Saturday, October 30, 2010

Free Books - Jane Austen, Sherlock Holmes and Amazon

This is Free Book Friday for you!

Today, I found out that I won Four Advanced Reader Copies (ARCs) from I Swim for Oceans. Exciting, but I wanted to pass on that feeling of a new, free, unexpected book on to my readers. (Aren't Unexpected FREE Surprises the best?!)
So I did some searching online, to find free books of authors you might be interested in reading:
Pride and Prejudice
"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife."

Pride and Prejudice on the Sony Ebook Store  is $4.99. Not sure why, when everywhere else it is available for Free (copyright expired).
The Adventures of Sherlock HolmesThe Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
All day the wind had screamed and the rain had beaten against the windows, so that even here in the heart of great, hand-made London we were forced to raise our minds for the instant from the routine of life and to recognise the presence of those great elemental forces which shriek at mankind through the bars of his civilisation, like untamed beasts in a cage.

(Dee says: Sounded interesting)
 Everything seems to be going perfectly for Maya Davis: She has a great job at a coffee shop, gets along with her parents, and is happily single. That is until her best friend starts dating Maya’s high school sweetheart.

Kindle books can change price at any moment, so be sure to double check the price before one-clicking on the product page at Amazon. Books that are free in the US are generally at least $2 for international customers. In this case, try Project Gutenberg.
Even if you don't have a Kindle, download the ebook for Free and then read it using Calibre or Kindle for your Device. 
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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Teaser Tuesday #17 - Throne of Jade

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should be Reading.
Throne of Jade (Temeraire) by Naomi Novik: My book today is the 2nd in the Temeraire series, an alternative history of the World War (i.e. a WW 1 with Dragons). Pretty interesting so far, but  thenwhat book with dragons wouldn't be?!
From Page 117:
"Already the battle seemed like a nightmare in his own memory: the endless gaudy stream of the fireworks and the red light of the cannon firing, the ash-white eyes of the Fleur-de-Nuit in the dark, bitter smoke on his tongue, and above all the slow, descent of the wave, like a curtain lowering upon a play. He stroked Tremeraire's arm in silence, and together they watched the wake of the ship slipping gently by."
That is still only two sentences, you know! I'm so excited to add to what you are reading to my reading list - really need suggestions for the 23 hour transatlantic flight I'm on this week.
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Monday, October 25, 2010

Amazon Kindle now to Lend Books!

The wait is over - Amazon announced on Friday that the Kindle will finally allow lending books out to friends.
This feature is set to be in shape by the year end, and will bring the Kindle on par with what the Barnes and Noble Nook already does!
  • The books can be on loan for a two week period, but the owner will not be able to read the book for that time (rather like a real book, no?)
  • Not for all books, that depends on author/publisher
  • Kindle Apps will support this as well
In a year where the Amazon sales of books on the Kindle has so far already been 3x what they were last year, this is going to help people begin to bridge the gap between paper and ebooks. I have heard some comments on this blog, saying that people would miss lending books to friends if they shifted to ebooks.

Well done, Amazon - Better late than never!
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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Book Blogger Hop #9: Oct 22-24th

Book Blogger HopThis is a weekly PARTY hosted by Jen at Crazy For Books. It's a chance to discover new blogs and to garner new readers for your blog as well. 

This Week's Question:
"Where is your favorite place to read?"
What a great Question! I have a leather couch in my drawing room where I read a lot - it is in front of the TV and hence, next to my husband! :)

I'm launching a new feature on this site next week -  A blogger spotlight! Sign up to be heard.
This week's site news:
Review of Mairelon the Magician
Ebook Readers and Paper Book Fans
If you would like to try out ebooks - here are some FREE ones to start with:
Download Three Free Ebooks 

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Aaaaand The Winner Is: Tina!

The winner of my 100+ Follower Contest with a total of 122 Unique Entries is someone who had 6 points/entries: 

Congrats Tina!
Thanks to The Book Quoter for donating the Prize of $15
You can visit BookQuoter at A Thousand Books with Quotes, a very unique blog.

Thanks to everyone who entered, I've enjoyed visiting your blog and I commented on all the blogs that were linked.
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Trailer - Towers of Midnight (a.k.a Most Anticipated Book of the Year)

The regular old-timers on this blog know that I have long been a fan of Robert Jordan's (my review of the Wheel of Time is linked there). When The Gathering Storm, Book 12, came out, I read it with bated breath, and reviewed it in detail. I read Brandon Sanderson's entire Mistborn series to understand his writing style, and it paid off when TGS was released. Now, I am loyal to both authors, independently and together. 

That is why I am SO excited about Towers of Midnight - the penultimate book in the Wheel of Time series!! I have this on pre-order for my birthday.
Here is the Trailer, and the Making of the Trailer (after the break)
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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Teaser Tuesday #16 - Birthday Stories, collected by Murakami

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should be Reading.
Birthday Stories: Selected and Introduced by Haruki Murakami Birthday Stories: Selected and Introduced by Haruki Murakami is A collection of short stories tangentially connected to Birthdays. In typical contrary author fashion, the stories are usually quite weird and not very happy. 
"Metal flowers bloom on your tongue. No more time for thinking."
 from a story by David Wallace.

I need book suggestions while I wait for RJ and Brandon Sanderson's WoT 13 - Towers of  Midnight to release on Nov 2nd - suggest in the comments please :)
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Monday, October 18, 2010

Mairelon the Magician by Patricia C. Wrede

Mairelon the Magician (Mairelon, #1)

Mairelon the Magician

4.03 of 5 stars4.03 of 5 stars4.03 of 5 stars4.03 of 5 stars4.03 of 5 stars 4.03  ·  rating details  ·  985 ratings  ·  75 reviews
There's magic in the streets of London, there's sorcery in the village lanes; there's a plot that has all of Society talking in an England that never was, but should have been...      
Grade: B
The story follows a young 15+ orphan who gets by on the streets of pre-mechanical revolution England. I pegged the timeline at around the Regency era. Kim is surviving (just barely) on filching stuff from people, and disguising herself as a ruffian-esque boy. She gets caught in a travelling magician's caravan on a job, and he offers to teach her the trade. This begins the better part of the story, with Kim and Mairelon tracing the trail of a magical platter in order to clear his name of its theft.
Plus: The language/ thieves cant used by Kim is apt and fits into 18th century England. Even the way Kim begins to learn to speak a better class of English is believable and endearing. The story kept me interested, and I enjoyed reading some of the more comic scenes - a la a Comedy of Errors style.
Minus: This book is clearly targeted at a YA audience, and I didn't see much depth to the story. The lack of a romantic note, or a genuine mystery is a bit sad. There was a bit of a mystery involved around the Silver magical platter Kim and Mairelon are tracing, but that was not strong or captivating for me.
Overall: I am interested in Kim as a character, and going to pick up the next book as well, to see where her story goes. The other characters weren't as memorable, but all in all, the story made for a very decent read.
I would recommend this to: Most YA fans, Tamora Pierce fans and folks under twenty.
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Saturday, October 16, 2010

Are you an ebook fan, or do you read paper books?

In the last 2-3 years, the world of reading has simply EXPLODED.
There is more buzz around reading than ever before. People that haven't had time to read because of their busy lives have begun to pick up books again. The major reason for most of these born-again readers is getting an e-book reader, or perhaps reading books from the Harry Potter series or YA revival, or maybe even getting swept into the excitement we are seeing!
It is easier than ever now to find books, have them delivered almost anywhere, and read them in a format you choose.
With all these choices, what do you do?
Have you read a book on your laptop, cellphone, or any other device?
Was the convenience the selling factor?
Do you remember which book it was?
Tell us in the comments. Are you interested in being profiled in a blogger spotlight?
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Book Blogger Hop #8: Oct 15-18th

Book Blogger HopThis is a weekly event hosted by Jen at Crazy For Books. It's a chance to discover new blogs and to garner new readers for your blog as well. 

This Week's Question:
"When you read a book that you just can't get into, do you stick it out and keep reading or move to your next title?"
Any book I read gets completed :) It is a pretty compulsive reading habit, and 99/100 times, I have to finish, no matter how bad the book might be. The only times I remain unable to complete the book, rare as this may be, is when it is a boring non-fiction book. In this case, I'd probably 'temporarily' shelve it for a while.

My International giveaway ends today! Enter while you can, I will close it THIS weekend and announce the winner.
If you would like to add a comment on my blog, how about on this great comment thread from yesterday asking if Content is King?
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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Content is King

I've blogged earlier about ebooks, evolving publishing and ereaders, and a lot of the conversation so far between us has been about using ebooks vs. paper books.

While researching ebook-related ideas to write about, I came across this nugget from the Harvard Business Review:
This year marked a critical shift, however. With the advent of a plethora of ereading devices, the conversation was no longer about whether such devices will be viable replacements for books, but about ways to make them vastly better than books ever were.
That makes me think. Instead of an "either or" situation, would it be a hugely different way to experience books?
Lets talk about that.
There has been talk about adding new features to enhance your reading experience. Kindle now has Scrabble, Nook comes with Sudoko and chess, and eventually, someone (probably Apple) will build community.
I don't care to have my reading interrupted (most of the time) by IMs or games, but its a neat feature to have. What do you say?
More importantly, I echo Stephen King* when I say Content Rules.

*What Mr. King said was "The Book is not the important part. The book is the delivery system. The important part is the story."
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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Teaser Tuesdays #15 - Chocolat by Joanne Harris

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should be Reading.
Today, I'm continuing a book I started for the 24 Hour Read-A-Thon: Chocolat by Joanne Harris. I must say, casting Juliette Binoche in this book is brilliant, she fits the role perfectly!
"It melts ever so slightly on your tongue and tortures you with pleasure."
One line is enough to express so much - also, I can't open my book just now, so I only quoted what I recall reading earlier.
I hope you all have reading left over from the Read-A-Thon; You will find some good recommendations from my Readathon reading this week, and also Reviews of Maze Runner and Brandon Sanderson's The Way of Kings.
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Sunday, October 10, 2010

Read-a-Thon: Roundup

Number of books read since you started: 4.5 (In Order: Odd Hours, Sabriel, Thud!, Battle of Britain and half of About Time)

Running total of pages read since you started:

Running total of time spent reading since you started: Approx. 10 hours of reading. Spent 2 hours cheering and visiting other readathoners.
Mini-challenges completed:
Would I take part again? ABSOLUTELY!
I'm also going to sign up for some official Cheerleading next time, in addition to Reading.  I did visit a lot of pages this Readathon, but not officially.
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    Read-a-Thon: Hourly updates Here #3

    We are now in Hour 18 of the Thon
    10:30 AM: Reading Thud! now.
    Mini Challenge #17 Ban This Book! 
    A nod to Banned Books week: "Ban" a book - find a ridiculous way to get a book challenged! 
    Dear Librarian/Custodian-of-our-children's minds, 
    SabrielI am bringing to your attention a most persuasive book by Neil Gaiman by the name of Sabriel. This book encourages 16 year olds to leave school in order to help their father. (wouldn't they help More by studying like a good girl?) That is just the beginning, dear librarian. The story incites travel, battling demons and then crossing into the land of the dead. A major part of the story is demonology and should be banned from the gentle minds of our children. How dare a book tell them about spirits and crossing over? The kids will be scarred for life!! Also, Whistling is involved and Sabriel uses whistling to escape - do you really want our children to pick up such rascally habits?
    Thud!Sabriel also proves this by later coming back to her school and causing a revolt amongst the teachers, demanding their help in battling the demon. This results in a lot of dead people. I must insist that you ban this book immediately, and ensure that tales of demons, the dead, self-discovery, young romance and whistling do not despoil the children.


    12:30 PM: Pages done - 132 of Thud! 888+132= 1020 since I began the ReadaThon.
    Mini-Challenge Won: The Love Hate Mini-Challenge - I won!

    Quick Review: Thud! is absolutely hilarious; My reading has slowed down so I can capture each hidden joke in Pratchett's writing.
    'Get a troll in der middle o' a load of dwarfs, he is like a fox in der...dem fings wi' wings, laying dem egg fings...' "Fox in a henhouse?"

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    Read-a-Thon: Hourly updates Here #2

    My 3rd Mini-challenge - Armchair Travelling hosted by Marg at Adventures of an Intrepid Reader

    Has a book ever inspired you to want to go somewhere?

    All Things Bright and BeautifulMy early teens were characterized by digging through my mother's bookshelf. One of the first books I read and re-read was  by James Herriot, the Scottish Vet. Being woken up in the wee hours of the morning, tramping through the dales to some dairy farmer's barn - this is a fairly straightforward framework for most of Jim's stories. 
    Being a vet was not something he glossed over, and us readers got to see the gritty, rough side of being a mostly large-animal vet in pre-war Scotland. However, this tough view was mitigated by stories that ended with Jim in his open car, driving without brakes down a steep road, with a big, loving dog in the passenger seat. What an evocative image for an Indian girl with no pets in a small student town!
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    Saturday, October 9, 2010

    Read-a-Thon: Hourly updates Here #1!

    Instead of having a bunch of posts, hourly updates for the next 12 hours will go here.

    5:30 PM India Time: FINALLY, it begins! I have convinced friends, family that I am busy reading, and not going to venture out too much.
    Starting off with Dean Koontz and Odd Thomas -> Odd Hours.

    7:00 PM: Getting back online, to see what the world is up to. Found a Hour 1 meme, posted that earlier. I am 230 Pages done here.

    7:30 PM: Hour 2 Challenge at asks about childhood books. My reply is below:
    My favorite book as a 6-7 year old kid was probably anything by Enid Blyton - I started off reading her The Adventures of Mister Pinkwhistle, and then read her A Faraway Tree adventures. I used to even enjoy Noddy, which i later discovered was by her :)
    I do have some newer favorites, when I was 12 I read the entire Narnia series, and habitually read them every few years even now.
    SabrielI did actually include one awesome childhood series of mine - but in a different form. Stumbled across a graphic novel of Biggles (who was a hero of my 11 year-old self) and snapped it up earlier today. I must hv been the only girl of my age with a bunch of Biggles novels. I got gifted several well-worn copies by my teacher.

    Now, I'm off for a dinner, this could be a long-ish break. Ciao!

    !0:30 PM: I'm baaaaack and starting up a new book after I finish Odd Hours. Probably going to pick Sabriel next.

    11:30 PM: Reading Sabriel, 147 Pgs through. Will finish these two books before I sleep. Might do the midnight mini challenge if I'm awake and able!

    1:00 AM: I'm done with Sabriel, and with Odd Hours! That is a total of 491+397 = 888 Pages (Fact is stranger than fiction, for sure!)
    Hour 8 Mini-Challenge is at Blkosiner’s Book Blog: Name 5 villain-type characters that you "Love to Hate"
    My hate-list includes 1) Sauron from LOTR 2) Chthulhu  3) Moriarty from my beloved Sherlock Holmes and 4) Share Khan from my childhood Mowgli 5) Count Dracula

    Continuing Readathon updates here: Read a Thon Hourly Updates #3
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