Okay, folks, I'll go ahead and try to crowdsource this, since I'm not finding answers any other way.

As anyone who's gotten emails from me recently knows, Gmail has decided to double-send every email I send. Actually, it both double-sends it (so you'll get two copies), and gives me an error message saying it couldn't be sent (thus leaving both two sent copies and a draft in my mailbox). The actual error message reads: "Oops... a server error occurred and your email was not sent. (#78282)"

In an ironic twist, Google is useless for finding what that error means.

This happens on every web browser version of gmail on every computer, including Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and even IE on a Windows laptop I used at Arisia. It does not happen on the gmail app for my iPad or my Windows Phone or on Thunderbird (but dammit, I like using the gmail interface).

Other data: The only Lab I have active is the Calendar widget. No apps authorized other than the ones like the iPad app that need it. Changing themes does nothing. None of the options I found searching (most of which involve browser cache) work, not surprisingly (since it's obviously not my browser).

Oh, and my work gmail is configured exactly the same way as my personal one, and it doesn't have any problems even on the same browsers.

Anyone have any thoughts/experience with this?
One of Amazon's Daily Deals is on sub-$5 Magazine subscriptions. And one of those is Teen Vogue, which has somehow become the source of some of the best anti-Trump reporting out there, for $4. There are lots of other good deals (New Yorker, Bon Appétit, Wired, GQ, etc), but that's the big one. Note that for magazines that include print/digital choices, only Woman's Health includes the all-access pass (the others are print-only). The subscriptions range from a few months to a year in length.

Arisia!

Jan. 11th, 2017 07:20 am
Oh, hey, since it's coming up in two days, I should probably post my Arisia schedule, right?
I'm on three panels this year, because being an ADH, shockingly, takes up a huge amount of time. So when I'm not on a panel, figure I'll be in the Green Room, The Gaming Room, or Program Nexus.
As for my panels:
Friday at 8:30, (Marina 4): Archie Comics (moderating)
Saturday at 5:30 (Douglas): Curmudgeon Panel 3: Season of the Curmudgeon!
Sunday at 8:30, (Adams): The Wicked + The Divine
I've been crossposting to LJ and DW for years, and have no intention of stopping. But it does seem that a bunch of people are fully abandoning LJ for DW, which likely means I'll be doing more reading of my DW friends page (instead of my current model of going directly to the four DW-only pages I knew of and reading them; that doesn't scale well). So if you're someone who's reading me on DW, and I haven't friended you back? Leave me a comment to let me know. And if you're reading this on LJ and are moving over to DW, feel free to add me there as "yendi" and I'll add you back (I think I'm up-to-date and will continue to be so on new folks there).
I read a lot in 2016. Not counting graphic novels, comics, magazines, online articles (including some longreads that approached novella length), and other miscellany, there were still probably a good 150 or so books that I devoured (making me the distant second most-read person in our house). Most were some flavor of "good" or "interesting" (there were a few exceptions, because sometimes whether a book is good or not hinges on a last-third writing choice, but if I hate a book after an hour of reading, I don't throw more time at it*).

Anyway, here's six fiction and six non-fiction I enjoyed. Not necessarily the "best," but ones I still think others should read. I limited my list to 2016 books, although I certainly read from other periods (probably my favorite read last year was Nabokov's Pale Fire, which is brilliant enough that I don't understand why it's not talked about and taught more, as it may by my favorite piece of postmodern lit). I hate saying these are the "best," since I liked so much, and it's not even fair to say they're my favorites, since things like my mood are big factors in how I feel about things. Just twelve books I really liked, and wish more folks would read so I could have more conversations about them.

Fiction:

I am Providence, by Nick Mamatas. I really wanted to write a full review of this, but never found the time. While the obvious comparison point for this book are the Jay Omega books of Sharyn McCrumb, this actually felt like less of a send-up of fandom than of "pro"dom within the Lovecraftian community (and the blurred lines that have led to almost everyone involved in Lovecraft fandom to be able to claim some form of "pro" in their title). The concept is that Panossian, an author with an uncanny resemblance to Mamatas (but often in a "road not taken" sense -- this version did have a novel that mashed up Lovecraft and another classic work of literature, but never really found any success after that) is murdered at a Lovecraft con, and his roommate (and first-time attendee) attempts to figure out what happened. Mamatas takes the neat twist of alternating Colleen chapters with ones told Panossian as his corpse lies on the table and his brain is slowly starting to fade. It's a fun take on the "have the victim tell his tale" thing, and appropriate in this setting. While the satire is first-rate, it's only part of the story, and the book exists (and has to exist) as a solid murder story as well, one that should work for folks not familiar with either Lovecraft or (if they're really lucky) his fandom. While doesn't feel like it's meant to be a complex puzzle-box mystery in the vein of John Dickson Carr or Yukito Ayatsuji, it does have a couple of solid twists, and works really well as a character-driven piece of mystery fiction, with a huge bonus for anyone who's spent time in fannish communities and needed to get the stink (metaphorical and often literal) off afterwards.

The Passenger, by Lisa Lutz, and What Remains of Me, by Alison Gaylin. I read a LOT of good crime fiction/thrillers this year**, but these two stand out as examples of authors who leveled up. Lutz tells the story of a woman who has been on the run for years, and suddenly has to leave her safe haven again. The mystery of her backstory unfolds slowly as she winds her way across the Midwest, leaving even more bodies behind. Gaylin's story, like Elizabeth Little's witty Dear Daughter from a couple of years ago, is about a woman released from jail after being convicted of murder, but goes down a very different path, keeping things darker and generally more serious, but with a cast of brutally broken characters. I don't want to dive too deeply into either plot, but both are well worth grabbing.

The Last Days of Jack Sparks, by Jason Arnopp. Years ago, I read a bunch of the licensed horror movie books from the no-defunct Black Library label from Games Workshop. They ranged from great to terrible, often, not surprisingly, depending on the author. One author I'd never heard of before was a guy named Jason Arnopp, who wrote a witty novel about Jason, a pair of serial killer cultists, and yet another serial killer masquerading as an FBI agent, all of whom converge on a resort hotel. It was ludicrously fun Grand Guignol stuff, and randomly this year, I decided to google to see if he'd writen anything else. Turns out he had, and the book had just come out, complete with blurbs from people like Alan Moore. So I grabbed it, and it was good (and thankfully, felt nothing like recent Moore). It's "found footage," in the sense that it's the journals of the titular journalist, a British gonzo reporter who wants to be the next Hunter S. Thompson, but is, in the end, really just a textbook example of toxic masculinity who gets himself caught up in his own reporting about possessions and seances. But it's a lot more fun than that paragraph makes it sound, even as the characters suffer more and more horrible fates.

You Will Know Me, by Megan Abbott. I almost feel like I'm cheating with this one, because Abbott leveled up years ago, and gets the national attention for her books that she deserves (incidentally, she and Lutz are both writing for HBO's upcoming TV show The Deuce). She's actually no longer what I'd think of as a thriller or mystery author at this point, instead writing literary mainstream books in which the death is almost secondary or even tertiary to the rest of the story. This tale, about the parents of a teen gymnast, is just incredible (and clearly incredibly well-researched), and came out at just the right time (right before the Olympics) to make it both painful and wonderful to watch the events.

Blackass, by A. Igoni Barrett. This is another of those books that's incredibly hard to describe. It starts with a Kafka-esque moment, in which Furo Wariboko, a Nigerian, wakes up to discover that he's now a white man. But even in a majority-black country, white privilege means that he's cast up in society, not down, as the result of the change. But of course, he's still adrift, and eventually runs into a character named Igoni, who just happens to be a writer. The book is technically genre, of course, but it's really a look at race and gender and cultural imperialism, with some fun postmodern touches and multiple well-developed narrative voices. It's also blazingly funny and cutting, and a hell of a fast read.

Nonfiction:

Eight Flavors, by Sarah Lohman. I knew I was going to love this book as soon as I saw Lohman present at the Museum of Science earlier this year at a Gastropod program. The book did not disappoint. It's a look at eight flavors in American history, including pepper, vanilla, garlic, and siracha, and how they all changed American cooking. It's basically culinary anthropology and history along with some science, and Lohman's a great storyteller as well as researcher. Basically, if you enjoy food, you should read this.

Apostle: Travels Among the Tombs of the Twelve, by Tom Bissell. I'm not religious, but I do love me both mythology and literary history along with good travel writing, and that's what Bissell (who I know mainly for his video game journalism) delivers here. Bissell (a lapsed Catholic) decided to visit the tombs (or alleged tombs) of the twelve apostles, and along the way, he takes some deep dives (based off a huge amount of research) into the oft-conflicting stories about them, as well as the huge amount of early mythology and apocrypha that arose around these people (many of whom have almost no canonical personalities). He mixes some great personalities into the stories, from the martyr-obsessed nun at one church to the Palestinian taxi driver who takes Tom and his friend through hidden backroads so they can witness a locked-down protest first-hand.

The Caped Crusade: Batman and the Rise of Nerd Culture, by Glenn Weldon. I'm a huge fan of Weldon on Pop Culture Happy Hour, as his style of nerdery mimics mine pretty strongly. This witty book isn't about Batman per se (although it certainly does have its share of actual history), since that's been done before. Rather, this is about how Batman influenced and was influenced by the culture of the world. Weldon is snarky and laugh-out-loud funny, and really knows his stuff, and fans of Batman in any form (or even of just good writing) should grab this.

A Burglar's Guide to the City, by Geoff Manaugh. This is my second Gastropod-related book (Manaugh is the partner of one of the podcast's hosts), although I discovered the book when Sarah Weinman wrote a rave review. It's actually almost more an architecture book than anything else, a look at how buildings are viewed through the eyes of criminals and those who try to stop them, so things like access to balconies and basements and all the cool heist things you see in movies, and how people try to prevent them. It's a true crime book with some hysterical stories (the number of criminals who are smart enough to find their way into buildings, but dumb enough to leave trails when they leave, is astounding), and one had me examine every building I saw for a while to see if there were things designed to prevent access (or poorly designed and thus offering easy access). Fans of capers should read this one.

Sex with Shakespeare, by Jillian Keenan. Keenan rather famously came out as a spanking fetishist a few years ago in the New York Times. She's now written a book that's a mix of a memoir and literary analysis. Like many people, she's been reading Shakespeare for a good chunk of her life, and like many folks, she's found parallels in some of the characters and situations. As she discovers her own sexuality (and follows professional and personal pursuits) over the years, she has imaginary conversations with characters from the plays, and adds her reading of many of the plays through a kink-based lens, with varying degrees of success (although her reading of Helena in Midsummer as a masochist, or Lear as a sexual predator, are compelling). But it's her own story (which also includes some childhood abuse, a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis, and some international travel) that keeps this moving along so well.

Real Food/Fake Food: Why You Don’t Know What You’re Eating and What You Can Do about It, by Larry Olmstead. This sounds like a book that's going to be all about how you should avoid artificial sweeteners and the like, but it's not. It's actually a book about the history and development of a lot of foods that have now been devalued by counterfeiting, ranging from Parmesan cheese to Kobe beef to Champagne to seafood. It covers the legal and the ethical issues involved, and while I'd known about some of this (I read and posted links to the Tampa Bay Tribune expose of restaurant fraud last year), there was a lot of new info here (spoilers: pretty much any sushi you eat at any local restaurant has some degree of fraud involved other than maybe the tamago). Bonus: Mario Batali takes it on the chin for committing food fraud in the first chapter.

*The exception being Andrew Vachss's increasingly terrible series of Cross novels, which are so gloriously awful (and yet self-assured) that they're almost a master class in what not to do as a writer, but which at least read quickly.

**Like, looking at my list and only including "thrillers" (as opposed to the Abbott book, or detective fiction by folks like Ace Atkins or mysteries like the one by Mamatas), I could probably have put together a list of twelve thrillers I loved.
So last night we watched the first two episodes of Good Behavior. It's a fine show so far, if very dark (like, if you're comparing it to the other con artist show TNT's known for, Leverage, it's about as dark as that show was fun). But one thing that kept nagging at me during the entire episode is that Michelle Dockery speaks in the exact same voice that Hayley Atwell uses on Conviction (whose latest episode we'd literally just watched immediately prior to GB).

Since both actress are British and portraying American characters (but very different ones), it feels like this is either the new coached American accent, or there's some overlap in their training. And it's more than just an accent -- they speak with the same actual voice, with a sort of whiskey-soaked throatiness that's also not a part of either of their natural speaking styles. The closest comparison I could make is Michelle Monaghan in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. Since Monaghan is from the Midwest, I could see that being the goal, maybe? Although Atwell's character is supposed to be upper crust East Coast, and Dockery's character is implied to be from Appalachia.

It's better than what I thought of as the previous accent, a sort of faltering New Jersey thing that only Hugh Laurie could actually pull off, but a lot of other actors tried and failed and sounded like they came from nowhere (the worst ever being Louise Lombard during her run on CSI).

Additional notes:
- Dockery's accent slips less than Atlwell's does. I adore Atwell, but she cannot sustain the American accent for an extended period, and it's frustrating.
- That said, there's a sequence during the first episode in which Dockery's character puts on a cloyingly awful Southern accent that I assumed was meant to be awful, since that's usually the American accent British actors do best (see Liz Taylor, etc).
- Conviction, which has been canceled even if the network won't acknowledge it, is a better show than it has a right to be, and in a world where quality rules, it would have outlasted a lot of other new shows (although it's still monumentally flawed at times).
- While I'm really impressed by the first two episode of Good Behavior, I'm curious as to how well the show can keep things up. But Dockery's every bit as good here as she was playing Susan Sto Helit (and I hear she also had a good run on some other show, too).
My current read is Carrie Fisher's The Princess Diarist, which came out in 2016, and has this passage:
I've told the story of getting cast as Princess Leia many times before -- in interviews, on horseback, and in cardiac units -- so if you've previously heard this story before, I apologize for requiring some of your coveted store of patience.


Damn, that "cardiac unit" comment feels like a kick to the gut.

As with any of Carrie's books (fiction or nonfiction), I do highly recommend it. The world's a lesser place without her.

ETA: And there in the acknowledgement at the end:
For my mother -- for being too stubborn and thoughtful to die. I love you, but that whole emergency, almost dying thing, wasn't funny. Don't even THINK about doing it again in any form.
Most of these have been around for a while, but good longreads hold up. Yes, I should probably have sorted these by category, but frankly, too many of these can fit into more than one category, and too many would be easy to dismiss that way (the Katie Baker piece would surely have been categorized as either "sex" or "sports," when it's so much more, for example).

Anyway, for all that 2016 was a trashfire in so many ways (Trump getting elected by his racist cohort, everyone we love dying, etc), there was some fine writing. You should enjoy fine writing while you can.

Over at Buzzfeed, Isaac Fitzgerald (who I'd already heard speak to the topic on the late but awesome Intersection podcast) writes the Confessions of a Former Fat Kid. As a former fat kid (and current fat adult), this one sparks a LOT of thoughts for me (especially as someone who had a mother who both had her own struggles with weight, and continues to shame me over mine). Obviously, this is all about body image and weight, so take that into account if those are things you'd rather not read about.

I'm not even sure how to categorize this excellent piece (and book except) from David Reid over at Longreads, other than to let the title -- Postwar New York: The Supreme Metropolis of the Present and its even better tagline -- "Forty labor strikes on one day, French existentialists on the loose, and a 50-foot G.I. blowing enormous puffs of REAL smoke" -- speak for themselves.

I've raved about Film Crit Hulk plenty of times before, and this piece -- THE REVENANT, MAD MAX, And The Nexus Of Cinematic Language -- is superb. Some folks understandably find FCH columns tough because of the all-caps writing, but I find I get used to it after about a paragraph.

Back in the last century, there was an awful company called Tiger Oil that was run by a horrible man named Edward Davis who was pretty much every "asshole CEO" cliche you could imagine. These are his memos, which are funny as long as you can forget that real people suffered through this shit. For folks who prefer not to read image files, the transcripts of all the memos are at the bottom of the page.

Maddy Myers always writes incredible pieces, but her Professional Fake Nerd Girl piece on "booth babes" and cosplayers from last month is one of my favorites.

And to end by REALLY going down the rabbit hole, Pew Research has a huge piece (sadly broken up over multiple pages, but there's a link to the complete PDF on the side) called
Long-Form Reading Shows Signs of Life in Our Mobile News World.

In the New York Post, Dana Schuster and Georgett Roberts write about The Crazy Crash of NYC’s Hottest Vegan, a tale of celebrities, chefs, and larceny that feels like the NYC version of a Hiaasen story (except it's true). Any piece that includes the quote “she’s the vegan Bernie Madoff" is generally one I want to read.

In New York Magazine, Max Read asks, Did I Kill Gawker? His answer is a touch self-serving, but it's still worth the read. As is the Ad Age piece by Simon Dumenco arguing Never Mind Peter Thiel. Gawker Killed Itself, which makes an entirely different argument (which you can probably surmise).

Yeah, oral histories are overdone on the internet these days. But I still love The Go-Go's Recall the Debauched Days of Their Hit 'We Got the Beat' 35 Years Later: 'We Were a Five-Headed Monster', put together by Rob Tannenbaum over at Billboard.

Anyone following the stories about Caster Semenya probably should read The Life and Murder of Stella Walsh, Intersex Olympics Champion, also by Tannenbaum, this time at Longreads.

At The Atlantic, Ed Yong writes about How a Guy From a Montana Trailer Park Overturned 150 Years of Biology. The headline's a little misleadingly Buzzfeedy in its anti-academia implications (since the Guy From Montana is also a PhD), but the piece is fascinating.

In Men's Journal, Damon Tabor writes Lost in the Jungle: The Search for Cody Dial, reads like a mix of true crime and outdoor adventure, and is riveting (if heartbreaking).

At The Federalist (seriously), Marc Fitch's piece Inside Our National Zombie Nightmare Lurks The Politics Of Horror Fiction is a great overview of the field.

It's from a while back, but over at Deadspin, Katie Baker's The Confessions of a Former Adolescent Puck Tease is, in spite of the salaciousness (and hockey-centricity) of the title, actually a great reminiscence on the internet of the '90s.

Speaking of sports stories that are fascinating even if you don't care about sports, Welcome to the Big Time, in ESPN's Outside the Lines, is a fascinating deep dive into the rise and fall of FanDuel and DraftKings, two internet startups that did the sort of stupid and unethical things that make people long for the late '90s and the first internet bubble. Bonus feature: In this, we learn that DraftKings has its origins in Watertown to some degree. When the cops aren't illegally shutting down our entire town in a manhunt, we're a hotbed of shitheel ethics!

Complex's list of The Best Rapper Alive Every Year Since 1979 is awesome and makes a great case each time (noting the runners up).

I Kickstarted my first novel, sold 1,319 books, and made $4,369.14 (so far) — and so can you (maybe) (under fairly specific circumstances) is one of the best and deepest looks at what it means to kickstart a novel (and why it really won't work for most people), brought to you by the guy who writes The Comics Curmudgeon.

Over at Vox, Laura Saetveit Miles writes about how Stephen Greenblatt's The Swerve racked up prizes — and completely misled you about the Middle Ages. Given how hyped this book was, it's amazing I didn't see more about this article when it broke.

As I've mentioned before, my all-time favorite computer game was Dungeon Master for the Atari ST, which is a genuinely groundbreaking game that is still a blast to play. Here's a great two-parter, with one section on the history of Dungeon Master (and FTL, the company behind it), and one on the game itself.

Outside Magazine has produced some amazing reporting (and podcasts) over the last year or so. This piece on what happened to Eastern Airlines Flight 980 (lost decades ago) had me hooked.

Related to that, Lauren Larson has a great piece at GQ about Robert Jensen, the Man Who Cleans up After Plane Crashes.

And finally, the 24-year-old Coca-Cola Virgin is a first person essay about someone who managed to never taste the soda as a kid attempting to ensure that her fist experience is perfect.
Merry Christmas/Happy Hanukkah, etc. This'll be a tiny post, because lack of time, etc.

Shockingly, the big deal of the day is on digital Kindle books. There are a LOT of really good choices here, including Roxane Gay's Bad Feminist, Neil Gaiman's American Gods, Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney's The Nest, Karin Slaughter's The Kept Woman, and a lot more.

Meanwhile, every single Haikasoru ebook is on sale for $4.99 through January 3. There's some really good stuff here (including The Future is Japanese, All You Need is Kill, and a lot more.

And in non-digital deals, Dead Rising 4 for the Xbox One is $29.99 (50% off).
(Previous deals still active: Tons of cheap toys, the $.99 Amazon Movie Rental, the Instant Pot , the Sorcery and Cecelia books, and Amazon devices including Amazon Dot, Amazon Echo, Tap, Kindle Paperwhite, Fire, Fire Kids Tablet, and the Fire HD 10 Tablet.

If you live in one of 29 major markets and are reading this before 9:30 AM local time, you can have Amazon Gift Cards shipped for $.01 to arrive today! And if you're not, honestly, the gift cards are really obvious inside their packaging, so emailing a gift card tomorrow won't change a lot of the surprise.

The main Deal of the Day is a refurbished Ninja Coffee Bar Brewer for $99.99 (33% off). Needless to say, this will not arrive in time for Christmas.

The other DotD is a bunch of $1 magazine subscriptions! Each is six months long (so anywhere from 3-6 issues), but for $1, that's still a hell of a deal. This includes Food Network Magazine, O, Cosmo, Esquire, Country Living, Car and Driver, HGTV, Seventeen, and more.

A Kindle Daily Deal will get you Blood of Elves (the first book in the Witcher series) by Andrzej Sapkowski for $2.99.

Through the end of the month, Amazon's offering $10 off for new subscribers to Music Unlimited. Since they also give one month free, that's almost 2.5 months free for Prime members (or two months for non-Prime). Not as nice as the $20 credit they had yesterday, but nicer than no credit at all.

Amazon's also now offering a Sample Store, exclusively for Prime members. You can order individual items from various lines of everything from makeup to snack bars to baby wipes, and get that amount credited to your account for a full purchase from the same brand. Note that their categorizations leave a little to be desired (you don't eat shampoo, for example).

In video games, LEGO Star Wars: Force Awakens Deluxe Edition (which includes all DLC, an action figure, etc) is $29.99 (57% off) for the PS4. Doom for the PS4 is down to $19.99 (50% off), but backordered. And Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition for the PS4 is $10 (75% off) as a digital code.

For computer gamers, Rollercoaster Tycoon 2: Triple Thrill Pack is $2.99 (75% off).

And finally, Amazon's got a sale on Stocking Stuffers, and some of them are ones that you can have delivered same-day for free if you spend $35 (that said, probably wiser to go into this one looking for extra gifts for the upcoming year at this stage, or for gifts for upcoming winter holidays that take place after December 25).
(See Yesterday's Post for the board games that are still active, and this post for the still-active deals on Amazon Devices like the Dot, Kindle, Echo, etc).

It's the day before Christmas Eve, so needless to say, don't get things expecting them in time for the 24th unless Amazon says they can do it. Hell, even if you're a fellow Hanukkizer, make sure the items are in stock if you want them by night 8.

One Daily Deal is on over 400 cheap toys. This includes Fisher-Price, Bob the Builder, Monster High, board games, action figures, and more (and includes the board game deals previously mentioned here).

One Kindle Daily Deal offers Clifford Simak's Hugo-winning Way Station for $1.99. Another nabs you TV (The Book): Two Experts Pick the Greatest American Shows of All Time for $3.99. I heard a really good interview with the authors of the latter on Pop Culture Happy Hour this year, and meant to track it down anyway.

In Amazon Video, you can rent any movie (literally, any movie, including stuff from this year) for $.99 with the coupon code MOVIE99. This one runs for a month.

And if you have Amazon Prime, you can get a $20 credit for Amazon Music Unlimited that kicks in after the free month, basically meaning you get 3.5 months for free.

And finally, the Steam Link (which allows you to stream Steam games to your TV) is $19.99 (60% off).
With two shipping days until Christmas Eve, the deals are becoming a touch scarce (although the Amazon devices deals on things like the Dot, Echo, and Fire are still active, surprisingly).

It's not a shock that one daily deal is on Digital Subscriptions, most at three months for the price of one, but CreativeBug is going for $.99 for three months. These are service subscriptions (video tutorials, music, business services, fitness services), but are nice deals if they work for you.

Also a good digital gift option: Kindle Unlimited is 25% off for a year (so $88.99 instead of $119.99).

And there's a daily deal on Christmas ornaments and collectibles, which is probably a little too late for most folks unless decorating the tree on Christmas eve is a part of your tradition.

Amazon's also got a bunch of $5 magazine subscriptions, including The New Yorker (digital and print), Martha Stewart Living, Rachel Ray Everyday, Teen Vogue (a magazine that's shown itself to be delightfully opposed to the incoming asshole-in-chief recently), GQ, Golf Digest, and more. They also have Vanity Fair (digital and print) for $15, so subscribe to piss off Trump.

In board games, Alhambra's $13.47 (61% off)! It won't arrive until after Christmas, but this is totally worth grabbing, as is Alhambra: the Cardgame for $9 (70% off).. Also cheap in board games: Treasure Hunter (by Richard Garfield), for $15 (70% off), Paris Connection for $12.60 (80% off), Dark Darker Darkest for $16 (66% off), and the inexplicable Clue Alien vs Predator Edition for $16 (60% off).

In games, Cities: Skylines is $7.50 (75% off) for a Steam Download, and Thief for the Xbox One is $5 (75% off). The PS3/Xbox360 downloads of Thief are only $3.75, but no discount for for the PS4.

And finally, there's another big under-$5 Blu-Ray sale, with a ton of movies like Scrooged, Independence Day, Pulp Fiction, Paranormal Activity, Olympus Has Fallen, Dredd, Shutter Island, Glengarry Glen Ross, Salt, Last Action Hero, Pet Sematary, Spawn, Rio, and dozens more.
Taking a day to get stuff done, so see yesterday's post for links to active deals, but a few things to highlight today:

One daily deal is on a ton of Anime, including Cowboy Bebop, which you should buy today if you don't own it already. Other series here include Evangelion, Ghost in the Shell, Black Butler, and more

Another daily deal is on NHL jerseys and hoodies at 40% off.

Other deals:

Watch Dogs 2 is down to $34.99 (42% off).

Magic The Gathering: Arena of the Planeswalkers Shadows Over Innistrad is $9 (70% off, about $6 off other deals).

And for folks looking for more cheap-ass classical MP3s, the Big Beethoven Box is $.99 (less than a penny a song). Since all MP3 purchases get added to your Amazon Music account and don't count against your limit (so you don't need Prime Music or Music Unlimited), you can then stream any of them if you get an Echo or Dot (and is especially nice if you've got promotional credits from the occasional shipping offer in your account).
(See yesterday's post for deals on Playstation Plus, kitchen stuff, and PS4 games. And Sunday's post for deals on Amazon gadgets like the Dot, video games, dvds, kitchen stuff, and more).

Original plan: Take a skip day, as I've got a lot to do (including picking the daughter up from college), and these posts do take a while. But Amazon ruined that by putting up a few deals I had to mention.

The big daily deal is Final Fantasy XV for $34.99 (42% off) for the PS4 or Xbox. The game's less than a month old, and this is almost obscenely cheap at this stage. Like Black Friday level.

Another daily deal offers a variety of Calphalon items for huge discounts. Seeing as I was saying how much I like their stuff literally just yesterday, I had to mention this one, too.

For people who are handy (not me!), the Dremel 4000-6/50 120-Volt Variable-Speed Rotary Tool with 50 Accessories is $89 (29% off).

And I guess Furbys are still a thing? The Furby Connect is going for $39.99 (60% off) today only.

In non daily deals (AFAIK -- Amazon's changed the price on this so often, who can tell?), the 6-quart Instant Pot is back down to $79! Since they're claiming a list price of $99, I suspect this is a mistake (since that would make it cheaper than the 5-quart version).

Amazon keeps extending the $5 off $15 Book Coupon. It now expires tomorrow, so use it if you haven't already!

And Doom for the PS4 and Fallout 4 for the PS4/Xbox are down to $19.99 (50% off) each (presumably just in time for the inevitable GotY editions).
Happy Monday Before Chrstmasukkah! There's a wrap-up of current deals (including those Amazon Kindle/Echo/Dot deals) at the top of yesterday's post.

As is often the case at this time of the year, the Warner Brothers DVD Collections are on sale. The 100 Film DVD Collection is $74.99 (87% off), and the 50 Film Blu-Ray Collection is $69.99 (88% off). Both contain classics ranging from The Wizard of Oz to Casablanca to 2001 to The Shining to LOTR.

Another daily deal gets you the Logitech Harmony Remotes for either $79.99 (for the IR version) or $169.99 (for the RF version). Both are at least 43% off.

There's a huge Amazon Fashion Gifts Under $50 sale, with clothing for adults and kids, and a variety of travel gear (mostly totes and backpacks) as well.

One of today's Kindle Daily Deals gets you Divergent for $2.99.

In non-daily deals, in the kitchen area, the Rubbermaid FreshWorks Produce Saver Food Storage Container (two-piece set) is $13.99 (30% off). This is one of those things that feels like an "as seen on TV" thing, but if it works, is damned cool.

The 6-piece Calphalon Nonstick Bakeware Set is $25.49 (15% off, but really nearly $15 off other prices). As you know, I adore Calphalon, although I tend to not use much nonstick stuff.

Another AmazonBasics item on sale is the 3-piece Bamboo Cutting Board Set for $12.99 (13% off). They also have their AmazonBasics 3-Piece Silicon Spatula Set going for $6.99 (22% off).

For folks who camp (which would NOT be me, ever), the Lifestraw Personal Water Filter is $13.99 (30% off).

In movies, while not on sale, Luc Besson's original La Femme Nikita is $4.75 on Blu-Ray. I love living in a world where a movie this good can be acquired this cheaply even without a sale.

In video game, Senran Kagura Estival Versus - Endless Summer Edition for the PS4 is $29.99 (25% off).

Grand Kingdom: Limited Edition for the PS4 is $37.99 (53% off, and cheaper than the non-limited edition). If this one lasts a few more days (when I have more money), I may snag it, as SRPGs are a thing to be encouraged.

And the Day 1 Edition of God Eater 2: Rage Burst is $22.61 for the PS4.

And finally, a year of Playstation Plus is $49.99 ($10 off)!
(Things still on sale from previous days: a href="http://amzn.to/2grUhEa">Amazon Dot, Amazon Echo, Tap, Kindle Paperwhite, Fire, Fire Kids Tablet, Fire HD 10 Tablet, Batman: Return to Arkham, a ton of $2.99 Marvel Digital Graphic novels, Nintendo Selects: The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time 3D, Borderlands: The Handsome Collection, the Instant Pot, American Horror Story: Hotel, Scream Queens: Season 1, Gilmore Girls: Seasons 1-7, the Anki Overdrive Starter Kit, Risk Legacy, and the Cecelia and Kate books. And if you haven't used it yet, there's that $5 off $15 book coupon.)

The best Daily Deal gets you M*A*S*H: The Complete Series and the movie for $59.99 (66% off) on DVD. That's a hell of a deal for some of the best writing in sitcom history. The deal does not include AfterMASH, though.

Another daily deal includes Kate Spade handbags, shoes, and accessories (including iPhone cases) at 50% off. Alas, none of Spade's kitchen items (our wedding china was Kate Spade) is included.

The Kindle Daily Deal offers three different Doctor Strange Graphic Novels for $2.99 each (they work on Comixology as well as Kindle, of course).

In non-daily deals, It Follows is only 25% off, but at $5.99 for the Blu-Ray/digital combo pack, that's a great deal for a fantastic horror movie.

The Blu-Ray/DVD/Digital combo pack of The Nice Guys is $12.99 (64% off).

In toys, a bunch of POP Star Wars Bobbleheads and vinyl figures are on sale for up to 50% off.

Spirograph Shapes is $13.42 (46% off). The K’NEX Revolution Ferris Wheel Building Set is $14.44 (59% off), while the K 'NEX Thrill Rides – 3-in-1 Classic Amusement Park Building Set is $38.49 (30% off).

And finally, in video games, No Man's Sky is $19.99 (67% off). I've heard that the latest updates fix a lot of the big issues with the game, and am more interested in trying it for $20 than the higher price, shockingly.
I've got snow to shovel and a gaming day to go to, so this'll be quick. The non-daily deals from yesterday and Thursday are active, and have tons of deals in every category if you're looking for good bargains.

One daily deal offers a bunch of good DVD/Blu-Ray deals: The complete I Love Lucy for $69.99, the Marx Brothers Silver Screen Collection on Blu-Ray for $27.99, the complete Dick Van Dyke Show for $61.99, and The Honeymooners: "Classic 39" Episodes on Blu-Ray for $17.99. All are at least 50% off.

One of the Kindle Daily Deals gets you Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris for $2.99.

The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents by Pratchett is $3.99 on the Kindle.

The $5 off $15 Book Coupon has been extended once again, to December 19. Worth grabbing if you haven't used it already.

You can purchase a $50 gift card to either TGIFridays or Brinker Restaurants (Macaroni Grill/Chili's/On the Border/Maggiano's) and get $10 off with the coupon codes on the respective pages (TGI10 or BRINKER10). That's basically free food if you're going to eat there anyway.

And finally, in toys, there's a big Playmobil sale, with a lot of items at 40% off or more.
(Things still on sale from previous days: Amazon Dot, Amazon Echo, Tap, Kindle Paperwhite, Fire, Fire Kids Tablet, Fire HD 10 Tablet, Batman: Return to Arkham, the Brother HL-L2380DW Wireless Monochrome Laser Printer (for under $100!), a ton of $2.99 Marvel Digital Graphic novels, Nintendo Selects: The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time 3D, and the Cecelia and Kate books.)

We're still far enough away from Christmukah eve that Amazon's got lots of good stuff:

There's yet another big toy deal today, this time offering discounts of up to 75% off on Fisher Price, Mattel, and MegaBloks stuff. There's stuff here for ages ranging from liking Thomas the Train to liking Suicide Squad, with most major toy lines from Mattel (Barbie, Monster High, Ever After) represented. Also, I now know that Viewmaster is back (and doing VT stuff), and is doing stuff with Batman: The Animated Series.

Another daily deal nabs you Destiny: The Collection for $24.99 (58% off) for either Xbox or PS4.

There's also a huge Kindle Daily Deal today, with 38 books ranging from $1.99-4.99 including Megyn Kelly's Settle for More, Anthony Bourdain's Medium Raw, and Jeffrey Brown's Vader's Little Princess. The theme of the sale is literally just "bestselling Kindle books."

And another daily deal nabs you Anker Soundbuds for anywhere from $19.49-26.99 (all at least 45% off).

In non-daily deals, lots of good kitchen stuff:

The Wilton Perfect Results 8-Cavity Loaf Pan is $10.47 (30% off, about $5 off other deals), while folks looking for a full-size loaf pan can get the Circulon Nonstick Bakeware 9-Inch-by-5-Inch Loaf Pan for $12.57 (37% off, $7 below other deals).

The Euro Cuisine YM80 Yogurt Maker is $15.29 (62% off, about $5 off other sellers).

For slow cooker fans who also like football, the Crock-Pot NFL Cook & Carry Slow Cookers are going for $27.99 (29% off, but actually almost $20 off other deals) each. Teams available include the Patriots, Giants, Bears, Cowboys, Broncos, Packers, Colts, Chiefs, Vikings, Eagles, Steelers, and Seahawks. My Jets aren't available, presumably because no one in their right mind would trust a Jets slow cooker to get things right.

If you don't want a sportball team on your slow cooker, the Hamilton Beach 7-quart Programmable Slow Cooker is $29.96 (57% off, about $10 off other deals). Also cheap: the Hamilton Beach 12-Cup Stack and Snap Food Processor for $35.99 ($20 off other deals).

For cast iron fans, the Lodge Pre-Seasoned 10.25-inch Cast Iron Skillet is $15.92 ($5 off others after shipping), while the Lodge Pre-Seasoned 5-Quart Cast Iron Dutch Oven with Dual Handles is $35.97 ($10 off other deals). A bonus feature of ordering these is getting your mail carrier to hate you.

And for both baking and for when you're done with your food, the Pyrex Easy Grab 19-Piece Glass Bakeware Set with Blue Lids is $38 (46% off, $14 off other deals).

In toys, LEGO Disney Princess Rapunzel's Best Day Ever Building Kit is $15.99 (20% off, but actually about $7 off other prices), while the LEGO Disney Princess Palace Pets Royal Castle is $15.29 (also $7 off). And the classic LEGO CITY Van & Caravan is $12.79 (36% off, and a full $10 below other dealers).

I still don't understand what a Lalaloopsy is, but the Lalaloopsy Magic Play Kitchen and Café is $19.99 (71% off, about $12 off other sellers).

In board games, Risk Legacy is $27.86 (54% off), while London Markets is $27.41 (54% off) and has a 20% coupon on the same page (look under the price). New York 1901 is $20.06 ($12 off other deals),

In video games, World of Final Fantasy for the Vita is $24.99 (38% off). Borderlands: The Handsome Collection for the PS4 is $14.99 (50% off). And Mafia III for the PS4 or Xbox is $39.99 (33% off).

And finally, breaking the tradition of Elf being the ludicrously low-priced holiday Blu-Ray, Scrooged is $3.99 (59% off) on Blu-Ray right now.
(From Monday's post, the Amazon Echo/Dot/Kindle deals are all active, as are the board games, the HBO trial, and the Sorcery and Cecelia novels. From Tuesday, the video game deals other than LEGO Dimensions are still good, as is the $5 off $15 book coupon.)

For pet owners, one daily deal is on Greenies Dog Treats. Note that this is just the treat -- no pill pockets here, alas (which is what we need). Still, some really nice deals (50% off in some cases).

Another daily deal gets you the CD of Garth Brooks's Ultimate Hits for $3.99, and it comes with the MP3s as well.

And there's a daily deal on the Mel Brooks Film Collection, which includes Blazing Saddles, Spaceballs, Young Frankenstein, High Anxiety, History Of The World Part 1, Robin Hood: Men In Tights, Silent Movie, To Be Or Not To Be and The Twelve Chairs for $18.99! That's ludicrously cheap for such a good set (even if RH:MiT is actually terrible).

Kindle Daily Deals include both Kieron Gilllan's first Darth Vader collection and Jason Aaron's first Star Wars collection for $2.99 each.

For kids, there's a one-day sale on STEM Toys, with great stuff from K'NEX, Maccano, LittleBits, and a lot of other companies at 50% off or more.

In daily deals for people with a bit more money to spend, the GoPro HERO5 Black is still at its price of $399, but Amazon's now throwing in a $60 Amazon Gift Card (there's also an option to buy it for that price without the gift card, but that seems unwise).

And there's a daily deal on the Petcube Camera, which includes a two-way camera, a laser toy, and audio streaming for people who have a need to be in touch with their cat or dog while they're away. It's down to $79 (from $149).

In other (non-daily) deals, the Kindle edition of James S. A. Corey's Leviathan Wakes (the basis for TV's The Expanse) is $2.99.

Added to the list of Amazon devices on sale, the Fire HD 10 Tablet is now going for $199.99 ($30 off).

And in video games, for DS owners, Nintendo Selects: The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time 3D is down to $14.99 (25% off).
(The Amazon Echo, Dot, Kindle, and Fire deals from yesterday's post are still active, as are the board games like Coup, Pandemic, and Forbidden Island, and the free month of HBO for Prime customers. Likewise, the $2.99 Marvel Comixology Graphic Novels and the the $5 free deal when you reload your gift card from Friday's post are still good.)

Amazon's got a huge daily deal on "Giftable Toys," which, as best I can I tell, just means "a buttload of toys," since pretty much any toy is giftable. This covers the range from toddler stuff (like a VTech Wiggle & Crawl Ball for $9 instead of the usual $13, or My First Crayola Mess-Free Sand Scribbler for $11 instead of $19) to tweens (the Pom Pom Wow! - Ultimate Variety Pack for $7.70 instead of $11.40, the Fast & Furious 1:12 Elite Off Road R/C for $35 instead of $80), and stuff aimed at teens and adults (the Nerf Modulus IonFire Blaster for $5.77 instead of $10, the Safari Rush Hour Board Game for $7.50 instead of $24.99, Magic The Gathering: Arena of the Planeswalkers Shadows Over Innistrad for $16.09 instead of $27). There are literally hundreds of items in the sale, so if you're shopping for a kid or someone who likes toys, there's probably something here worth snagging.

Another daily deal gets the BÖHM Bluetooth Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones with Inline Microphone for $63.49 (60% off).

And if you somehow still don't have a coat for the season, there's a 75% off sale on winter coats. This one includes stuff for kids and adults, as well as some things (like bomber jackets) that I think of as fall coats alongside the down and heavy wool stuff, but hey, a sale's a sale.

Also on sale: Tons of ugly sweaters for men and ugly sweaters for women (using Amazon's terminology here, not mine). There are a bunch at the $14.99 price point and 60-75% off in this one.

In video games, Batman: Return to Arkham for the PS4 is $29.99 (40% off, and hey, it happens to be on my wishlist).

Speaking of things on my wishlist, the LEGO Dimensions Starter Pack for the PS4 is $39.99 (56% off).

If you've got a Vita. Shiren The Wanderer: The Tower of Fortune and the Dice of Fate and Exist Archive: The other side of the sky are each $19.99 (50% off).

And if you have a WiiU and are a Prime member, you can get a pre-order of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild for $47.99 (instead of the $59.99 list).

In MP3s, Ugly, by Screaming Females, is $6.99 and is an amazing album, and the fact that everyone in the world doesn't know who Marissa Paternoster is saddens me.

And finally, in books, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone: The Illustrated Edition is $23.99 (40% off). Oh, and guess what? Amazon's got YET ANOTHER $5 of $15 BOOK COUPON! Actually, they just extended the previous coupon (so if you used it during the 12/2-12/5 period, it probably won't work for you), but hey, use it if you can!