Thursday, July 26, 2007

Beach Reading

Tomorrow we're off to the beach. This means the joy of family chaos and the escape of beach reading. It's my very favorite part of every year.

Packing used to be all about making room for our books. The absolutely indispensable reading material took up the whole back seat. Henri and I collect books all year for our time at the beach.

This year packing our books involved -- point, click, download. And the whole lot fits in my purse. I LOVE eBooks!!!

I won't be posting next week -- just reading.

And for those of you who are curious -- here is what I have so far:

~

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

7/25/07 -- 10% Discount on the eBooks you asked for . . .

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10% discount on this weeks most requested eBook -- use coupon code K37Q at checkout.
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11:38 AM 7/24/2007
Complete Idiots Guide to Wicca & Witchcraft eBook Edition
by: Zimmerman, Denise
This guide offers a beginner's look at the history of paganism, Wicca, and witchcraft, from the Druids and Celts to the witches of today who practice an earth-based religion, cast spells, and perform natural magic. The book, written by a practicing witch. . . .
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Your price $14.49 (Using your 10% discount and $.76 in eBook Reward points)
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MANUAL eBook edition
by: Santagati, Steve
the secrets men don't want women to know about them. It's like having a cool, best guy friend in your back pocket. This book is a MUST have for any woman who wants to know how men think, and, more importantly, have the upper hand in winning over the man of their dreams. . . .
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List Price : $17.95
Your price $15.35 (Using your 10% discount and $.81 in eBook Reward points)
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Mass Effect eBook edition
by: Karpyshyn, Drew
Every advanced society in the galaxy relies on the technology of the Protheans, an ancient species that vanished fifty thousand years ago. After discovering a cache of Prothean technology on Mars in 2148, humanity is spreading to the stars; the newest interstellar species, struggling to carve out its place in the greater galactic community. . . .
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Your price $6.80 (Using your 10% discount and $.36 in eBook Reward points)
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Never Deceive a Duke eBook edition
by: Carlyle, Liz
They call her the porcelain princess... With her fragile beauty and regal bearing, the Duchess of Warneham knows how to keep her admirers at a distance. Twice wed and twice widowed, Antonia has vowed never again to marry; never again to surrender her freedom. . . .
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List Price : $5.85
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The Method of Selling: Your Key to Successful Sales with Over 70 Creative Selling Techniques eBook edition
by: Benedict, Mark
With over 70 creative selling techniques, you are sure to have most of your sales questions answered...Presented in an easy to read format, The Method of Selling will make your selling experience an enjoyable and much more profitable one. . . .
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List Price : $9.95
Your price $8.51 (Using your 10% discount and $.45 in eBook Reward points)

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The Assault on Reason (eBook edition)

After The Manny I need something a little more substantive. . . Al Gore’s The Assault on Reason certainly fit the bill!

Here is fiery Al Gore, not the careful politician of 2000 or the rather pedantic professor in “An Inconvenient Truth.” I could almost like this guy; he thinks, he has a sarcastic sense of humor, and he cares. And ten pages into it you KNOW that he wrote himself; you can actually hear his voice.

In ths book he is again concerned with the environment -- specifically the political environment. The book makes powerful case for the devastating implications of the current administration’s focus and policies. But more importantly it is a rallying call to the American voter to “restore democracy”.

We, as citizens and voters, must demand more than 30-second TV ads and proactively take part in democracy for it to really work. He points to the Internet as a place to create a “marketplace of ideas”.

I do worry about the Internet part. The net is full of rumor, innuendo and outright lies side by side with the truth. Yet, for all of its flaws the Internet is a great equalizer, a builder of community and offers us an avenue for change.

It’s a little heavy, but worth the heft. . .

Here is the official stuff:

A visionary analysis of how the politics of fear, secrecy, cronyism, and blind faith has combined with the degradation of the public sphere to create an environment dangerously hostile to reason

At the time George W. Bush ordered American forces to invade Iraq, 70 percent of Americans believed Saddam Hussein was linked to 9/11. Voters in Ohio, when asked by pollsters to list what stuck in their minds about the campaign, most frequently named two Bush television ads that played to fears of terrorism.

We live in an age when the thirty-second television spot is the most powerful force shaping the electorate's thinking, and America is in the hands of an administration less interested than any previous administration in sharing the truth with the citizenry. Related to this and of even greater concern is this administration's disinterest in the process by which the truth is ascertained, the tenets of fact-based reasoning-first among them an embrace of open inquiry in which unexpected and even inconvenient facts can lead to unexpected conclusions.

How did we get here? How much damage has been done to the functioning of our democracy and its role as steward of our security? Never has there been a worse time for us to lose the capacity to face the reality of our long-term challenges, from national security to the economy, from issues of health and social welfare to the environment. As The Assault on Reason shows us, we have precious little time to waste.

Gore's larger goal in this book is to explain how the public sphere itself has evolved into a place hospitable to reason's enemies, to make us more aware of the forces at work on our own minds, and to lead us to an understanding of what we can do, individually and collectively, to restore the rule of reason and safeguard our future. Drawing on a life's work in politics as well as on the work of experts across a broad range of disciplines, Al Gore has written a farsighted and powerful manifesto for clear thinking.

Monday, July 23, 2007

eBook Reader Dreaming

eBooks are on the edge of real mass market appeal. One of the things holding it back, in my opinion, is the hardware (eBook readers).

So far there is no iPod for eBooks. Maybe the iPhone will be, but I suspect that will take some time. In the meantime I am holding myself back from rushing out and buying one of them.

I need another electronic device like I need an extra hole in my head . . a quick look around my office and I see my laptop, my original eBook reader, a new e-ink reader, a Palm and my Ultra Mobile PC plus three other readers that have been sent to me for evaluation. And that doesn’t account for two MP3 devices and an iPod.

All of these devices have a function in my life and none of them are what I would call wonderful for eBook reading.

My original reader is a little heavy, has poor screen quality and ties me to one vendor for content. On the plus side, it is small, easy to carry and it’s backlit so I can take it to bed, turn out the lights and read until I fall asleep – no waking up with the light glaring in my eyes.

My new e-Ink reader is SLOW! – it takes over 5 seconds for the screen to refresh when I turn a page. . . ugh! So while I can read it at the beach, it is not backlit so I have to leave a light on when I take it to bed at night. I am also limited in the kinds of commercial books I can read on it– pretty much its Mobipocket. I love the fact that it is thin and lightweight and that I can drop it in my purse and go. I have grudgingly become quite fond of it.

The Palm has a very clear display, is backlit and tiny. For me the drawback is that I can almost read a page in a glance. Continuous scrolling is a pain! But you can’t beat it for convenience. Here is a device that has telephone capability, contact and calendar management and reasonably quick internet access all at my fingertips. Best of all, it goes with me everywhere. . . perfect for snatching a quick chapter.

My ultra mobile PC is heavy (comparatively) and has a short battery life. This my preferred machine when I travel and don’t want to take my laptop. It is not really practical as an eBook reader; it is HOT (runs at about 200 degrees) and has a short battery life. On the other hand, I can read Adobe, Microsoft Reader and Mobipocket books with equal ease. The best part is that it functions like a full PC and has a big enough screen to actually see a good size page.

The evaluation readers all have strengths and weaknesses as well and none of them are perfect. I refuse to give up, however. My dream device is out there on the horizon – I just know it!

It will be about the size of the e-Ink Reader (trade paper), quick, backlit, able to read all commercial book formats, have a super fast internet connection and be under $200.

It will happen; the question is when. In the meantime I read eBooks (on all of my devices) and I fall asleep to dream of the perfect reader.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

The Manny eBook edition

Now here's a novel that makes me glad I read eBooks -- no need to lose the dust jacket or tear the cover off.

The Manny by Holly Peterson falls squarely into the "guilty pleasure" category.

IF I went looking for "chick lit" with absolutely no redeeming social value, that has absolutely nothing to do with real life (as I know it) and that makes me laugh, I couldn’t have done any better!

I am not sure why I even picked it up -- I am not rich, not a New Yorker, do not have 3 kids and have never employed a maid, never mind a nanny. But there is some sort of facination with the super rich that I seem to have.

My only consolation is that I am not alone -- there are evidently lots of others since it is on the NY Times Best Seller list for the last 3 weeks.

For those of you who prefer the “Cliff Notes” version – just watch the video (co written by her cousin Jay Peterson) and read the blurb.

This video is almost as much fun as the book!

Here is the blurb:

What’s a Park Avenue working mom to do when her troubled son desperately needs a male role model and her husband is a power workaholic? If she’s like the gutsy heroine of Holly Peterson’s astute new comedy of manners among the ill-mannered elite, she does what every other woman on the block does. She hires herself a “manny.” A solid middle-class girl from Middle America, Jamie Whitfield isn’t “one of them” but she lives in “the Grid,” the wealthiest acre of real estate in Manhattan, where big money and big media collide. And she has most everything they have–a big new apartment, full-time help with her three children, as well as her very own detached Master of the Universe attorney husband. What she doesn’t have, however, is a full-time father figure for their struggling nine-year-old son, Dylan. But the rich haven’t yet encountered a problem they can’t hire someone else to solve. Enter the manny. At first the idea of paying a man to provide a role model for Dylan sounds too crazy to be true. But one look at Peter Bailey is enough to convince Jamie that the idea may not be quite so insane after all. Peter is calm, cool, competent, and so charmingly down-to-earth, he’s irresistible. And with the political sex scandal of the decade propelling her career as a news producer into overdrive, and her increasingly erratic husband locked in his study with suspicious files, Jamie is in serious need of some grounding. Peter reminds her of everything she once was, still misses, and underneath all the high-society glitz, still is. But will the new manny in her life put the ground back beneath her feet, or sweep her off them?

Oh, in case you were wondering, this is a great beach read! I'd actually buy it all over again.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

10% Discount on the eBooks you asked for . . .

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Get a discount on the most requested books in the last week -- use coupon 1GH4
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Casanegra eBook Edition
by: Underwood, Blair
Casanegra follows the adventures of Tennyson Hardwick, a gorgeous, sexy actor and former gigolo, living on the fringes of the good life in Hollywood. This story, which chronicles the redemption of a prodigal son, combines the glamour of Hollywood with the seedy hopelessness of the inner city.
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Your price $14.53 (Using your 10% discount and $ .76 in eBook Reward points)

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Arabic for Dummies eBook Edition
by: Bouchentouf, Amine
Arabic is the native tongue of over 200 million people in more than 22 nations, and these days, people fluent in Arabic are sought after in business and government. Covering the Arabic alphabet and introducing Arabic script, this book helps people pick up basic Arabic quickly.
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Your price $21.37 (Using your 10% discount and $1.12 in eBook Reward points)

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InSINerator eBook Edition
by: DiFrancesco, Joseph
Homicide detective, Bob DiStanza, has been doggedly pursuing an active serial killer operating throughout the city of Philadelphia. As the lead investigator of a dedicated taskforce commissioned to stop this highly disciplined yet unyielding predator of women
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Your price $5.12 (Using your 10% discount and $ .27 in eBook Reward points)

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The TV Tidbits Classic Television Book of Lists eBook Edition
by: Karol, Michael
Enjoy these unique lists, packed with TV trivia and tidbits. Check out alll of Michael's other titles -- he is THE expert on Lucille Ball!
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Your price $5.13 (Using your 10% discount and $ .27 in eBook Reward points)

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Simply Magic eBook Edition
by: Balogh, Mary
The third in Balogh's Simply series of Regency romances, centered on a group of friends who teach at a private girls' school in Bath, is absorbing and appealing.
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Your price $15.35 (Using your 10% discount and $ .81 in eBook Reward points)

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The Age of Conversation eBook

Take 2 editors – one American and one Australian who have never met

Add 103 writers/bloggers, from 10 countries and 4 continents

Give them a topic – conversation or The Conversation Age

And See what happens – The Age of Conversation!

Finally, do a good deed – donate the proceeds to Variety Children’s Charity.

The result -- phenomenal.

I downloaded the book to my Palm and when I have a couple of spare minutes I read a couple of pages. I was even tempted to try it at a long light on my way to work this morning -- not recommended.

Five years ago if someone had said that you could have 2 editors and 103 contributors and publish a book in 3 months you would have been laughed out of existence! In lots of publishing houses today, you still would be.

This project is a great reminder of why I love technology. The Age of Conversation showcases the awesome power of the internet for collaboration and community.

Here’s the ‘official’ stuff:

If ideas are the currency of our times then this is, undoubtedly, the Age of Conversation, for without the art of dialog, the cut and thrust of debate and discussion, then the economy of ideas would implode under its own heavy weight. Instead, the reverse is true. Far from seeing an implosion, we are living in a time of proliferation — ideas build upon ideas, discussion grows from seeds of thought and single headlines give rise to a thousand medusa-like simulations echoing words whispered somewhere on the other side of the planet. All this — in an instant. In what began as a half dare, the editors, Gavin Heaton and Drew McLellan challenged bloggers around the world to contribute one page — 400 words— on the topic of “conversation”. The resulting book, The Age of Conversation,brings together over 100 of the world’s leading marketers, writers, thinkers and creative innovators in a ground-breaking and unusual publication.

Monday, July 16, 2007

More Harry Potter . . . .

All the frenzied speculation about the ending of Harry Potter just tickles me!

Especially since I am one of those people who refuses to buy a book in a series until the whole series is published. . . .but then I tend to scandalize my friends with how I read.

Here is how it will go: When all seven books are available I will buy them all; stack them on my night stand and start with Book 1, Chapter 1; will pick up Book7, the last chapter and read it; and then return to Book 1, Chapter 2 and read to the end. So I will know what happens in advance.

Evidently there are other people who like to know the ending as well. This would explain the “Gabriel” phenomonon. Gabirel, a hacker, claimed he had gotten hold of a digital copy of the book and posted the supposed the key details on his site. . His site's server, run by insecure.org, was swamped with five times it’s normal traffic. They are still recovering.

Of course, we are not exempt from Harry Potter mania here at eBooks About. We would like to be since J K Rowling refuses to allow her books to be sold in eBook formats, but we are human, The office staff has been debating the end for days. I have listened with half an ear and heard all kinds of strange things about Muggles Hermione, Dumbledore and Snape. Whatever!

To top it off, my grandchildren are after me to go see Order of the Phoenix with them.

I am probably one of the few people left in the world who doesn’t have a clue about Harry Potter, the characters, the spells, never mind the plot line.

Which explains my relief when my daughter explained to me that I could find out everything I needed to know if I would just look in my own store. She said to find “The Unofficial Guide to Harry Potter”. I can even carry it with me on my Palm Reader when I go to see the movie and refer to it as needed during the movie. The wonder of backlighting!!

One more reason to read eBooks (as if I really needed one).

Friday, July 13, 2007

So Many Books -- so little time!

I have a stack of books next to my bed and a whole lot more on my eBook reader -- now if I could just get a few minutes to read, life would be grand!

I have particular taste in books. My favorite kind of books (in no particular order) are biographies, memoirs, mysterys, "chick lit", historical fiction, real history (current events) and thrillers. I read a lot of business and computer titles, but not necessarily for fun!

My daughter and husband are SciFi and Fanatasy readers and my husband reads a lot of scientific stuff. He also reads about politics, policy and business (he claims it is for fun).

My daughter reads a lot of kids books (she has three of them), cookbooks and mind-body titles. . . something about kids makes you very health minded.

My mom reads spritiual and religious books.

But those are only a few of all the books out there. Which brings me to the point of this post.

If you (any of you) would like to write a review for this blog, we'd like to hear from you! Add your voice and share you passion!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

The Great American Novel

As a sometime writer, this is one of the funnier videos I have seen in a long time!

Writing is always challege! I swear, there are days when even a simple blog post seems as daunting as writing the Great American Novel. Or is that just me?

Here it is -- Enjoy!

How To Write The Great American Novel

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

10% Discount on the eBooks you asked for . . .

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To take advantage of these discounts use coupon code C71W at checkout

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Love and Sex Handbook eBook edition
by: Heinlein, Kris A, Heinlein, Rozz M
Make way for the next sexual revolution! Plenty of books describe the mechanics of sex but barely scratch the surface. The Sex and Love Handbook explores the most sensual sexual organ: the human brain
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Your price $17.09 (Using your 10% discount and $.90 in eBook Reward points)

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White Lies eBook edition
by: Krentz, Jayne Anne
A compulsively readable new novel of paranormal power, deception, and danger . . . Petite, thirtysomething Clare Lancaster is a Level Ten para-sensitive-and a "human lie detector." Over the years, she's come to accept that someone with her extraordinary talents is likely to have trouble in the relationship department
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Your price $21.33 (Using your 10% discount and $1.12 in eBook Reward points)

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Autsin Healy 3000 Buyers' Guide eBook edition
by: Mellor, Chris
The big Healeys are famous, rock-solid classic British sportscars. There were five versions of the Austin Healey 3000. This printable, 17-page, colouer-illustrated guide covers each variant. Check the other Buyer's Guides from Chris Mellor
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Your price $6.84(Using your 10% discount and $.36 in eBook Reward points)

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Armed & Dangerous eBook edition
by: Century, Douglas, Queen, William
William Queen is the author of the New York Times bestseller Under and Alone. He spent twenty years as a special agent with the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.
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Your price $15.34 (Using your 10% discount and $.81 in eBook Reward points)

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Punk Marketing eBook edition
by: Laermer, Richard
Laermer and Simmons take an irreverent, penetrating look at the seismic change in the relationship between the people who sell stuff—products, services, entertainment—and those who purchase it. They demonstrate that to survive in business, a revolutionary approach is needed—one they have branded “Punk Marketing”—and it's one we all need to understand, for the traditional divisions among commerce, content, and consumers are continuing to blur ever more rapidly.
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Your price $17.06 (Using your 10% discount and $.90 in eBook Reward points)

Monday, July 9, 2007

The Decendants by Kaui Hart Hemmings

This book got to me, almost in spite of myself. . . I started it two weeks ago and had a very hard time with the first 100 pages (or so). My mind wandered, I feel asleep, I found something else to do. And then. . .

For some inexplicable reason, the book took hold of me and I was hooked. When I wasn’t reading it, I was thinking about it. I guess that is the sign that it is a good book.

This is a book about family, death, forgiveness and real estate. Pretty much the whole gamut of life.

Matt King, the narrator of this book, has led a privileged life sheltered by money and heritage. And then, suddenly, a tragic boating accident shatters his illusions and forces him to look at his legacies: from his royal Hawaiian ancestors to his incredibly screwed up kids.

Matt’s rather dry, understated narration is alternatively hilarious and heart breaking as he wanders through his past and bumbles through his present. The accident wakes him up to his roles in his family – deficient father, blind spouse, reluctant heir.

I suppose that technically this book is a “downer” -- after all we are dealing with death, greed, adultery and messed up kids. Curiously, it was not. And some of the situations, especially with his daughter's "friend" are hilarious. In the end this book is more a celebration of life than anything else.

The publisher blurb says:

Narrated in a bold, fearless, hilarious voice and set against the lush, panoramic backdrop of Hawaii, The Descendants is a stunning debut novel about an unconventional family forced to come together and re-create its own legacy.

Matthew King was once considered one of the most fortunate men in Hawaii. His missionary ancestors were financially and culturally progressive-one even married a Hawaiian princess, making Matt a royal descendant and one of the state's largest landowners.

Now his luck has changed. His two daughters are out of control: Ten-year-old Scottie is a smart-ass with a desperate need for attention, and seventeen-year-old Alex, a former model, is a recovering drug addict. Matt's charismatic, thrill-seeking, high-maintenance wife, Joanie, lies in a coma after a boat-racing accident and will soon be taken off life support. The Kings can hardly picture life without her, but as they come to terms with this tragedy, their sadness is mixed with a sense of freedom that shames them-and spurs them into surprising actions.

Before honoring Joanie's living will, Matt must gather her friends and family to say their final goodbyes, a difficult situation made worse by the sudden discovery that there is one person who hasn't been told: the man with whom Joanie had been having an affair, quite possibly the one man she ever truly loved. Forced to examine what he owes not only to the living but to the dead, Matt takes to the road with his daughters to find his wife's lover, a memorable journey that leads to both painful revelations and unforeseen humor and growth.

Recommended!

Mobipocket eBooks - a great eReading experience!

Mobipocket has long been my favorite eReading platform. Which explains why I am excited to say that eBooks About Everything is starting to offer books in this format; over the next couple of weeks we will be adding close to 50,000 Mobipocket formatted eBooks.

Mobi was designed to be a “universal” reader which means it is easy to use on a PDA, a smart phone, an eReading device or on a even your laptop. It has the most compatability with the most devices: Palm, Windows, Windows Mobile, Blackberry, Symbian (Nokia and UI phones), Franklin Reader, Irex Illiad and Pepper-Pad. The new Sony eReader integration should be available soon.

Of course Mobipocket has all the features you expect from eReading software: bookmarking, highlightlighting, searching text within the document and annotating.

So what’s different/better? The reading experience! Mobipocket lets you change the line spacing, the type face, the margins and the justification. If that is not enough, you can change the background and text colors.

You get to choose what you want to see. For example on my PDA, I like a Verdana 10 font with clear type on a full screen. On my laptop, I like Comic Sans MS to display 4 pages across with 1.25 line spacing AND my notes displayed to the right. Once you’ve set your customized reading environment it stays that way until you change it.

One of the things I really like is that I can import a lot of different kinds of files into my library by simply clicking and dragging. Check out the picture at the top -- it shows this post in Mobi before I made a few changes. Importable files include: PDF (!), HTML, Text (MS Office, .TXT and .RTF), CHM, OCF files and even simple RSS news feeds. Open the file in Mobipocket; it adapts perfectly to your preset page layout. It is now a permanent part of your library so that it can easily be opened again.

The dictionary functions are great! Purchase and install a dictionary and you can lookup any word as you read. Even better, you can install a bi-lingual dictionary so that if you are me trying to read in Spanish --you can EASILY look up the word in English and keep reading.

Then there is linking – you can easily link within a book or between books in your library for easy reference. You can copy information from one place and paste it into another (this may be limited by the DRM protection of the book).

Mobipocket claims that they have the easiest way to build, organize, read and annotate your entire eBook library. I think they might be right.

Which explains why I’m excited to buy (and sell, of course) eBooks in the format from our very own store. I get to buy books in my own store (at a discount -- and there goes any profit) and read them on my UltraMobile PC, Palm and Illiad.

Try it out today (just ignore our temporary cover problem) and of stayed tuned for more info and DISCOUNTS.

Friday, July 6, 2007

World eBook Fair - 620,000 FREE eBooks

eBooks About Everything is proud to be a commerical sponser of the 2nd Annual World eBook Fair.

The World eBook Fair is the brain child of Michael Hart, founder of Project Gutenberg. Michael was the creator of eBooks and started Project Gutenberg in 1971 to encourage the creation and distribution of eBooks. His idea was really simple -- provide as many free eBooks in as many formats as possible for the entire world to read in as many languages as possible. Today Project Gutenberg has over 100,000 books available for download.

The World eBook Fair is a logical extention of Michael's mission.

Last year on July 4 the first World eBook Fair opened with 1/3 of a million free eBooks. Over the next 30 days the fair gave away approximately 1 million eBooks a day! These books were primarily contriubted by the World eBook Library with special contributions by Baen Books and the DPPstore.

This year the list of contributors has grown along with the available titles -- 620,000 free books plus 110,000 commercial ebooks for a total of 730,000 eBooks! Here are some other interesting facts:

  • eBooks in over 100 Different Languages!
  • 125 collections to choose from
  • Created by Contributions from 150+ eLibraries Around the World
  • 1,000 eBooks for the One Laptop Per Child Computer as seen on "60 Minutes" just two weeks ago.
  • 220,000 eBooks from The Internet Archive, (Open-Access Text Archive) Archive.org,

Go on over to the Fair to select your summer reading!

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

10% discount + Points on the eBooks You Asked For

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Use Coupon Code : J12Y at checkout to receive 10% off these titles:
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Vivaldi's Virgins eBook Edition
by: Quick, Barbara

In this enthralling new novel, Barbara Quick re-creates eighteenth-century Venice at the height of its splendor and decadence. A story of longing and intrigue, half-told truths and toxic lies, Vivaldi's Virgins unfolds through the eyes of Anna Maria dal Violin, one of the elite musicians cloistered in the foundling home where Antonio Vivaldi—known as the Red Priest of Venice—is maestro and composer.

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Your price $17.06 (Using your 10% discount and $.90 in eBook Reward points)
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Kushiel's Justice eBook Edition
by: Carey, Jacqueline
Imriel de la Courcel's blood parents are history's most reviled traitors, while his adoptive parents, Ph├Ędre and Joscelin, are Terre d'Ange's greatest champions. Stolen, tortured, and enslaved as a young boy, Imriel is now a Prince of the Blood, third in line for the throne in a land that revels in beauty, art, and desire.
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Your price $16.24 (Using your 10% discount and $.85 in eBook Reward points)
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Negotiating Your Salary & Perks eBook Edition
by: Haberly, Duncan & Fish, Robert A
You needn't enter salary negotiations with butterflies in your stomach--and you needn't be at the employer's mercy when negotiating a job offer. Whether this is your first salary negotiation or your tenth, you will fare much better if you have some basic negotiation skills. In fact, almost every initial offer can be improved on--in many cases, dramatically--with a little savvy negotiating
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Your price $14.49 (Using your 10% discount and $.69 in eBook Reward points)
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Free Food for Millionaires eBook Edition
by: Lee, Min Jin
Casey Han's four years at Princeton gave her many things, But no job and a number of bad habits. Casey's parents, who live in Queens, are Korean immigrants working in a dry cleaner, desperately trying to hold on to their culture and their identity. Their daughter, on the other hand, has entered into rarified American society via scholarships
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Your price $13.07 (Using your 10% discount and $.69 in eBook Reward points)
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Einstein: His Life and Universe eBook Edition
by: Isaacson, Walter
How did his mind work? What made him a genius? Isaacson's biography shows how his scientific imagination sprang from the rebellious nature of his personality. His fascinating story is a testament to the connection between creativity and freedom. Based on newly released personal letters of Einstein
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Your price $13.07 (Using your 10% discount and $.69 in eBook Reward points)

Monday, July 2, 2007

Professional Books Reviews vs The Citizen Book Review

Been reading a lot lately on the “tragedy” of newspaper cutbacks in book sections with a corresponding drop in literary books reviews and a great deal of moaning about citizen reviewers.

Because we live in the 21st century, there is a campaign involved: The National Book Critics Circle Campaign to Save Book Reviews. John Freeman of the NBCC explains that they must “become activists in order to ensure that these venues are going to be around in the future."

The NBCC consider their job a formal erudite, discipline and they are appalled at the informal, free-for-all amateur reviews that crop up on the web and in places like Amazon.

All this chatter came into focus this weekend as I read the New York Times Book Review. There was a piece on Free Food for Millionaires by Min Jin Lee as reviewed by LIESL SCHILLINGER. Ms Schillinger has impeccable credentials -- she is after all a writer and a graduate of Yale with a degree in comparative literature.

I waded through her very academic review with a lot of high minded stuff about feminism, Middlemarch, Trollope and Henry James. All very scholarly and VERY dry!

There was NOT one sentence in the review that made me want to read the book. That really caught my attention!

I finished the book a week or so ago, and have told anyone who would listen that it is “the best fiction I’ve read this year”.

This is a extraordinary story about being the perpetual outsider, about living in the modern world with the inbred values of the old, of finding a place that is comfortable for you (under your own terms). It is an exploration of racism and prejudice from both sides of the equation.

Consider Casey Han. She wants to please her parents and be a modern woman. She wants glamour and insight but she also wants respectability and success. She wants to earn her own way but she wants luxury (expensive) clothing. She wants to be accepted in the non-Korean world but yet she cannot escape her Korean (and more importantly her immigrant) heritage.

With all these contradictions it is no wonder that she is forever shooting her self in the foot and creating pain and chaos for herself in both her personal and business relationships.

Her life is constantly in contrast with her “perfect” almost friend Ella. She is wildly ambivalent about who Ella is and how she (Casey) should relate to her. After all Ella seems to do everything right; she even marries a successful Korean investment banker and has a child.

Did I mention that there are passages that our laugh out loud funny. Casey, as the narrator of her life, has an angry, witty, often self depreciating sense of humor.

The official synopsis reads like this: Casey Han's four years at Princeton gave her many things, "But no job and a number of bad habits." Casey's parents, who live in Queens, are Korean immigrants working in a dry cleaner, desperately trying to hold on to their culture and their identity. Their daughter, on the other hand, has entered into rarified American society via scholarships. But after graduation, Casey sees the reality of having expensive habits without the means to sustain them. As she navigates Manhattan, we see her life and the lives around her, culminating in a portrait of New York City and its world of haves and have-nots.

Free Food for Millionaires is avaiable as an eBook in the eBooks About Everything store.

Which bring me back to reviewers. . .

Literary criticism is a great intellectual discipline. Lofty, scholarly discourse about the significance of a particular book may even have a certain value. But I am not convinced that the citizen reviewers degrade the value of the professional reviewer’s work. These citizen reviews have a different and equally valid perspective on how to view a book. They are more concerned with things like readability, voice and experience. Go to Amazon and read some citizen reviews.

These lowly citizens get it. For most us a book doesn’t have to be literary; it just has to be a damn good read. Free Food for Millionaires is!

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