Category Archives: Reading

Download Books Newly Added to the Public Domain

Reading – I hadn’t thought of this before until I read an article about it the other day, but no books have been added to the Public Domain in the past 20 years. Works from 1923 were originally to go into the public domain in 1999, after a 75-year copyright term. But in 1998 Congress hit a two-decade pause button and extended their copyright term for 20 years, giving works published between 1923 and 1977 an expanded term of 95 years. Thousands of new works were added to the Public Domain this year on January 1.

Many new books (those from 1923) were added to the Public Domain this year. Among the books added (with a link to where they can be downloaded from) are:

Project Gutenberg, which already had over 58,000 free downloadable books, has added these five titles from 1923:

To get a full picture of what has been added to the Public Domain, check out the article “January 1, 2019 is (finally) Public Domain Day: Works from 1923 are open to all!“.

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Do You Have Too Many Unread Books?

Books
Reading – I came across the article “Stop Feeling Guilty About Having So Many Unread Books” a few months ago and thought it had some good ideas worth sharing. In particular, I liked these opening sentences:

Is your bookshelf teeming with more books than you have time to read? Or do your unread books induce feelings of guilt?

If so, you may be practicing the ancient Japanese art of tsundoku, that is, buying more books than you’ll ever read.

Some of the points brought up in the article are:

  • Recognize Reading As A Source Of Learning
  • Read More Than One Business Book At Once
  • Listen To Audiobooks
  • Abandon Bad Books
  • Ask Your Peers For Book Recommendations
  • Create Your Antilibrary

While this article is really looking at books from the viewpoint of business and self-education, much of it can be applied to casual reading. I am not a fan of reading more than one book at a time myself unless one is a technical book. When I try to read more than one novel at a time it just confuses me and I forget what is going on in the novels.

Audiobooks or podcasts are a good idea. I listen to several hours of podcasts each week and as they mention in the article, I have learned to listen at 2x the playback speed. Even with this, I am hundreds of podcasts behind!

I also agree about abandoning bad books or ones I simply do not like. I follow the Rule of 50 with my reading for the most part, though I have to say that I have not had to invoke it too often. Using peer recommendations or reviews on Goodreads will help to eliminate those books you would clearly not like, though some will slip through.

The ‘antilibrary’ or list of yet to be read books is a good idea. I have hundreds on my Kindle, though my ‘to-be-read’ queue is only around 70 books right now. That sounds like a lot, but the past three years I have read more than 130 novels a year.

Short Story and Review: “Father Avenir and the Fire Demons of Yellowstone”

Short Stories – I read the short story “Father Avenir and the Fire Demons of Yellowstone” that was posted on the Baen Books website. This short story was written by Kevin J. Anderson (http://kjablog.com) and Sarah A. Hoyt (https://accordingtohoyt.com). Mr. Anderson has published more than 140 books. Ms. Hoyt has published a dozen novels in various genres.

I categorize this short story as ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set in early America. It is hard to tell if this should be categorized as an Alternate History or just a Fantasy. A priest traveling alone in the west enters Yellowstone and confronts his demons.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 35 minutes I spent reading this fantasy. I liked the story enough, but it wasn’t clear to me where it was going. I think it needed more explanation. I give this short story a 3 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

 

Apple Offers Free Audio Books

Apple Books has made six titles available for free download. They are:

Having one or more of these titles available may help the Holiday Season travel to pass more quickly. All of the books themselves are all public domain.

Grande Bibliothèque – Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Libraries – I like visiting libraries when I travel. I thought that this was a great introduction to Grande Bibliothèque in Montreal, Canada. I have added this library to my list of places to visit.

The Critiquing Chemist


While in Montreal for the day (stay tuned for next week’s post highlighting our 24 hours in Montreal), I couldn’t resist looking up Montreal’s most popular library. I was most definitely on a library high after the stunning Library of Parliament that we’ve visited the day before in Ottawa and was eager to explore another library. After perusing the list of city libraries, the Grande Bibliothèque stood apart as it was the most visited library in North America in 2011.  It was a bitterly cold Sunday morning that we were exploring Old Montreal, with a stiff wind making the chill that much more penetrating. With the weather now given context, marry someone who will readily walk into that biting wind for approximately thirty minutes to visit a library you have been reading about only that day. Luke and I were both frozen through by the time we stepped into the warm entry…

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A visit to Stockholm Public Library

Libraries – I like seeing blog posts about libraries and have made a few myself. I enjoyed seeing this one of the Stockholm Public Library and wanted to share it.

The post contains a little more travel info than just the library itself, but it is worth seeing another library I might want to add to my list of places to visit.

Love Travelling

Our final day in Stockholm and just enough time before heading back to the airport to fit in a visit to the Stockholm Public Library in Odenplan. I love visiting libraries wherever I travel and what a delightful one this was. The library, which was designed by Gunnar Asplund and completed in 1928, is one of the city’s most famous buildings with its geometrically designed neo-classical architecture and is listed as being one of the world’s most beautiful libraries.

Untitled Stockholm Public Library

Stepping through the Egyptian style doorway and climbing the central staircase, we were able to get our first glimpse into the central rotunda of the library. The rotunda is a circular book hall and is an absolutely stunning temple for book lovers like me. It contains a total of 40,000 books on three levels and retains its original mahogany furniture and leather chairs.

Untitled The Rotunda, Stockholm Public LIbrary

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Library of Parliament – Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Libraries – I always like visiting unusual libraries. When I saw this post covering the Library of Parliament library in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada I had to share it.

Needless to say, it is now on my list of libraries to visit one day.

The Critiquing Chemist


Over this past weekend Luke and I took a three day weekend up to Ottawa and Montreal. As several of our trips had fallen through recently with wildfires closing Yosemite, canceling our Half Dome hike and a new job changing our American southwest journey I was bursting at the seams to go on a new adventure. Knowing we had a three day weekend, we decided to fit in a trip to the Canadian capital, especially as their Library of Parliament had been on my library bucket list for a quite a while now.  To access the Library of Parliament the public is able to go on free guided tours throughout the Centre Block, where not only will you get to glimpse this remarkable library but also be taken on a tour the center of Canadian government such as the Commons and Senate rooms.  Prior to our trip I’d read that…

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macOS New App Release – Nisus Writer Pro 3

MacBook@2x

Product Announcements Nisus Software, Inc. of Solana Beach, California has released Nisus Writer Pro 3, a significant upgrade to its professional word processor for macOS. New features in Nisus Writer Pro 3 include split view, a redesigned UI and palette system, an upgraded full screen view, printable comments and tracked changes, even more powerful find and replace, icons updated for retina displays, cloud sync for almost all settings, a new formatting examiner palette, typewriter scrolling, a new notes view, macOS Mojave compatible, and over 300 new features, fixes, and enhancements.

“This release adds many commonly requested features” said CEO Jerzy Lewak. “We have also added numerous improvements that we ourselves have found useful. For over 25 years we have developed software which supports our users’ creativity. This new version includes exciting features which will help our customers be even more creative in their writings.”

The new features add to an already rich feature set that includes an intuitive interface, multilingual text support, powerful find and replace, easy to use style system, cross-references, bookmarks, table of contents, indexing, and a native file format (RTF) that almost any word processor can read.

System Requirements: Requires Mac OS 10.11 or later

Pricing and Availability
Nisus Writer Pro 3 is available now at the Nisus web store and the Mac App Store for only $65.00 (USD). An upgrade version is available for $45.00 and an academic version is $55, both available from the Nisus store.

Fifty Word Fantasy: Thief

Reading – I thought that this was a great piece of Flash Fiction. It would be a good start to a fantasy novel.

Aethereal Engineer

She pondered the shimmer guarding the bookshelf, then grabbed a thin folio from it and ran.

The wizard appeared, grand and robed. “No ordinary urchin or thief steals from my library.”

The child trembled anticipating his wrath.

“It takes a wizard’s eyes to see my wards. Let me train yours.”

Copyright © 2018 by Jason H. Abbott, All Rights Reserved.

Discover more of my Fifty Word Fantasies.

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