Book News: Amazon Woes, Literary Halloween Costumes, Airport Kiosks & More!

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Trapped For a Night in Waterstone’s 
An American found himself trapped inside a recently locked Waterstone’s bookstore in England and was able to get himself freed by using Twitter. Now Waterstone’s is offering some lucky people to spend a night trapped in one of its bookstores.

Digital Kiosks 
San Antonio Airport has installed digital kiosks where one can get one’s ebooks lightning fast presumably.

Amazon Posts Big Losses 
Amazon posted its third-quarter results with a loss of $437 million, with its big failure with the Fire phone.

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“Wayward” by Blake Crouch (Thomas & Mercer, 2013)

Wayward
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Warning: This review contains spoilers from the first book in the series, Pines, so if you want to avoid being spoiled don’t read any further; you can also read the review for Pines here.

Welcome back to the quaint and lovable town of Wayward Pines where the population stays at a firm 461 and everything is beautiful and perfect all the time, except if you’ve gotten this far you know outside of this wonderful place, beyond the high electrified, protective fences is a barren world filled with post-human creatures known as “abnormals” looking to feast and gorge on anything they can find. But as long as we all keep our cool and pretend everything is hunky-dory and normal then no one will be the wiser, except for those guys hiding in the mountains watching our every move on their thousands of hidden TV cameras. Just sit back and enjoy the manufactured sounds of those crickets.

There’s a new sheriff in town, because the last one was getting a little too big for his boots and the big guy in charge decided to cut his career (and life) short. It’s our hero, Ethan Burke, looking to follow the protocol and keep everyone in line, like they’re supposed to, according to the regulations and rules they read when they first became citizens of Wayward Pines in the year 3813. For that he gets to come home to his lovely wife and son and live in the perfect house as well as a respected member of society.

Except Burke doesn’t like the way things are run in Wayward Pines; he doesn’t like that no one really knows what’s going on and that he has to keep lying to everyone. He doesn’t like the way the people in control are handling things, and he knows he’ll be putting his family at risk, but this isn’t real life for them anymore.

After the big secret is revealed at the end of Pines, Crouch takes the story to a new level presenting new challenges for the hero and choices to be made. Wayward is a thrilling sequel that tells more of the overall story if the Wayward Pines series and will keep readers hooked to every page, then demanding the third book in the series, The Last Town.

Originally written on October 5, 2014 ©Alex C. Telander.

To purchase a copy of Wayward from Bookshop Santa Cruz, and help support BookBanter, click HERE.

Book News: A Night For The Boy Who Lived, Bookstore Exotica, Amazon Holiday Pop-Up Stores & More!

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Best Literary TED Talks 
Here are the ten best literary-related TED talks from known authors.

Nonfiction for Thriller Lovers 
For lovers of thrillers and mysteries, here are some great pieces of nonfiction to chill your blood.

Stephen King Villains & Interview
For Stephen King fans, here are the ten best villains from his books. Also here’s a short five question interview with the King.

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“Pines” by Blake Crouch (Thomas & Mercer, 2012)

Pines
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There are two keys to good storytelling: 1) have a good story, 2) don’t give it all away early on. Blake Crouch skillfully adheres to these keys in the first volume of the Wayward Pines series, Pines, clueing in the reader to a dramatic story and sucking them right in, and then slowly giving information away so they can’t help but keep reading, turning those pages, burning to know how it all ends and what the big secret is.

Two secret service agents have gone missing in the small and idyllic town of Wayward Pines, Idaho. Secret Service agent Ethan Burke gets called in to investigate and find out what happened to his fellow agents. He also has a personal stake, since one of the agents is a former lover who he still cares deeply for, even though he’s a happily married man with a son. Burke wakes up to find himself in a hospital bed barely remembering who he is. As the pieces of his past and reason for being in Wayward Pines are slowly put together, he learns that the agent traveling with him was killed in the horrific car accident he was involved in. That’s why he doesn’t remember much.

But Burke is a good agent. He knows not everything is as clear as it seems, and there’s something really weird going on with the supposed perfect town of Wayward Pines. Everyone acts nice and courteous around him, but all a little too nice. And things seem in perfect condition, a little too perfect. Burke knows things just aren’t right, and when he can’t get hold of his ASAC in Seattle or get the sheriff to give him a straight answer about what happened to his wallet and ID, he starts to get scared for the first time. That’s when he grabs a car and tries to get out of town, but as he follows the main road out, he somehow finds himself driving right back into town. Apparently Wayward Pines won’t let him leave.

While the storyline is somewhat familiar, Pines is anything but predictable. Crouch cites the likes of Twin Peaks and The X-Files as inspiration for the series, as he keeps the conflict and adrenaline high. As for the true story of what is going on in Wayward Pines, you’ll have to read to the very end of the book, and you’ll have no clue what’s coming.

Originally written on September 29, 2014 ©Alex C. Telander.

To purchase a copy of Pines from Bookshop Santa Cruz, and help support BookBanter, click HERE.

Book Report: Amazon Yay! Amazon Nay! Neil Gaiman’s Kissing Princesses, Magical Bookstores & More!

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Nobel Peace Prize to Malala 
Malala Yousafzai, author of the bestselling I am Malala, and Kailash Satyarthi have been awarded the Nobel peace prize.

Amazon Good and Bad
 Amazon.com has announced they will be opening a bricks-and-mortar store in New York City. The New Republichas a long and poignant article on why Amazon must be stopped.

19 Magical Bookshops 
Buzzfeed presents 19 magical bookshops one should visit within Great Britain.

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Olague (1): The Beginning of a New Book

So I’ve started a new book, and by “new book,” I mean I haven’t written a single word of it yet, but I’ve begun working on shaping it. Think of it as a sculpture and I’ve just started shaving along the sides and giving a rough overall shape. Using Wikidpad, I’m building my story bible for the novel, which is a great piece of software that lets you create lots of pages and cross-link and index them. It’s a good place to start putting all the details and facts of your book for easy reference instead of writing them all down on bits of paper or in numerous  notebooks.

The idea came to me last August, 2013, when I was doing a daily jog and every day I’d get more ideas and thoughts and scribble them down. Now I’m working on honing some of these ideas and shaping and making some decisions on what to keep and what to get rid of.

The book will also require me to invent a town, which I have begun with a map and will be starting to fill in the details of the town, then will come the characters.

The name of the town is also the name of the book, which is:

Olague

More to come, but for now it’s an exciting beginning time working on this book that feels like an accumulation of thoughts and ideas I’ve had over the last 15-20 years of my writing, bringing them altogether in this special book.

Book Report: Break Your Reading Slump, Classic, Amazon Faces The Feds, Free Sanderson & More!

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Halloween Book Costumes 
Still undecided what to dress your kids for Halloween? Here are some great bookish costumes you’ll adore.

An African Reading List
You hear about the books that become bestsellers by African authors, but here are some other recommended reads.

Getting Out of a Long Term Reading Slump
If you haven’t been reading for a while and you’re wanting to get started again here are some great tips to ease you into the wonderful world of reading.

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