The Dinglehopper

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The Top Five Surprises from Kindle Unlimited

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Kindle Unlimited is Amazon’s latest grab for a few more of your minutes and a few more of your dollars.  It’s an ebook/audiobook subscription service targeted at heavy general readers.  It’s not for everyone.  But it you read a lot, and you’re constantly swapping genres and looking for new material, it might be for you.

Kindle Unlimited is a new service that allows you to read as much as you want, choosing from over 600,000 titles and thousands of audiobooks. Freely explore new authors, books, and genres from mysteries and romance to sci-fi and more. You can read on any device. It’s available for $9.99 a month and you can cancel anytime.

While they have some incredibly popular authors, books, and series available, I wanted to know what made Kindle Unlimited special.  What did they have that wasn’t already available in the Kindle Lending Library or even my local public library system.  Here are the top five surprises (in alphabetical order).  Every one is worth your time.

The Bel Dame Apocrypha by Kameron Hurley

Kameron Hurley is an award-winning author, advertising copywriter, and online scribe.  She has degrees in historical studies from the University of Alaska and the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal, specializing in the history of South African resistance movements. Her essay on the history of women in conflict “We Have Always Fought” was the first blog post to win a Hugo Award.

Nyx is a former government assassin turned bounty hunter paid to collect the heads of terrorists and deserters. Cast out from her honorable assassins’ guild and imprisoned for breaking one rule too many, Nyx and her crew of mercenaries are driven by money, not loyalty. But when a dubious deal with an alien emissary goes awry, her name is at the top of the government’s list to head a covert recovery.

While the centuries-long war rages on only one thing is certain: the world’s best chance for peace rests in the hands of its most ruthless killers. . .

Dhalgren by Samuel R. Delany

Samuel R. Delany is an American author, professor and literary critic. His work includes fiction, memoir, criticism, and essays on sexuality and society.

A young half–Native American known as the Kid has hitchhiked from Mexico to the midwestern city Bellona—only something is wrong there . . . In Bellona, the shattered city, a nameless cataclysm has left reality unhinged. Into this desperate metropolis steps the Kid, his fist wrapped in razor-sharp knives, to write, to love, to wound.

So begins Dhalgren, Samuel R. Delany’s masterwork, which in 1975 opened a new door for what science fiction could mean. A labyrinth of a novel, it raises questions about race, sexuality, identity, and art, but gives no easy answers, in a city that reshapes itself with each step you take . . .

Dirty Wars: The World is a Battlefield by Jeremy Scahill

Jeremy Scahill is a founding editor of the online news publication The Intercept and author of Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army.  Scahill is a Fellow at The Nation Institute.  He got his start as a journalist on the independently syndicated daily news show Democracy Now!.

In Dirty Wars, Jeremy Scahill takes us inside America’s new covert wars. The foot soldiers in these battles operate globally and inside the United States with orders from the White House to do whatever is necessary to hunt down, capture or kill individuals designated by the president as enemies.

Dirty Wars follows the consequences of the declaration that “the world is a battlefield,” as Scahill uncovers the most important foreign policy story of our time. From Afghanistan to Yemen, Somalia and beyond, Scahill reports from the frontlines in this high-stakes investigation and explores the depths of America’s global killing machine. He goes beneath the surface of these covert wars, conducted in the shadows, outside the range of the press, without effective congressional oversight or public debate. And, based on unprecedented access, Scahill tells the chilling story of an American citizen marked for assassination by his own government.

Mumbo Jumbo by Ishmael Reed

Ishmael Reed is an American poet, novelist, essayist, songwriter, playwright, editor and publisher. Reed is known for his satirical works challenging American political culture, and highlighting political and cultural oppression.

Ishmael Reed’s inspired fable of the ragtime era, in which a social movement threatens to suppress the spread of black culture—hailed by Harold Bloom as one of the five hundred greatest books of the Western canon

In 1920s America, a plague is spreading fast. From New Orleans to Chicago to New York, the “Jes Grew” epidemic makes people desperate to dance, overturning social norms in the process. Anyone is vulnerable and when they catch it, they’ll bump and grind into a frenzy. Working to combat the Jes Grew infection are the puritanical Atonists, a group bent on cultivating a “Talking Android,” an African American who will infiltrate the unruly black communities and help crush the outbreak. But PaPa LaBas, a houngan voodoo priest, is determined to keep his ancient culture—including a key spiritual text—alive.

Spanning a dizzying host of genres, from cinema to academia to mythology, Mumbo Jumbo is a lively ride through a key decade of American history. In addition to ragtime, blues, and jazz, Reed’s allegory draws on the Harlem Renaissance, the Back to Africa movement, and America’s occupation of Haiti. His style throughout is as avant-garde and vibrant as the music at its center.

Nevada by Imogen Binnie

Imogen Binnie is the author of the zines The Fact That It’s Funny Doesn’t Make It A Joke and Stereotype Threat. She is currently a monthly contributor to Maximum Rocknroll and has previously written for Aorta Magazine, The Skinny and PrettyQueer.com.

Nevada is the darkly comedic story of Maria Griffiths, a young trans woman living in New York City and trying to stay true to her punk values while working retail. When she finds out her girlfriend has lied to her, the world she thought she’d carefully built for herself begins to unravel, and Maria sets out on a journey that will most certainly change her forever.

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