Author Topic: 299 Days: The Preparation (Book One) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]  (Read 55999 times)

Offline Andy44

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Re: 299 Days: The Preparation (Book One) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
« Reply #30 on: September 07, 2012, 08:07:29 AM »
Heavy G,

Just finished reading books 1 and 2 - can't wait for the next two!

The way normalcy bias was used in the storyline, particularly in relation to Lisa's character really made me think about how it would be in the real world. I guess it depends on the individuals background and upbringing, but I reckon you have it pretty much spot on.

If you based the prepping in the books on the stuff you actually did - way to go, and more power to you! Absolutely awesome!

Small piece of constructive feedback (and I feel bad even saying this because I can guess how much work has gone in, and the result is truly awesome): I downloaded the kindle versions, and there were quiet a few typo's and grammar points in the two books (not enough to spoil the enjoyment, but more than you might find in a conventionally published book).

That aside - a big "Congratulations".

Offline PrepperJim

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Re: 299 Days: The Preparation (Book One) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
« Reply #31 on: September 07, 2012, 08:19:13 AM »
PrepperJim:  I have a few more thoughts on this. Sorta.  I just talked to the real Pow.  He agrees with me that there isn't any magical formula for meeting guys and forming a team.  It just happens.  He said that the key is like-minded people hanging out and if a team forms, it forms.  Sorry that that's vague, but I wanted to give you Pow's thoughts on this.

Thanks Heavy G.

This one is tough for me because I am anti-social. I spent too much time at work talking to people that when I come home I just want to not talk to people. Ask my wife, she will tell you. ;-)

Offline backwoods_engineer

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Re: 299 Days: The Preparation (Book One) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
« Reply #32 on: September 08, 2012, 08:43:11 AM »
I agree with Smurf that Grant seems like a real person, someone that I can relate to.  His experiences, both good and bad, have made him the man that he is, and the exposition of those experiences early in Book 1 really pay off.

I finished both Book 1 and Book 2 last weekend.  I bought them on Kindle, and I could not put the thing down.  Incredibly well paced, very exciting but I am DYING to see how the story continues!

Heavy G, I know you need to stretch this out for revenue's sake, but dude, November? Yer killin' me :-)

Offline PrepperJim

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Re: 299 Days: The Preparation (Book One) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
« Reply #33 on: September 08, 2012, 09:00:28 AM »
I posted a separate review on my blog. All 5 readers regularly shut down the server so don't go there all at once!! :-)


Offline cheryl1

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Re: 299 Days: The Preparation (Book One) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
« Reply #34 on: September 08, 2012, 09:30:57 AM »
What happened to the little sister? Seemed like Grant protected her growing up, but then she dropped off the face of the Earth (unless I missed a reference somewhere).

Offline Heavy G

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Re: 299 Days: The Preparation (Book One) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
« Reply #35 on: September 08, 2012, 10:18:31 AM »

I posted a separate review on my blog. All 5 readers regularly shut down the server so don't go there all at once!! :-)


Thanks, "Winter Ant."  I put your review on the 299 Days' blog.

Offline Heavy G

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Re: 299 Days: The Preparation (Book One) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
« Reply #36 on: September 08, 2012, 10:20:57 AM »

What happened to the little sister? Seemed like Grant protected her growing up, but then she dropped off the face of the Earth (unless I missed a reference somewhere).


Cheryl:

You'll be hearing lots more from Grant's sister.  She has a chapter in every book and a prominent role in the epilogue.

Offline cheryl1

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Re: 299 Days: The Preparation (Book One) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
« Reply #37 on: September 08, 2012, 10:41:44 AM »
Ok good, I was afraid Grant had just abandoned her.

Offline Grannywhiskers

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Re: 299 Days: The Preparation (Book One) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
« Reply #38 on: September 08, 2012, 10:55:30 AM »
I have read both books as Kindle downloads.  When I get into a good book...my mind just automaticaly corrects typos unles their are to many.  So...I had no problem with typos  ;D

Offline IFixTeeth2000

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Re: 299 Days: The Preparation (Book One) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
« Reply #39 on: September 08, 2012, 02:23:00 PM »
Heavy G (or anyone else that may know)...

When Grant goes to Cash and Carry then takes all his spagetti, beans, etc to the storage unit, he vacuum seals all of it.

Is this just into the clear bags that go with a food saver machine?  Are you throwing an O2 absorber into it as well (it reads as if you are not).

Just curious.  I have a few hours to kill tonight and have lots of bulk food and a food saver machine with plenty of bags... but no O2 absorbers!

Mark

Offline Nadir_E

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Re: 299 Days: The Preparation (Book One) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
« Reply #40 on: September 08, 2012, 03:23:53 PM »
Heavy G (or anyone else that may know)...

When Grant goes to Cash and Carry then takes all his spagetti, beans, etc to the storage unit, he vacuum seals all of it.

Is this just into the clear bags that go with a food saver machine?  Are you throwing an O2 absorber into it as well (it reads as if you are not).

Just curious.  I have a few hours to kill tonight and have lots of bulk food and a food saver machine with plenty of bags... but no O2 absorbers!

Mark

Mark - it's a matter of degree.  The vacuum sealing goes a LONG way toward increasing longevity of the item stored.  The 02 absorber just goes that much further, eliminating the oxygen the vacuum couldn't get out.  You'll be increasing the shelf life considerably with just the vacuum sealer, don't sweat not having o2 absorbers this time around (but if you DO have *hand*warmers* around, they're the same thing - use them).

-N

Offline Heavy G

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Re: 299 Days: The Preparation (Book One) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
« Reply #41 on: September 08, 2012, 09:21:32 PM »

Heavy G (or anyone else that may know)...

When Grant goes to Cash and Carry then takes all his spagetti, beans, etc to the storage unit, he vacuum seals all of it.

Is this just into the clear bags that go with a food saver machine?  Are you throwing an O2 absorber into it as well (it reads as if you are not).

Just curious.  I have a few hours to kill tonight and have lots of bulk food and a food saver machine with plenty of bags... but no O2 absorbers!

Mark


The book apparently doesn't specify this, but I throw 02 absorbers in most of the time.  Nadir is right: 02 absorbers are not critical.  Nice, but not critical. 

Offline Heavy G

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Re: 299 Days: The Preparation (Book One) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
« Reply #42 on: September 09, 2012, 07:39:52 PM »
The songs in the soundtrack for Book One are explained here:

http://299days.com/meaning-of-the-songs-accompanying-book-one/

Don't read this unless you've already read Book One.

Offline Black November

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Re: 299 Days: The Preparation (Book One) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
« Reply #43 on: September 11, 2012, 12:47:34 PM »
Great Book

I could literally feel Grant's hesitation as he walked into the Capitol City Guns and the Cash & Carry for the first time.

Having shopped at these kinds of establishments for many years now, I had long forgotten what that felt like.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2012, 01:03:50 PM by Black November »

Offline WVMan73

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Re: 299 Days: The Preparation (Book One) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
« Reply #44 on: September 12, 2012, 04:34:54 PM »
Hey G! After reading both the first two books, I passed them on to my father. He's 75 and a big reader. He's loving book 1! (He's kind of picky too, so this is saying something. lol) I'd say you've got another reader hooked on your books. ;) Great job!

After reading both books I'm amazed that you aren't a long time writer. These really don't read like something written by a new author. Are you sure you aren't... oh, I don't know... John Grisham or someone like that, hiding under a new name so the .gov doesn't find out you prep???  :tinfoily:

 8) ;)

Offline Heavy G

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Re: 299 Days: The Preparation (Book One) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
« Reply #45 on: September 12, 2012, 08:37:58 PM »

After reading both books I'm amazed that you aren't a long time writer. These really don't read like something written by a new author. Are you sure you aren't... oh, I don't know... John Grisham or someone like that, hiding under a new name so the .gov doesn't find out you prep???  :tinfoily:

 8) ;)


*evil laughter*  I'm a super famous author hiding out as "Glen Tate."  *more evil laughter*  *lying*  *just a regular guy who wrote down some stuff*

Offline Serenity Gulch

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Re: 299 Days: The Preparation (Book One) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
« Reply #46 on: September 13, 2012, 08:30:11 AM »
I'm about 2/3 of the way thru book one. It's taking me a little longer to start enjoying this book than the rest of you. Maybe it's a woman thing but I just kept thinking if he spends all that time at the gun range, gun store, storage unit, cabin, etc no wonder his marriage is in trouble. And the way he's subverting his daughter against mom just seems really wrong to me. I kept wishing he would give his wife more of a chance. I hope Lisa gets a chance to come around in later books and becomes a strong character because so far all the female characters seem to either be shrews or doormats.

With that being said, the book has motivated me to get my butt in gear again as far as our food stores. Really wishing we had Cash and Carry in the midwest but at least I have a Costco membership.


Offline WVMan73

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Re: 299 Days: The Preparation (Book One) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
« Reply #47 on: September 13, 2012, 03:24:24 PM »
*evil laughter*  I'm a super famous author hiding out as "Glen Tate."  *more evil laughter*  *lying*  *just a regular guy who wrote down some stuff*

Pretty damn good stuff ya wrote down there G. Careful though, you'll make us all believe that it was easy. lol
 ;)

Offline Heavy G

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Re: 299 Days: The Preparation (Book One) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
« Reply #48 on: September 13, 2012, 09:19:55 PM »

I hope Lisa gets a chance to come around in later books and becomes a strong character because so far all the female characters seem to either be shrews or doormats.


You will like Book Three and onward.

Offline Serenity Gulch

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Re: 299 Days: The Preparation (Book One) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
« Reply #49 on: September 14, 2012, 08:14:55 AM »
You will like Book Three and onward.

Yay! Finished book 1 last night and immediately bought book 2 for my kindle. IMO the writing style was a little rough in the first few chapters but the style and story improved exponentially as the book progressed. Thankfully I have the kindle software on my computer at work so hopefully I can sneak in getting started on book 2 during lunch.  ;)

Now that Bernanke has unleased "QE To Infinity and Beyond" I feel like I should be going thru your books with a highlighter and a to-do list.

Offline JC2

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Re: 299 Days: The Preparation (Book One) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
« Reply #50 on: September 15, 2012, 11:12:24 PM »
Heavy G
Just had to give you a thumbs up for your series. Just finished the second book and have thoroughly enjoyed the first two in the series.
Yours is only the second book i have ever left a review on in Amazon (the other was an extremely bad review of a CD) but when a book brings out actual emotions from me i thought it at least deserved a few minutes of my time to let others know.
I look forward to the other books. Thanks again for such a great read.
JC2

Offline Heavy G

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Re: 299 Days: The Preparation (Book One) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
« Reply #51 on: September 16, 2012, 06:59:18 AM »
Thanks, JC2.  You bring up a good point about emotional reactions to the book.  I need to say some things about that.

Before I wrote the book, I would have been stunned to hear that I brought out emotions in someone.  But when I wrote the book, I brought out emotions in myself.  A couple times when I wrote things that happen later in the series, I actually teared up.  And they weren't things about myself.  They were about the enormity of what's coming (good and bad). 

The emotions in Book One and Book Two are just a warm up for what's coming in later books.  Get ready for some very, very big emotional impacts (at least I hope so).  If the chapter "Lives, Fortunes, and Sacred Honor" (Book Five) doesn't hit you hard, then nothing will.  So will the chapter "The Octopus Family" (Book Five) and "Lil' Sissy" (Book Eight).  The chapter "Every New Years Day From Here on Out" (Book Ten) is very powerful too.

If you will indulge me...  There are a couple of lines from a Jamey Johnson song called "That's Why I Write Songs" that sum up how I am totally amazed that a regular guy like me can bring out emotions in people through a book, and how I think I was put here to write this book and help people.

Here is the song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wzXu37K4tIY

The lines (at 2:18 to 2:46) are:

     I remember how it blew my mind
     I played a song and watched a grown man cry
     It was at that moment when I just knew
     What I was born to do

Another amazing thing about writing this book is that it's my life right there on paper or a Kindle screen.  When people react strongly to my own life, it's a stunning sensation.  In the song, Jamey Johnson is talking about why he writes songs (at 1:50 to 2:00) and says:

     It ain't what I do
     It's who I am

That's not too amazing for Jamey Johnson, who is a professional songwriter.  But it is amazing for me because writing this book isn't what I do--I'm not a professional author.  This book is who I am.  And it is an extreme honor for that to impact people like it is.  An extreme honor.

Thank each of you for reading the book.  Thank you.

Offline Heavy G

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Re: 299 Days: The Preparation (Book One) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
« Reply #52 on: September 18, 2012, 08:55:42 PM »
cheryl1 is raisin' 'em right...


Offline markl32

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Re: 299 Days: The Preparation (Book One) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
« Reply #53 on: September 22, 2012, 01:35:13 AM »
Possible technical glitch;

I think its in book one that Grant talks about a shotgun sling that he had custom made "2 years ago" but he had just gotten back into shooting and recently (less than two year) bought his shotgun. 

Or maybe I read it wrong. 

In any case - great work!

Offline cpf240

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Re: 299 Days: The Preparation (Book One) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
« Reply #54 on: September 23, 2012, 02:47:16 PM »
First off, I have to say that I'm really enjoying book 1 so far.

What I'd like to suggest, if it hasn't been already, would be for a links section either here or on the blog to TSP threads and other sites / info mentioned in the books.

For example, I'd love to find the dosage guide that Grant was putting in this preps with the fish antibiotics. I couldn't find it here on TSP, so perhaps my search-foo isn't what it should be...

Looking forward to the rest of the series!

Offline Heavy G

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Re: 299 Days: The Preparation (Book One) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
« Reply #55 on: September 23, 2012, 07:46:50 PM »

What I'd like to suggest, if it hasn't been already, would be for a links section either here or on the blog to TSP threads and other sites / info mentioned in the books.

For example, I'd love to find the dosage guide that Grant was putting in this preps with the fish antibiotics. I couldn't find it here on TSP, so perhaps my search-foo isn't what it should be...


I thought about that, but, to be honest, it would be hours of work.  I don't have the time.

Hey, could some of you guys put up a thread called something like "TSP Threads About Stuff in 299 Days."  You guys could take an item from the book (like the fish antibiotic dosing) and then put in a link to the thread.

Offline EMichael

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Re: 299 Days: The Preparation (Book One) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
« Reply #56 on: September 24, 2012, 01:47:19 PM »
Heavy G,

I have enjoyed both books.  There are a number of eerie parallels to my personal life.  I also grew up in a small Washington logging town (Deming, near Mount Baker).  My father was only occasionally around during my teenage years, leaving me to learn many rural life skills on my own.  I left home (and home town) to go to college and never looked back, although I do not have a dysfunctional relationship with my parents.  Post college I spent eight years living 'in town' before realizing in 2003 that I needed to get back to the country, and currently live in rural NW Oregon.

And to keep going...  I've done a lot of shopping at the Lacey Cabela's, including putting together most of our BOBs there.  My sister & father both live on Hartstine Island, and have to cross the neighbor's property to get to the beach. 

Any my personal kicker...  My wife's name is Lisa.  She goes along with my prepping, but hasn't fully bought into it.  And, while not a ER doctor, she does work in the legal field.

Small piece of constructive feedback (and I feel bad even saying this because I can guess how much work has gone in, and the result is truly awesome): I downloaded the kindle versions, and there were quiet a few typo's and grammar points in the two books (not enough to spoil the enjoyment, but more than you might find in a conventionally published book).

Question, and this is directed more to you as an author than as a prepper....  I have often wondered if author's want to know about typos and errors in their books.  For example, when I read Patriots I realized some of the time lines were implausible and did not make sense.  I would like to point out those sorts of story line problems, but I do not want to be insulting or overly critical of the author.  However, if it was my literary work, I would want to know about the problems so I could correct them for future releases. 

So my question...  If we readers spot something goofy, do you want to know about it, or should we just keep reading?

Heavy G, I know you need to stretch this out for revenue's sake, but dude, November? Yer killin' me :-)

Plus one on this point! 


Tell ya what...  I will give you today a top line price for a big hard cover novel for all 10 books.  I have read books 1 & 2 and I am anxious to continue.  My biggest fear right now is that I will lose interest and forget the plot lines if I have to stretch this out over the next year.  I really want to know what happens and I don't want the series to go by my personal wayside.   :D

As for the entire set being too long....  Ever ready any of Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan novels?  It takes me a couple weeks to get through one of those.  In contrast, I started & finished book 2 between MSP & SEA on the plane yesterday.  (Just one guy's $.02)

Thanks for the books,
-Eric

Offline MTUCache

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Re: 299 Days: The Preparation (Book One) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
« Reply #57 on: September 24, 2012, 02:55:07 PM »
Finished Book 1 late last week, will likely finish Book 2 on the train home this evening. Reading on Kindle.

Concerning Style:
I noticed there was at least one commenter on the Amazon store who gave the book 3/5 based upon the editing. For as enthralled as I was by the story, I have to say that I did notice that too... not so much the editing (a few swapped words here and there, but nothing that makes it look too amateurish), but the sentence structure. It's not a "right" or "wrong" thing, it's just a writing style that takes some getting used to.

Short, simple, staccato sentences are personable, even if they don't flow. It matches the way you think internally, but it makes for slightly awkward reading sometimes, especially if you have an internal pattern like I do. Like I said, it's a personal preference, and once I got used to it it didn't impact my enjoyment of the books at all. If it makes you feel any better, it's a lot easier to get used to than Hemingway's prose, and while there's plenty of discussion about his style you can't argue with his results.  ;D

If there was any additional editing work to be done, I'd just mention that with the "internal dialogue" style you need to be clear about who's "internal dialogue" you're reading. Typically it's Grant's, which is perfect for his type of character, but other times it shifts to another character (where it feels slightly out of place), and sometimes it's without a character and you're inside the author's head... not necessarily a problem, but it is noticeable.

Concerning Content:
The story here is very engaging. Anyone who's got any background at all in preparedness is going to enjoy these, because it puts on paper the things we think (and talk) about all the time. Seeing this from someone else's perspective, and not knowing how the story will progress is endlessly fascinating. At every critical moment you're thinking through the "Choose Your Own Adventure" scenarios and either nodding in consent with the character or (silently) cursing him out for not doing what you'd do, but not in a comical "horror movie" way where you know what's going to happen to them.

You've got a very good mix here of action and doldrums, and the right amount of going into details for someone who's a relatively newb-prepper (explaining some basics while leaving others to be explained by context). I'm not a gun guy, but I absorb a lot of it through forums and podcasts. If there's any one area where there may be a few too many details it's probably here, but again, that's coming from a guy who's not all that into guns.

Without a doubt a page-turner, and I'm confident you'll be reading "Couldn't put it down!" reviews from everyone around here. Not quite sure how it will be received outside of the TSP, if at all, but I think you've done a fantastic job here.

I'm a little skeptical about trying to get this into my wife's hands, if only for the large amount of firearms info in Book 1, but I do think that this is a very good "Intro to Prepping: Get Your Mind Around This" kind of book for anyone who is at least mildly comfortable with the idea of owning a weapon. If they're not open to that, I don't see them enjoying the first one (and therefore not moving onto the rest)... but then again, this book certainly wasn't written for "everyone".

Excellent. I, like everyone else here, is anxiously awaiting the next two installments.  :)

Offline Never2L8

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Re: 299 Days: The Preparation (Book One) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
« Reply #58 on: September 24, 2012, 06:57:41 PM »
Let me first say that I am enjoying the books so far.  I do, however, have a couple of concerns surrounding the topic of autism.

First, I thought that Grant's response to Cole's diagnosis of autism was a little like being told that "your son has stubbed his toe".  Rather, I would expect more of a slight panic, as almost everything from then on would somehow revolve around accommodations for Cole.  Dietary considerations, education issues, end of normal social life, occupational therapy, and other 'special needs' come to mind.

Second, with Cole's diagnosis, I would expect a Gluten Free - Casein Free diet would have been implemented.  This would have cut out any wheat products, which would include 'normal' pancakes, Cole's favorite.  Yes, powdered milk would have been a no-no also.  I would have thought that Lisa, being an ER Doctor, would have started the GFCF diet for Cole.  (Oh, wait a minute.... I forgot about the medical community's 'official' stance on the cause and treatment of autism.  Thimerosal and GMOs anyone?)

As someone who has dealt with autism for over 13 years, there is very little that is done within the family confines that doesn't somehow revolve around certain accommodations.  I would like to see how this is handled in the remainder of the series.

As stated above, I really am enjoying the series thus far.  I just wish that the books read a little slower (or that I could read them slower).

Offline Heavy G

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Re: 299 Days: The Preparation (Book One) - book discussion [SPOILER ALERT]
« Reply #59 on: September 24, 2012, 10:11:56 PM »
Eric:

I got drunk in a tavern in Deming once.  Deming and Forks are very similar.

You will be pleased to know that Harstine Island is discussed in a later book in the series.

I do want to know about typos.  You (or anyone else) can email them to me at glentate123@gmail.com.  We can fix them and put out new hardcopy and Kindle and Nook editions.  We are fixing a couple of typos in Book Two.  This makes the first editions rare.

G