and has seen a 33% increase in sales in 2012. They have created over 26,000 audiobooks and adding close to 1,000 titles a month. Most of their success derives from their new technologies that allow readers a myriad of options. If you purchase both the audiobook and eBook you can have the book professionally narrated to you, as you are reading. Else, you can read a few chapters on your Kindle and pick up exactly where you left off on the audio edition. This type of synergy is fairly compelling for people who read at night and do things during the day. Matthew Thornton of Audible commented – "We’re seeing heavy growth among younger listeners, people in and getting out of college who are part of the emerging app culture."

One of the ways Audible has such a large catalog is primarily due to their established relationships with major publishers. They also own and operate the Audiobook Creation Exchange. Publishers and authors who own unused audiobook rights can post them on ACX, along with narration preferences (e.g., narrator's gender, accents, voice types). Audio publishers and audio studios—as well as individual narrators with home studios—can search for titles that interest them and then audition to turn those rights into audiobooks. Rights holders can hire a narrator or producer, or create entrepreneurial partnerships with shared royalty structures that allow audiobooks to be produced without upfront costs. Alternatively, existing audio publishers can simply use ACX to discover audio rights to produce on their own.

When it comes to audiobook sales in the digital format they are often 10% of the eBook industry, in terms of overall value. Major publishers are hoping to accelerate this growth to over 20% within the next two years. "We're going to continue to see more and more titles being published," says Chris Lynch, president and publisher of Simon & Schuster Audio "Increasing our list in a way that's smart, thoughtful, strategic, and economically viable—that's a big focus for us," says Mary Beth Roche, v-p and publisher of Macmillan Audio/QDT. "We're going deeper into the science fiction/fantasy and mystery/thriller categories."

Global Audiobook Trends for 2014 is a post from: Good e-Reader

Kobo Offers Savings on their Tablet Lineup for Fathers Day


Kobo is discounting their entire lineup of tablets in preparation for Fathers Day. Customers in Canada will be able to save $30 off the Kobo Arc 7HD 16GB, $50 off the Kobo Arc 7 HD 32GB, and $100 off the Kobo Arc 10HD. The offer is available at Indigo, Chapters, Coles, Future Shop, Best Buy, Staples and The Source from May 28 – June 18.

When customers purchase one of these new tablets they will get six digital magazines for free via the Kobo Magazine Store.  These include -  Golf Digest (June), Wired (June), Popular Science Digest (June), Field & Stream (June), Men's Fitness (June), The Hockey News (May).

Kobo tends to give discounts like this each major holiday, the last one was Mothers Day. The Canadian based company should be announcing their next generation hardware devices in October.

Kobo Offers Savings on their Tablet Lineup for Fathers Day is a post from: Good e-Reader

Top 10 iOS Apps of the Week


One of the best parts of having a smartphone or tablet is populating it with the greatest of the great apps. To help you choose your next favourite, take a look at our picks for the top ten iOS apps this week!

TwoDots (Free)

The App Store is filled with games that are designed to capture our attention and fill our time (or steal it away), but few games do it better than TwoDots. Made by the same folks who brought out Dots, this app is an awesomely addictive puzzle game. Navigate yourself through 85 levels that start easy and get increasingly more difficult, trying to connect different items: dots, sink anchors, make bombs, extinguish flames and more! Titles like TwoDots make waiting rooms a little more bearable.


Minecraft – Pocket Edition ($6.99 USD)

We all know Minecraft is addictive and fun, just ask the millions of people who have been playing it. With the pocket edition. you can play in survival and creative mode, multi-player and randomly generated worlds, while you craft and create and breed to your heart’s content! When you have a game that is centered around building things by placing blocks, it only seems fitting that you can play it on your mobile devices as you go on non-digital adventures as well (or if you need your kids to sit quietly for a few minutes, either one).


THE GAME OF LIFE Classic Edition ($0.99 USD)

I would be willing to bet that nearly every last one of you played THE GAME OF LIFE when you were children, and now you can also play it on your iOS devices! Some board games do not translate to the digital world very well, but this title does a very nice job –perhaps because it lends itself well to the 3D animations and colourful graphics that perform so well on our smartphones and tablets. Because you can pass and play with up to 6 of your friends, this app may just be the saviour of your next road trip!


Couch-to-5K ($1.99)

I know, I know, I know… you have been meaning to get more exercise –and it is right there on your to-do list, just below the entry that says ‘make a to-do list’. Running and jogging can be fantastic exercise (as well as being a great way to lower stress and clear your head), but it can be very intimidating for those of us who have never tried the sport before. With Couch-to-5K, no experience is necessary. Honestly! It doesn’t matter whether you are doing your routine on a treadmill or sidewalk, you can workout with your own personal trainer and your own music playlist. Actual human audio cues will let you know what you should be doing and when. This program worked for me and it can also work for you!


Tinder (Free)

Tinder is social media done a little differently. If you are looking to meet somebody new (for friends, dating or otherwise), take a flip through this app. With anonymous swipes, let people know if you are interested in them: swipe right to like or left to pass. If the feelings are mutual and you both like each other, it becomes a match and you can use the in-app chat to get to know your choice a little more. Taking your location from the GPS, Tinder can help you to meet new people no matter where you are!


Geocaching ($7.99 USD)

If you haven’t yet joined the world-wide treasure hunt, you shouldn’t waste any more time! Geocaching is a great deal of fun and can be an amazing adventure. Caches are hidden all over the world (by the millions) –in fact, I can almost guarantee you walk by at least one of them each day… you just have to know how and where to find them! Using this app, you can locate geocaches and log your finds; I must warn you though, it can be very addictive!


Shazam (Free)

Shazam is one of those apps that you likely need to discover again for the first time! Included as part of Siri in the next version of iOS, this app lets you identify music and TV almost instantly. Gone are the days where you have no answer to the question ‘what song is this? or ‘who sings this?’, just load of Shazam and in moments you will know (plus you can buy it with one more tap of the screen if you choose).


Watchup: Your Daily News (Free)

There are plenty of ways to read the news on your iOS device, but what if you prefer to watch it? With Watchup, you can tune in to a considerable number of local, national and international news channels and watch their actual newscasts. If you are as forgetful as me, this app will let you schedule a reminder so you receive your newscast at the preferred time and if you want to know more about a particular story just click through to read text articles on the topic you are currently watching.


Momondo (Free)

Whether you travel for business or pleasure, getting a good deal on airfare is something that everybody appreciates. Using Momondo, you can easily search hundreds of airlines for the cheapest flights to any destination. One of the handiest features of the app is the ability to save flights from your past searches so you can monitor whether the prices are going up or down and determine whether the latest deal is really that great. Once you find the flight you want to book, click through the app to make them yours!


Wine Reviews & Ratings: Natalie MacLean (Free)

It’s almost (the weekend | 5:00 somewhere | the end of the work day | any other time that pleases you), so it is time for a hard-earned glass of wine. Thanks to Wine Reviews & Ratings: Natalie MacLean, you have access to the reviews, prices, ratings, prices, food pairings and recipes for over 150,000 different wines (plus if you live in Canada, current store stock is also available for many locations)! All you need to do is scan the bar code or search the database and you can decide whether the bottle in your hand is the one you should be taking home. I especially love the cellar journal that lets you keep a record of everything you currently have at home –because inevitably I am at the liquor store and cannot for the life of me remember what I still have left.


Top 10 iOS Apps of the Week is a post from: Good e-Reader

Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook is a Bad Idea for B&N

If you haven’t already heard the big new that every tech website on the web is posting about today, Barnes and Noble has announced that they will be releasing a co-branded tablet with Samsung this August. That in itself isn’t a bad idea for a struggling B&N that has experienced declining tablet sales over the […]

Simon & Schuster Offers New Author Tools

As major publishing houses adapt to the current climate of digital, self, and hybrid publishing, many of the smarter ones are looking for new ways to remain relevant with their authors, especially their established ones. Think of it this way: in this current publishing state, a well-known and bestselling author with a built in and highly engaged fan base can quite easily look around and think to herself, “Why do I need you?”

Simon&Schuster answered that question today with an announcement about a new tool set for their authors, one that gives them support in a variety of career determining moves. Called S&S InkedIn, this networking service will be available only to their authors through the professional site LinkedIn.

“Simon & Schuster’s authors are a talented and knowledgeable community that, using S&S InkedIn, can come together for the purposes of sharing information, advising each other, and enjoying the unique,
only-an-author-would-understand camaraderie and inspiration of their peers in a private, professional social network,” said Ellie Hirschhorn, Executive Vice President and Chief Digital Officer of Simon & Schuster, in a press release. “We encourage all our authors to join and learn what others are doing to promote themselves and their books, exchange ideas and tips, invite other authors to participate in local and online events, or discuss any topic that they deem relevant. S&S InkedIn, and the entirety of our newly refashioned Author Portal, reflects our ongoing commitment to providing Simon & Schuster’s authors with the tools and resources they need to have the best publication possible.”

This most recent addition to Simon&Schuster’s Author Portal is designed to equip authors with the same skillsets and access to tools that self-published authors already rely on. Interestingly, the goal of S&S InkedIn is to help their authors promote their books themselves, participate in webinars and conferences that will teach them how to engage and market their work, and more.

Critics of this idea may scoff at the idea that a publisher has launched an innovative portal to help authors do all of their own legwork; after all, aren’t marketing and promotion the publisher’s job? The reality there is that authors–regardless of how they publish–will only have a long-term career if they make business-minded decisions and take on much of their own promotion. That is not a new reality in the world of publishing. In fact, it’s an unfortunate myth that traditionally published authors somehow get to sit back and let the publisher make them into household names.

“S&S InkedIn is just one of numerous recent improvements to
Simon & Schuster’s Author Portal, which was initially launched in 2011 to
provide Simon & Schuster authors with one location to find the information
and resources they need throughout the publishing process. With a
completely new look-and-feel that makes it even easier for authors to find
valuable information about their books and the publishing process.”

Simon & Schuster Offers New Author Tools is a post from: Good e-Reader

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite 2 vs Tolino Vision


Welcome to another Good e-Reader Comparison Video. Today we take a look at the brand new Tolino Vision and the Kindle Paperwhite 2. These e-readers are fairly similar, as they both employ the same screen technology to eliminate full page refreshes on page turns and have similar hardware. The Tolino line of readers was basically developed to fight Amazon in Germany and develop a homegrown solution to appeal to readers. How do these two devices stack up against each other?

The Tolino Vision features the latest in e-Paper innovation, e Ink Carta. This is the exact screen technology found on the Kindle Paperwhite 2. This will not only provide higher contrast, but also eliminate the refreshing when you turn a page in an eBook. The overall resolution is a very respectable 1024 × 758 pixels. One of the things that stands out with this model is that the screen is flush with the bezel. The only other e-reader to do this was the six inch Kobo Aura, it almost feels like a tablet or smartphone in this respect. Underneath the hood is a Freescale iMx6 1 GHz processor and 512 MB ​​RAM. There is 4GB of internal memory, which can be expanded via the Micro SD.

The Amazon Kindle Paperwhite 2 features a six inch e-Ink display screen with a resolution of 1024×768. The front-lit display has received a small upgrade and gives a better illumination experience then the previous model. Underneath the hood is a 1GHZ processor and 256 MB of RAM. There is 2 GB of internal storage and the majority of your content will be held in the cloud.

On the hardware front the Tolino has the advantage of a fresh and modern design and they also have expandable storage via SD. The Paperwhite 2 has a more refined front-light, which evenly distributes the light. The Tolino seems to get a blue hue and at maximum brightness tends to make blacks not as deep or rich.

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite 2 vs Tolino Vision is a post from: Good e-Reader

Samsung and Barnes and Noble Develop Co-Branded Tablet

SM-T230 USA BK 8GB(140318)

Barnes and Noble has reached an agreement with Samsung for a series of co-branded tablets. Samsung will be providing the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 hardware with heavily customized NOOK software to give customers powerful, full-featured tablets that are designed for reading. The Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK will be sold in all Barnes and Noble stores in the US in August.

The Galaxy Tab 4 Nook will feature a seven inch screen with with a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels, a 1.2GHz quad-core Cortex-A7 CPU and 1.5GB of RAM. The whole thing weighs just 276g and comes with a microSD card slot. It will have a next generation Android UI that turns the tablet from a vanilla experience to the type of reading tablet that the Nook HD and Nook HD+ provided.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK reflects the first time Barnes and Noble has outsourced the hardware design and manufacturing process to another company. This falls inline with the strategy they announced last year to reduce expenses with research and development and establish partnerships to save money.

Barnes and Noble has lost over one billion dollars since they started selling eBooks, e-Readers and tablets. In order to stay financially solvent they just announced they are moving their tech campus from its 208,000-square-foot Palo Alto, location to two new facilities in nearby Santa Clara and Mountain View that together take up just 88,000 square feet. The bookseller will save almost $108 million over the lifetime of the new lease.

"We are very excited and proud to partner with Samsung, a world-class technology and tablet leader, to create customized co-branded devices featuring our valuable NOOK reading experience and digital content catalog for Barnes & Noble customers nationwide," said Michael P. Huseby, Chief Executive Officer of Barnes & Noble, Inc. "Standing behind these great new devices will be the power of our 40,000 Barnes & Noble booksellers combined with our deep bookselling and retail expertise to provide sales support and personalized in-store customer service for our lineup of new Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK products. Partnering with Samsung brings our customers great new products and evidences our commitment to our NOOK customers and growing our digital content business."

Samsung and Barnes and Noble Develop Co-Branded Tablet is a post from: Good e-Reader

Weekly eHighlights: Adult Edition



Megan Abbott – The Fever

The panic unleashed by a mysterious contagion threatens the bonds of family and community in a seemingly idyllic suburban community.  


Adam Brookes – Night Heron

Hachette Digital eBook

A lone man, Peanut, escapes a labor camp in the dead of night, fleeing across the winter desert of north-west China. Two decades earlier, he was a spy for the British; now Peanut must disappear on Beijing’s surveillance-blanketed streets. Debut spy thriller set in China by a former BBC China correspondent.


Jim Butcher – Skin Game

Penguin Group (USA) eBook

Mab has just traded Harry’s skills to pay off one of her debts. And now he must help a group of supernatural villains.


Krista Davis – The Diva Wraps It Up

Penguin Group (USA) eBook

The holidays are domestic diva Sophie Winston’s favorite time of year. But when an argument erupts and a murder ensues, it becomes clear that the recent string of events is anything but accidental.


Joseph Finder – Suspicion

Penguin Group (USA) eBook 

The new novel from New York Times bestselling author Joseph Finder, “the master of the modern thriller,”* about a father who is forced to make a choice with unspeakable consequences.


Boris Fishman – A Replacement Life

HarperCollins eBook

A singularly talented writer makes his literary debut with this provocative, soulful, and sometimes hilarious story of a failed journalist asked to do the unthinkable: Forge Holocaust-restitution claims for old Russian Jews in Brooklyn, New York.


Dorothea Benton Frank – The Hurricane Sisters

HarperCollins eBook and audiobook

Frank, with her hallmark scintillating wit and crisp insight, captures how a complex family of disparate characters and their close friends can overcome anything through the power of love and reconciliation.


Laurell K. Hamilton – A Shiver of Light

Penguin Group (USA) eBook

Merry Gentry, ex–private detective, now full-time princess, knew she was descended from fertility goddesses, but when she learned she was about to have triplets, she began to understand what that might mean.


Smith Henderson – Fourth of July Creek

HarperCollins eBook and audiobook

In this shattering and iconic American novel, Smith Henderson explores the complexities of freedom, community, grace, suspicion, and anarchy, brilliantly depicting our nation’s disquieting and violent contradictions.


Cristina Henríquez – The Book of Unknown Americans

Random House eBook and Books on Tape audiobook

A dazzling, heartbreaking page-turner destined for breakout status: a novel that gives voice to millions of Americans as it tells the story of the love between a Panamanian boy and a Mexican girl.


Elin Hilderbrand – The Matchmaker

Hachette eBook and Blackstone audiobook

A touching new novel from bestselling author Elin Hilderbrand in which a woman sets out to find love for those closest to her – before it’s too late.


Sarah Jio – Goodnight June

Penguin Group (USA) eBook

The heroine inherits a bookstore from a great-aunt who befriended Goodnight Moon's Margaret Wise Brown.


Lily King – Euphoria

Blackstone audiobook 

Based loosely on an incident in the life of Margaret Mead.


Herman Koch – Summer House with Swimming Pool

Random House eBook

Featuring the razor-sharp humor and acute psychological insight that made The Dinner an international phenomenon, Summer House with Swimming Pool is a controversial, thought-provoking novel that showcases Herman Koch at his finest.


Michael Koryta – Those Who Wish Me Dead

Hachette Digital eBook and Blackstone audiobook 

When 13-year-old Jace Wilson witnesses a brutal murder, he’s plunged into a new life, issued a false identity and hidden in a wilderness skills program for troubled teens. The result is the start of a nightmare.


Mercedes Lackey – Blood Red

Penguin Group (USA) eBook

Rosamund is an Earth Master in the Schwarzwald, the ancient Black Forest of Germany. For like her fellow Earth Masters of the Schwarzwald Lodge, Rosa is not a healer. Instead, her talents lead her on the more violent path of protection and defense..


Mark Lawrence – Prince of Fools

Penguin Group (USA) eBook

Hailed as “epic fantasy on a George R. R. Martin scale, but on speed” (Fixed on Fantasy), the Broken Empire trilogy introduced a bold new world of dark fantasy with the story of Jorg Ancrath’s devastating rise to power. Now, Mark Lawrence returns to the Broken Empire with the tale of a less ambitious prince…


Beverly & David Lewis – Child of Mine

Baker Publishing Group eBook

Flight instructor Jack Livingston has been raising his eight-year-old adopted niece, Natalie, since the accident that took her parents’ lives. Eight excruciating years ago, Kelly Maines’s baby was kidnapped. Can this be, at long last, Kelly’s beloved daughter?  


Sarah Lotz – The Three
Hachette Digital eBook and audiobook

The world is stunned when four commuter planes crash within hours of each other on different continents. Facing global panic, officials are under pressure to find the causes. With terrorist attacks and environmental factors ruled out, there doesn’t appear to be a correlation between the crashes, except that in three of the four air disasters a child survivor is found in the wreckage.


Susan Mallery – Until We Touch

Harlequin eBook

Larissa Owens knows where she stands–Jack sees her as just another one of the guys. No matter what her heart wishes, Jack’s her boss, not her boyfriend. But then Larissa’s big secret is revealed by her mother.


George R. R. Martin, Gardner Dozois, editors – Rogues

Random House eBook

The latest story collection from #1 New York Times bestselling author George R. R. Martin and award-winning editor Gardner Dozois is filled with subtle shades of gray. Stories by Gillian Flynn, Neil Gaiman, Patrick Rothfuss, Connie Willis, and others. Includes a new Game of Thrones story.


Richelle Mead – The Immortal Crown

Penguin Group (USA) eBook

Justin March and Mae Koskinen, the beautiful supersoldier assigned to protect him have been charged with investigating reports of the supernatural and the return of the gods, both inside the Republic of United North America and out.


Lauren Owen – The Quick

Random House eBook and Books on Tape audiobook

James Norbury, a shy would-be poet newly down from Oxford, finds lodging with a charming young aristocrat. Through this new friendship, he is introduced to the drawing-rooms of high society, and finds love in an unexpected quarter. Then, suddenly, he vanishes without a trace.  


Vicki Pettersson – The Given

HarperCollins eBook

After learning his wife survived the attack that killed him fifty years earlier, angel/PI Griffin Shaw is determined to find Evelyn Shaw, no matter the cost. Yet his obsession comes at a price. Grif has had to give up his burgeoning love for reporter Katherine “Kit” Craig, the woman who made life worth living again, and dedicate himself to finding one he no longer knows. Paranormal noir.


Matthew Quirk – The Directive

Hachette Digital eBook 

Michael Ford has finally escaped his chequered past to lead the respectable life he’s always dreamed of, preparing to settle down with his fiancée Annie. But the quiet is shattered when his brother, Jack, comes back into his life. Jack is a world-class con man who has finally overplayed his hand.  


Lisa See – China Dolls

Random House eBook and Books on Tape audiobook

It’s 1938 in San Francisco: a world’s fair is preparing to open on Treasure Island, a war is brewing overseas, and the city is alive with possibilities. Grace, Helen, and Ruby, three young women from very different backgrounds, meet by chance at the exclusive and glamorous Forbidden City nightclub.  


Jeff Shaara – The Smoke at Dawn: A Novel of the Civil War

Random House eBook and Books on Tape audiobook 

A tale of history played out on a human scale in the grand Shaara tradition, The Smoke at Dawn vividly recreates the climactic months of the war in the West, when the fate of a divided nation truly hangs in the balance.


Sara Shepard – The Heiresses

HarperCollins eBook

Beauties, entrepreneurs, debutantes, and style mavens, they are the epitome of New York City’s high society. But being a Saybrook comes at a price—they are heirs not only to a dizzying fortune but also to a decades-old family curse. The author of Pretty Little Liars turns to adult fiction.


Nalini Singh – Shield of Winter

Penguin Group (USA) eBook 

Having rebuilt her life after medical “treatment” that violated her mind and sought to suffocate her abilities, Ivy should have run from the black-clad Arrow with eyes of winter frost. But Ivy Jane has never done what she should. Now, she’ll fight for her people, and for this Arrow who stands as her living shield, yet believes he is beyond redemption.



Tom Rob Smith – The Farm

Hachette Digital eBook and Blackstone audiobook

 Caught between his parents, and unsure of who to believe or trust, Daniel becomes his mother’s unwilling judge and jury as she tells him an urgent tale of secrets, of lies, of a crime and a conspiracy that implicates his own father.


Emma Straub – The Vacationers

Penguin Group (USA) eBook

Two weeks in a remote island villa with America’s most dysfunctional family – what could possibly go wrong? The Posts are going on their first family vacation in years, and it’s going to be a special one.


Andrew Vachss – Shockwave

Random House eBook and Dreamscape Media audiobook

Veteran Tanner North disarms bombs in New York City and business seems to be picking up, putting him on alert. While in the military, he faced his share of challenges but when a rescue in Kosovo went bad and a young mother lost her life, he blamed himself for the failure.

Susan Wiggs – The Beekeeper's Ball

Harlequin eBook

 Bella Vista’s rambling mission-style hacienda, with its working apple orchards, bountiful gardens and beehives, is the idyllic venue for Isabel’s project…and the perfect place for her to forget the past. But Isabel’s carefully ordered plans begin to go awry when swaggering, war-torn journalist Cormac O’Neill arrives to dig up old history.



Louise Hatchett & Michael Stern – Duncan Hines: How a Traveling Salesman Became the Most Trusted Name in Food

University Press of Kentucky eBook

Duncan Hines (1880—1959) may be best known for the cake mixes, baked goods, and bread products that bear his name, but most people forget that he was a real person and not just a fictitious figure invented for the brand. America’s pioneer restaurant critic, Hines discovered his passion while working as a traveling salesman during the 1920s and 1930s.



Abby Lee Miller – Everything I Learned About Life, I Learned in Dance Class

HarperCollins eBook

Organized by “Abbyisms,” her unique and effective philosophies on hard work, competition, and life, this straight-talking guide provides clear and proven advice for achieving success, from figuring out your child’s passion to laying the groundwork for an exciting future career.


Sarah Boston – Lucky Dog: How Being a Veterinarian Saved My Life

House of Anansi Press eBook

Weaving funny and poignant stories of dogs she’s treated along the way, this is an insightful memoir about what the human medical world can learn from the way we treat our canine counterparts.


Joanna Rakoff – My Salinger Year

Random House eBook

Rakoff paints a vibrant portrait of a bright, hungry young woman navigating a heady and longed-for world, trying to square romantic aspirations with burgeoning self-awareness, the idea of a life with life itself. Charming and deeply moving, filled with electrifying glimpses of an American literary icon, My Salinger Year is the coming-of-age story of a talented writer.


John J. Ratey – Go Wild: Free Your Body and Mind from the Afflictions of Civilization

Hachette Digital eBook

Investigating the power of living according to our genes in the areas of diet, exercise, sleep, nature, mindfulness and more, Go Wild examines how tapping into our core DNA combats modern disease and psychological afflictions, from Autism and Depression to Diabetes and Heart Disease.


Tom Robbins – Tibetan Peach Pie

HarperCollins eBook and audiobook

Robbins offers intimate snapshots of Appalachia during the Great Depression, the West Coast during the sixties’ psychedelic revolution, international roving before Homeland Security monitored our travels, and New York publishing when it still relied on trees.


John Waters, read by John Waters – Carsick: John Waters Hitchhikes Across America

Macmillan audiobook only 

A cross-country hitchhiking journey with America’s most beloved weirdo, John Waters is putting his life on the line. Armed with wit, a pencil-thin mustache, and a cardboard sign that reads “I’m Not Psycho,” he hitchhikes across America from Baltimore to San Francisco, braving lonely roads and treacherous drivers.


Click here to view the Marketplace cart of the titles in this newsletter.

*Geographical rights may vary by title.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Tips and Tricks (Video)

If you are looking for some helpful tips and tricks for the Samsung Galaxy Tab, you’ve come to the right place. Below is a list of 50 tips and tricks for the Galaxy Tab 4 series. A video walkthrough is included at the bottom of this post as well to help give a visual representation […]

How to Add Line Breaks in Excel

Line breaks aren't just for Word documents—you can use them in Excel too! All it takes is a simple keyboard shortcut.

Test Drive updates!

A little while back, we updated OverDrive Media console for Android and iOS devices to version 3.1.  The 3.1 update includes improved integration between the app and your OverDrive account—specifically, the ability to save and restore an Adobe ID.

odtdmidThis is great news for the Test Drive program, because it makes clearing and restoring devices a bit more straightforward.  To that end, every tablet on the devices page has an updated setup & cleanup guide (except for the Eee PC).

Setup & cleanup is now much easier (especially on iOS devices).  We've split the steps into sections so you can find the right steps more quickly and added some helpful screenshots.  If you're curious, check out the iOS (pdf) and Nexus (pdf) docs to see what I mean.


What makes it better?

Great question!  I'm glad you asked.  When lending devices, it's imperative that each device be wiped when it is returned.  The reason behind this is simple: people can activate personal accounts, pay bills, buy stuff, download inappropriate things, and more on a tablet.  Wiping the device when a library member or student puts it back in your hands ensures that everyone's privacy is protected (and the next user doesn't get any nasty surprises).

Previously, if you wiped a device, then activated it with an Adobe ID, it used up an Adobe activation.  That means, over time, you'd have to keep on creating new Adobe IDs for devices that get wiped a lot.  Now, however, the Adobe ID is saved to your OverDrive account, and you can use that to activate devices instead.

We've also split account creation out into a separate set of steps.  Thanks to the ability to set up an OverDrive account, creating all the necessary accounts is really a one-time thing.  You only need to do it when you set up a device for the first time.  After that, it's smooth sailing, and you can skip the whole section.


Wait, what's Test Drive again?ServiceEnhancements_TestDrive

In case you're not familiar with the program, Test Drive is designed to enable libraries and schools to lend out high quality devices that work great with OverDrive services.  The included documentation is also great for staff training or setting up petting zoos.

The idea is to help libraries and schools set up low-cost, low-effort device programs that do not violate publisher agreements.


More updates on the way . . .

We're working on getting the Test Drive program up-to-date, and we're making changes to the program based on your feedback.  I'll be sure to let you know about new updates here on this blog, and you can also keep an eye on the Test Drive website.  There may even be a couple new (and quite popular) devices on the way.


What do you get if you cross a Raspberry Pi; 57 geometrically tiled, thumb-sized joysticks; a spot of multiplexing; and some Bach?

A completely new musical instrument, that’s what.

David Sharples says:

We wanted to invent an entirely new electronic musical instrument, and there were two things we wanted to focus on in the design of the interface. The first is that we wanted to improve upon the physical design of musical instruments. Most acoustic instruments are designed around physical phenomena that make sound rather than convenience for the user (violins are smaller than cellos because shorter strings make higher notes). This instrument uses a hexagonally isomorphic layout, which means that the notes are distributed on a hexagonal grid, and they all have the same physical size and shape. They also have the same musical relationships to each other – if you move to the right by one thumbstick, that corresponds to going up a perfect fourth musically, and this is true no matter where you start on the grid. This means that musical structures like a major chord or a minor scale are always the same shape, no matter which note you start on, which is pretty rad. The second thing we wanted to focus on was making the instrument really expressive. Lots of synthesizers only measure how hard you strike the key and other timbre controls are available on knobs that you have to remove your hands from the keyboard to use. We’re using little thumbsticks, which give you two dimensions of analog control in a familiar physical interface. 

The Joytone is David’s Senior Design project for his BSE degree at the University of Pennsylvania, where he majors in digital media design.

cutaway joytone sketch

David has documented the process from concept to build exhaustively on the project’s blog, where you’ll find everything you need from discussion about the ideal physical layouts of keyboards and thoughts on the way musicians express themselves with different controllers; to wiring diagrams, considerations about digital analogue conversion (DAC) for this sort of project and much more. I’ve a particular soft spot for music projects, and this is one of the most exciting I’ve come across so far: thank you David, and good luck in this last year of your degree course!

Tolino Vision vs the Kobo Aura


The Tolino Vision is the latest e-reader to hit the market and packs a serious punch in the hardware department. Kobo and Tolino are both vying for a piece of the lucrative German eBook market. How does the Vision compare against the Aura in terms of performance, ecosystem and software? Today, we look at the two side by side in a battery of tests.

The Kobo Aura maintains the standard six-inch approach that the company made famous with their entire product line. It currently has a super high resolution e-Ink "Clarity Screen" with 1024 x 758 and 212 DPI. It is powered by the quintessential Freescale i.MX507 1 GHZ processor and has 1 GB of RAM. There are 4 GB of internal memory, which can be enhanced via the Micro SD Card.

The Tolino Vision features the latest in e-Paper innovation, e Ink Carta. This is the exact screen technology found on the Kindle Paperwhite 2. This will not only provide higher contrast, but also eliminate the refreshing when you turn a page in an eBook. The overall resolution is a very respectable 1024 × 758 pixels. One of the things that stands out with this model is that the screen is flush with the bezel. The only other e-reader to do this was the six inch Kobo Aura, it almost feels like a tablet or smartphone in this respect. Underneath the hood is a Freescale iMx6 1 GHz processor and 512 MB ​​RAM. There is 4GB of internal memory, which can be expanded via the Micro SD.

The Vision gives a better visual eBook experience and has solid options to customize your font, line spacing, margins and alignment. Kobo gives better font augmentation options via their sliders, which has millions of different combinations. One advantage Kobo has over the Vision is the ability for users to load in their own fonts.

The Aura wins in the PDF department with their advanced rendering engine. You get a visual indictor on the top left hand corner of where you are in the document if you zoom in. You can also pinch and zoom which is very useful. The Vision has no pinch and zoom functionality and has to be double tapped to enter a full screen zoom. There is huge bugs with the rendering of PDF files on the Vision, as demonstrated in the video.

Overall the Vision is designed better and employs bleeding edge e-paper technology. If you are buying it just to read German eBooks you won’t be let down. The Aura wins out if you are looking for a more complete package device that will appeal to advanced users.

Tolino Vision vs the Kobo Aura is a post from: Good e-Reader