“Among the Hidden” Book Series
How does this book sound to you?
In a futuristic society the world is controlled by a new government and “The Population Police” who have decreed that no family shall have more than two children. These laws having been brought on supposedly by overpopulation, severe famine and death. Any child being born third or after in a family is a “shadow child” not to be seen by anyone or they will be taken away and killed along with their family and anyone who harbors them. – Book synopsis from Wikipedia
Sounds like a scary scenario right? Here’s the kicker. My son was assigned this book to read in 6th grade! Doesn’t that seem a little dark for pre-teen kids? I’m not alone according to some of the reviews on Amazon.
When I asked him about the Diary of Anne Frank he’d never heard of it. This “Among the Hidden” book has a similar premise of hiding form the outside but at least Frank’s tale is true & discusses an important part of world history.
Not sure what to think of this…
Every once in a while you find a website that really stands out. I’m not sure how I came across TheBloggess.com but I’m glad I did. Jenny Lawson (aka The Bloggess) is about as crackpot as they come, and this is a designation I believe she would appreciate. Borderline bipolar and definitely a little manic her writing style ranges from casual to hilariously quirky, usually within the same paragraph.
My appreciation for her humor started out with a post on her blog titled “And that’s why you should learn to pick your battles.” [NSFW] Go ahead & click the link and have a read for yourself (be sure to come back though!).
Beyoncé the metal chicken is just one of many “characters” dreamt up by Jenny. She also has a fascination with taxidermied animals that died of natural causes (thanks to her father) and dresses them up in clothing that, I assume, she makes herself. One blog post explained how she traveled with “Hamlet Von Schitzel”, a stuffed mouse dressed like Hamlet who graces the cover of her book.
Recently Jenny published a book (10 years in the making) called “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened” which chronicles her childhood, how she met her husband Victor, and explains how she became who she is today. The book is already #1 on the NY Times List a week after its release. I per-ordered the Kindle Edition of the book back in January and when it arrived I couldn’t put it down. It had me laughing uncontrollably starting with the introduction.
If you’re looking for some offbeat humor from a great story-teller check out TheBloggess.com.
The Amazon Kindle
I’ll be the first one to admit it… I don’t read for fun nearly as much as I should (or want to).
When Amazon launched the first Kindle in late 2007, I really didn’t take notice. By the time Generation 2 came out in early 2009 I knew I had to have one. I was traveling weekly for work and found myself with more downtime in the evening than I normally had when I was at home. Being limited to a book or magazine in my suitcase was not the preferred option as my preference for subject material changes quite frequently. It’s not unusual for me to have several books/magazines going at one time.
The clincher for me was the “Whispersync” technology that keeps all of your various reading material synchronized between devices. By devices I mean not only the Kindle but your PC, Blackberry, iPhone, iPad, Android and iPod Touch. This feature allows you to purchase and share kindle content among the various electronic devices you use every day. A prefect example of this in use was when my wife wanted to read a book on the Kindle. I was able to grab the laptop and continue reading my own book that I had been working on previously.
Whispersync is the feature that pushed me over the edge from “want to need” and convinced me to purchase a Kindle sight unseen. They were not available in the traditional brick and mortar stores until recently so I read enough positive reviews that I took the plunge.
The Kindle display uses Electronic Ink which is amazing. After spending all day working on a computer it’s actually refreshing to stare at the Kindle screen. It looks like ink on paper and works perfectly inside and out. There is a slight “flash” as the page refreshes as you turn the digital page. It’s noticeable at first but you end up not even noticing it after a while. The Kindle only uses power when it’s refreshing the screen or communicating wirelessly. When it’s “off” there’s actually pictures (screen savers) on the screen.
Speaking of communicating wirelessly, the Gen 2 version I own has a built in AT&T 3G data card in it. It’s free to use for the life of the device and allows for the wireless sync as well as some basic web browsing via the built in browser.
Battery life with the 3G radio disabled is measured in weeks (2-3), even with daily reading sessions of an hour or more. With the 3G turned on your battery life drops to 4-5 days.
The new Generation 3 devices have an even better display and a lower cost from the previous generations. I could go on and on about what a great device the Kindle is. It only does one thing but it does it very well.