Thursday, March 28, 2013

Goodreads is gobbled up to Acquire Goodreads
SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Mar. 28, 2013--, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) today announced that it has reached an agreement to acquire Goodreads, a leading site for readers and book recommendations that helps people find and share books they love.  

“Amazon and Goodreads share a passion for reinventing reading,” said Russ Grandinetti, Amazon Vice President, Kindle Content. “Goodreads has helped change how we discover and discuss books and, with Kindle, Amazon has helped expand reading around the world. In addition, both Amazon and Goodreads have helped thousands of authors reach a wider audience and make a better living at their craft. Together we intend to build many new ways to delight readers and authors alike.”
“Books – and the stories and ideas captured inside them – are part of our social fabric,” said Otis Chandler, Goodreads CEO and co-founder. “People love to talk about ideas and share their passion for the stories they read. I’m incredibly excited about the opportunity to partner with Amazon and Kindle. We’re now going to be able to move faster in bringing the Goodreads experience to millions of readers around the world. We’re looking forward to inspiring greater literary discussion and helping more readers find great books, whether they read in print or digitally.”
“I just found out my two favorite people are getting married,” said +Hugh Howey, best-selling author of WOOL. “The best place to discuss books is joining up with the best place to buy books – To Be Read piles everywhere must be groaning in anticipation.”
Following the acquisition, Goodreads’s headquarters will remain in San Francisco, CA. Founded in 2007, Goodreads now has more than 16 million members and there are more than 30,000 books clubs on the Goodreads site. Over just the past 90 days, Goodreads members have added more than four books per second to the “want to read” shelves on Goodreads.
Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. Subject to various closing conditions, the acquisition is expected to close in the second quarter of 2013.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Hugh Howey in Seattle

Tonight I had the great pleasure of seeing +Hugh Howey speak at Hugo House in Seattle (PBR tallboyz are only 2 dolla!). It was a full house and he made a great impression.

Hugh went through the story of how WOOL came to be but turned most of the night over to Q&A. He touched on everything from swimming with whales and writing advice to industry insights but answered only one Ridley Scott question.

I don't know what you're reading, but check out WOOL (see my review) and don't be surprised if you start crawling all of his works. He is a uniquely creative individual that is humble and thoughtful. His take on recent fame is well grounded and refreshing. He's hard not to like and his books are hard to put down.

Thanks Hugh for dropping in. Now get back to work!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Review: Wool Omnibus

Wool Omnibus
Wool Omnibus by Hugh Howey

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is one the fastest reads I have sat down to in awhile. Great structure and of course it sets you up for the next installments in the series. It may be set in a futuristic dystopian America but the characters feel real and the urgency that Hugh Howey potrays keeps you turning pages.

If you want to see what I mean, WOOL book 1 is free on Amazon. Be warned, it will suck you in and you might as well get the omnibus version (books 1-5) up front and save yourself the frustration (and money) of running back to the computer at 1am to get the next book.

Check out Hugh Howey on the web at

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Saturday, March 9, 2013

Review: We Live in Water: Stories

We Live in Water: Stories
We Live in Water: Stories by Jess Walter

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This collection of short stories from Jess Walter is a tremendous read. The variety of topics refuses to let you know where the ride is going to end. The stories play out in front of you just like real life. Jess knows how to bring out the flaws and redeem the owners with every sentence.

The end of the book has a list of facts about Spokane that (just like his characters) is brought out by his own personal reflections on those facts. It's an awesome way to finish a book.

Spookaloo grew a good one!

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The straw?

This could possibly be the straw that breaks the camel's back in the publishing world. Great article about Hugh Howey and his success as both a writer and self-publisher in the WSJ.

I read the first book in the Wool series (free) and just bought the second ($.99). It is not hard to see how the structure of the writing and the publishing have adapted to the marketplace and I think it levels the playing field like never before.

Still, the writing has to be good. Readers are, after all, the customer too. Howey delivers in this regard but he also seems to have broken the mold in self-publishing when the old one had barely dried.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Review: Safe Haven

Safe Haven
Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

You have to admit, Nicholas Sparks puts it on the page very well. First 100 pages were a perfect setup for the rest of the book. Although not my kind of read, I read it as a study on how to get the reader hooked and was not disappointed by what I learned.

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