Kindle Book Fall Preview

For the Fall, check out Amazon’s Fall Reading Preview in the Kindle Book Store.  Many of these books have upcoming release dates in the next few months.  It has a good selection of books to choose from. It also includes a list of recommendations based on your personal reading interests.

I’m excited that David Sedaris has a new book available.  It is called Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modest Bestiary.  This is a deviation from his usual autobiographical tales, but he still uses a lot of humor and the story still applies to real life situations despite non human characters.  If you aren’t familiar with David Sedaris, you should read Me Talk Pretty One Day, or his previous bestseller, When You Are Engulfed in Flames.  They both had me laughing out loud while reading them.

Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom is on the list and is a popular new novel, however the reviews are all over the place for it.  Oprah just selected it as part of her book club.  It is an intense book that touches on issues such as marriage, infidelity, depression and teenage angst and how the characters deal with them.

If you are looking for a good thriller, you’ll find new titles by familiar authors such as Michael Connelly, David Baldacci and Janet Evanovich.  Baldacci’s Hell’s Corner is a new installment of the Oliver Stone and Camel Club series.  It is set in Washington DC near the White House.  Oliver Stone takes on a high profile case that involves an attack against major world leaders.

Nicholas Sparks came out with a new novel, Safe Haven, on September 14.  Unlike his previous sappy love story themed novels, this book has an element of danger.  So that adds a twist that might bring readers back who are bored with his overused romantic plotline.  I had lost interest in Nicholas Sparks until his novel The Last Song came out last year.  It includes a love story, but that was not the focus of the novel.  The focus was the relationship between an angry teenage girl and her estranged father and it turns out to be a very moving story.  The movie based on The Last Song was good as well.

So that is just a brief glimpse of what to look forward to this Fall.  Time to stock up on the fireside reading material for the upcoming chilly nights!

New York Times Best Sellers: 15 August 2008

New York Times Best Sellers

Welcome to the New York Times Best Sellers list for August 15th, 2008.

Each week we go through the top sellers on the list and give you our top 3 picks so to give you can get an idea of what to download for your Kindle. You can browse through The New York Times best sellers list on

Here are our top 3 books of the week followed by the top 5 best-selling books by category;

Our Picks

Havana Nocturne: How the Mob Owned Cuba and Then Lost It to the Revolution by T. J. English – Number 7 in Hardcover Nonfiction

Havana Nocturne: How the Mob Owned Cuba and Then Lost It to the Revolution by T. J. EnglishI loved this book for a lot of reasons but it didn’t make me want to take my clothes off and go dancin’ in the rain. In fact, after reading this account of Havana I wonder when it was that Ricky Martin thought such frivolity would be a good idea. The history of the city and the lifestyle surrounding it’s golden years seemed exciting but a little dangerous.

Author T.J. English did a wonderful job of researching the happenings in Cuba in his non-fiction winner, “Havana Nocturne.” I relish well- researched histories and with about 330 end notes, some 25 insider interviews, and 11 pages listing the books, articles, essays, transcripts, reports, documentaries, television programs, institutions, and FBI files that English relied on for his information, this book certainly qualifies.

Usually that much research material produces a book with the trudging characteristics of a Russian epic that takes several years to read, but not Havana Nocturne. English has deftly woven the information into a tight record of a couple of decades of activity, and produced an entertaining account of what the Mob and the Cuban government was involved in, all the while naming those who participated in some highly nefarious schemes. All the familiar big-city Mafiosi characters are here, along with the hangers-on from Hollywood, Tampa, Washington, D.C., New York City, Chicago and Las Vegas– those who loved the glamour and excitement of a glittering Havana especially prepared to lure them in.

Famous Americans such as John F. Kennedy, Frank Sinatra, Steve Allen, Lucille Ball, Marlon Brando, George Raft, Graham Greene, Errol Flynn, Dorothy Dandridge, Ava Gardner, Eartha Kitt, Ginger Rogers, Tony Martin, Johnny Mathis, Donald O’Conner, and Tyrone Power, among many others, became real aficionados of the wild Cuban lifestyle and spent a good deal of time sampling it. Give English credit. He’s not a muckraker and lurid details of their visits are sparse, but their presence is acknowledged.

Fulgencio Batista’s turbulent career as dictator and his repressive regime through the 1950s is brilliantly chronicled as is his open-pocket acceptance of the Mob’s movement into the biggest luxury hotels and gambling casinos in Havana. English parallels the lush life and Batista’s corrupt governmental activities with the story of a young revolutionary named Fidel Castro who lives in the Cuban mountains, plotting to overthrow Batista and implement his own ideas for the Mob. The author tells of the Revolution, the ouster of Batista, and the double-cross Castro executes against the American mobsters, a move that virtually sent Cuba into an economic downward spiral from which it has never recovered.

This book was a pleasure to read. The writing is taut: the activity is crisply presented. There are many characters involved but the author never loses the reader to the playbill. I haven’t enjoyed a book this much for some time. I highly recommend it. – reviewed by Schuyler T. Wallace”

kindle version of book is available4 star Amazon review book 4/5 rating by 23 customer reviews.

Kindle Version is available! for $9.99 – save: $17.96 (64%)
Source: Amazon Customer Review*

When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris – Number 1 in Hardcover Nonfiction

When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David SedarisI must admit that this is the first David Sedaris book I’ve read, and I hope it won’t be my last…or his last, now that he has given up smoking. “When You Are Engulfed in Flames” is a warm mix of syntax and prose, moving at just the right speed to absorb every nuance of his observations. When one is finished it might occur that Sedaris would be a nice dinner companion, though I suspect the reader would probably get to know him better in print than over a meal.

This is a book of comparisons and the author likes the word “like”. It could be his favorite word but every simile he uses has a humorous tone meant to educate the reader in diverse ways. It’s hard to classify David Sedaris at mid-life…he’s not as neurotic (but no less perspicacious!) as Woody Allen but a bit more overstated than, say, Bob Newhart. A gay Ernest Hemingway? Well, not quite, but at least there was booze and smoking material surrounding each writer.

Every chapter in Sedaris’s book is engaging but his final one (and by far the longest) deals with his giving up cigarettes as he roams the cities of Japan. I would imagine that if you’re relinquishing a habit or an addiction, writing about it must be helpful. This is a wonderfully constructed book and I highly recommend “When You Are Engulfed in Flames” for the author’s wit, insight and terrific narrative style. – reviewed by Jon Hunt “musician, teacher”

kindle version of book is available4.5 star Amazon review book 4/5 rating by 172 customer reviews.

Kindle Version is available! for $9.99 – save $16.00 (62%)
Source: Amazon Customer Review*

You: Staying Young: The Owner’s Manual for Extending Your Warranty by Michael F. Roizen – Number 3 in Hardcover Advice, How-To, and Miscellaneous

You: Staying Young: The Owner's Manual for Extending Your Warranty by Michael F. RoizenI found this book tremendously motivating. Although I’ve never been big on being healthy, at 41 I’m beginning to be a bit concerned with staying young. Essentially they are the same thing but marketing it as “staying young” instead of “staying healthy” caught my attention. In reality we all want to remain active and healthy throughout as many years as possible.

This book is written in a very simplistic way, yet with enough detail to give an understanding of what one should do to maintain good health for many years. It was easy to follow many of the recommendations because they told you not only what vitamins in what amounts, but also which foods contain these vitamins. As 110 lb. person who has never had to diet, I have always been resistant to giving up my fries and soda for a better diet. I liked that the authors didn’t chide you about what NOT to eat but just told you what foods helped in various areas. It has inspired me to eat more of those foods, knowing that I’m not forever forbidden to enjoy the things I like to eat.

They also cover exercise, emotional health, etc. It appears to be a fairly complete look at all aspects of body and health. I highly recommend “You Staying Young” even if you don’t intend to dive fully into all improvements. If your family is predisposed to certain illnesses, you will certainly find tips to encourage your own body NOT to express those genes and avoid the genetic predisposition. In general, there is just a lot of interesting information in here and it’s not written like a boring medical text. The authors are funny, sometimes to the point of being a little corny, and it smooths the pathway to knowledge. – reviewed by T. Corson

kindle version of book is available4 star Amazon review book 4/5 rating by 184 customer reviews.

Kindle Version is available! for $9.99 – save: $16.01 (62%)
Source: Amazon Customer Review*

* These reviews are taken from customer/editor reviews and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions

Top 5 Books by Category

Hardcover Fiction
1. MOSCOW RULES, by Daniel Silva
2. THE BOURNE SANCTION, by Eric Van Lustbader
3. THE HOST, by Stephenie Meyer
4. THE STORY OF EDGAR SAWTELLE, by David Wroblewski

Hardcover Nonfiction
1. THE OBAMA NATION, by Jerome R. Corsi
3. STORI TELLING, by Tori Spelling with Hilary Liftin
4. ARE YOU THERE, VODKA? IT’S ME, CHELSEA, by Chelsea Handler
5. FLEECED, by Dick Morris and Eileen McGann

Paperback Trade Fiction
1. THE SHACK, by William P. Young
2. BAREFOOT, by Elin Hilderbrand
4. THE KITE RUNNER, by Khaled Hosseini
5. THE ALCHEMIST, by Paulo Coelho

Paperback Mass-Market Fiction
1. PLAYING FOR PIZZA, by John Grisham
2. TURBULENT SEA, by Christine Feehan
3. PLAY DIRTY, by Sandra Brown
4. CRY WOLF, by Patricia Briggs
5. THE MANNING BRIDES, by Debbie Macomber

Paperback Nonfiction
1. THREE CUPS OF TEA, by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin
2. EAT, PRAY, LOVE, by Elizabeth Gilbert
3. THE AUDACITY OF HOPE, by Barack Obama
4. BIG RUSS AND ME, by Tim Russert

Hardcover Advice
1. THE LAST LECTURE, by Randy Pausch with Jeffrey Zaslow
2. THE SECRET, by Rhonda Byrne
3. JUST WHO WILL YOU BE?, by Maria Shriver
4. DECEPTIVELY DELICIOUS, by Jessica Seinfeld
5. YOU: STAYING YOUNG, by Michael F. Roizen and Mehmet C. Oz et al.

Paperback Advice
1. A NEW EARTH, by Eckhart Tolle
2. SKINNY BITCH, by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin
3. THE POWER OF NOW, by Eckhart Tolle
4. WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU’RE EXPECTING, by Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel
5. SOUL WISDOM, by Zhi Gang Sha

Children’ Books
1. GALLOP!, written and illustrated by Rufus Butler Seder
2. FAIRIES AND MAGICAL CREATURES, by Matthew Reinhart and Robert Sabuda
3. ALPHABET, by Matthew Van Fleet
4. SMASH! CRASH!, by Jon Scieszka
5. A VISITOR FOR BEAR, by Bonny Becker