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General Posts

My Year in Non-Fiction

A few days ago, a tweet about #NonfictionNovember came across my timeline. I was intrigued, so I clicked through to the linked post- and I found a blog event in which I definitely wanted to participate. I’m not usually one for book blog events, because they are usually reading challenges, and I’m usually too swamped with other things and other reading commitments to participate.

The Hippo Turns Two!

Two years ago Tuesday, I posted my first short ebook recommendation, and Tungsten Hippo was born. This website started as a "learner project" to give me the excuse to learn Drupal, and because I was itching to build something. It has grown into a part of my little business.

Breaking News

In my last post, I mentioned that I have started a publishing company focused on short ebooks. Since I post a short ebook recommendation once a week, and it is extremely unlikely that I will ever approach that frequency in publishing short ebooks, I intend to keep running Tungsten Hippo, with the small change that I’ve added disclosures to my recommendations now. All of this is old news, from the last blog post.

A Few Administrative Updates

I have a few administrative updates I want to share.

What to Do When You Can't Leave a Book Behind

I've been running this site for well over a year now, and have been thinking about it or working on it for close to two years.

The Power of One

One of the wonderful thing about good stories is that they echo through your brain, reverberating off whatever other ideas and thoughts happen to be in there at the time.

When I first downloaded Company Eight, by Matthew Pearl, I was intrigued by the chance to read about a piece of history I had literally never before considered: how our modern fire departments came to be. This is still how I pitch the story to friends I think should read it. It is a well-researched and fascinating look at how something we all take for granted came to be.

Buying eBooks for Your Kindle from Places Other Than Amazon

While I love my Kindle, I don’t love the fact that it steers me towards spending my entire book buying budget at Amazon. I am not an Amazon-basher, but I also do not think it would be healthy to let one retailer control the entire book selling market. That is why I post links to and Kobo in my book recommendations whenever possible.

Read Your Resolutions

I’m running a mini-campaign to encourage people to sign up for the new Tungsten Hippo mailing list. The tagline I chose is “Resolved to read more, but short on time? Read shorter books!” It is too early to say whether or not it will be a successful campaign, but it has got me thinking about books and New Year’s Resolutions.

Happy Birthday to the Hippo

One year ago, I launched Tungsten Hippo. It was, and still is, a primarily personal project. While I’d love it to eventually be self-supporting, realistically my goal is to have a project I take seriously enough to motivate me to learn new things so that I can make it better, but that is separate enough from my main professional identity that I am not afraid to try things out. It has met these goals perfectly.

Reading for Understanding

One of the most disturbing things I have seen in the aftermath of the shooting of Michael Brown and the protests in Ferguson was a Pew survey that indicated that only 37% of white people think that the shooting of Michael Brown raises issues of race. On one hand, I can’t comprehend what the other 63% are thinking. On the other hand, I understand all too well.


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