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I Finally Manage To Get A Book Listed By ‘Apple’. Wow. It Has Taken Me 10-Years!

by Anura Guruge


Click to ENLARGE.


I am in shock. I had kind of given up on ever getting a book on ‘Apple Books‘.

I had tried & tried & tried over the years — since 2010. They just make you jump through so many hoops. I would eventually give up, given that Amazon Kindle eBooks can be read on Apple devices. Kindle eBooks can be read ANYWHERE. So, that was my rationale; my excuse.

My latest book, i.e., “Comets“, even if it is just I saying so, is rather ‘special’. SMILE. I wanted to make it as widely available as possible.

So, I worked with ‘Draft2Digital‘. It still took me three (3) attempts. Finally I sorted out all the wrinkles & managed to meet all the criteria. Bingo. Apple accepeted it.

Whether I will sell even a single copy is a different matter. At least now I have broken my duck. Wow.

I am in shock.


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by Anura Guruge


 

“Comets” — THE Book.

by Anura Guruge


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Click to access the Amazon listing.



The title tells you everything you need to know. Comets.

If you insist this is the ‘Table of Contents’.


Click to ENLARGE.


As I always say with my book, use Amazon’s FREE ‘Look Inside‘ feature to TEST DRIVE it. Plus, Amazon lets you read the book & then RETURN it. No questions asked. Full refund. So, what have you got to lose?

I have shared some of the 61 full-color figures — not counting a number of info-packed tables.

This is how I spent the last 5-weeks.

I was trying to beat quite the deadline. Comet SWAN might be naked-eye visible as of next week. I wanted this book, published, prior to that. And comets travel fast! SMILE.

Well, this will be one of the ways I will remember the pandemic. “Ah! Yes. That is when I wrote that Comet book“.

Oh, NOT my first comet book. Actually my 4th. That helped. I knew, by rote, 70% of the material.


 

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by Anura Guruge


 

‘Alaska’ By James A. Michener — Not One Of His Best; Maybe His Worst!

by Anura Guruge


Click to access Amazon listing.


Click to ENLARGE.


I was real disappointed. Felt like a major let down.

You could tell that he was TIRED. I knew that he must have been OLD when he wrote it. But, I did NOT check ‘HOW OLD’ until I finished. Now it is much clearer. He was 81 when he finished.

81-years old. Probably took him 2- to 3-years to write it. So, was writing it when he was in his late 70s.

ALAS, it shows. You can feel his tiredness!

Great shame.

This book has put me OFF Michener! I am upset by that.

But, then again I may have READ way TOO MUCH Michener — in too short of a time.

6 in two-years.

Three of them ‘Hawaii’, ‘The Covenant‘ & ‘Alaska’ huge, ‘1,000’-page books.

I loved ‘The Covenant’ & learnt much from ‘Hawaii’ — as I had done with with other books, such as ‘Texas’ & ‘Chesapeake Bay’.

Not so with ‘Alaska’.

Very superficial.

Very disappointing. I feel cheated.

In a way I feel sorry for him. I can, also, relate. I am 66. I KNOW that I am not writing ‘as well’ or with the ‘proficiency’ I did 10-years ago. And I have another decade to go to get to Michener’s age when he wrote ‘Alaska’. YIKES!


The ‘Michener Corner’ in my study.
Separate from all the other books.


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by Anura Guruge


I Am Channelling My HERO, Winston Churchill — “V” For ‘Victory Over Virus’.

by Anura Guruge


“V” for “Victory Over Virus”.

Screw the Virus.



Well somebody, a GOOD Brit, has to do it.

I am honored to step into the breach.

Poor Boris. Well, Boris will he happy.

Winston is MY MAN. A source of near daily inspiration and resolve.

“V” for VICTORY.

Trump, don’t EVEN THINK about it. This is US. Not you. SMILE.



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by Anura Guruge

When You Get A Royalty Cheque For TECHNOLOGY Books You Wrote 17 Years Ago!

by Anura Guruge


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This is for a ‘Web Services‘ book I wrote and published in 2003 — 17-years ago!

‘They’, i.e., ‘Elsevier’, paid me a decent advance in 2013. I was happy with JUST that. SMILE.

Wow. I never realized they were selling the e-book for this much. It must be GOOD. SMILE.

Click to ENLARGE.


So, yes, I know I don’t make any money on my recent books. But, that is OK. I still just SMILE when people think I haven’t made money as an author. SMILE.


This was last year.

Click to ENLARGE.


This was the year before.

Click to ENLARGE.



If these were NOT technology books it wouldn’t crack me up at all. But, these are books that are now 60% out-of-date! Yes, some of the basic principles will still be the same but a lot of water flows under the bridge over the course of 15-years when it comes to technology.

These books have a ‘Look Inside‘ capability and people can return them. That I am still getting royalties mean that people must still find some value in them. That pleases me. These were good books when I wrote them.

I also got pretty decent advances on each of the books. So, I am pleased. I am smiling.

SMILE.


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by Anura Guruge

Accidents Happen — In My Case I Wrote & Published A BOOK, Yes A Book, Accidentally.

by Anura Guruge


Click image to access my ‘accidental book’ on Amazon.


The cover. Click to ENLARGE to admire. Picture I took, last August, at ‘Hershey Gardens’, Pennsylvania.


Some pages from the inside.


When you write and publish as much as I do, accidents happen!

I had over 31 real books published prior to this. So, I am entitled an accident. SMILE.

This is what I say in my blurb, for this, my accidental book:

“Accidents happen. Arundhati Roy, the celebrated Indian author said: ‘All my books are accidental books’. I wish I could say the same. For good or for bad all my books have not been accidental. But, this one sure was – as I try to explain in the ‘Preface’ to this accidental book. When you write (and publish) as much as I do, and for as long as I have done, you should be entitled to at least one accidental book. Well, I am claiming this to be that.That should come as a great relief to the likes of David Busch the doyens of ‘Camera Books’. I have no intentions, whatsoever, of trying my hand – and luck – at writing a camera book. I do not have the expertise, experience, diligence and temperament to write a halfway acceptable camera book. So, this is NOT a real, or for that matter, even a pretend, camera book.This book really is not for public consumption. The title should make that somewhat obvious. A ‘crib sheet’ is not something that one – especially a onetime professional writer with over 30 ‘non-accidental’ published books and over 375 technical publications in print – usually sets out to publish and share with the world and sundry. This was a book I had not intended to write! It truly, in every way and every sense, was an accidental endeavor.I created the title, rather dumb I will admit, on Amazon ‘accidentally’. Amazon will not let me delete it. Fastidiousness is one of my many foibles. I could NOT abide having a book title on Amazon that was ‘empty’. That looks bad. Made my other books look bad. So, I set out to write a quick ‘accidental’ book to make things right. That is what this book is all about. Nothing more, nothing less. My accidental book.It really is not for public consumption. Just a set of words and pictures to ensure that an accidental book title had a body to go with. Sorry. Thank you. Smile.”

P.S., I will NOT be counting this in my book tally, going forward!


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by Anura Guruge


 

“Away” By Amy Bloom — Quite The Remarkable Story, Impeccably Told With Touches Of John Irving.

by Anura Guruge


Click to access the Amazon listing for this book.


Second book, back-to-back (the other having been the haunting “Doctor’s Wife“) that I have read on the wife’s recommendation. She, however, said it would be a ‘quick read‘. It was NOT and I am glad of that. I like to savor books, reading sentences over-and-over again, to appreciate their structure and admire the intellect it took to compose it in the way it was. I am always in awe of good writers — totally humbled by the great. I was not familiar with ‘Amy Bloom‘ BUT I am willing to rate her alongside my IDOL John Irving. Higher praise cannot spring from my fingers.

Quite the story.

So, why does she bring to mind the legendary John Irving. The research she has done, and what she then share with you about a plethora of esoteric topics from 1920s matinee idols on ‘Broadway’ to zionist paradise camps in Siberia. I learnt a LOT from this book. Kind of a crazy coincidence. I had just finished reading ‘Journey‘, by James Michener, a few weeks before I started this book. That book was all about a journey to ‘Dawson’ (just across the border from Alaska on the Canadian side) and ‘Dawson’ was also a key destination in this book! That was neat. I already knew a fair amount Dawson from the first book which added to my delight in reading about it again.

Yes, this book, like nearly all, have a few paragraphs that drive you to distractions. But, that is OK. Small price to pay for the rest which, by and large, is exquisite.

Real good read. You will enjoy it. IF you let it, it will educate you on numerous arcane topics.


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by Anura Guruge


STILL Cracks Me Up When I Get A Royalty Cheque For TECHNOLOGY Books I Wrote 16 Years Ago!

by Anura Guruge


The statement always come in September and the payment hits the bank at the end of the month.

This year it was 1/4 of what it was last year, BUT it is still enough to guy me a gallon of red wine and I am cool with that.

This was a ‘Web Service’ book I wrote and published in 2003 — 16-years ago!

Click to ENLARGE.


This was last year.

Click to ENLARGE.



If these were NOT technology books it wouldn’t crack me up at all. But, these are books that are now 60% out-of-date! Yes, some of the basic principles will still be the same but a lot of water flows under the bridge over the course of 15-years when it comes to technology.

These books have a ‘Look Inside‘ capability and people can return them. That I am still getting royalties mean that people must still find some value in them. That pleases me. These were good books when I wrote them.

I also got pretty decent advances on each of the books. So, I am pleased. I am smiling.

SMILE.


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by Anura Guruge

“The Doctor’s Wife” By Elizabeth Brundage — Wow, Quite The Story; Would Make A Gripping Movie.

by Anura Guruge


Click to access the Amazon listing for this book.


Quite the book. Quite the story. I just checked IMDb.com. I can’t find a movie of this book. That is pretty amazing. IF a book was made to be a hit as a movie it has to be this. C’est la vie. Maybe it is still in the making.

It is an ‘old’ book. It had come out in 2005. Deanna had picked it up at our ‘Swap Shop‘. I heard so much about it while she was reading it that I too had to read it.

Very topical. Very powerful. Does make you think and wonder.

She is an incredibly gifted writer. No denying that. She had me in AWE with her writing. I was, thus, amused to see that she won a ‘James Michener‘ award. So, she has to be good.

I will confess that the book was amazingly two-paced — maybe, very intentionally. The first & last chapter are classic page-turners. You can’t wait to see what the next sentence holds. But, parts of the middle were hard going — possibly even a tad boring.

But, definitely a book to read. I might even order one of her others. I am glad I serendipitously stumbled across her.


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by Anura Guruge


‘Journey’ By James A. Michener — Strangely Unsatisfying, Didn’t Read Like A ‘Michener’.

by Anura Guruge


Click to access Amazon listing.


No, it wasn’t because it was atypically short for a Michener. It is true that the paperback, in its entirety, is under 190-pages!

But, I have read another short Michener: ‘Miracle in Seville‘. That was different.

During much of this book I was convinced that he had NOT written it. That he had just lent his name to it so that the publisher could make a quick buck. But, curiously, this book, as its last chapter per se, contains a lengthy stream of consciousness from Michener talking about how this book came to be. The story was culled from his ‘1,000-page’ ‘Alaska‘. It, set 99% in Canada, was out-of-place in that novel and they were trying to keep it from getting too long. So, they took this tale out of that book and eventually Michener got around the publishing it as a standalone.

Maybe that is why it reads strange. In parts he seems rushed. The story is not very well developed. It feels sloppy.

Yes, great characters and you can really relate to them — especially if you, like I, are British. But, in the end I was left unsatisfied, unfulfilled. Like they say about Chinese. In the end you didn’t feel full.

Not a Michener I would recommend. I have just ordered Alaska in paperback.

Maybe I have read too much Michener. This was the 5th Michener in the last 18-months — and they included ‘Hawaii’, ‘The Covenant‘ & ‘Tales of the South Pacific‘. That is a lot of words from the same person.

It will be a couple of weeks before I pick up ‘Alaska’.


The ‘Michener Corner’ in my study.
Separate from all the other books.


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by Anura Guruge


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