Daily Deals: The Sirens of Titan and Recipe Guru Pro

The Sirens of Titan (Kurt Vonnegut Series)Today Amazon offers great deals for whose who fall in love of reading: The Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut just for $1.99

The Sirens of Titan (1959) is Vonnegut’s second novel and was on the Hugo ballot with Robert Heinlein’s Starship Troopers but lost in what Harlan Ellison has called a monumental injustice. Sirens of Titan is a picaresque novel which almost defies being synposized; it is an interplanetary Candide (lacking perhaps Voltaire’s utter bitterness), the book follows lead character Malachi Constant, a feckless but kind-hearted millionaire as he moves through the solar system on his quest for the meaning of all existence.

Constant is aided by another tycoon, Winston Rumfoord, who with the help of aliens has actually discovered the fundamental meaning of life (the retrieval of an alien artifact with an inscribed message of greetings). With the assistance of Salo, an alien root and overseeing the alien race, the Tralmafadorians (who also feature in Slaughterhouse-Five), Constant attempts to find some cosmic sense and order in the face of universal malevolence. Together Constant and Rumfoord deal with the metaphysics of “”chrono-synclastic infundibula””, they deal with the interference of the Tralmafadorians; the novel is pervaded by a goofy, episodic charm which barely shields the readers (or the characters) from the sense of a large and indifferent universe.

All of Vonnegut’s themes and obsessions (which are further developed and/or recycled in later work) are evident here in this novel which is more hopeful than most of Vonnegut’s canon. It is suggested that ultimately Constant learns that only it is impossible to learn, and that fate (and the Tralmafodorians) are impenetrable, unavoidable circumstance.

On the basis of this novel, Vonnegut was wholly claimed by the science fiction community (as witnessed by the Hugo nomination), but Vonnegut did not likewise wish to claim the community for himself and the feelings were not reciprocal. He felt from the outset that being identified as a science fiction writer could only limit his audience and trivialize his themes. His recurring character, the hack science fiction writer, Kilgore Trout (who also features in Slaughterhouse-Five), represented to Vonnegut the worst case scenario of the writer he did not wish to become.

Some words about the Author

Kurt Vonnegut (1922-2007) is one of the most beloved American writers of the twentieth century. Vonnegut’s audience increased steadily since his first five pieces in the 1950s and grew from there. His 1968 novel Slaughterhouse-Five has become a canonic war novel with Joseph Heller’s Catch-22 to form the truest and darkest of what came from World War II.

Vonnegut began his career as a science fiction writer, and his early novels – Player Piano and The Sirens of Titan – were categorized as such even as they appealed to an audience far beyond the reach of the category. In the 1960s, Vonnegut became closely associated with the Baby Boomer generation, a writer on that side, so to speak.

Now that Vonnegut’s work has been studied as a large body of work, it has been more deeply understood and unified. There is a consistency to his satirical insight, humor and anger which makes his work so synergistic. It seems clear that the more of Vonnegut’s work you read, the more it resonates and the more you wish to read. Scholars believe that Vonnegut’s reputation (like Mark Twain’s) will grow steadily through the decades as his work continues to increase in relevance and new connections are formed, new insights made.

 

Recipe Guru ProAlso Amazon give a chance to download and use for free Recipe Guru Pro.

Discover a World of Flavors

A world of sumptuous cuisines beckons you at Recipe Guru, where you can find practically anything and everything that your taste buds crave. Recipe Guru Pro comprises a database for thousands of professionally-tested recipes from famous cookbooks, magazines, and chefs.

Explore Your Palate

Recipe Guru offers more than 35 different cuisines, from southwestern U.S. flavors to Filipino delicacies, and from mouth-watering Greek dishes to heart-warming kimchi. Choose any cuisine, and the categories below–including breads, vegetables, soups, poultry, and 20 other categories–change according to what Recipe Guru offers for that cuisine.

Must try every one of these…

As if all of these choices aren’t enough, Recipe Guru Pro provides special sections, including:

  • Kids Recipes: healthier choices for tasty treats, plus dozens of baby food recipes
  • Pet Recipes: forget the fillers in commercial foods and serve up smarter kibble
  • Cocktail Recipes: shaken, stirred, blended, and poured for your next mixer
  • Diet Recipes: hearty healthy choices, diabetic alternatives, Weight Watchers options (with points), and much more

Widen Your Culinary Horizons

Explore the world of fine cooking and baking with Recipe Guru Pro, and try thousands of new things, from Hot Potato Salad with Bacon Specks to Miso Shiru (Japanese Miso soup with bean curd and spinach). Too exotic for your first taste test? Make your own English muffins–it’s unbelievably easy–or try a quick and simple vegetable stir fry. Mark your favorites to make them again, and take note of the nutritional information provided for each dish.

Macs Get Send-to-Kindle Option

It hasn’t been all that long since we first saw the release of the Send-to-Kindle program for the PC, but it has already proven to be a huge improvement to the Kindle’s functionality for many users.  Not only does it make things like exporting DRM-free eBooks from Calibre that much easier (nobody likes having to find their USB cable, assuming they even have one), the ability to print from practically any window directly into a Kindle document makes life a lot easier.  Now Mac users will get to experience the same benefits, thanks to Amazon’s newest software release.

If you are a Mac user and have an interest in taking advantage of this new feature, head over to this page on the Amazon.com site and download the application.  The installation is simple and will result in having a “Send to Kindle” icon sitting in your dock.  Any time you want to send something to your Kindle, you can simply drag and drop the document into the dock icon.  Multiple simultaneous documents are acceptable as well, of course.

If you want to send something active to the Kindle, perhaps a web page or working document from Word, the Send to Kindle application also includes the same sort of “printer drivers” that the PC version makes available.  Simply print as you normally would, choosing “Send to Kindle” as your device of choice.  The same window will appear that you see when dragging document icons into the dock.

This window offers a few useful options.  Most importantly, you get to tag your document with both Title and Author metadata.  This means that it is not important to worry about file naming prior to transfer.  One less hassle.  You also get to decide on delivery options.  You can choose to have your documents sent via Wi-Fi or Whispernet.  If you choose Whispernet, the usual charges will apply and as such it is usually preferable to avoid it.  You also get to decide which Kindle or Kindles get access to the document being sent.  This can be everything on your account, just your smartphone’s Kindle for iOS app, or any combination in between.

You also get the option of archiving your document in your account’s Kindle Library.  This is particularly handy and may get used more often than you expect.  While each account only gets 5GB of free storage space, this does not generally fill up quickly when it is used primarily for document storage.  This means that anything you think might be handy to have available can be stored in the cloud even when it is not worth the trouble of keeping on your Kindle itself at any given time.  I find myself frequently using this function even when I have no reason to need an immediate transfer to the Kindle.

So far we lack any information about a possible “Send to Kindle for Linux” option.  That would seem to be the next big step if another were to be take.  Given Amazon’s enthusiasm for Linux as a platform, it might be a fairly long wait.  It is definitely nice to see Kindle eReader and Kindle Fire functionality continuing to be expanded and made available to the largest possible audiences, however, and we can only anticipate the trend continuing as Kindle eBook prices drop in the near future.