Tag Archives: ebook complaints

A Little Rant about My Nook

Until all e-readers can do this, no one should consider this a mature technology. BN and Amazon both manage to track notes, bookmarks, and “last-read” pages for individual books. This is similarly important, and one would think the technical issues are similar. They’re certainly not insurmountable.

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A Tradition of Victory by Alexander Kent: a short review

Admiral Bolitho leads a small squadron tasked with destroying the small craft the French are building to convey an invasion force across the Channel, shortly before the anticipated Treaty of Amiens brings a temporary peace. His captains include Thomas Herrick (a commodore in this book), Francis Inch, Oliver Browne-with-an-e, John Neale, and Valentine Keen. And old Phalarope–Bolito’s frigate in To Glory We Steer–joins the fleet on location, with Adam Pascoe as first lieutenant. Things go wrong, then they go right.

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The Autobiography of Theodore Edgar Potter: a review

Potter was a competent writer and a gifted story-teller. His memoir is largely concerned with the years from 1852 to 1865, during which the author joined the California gold rush, took part (after a fashion) in William Walker’s Nicaraguan filibuster, visited New York, New Orleans, and Saint Louis, and took up residence in southern Minnesota. He was a captain in the militia which defended New Ulm during the Dakota War of 1862; later he was a Union officer whose troops participated at the fringe of the Battle of Nashville–mostly they chased, and sometimes caught, partisan guerillas. Some years later he was involved in the apprehension of the Younger brothers gang, again in southern Minnesota.

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A Note on eBook Design

For some books, design is important. It’s less significant for most, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t matter, as good design can make reading easier. Design has long been a feature differentiating publishers, all of whom use it to add value for readers. Basically all paper books show the impact of a designer; not just the cover and illustrations, but typeface, margins, chapter headings, page headings/footers, and even paragraph orphans are items within design purview. None of these things make it into your typical ebook. Partly it’s that the delivery devices are mostly concerned with presenting text. Partly it’s that most of the current generation of ebooks began as scans, rather than electronic documents. And partly it’s a failure on everyone’s part to take this seriously.

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A Ball Player’s Career by Adrian C Anson: a review

An oddly interesting book. Now, more than a century later, Pop Anson’s remembered mainly for his racism, and because he had approximately 3,000 hits (the total depends on what you count, actually, and in this case it’s fair to debate the margin). In his time, he was considered a formidable player, and an excellent captain (manager), albeit grouchy and rough-edged. Neither is a well-rounded image.

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The Score by Richard Stark: a short review

Not my cup of tea, but certainly readable. Decidedly hard-boiled. 3 1/2 stars for this.

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Ed Barrow by Daniel Levitt: a review

While this is primarily a biography, the book features the author’s enormous research effort about the way baseball’s conditions and working rules changed over the course of Barrow’s career. This is important because Barrow was constantly adjusting his work to accommodate those conditions and rules. It’s valuable because I’ve not seen a similar effort by any author.

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Evaluating Baseball’s Managers by Chris Jaffe: a review

Best to think of this as a reference book. Chris Jaffe examines the evolution of baseball management by examining the careers of major league baseball’s long-term managers. The book discusses all managers who worked for at least a decade, and a handful who worked shorter terms but made contributions to the way baseball is played or managed. He also provides overviews of manager practice for each of the game’s major eras, and occasionally reminds everyone that managing a baseball team involves more than lineups and in-game player changes. It’s an interesting book, and quite readable, except that it’s grounded in modern baseball analysis.

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Sir Dominic Flandry by Poul Anderson: a review

Three novels and a short story. And that appalling, off-putting cover.

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Grace Hopper and the Invention of the Information Age by Kurt Beyer: a review

This book is not, in any meaningful sense, a biography of Grace Murray Hopper. There’s a perfunctory sketch of the first 36 years of her (pre-Navy) life, and some mention of mid-life depression and alcoholic binges, but otherwise the book is fully devoted to describing her career in computing, her impact on the industry, and (to some extent) the development of both hardware and software in places outside her immediate purview. For all practical purposes this book ends with the standardization of COBOL; Hopper’s subsequent career is only lightly touched, and her late-in-life celebrity is briefly described in the first chapter but not really discussed.

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