You WANT These Books: They Nearly Made Me Buy A Kindle!

In the 1970s, I was taking out a ton of books from the Brooklyn Public Library in the manner that has always served me best: by invoking serendipity.

I’d grab something that looked interesting and it’d usually open up an entire Dewey Decimal System category to me.

One of these books I never forgot — except for the damned title. And author.

After scraping my brain for a long time, a lot of searching on the Internet revealed the book’s title, the name of the writer, and also unlocked his biography, other works of his I’d never heard of, and a heartbreak: the writer had died just a few years before I discovered who he was.

His books weren’t available in e. In fact, they weren’t even still in print. I got copies via used booksellers at ABEBooks.

For the longest time I yearned to have these books in e. Would I have to scan them? At one point, I was very seriously thinking about tracking down his estate for the electronic publishing rights. Because his books deserve to be available eternally.

They are life-changing.

When I saw two of them came to the Kindle, I thought that sealed the deal for me: I’d buy a Kindle and finally have at least two of his books in e.

Today I decided to see if his books were finally available at the Sony Reader Store. They’re not. They’re still Kindle-only.

But I went to the publisher’s site to see if they’d mention ePub versions were coming.


But I learned they’re putting even more of his books back into print!

The writer’s name is Max Gunther.

And Harriman House was smart enough to secure the rights from his estate.

And, unfortunately, the samples of two of his Kindle books I downloaded have poor formatting. The paragraphs lack indents so they nearly all run together as one block of text.

I wrote to the publisher several weeks ago about this but have gotten no reply.

However, the formatting is no longer an issue for me personally, since my experiments yesterday showed me I could do something about that using some tools I can’t otherwise publicize.

Anyway, you want these books!

In Kindle format:

The Luck Factor


How To Get Lucky

The first is an analysis of what “luck” is and how people have it.

The second is just about a How-To guide to creating “luck.”

I can see the skepticism out there. These are extremely down-to-earth and practical books. These are not positive thinking books or airy-fairy con games like The Secret. Get those preconceptions out of your head.

Any other book you’ve read about “practical” luck is a rip-off of these two. Gunther pioneered this field. No one else did it before him — and no one since has done it as well as he did.

But neither of these is the book I picked up at the BPL that stunned me decades ago. It was this one, not yet available in e but finally back in print:

The Very, Very Rich and How They Got That Way

These are profiles of very rich people that go into some detail of how they got that way. None of these are self-serving blowhard vanity tales, either. Gunther wrote these books back when you actually had to be an adult in order to get rich. So there’s no bragging, no ego, no look-at-me-ism in these chapters. The cleverness of some of them will leave you marveling. They make it seem so damned simple! Of course, it’s not. Like Sherlock Holmes explaining his deductions and making it seem retrospectively as if “anyone” could do that, Gunther explains how these people did it. It’s a wonderful, memorable book you will re-read several times.

The only Gunther non-fiction book (he also did fiction) I don’t have yet is The Zurich Axioms.

That book was so impactful that people nearly ripped off the entire book in dribs and drabs on many, many financial websites. I never got it because used editions were both rare and very expensive!

You want the first three books I mentioned.

And I want you to go to the Kindle Store and grab the Samples of the first two. If the formatting is still bad, I want you to complain to Amazon and to email the publisher to complain. They must be done correctly. The books deserve that. And I think the publisher wants that too — since they were so impressed by Gunther’s work that they snapped up the rights!

I also want you to go to the Amazon Bookstore listing for The Very, Very Rich book and hit the “Tell the Publisher! I’d like to read this book on Kindle” link so they’ll put that one in e too.

Go! Now! Do it!

You will remember these books for a long, long time and be very glad you got them.

Update: Books On Board has them in ePub! Prices are not the best for 2 of 3:

How to Get Lucky: $9.98
The Luck Factor: $12.10
The Zurich Axioms: $15.72 (!!!)


Filed under Amazon Kindle, Writer, Writing

5 responses to “You WANT These Books: They Nearly Made Me Buy A Kindle!

  1. I want ’em, all right! Yes, the formatting in the samples is as you described and eats doggie dicks. Jesus, if *I* can put a frigging Kindle book together, you’d think a publisher could.

    But I really appreciate the tips here. I may just buy the paperbacks and be done with it, but I do want ’em.

    • mikecane

      I don’t know why K formatting is so prone to that paragraph indent error. I see it over and over again. In my experiments yesterday, I had to go from K to RTF as an intermediate step to ePub to get the frikkin para indents to work.

      • I got the indents to work with my second version of the Taos Soul Kindle book. Since I was submitting an HTML file, I wrote a CSS style to indent the paragraphs and align ’em left.

        The default paragraph indent for Kindle is tiny, and I don’t know what measurement that is. Why there should be no indent whatsoever is another question.

  2. Twobits

    I found them in ePub format at BooksonBoard, though they seem to cost a little bit more then Amazon.

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