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Hayden Thorpe - Diviner Music Album Reviews

The former Wild Beasts singer embarks on a new direction on his soul-searching solo debut, stripping back his songwriting to a reverent hush.
The British singer-songwriter Hayden Thorpe released “Diviner” in late February 2019, just a year after the final performance of his band Wild Beasts. From its stark opening chords and breathy first line—“I’m a keeper of secrets, pray do tell”—the song sounded markedly personal. With little more than his stately countertenor and humble piano, Thorpe harnessed the energy of quiet solitude and proceeded to pitch that emotion skyward until the music felt bathed in a dim light. After more than a decade with Wild Beasts, “Diviner” pointed to a different direction for Thorpe.

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Best eReader 2019

You can read a book on your phone or tablet but you'll get a much better experience on a dedicated device. Here are the best eReaders you can buy in 2019.

What's The Best E-Reader You Can Buy?
With an eReader, you'll never be stuck for something to read.

The choice of eReaders is getting slimmer and slimmer, with only Amazon and Kobo releasing a range of new models recently. That doesn't mean eBooks are going away. It's just that more and more people are using their smartphone or tablet to read books.

There are plenty of reasons why investing in a dedicated eReader is a good idea. They're a lot cheaper than an iPad, for example, and they’re simply a better tool for the task in hand. They can also be lighter than a book, yet store thousands of books, so you can read your way through a fortnight-long holiday just by taking your eReader along.

Most eReaders have a 6in screen, although some go a little bigger - the Kobo Forma has an 8in whopper. It looks much like paper and is easier on the eyes than the colour LCD screen of a phone or tablet, and it won't stop you going to sleep like the blue light emitted from an LCD screen can, so eReaders are better for late-night reading.

This type of screen excels in bright sunlight, which can cause reflections on the glossy screens of other mobile devices. They are also an ideal size and weight to comfortably cradle for prolonged periods. Most modern eReaders have a touchscreen and weigh around 200g or less, so will happily slip into your bag or an oversized pocket for reading on the road.

Battery life is also much better on dedicated eReaders than phones and tablets, here measured in page turns rather than hours. So while your tablet could conk out halfway home, creating a genuine cliffhanger at the most inopportune point within your novel, an eReader could keep going for weeks or even months without needing a recharge.

Bear in mind, though, that eReaders with built-in backlights (technically they’re frontlights, but we’ll use the conventional term since everyone knows what it means) will last much less time between charges if you use the light all the time.

Content is an important consideration, as your device may be restricted to its manufacturer’s own bookstore. For example, Kindle eReaders are limited to Amazon’s admittedly very well-stocked online bookstore, while Kobo eReaders let you browse other stores.

A memory card can boost the storage capacity for ebooks and, if supported, music, video and other media. Be sure to check which file formats a device supports - not just media, but also whether it can handle ePub, PDF, TXT, RTF and other document file types.

Also consider connectivity. While your device will probably hold more than enough books to keep you occupied until you’re next in range of a Wi-Fi hotspot, a cellular connection will allow you to download content on the move. It will also add to the device’s price.

Best eReader 2019

1. Amazon Kindle Paperwhite (2018)
  • RRP: From $129 with ads. From $149 without
By updating the Paperwhite for 2018, Amazon has created the best eReader around for anyone wanting a dedicated device for reading.

The Oasis offers a premium metal design and ergonomic wedge shape but adding features like waterproofing and Bluetooth to the Paperwhite means that luxury isn't worth the extra cost for most people.

Add in that the Paperwhite has a refined design including a flush screen and a lighter weight and you've pretty much got the perfect eReader. The small price rise it totally worth it for all these benefits.


2. Amazon Kindle (2019)
  • RRP: $89.99
It's hard to say whether the Paperwhite or the regular Kindle is the better eReader because they're both excellent.

The Kindle 2019 offers better value for money and has all the things most people will look for. However, the Kindle Paperwhite has a more premium design and extra features like more storage and waterproofing.

You pay extra for them, of course, so it really depends how much you have to spend and whether those extra things matter to you.

For us they are both the best eReader you can get, just for different reasons.


3. Amazon Kindle Oasis (2017)
  • RRP: $349
The new Kindle Oasis is impressive with a larger screen, added light sensor, waterproofing and Bluetooth for listening to audiobooks with wireless headphones. There's really nothing to complain about in terms of the actual device, however, it's still pretty expensive and for most people one of the cheaper Kindles will suffice.


4. Kobo Forma
  • RRP: $279.99
Strong if understated design, a lovely big screen and chunky handle yet a slim, lightweight (and water-resistant) body: the Kobo Forma eReader is a pleasure to hold and use, and goes a long way towards justifying its high price tag. Just bear in mind that the Kobo store is less well curated than the Kindle one - luckily it's easy to side-load books and (unlike Kindles) the Forma natively supports ePub files.


5. Amazon Kindle 2016 (8th generation)

  • RRP: From $79.99
The 2016 Kindle was a solid choice when it launched, but since then Amazon has updated its lineup with a similar 2019 model, which boasts a backlight for just £10/$10 more than the 2016 version, making the older model difficult to recommend any more.

6. Kobo Clara HD e-reader

  • RRP: $129.99
Canadian e-reader company Kobo offers a minimalist alternative to Amazon’s Kindle Paperwhite. For £109 you get a 6in touchscreen e-reader with 300ppi resolution and Wi-Fi connectivity – all packed into a slim, lithe body. It is a simple and straightforward option for those on the go.


7. Kobo Aura One

  • RRP: $268.90
The price might seem off-putting at first but there's plenty here to justify the expense: excellent waterproofing, for example, and a lovely big screen that's sharp and equipped with night-time reading features, tucked into a sleek lightweight chassis. But the Kobo store is lightyears behind Amazon's Kindle store, in terms of curation if not size, and you miss out on some of the Kindle features that make library management easier, such as free 3G and wide cross-device syncing.

You do get OverDrive, however, an excellent way of borrowing high-quality library eBooks for free. But the relatively small selection we've seen in our local library at any rate suggests this should be regarded as a nice bonus rather than a primary source of reads.

8. Kobo Aura H2O

  • RRP: $168.58

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There are a few disadvantages to the Aura H2O that are important to note, such as processing power and an unresponsive interface. Processing is quite slow and menus, settings and controls take a bit longer to display.

You can also see faint after-effects of previous images, pages or texts when you flip to the next page, though this is also common with Amazon Kindles.

Overall, what sets the Kobo Aura H2O apart from its competitors is its water resistance. This device is the only one of its kind to be able to withstand 1 metre of water for 30 minutes.

The waterproof feature does, however, come with a cost - literally. At £149.99 it is £20 more than the Kindle Paperwhite, which can’t take a dip but is less expensive and more responsive than the Aura.

If you’re sold by the waterproof feature and willing to invest a tad more, then the Aura H2O is a solid competitor to Amazon’s Kindles.


View my Flipboard Magazine.

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