The Plunge of Icarus is a cinenovel. If you have never heard of or seen a cinenovel – you are in for a treat. You can read it like a traditional book, listen to the narrated version and add music. Leave your reality and become part of this new world. It is a classic hero novel, complete with true love. It is a cautionary tale about war. It is a sci-fi story that seems contemporary. It is hard to imagine you can pack all of that into a novel – but they did. You are immersed in the story and will not want to leave.
History can teach and inspire us. Timeline World War 1, through the use of audio, video, photography and historical documents leads you through the balance of power before the war, through the first shot and all the way to a video of Paris welcoming peace. This app allows you to walk through the whole experience from Archduke Franz Ferdinand’s assassination to the Treaty of Versailles. You explore both military and personal documents. It is quite an experience.
History is a part of American culture and no event is more central to the early history of our country than the Civil War. States were called upon to take sides – even at times, families. This iPad app, Timeline American Civil War helps tell that story in a compelling way through audio, video, images and maps.
Your Newsstand app comes with your iDevice and is one of the handiest around. It is actually more of a folder, than an app. You can find magazines to support any interest, but, for me, it’s a perfect fit for fitness. You can read success stories, see videos of exercises and discover great recipes. I’ll share a couple of my favorite subscriptions and talk about why I’ve switched from print to digital. Continue reading →
War Horse delivers on so many levels. If you love history, you will find a WWI timeline, historical photos, artifacts, letters and films. You’ll also see insights from various experts on WWI including ones from Flanders Field Museum, the National Army Museum (London), The National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial (Kansas City), the grandson of General Jack Seely, and from the Chief Executive of the Brooke (an international charity for the welfare of working equines). If you love performance, you will find heart-wrenching performances of poems like The Charge of The Light Brigade or Dulce et Decorum Est. The most standout performance is the author performing an edited version of the story with musicians John Tams and Barry Coope. In addition, but certainly the cornerstone of the app, you can read the illustrated novel or listen to Michael Morpurgo’s reading. It is almost hard to imagine all of this in one app. Continue reading →
There is nothing I enjoy more than having someone read to me. I love audio books and now can enjoy a similar experience with articles I’ve selected from the internet or news aggregators like Zite or Flipboard. You get all of that with Lisgo Text to Speech Voice Reader for Web News. There is also an iPad version. Continue reading →
Egyptian pyramids have fascinated us since Howard Carter discovered the treasurers of King Tut’s tomb in 1922. We have enjoyed movies about them, TV shows and an amazing number of books. Now, Touch Press brings us an app that allows us to walk through the Pyramids, not only as if we were there, but better than that! Some of the views you have in this app are in protected areas and even if you were there, you couldn’t see them. Not only that, Dr. Zahi Hawass adds his extensive knowledge of the area to the project. Pyramids 3D is a treasure. Continue reading →
The Sonnets by William Shakespeare is another jewel from the crew at Touch Press. They created the popular apps for iPad – Leonardo da Vinci: Anatomy, The Elements, Jewels and Gems and X is for X-Ray. To call this app a success barely covers the achievement. I will let the key features speak for themselves. There are 154 performances of the sonnets synchronized to the text. Included with the app is the 1609 Quarto, the first published edition of the sonnets. You will also have access to the Arden Shakespeare’s complete notes, new commentary by Don Paterson and videos of expert perspectives. It is visually rich and fun to explore. Continue reading →
For anyone who has seen the majesty of the Golden Gate Bridge, or wants to, this book app, GG Bridge, is a must have. The actual title of the book, not used on iTunes, is “A Wild Flight of the Imagination.” The app includes photos, architectural drawings, maps, music, historical recordings, a short film and more. The bridge opened for pedestrians on May 27, 1937 and for vehicular traffic on May 28, 1937. Happy Anniversary Golden Gate Bridge! Continue reading →
As I have mentioned before there is an app for every interest and hobby. One of my interests is World War II history. My father and his two brothers were at Normandy and my father-in-law was in the Philippines on Pearl Harbor Day and was later captured by the Japanese. For both my fathers the outcome was a long, happy life, but this was a defining time for their generation and one that I completely admire. It was with great anticipation that I started reviewing this app. After watching the intro by Robert MacNeil all I could say was wow! Timeline WW2 is packed with information and features and has been a joy to explore. Continue reading →
I am dazzled by Leonard da Vinci: Anatomy, and it’s hard to pick out just what feature is the most impressive. There are 268 of da Vinci’s drawings. You can pinch and zoom in to see amazing detail. In addition, there are eleven (short) chapters of information corresponding to each drawing, including background of what was the conventional thinking at the time and how Leonardo understood the truth and occasionally how he was influenced by his contemporaries. There are interviews by the curator of the drawings and historians and scientists. You can interact with the 3-D images that correspond with the drawings. This book works as a history book, an art book, a study of anatomy and most certainly, as a spectacular iPad book. Continue reading →
If you love to read, than Overdrive for iPad or iPhone will become one of your favorite apps. You add your library, search for an available title, and download a book. For my library, there is a seven-day limit. I assume something similar exists for other libraries. This is a great resource for the avid reader. It is a green solution to driving to a library to check out books – whether you want to read one or listen. There are certainly more books available to check out at a library, but this is a great way to grab a book from the comfort of your home. It can also be used to read books obtained from retail sites. Continue reading →
These seven apps are books that are more than books – they are currently called enhanced eBooks. What is an enhanced book? You’ll find photos, maps, video and each are an invitation for you to take an active role in listening, reading and choosing your content. If you want to dip your toes into this new and exciting world of reading, here’s a few suggestions. (I originally wrote this article back in January and updated it in July to add Bats! Furry Fliers of the Night.)
The Kindle App is an enjoyable addition to your iPhone. Instead of carrying a book with you everywhere, you can always have one handy on your phone. You download Kindle books through Amazon.com and, if you have one, sync with your Kindle device. You can customize your reading experience by changing the background, font or changing from portrait to landscape. The icon for the iPad version of this app is identical to the one above. Continue reading →