Saturday, July 31, 2010

Graphic meme compares ALL Tablets

I 've never seen this before!

Ima gonna keep looking for one that compares just ebook readers.

Credit:  - Kudos to Jamais Cascio for being a gizmo lover and I found it over at i.e my addiction for the week.

Make sure you hover your mouse over the photo, each device has a label with its name, and the year the product was released.

Posted via email from readseverything's posterous

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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Amazon releasing next Kindle at $139

I mentioned the upcoming Kindle earlier:

More news out on that - we now expect the release to be on August 27th, book in advance as of today!

         (photo credits) cc - Andyi

Two new flavors are being released - a $189 version (same price as now) with updates, wifi, 3GS AND a $139 version with only WiFi. The latter would be great for those countries that the Kindle won't go online for free in - like India. Colors available are Graphite and White.

Also, when I speculated that the touch-screen would be the biggest distinction between the kindle and the other readers/ipad, it appears that Amazon has focused on being just an ebook-reader "A solo purpose device". So no touchscreen.

In other interesting developments, Amazon annouced that they will integrate with Facebook, and allow friends to recommend stuff for you to buy on Amazon! Can you imagine how easy now recommending books/stuff gets? It is one pitstop on your kindle.

Of course, they won't be sharing actual purchase information, so your purchases remain private.

Lighter, Better, Faster and with twice the memory, the new Kindle creates tougher competition in this tightly contested market than ever before.

Posted via email from readseverything's posterous

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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Fantastic thought for the day

The very nice site over at BookishGal had this super post on book-related tidbits - unusual bookcases in this case. She also linked to this poster , which is a brilliant thought for the day.

Credits - created by, and linked to here at, and re-promoted at the Yay! Everyday site
Phew! Hope I got all the credits right..

Do you read more books than blogs? comment away!
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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Teaser Tuesday #6: Bridge Of Birds

Today's TT is from one of the best books I have read this year: Bridge of Birds, Master Li, Book 1.
It is a fantasy-esque book set in "an Ancient China that never was". Come back here tomorrow for the review!
Taken from a page when the author is describing the importance of the drummer while two swordsman compete in Sword Dancing:

It is said that a truly great drummer is the equivalent of a third sword. Sample gymnasium conversation:
"I hear that Fan Yun has challenged you.Who's your drummer?"
"Blind Meng."

"Blind Meng! Great Buddha, I must sell my wife and wager the proceeds! Orderly, be so kind as to order flowers for Fan Yun's widow."

In other news, I have a Catchy Name Contest! that began yesterday, and will go on through the next 2 weeks. My blogpost above describes the details - I need a new name for the blog :) The winner gets a book via Book Depository, or an Ebook by Ilona Andrews. Also, I will be posting on all the attempts made, so your website would be linked as well.
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Monday, July 26, 2010

The Catchy Name Contest!

This book blog is just over two months old now, and I need YOU to help me name it.
I used a place-holder sort of name when I created it, and since I am not the most creative person, I can't come up with anything better now. The best way to do this, is to turn it over to you - my genius reader.
In India, this Naming Ceremony for babies is a very important day-long event, with about 50 people attending and celebrated with prayers, food, friends and family. Thats pretty much the number of reads I'm seeing, so it looks like this is the right time to have my first contest.
Just to give you some starting ideas, I came up with some sample names while in that dreamy state of waking up this morning -
  • Kindle Reader,
  • Bookworks,
  • Beyond Words.
I know you can do MUCH BETTER!
Silent Blade

The Winner gets any book of their choice under $10 from The Book Depository.

If you live in a place where they don't ship (like India), prize is the ebook Silent Blade, by Ilona Andrews. This is the first book I purchased for my Kindle :) 

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Friday, July 23, 2010

Review - Storm Glass By Maria V. Snyder

Grade: B
"All distractions disappeared as I focused on rolling the pipe and shaping the glass. My mind open to the slight nuances in the glass, I used my tweezers and tugged until a shape formed. Then I blew magic into the piece. The core glowed as if on fire."

Video: Watch on youtube

 Maria Snyder wrote the fairly well-known "Study Series", with her books on Yelena and her magic abilities. You can read good reviews about it at Lit Addicted Brit's site  - Poison Study (Book #1),  Magic Study (Book #2) and Book #3 Review: 'Fire Study' by Maria V. Snyder.

The Glass series is an offshoot, still featuring the same world with some character overlap.
Opal Cowen, who features in the Study series, now has her own story to tell.
Unlike Yelena, Opal is a magician with only one useful skill, and is perenially not speaking up for herself. Her lack of confidence and friends constantly haunts her actions in this book.

What is similar about both series is the journey of inner discovery that the heroine has to undergo in order to fully understand her capabilities. Opal is unsure about her place in the academy, her magic skills fail her at every turn, and her classmates despise her for being a below-average student with one big invention to her name. This invention is the creation of magic-infused glass objects which can also allow communication across distances.

Plus: A very nice little story with excellent descriptions of the glass-making process and craft. I enjoyed these sections the most. 
Minus: Opal's failure to bolster her confidence even halfway through the book was a little wearying. Maybe I've been reading too much Malazan Books of the Fallen, or George R R Martin, I wanted more world-building and suspense, and less internal worrying!
Overall:  A pleasant read, and interesting enough to finish once. I wouln't be reading this again, with nothing new to discover on the second readthrough.

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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Shifting Publishing to the 21st Century

If you follow this blog, you know I am curious about how one of the oldest industries in the world, i.e. Publishing, has shifted to accomodate the internet age. So far I haven't been impressed.

Pricing ebooks at or more expensive than paperback editions is not a solution.

To provide some food for thought - Seth Godin, the guru of marketing, did a talk for the Independent Book Publishers (Site).

His post is here. You can listen to the abbreviated online version of the talk or download it to your podcast here.
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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Teaser Tuesday #5 - The Spook's Apprentice

 My Teaser is from the first book I am reading by Joseph Delaney - The Spook's Apprentice, a YA novel following the apprenticeship of a Seventh Son of a Seventh Son.
The Spook laughed softly. 'That's one of the first and most  lessons that an apprentice has to learn,' he said; 'the difference between waking and dreaming'. Some never learn that'.
Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following: 
Grab your current read, Open to a random page, Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page, avoid Spoilers.
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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Update and Review: Twice Bitten, Chicagoland Vampires by Chloe Neill

Chicagoland Vampires: Book 3
Released: July 6th, 2010
Excerpt: " You'll recall he wanted to speak about security arrangements for the convocation?"
I nodded. Gabriel had mentioned it when he'd dropped by a week ago. 
"As it turns out, you were the security arrangement." I blanched. "I'm the security arrangement? What does that mean?" Ethan took another drink before recapping the bottle. "It means, Sentinel", that we are throwing you to the wolves."

 I'm really looking forward to this book, as this is first book where we get a good look at the other supernatural species in Chloe Neill's world, the shapeshifters.

Plus: I really liked the new Alpha who was introduced here, thankfully not bringing in a love triangle (I eternally fear this from my days reading Anita Blake). The book is unusually self-aware i..e Our intrepid heroine's dialogue includes references to Urban Fantasy lit, and even popular authors. The snarky comments, the great action scenes keep the book lively and fun to read.
Minus: Not a lot. I had some trouble getting into the book, got distracted easily (for which I entirely blame myself). Once I committed to finishing it last weekend, the pages flew by, and there was good reason to sleep late.
Overall: Chloe Neill is worth picking up, and thankfully is not holding to the genre's trite stereotypes. Her book is a breath of fresh air, and promises to be a solid start to a long career!
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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Teaser Tuesday #4 - Conflict of Honors

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following: 
Grab your current read, Open to a random page, Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page, avoid Spoilers.

My Teaser is from the contest in my post from yesterday. I was intrigued enough when I signed up for the contest that I read the first 9 chapters that available for free online from Baen publishers.
Teaser Tuesday is from Conflict of Honors by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller:

"Left me, she thought through the fog of dizziness and pain. And then, with a gasp that sent knifing fire down her side, the reality hit her. Left me! Here, with the door locked and no way out and how could they have left me? Surely the Trader would have missed me . . . or if not me—but how could they not have missed me! Tailly, Nik Laz, Bern . . . how could they have left. . .
She took a deep, deliberate breath, ignoring the pain.
"I will not," she informed the room austerely, "sanction hysterics."

This book reminded me of the space operas by Lois McMaster Bujold, Eric Flint. I can see how it fits into the Baen stable of books/authors. Surprised I hadn't given the books a try earlier!
Drop a line as you stop by!
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Monday, July 12, 2010

Contest & Giveaway Prizes: Free copies of novels by Sharon Lee & Steve Miller

Sharon Lee & Steve Miller are the author team behind the classic and ever-popular Liaden Universe®. This series of “adventurous romantic space opera” holds cross-over appeal for both romance and science fiction readers.

To celebrate the release of Mouse and Dragon, Lee and Miller’s thirteenth Liaden novel, the authors are hosting a contest. It’s open to anyone and everyone who has yet to sample a Liaden Universe® novel. They're giving away 36 digital copies of The Dragon Variation.

Not only that, but if you’re a blogger who wants to help spread the word about it, you’ll be entered for a chance to win a $36.00 gift card from Barnes and Noble! And if you’re a blogger new to the Liaden novels (like myself), you can enter both tiers of the contest.

Here is an excerpt from the official announcement at Sharon Lee’s blog:
In celebration of the publication of Mouse and Dragon, the thirteenth novel set in their Liaden Universe®, authors Sharon Lee and Steve Miller are holding an Expanding Universe Contest! Yes! No less than thirty-six electronic copies of The Dragon Variation will be given away.

The Dragon Variation is an omnibus edition of three Liaden Universe® novels — Conflict of Honors, one of the first modern SFRomances; Local Custom, second place winner of the Prism Award for best Futuristic of 2002; and Scout’s Progress, the first place winner of the Prism Award for best Futuristic of 2002, Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice for Best SF Novel of its year, and the prequel to Mouse and Dragon.

That's three complete novels under one cover. No prior knowledge of the Liaden Universe® required. Electronic! In Baen Books’ DRM-free, multiplatform style. This omnibus can be read on your Kindle, your phone, your iPad, your desktop, or other ereader.
To enter the contest, visit the Expanding Universe Post at Sharon Lee’s blog and follow the instructions you see there (it’s easy). The contest ends at "midnight Eastern Daylight Time (4:00 a.m. GMT) Friday, July 16". Winners will be announced on Saturday, July 17, 2010.

Final comment - The first several chapters of the books are available for all to read on the Baen Website - Baen has to be the best publisher in the genre!
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Dear Piles of Books

Dear Piles of Books I haven't read (via Leah from
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Saturday, July 10, 2010

Review: Chicagoland Vampires by Chloe Neill

Grade:B I had first posted the second book in the Chicagoland vampire series as the Teaser Tuesday #2.                                                                   The first book, Some Girls Bite's blurb: "..She’s traded sweating over her thesis for learning to fit in at a Hyde Park mansion full of vamps loyal to Ethan “Lord o’ the Manor” Sullivan. Of course, as a tall, green-eyed, four-hundred- year-old vampire, he has centuries’ worth of charm, but unfortunately he expects her gratitude— and servitude. But an inconvenient sunlight allergy and Ethan’s attitude are the least of her concerns. Someone’s still out to get her.."
Chloe Neill's debut book is a straight-forward Urban Fantasy novel. The novel is set in modern day Chicago, in a world where the vampires are about to reveal their presence to the humans. All vampires either belong to Houses, or are Rogues. Three of these vamp houses are in Chicago, and all the action in the novel centers around them. 
Merit, a human Ph.D. student from a prominent Chicago family, gets changed into a Vampire as a result of an attack in the park by a rogue vampire. The attack nearly kills her, and to save her life, the Master of one of the Houses changes her. It soon becomes evident that she is stronger and faster than the average vamp, and she gets named Sentinel of her House, a sort of chief Bodyguard. She begins investigating the series of murders, in which she had nearly became a victim herself.
The action in this novel isn't as fast paced as it could have been, and Merit just seemed to slip a little too easily into an action-oriented lifestyle, after a life spent as a research student. Except for this part, I really enjoyed her character and the learning process she goes through as a newly-inducted vamp. All said and done, this book made me want to read the second Chloe Neill immediately.

Book 2: Friday Night Bites                                                 Grade: A-                                                                                Excerpt: "Folks, we're at a crossroads here. We've been outed, we've been investigated by Congress, and now we've got the paparazzi breathing down our necks."                                           This second book gives us a closer look at Merit's family. Her internal vampire also seems to be behaving as a different entity, and she has to work at controlling its impulses. Merit is being wooed by the head of another House, and has to balance both this new budding romance and her job/life as Sentinel of a House. The Master of her House, Ethan, and her have some significant chemistry going on, so that complicates things :). Ethan also begins showing some signs of humanity, perhaps woken up by Merit. 
 Plus: One of the nicest things about this series is its Chicago setting. Having spent some time in this city, reading about all the familiar areas is nostalgic. I also enjoyed all of Merit's training sessions with her katana, and her instructer, the mysterious Catcher.
Minus: I really wished that Merit would talk to people about her doubts regarding the vampire inside her! Sometimes, things can be solved easily, without all that drama...but not in this book! I also didn't realize why being a vampire/witch meant that you had to give up your life-from-before or your JOB....perhaps I'm being pedantic, but if society has been unaware of a sub-species, shouldn't that mean that they integrated really well? With information being so widely available in today's world, any isolated group of people would be under government suspicion sooner than later.
Overall, the book has plenty of humor and sarcastic wit. I would rate this pretty high, and Ms. Neill is comparable to the guru of this kind of wit, Jim Butcher, and also Urban Fantasy doyennes, Patricia Briggs and Kelley Armstrong. Perhaps the plot is not as strong as it could be, but the characters are well drawn!
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Thursday, July 8, 2010

Amazon's Kindle patent, a competition killer?

This week, the U.S. Patent office finally granted Amazon's ebook reader patent from 2006. While this might not in itself seem like news, what is surprising is that the patent granted is far more over-reaching than everyone had assumed. They also seem to have enough legal basis to sue the Barnes & Nobles Nook if they wanted to.

You can read a very detailed and encompassing analysis of the patent via Crunchgear.

What interested me here is that Amazon's patent covers the LCD being touch-sensitive as well. This pretty much hits most of their competition. So far, the war between the ebook readers has remained a price war. Will it turn into legal battles? What do you think?

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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Readability - The battle of the Kindle vs. Paper vs. iPad

Jakob Nielson, the guru of internet usability, published a research paper on reading and usability a few days ago.
They did some very interesting comparisions, on metrics I had been wondering about for a while (if you follow this blog, you know that I bring up e-book readers every couple of weeks). My reading style and methods have shifted drastically with the Kindle, as have that of other bookworms.You might be trying out a reader, or just want to know more about the future of reading and publishing; read on.

Jakob posits some remarkable results - after evaluating readers on the Kindle 2, PC, Kindle, and of course, printed book. The main question he attempts to answer is if ebook readers solve the long-standing issues of reading from PC monitors. The researchers decided to check only the iBook app, and no newspaper or website reading, just a story by Hemmingway.

The Usability results:
"iPad, Kindle, and the printed book all scored fairly high at 5.8, 5.7, and 5.6, respectively. The PC, however, scored an abysmal 3.6."
Wow! The kindle scored better than the actual book? Though user comments did say that the most comfortable to read was the actual book. I would have to agree - I do find myself hunting out the occasional paper book if it is a very large one.

This is good news for the trees, though I noticed a few improvements could be made in the study: Bigger test group size, different ebook readers, the Kindle Dx (known to have better contrast than the Kindle 2) or different aspects of reading. 
For those readers who are still reading on the PC, this should be a clear nudge to get an ebook reader. They are worth it!
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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Teaser Tuesday - A Game of Thrones

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following: 
Grab your current read, Open to a random page, Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page, avoid Spoilers.

My Teaser is from George R. R. Martin's A song of Fire and Ice series, Book 1: A Game of Thrones.
I am re-reading this for the Flashback Challenge, and so looking forward to the entire series too.

Tuesday Teaser:

"And then there was movement beside the bed, and something landed lightly on his legs. He felt nothing.

A pair of yellow eyes looked into his own, shining like the sun. The window was open and it was cold in the room, but the warmth that came off the wolf enfolded him like a hot bath. His pup, Bran realized . . .or was it? He was so big now. He reached out to pet him, his hand trembling like a leaf.

When his brother Robb burst into the room, breathless from his dash up the tower steps, the direwolf was licking Bran's face. Bran looked up calmly. "His name is Summer," he said."

Let me know which book is in your hands today - I would love to know! Leave a note as you drop by.
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Monday, July 5, 2010

Grand Roundup - June

The Teaser Tuesday's get the most comments, as they get linked in from a very popular blog. Now, if I could only get a few people to linger on and return :)

Books Reviewed:
Shift (The Shifters, Book 5)

Magic Burns (Kate Daniels, Book 2)The Time Traveler's Wife
 Make Me a MatchMagic Bites (Kate Daniels, Book 1)A Conspiracy of KingsThe Thief (The Queen's Thief, Book 1)
Teaser Tuesdays:

Posts in the Spotlight:
Upcoming Releases for June and July
Also began the Flashback this month, and it is 3/4ths done. If you have any good challenges, let me know, I would love to take part.

That's All, Folks!
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Thursday, July 1, 2010

FIFA Time Read!

Unseen Academicals (Discworld)
Grade: A+

As always, I love Terry Pratchett. I re-read Unseen Academicals, and I MUST recommend that you read it while the football FIFA season is on.

If I could do this review with only excerpts with this most fantastic of books, I would.
"A chant came past. It had started somewhere at the other end of the game and, whatever it had been once, it was now just four syllables of roar, from hundreds of people and many gallons of beer. As it faded, it took the warm, belonging feeling away with it, leaving a hole."
This is Pratchett’s writing at its most brilliant, with all the fanatical obsession with Football that you would expect.
Unseen University, The Discworld’s premier institution is in the center of the football resurgence at Ankh-Morpork. A hotbed of different stories, The wizards are playing football with the locals, the Dean has left the university to join a rival and is paying a return visit to gloat, there is a new species on Discworld.
The story meanders across different plot-lines, with social commentary on the cult of football, the racial prejudice seen in any society and gay wizards.

All the UU characters feature here – Ponder Stibbons, the Archchancellor, the kitchen staff (new characters), the candle dribblers, and the various Chairs. The older characters like DEATH, Vimes and the Luggage, have cameos, but the second half of the book features a new romantic duo find each other and fumble through the initial stages of dating. This section made for a much better read now, during the football season, that it did at first.

There are gems of one liners – “Now, I am concluding this meeting, although what it has in fact concluded I shall decide later.' “

I am a football novice, so I can attest that this great novel will be absorbing and funny, whether you follow football religiously, or during the FIFA worldcup, or just the WAG crew. You now have 11 more days till 11th July and the Finale, so hurry up!
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