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Friday, March 2, 2012

Third Time a Charm?

It is possible that my third will be the last Kindle that I have to purchase for awhile. I find it sad that so many of my electronic devices seldom survive the first few weeks in my home, but it is far from unbelievable. I have a two year old that likes to make things vanish, and a five year old that once took about 30 ounces of Pepsi and poured it into the keyboard of brand new Toshiba Satellite.

The funniest thing about my last two Kindles though, is that my children are not to blame for their demise. My first was eaten by a chair, the second became a chair. I am a bit glad the last one got broken though. The regular Kindle has very limited storage capacity. The Kindle Touch has four Gigabytes. That is a whole lot of books. Seriously, so many books. 

The Kindle touch also has voice capability (text to speech and speech recognition), which you will find in the Kindle with a keyboard, but not the regular Kindle. Even if I never use half of these features, I like that they are there. No, I have never tried the speech recognition. To me, it just seems lazy. I do let my daughter turn on the text to speech so that it can read stories to her. She prefers it reading them, to me reading them. I was offended at first, of course, until I realized that she just thinks the computer voice is funny.

The touch screen is very sensitive, but not so sensitive that it is an issue. You can set your screen to refresh with every page turn (black flash) but the default is for it not to. I have no problem with the black flash, but have been too lazy to change the setting. I guess the ghost words from pages past have not started to bother me enough yet. There are specialized zones on the screen that have a specific purpose when tapped, another when pressed for a moment, and yet another when you slide your finger across depending on what screen you are on. It is kind of nice when you have it all figured out.

Like the Kindle Keyboard, this Kindle has the ability to play MP3s, but I think that section will remain unused for me. I would prefer to use that storage space for more books, and since I have a four Gigabyte MP3 player, and an Android device with Pandora, I have no reason to use my Kindle for that purpose. Oddly enough, even though I already have the Kindle Touch and an Android phone, I still want a Kindle Fire...

The Sign of the Cross - Chris Kuzneski

There are few things worse than waking up to being kidnapped, taken by boat to another country, and then crucified. Well, for this guy there isn't. The others are not even as lucky as he was. Throw in Jon Payne and David Jones in a Spanish (yes, Spanish) prison, two CIA agents that aren't, an English professor and student with secrets and it all gets a bit odd.

It seems that the Vatican has a secret, one that they want to keep. As usual, things are not always as they seem. The Vatican security chief seems extremely committed to his job, but he has his own agenda. Like any good antagonist, he will do whatever it takes to achieve it. This man is on a worldwide killing spree, and even his own children are on that list.

The Cardinal from Texas was an interesting character. Nick Dial has a few fun conversations with him. Nick Dial of course, is the head of the homicide division at Interpol. Well, I guess you can figure out on your own how he gets involved. What with exploding cars, hijacked helicopters, and plot twists around every corner, this book is a fantastic read.

This book was intensely fun, and full of action. It would feel wrong to give this book anything less than five stars.