My Constantly Evolving List of All-Time Favorites.

Kyle 's favorites books montage

Gone Girl
The Night Circus
The Woodcutter
The Graveyard Book
Sharp Objects
Dark Places
Shutter Island
The Passage
The Twelve
Rules of Civility
The Aviary
Heir to the Glimmering World
Wool Omnibus
The Weird Sisters
A Song of Ice and Fire
A Game of Thrones

Kyle Uniss's favorite books »

Monday, September 2, 2013

Why I Only Read On My Kindle and The Wondrous Kate Atkinson

I never thought I'd be that person. I never thought I would give up real books and go completely digital. I mean, I love real books. The feel, the smell, the touch . . . but I've given it all up.

A few years ago I got my first Kindle. It was the same one as in the picture up there. And it rocked. It changed my world. Suddenly I really only had to think about a book and BOOM! there it was (well, I had to pay for it, but still . . .). But I continued to check books out of the library because Amazon wasn't, at the time, library compatible.

And then BOOM! again, Amazon became library compatible. And books prices dropped, and went up, and dropped again, but I could get books from the library (which has become a little tougher, but that's a different story) and I could get books at a pretty good price. And I could carry six or seven books with me (actually, six or seven HUNDRED, if you count the ones in my cloud) wherever I went. And I switched it up and got a Kindle Fire, then a Kindle Fire HD, and I could listen to my Audible and library books while driving. Or I could watch a movie, but that's a different story . . .

I have some great shelves with some beautiful old books, and I love the look of them. But I realize I like having my entire library at my fingertips. I also like being able to have some fun books in my library and not feel judged for reading what I call 'brain candy.' (I know the judgment is in my mind, but I still feel the judgment. Mostly from myself.) I like that if I read about a great book (on my Kindle, my phone, my laptop), I can immediately link to it on Amazon and purchase it right then. I don't have to drive anywhere when I'm out of reading material--it is instant gratification at its finest.

I am happy with my choice. I love my Kindle, and I love Amazon for providing me with books at the moment I need them. I also love that it has given so many authors a chance to be published, authors who may never have had a chance with an agent, a publishing house, and the traditional route.

The only thing that worries me about my Kindle and my choice is the zombie scenario (aka the end-of-the-civilized-world). How will I get to read if we have no electricity? I'm going to have to get a great generator just for my Kindle . . . .


"What if we had a chance to do it again and again," Teddy said, "until we finally did get it right? Wouldn't that be wonderful?"

Kate Atkinson, what can I say. I am in love. I don't know how I am just discovering her. I began early in the summer (maybe May) reading "Life After Life" and I was hooked. This is the story of Ursula Todd, who dies at birth in pre-World War I England when the doctor is waylaid thanks to a snowstorm. Or, it is the story of Ursula Todd, born in pre-World War I England because the doctor got there in time. And the book goes on, trudging through different tangents, all telling us how different Ursula's life, and the lives of those around her) could have been if she had done things slightly differently. Atkinson does the wonderfully, mapping out so many different paths that it made me think about the small choices I make every day.

I have since gone on to read her Jackson Brodie series; "Case Histories," "One Good Turn," and "When Will There Be Good News?" They are considered mysteries, and I guess they are, in the most general way. Brodie is a police man who left the force to open his own agency, dreaming of retiring in rural France. The books have mysteries in them, but you follow Brodie and watch as his 'clients' lives unfold, and in the end you care more about their outcome than the solving of the mysteries. The BBC made these into a television show a couple of years ago, but I haven't gotten around to watching them. It has been shown on PBS as well, or so I have heard.

This writer will be on my watch list for years to come.

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