Upcoming Kindle software update

Amazon is addressing some of the concerns that people have with Kindle – namely, organization options (beyond alphabetical and chronological) and PDF zoom. Those were two big things that I was still waiting for and it looks like they’re finally being resolved. I know I’ve wanted to group some books together by genre, and I could definitely see wanting to use them to keep documents together. Folders are good! Also I’m glad they finally gave us PDF capabilities but it was so bad trying to read some documents – so teeny tiny, and you couldn’t use the Text Size option to make it bigger! So PDF zoom is a godsend.

They’re also promising password-protection and two new fonts, as well as the ability to directly share book passages on Facebook and Twitter and access to “what the Kindle community thinks are the most interesting passages in the books you’re reading.” Sounds fab!

Click for the official word from Amazon. The updates are being rolled out to a “limited group of Kindle users” with everyone else getting it by the end of May 2010. Note that you don’t have to do anything to get it, but if you’re like me you have to remember to turn on your wireless every once in a while for them to be able to send you the update! Sorry Kindle 1 users – no update for you!😦

Actually it’s a great time to get a Kindle – Amazon is offering free two-day shipping on the Kindle, I think until Mother’s Day!

PC District Kindle Giveaway

Hey readers! Are you so absolutely jealous of me because I keep talking about my Kindle? Well now’s your chance! Flavius (great name, right?) from PC District told me they’re doing a Kindle giveaway. To be entered in the contest, all you have to do is create a (FREE!) account on their website and add the Kindle to your wishlist. Apparently you get bonus points for tweeting about the giveaway, so tweet away!

And a bit about PC District: “PC District is a community of people passionate about technology, aimed to provide the latest tech news, cool software or gadgets and discount coupons. Users get to vote on all content (news, products, coupons) and the best stuff rise to the top.”

Good luck!

Sophie’s Choice

Whoa, steamy!

Not only is there a whole lot of built-up sexual tension throughout the entire novel, the narrator has such a love affair with the English language that it’s downright sexy.

I love that this novel operates on so many different levels: there’s the horrors of the Holocaust and the Auschwitz labour camp, and it’s tied back to the embarrassment of slavery in what is recent American history, and there’s also the violence and passion of Sophie and Nathan’s relationship.

I was particularly drawn to Stingo’s struggle as a writer, and how the book is really a bildungsroman in that Stingo matures not only in the literary sense (that is, into a true writer), but also – gratefully – sexually.


I am officially caught up on Doctor Who now! (The reboot starting with 2005, at least. I try not to think about how much old DW I have to catch up on, not to mention Torchwood and the other spin-offs.) This means that I can actually read again! I did somehow find the time to read Dune though, which was made easier simply by the fact that it’s an amazing novel!

Dune is about the House Atreides struggling to survive on the desert planet Arrakis that the Emperor has assigned to them as a dukedom. It’s the harshest, most desolate place to live, but controlling this planet means controlling melange, the spice that not only allows for space travel, but gives life, energy, and a heightened consciousness. There’s treachery involved, and a witch-like order of women, and a prophesied messiah, and giant sandworms, and a lot of hope and despair. It’s a really wonderful read, and I promise it reads quickly.

I started watching the movie on Netflix and I think it’s fun! Horrible graphics, but then again it was 1984. I do love that Patrick Stewart is in it – so young! and Sting! And Trey from Sex & the City! On second thought it’s kind of a terrible movie, but amusing nonetheless. I don’t think it’d make much sense to someone who hasn’t read the book, and even then it’s a bit confusing. All the more reason to read the book!

Amazon Kindle Customer Service LOVE

I’ve been slacking off on posts lately (I’m a few books behind!) but this experience inspired me! My poor Guy was broken! The screen was all wonky and well… just look at the picture. It’s sad!

Unfortunately I knew he was out of warranty because Kevin bought it for me in February 2009 and I didn’t buy the extended warranty. So I called Customer Service, very sadly, thinking I’d have to shell out a pretty sum for a replacement, if not the entire $260.

My CS rep Mike was super nice! As I spoke to him, I had a flashback to my last experience with technology-related CS – I was accused of dropping my laptop BY A CS REP when I needed to get my screen fixed. As in, he asked if I dropped my laptop, I said I didn’t, and he said, “Yeah, you did.” This was not Amazon, by the way, but a certain university’s PC support services.

So Amazon CS was a refreshing change from that. Mike was really helpful, asked me to try resetting it to see if it helped (it didn’t), then said they’d send me a new one, free of charge – overnight too! He even said they can credit my account with the return shipping!

Happy! This is definitely how customer service is supposed to be. Good job, Amazon! I award you 1 cookie!

Luckily, this didn’t keep me from reading… I’ve been reading a fair bit on Kindle for Blackberry and Kindle for PC apps too. It was a godsend to have these as a backup in the meantime, but I far prefer reading on the Kindle!

Random Quotes

Random Quotes — Best Sellers

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Starship Troopers

What a great read! I completely disagree with critics who say that this book glorifies war – I think, rather, that it glorifies the soldiers and acknowledges what they suffer through for the sake of country. Now, I haven’t seen the movie, which as I understand interpreted the novel quite differently from the way Heinlein supposedly intended… but the book is really great. I get the impression that if you liked the book, you may not like the movie.

A few things stood out for me:

  • The banality of war: Several times I noticed that Heinlein’s tone shows how desensitized Rico becomes to violence. Very scary!
  • Whoa, he’s Filipino? Kevin & I were talking once about how it’s wonderful that nationality could be just an afterthought – so often race is the most important identifier in literature and I just don’t buy it sometimes. Also, I wonder what he said in Tagalog…?
  • I was very interested in the idea of gaining full citizenship only through volunteering for military service. (I mean interested in the idea, not interested in actually having it implemented in our society!) Although I do wonder how it might work in a place like the United States. Very intriguing concept though.