BREAKING NEWS: Longlist For The 2014 Man Booker Prize announced

Originally posted on Booktopia - A Book Bloggers' Paradise - The No. 1 Book Blog for Australia:

Howard Jacobson, David Mitchell and Ali Smith are among the British heavyweight writers who will compete for the Man Booker prize in its first incarnation as a global literary award.

Australia’s own Richard Flanagan has also made the cut with his stunning novel The Narrow Road to the Deep North.

Thirteen novels were named on the longlist for the prize which for more than 40 years has rewarded only Commonwealth writers. The rules changed last year, sparking fears that it would quickly be dominated by Americans. Despite four Americans being longlisted, chair of judges, the philosopher AC Grayling, said it had been “a vintage year”.

Take a closer look at the 2014 Longlist, and be your own judge…

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Not My Review: Of Human Bondage, by W. Somerset Maugham (1915)

The link below is to a book review of ‘Of Human Bondage, by W. Somerset Maugham.’

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Not My Review: Spiritual Leadership by J. Oswald Sanders

The link below is to a book review of ‘Spiritual Leadership,’ by J. Oswald Sanders.

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Not My Review: The Lost Legion of Fromelles, by Peter Barton

The link below is to a book review of ‘The Lost Legion of Fromelles,’ by Peter Barton.

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Kindle Unlimited: The Key Questions

Originally posted on David Gaughran:

amazon_kindle_unlimitedAmazon launched Kindle Unlimited on Friday, giving self-publishers a big decision to make.

The long-rumored subscription service will allow users to download unlimited books for $9.99 a month, and reader reaction has been, from what I can see, overwhelmingly positive – especially because they will be able to test the service with a month’s free trial. Writers have been a little more cautious, for all sorts of reasons I’ll try and tease out below.

The main stumbling block for self-publishers is that participation in Kindle Unlimited is restricted to titles enrolled in KDP Select – Amazon’s program which offers various additional marketing tools in exchange for exclusivity. Author compensation will be similar to borrows under the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library – a percentage of money from a fixed pool. The only real twist is that payment will be triggered when 10% of downloaded books have been read.

At the…

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How The Big 5 Publishers Hobbled The Amazon Unlimited Launch

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

Amazon Unlimited was dubbed the Netflix of books. That is correct as long as you imagine a Netflix consisting of an endless array of low-budget indie releases and some major small studio filks. In truth, Amazon’s new $9.99 all-you-can-read service features no books by “big 5″ trade publishers, an issue on which Amazon has remained mum.

I’ve asked Amazon for clarification but haven’t heard back. However, if you look at the list of popular titles on the Unlimited list, all of them are either published by smaller publishers – “smaller” being a relative term – or independent entities. Take Life Of Pi, for example. It comes from Mariner Books, part of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, an educational publisher. Michael Lewis’ The Flash Boys comes from W. W. Norton & Company. And the real draw, the Harry Potter canon? That is owned by Pottermore Limited, J K Rowling’s business…

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At the BookShelf: Posting Schedule

It has become obvious to me that I have a lot of Blogs (said tongue-in-cheek – I knew that before obviously) and I don’t really want to get rid of any of them – at least not the ones I currently post to. However I do need to make better use of my time and also to ensure I get reasonable quantities of and quality sleep, as well as other reasonable rest periods, all to ensure reasonable health and fitness, sanity, etc. This means that I need to make some changes to the way I run my Blogs and other online activities.

At the BookShelf is one of my primary Blogs and is one I would like to post to every day, but that can’t possibly be sustained, so I have decided to make some changes to my posting schedule – and they are major changes I think. Firstly, I intend to post mostly on Saturdays (Australian time), though some posts will probably turn up at other times during the week – thanks to the ability to schedule posts via the WordPress platform. On Thursdays (Australian time) I will post various book reviews and probably any ‘From My Armchair’ posts.

Not My Review: Samson and the Pirate Monks, by Nate Larkin

The link below is to a book review of ‘Samson and the Pirate Monks,’ by Nate Larkin.

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The news about reader attention and the evolution of media isn’t all bad — there’s the “hill of Wow”

Originally posted on Gigaom:

Sometimes it seems as though the future of online media is a fairly bleak one: an ocean of clickbait and shallow pageview-driven articles, all of them chasing the dwindling juice that social-network algorithms provide, with scattered chunks of longform journalism drifting aimlessly, unable to get the attention they deserve. But is that a realistic picture of where we are? Betaworks CEO John Borthwick says it isn’t — and says he has the data from services like Chartbeat and Instapaper to prove that things aren’t as bad as they seem.

As Borthwick notes in a post on Medium, the most recent debate on this topic flared up a couple of months ago, sparked by a post from Facebook product manager Mike Hudack that lamented the state of online media, and how much of the content that was being produced even by “serious” media outlets was shallow clickbait:

[blockquote person="Mike…

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