Golden Biker – A Superbly Funny “Road” Ebook

The author of this wonderfully funny and surreal ebook (The Golden Biker) has made a short video in which he tells us the history of how this ebook came about.

Some time ago I read and reviewed this truly funny and anarchic ebook, which I recommended to anyone who enjoys silly reading, as it is both very funny and also has some really quite relevant points to make about how we live our lives and the values that we believe are important to us.

If you read my original review (link below) you will understand better why I am so fond of this absurd ebook, and its weird and wonderful cast of characters, all of whom have remained in my mind ever since I read this enjoyably silly ebook.

Anyhow, as I said, I came across this video in which the author Alexander von Eisenhart Rothe  (now that is a name to conjure with!) talks about how he came to write this ebook, and the various hassles he had before it finally became a fully fledged ebook.  I thought you might enjoy seeing it and getting a feel for how he thinks, and what he finds important in life.

Continue reading “Golden Biker – A Superbly Funny “Road” Ebook”

Ebook Review – Golden Biker; An Insane Romp Through India.

I have just read an amazingly funny and anarchic book called Golden Biker, written by the splendidly named Alexander von Eisenhart Rothe which apart from anything else disproves totally the idea that Germans have no sense of humour.

This wonderful ebook which is a sort of “The Marx brothers Meet Easy Rider” story is set in contemporary India and tells the tale of a most unlikely group of people who are – for a whole range of idiotic reasons – chasing each other across India.

I can do no better than quote, rather fully, from the author’s own description of this story. This description sets the tone of the story and is written in the same style as the story itself, so it will give you a good idea of the atmosphere of the ebook:

Brought together in India through a series of hare-brained adventures are Arthur, an old bohemian from Cologne; Albert, otherwise known as Bear, a snack bar owner who emigrated to Goa; Gerd, a German businessman with a mid-life crisis; and Sherie, a stunningly good-looking prostitute from Bombay.

Together, they embark on a mission to find a mystic figure in the Himalayas: The Golden Biker, who supposedly cruises through the mountains on a golden motorbike, to punish the evildoers and give to those who mean well some of his no less mystical marihuana… known among aficionados as the best grass in the world.

However, the route the foursome has to undertake riding some ancient motorbikes called Enfield Bullets, across all of India is rather long and full of danger. Increasingly so, if you have a gang of ill-tempered Indian Mafiosi, two permanently stoned Israeli secret service guys, a gang of politically correct gypsies, one involuntary guru, a stark-naked blowgun expert, a muddle brained but fanatical old Nazi including his private army, as well as two freelance killers from Bombay at your heels.

Continue reading “Ebook Review – Golden Biker; An Insane Romp Through India.”

How to Read a Book – Is This the Future? Funny Video

So, how do you read a “real” paper book?  I know, we can all do that, but will we still know how to in, say 50 years time?  We have all seen those videos of small children trying to swipe to the next page in their kiddies books, as they have been brought up on iPads and similar devices and found those videos to be charming and funny in a nice and fuzzy way.   But in fact they are showing us the future of reading.   Like it or loathe it, ebooks are where we are heading, and patently paper books are slowly but steadily being superseded by their digital descendents.

And it is possible that in the not too distant future, paper books will only be read by academics in pursuit of their knowledge of these primitive predigital eras.   Depressing thought isn’t it?

In spite of the fact that I own a blog that is devoted to all aspects of ebooks, I am also a passionate lover of the paper variety as well, and have  thousands of them which I read and reread with enormous pleasure.   Loving the feel, the smell and the weight of a real book – And those rows of book spines on my bookshelves, all of which promise me so much pleasure and escape to new and different worlds.  Whilst I am very fond of my Sony, Kindle and so on, and truly appreciate their convenience, a couple of lonely looking, albeit sleek and smooth ereaders on a book shelf, each containing an enormous number of ebooks are in no way to be equated with the pleasure of the real thing obviously.   A total lack of the sense of adventure that a decently filled book shelf offers us.

Paper books sitting there on the shelf offer us in a highly visible manner an escape from the daily grind, romance, friendship, relaxation and all the many benefits of reading, and they do this in a tangible and individual manner.  ereaders obviously offer the same experiences, but they are discrete, nothing to be seen, no visible promise of pleasures, actually really very sterile objects.

Continue reading “How to Read a Book – Is This the Future? Funny Video”

Gooseberry Patch – Cheap But Good Cookery Ebooks

Own an ereader and want recipes? Well here you go, The Gooseberry Patch has them!

The hugely successful Gooseberry Patch series of cook books are available now as ebooks.  There are a couple of hundred of them covering just about every aspect of cooking delicious meals for yourself and your family.

These ebooks are as is normal with cookery books, set out subject by subject, so there are a whole range that show you how to cook meat in all manner of ways, how to make puddings and so on, from basic to really quite advanced recipes.

Titles range from “25 Savoury Pie Recipes”, “Christmas Classics Cookbook”, “25 Meat Loaf Recipes”, a whole slew of ebooks with the series name “Circle of Friends” – which are recipes that the two good ladies who started this company have been given by their friends to share with readers.


The Gooseberry Patch has been around now for quite some time, being founded in 1984 by Vickie Hutchins and Jo Ann Martin, who describe themselves as follows:

Continue reading “Gooseberry Patch – Cheap But Good Cookery Ebooks”

What You Need To Consider When Buying An Ereader

Ereader or Tablet? Which should you buy? A bit of help for you here…

It can be very confusing when you think you might like to leap into the world of ereading and ebooks.  There are so many different models out there, and the considerable problem of the various ebook formats as well.


To help you a bit in making a choice I shall discuss some of the main considerations you should take into account before parting with your hard earned money and committing yourself to one or other model of ereader.

Does colour matter to you?

The first thing to consider is do you want to read novels rather than ebooks with loads of illustrations or magazines or comics?   If the answer to that question is comics, magazines and other reading matter with lots of colour and illustrations, then you need to consider a tablet rather than a dedicated ereader, as most real ereaders are monochrome, and not really very good to view images with.

There are a number of ereaders with LCD screens which can manage colour OK, but their screens tend to be too small to be really pleasurable to view images with.   But with things such as the iPad and similar tablets, comics, magazines newspapers and coffee table ebooks and similar are a real pleasure to read and gaze upon, given the brilliant colours they can offer you.

If on the other hand you want to read ebooks that are basically text – novels and similar, then probably a real, dedicated monochrome ereader is what you want, as they are specifically designed for this form of reading, and are totally optimised for such ebooks.

So that is your first decision.  Colour and images = tablet.  Text and almost no images = dedicated monochrome ereader.

Screen size.

This is perhaps the next consideration.   If you are suffering from any sort of eye troubles, then the larger the screen you can get is something you should think about. Since if you have a smallish screen, and need the text size to be large, obviously you can then only fit so many words onto the screen at a time, so with a small screen you will be turning pages like a mad thing, but with a larger screen you will be able to have the letters quite large, but still have a reasonable number of words per page.

Currently the only large screen dedicated ereader I am aware of is the Kindle DX, which has a screen that is 9.7 inches diagonally across, room enough to make the letters huge and still have lots of words on the screen, otherwise you should consider a tablet again.

Most dedicated ereaders these days have a screen that is about 6 or 7 inches diagonally, which if your eyes are OK, is much like reading an average paper back.

So, if your eyes are OK, then any dedicated ereader will work for you , if not, consider a tablet with a much larger screen whatever sort of ebooks you want to read on it.

Front light or clip on reading light.

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Ebook Review. Morlac, The Ultimate Fantasy Story

With Morlac – The Quest of the Green Magician, Alan Ruse has written what has to be the ultimate epic Fantasy saga. He manages to incorporate every form of fantasy with the possible exception of Vampires into the three stories that make up this ebook.

With Morlac – The Quest of the Green Magician, Alan Ruse has written what has to be the ultimate epic Fantasy saga.  He manages to incorporate every form of fantasy with the possible exception of Vampires into the three stories that make up this ebook.

In fact he first published this book in 1986 as a paper book, but it has now been published as an ebook.

From This…………

Hawksbill Sea Turtle

To This……….. Read on, All will be Explained……


In passing I have to say I really like this cover, it splendidly sets the tone of the book, shows that Conan is lurking somewhere in the back of Ruse’s mind, and reminds me of the Sci-Fi mags I used to buy many, many years ago.

Continue reading “Ebook Review. Morlac, The Ultimate Fantasy Story”

The Mysterious Stranger, Mark Twain On Satan

As you will know if you are a fan of Mark Twain’s writings, he was very much opposed to the Christian Church and all its works.   And as his life went on, this loathing simply became worse and worse (a view I share with him by the way). His views on the Church and […]

As you will know if you are a fan of Mark Twain’s writings, he was very much opposed to the Christian Church and all its works.   And as his life went on, this loathing simply became worse and worse (a view I share with him by the way).


His views on the Church and humanity are best summed up in a short book he wrote at the end of his life, and which was not published in the USA until about 1960, as his daughter felt strongly that this book did not really reflect her father’s views, and that it was simply too sacrilegious.

This short book, which I first read in about 1966 is called Letters From Earth, and is supposed to be a series of letters written by Satan to his two good friends, the Archangels Gabriel and Michael.  The idea is that he (Satan) has nipped down to earth to see how we are all getting on, and he is appalled by what he finds.

I shan’t go into the storyline here, as you can read the whole thing for yourself on-line if you follow this link (Letters From Earth).   This short book gives a very good idea of how Twain regarded organised religion and humanity as well.

He wrote a number of other stories which were basically attacks on the Christian Church, and several of these have been turned into very pleasing claymation films, which I will post below for your viewing pleasure.

I feel that these short films speak perfectly well for themselves (the storylines were written by Mark Twain after all), so I shan’t tediously analyse what it is that they are trying to say, as it is totally obvious and clear enough I feel.

So, without more ado, here are the two films that show very well both his feelings about religion, and also his very misanthropic feelings as well.

So, to start with, here is his take on religion’s ideas about the ultimate reward – Heaven.

And now his views on humanity……………………. Continue reading “The Mysterious Stranger, Mark Twain On Satan”

Angie And Agent X – Again.

Some time ago I wrote a review of the first Angie And Agent X book by Gary Ruse, a silly, funny and thoroughly enjoyable book all about a very unlikely pair of CIA operatives and their adventures attempting to defeat a totally evil criminal (Link to that review: Angie and Agent X).  Well now I have just had the pleasure of reading the follow up to that book and found it to be as enjoyable as the first volume was.

mandarin mystery

Once again our unlikely pair of heroes (Angie the young woman CIA operative and Agent X, an alien who has become involved in the CIA after his arrival on earth) find themselves asked to solve some very puzzling mysteries, the first mystery being how on earth did the dead body of a CIA operative who was apparently killed in Mexico turn up in the USA about 45 minutes after he was killed… And it gets weirder and weirder from that point on.

Gary Ruse (the author of this fine bit of silliness) has this to say about his book:-

In this sequel to Aggie & Agent X, CIA officer Agnes Westfeld has now been permanently assigned to the special investigative unit at Area 51 in Nevada. She and her partner, Agent X, are immediately thrown into a new case with a seemingly impossible twist. As they seek to solve this baffling mystery and learn the extent of a diabolical scheme by an ancient criminal organization, Aggie and Agent X face dangers more deadly than ever before. A new adventure with that special blend of sci-fi, espionage, mystery, humor and old movie atmosphere that launched the most unusual team-up of spies ever. A new mission! New perils! New villains! And more…

Continue reading “Angie And Agent X – Again.”

Major US Publishers Call For End Of US Book Embargo To Cuba

About 40 of the USA’s major publishers have joined with Smashwords founder Mark Coker and Publisher’s Weekly and have set up a petition on the White House’s website demanding that the embargo on books and educational materials being exchanged between Cuba and the USA be ended at once.

International Book Fair, Havana

This embargo, which is part of the more general embargo that the USA imposed on Cuba about 50 years ago is still in force, in spite of the easing of relations between the two countries of late, and is obviously wrong and in dire need of being rescinded at once.

This idea was first mooted at a recent visit by a contingent of major players in the USA publishing industry during an international book fair in Havana, where these visiting Americans took part in a number of panel discussions, where the idea of free exchange of ideas, literature and books was discussed.

Happy Young Readers At The Havana International Book Fair

Continue reading “Major US Publishers Call For End Of US Book Embargo To Cuba”

Turn Your Google Docs Into Epub Files

Here is another great bit of news for people who write ebooks, or actually, any sort of book that they might wish to publish for ereaders.

Google have just quietly added a truly useful new trick to their Google Docs app.  You can now save your Google Doc as an ePub file, which is the file format used by all ereaders except the Kindle,   Well at least for now, it is on the desk top versions of Google Docs, such as you have on a Chrome Book for example, or if you use Chrome as your web browser.  I gather that shortly it will be available for all Android users.

It is amazingly simple to use, simply have your document open, click on File menu > Download as > EPUB Publication (.epub), and the job is done.

Screenshot 2016-03-10 at 09.25.19

Having done this, you will be able to put your document (Major Literary Work) directly onto pretty well any ereader – except of course the dreaded Amazon Kindle,, which typically of large companies, uses its own ebook format in an attempt to force Kindle owners to buy all their ebooks from Amazon.

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