Michael Cavacini

An award-winning arts and culture blog.

Archive for the month “September, 2013”

Amazon Announces New Kindle Paperwhite

kindle-paperwhite-front

This morning Amazon accidentally leaked information about its new Kindle Paperwhite. This resulted in a flurry of media coverage. A few hours later, Amazon officially announced the device on its homepage with a letter from Jeff Bezos (see below). I own the original Kindle Paperwhite and think it’s a wonderful device, so I’m looking forward to checking out the new model. Once I do, I’ll let you know whether or not it’s worth upgrading.

Dear Customers,

We believe in the power and importance of reading. We are passionate about books. Books convey knowledge, spread ideas, and can transport you into alternate lives and worlds. It’s why we’re working so hard to help people read more and get more out of reading.

Today we’re excited to announce another milestone in our journey—the all-new Kindle Paperwhite.

The all-new Kindle Paperwhite

The new Paperwhite is our best ever, with a new higher contrast display, the next generation of our built-in light, a powerful new processor, and the latest touchscreen technology.

We’ve also added new reading features like Page Flip—skim books page-by-page, or skip through chapters without losing your place. We’ve integrated Goodreads—the world’s largest community of book lovers—so you can connect with like-minded readers, share recommendations and decide what to read next, straight from your book. Our new Vocabulary Builder automatically compiles words you look up in the dictionary into easy-to-use flashcards. And for parents, Kindle FreeTime offers a simple, engaging new way to encourage and reward kids’ reading.

Kindle is the best-selling e-reader in the world for six years running. No one is investing on behalf of readers or pushing the boundaries of hardware, software, and content for readers like the Kindle team. We continue to invest not only in new hardware like the new Kindle Paperwhite, but also in new features and benefits that make Kindle a superior service: Kindle MatchBookKindle Owners’ Lending Library, over 400,000 books that are exclusive to the Kindle StoreKindle SinglesKindle Worlds, and many more.

We hope you enjoy the new Kindle Paperwhite. Happy reading,

Jeff Bezos
Founder & CEO

Labor Day Weekend

Reading the final chapters of The Doll on the beach.

Reading the final chapters of The Doll on the beach.

For those of you in America, I hope you took time to enjoy the Labor Day weekend. Despite the unpredictable weather, I fit in a variety of activities – everything from feeding a goat at the zoo to making my girlfriend watch Casino Royale with me, which, as far as I’m concerned, is the best James Bond film in the franchise. And, of course, I made time for reading. Speaking of which, make sure to check out my book review of The Doll and stay tuned for my interview with the author, Taylor Stevens.

Book Review – The Doll by Taylor Stevens

Taylor Stevens - The DollTaylor Stevens is a gifted writer and I enjoyed her first two books, The Informationist and The Innocent, but I was disappointed by her latest novel, The Doll. For some reason, it failed to grab me from the start and unlike her first two books, I wasn’t emotionally invested in the protagonist’s plight. That said, the action scenes in The Doll were well done and Stevens’ creative metaphors continue to impress me. While it’s my least favorite installment in the series, you should check out The Doll if you’ve read Stevens’ other novels. If you’re new to this author, start with her debut novel and then work your way up to this one. Just don’t expect to be blown away.

Synopsis

Haunted by a life of violence and as proficient with languages as she is with knives, Vanessa Michael Munroe, chameleon and hunter, has built her life on a reputation for getting things done—dangerous and often not-quite-legal things. Born to missionary parents in lawless Africa, taken under the tutelage of gunrunners, and tortured by one of the jungle’s most brutal men, Munroe was forced to do whatever it took to stay alive.

The ability to survive, fight, adapt, and blend has since taken her across the globe on behalf of corporations, heads of state, and the few private clients who can afford her unique brand of expertise, and these abilities have made her enemies.

On a busy Dallas street, Munroe is kidnapped by an unseen opponent and thrust into an underground world where women and girls are merchandise and a shadowy figure known as The Doll Maker controls her every move. While trusted friends race to unravel where she is and why she was taken, everything pivots on one simple choice: Munroe must use her unique set of skills to deliver a high-profile young woman into the same nightmare that she once endured, or condemn to torture and certain death the one person she loves above all else.

Driven by the violence that has made her what she is, cut off from help, and with attempts to escape predicted and prevented, Munroe will hunt for openings, for solutions, and a way to strike back at a man who holds all the cards. Because only one thing is certain: she cannot save everyone.

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