SEATTLE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–May. 15, 2012– Kicking off the summer reading season, Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) announced its annual list of the Most Well-Read Cities in America. The ranking was determined by compiling sales data of all book, magazine and newspaper sales in both print and Kindle format since June 1, 2011, on a per capita basis in cities with more than 100,000 residents. The Top 20 Most Well-Read Cities are:
|2.||Cambridge, Mass.||12.||Knoxville, Tenn.|
|4.||Ann Arbor, Mich.||14.||Orlando, Fla.|
|5.||Boulder, Colo.||15.||Columbia, S.C.|
|8.||Gainesville, Fla.||18.||St. Louis|
|10.||Salt Lake City||20.||Richmond, Va.|
In taking a closer look at the data, Amazon also found that:
- Berkeley, Calif., is a city full of jet-setters – it topped the list by ordering the most Travel books.
- Boulder, Colo., keeps the closest eye on its waistline by topping the list of cities that order the most books in the Health, Fitness & Dieting category.
- Virginia is for lovers – Alexandria, Va., that is, which tops the charts in the Romance book category.
- Cambridge, Mass., grows the most budding entrepreneurs. These locals topped the list for ordering the most books in the Business & Investing category.
“As the summer reading season gets into full swing, we’re excited to reveal our second annual Most Well-Read Cities list,” said Chris Schluep, Senior Editor of Books, Amazon.com. “It’s great to see that we are truly a nation of readers, with representation on this list from every region of the country.”
In addition to their annual Most Well-Read Cities list, Amazon has issued their official summer reading suggestions. Customized lists for adults and children can be found at:
Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), a Fortune 500 company based in Seattle, opened on the World Wide Web in July 1995 and today offers Earth’s Biggest Selection. Amazon.com, Inc. seeks to be Earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online, and endeavors to offer its customers the lowest possible prices. Amazon.com and other sellers offer millions of unique new, refurbished and used items in categories such as Books; Movies, Music & Games; Digital Downloads; Electronics & Computers; Home & Garden; Toys, Kids & Baby; Grocery; Apparel, Shoes & Jewelry; Health & Beauty; Sports & Outdoors; and Tools, Auto & Industrial. Amazon Web Services provides Amazon’s developer customers with access to in-the-cloud infrastructure services based on Amazon’s own back-end technology platform, which developers can use to enable virtually any type of business. The new latest generation Kindle is the lightest, most compact Kindle ever and features the same 6-inch, most advanced electronic ink display that reads like real paper even in bright sunlight. Kindle Touch is a new addition to the Kindle family with an easy-to-use touch screen that makes it easier than ever to turn pages, search, shop, and take notes – still with all the benefits of the most advanced electronic ink display. Kindle Touch 3G is the top of the line e-reader and offers the same new design and features of Kindle Touch, with the unparalleled added convenience of free 3G. Kindle Fire is the Kindle for movies, TV shows, music, books, magazines, apps, games and web browsing with all the content, free storage in the Amazon Cloud, Whispersync, Amazon Silk (Amazon’s new revolutionary cloud-accelerated web browser), vibrant color touch screen, and powerful dual-core processor.
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This announcement contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Actual results may differ significantly from management’s expectations. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that include, among others, risks related to competition, management of growth, new products, services and technologies, potential fluctuations in operating results, international expansion, outcomes of legal proceedings and claims, fulfillment center optimization, seasonality, commercial agreements, acquisitions and strategic transactions, foreign exchange rates, system interruption, inventory, government regulation and taxation, payments and fraud. More information about factors that potentially could affect Amazon.com‘s financial results is included in Amazon.com‘s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and subsequent filings.
THE UNBEARABLE BOOK CLUB FOR UNSINKABLE GIRLS
Author: Julie Schumacher
This book is told from the point of view of Adrienne Haus, one of four teenage girls from varied backgrounds who find themselves inducted into a summer mother-daughter book club. Adrienne hurts her knee right before supposed to go on a trip with her best friend Liz, and ends up doing water therapy at the pool, where rich girl (and fellow book club member CeCe) likes to hang out, and fellow member Jill works the snack stand as a summer job. There’s also a fourth member, Wallis, who remains shrouded in a lot of mystery. As they tackle a variety of subjects in the books they read, the girls start to learn more things about each other and about life, making missteps along the way – especially Adrienne, who at times finds her relationship with her mother strained as she tries to sort out her identity. The book is a quick, fast read and a bit more enjoyable if you are a avid writer or reader simply because of all the in-jokes Adrienne makes about the craft of writing.
Disclosure: A free copy of this book was furnished by the publisher for review via NetGalley, but providing a copy did not guarantee a review. This information is provided per the regulations of the Federal Trade Commission.
Into the Hinterlands
Author: David Drake and John Lambshead
Publisher: Baen Books
ISBN: 10: 1-4391-3461-8
ISBN: 13: 978-1-4391-3461-0
The most striking aspect of this new s-f space opera series, of which this is the first novel, is its mode of interstellar travel: by bicycle! The authors cover it in lots of bewilderingly colorful pseudoscientific doubletalk (“Allenson had asked the captain how it worked but had not entirely grasped the somewhat confused explanation.” – p. 278), but it is essentially by bicycle:
“The Continuum was angry.
“Sometimes you could see forever through its violet tints. Today, turbulent currents spilled colors with such energy that Allenson could not keep Jem Hawthorn’s frame in sight. He was reduced to following the silver track of its wake.
“Allenson pedaled a similar frame, a machine not unlike an exercise bike in appearance. It had a central column with pedals at the bottom and a seat on top. A control panel and a display screen were slung between handlebars projecting between his legs. His rucksack was clipped to the back. The entire machine was made from paper-light ceramic and carbon compounds.
“Thin filaments of carbon enclosed him; balls of green and blue light rolled slowly among them. If Allenson concentrated he could see the faint shimmer of the interface between his reality bubble and the raw energy of the Continuum. That delicate bubble was only maintained by constant pedaling, as the frame had little capacity for storing energy.” (p. 1).
In the far future, the galaxy – or that part nearest Earth – has been settled into a growing number of habitable planets depending on energy streams through the Continuum. “One of the most important was the Cutter Stream that crossed the worldless Bight to the galactic west of the Home Worlds. This stream made possible Brasilia’s five Cutter Stream Colonies, situated as they were on the far side of the Bight.” (p. 2).
Allenson, Hawthorn, and Destry are three surveyors sent out from Brasilia’s Cutter Stream Colony worlds to explore and map newer worlds in the Hinterlands to the galactic west. “This area was thought to be rich in exploitable worlds.” (ibid.) Allen Allenson, the protagonist, is officially the Assistant Surveyor to Destry, the Chief Surveyor who is a Brasilian aristocrat, but it is understood that Allenson is the real leader. The first third of the novel relates their experiences in mapping the Hinterlands worlds. It establishes the Brasilian aristocratic social order. It gradually becomes clear that the Hinterlands worlds are already being settled by unofficial frontier colonies, that there are political tensions among the Home Worlds and that Brasilia and Terra are competing to establish new Colony worlds, and that the new frontier worlds do not have any strong allegiances to either.
Eventually, the rivalry among the Home Worlds leads to warfare between Brasilia and Terra. The novel follows Allenson’s exploits as an officer of Brasilia’s forces in the Colonies, where he, his second-in-command Jem Hawthorn, and the other Colonial militia become increasingly exasperated by the arrogant inefficiency of the Brasilian Home World Regular Army.
David Drake is well-known for taking dramatic incidents from history and turning them into s-f novels. His Cross the Stars is a s-f rewrite of The Odyssey. His s-f novel Patriots was based on the exploits of Ethan Allen and his Green Mountain Boys irregulars in the Revolutionary War. In each of Drake’s RCN (Republic of Cinnabar Navy) novels (nine so far), he explains in an introduction what historical event the novel is an s-f elaboration upon.
Into the Hinterlands is not “officially” based on anything. But almost every reviewer has noted that it leads off with a quotation by George Washington, that both Allenson and Washington were members of their colonial upper classes, that both Allenson and Washington have/had older brothers who are expected to lead their families but who die young, leaving their younger brothers to carry on their goals, and that Washington was assigned to survey and explore the wilds to expand the British colonies in the 1750s during the French and Indian Wars (Washington was both a surveyor and a colonial major in the British Army), as Allenson is in the Brasilian colonies in Into the Hinterlands.
Into the Hinterlands is a very well-written military s-f novel with much original macho action in the details. “Allen phased in with Destry [into the Destry Demesne on Wagener in the Five Worlds]. For the first time it struck him how utterly defenseless was the mansion, with its large glass bay windows and spacious balustraded balconies. A magnificent, wide stairway gave access to the main entrance on the middle floor. The ground floor was pierced by many doors, so that servants had easy access to the working areas, kitchens, storerooms, and suchlike. There had not been an attack on a Wagener demesne in living memory. …” (p. 89). Instead of making most readers feel that they know how it will turn out, it will probably send most readers to a biography of George Washington to see how closely the parallels in Allen Allenson’s and George Washington’s careers are, and to guess at where the sequels will lead.
A Tale of Time City
Author: Diana Wynne Jones, Forward by Ursula K. Le Guin
Publisher: Firebird; Reprint edition (April 12, 2012)
I have always been a big fan of Diana Wynne Jones, and have read most of her books. I was excited to read A TALE OF TIME CITY, and it did not disappoint. One of the things I love about Jones’ books is how a fantastical world can seem so real and believable. Taking a tour of Time City, I was as agog with wonder as Vivian in the story and yet, like Vivian, I fully believed it was real. I didn’t feel lied to or tricked, which sometimes happens when Fantasy writing goes awry.
A TALE OF TIME CITY is the story of Vivian, or V.S who is mistakenly kidnapped from a train station in WWII England where she is being sent to be fostered as were many children during the war to keep them safe from the bombings. Her kidnappers are two young boys, Jonathan and Sam. They think she is someone called the Time Lady who is out to do harm to their city, a curious alternate reality that sits outside of time itself and observes all the eras. Their world is shaking up, becoming uncertain and they are determined to save it.
At first, Vivian is angry and upset, but her anger quickly fades to wonder at her new and fantastic surroundings. A friendship develops with the boys, yet there is always that undercurrent of tension that you often find with siblings. They are the annoying brothers that you love, but exasperate you. She tastes her first butterpie, a magical and delicious creamy concoction on a stick that when you eat it, is both hot and cold. She gets used to the strange clothing and customs as well as struggling through a very common struggle for children – school. As Vivian becomes a part of the boys world, she becomes just as determined as they to save it and an exciting quest ensues. Will they save the city? Who or what is Faber John? Who is the mysterious time ghost who daily tries to climb the clock tower? More importantly, who is the Time Lady and what is Vivian’s role in Time City?
Jones, with her usual magic of deft writing, humor and skillful world-building is at her best in A TALE OF TIME CITY. The book, though published years ago, stands the test of time and is in no way dated though the book was first published back i 1987. Jones manages to bring both the fantastical world of Time City brilliantly to life as well as draw a realistic England in World War II. The Firebird re-issue is beautifully done with a lovely forward by none other than Ursual Le Guin, another incredible writer. There’s a reason Diana Wynne Jones was called the Queen of the Fantastic, and this book is a great example of why.
About the Author
Diana Wynne Jones was the multiple award-winning author of many fantasy novels for children, teenagers, and adults. Her book Howl’s Moving Castle was made into an Academy Award-nominated major animated feature by Hayao Miyazaki. She received the World Fantasy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007. Married to the medievalist J. A. Burrow, with whom she had three sons, she lived for many years in Bristol, the setting for many of her books. Diana Wynne Jones passed away in March 2011, after a long illness.
AmoXcalli is grieving the loss of a Titan of children’s literature, author and illustrator, Maurice Sendak who died today. We’re not the only ones. The internet is awash with obits, tributes, memories, etc. I don’t think there is a life that he didn’t touch in some way with his writing, his humor, his art, or his genius.
Rest in peace Mr. Sendak.
People wanting to comment, can sign his guestbook here at Legacy
It is the custom here at AmoXcalli, to do a roundup of links when one of our beloved authors passes. Keep coming back to see the list as it grows or leave one of your own in the comments section. We’ll post as many as we can as a virtual altar, each link a flower in a vase or as we stay in Spanish, un descanso.
Links are in no particular order.
Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast
The New York Times
Rolling Stone’s 1976 Cover Story
Maurice Sendak’s last interview with Stephen Colbert
The Atlantic Wire
60 Minutes Overtime
Geek Dad at Wired
EW’s Shelf Life
ABC News Blog
Interview with Mr. Sedak on PBS
Vanity Fair article on Bumble-ardy
NY Daily News
Maurice Sendak’s Facebook page
Ain’t It Cool News
Lines and Colors
The Maddow Blog
Sendak Documentary produced by Adam Yauch
Art Spiegelman visits Maurice Sendak
The Guardian Books Blog
Art Spiegelman on Maurice Sendak
Rosenbach Museum & Library
The New Yorker
Sendak Saw Picture Books as Literature
The Paris Review