Tuesday, March 31, 2015


As long as you like art or history or art history!!!

MOMA, aka the Metropolitan Museum of Art is giving away e-book downloads, 422 titles to be exact. This is ranging from a beautiful full color copy of
The Art of Illumination: The Limbourg Brothers and the Belles Heures of Jean de France, Duc de Berry
Husband, Timothy Bates, with an essay by Margaret Lawson
To dozens of books about the history of costume and fashion, ancient art, current art, collections of art and more!

Find it here!

Monday, March 30, 2015

Here is a chance for e-book readers of all stripes, but especially those who have older Kindles, to help a bunch of poor schoolchildren in El Salvador! I know that I have multiple Kindles and am guessing that many of you do also.

Dear colleagues and friends,

I apologize in advance for the email clutter.

In July, my two daughters and I are going to El Salvador to visit Suchitoto, the community where we’ve been volunteering for the past five years.

We’re very excited about our plans for this year. We’ll be working with the local schools and the NGO ConTextos to launch an e-reader program in the community. ConTextos recently raised funds to start the first e-reading and digital library programs in El Salvador. 

We need your help to expand the program! We’re writing to ask you to donate any used Kindles you own, or to otherwise support our efforts to bring used Kindles to these communities.

It is hard to exaggerate the importance of the work ConTextos is doing in training teachers and supplying books. In El Salvador, poverty is endemic; 30% of the population lives on less than $1.25/day. Kids coming from impoverished homes with parents who can’t read often have no exposure to books until they start school. At school, students lack access to books and learn via rote memorization, copying and dictation. They are not exposed to actual books until 3d grade, assuming any books are available even then. According to the El Salvador Ministry of Education, 22% of students abandon school before the third grade and nearly 40% drop out before grade 9.

Kindles can make a real impact by providing a method for students to secure access to countless texts throughout their education—something that is not economically feasible with actual paper books.

We are asking people like you to donate your old Kindles so we can help establish an e-reader lab in Suchitoto. Our goal is to collect at least 100 kindles, which would permit ConTextos to train all of the teachers in the village’s school system, as well as to provide multiple kindles with pre-loaded age-appropriate content for each classroom in the K-8 student population. The Kindles can be any generation or type, but they must be in working order.

If you don’t have a Kindle, but would like to make a donation to support ConTextos’ work, click here to donate.

If you have a used Kindle, here are the easy steps for donating:

1. Erase the contents of your Kindle see the link below or the instructions at the end of this email.

2. Bring your Kindle to campus and drop me a note letting me know where to find you. (I’m at moberman@scu.edu)

3. OR send your Kindles (and your chargers, if you still have them) to us:

Michelle Oberman
Santa Clara University School of Law
500 El Camino Real
Santa Clara CA 95053

Tuesday, February 10, 2015


Parnassus on Wheels
Christopher Morley

This is a very fun book, told in the first person. It takes place around 1910. The protagonist is a woman, Miss Helen McGill, who is swiftly approaching her middle-age years. She has spent the best part of her life keeping house for her brother Andrew, a famous author. Her brother is wont to drop everything without notice and run off to research his next book, leaving Helen stuck at home taking charge of the farm, doing his chores and living a life that she herself admits is dull. 

When a reviewer calls her brother the "Sage of Redfield" and refers to Helen as a "rural Xanthippe",  Helen gets upset and decides to give Andrew a taste of his own medicine. Her opportunity arrives in the form of Roger Mifflin, proprietor of a travelling bookstore, which he calls his "Parnassus". He intends to sell it, wagon, stock and horse to Andrew, but Helen buys it herself and decides to go on the road to sell books and culture to all and sundry. This is the story of her adventures on the road and her growing relationship with Roger Mifflin. 

I have reread this book multiple times and it always draws a smile. This is a sweet romance involving two middle-aged, rather staid people. And there is no smut!

Sunday, January 25, 2015


You got a new Kindle or iPad for Christmas but don't want to buy reading material from: Amazon/Barnes&Noble to load it. What to do.....?

Don't Google "free e-books"! You'll only get self-published dreck or something they want to sell you. Free e-books do exist and quality reading really is out there for you. Instead, try some of these sources. First, the grand-daddy of them all:

Project Gutenberg

 The simplest way to start using Project Gutenberg is to click on the left margin link to "Book Categories". That will put you on the Categories and Bookshelves page where you can find books by subject area from Children's Picture Books to Mystery Fiction:

After you've found your book, you can download it easily in your choice of formats.

 While Gutenberg does have older books, you can get full sets of the classics at no cost. Many have color illustrations and some are available in audio versions, 
recorded by volunteers. To my surprise, I have found books by favorite authors of mine like Dorothy Sayers (Peter Wimsey Mysteries), Jean Webster (Daddy Long Legs), Jules Verne, Mark Twain, Frances Hodgson Burnett (A Little Princess) and early copies of Astounding Stories. 

I will be reviewing some of my new favorite books and authors, gleaned from Project Gutenberg books in later postings.

Sunday, January 11, 2015




A humble little Kindle Touch.

My wonderful husband knew that I loved to read and I wanted to try this new e-book phenomenon. I'm a librarian, so things like this interest me and the prospect of reading FREE E-BOOKS excited me even more.

So, I added e-book after E-Book after E-BOOK (and some music, too!) and by the next Christmas, I got a Kindle Fire HD 8.9!



I use this one to hold comic books only. Comic books, you say? Yes! Comic books, c/o Comixology.com look like stained glass on a page when you read it electronically. But I'll go into more detail after you've met my devices.

Christmas 2013, my husband and I gave each other iPad Retinas. Mine, by request, is the smaller version. The page looks like this:

In this blog I want to talk about e-books and everything pertaining to them, including where to find low cost and free e-books, review existing e-books (good and bad), post or link to articles about e-books, e-book reading and publishing and anything else that crosses my mind. 

I will also post reviews from Blogging For Books, a publisher organization which gives out free e-books to bloggers in exchange for reviews. I will label those particular reviews, but will always give my unvarnished opinion of the book. Since I am a librarian, I guarantee that I tend to be picky about what I read.

Please feel free to comment and contact me!!! I love books and I love to e-mail new friends. I don't tweet, mostly because I spend my days at work and don't have time for realtime, but I look forward to any and all commentary!