Category Archives: Books


One of the best things about Amazon‘s iconic ebook reader is its ever-growing library. At last count, the Kindle Store boasted more than 6 million books, magazines, and newspapers. But you needn’t keep them all to yourself — Amazon makes it easy to share books on a Kindle with friends, family, and your closest acquaintances. It’s like the digital equivalent of lending out a hardcover, minus the coffee stains and musty binding. If there’s a con to Kindle’s book-sharing tools, however, it’s that they can be a little tricky to get the hang of. To help clear up some of the confusion, we’ve put together a guide outlining how to share books on a Kindle with other people.

If you’ve got a family of avid readers, good news: Amazon makes it pretty easy to share books with every member of your family. Family Library lets up to two adults and four children share all or some of their Kindle books, apps, and audiobooks with one another. Members can read the same book at the same time without interrupting one another’s progress, too, regardless of whether they’re using a Kindle Paperwhite, Kindle Oasis, or an outdated Kindle Fire. Plus, they can borrow books for as long as they’d like.

Sharing titles can be a bit of a process, though. Before you can begin sharing Kindle books with family, you need to grant other family members access to your Family Library. Here’s how to do it:

  • Head to the Manage Your Content and Devices section of your Amazon account.
  • Under the Settings tab, in the Households and Family Library section, click the Invite an Adult/Invite a Child button.
  • Have the other adult/child enter their Amazon email and password (if they have one), or create a new account.
  • Click Yes to allow both your account and the other adult’s/child’s account to share payment methods.
  • Choose which books you’d like to share with the other adult/child, and have the other adult/child choose which books they’d like to share with you.
  • Click Finish.

Now that you’ve added adults and kids to your Family Library and shared your previous purchases, you’re ready to begin lending new Kindle books. Here’s how:

  • Head to the Manage Your Content and Devices section of your Amazon account.
  • Select the Show Family Library link from the Your Content tab.
  • Select the book(s) you’d like to share with a family member, and then click Add to Library.
  • Choose a family member, and then click OK.


Once you’ve received a book from another family member, it’s pretty easy to get it on the device of your choice. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Head to the Manage Your Content and Devices section of your Amazon account.
  • Choose the books you’d like to send to your device or app, and click Deliver.
  • Select where the books should be sent from the pop-up menu, and then click Deliver once more.



Alexa Can Now Read Audiobooks to Your Pets So They Feel Less Lonely

On April Fools’ Day this year, Amazon spoofed itself with an introduction to PetLexa, an animal-friendly version of its Alexa voice assistant. Now, it’s actually releasing something real—audiobooks for animals.

Today, Audible announced a new brand of books with Cesar Millan, a longtime dog behaviorist and Emmy-nominated host of the TV series Dog Whisperer With Cesar Millan. The series, Audible for Dogs, aims to help make dogs “calmer and happier,” with titles such as “A Dog’s Purpose,” “Soldier Dogs” and “The Art of Racing in the Rain.”

According to Audible, the series was inspired by a 2015 academic study, which found dogs that listen to audiobooks were more likely to have lower stress when left alone than those that listened to music. When Audible teamed up with Milan’s Dog Psychology Center to study 100 dogs over four weeks, playing Audible content through Echo devices for the dogs, 76 percent of dog owners reported their pets were calmer and more relaxed after listening to the audiobooks. (Dogs reportedly responded better to books read by narrators that were the same gender as their primary owner.)

“Dogs are social animals, so they need to engage with someone, and the purpose of Audible for Dogs is to make dogs feel there is someone with them,” Millan said in a statement. “The person performing the audiobook is actually keeping your dog calm and taking the dog to a resting state, acting as an extension of you.”

It could be yet another good use for the millions of Amazon Alexa-powered Echo devices now in households around the U.S, as marketers and media companies continue developing ways to incorporate voice-activated content.

However, while dogs might appreciate the AI-powered entertainment, the series might be more comforting for humans that feel the emotional weight of leaving their four-legged friends all alone. In a new testimonial video released today by Audible, Millan talks with a woman about how the books have helped her dog, Buddy, when she’s away.


Mastering Apps: A Beginner’s Guide To Start Making Money With Apps

Communication technologies are constantly advancing to keep up with the times. Messaging apps are huge right now. Completely overtaking social media by becoming the primary way we communicate online.

When most entrepreneurs are starting out, they like to read articles on “how to make a killing with your first app,” “building the multi-billion dollar app” and most books related to this topic. They are glued to this side of the story and blinded to the other. To have your own success story you have to find out why other apps fail. The painful truth is there are more failed apps than successful ones.

Daenerys’ Dragon Will Meet an Icy Fate, According to This Tragic Fan Theory

White Walkers are a great threat to Westeros for many reasons, but one of the Night King’s scariest abilities is the power to reanimate the dead — any dead. It’s this ability that’s birthed one awful new fan theory, and unfortunately, it’s plausible.

According to YouTuber The Book of White Walkers, one of Daenerys’ dragons will die and be brought back to life by the Night King before Season 7’s end. As the theory goes, the episodes will culminate in an epic battle wherein Daenerys, Jon Snow, and others go up against the Walkers. During this battle, one of the Khaleesi’s dragons will be murdered — possibly by the Night King’s ice spear — collapsing to its death, only to be revived by said king and becoming an “Ice Dragon.” Some proponents of this theory believe Viserion will be this dragon, and that he’ll go on to shatter The Wall.

Interestingly, The Book of White Walkers has already been correct in that Thrones‘ beloved giants would be reanimated by the King. They also allege that Stannis Baratheon, who viewers assumed was dead after a brutal run-in with Brienne of Tarth in Season 6, will make a comeback… in one form or another.

In the ’80s, A Song of Ice and Fire author George R.R. Martin set the precedent for the Ice Dragon when he published a children’s book about them, aptly entitled The Ice Dragon. The book tells the story of a child who partners with an Ice Dragon to battle several Fire Dragons. Together, the two win the fight, the Ice Dragon ultimately melting away. Martin has since claimed the two universes are not the same, but it’s hard not to draw some sort of comparison when the same mythological creature is in both fictional works.

Daenerys' Dragon Will Meet an Icy Fate, According to This Tragic Fan Theory

While The Book of White Walkers takes the Ice Dragon theory in a dark direction, there are contradictory theories claiming the creatures will actually assist Jon Snow in defeating the Walkers.

Dragons are arguably the most beloved creatures in the GoT universe, so if one goes bad, there’s sure to be a coup amongst fans. Guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

Game of Thrones returns to HBO August 13, 2017.


Amazon and Cesar Millan launch audiobooks for dogs

I am going to get through this without any literary dog puns. 

No, you’re not even going to bait me into suggesting that the new audiobooks for dogs series — launched on Monday by Amazon subsidiary and famed Dog Whisperer Cesar Millan — would never allow “The Great Catsby” onto its list. Nor, indeed, “The Cat of Monte Cristo.”

Instead, I’ll simple tell you that Millan believes classic works read by soothing voices will create calm for your dog while he or she is home alone. 


He insists that research proves that 76 percent of dogs who listened to great literature while their owner was absent felt calmer and behaved in a more relaxed manner.

I cannot confirm that the other 24 percent were forced to listen to “The Diversity Myth” by David O. Sacks and Peter Thiel and Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg’s “How Google Works.”

Among the titles going to the dogs in the Audible series are “The Art of Racing in the Rain” by Garth Stein, “Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood” by Trevor Noah and, of course, Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice.”

Audible insists that dogs prefer to listen to voices of the same gender and type as their “primary” owner, which might cause one or two tiffs in a loving two-person household. 

No, darling. I’m Roughshod’s primary owner. You’re just a subsidiary. Surely you see that Roughshod loves me more than you, don’t you?

The company also says that the preferred method of dissemination is an in-home listening device. Oh, this isn’t some sneaky way of selling an Amazon Echo, is it? I asked Audible whether the Echo is the best way to listen to these books. 

“Yes. Or any smart speaker,” replied a spokeswoman diplomatically.

How, though, were the books chosen? 

“We looked for consistent and soothing narrations resulting in calm, happy dogs. And we looked for titles that we knew dog owners would enjoy as well,” Audible’s chief content officer Andy Gaies told me.

An alternative, of course, is just to record yourself reading any book you like — “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time,” for example. Or “Lewis and Clark: A Prairie Dog for the President.”

Or would that be too much effort? After all, you might be away for 10 or 12 hours a day if you work in tech, so to have to record hours of text when you get home or at weekends might be laborious. 

Better, perhaps, if you just teach your dog to code. I hear that’s a relaxing pursuit too.


Tech Culture: From film and television to social media and games, here’s your place for the lighter side of tech.


Popularity of audiobooks rising

Audiobooks have increasingly emerged as an entertaining, easily accessible and portable option for all ages to enjoy books. Last year, the Audio Publishers Association (APA) reported more than 67 million Americans listen to audiobooks each year.

“It’s another banner year for audiobooks,” said Anthony Goff, vice president and research committee chair for the APA, and senior vice president, publisher at Hachette Audio. According to Tom Webster, vice president of strategy for Edison Research, “The audiobook market continues to grow, with more people than ever before indicating that they have listened to the medium in the past year. That growth, combined with the growth of the podcast market and the strong relationship between the two, are all part of a renaissance for spoken-word programming.”


Libraries remain major access channels and important drivers of audiobook discovery, with over a quarter of its visitors reporting borrowing from a library/library website was very important for discovering new audiobooks. The Free Library of Philadelphia is one of the most widely used educational and cultural institutions in the region and reports having over 6 million annual visitors. A patron with a valid library card can download audiobooks from OverDrive to their PC, Mac or mobile device in person at a Free Library location and online with a library card. When the audiobook is due, the patron must renew it or find it automatically “returned” in a virtual sense: The file still sits on the patron’s computer, but encryption makes it unplayable beyond the borrowing period. “The patron doesn’t have to do anything after the lending period,” said Steve Potash, chief executive of OverDrive audiobook service. “The file expires. It checks itself back into the collection. There’s no parts to lose. It’s never damaged. It can never be late.”

According to the Free Library, “cardholders can check out and download digital titles at home and on-the-go by visiting the eFreeLibrary page of the Free Library’s website. From there, they can browse and check out the growing collection of bestsellers, new releases and classic titles. Once downloaded, digital titles can be enjoyed on a computer or transported to a supported mobile device. Many audio titles can also be burned to a CD. With digital downloads, customers do not need to worry about overdue materials or late fees — at the end of the lending period, digital titles automatically expire and are returned to the digital collection.”


While the digital age may have changed how people consume books, one bestselling book has stood the test of time. Dale Carnegie’s perennial 1936 classic, “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” retains its perch as one of the most in-demand self-help books as a top-10 audiobook.



Marvel legend Stan Lee is creating an original story for Audible

Comic book fans (and comic book movie fans) are very familiar with Stan Lee, who has a cameo in pretty much every Marvel movie. Now, the legendary Marvel writer is creating yet another shared universe. Varietyexclusively reports that Stan Lee will produce a brand new book for Audible described as “Mr. Robot set in John Hughes world.”



Given that the agreement is with an audiobook company, the project will be (you guessed it) an audiobook. Stan Lee is signed on to narrate the introduction to the project. Lee, along with Ryan Silbert and Luke Liebermen, promise that this will be the beginning of an entirely new shared universe. Presumably, if this project does well, we’ll see more of it in the future.



It’s unclear whether the long-form work will later release in print form. However, seeing as Audible is owned by Amazon, which has its own publishing arm, it’s certainly a possibility.



Mastering Drones: A Beginner’s Guide To Start Making Money With Drones

The information below is the reason I wrote this book, drones will be commercialized in the future surrounding the year 2025 according to research I’ve seen. Now is the time as an entrepreneur for making money with drones. 

Commercial drones and their services are expected to become a multibillion-dollar industry in the next decade, according to a new report from market intelligence firm Tractica. The report says that in 2017, drone revenue should amount to $792 million — mostly from hardware sales. By 2025, Tractica predicts the market will rise to $12.6 billion, with two-thirds of the revenue coming from drone-based services rather than hardware. “A number of major industries are seeing strong value propositions in utilizing drones for commercial use,” says Tractica research analyst Manoj Sahi. He named media, real estate and disaster relief as just a few of the industries that could use drone-enabled services. The report says that advances in technology, economies of scale, cloud-based applications and the drive to disrupt the market will contribute to commercial drone success in the coming years.

Via GeekWire


Wesley Snipes fights evil with his pen in exciting ‘Talon of God’

Got a cloaked warrior fighting evil at night and carrying one seriously epic sword? Naturally, you need Wesley Snipes involved.

Talon of God (Harper Voyager, 368 pp., *** out of four stars) isn’t a Blade movie and Snipes isn’t playing an action-film character. Instead, the actor makes his debut as a novelist with a pretty entertaining supernatural adventure about the war between angels and demons — literal and metaphorical — on the streets of Chicago.

Co-written with fellow first-timer Ray Norman, Talon centers on young ER doctor Lauryn Jefferson, recently out of med school, who’s become estranged from her strict Baptist preacher dad and rapper younger brother.

After getting off a long shift at the hospital one night, she encounters something surreal: one of her patients, a homeless man, turns into an otherworldly monster. Then the situation doubles down on the weird when a tall stranger on a motorcycle walks into her life and saves the day with old-school weaponry and holy water.

Together with her vice cop ex-boyfriend Will, Lauryn and the stoic protector named Talon unearth a plot to use a sulfur-laced drug additive laced to infect the populace of the Windy City and ready them for a mass demon possession.

Talon reveals himself to be part of an ancient sect of warriors and sees something special in Lauryn — not to mention that the substance affecting everyone else doesn’t work on her — and her initial skepticism turns to respect as the scale of the threat becomes apparent.

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Themes of faith abound through the narrative. While not a big talker in general, Talon speaks mostly in Bible verses and lines from the Gospels, and other parts of the Good Book inspire chapter titles. But Snipes is never holier-than-thou, instead weaving Christianity into the plot naturally and making it fascinating rather than sanctimonious. (The author puts a little spin on it, too, naming the book’s devilish big bad Christopher St. Luke.)


The religious bent also works well with the aspects of science and procedural storytelling. The green slime that becomes the chemical agent potentially spelling apocalyptic doom for the city fuels some of the more action-packed scenes, and turning drug addiction into a hellish outbreak is extremely effective.

With Lauryn, the novel introduces a female character who’s grounded in terms of her family and way of life but also a cool heroine with whom you’ll want to spend more time.

Snipes has been in Hollywood long enough to know he should lay track for a sequel. Lauryn acts as a counter to some of Talon’s more over-the-top elements.

Old-school fans of Passenger 57 and Demolition Man will appreciate that Snipes has just as much punch with a keyboard as with his fists, and the realm of urban fantasy has an impressive new disciple.


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