Archive for : March, 2014

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Bookbub Review

BookBub is an online eBook finding service that gives you a daily email that tells you all of the eBooks, all over the internet, that are for free or deeply discounted. Or, at least, that’s what they claim to do. I tried it for myself for a few weeks, but I was really unhappy with what I found there.

I didn’t like the way that it was set up, first. Yes, signup was fairly easy and it was for free (I’m glad I didn’t waste my money on this thing), but for the types of eBooks I’m looking for, they just didn’t have enough variety for me. Some days, I would get the daily email and it would tell me that there wasn’t anything in the genres that I indicated. That’s a bummer, especially if you’re looking for a good deal.

Another issue that I found with BookBub was its recommendations. Yes, I said that I wanted nonfiction, but sometimes I got really obscure suggestions that, sure, they were nonfiction, but they weren’t even close to some of the things that I indicated that I would read on a regular basis. I also questioned whether some of them were actually nonfiction – maybe our definitions of nonfiction were different, I’m not really sure. I just know that, after a bit, I stopped really paying attention to their reviews and their categories because they didn’t make any sense.

The last issue that I had with BookBub was that I couldn’t find all of the books that I may want. Sometimes, a person will want really short novels to read on their eReader or tablet, and those go on discount or for free quite often. But, for it to be registered with BookBub, it has to be “full length,” which is over 150 pages. That just didn’t seem right to me, and you can’t find novellas that are that long (they wouldn’t be called novellas if they were full length).

BookBub may be good for some readers, but for someone that is big on nonfiction and novellas, you aren’t going to get much out of their services. You may get a hit on occasion, but in general, you’re better off just looking around on your own and getting messages from the websites that you get your eBooks from on a regular basis. Don’t waste your time with BookBub, even though it’s a free service.

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The King’s Grave by Philippa Langley and Michael Jones – A Review

Sometimes I like to delve into a little bit of non-fiction: mainly things that enhance my understanding of other books. I just finished reading The King’s Grave, an historical account of the life of King Richard the Third, a polarizing figure, to say the least.

Who was King Richard III? According to Shakespeare, he was a brutal, unscrupulous hunchback who terrorized his people. According to other accounts, he was a kind champion of the common man. The reality was probably somewhere in between.

The Kings Grave is the first full-length book about the discovery of the remains of Richard III under a parking lot in England in 2012. Phillippa Langley, head of the Richard III Society and head of the team that discovered the remains, and Michael Jones, noted historian and expert on all things Richard III, are the co-authors. The book alternates between the story of the discovery and a historical counting of the days, weeks and months in the life of Richard III.

This is a true story. The news of the discovery was a worldwide phenomenon. Many believe that now that the skeleton of the king is in hand, questions about whether he was essentially evil, or essentially not so evil, will finally be answered.

It’s fun and interesting to read about the dig, and what Langley had to endure to finally uncover the remains of this man with a curved spine who was obviously killed in a battle. (We don’t find out until the end of the book that DNA evidence proves it is Richard. One Shakespearian myth is already destroyed: Richard was not a hunchback, but rather had severe scoliosis.)

Langley fights through permitting roadblocks and the often frustrating quest for funding the dig. The book tells of the risks Langley took in continuing with the dig, from the planning process and doubts, to the ultimate discovery in a mundane location. After all, who wants to end up with a parking lot above their grave?

If you like historical novels, you will love the other half of this book, which recounts some of the Richard III story with a focus on the final battle that took his life. There is much more information here than many of us knew. The last king of England to die in battle, Richard III was well known to have been buried in an unmarked grave, and we now know that someone gave him an extra blow to the skull to make very sure he had been killed at the Battle of Bosworth.

This is a book for history haters and history lovers alike. Langley and Jones’ work is engaging and informative, and necessary reading for anyone interested in learning more about the realities informing British historical fiction of the period.