Monday, February 22, 2016

King Kong of a Price

When we think of great motion picture soundtrack composers today most of us probably instantly think John Williams, Jerry Goldsmith, and many others, but in the 1930's, 40's, and 50's one name was just as famous; Max Steiner. Steiner gave us such incredible scores that included King Kong, Gone with the Wind, Now Voyager, Since You Went Away, Johnny Belinda, The Caine Mutiny, Casablanca, and many more. His scores were nominated 18 times and he won three Academy Awards for his work. Learning more about this great film composer should be on any fan of film's bucket list. Learning more about Composer Steiner is on mine.

Surfing around on Amazon a few months back I ran across an extremely interesting book called Max Steiner: Composing, Casablanca, and the Golden Age of Film Music written by Peter Wegele. I got a sample of the book and found it very informative about Max Steiner and I wanted to purchase it. However, I noticed the price for the Kindle e-book was set at $71! I thought what a strange and outrageous price for an e-book but in some sense I can understand a high price for a book like this, due to the amount of research required in writing such a book, but $71 is not just a bit much, it is a HELL of a lot of too much!!

It is sad that I will have to pass on a book that I know is full of excellent information regarding this great film composer but for some reason, either the author, or the publisher feels the price of this book should be set at a King Kong of a price. For me I’ll pass on this seemly interesting work until some sanity takes hold on the pricing of this e-book.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Back in the Saddle Again

Wow, time really does fly, and life just seems to happen around you. I can’t believe I seemingly abandoned this blog, but I think it is time to reclaim it and fire it up again.

The e-book industry is still pretty much in the same state as I left it. E-book prices are still high and with the higher prices it seems the industry is seeing lower sales. Not sure why the publishing industry doesn’t get that lower prices means more sales!

As I refire up this blog I will continue to share some of the outragous e-book pricing I have found and throw in a review or two of e-books I have read recently. I am still reading e-books 99.9% of the time.

Not sure if anyone is still out there but I will start writing again and we can see what happens together.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Hypocrite Is My Name

On October 23rd 2011 I broke down and gave a publisher far more money for an e-book, then I ever should have, when I purchased Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson. I know I seem like a hypocrite after being blusterous on how I would NEVER purchase an e-book over $9.99 but the thought of not reading this book won me over. Of course I could have purchased the hardcover book for probably a bit less then the $16.99 I paid for the Apple iBooks version but then that would defeat my personal push to only read e-books. Am I happy I paid the big bucks for the book? No, not really. I felt pretty much forced into it; thanks greedy publishers!

So far the e-book is extremely interesting. Mr. Jobs was a very complicated person. Once I finish the e-book, I will place my review here.

*This post has been updated as of 9/8/2015 and the current price for Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson is now $12.99. Still expensive in my mind.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Moon Rock Make Out Session Ends Badly for Thief - REVIEW

How could you go wrong with a title like ‘Sex on the Moon’? Okay to be fair the full title of the book is’ ‘Sex on the Moon: The Amazing Story Behind the Most Audacious Heist in History’. It just screams READ ME! Right? So, I did, and what a story. The book is written by the author of the ‘Accidental Billionaire’, Ben Mezrich, which was turned into the film ‘The Social Network’. In ‘Sex on the Moon’ Mezrich introduces us to another young up and comer named Thad Roberts who is ready to become the first man on Mars. Well that is before he gets the crazy idea to steal some Moon rocks from NASA and sell them over the Internet! Oh the crazy things kids do for love.

The story is engaging as we see Thad’s spirited nature come out during his time at NASA. He sneaks his way on to a shuttle simulation test and gains favor with many of the up and coming scientists at NASA. His future looks bright until he decides to try and impress a girl and make a little money for himself. As I mentioned the story is intriguing and Mezrich unfolds the story in a fairly logical and orderly fashion. However the style of writing is a bit sophomore-ish. Lines like ‘…as she touched his muscular chest while standing next to him…’ just screams cheesiness, and for me, took away all sense of believability at times. Really did this woman really think that, at that particular moment in time? Why does something like that even have to be mentioned in a non-fiction book like this? I picked up a non-fiction book to read not a romance novel!

Overall the book was a good and interesting read. I always remembered reading or hearing something about this story and had pretty much chalked it up as an urban legend. Now I know differently. How does the title fit into the book? Well I will let the reader find out for themselves. Those Moon rocks will never be the same.

Friday, August 19, 2011

60,000 vote for Top 100 Sci-Fi & Fantasy Books

Last week NPR released a great list of 100 of the best Science Fiction and Fantasy books. Over 5,000 books were nominated and 60,000 people voted. The top book? 'The Lord of the Rings" was the #1 winner. I have to say I am happy with that choice. The runner up was 'The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy', with 'Ender's Game' coming in at #3. I wonder how many are currently in e-book format. Might be interesting to find out.

There is a wide variety of books selected in the list. It is an interesting read. I found several books I have never heard of and now would like to read. Hopefully the list will spur others to do the same, or maybe, even do a re-read of an old favorite.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Cost of History on the Rise?

Does it seem to you that the overall prices for history e-books are on the rise? Most of the history e-books on my wish list are now ranging from $12.99 up to $19.99 with the average cost around $14.99. Are the publishers trying to push the overall non-fiction e-book price up past their recent $12.99 big 5 price point in a greedy attempt to make more money?

Of course we know that Penigun Publishing is in for the price gouging, but even Random House and Simon and Schuster have gone from $12.99 to the higher priced non-fiction e-books. Such a shame, there are so many other reasonably priced e-books out there to read (Amazon's recent Sunshine Deals proved that) that these higher e-book prices just keep many of us e-book readers away.

Here are a few of the e-books on my wish list that I will be avoiding due to their current pricing. *I just saw that the Ann Coulter e-book has dropped from $14.99 to $12.99 this last week.

And here is one that I have really been wanting to read for awhile now. The price has been up to $16.99 and is now $13.99. I am still holding out for a lower price! Sorry Random House, no sale!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Simon & Schuster Slaps Paris and Customers

David McCullough is a master at bringing history alive. I have always looked forward to any new release by him, however since I have gone exclusively e-book only these days I was once again appalled and shocked at publisher's Simon & Schuster's insane pricing for McCullough's latest, 'The Greater Journey - Americans in Paris'. Really Simon & Schuster's? $19.99? Have you gone MAD? Do you NOT want people to read this e-book? Heck the audiobook in abridged form is cheaper on Amazon then the e-book is!

I am seeing this a current trend by the big publishers with their non-fiction e-books. I have seen prices jump from $12.99 up to $14.99 and now we are hitting the $19.99 mark.

Thank goodness for Amazon's Sunshine Deals. I will reward the publishers and authors who have reasonable priced e-books with my business. There are plenty of other e-books in the sea!