Tag Archives: reading

Read an ebook Week — What is it about?

Every year for the past five years, around the beginning of March, eBooks are celebrated and promoted through Read an eBook Week. This year it is from March 8th to 14th. But what is it about?

Read an eBook week was first registered with Chase’s Calendar of events in 2004. “Read an EBook Week is a not-for-profit week set aside to inform the public about the pleasures and advantages of reading electronically. Authors, publishers, vendors, the media and readers world-wide […] join in the effort.” (http://ebookweek.com). During that week, publishers and authors offer specials (such as free eBooks) to entice the readers to try them. If you’ve never tried an eBook and have been intrigued by them, be sure to check the Read an eBook Week partners’ page (http://ebookweek.com/partners.html) for some good deals.

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Serialized books at Zumaya Publications: R. J. Leahy’s Tigra

Sign in every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at Zumaya Publications for a serial presentation of R.J. Leahy’s bestselling, award-nominated SF novel TIGRA. This is the first in a regular schedule of serializations of both their best-selling backlist books and some of their planned new releases for this year.

Zumaya selected TIGRA as their first offering because the sequel, THE OBSIDIAN SEED, is scheduled for releaseJanuary 2009.

In the desert wastes of Ararat, Jeena Garza stumbles on the greatest secret in the universe. Marooned after escaping a hellish prison, Jeena–soldier, pilot, genetic experiment–wants only to rest and to heal, to forget and be forgotten.

But on Ararat she will be forced to fight yet again. To save a lost and dying race, she will set into motion events destined to change the galaxy forever.

Join Zumaya in the farthest reaches of space, where mankind confronts for the first time the realization we are not alone.

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Currently Reading…


by Michael Oondatje

Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: McClelland & Stewart; 1 edition (April 17 2007)
ISBN-10: 0771068727
ISBN-13: 978-0771068720

This book is not for the faint of hearts, nor for those who like a straightforward story that has a clear beginning and ending. Divisadero, which is the street on which one of the characters lives, although we never see her there, also means “divider” and is one of the most apt titles I’ve encountered. It deals with divided lives, divided psyches, divided cultures. In its structure, the book is also divided into two apparently unrelated parts. One story is suspended while another begins, in appearance unrelated except for the sense of loss and the yearning for love and family.

What is most engaging about Oondatje’s novel is the sheer beauty of his words, more poetry than prose in their lyrical quality. The reader is transported into this half world where words take main stage to the story itself. Every word, expression, phrase is multi layered and rich and worth savouring.

The story, however, can be confusing and puzzling because of its lack of structure. As one section of the book ends, the story is left in mid-air and while the other starts, one hopes there will be some kind of tie-in, some kind of resolution to these people’s problems. But there isn’t, just as in life there often is not. People remain strangers, ostracized or in self-exile. In the end, Michael Oondatje offers two slices of life that makes the reader an observer rather than a participant. But while we sit there and watch, we are surrounded by the beauty of his words.

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When you can’t afford paper books…

…but you have to own them, ebooks has always been the solution for me. Libraries are great, and so are used bookstores, but sometimes I want brand-new. Thing is, I can’t afford them. Well, I can afford a few, but for the same amount of money I can buy several ebooks instead of one hardcover.

Fictionwise has a cute marketing gimmick right now, using last week’s market crash:

eBook Bailout Plan Saves the World??

Last week the stock markets had tanked 20% and the world was spiraling down into certain depression. Not content to leave the fate of the planet in the politician’s hands, last Thursday Fictionwise launched our eBook Bailout Plan: 50% Micropay Rebates on every single title in our store when paying by credit or PayPal. And guess what? On Monday the Dow Jones Average spiked 936 points, the largest gain in history, and world markets responded in kind!

Coincidence? That is for history to judge. To be on the safe side, we have extended our eBook Bailout Plan only through Thursday, October 16, or until we give away $700 billion in rebates, whichever comes first. So don’t wait! We’ve done our part: come load up your shopping cart and buy today!

So if you’ve never tried reading an ebook, now’s the time to try one. You don’t have to read an ebook on your computer, you know. You can read them on your Blackberry, your Palm Pilot/Phone, your iPhone, and any semi-dedicated reader that uses a wonderful new technology, eink.

And while you’re curious and decide to try it, I’ll be crass and recommend one of my books. You can find them all at Fictionwise.com and eReader.com.

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Signs of the times

My friend Stephe over at Dynastic Queen, pointed to this Newsweek article about a Kids’ Book on Plastic Surgery, designed to answer children’s question about their mother’s plastic surgery.

Naturally, it has a happy ending: mommy winds up “even more” beautiful than before, and her daughter is thrilled.

My reaction is as strong as Stephe’s, especially after having gone through some of the picture book: a slack-jawed amazement at how far we’ve come to prize the shell we live with and our willingness to pass on that message to children.

My next reaction was: give me a break. You need a book to tell your child you’ve had you nose done? How about a little one-on-one talk? Is spending time talking to your child gone out the window as well?

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