3 Observations from "I Am Pilgrim"

Finding and reading the summer's best beach book.

July 7, 2014

I Am Pilgrim: A Thriller by Terry Hayes 

Published May, 2014

Observation #1 - I Am Pilgrim is the Perfect 2014 Summer Beach Read:

I’m buying the next coffee if you can come up with a better 2014 summer beach read than I Am Pilgrim.  

This books has it all.  One part police procedural and one international spy thriller.  Why hadn’t anyone thought of combining these two genres into one addictive package?

Observation #2 - I Learned about I Am Pilgrim from a Human

We all have those human book recommendation machines walking amongst us on our campuses and office parks.  Let us call my human book recommending machine Carole.  Who is your Carole?

My campus Carole seems to read everything published, has strong opinions about which books are worth her time, and is unfailingly generous in sharing her knowledge and recommendations.

Why are these human book recommenders so critical in determining what we decide to read?  Shouldn’t the Interweb and the dominion of Jeff Bezos (he who must not be named) replaced these human book recommenders by now?

Publishers Hear This:  Word of mouth is the most important vector for determining book buying behavior.  Period.  End of story.  Stop Tweeting and Facebooking and whatever other useless social media thumb sucking that you are doing, and find these Carole’s and get them your books.    

Observation #3 - Amazon’s Seamless Kindle / Audio Switching Is Awesome:

I Am Pilgrim is not only the big beach book of the summer, it is a big beach book.  I’m talking 705 pages big.

You should not be daunted by the length.  The pages go quickly and the chapters are short.

I opted to buy the Kindle and the Audible version, giving me the opportunity to test out the new audio switching option.  Previously, a Kindle book needed to Whispersync enabled for the e-book and the audio book to sync.  It appears that is no longer the case.  As long as you are syncing the Kindle book to some Kindle app (in my case the iOS Kindle app), you can switch back and forth from e-text to audio in the Kindle app.   

It seems that Amazon and Audible have some work to do on this technology.  The Audible App on my iPhone does not sync with the Kindle app, and I needed re-download the audio file from within the Kindle app.  The audio is delivered directly from the Kindle app.   Are you tracking the problem?  Basically, it seems that you can do the e-text / audio switching now with any book available in both formats, even if Whispersync is not enabled, but you can only do it in the Kindle app.

Why Amazon hasn’t figured out how to deliver a consistent app reading / listening experience I have no idea.  Whispersync is not only a technology but a pricing scheme, as the audio version is often (although not always) discounted if you buy the Kindle version first.   

Looking beyond Amazon’s technology confusion, the net result is that switching from reading with my eyes to reading with my ears means that I can read lots more pages.  This weekend I mowed the lawn (audio), folded the laundry (audio), went on a couple runs (audio), did the dishes (audio), and lay on my coach (e-book),  all without leaving my Kindle or Kindle app and all without leaving Pilgrim.  

What are your summer beach book recommendations?

What are you reading?


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