Author: Ollie

Book Collecting Apps 2016 Review

February 14, 2018

Time once again to check in with the slew of book collecting and categorizing apps out there. Some of the oldies, but goodies showed up rather prominently—still going strong, while other newer (& promising) apps are trying to make their marks.

Reviews claim that the scanning/capture mechanism is fast (unlike other apps), but it can load incorrect information into the library. This seems to happen a lot when retired ISBN numbers are re-used by publishers. Some apps have found a way to either return all possible options or default to the most recently published title. It appears that Libib review hasn’t worked out that kink yet.

Reviewers like that you have more control over categorization, in that you can create up to 100 different libraries and subcategories—so you can group all of your Neil Gaiman graphic novels in one library without having to sort through other titles that might share the “graphic novel,” “Neil Gaiman,” or “fantasy” tags.


  • Works in conjunction with the website (free subscription option available)
  • Scan books via smartphone camera to automatically add title and cover information
  • Batch editing capabilities
  • Can have up to 100 different libraries / subcategories
  • Can have up to 100,000 titles
  • Cloud backup
  • Import / Export libraries via CSV
  • Built-in Social Networking element
  • Categorize your titles via tag-system
  • Create and publish reviews
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Speaking of Audiobooks: The Funny Ones

February 14, 2018

Recently I found myself laughing out loud again and again as I listened to Susan Ericksen narrating Jennifer Crusie’s delightful Anyone But You. It’s a lightweight tale of a fortyish woman finding love with a thirtyish man and it was just so much fun.  Wanting to find more of the same, I began scanning my audio library for other truly top comedy audiobooks, thinking all along that funny romance audiobooks would make a great topic for the next Speaking of Audiobooks column.   I was greatly surprised to find fewer than a dozen in my rather respectfully large audio library and five of those were books by Susan Elizabeth Phillips.  Knowing I needed more funny book recommendations for such a column, I turned to a few of our regular posters and asked them to share their favorite funnies and what follows is a collective effort.  Interestingly, I discovered that a number of us share the opinion that there aren’t many truly funny romance audiobooks out there.  Let’s hope that opinion is erroneous indeed.

As I am unfamiliar with Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum books, I was enthused to hear a strong recommendation from Katyco for not only one book but an entire series. “Anyone who hasn’t listened to the Stephanie Plum series is really missing a treat – especially the earlier ones.  C.J. Critt and Lorelei King both do a great job narrating although I slightly prefer C.J. Critt.”

Head Over Heels by Susan Andersen, according to GamaTST, is “Girl talk done right!” with priceless moments between best friends, Veronica and Marsilla as well as tough ex-marine Coop and a six-year-old girl.  Narrated by Anna Fields, GamaTST states “It is pure pleasure and laughter, way better than reading it yourself.

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The 13 Best Science Fiction Books of 2017

February 14, 2018

In 2017, current events made escaping into a sci-fi story all the more appetizing, and there were lots of great choices.

Below are our 13 best sci fi audiobooks from 2017. They include stories about underground lunar societies, a Manhattan partially covered in water, and giant robots who question their own programming. Some are stand-alone books while others are part of a series, but there all the best reads of the year.

New York 2140

By Kim Stanley Robinson

The fear of living in a place that will one day be covered in water is very real for New Yorkers and many other coastal dwellers around the world. Although we have a little bit of time before rising sea levels will affect housing and businesses, it’s hard to not picture what the future of the most populous U.S. city will look like.

In New York 2140, sea levels have risen 50 feet and lower Manhattan is covered in water, and the MetLife building serves as a hub for the novel’s main characters. It’s a dystopian novel that doesn’t really feel like a dystopian novel because the plot is intimately tied to our current reality. We know that the planet is warming and that sea levels will dramatically change big cities in the future. Seeing how characters survive in this future is satisfying. In some ways, the novel is hopeful because it shows that humanity will figure out a way to adapt with the terrifying threat of climate change.

This book is fascinating for New Yorkers, but anyone with an interest in climate change and Robinson’s work will like it. Robinson has built a New York City that people would still want to live in.

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