Thursday, May 29, 2008

Book Expo America -- BEA 2008

We're off to BEA today --

The nice thing for me is that it is LA this year. For once I can actually drive there. No big travel hassels and no jet lag!

BEA can be a little overwhelming with thousands of attendees, hundreds of authors and a myriad of events. For me, however, the best part is catching up with old friends and making new ones.

There are a lot of events and author signings. So here is an idea of how we will spend our days.

Friday morning Thomas Freidman kicks of the show with this opening address. The rest of the day will be spent in education session or walking the show. I am especially looking forward to the session with Chris Anderson (Wired Magazine) and Jeff Bezos (Amazon).

We start Saturday with the Author Breakfast. This year we will hear from Magic Johnson, Philippa Gregory, Andre Dubus III and Alec Baldwin. And for a bonus we will have lunch with Richard Engel, Markos Mouslitsas Zuniga, Jon Krakaur, Micheal Moore and Christopher Buckley.

The most fun, however, should be the Saturday night event with Lewis Black. I just hope I can stay upright for that long!

We end the conference with a Sunday breakfast featuring Ted Turner, Azar Nafisi, Dennis Lehan and John Hodgeman.

By Sunday afternoon when we head home we will be loaded down with books -- galleys, free copies and few we bought and with very sore feet. I wouldn't miss it for anything!

Maybe we'll see you there . . .

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Discounted eBooks - May 28, 2008

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Everyweek is a mini-adventure for me. I am always intrigued at the choices people make in thier reading material. This week is no exception. These titles are sure to interest and amuse!

To get your 10% discount on these titles add coupon code C2MJ4 at checkout
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Are You There, Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea eBook edition
by Handler, Chelsea
When Chelsea Handler needs to get a few things off her chest, she appeals to a higher power -- vodka. You would too if you found out that your boyfriend was having an affair with a Peekapoo or if you had to pretend to be honeymooning with your father in order to upgrade to first class. Welcome to Chelsea's world -- a place where absurdity reigns supreme and a quick wit is the best line of defense. In this hilarious, deliciously skewed collection, Chelsea mines her past for stories about her family, relationships, and career that are at once singular and ridiculous.
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List Price : $17.99
Your price $13.84 (Using your 10% discount and $ .73 points in eBook Reward points)
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Dark Needs at Night's Edge eBook Edition
by: Cole, Kresley
Bestselling author Kresley Cole continues her seductive Immortals After Dark series with this tale of a vampire shunned even by his own kind and a beautiful phantom, bound together by a passion they cannot resist. A RAVEN-HAIRED TEMPTRESS OF THE DARK... Néomi Laress, a famous ballerina from a past century, became a phantom the night she was murdered. Imbued with otherworldly powers but invisible to the living, she haunts her beloved home, scaring away trespassers -- until she encounters a ruthless immortal even more terrifying than Néomi herself
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List Price : $6.99
Your price $5.98 (Using your 10% discount and $ ..31 iin eBook Reward points)
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QBQ! the Question Behind the Question: Practicing Personal Accountability at Work and in Life eBook edition
by: Miller, John G.
QBQ! The Question Behind the Question, already a phenomenon in its self-published edition, addresses the most important issue in business and society today: personal accountability. The lack of personal accountability has resulted in an epidemic of blame, complaining, and procrastination. No organization-or individual-can achieve goals, compete in the marketplace, fulfill a vision, or develop people and teams without personal accountability. The solution involves an entirely new approach.
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Snuff eBook edition
by: Palahniuk, Chuck
Cassie Wright, porn priestess, intends to cap her legendary career by breaking the world record for serial fornication. On camera. With six hundred men. Snuff unfolds from the perspectives of Mr. 72, Mr. 137, and Mr. 600, who await their turn on camera in a very crowded green room. This wild, lethally funny, and thoroughly researched novel brings the huge yet underacknowledged presence of pornography in contemporary life into the realm of literary fiction at last. Who else but Chuck Palahniuk would dare do such a thing? Who else could do it so well, so unflinchingly, and with such an incendiary (you might say) climax?
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Pegasus at the Plow: A Poetry Collection eBook edition
by: Walker, Patrick
Over 25 years of expression in poetic verse Born in Scranton, Pennsylvania on April 9, 1958, Patrick Joseph Walker has always been a seeker of truth in all things. His earliest perceptions of life were colored by familial devotion to Irish clan and the Catholic Church. An early scholar, he attended Scranton Preparatory School and was later accepted into the Special Jesuit Liberal Arts Program at the University of Scranton. During a hiatus from formal education, he worked as a staff writer for the Legislature in Saipan. When he returned to the United States, he was awarded a Philosophy Fellowship at Fordham University. Today, he "works" as an editor and proofreader of educational materials for a local correspondence college. His "real" work, however, involves studying the works of Blaise Pascal and Friedrich Hayek.
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List Price : $9.95
Your price $8.51 (Using your 10% discount and $ .45 in eBook Reward points)

Our guarantee: If you have bought one of these titles from eBooks About in the last 15 days -- we will gladly offer you a rebate on the book; just contact us.

Monday, May 26, 2008

One Laptop Per Child - Version 1.5

olpc Nicholas Negroponte had a good idea: a cheap laptop for the poor children of the world loaded with software and connected to the Internet.

With this in mind, he (along with a few friends) formed a nonprofit group.  They called it OLPC:  One Laptop Per Child.  The organization's mission statement says:

Any nation's most precious natural resource is its children. We believe the emerging world must leverage this resource by tapping into the children's innate capacities to learn, share, and create on their own. Our answer to that challenge is the XO laptop, a children's machine designed for “learning learning.”

Last December OLPC began shipping first version of the XO laptop. 

Version 1 is an amazingly powerful machine for a hundred dollars.   OK, so it actually ended up costing twice as much as projected ($200) and it looks a little like Kermit.  But it is rugged, Internet connected and has great battery life.  All in all a pretty impressive achievement.

Naturally there critics and detractors.  Those who disparage the machine as too simplistic and not powerful enough.  Those who question Nicholas Negraponte's motives. There are Techies who are scandalized that OLPC decided to go ahead and use Microsoft Windows as an alternative operating system.  And to be fair the first version has had it's share of hardware failures and distribution problems.  But all in all, it is a wonderful idea and an impressive achievement.

Of course any technology you can buy is already obsolete.  So last week at the MIT Media Lab, OLPC announced a new version of the laptop.  Dubbed Version 1.5, it is slated for release in 2010 at the low, low price of $75.00. 

Guess what -- the thing is an eBook!

The ideaolpc2 is pretty interesting.  You take two DVD type player screens, add touch capacity and hinge them together.  The book-like configuration can be easily used to simulate book reading.    olpckeyboard  




Or you can turn it sideways, bring up a touchable image of a keyboard to use for typing and position the other side as a traditional laptop screen. 

Pretty cool, from my point of view!  Makes me wish I were a kid again (sort of).  I can't think of a better way to get a child to learn or to read a book for that matter.

Note:  OLPC (like all non profits) can use your help to make this dream a reality.  Find out how you can participate!

Friday, May 23, 2008

A Place Called Canterbury: Tales of the New Old Age in America eBook edition

A Place called Canterbury is a humorous and sometimes touching, meditation on how today's elderly live.

When his mother moved to a Tampa Bay Life Care Retirement Community, Canterbury Tower, Dudley Clendinen got an up close and very personal look at retirement and old age in America. 

The average age of the Canterbury Tower resident is 86,  The same age as my mother is now.  I used to think that 86 was ancient.  I could barely imagine anyone living that long.  These days, not only can I imagine it, I am watching a whole generation of my family living into their 80s and 90s.

My mother at 86 has barely slowed down.  She has a more active social life than I do.  My Dad's oldest sister is 90+ and (except for her hearing) is going strong.  Based on my heredity I am going to be around for a very long time. It is fair to say that for me A Place Called Canterbury is both an inspiration and a cautionary tale.

Let's face it.  Stories about old people have a predictable ending.  Too often they are by turns depressing or maudlin. A Place Called Canterbury is anything but. There are poignant stories that made me tear up.  There are stories that made me laugh out loud.  There are stories that made me think.  There were stories that put me to sleep. In the end these tales are not so much a chronicle of old age but a celebration of what it means to be human.

Canterbury Towers, as described by Clendinen, is full of fascinating characters who refuse grow old.  They are committed to living life to its fullest; they forget things, they tell funny stories, they snack after sex, they drink martinis and have wonderful social debates.  Clendinen reports it all. 

He says that in writing this book he "set out to be diarist and chronicler."  He did his job well.  His Mother, if she could read this book, would be proud. 

You probably do not want to read this book on an empty stomach -- all the descriptions of food will send you to the freezer for ice cream.  And as I read, I couldn't help but think of my Dad who used to say -- "The best thing about old age is that it beats the alternative. "  

This book is certainly not everyone's cup of tea.  It is only recommended for anyone who is aging or has an aging Mother.

OK -- here is what the publisher says:

In 1994 New York Times writer Dudley Clendinen's mother-a Southern matron of iron will but creaking bones-sold her house and moved to Canterbury Tower, a geriatric apartment building with full services and a nursing wing in Tampa Bay.

There she landed in a microcosm of the New Old Age. Canterbury was filled not just with old Tampa neighbors but also with strangers from across the country. Wealthy, middle class, or barely afloat; Christian, Jewish, or faithless; proud, widowed, or still married; grumpy or dear-they had all come together, at the average age of eighty-six, in search of a last place to live and die.

A Place Called Canterbury is a beautifully written, often hilarious, deeply moving look at how the oldest Americans are living with the reality of living longer. Peopled by brave, daffy, memorable characters determined to grow old with dignity-and to help one another avoid the dreaded nursing wing-A Place Called Canterbury is a kind of soap opera.

Likewise, it is a poignant chronicle of the last years of the Greatest Generation and their children, the Boomers, as they are drawn into old age with their parents. A Place Called Canterbury is an essential read for anyone with aging parents and anyone wondering what their own old age will look like.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Discounted eBooks - May 21, 2009

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What Fun! This is a great selection of very different books and topics. In fact I wasn't even aware of a couple of them. Buy one or all at a 10% discount. Use Coupon Code B2J8G at discount.
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Audition eBook edition
by: Walters, Barbara
Back in the sixties, when I was appearing daily on NBC’s Today show, I was living on Seventh Avenue and Fifty-seventh Street. My apartment was across from Carnegie Hall and on the corner of a very busy street. It was also near several large hotels that catered to businessmen. Perhaps because of this, the corner was the gathering place for some of the most attractive “ladies of the evening. I gave them hope. Perhaps this book may do that for you. So here it is, the whole package, from the beginning.
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Your price $20.48 (Using your 10% discount and $1.08 points in eBook Reward points)
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Jewel eBook Edition
by: Jenkins, Beverly
Though Eli Grayson is one of the most handsome, charming, and intelligent men in Grayson Grove, no one will take a chance on a confirmed bachelor. Unwilling to give up his dreams, Eli convinces his friend Jewel to pose as his wife. Their masquerade is to last just one night . . . but when word gets out, Eli and Jewel must tie the knot to save his career—and her reputation.
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Your price $5.12 (Using your 10% discount and $ .27 iin eBook Reward points)
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McMafia eBook edition
by: Glenny, Misha
McMafia is a fearless, encompassing, wholly authoritative investigation of the now proven ability of organized crime worldwide to find and service markets driven by a seemingly insatiable demand for illegal wares. Whether discussing the Russian mafia, Colombian drug cartels, or Chinese labor smugglers, Misha Glenny makes clear how organized crime feeds off the poverty of the developing world, how it exploits new technology in the forms of cybercrime and identity theft, and how both global crime and terror are fueled by an identical source: the triumphant material affluence of the West.
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Your price $15.35 (Using your 10% discount and $ .81 in eBook Reward points)
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The House on Fortune Street eBook edition
by: Livesey, Margot
The absorbing latest from Livesey opens multiple perspectives on the life of Dara MacLeod, a young London therapist. The first of four sections follows Keats scholar Sean Wyman: his girlfriend, Abigail, is Dara's best friend, the second section, set during Dara's childhood, is narrated by Dara's father, Dara's meeting with Edward dominates part three and the final part is told mainly from Abigail's college-era point of view. The pieces cross-reference and fit together seamlessly, with Dara's fate being revealed by the end of part one and explained in the denouement. Livesey's use of the classics enriches the narrative, giving Dara a larger-than-life resonance.
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List Price : $19.95
Your price $15.36 (Using your 10% discount and $ .81 in eBook Reward points)
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American Nerd: The Story of My People eBook edition
by: Nugent, Benjamin
Most people know a nerd when they see one but can't define just what a nerd is. American Nerd: The Story of My People gives us the history of the concept of nerdiness and of the subcultures we consider nerdy. When and how did being a self-described nerd become trendy? Mixing research and reportage with autobiography, critically acclaimed writer Benjamin Nugent embarks on a fact-finding mission of the most entertaining variety. He seeks the best definition of nerd and illuminates the common ground between nerd subcultures that might seem unrelated
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List Price : $17.99
Your price $13.84 (Using your 10% discount and $ .73 in eBook Reward points)

Our guarantee: If you have bought one of these titles from eBooks About in the last 15 days -- we will gladly offer you a rebate on the book; just contact us.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Get Caught Reading Month

Dad_reading_to_child One of my earliest memories is sitting with my Dad as he read me my nightly bedtime story. 

Dad may have enjoyed our nightly ritual even more than I did.  It was his big chance to indulge in theatrics.  During his daytime life, my Dad was a rather conservative, soft spoken even humble man.  But when it was bedtime story time he became something else all together.  He whispered, roared, created voices and even sang once in a while. 

It is probably safe to say that my love of reading is forever entwined with my love for my Dad.  So, I think it is exquisitely appropriate that May (the month of his birthday) is the month for the "Get Caught Reading Month" campaign.

Dad would have loved it!

This is the ninth annual campaign since The American Association of Publishers decreed May as "Get Caught Reading Month".

get caught big

This year the Get Caught Reading website  offers a selection of pictures that show a celebrity (like Queen Latifa, Jenna Bush or The Miami Heat) reading. 

These images can be downloaded as a screen saver or ordered as posters.  Or you can use them to send an an ePostcard to a friend. 

One of the most interesting features of the website is the section dedicated to their literacy program.  The most fascinating piece is the Fact Sheet on The Importance of Reading to Young Children. Here are a few of the facts and figures!

Did you know that:

  • When you read to a child that in a matter of seconds, thousands of cells in these children's growing brains respond?
  • reading adds definition and complexity to the intricate circuitry of the brain that remain largely in place for the rest of these children's lives?
  • Literacy later in life depends heavily on a child's environmental influences?
  • Reading aloud to children is the single most important way for a child to develop literacy skills?
  • Many pediatricians prescribe reading activities at the time of well-child visits?

Evidently all that reading had a part in determining by eventual vocation and avocation.  And here I thought that Dad read to me just for fun!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Physics Of The Impossible eBook edition

Henri is the serious science reader in our household.  He just finished this book and highly recommends it.  After this review, I am (almost) tempted to read it.                                      ---Gigi            

Some of the best Science Fiction I have ever read was masquerading  as science fact.

The ultimate discovery of the truth about our universe has always fascinated me. When I was taught Physics, in that high school so long ago, in a galaxy far away.  Newton still largely filled the pages with his view of the universe. Schrodinger’s Cat was a little too hip for that place and time.

Since then I have tried on many occasions to read such deathless tomes as, “Quantum Mechanics For Dummies.” (That book really exists in some universe in the multiverse, I am certain of that fact; just not yet in this one.)

Michio Haku’s new book, “Physics Of The Impossible,” accomplished the almost impossible feat of updating me on the physics of the brave new world of the atomic and subatomic scales. That is a world where natural phenomena are weirder than fiction. The simple fact is the author clarified what is known. He discussed what is not known. He even speculated on what is likely to never be known; in the particular sense that is the purview of the physicist’s theories about our universe and its possible brethren in the multiverse.

The book engaged my ancient curiosity and thoroughly fulfilled its role in defining how the physical world is constructed and the possible limits of human endeavors to control it.

The author divides the world where current knowledge is not quite yet complete into three categories of impossibility. That is a particularly clever device in expostulating about the Quantum world and the Multiverse. Both are places where the impossible happens, often before breakfast.

I thoroughly enjoyed the book and the author’s clarity on what is known and what is still unknown in an area of science where he has spent a lifetime.

The plot may have been a little thin, but I am used to Science Fiction and can live on plots so thin that the air in them is likely to never stir up a mote of dust.

I recommend this book to the curious or the merely acquisitive; who often need a tabletop book to impress their friends and acquaintances. Even if you don’t ever read this book, buy it. Someone else will eventually read it and it will spread its knowledge and confusion clarifying facts a little further into the human world.

Here is what the publisher says:

A fascinating exploration of the science of the impossible—from death rays and force fields to invisibility cloaks—revealing to what extent such technologies might be achievable decades or millennia into the future.

One hundred years ago, scientists would have said that lasers, televisions, and the atomic bomb were beyond the realm of physical possibility. In Physics of the Impossible, the renowned physicist Michio Kaku explores to what extent the technologies and devices of science fiction that are deemed equally impossible today might well become commonplace in the future.

From teleportation to telekinesis, Kaku uses the world of science fiction to explore the fundamentals—and the limits—of the laws of physics as we know them today. He ranks the impossible technologies by categories—Class I, II, and III, depending on when they might be achieved, within the next century, millennia, or perhaps never.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Discounted eBooks - May 15, 2008

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Women, Diets and Astrology are the non-fiction favorites. Vampires and romance top fiction. Great selection and great choices to keep you reading!

To get these discounts use coupon A9JG4 at checkout
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Girls Like Us: Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon--And the Journey of a Generation eBook edition
by Weller, Sheila
groundbreaking and irresistible biography of three of America's most important musical artists -- Carole King, Joni Mitchell, and Carly Simon -- charts their lives as women at a magical moment in time. Carole King, Joni Mitchell, and Carly Simon remain among the most enduring and important women in popular music. Each woman is distinct. Their stories trace the arc of the now mythic sixties generation -- female version -- but in a bracingly specific and deeply recalled way, far from cliché. The history of the women of that generation has never been written -- until now,
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Your price $14.57 (Using your 10% discount and $ .73 points in eBook Reward points)
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Dark Needs eBook Edition
by: Cole, Kresley
Bestselling author Kresley Cole continues her seductive Immortals After Dark series with this tale of a vampire shunned even by his own kind and a beautiful phantom, bound together by a passion they cannot resist. A RAVEN-HAIRED TEMPTRESS OF THE DARK... Néomi Laress, a famous ballerina from a past century, became a phantom the night she was murdered. Imbued with otherworldly powers but invisible to the living, she haunts her beloved home, scaring away trespassers -- until
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List Price : $6.99
Your price $5.38 (Using your 10% discount and $ .28 iin eBook Reward points)
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The Hot Latin Diet eBook edition
by: Alverez, Manny M.D.
More than just a diet plan, The Hot Latin Diet offers a new outlook on what it means to live well, feel great, and look fabulous. Dr. Manny introduces the 7 Latin power foods and reveals how incorporating these savory and satisfying cuisines to their diet can help women stay slim and maintain those sexy, natural curves
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Your price $20.48 (Using your 10% discount and $1.08 in eBook Reward points)
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Twenty Wishes eBook edition
by: Macomber, Debbie
Anne Marie Roche wants to find happiness again. At thirty-eight, her life's not what she'd expected--she's childless, a recent widow, alone. She owns a successful bookstore on Seattle's Blossom Street, but despite her accomplishments, there's a feeling of emptiness. On Valentine's Day, Anne Marie and several other widows get together to celebrate...what? Hope, possibility, the future. They each begin a list of twenty wishes, things they always wanted to do but never did.
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Your price $17.28 (Using your 10% discount and $.91 in eBook Reward points)
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New Moon Astrology eBook edition
by: Spiller, Jan
A revolutionary approach to unlocking the transformative power of astrology! Get what you wish for in love ... happiness ... health ... career ... money ... and more! The Moon's influence on human destiny has been recognized since ancient times, but its potential for generating positive outcomes has often been ignored--until now. In this breakthrough book, master astrologer Jan Spiller reveals the secrets of harnessing the Moon's astonishing power to make your goals a reality! Not just another astrology book, New Moon Astrology provides practical, step-by-step instructions, based on ancient rites and philosophy as well as on Jan Spiller's own vast astrological experience, in framing your wishes in any area--love, career, family, or health.
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List Price : $19.00
Your price $16.25 (Using your 10% discount and $ .86 in eBook Reward points)

Our guarantee: If you have bought one of these titles from eBooks About in the last 15 days -- we will gladly offer you a rebate on the book; just contact us.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Going Green - Publishing, Books Sales and eBooks

Here is the strangest business model I have ever heard of.  It goes like this: 

A company creates billions of units of a product. 

They send them to retailers all over the world. 

The manufacturer then spends millions of dollars in marketing the product. 

If the retailers don't sell the product they can send the item back -- no questions asked.

The Manufacturer, as a way of compensating for returns, raises the price of the item which, of course, makes it less attractive to consumers.

Kinda surreal, huh? 

Welcome to the world of publishing where this is exactly how things are done. 

Most publisher have two warehouses:  the "happy" warehouse filled books to be distributed to stores and the"sad" warehouse which contains returned books.

The best case for returned books is that they will be resold at cut-rate prices. The worst case is that they will have their spines sliced off and then be dumped into a "recycling" machine to be chewed up and spit out as bales of paper.

What makes this especially insane is that most publishers in an effort to create a blockbuster hits, ship an ever-increasing number of books to stores, hoping to hit the jackpot.  This means that stores are sending an ever-increasing number back to publishers.

The most current verifiable statistics are for 2005 and they show that

  • Unit books sales were 1.5 Billion
  • 31% of all books were returned to the publisher

In other words 465,000,000 books were returned to publishers for sale as remainders or for destruction. 

That is a LOT of paper!!  And it is a whole of of $4.00 per gallon fuel to truck all those books around the country -- twice.  How in this day and age of shrinking resources (paper, water, fuel) and global warming this can possibly continue?

Short answer, it can't!

So you can imagine my amusement when I look at the New York Times Best Sellers.  This week there are two best sellers touting the wonders of going green: Gorgeously Green by Sophie Uliano with a forward by Julia Roberts and Growing Up Green by Diedre Imus.  They are, of course, in wide paper distribution.  At least 1/3 of them will be returned to the publisher.

I think I am going to sit down and write a letter to Sophia, Julia and Diedre explaining that if they are serious about going green they should be pushing their publishers to promote digital books.  After all eBooks are not only less expensive for the publisher they are truly earth friendly, green publishing. 

Friday, May 9, 2008

Kyra eBook edition

Have you ever had the experience of reading a book that you aren't even sure you like, but somehow can't but it down?

 Kyra by Carol Gillian was like that for me.  Part of my brain kept thinking, "why am I reading this, it is boring and painful".  But I still couldn't put it down.  I actually read the whole thing in one long lazy Saturday afternoon.

On the face of it, there isn't a reason that I should have even picked the book up, much less been unable to put it down.  I know almost nothing about architecture or urban planning and possibly less about opera.  I am not in the habit of analyzing cultures, music or art.  Mainly, I am not big on suffering for love.  Yet with all of those strikes against it, Kyra was a strangely compelling book.

Gilmore is a graceful and fluent writer.  She has a tremendous grasp of her subject matter -- architecture, opera and therapy.  Somehow (against all odds), she seamlessly weaves these complex themes into a kind of love story.  Interestingly enough, a love story with a "happily ever after" end.

The characters, Kyra and Andreas, are complex and have extremely complicated lives.  They are both sophisticated, brilliant and creative.  Their careers serve as the ballast for the emotional life.  As they work together and fall in love, everything they believe begins to morph into something different. 

This story of how they fall in love is strangely academic and cerebral.  It shouldn't work, but somehow it does.

Kyra is more than a love story but less than a romance.  Difficult to explain.  This is a book you need to experience.

I suspect that urban planners and opera fans would find this book a treasure trove of ideas and sensations.  Psychologist and people familiar with psychotherapy would find it challenging.  And yet it also works for the casual reader.  Certainly, it is not everyone's cup of tea.

This is a great book club selection.  The story and themes are great discussion material.  And yet, you don't need to belong to a book club to read and enjoy this book.

Here is the publishers synopsis:

An unforgettable novel about love–and the first work of fiction by the author of the groundbreaking nonfiction bestseller In a Different Voice

Kyra is an architect, involved in a project to design a new city. Andreas, a theater director, is staging an innovative production of the opera Tosca. Both have come through political upheaval and personal loss. Neither wants to fall in love. Yet when she asks him, “What is the opposite of losing?” and he says, “Finding,” it galvanizes a powerful attraction, and they risk opening themselves to love once again.

When their love affair leads to a shocking betrayal, Kyra’s fierce determination to see under the surface, to know what was true and real, brings her to Greta, a remarkable therapist. As the therapy itself repeats the themes of love and loss, Kyra challenges its structure, and the struggle that ensues between the two women opens the way to a larger understanding.

Passionate and revolutionary, Kyra is an exquisitely written love story, imbued with gentle humor. This is an extraordinary work of fiction by one of the most brilliant writers of our time.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

New York Times Best Sellers eBooks discounted!

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This week we are doing something a little different for weekly specials. This week ALL of the New York Times Best Sellers are yours to buy for an additional 10% discount.  You get a 23% discount when you use your points to purchase these great titles!

Use Coupon code MAYbest1 at checkout to get your discount on these great books.

And remember that we always discount best sellers!


eBooks About Everything automatically discounts the .

This is your chance to stock up on some fabulous titles at an additional 10%. 


What about these great Fiction titles?

   Simple Genius by David Baldacci

   The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards

   Certain Girls by Jennifer Weiner

We also have informative and entertaining non fiction biographies to keep you reading for hours!

  John Adams by David McCullough

   Armageddon in Retrospect by Kurt Vonnegut

      Are You There Vodka?  It's me Chelsea by Chelsea Chandler

And finally books to inspire and motivate you.

  Harmonic Wealth by James Arthur Ray

   Gorgeously Green by Sophie Uliano

   The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich by Tim Ferris.

Books are the best entertainment value ever.  Where else can you get ten hours of total entertainment for less than $25?

Happy reading!


Monday, May 5, 2008

eBook Reading reported

Last month Tickermine took a random poll about reading; electronic reading on eBook readers in particular.  I know that random self selected polling is not exactly scientific.  But it is an interesting snapshot of those who have strong opinions on any given subject. 

kindle and sony

I was fascinated by both the questions and the responses.  

  • Do you own a copy of an eBook?
    • 33% said they owned an eBook 67% said they did not.
  • Do you plan to own one?
    • 37% said they planned to buy one in the future
    • 63% said they would not
  • What is the most you would be willing to pay for one?
    • 57% said they would be willing to pay under $100
    • 23% said they would pay $100-$200.
    • 11% stated $200-$300
    • 6% capped their price at $300-$400.
    • 3% said they would be willing to pay over $400.
  • Which factors influence your decision to purchase an eBook?
    • 32% cited how many books it can hold
    • 26% answered wireless downloading of the material
    • 14% were concerned with battery
    • 11% stated the size
    • 6% responded that weight was the primary concern
  • How would you use an eBook?
    • 60% said reading books
    • 11% said web content
    • 9% said they would read magazines
    • 9% said  reading blog
    • 6% said documents
    • 5% said newspapers.
  • Which brand would you prefer buying?
    • 37% chose Kindle
    • 34% preferred Sony Reader. 
    • 29% said they prefer reading on printed paper.

The people who chose to answer this poll, were for the most part people who did not own and eBook and did not plan to buy one and yet they have very strong opinions about what they are willing to pay and which reader they prefer. 

The thing that strikes me hardest is that only 6% were willing to pay $300-$400 for the reader and yet 37% picked the $400 Kindle.  Only 11% were willing to pay $200-$300 and yet 34% picked the Sony reader.  You might say that only 17% were actually willing to pay for either of the two most well know readers on the market.

The second thing I find curious is that the biggest influencing factor is the number of books the device will hold.  Only 11% were concerned with screen size.  If you had asked me to guess I would have reversed those two results. 

I am not sure exactly what this all means. Clearly there is a large disconnect between what people want and what eBook Reader manufacturers are charging.

I can't help but wonder about the influencing factors for buying an eBook reader.  Both the Kindle and the Sony claim to hold 200 books on the device and yet they both have additional memory card capability which infinitely expand storage capacity.  The most notable answer is the answer about wireless access.  Kindle has done a great job of promoting that particular feature.  The problem of course is that it doesn't necessarily work well in real life. 

In the final analysis, eBooks have a long way to go before they are priced low enough and before eReading will be a generally accepted reading method.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Certain Girls (eBook Edition)

I loved . It is raw, funny, honest and wise. As a woman who has struggled with her body image, I certainly relate to Cannie Shaprio.  Most women can. 

Six months ago I read the advance review for the sequel, Certain Girls.  I could hardly wait to get my hands on it.  Usually that kind of anticipation is a set up for disappointment.  Happily, Certain Girls not only did not disappoint.  It actually surpassed my expectations.

In Certain Girls Jennifer Weiner beautifully captures the complexity, pain and joy of motherhood, daughterhood, sisterhood and marriage. 

At the heart of this story is the relationship between a teenage daughter and her mother.  This is arguably, the most difficult and intricate relationship on the planet.  It is exceedingly problematic even in the most "normal" family.  Cannie and Joy, however, most definitively do not have anything as bland as a normal family. 

Joy is a teenager who alternatively loves and hates her Mom.  Cannie is a Mom struggling to let her baby grow up.  The story line alternates between their points of view as they war over Cannie's (fictionalized) past, their daily interactions and Joy's upcoming Bat Mitzvah. 

Joy's Bat Mitzvah is the overarching and powerful symbol of Joy's entry into adulthood. As she makes the transition she is overcome with the need to make sense of her convoluted family tree.  She wants to know all about her Mom's and Dad's secrets, her biological Dad's new family and her very absent Grandfather.

Cannie is still working out the complicated relationships she has with her over the top lesbian Mom and ditzy but lovable little sister, Elle. And to complicate thing further, just as she is letting go of one child, her husband is lobbying for a baby. 

Weiner's ear for dialogue, her wit and compassion are all on display as she examines these complicated relationships and events.

Too often Weiner is categorized as just  a "chick-lit" writer.  The pink cover certainly reinforces that impression.   Don't be fooled.  This is not a fluffy, girly book. This is a nitty gritty account of coming to terms with the messy, complex web of family. 

The Publishers says:

Readers fell in love with Cannie Shapiro, the smart, sharp-tongued, bighearted heroine of Good in Bed who found her happy ending after her mother came out of the closet, her father fell out of her life, and her ex-boyfriend started chronicling their ex-sex life in the pages of a national magazine.

Now Cannie's back. After her debut novel -- a fictionalized (and highly sexualized) version of her life -- became an overnight bestseller, she dropped out of the public eye and turned to writing science fiction under a pseudonym. She's happily married to the tall, charming diet doctor Peter Krushelevansky and has settled into a life that she finds wonderfully predictable -- knitting in the front row of her daughter Joy's drama rehearsals, volunteering at the library, and taking over-forty yoga classes with her best friend Samantha.

As preparations for Joy's bat mitzvah begin, everything seems right in Cannie's world. Then Joy discovers the novel Cannie wrote years before and suddenly finds herself faced with what she thinks is the truth about her own conception -- the story her mother hid from her all her life. When Peter surprises his wife by saying he wants to have a baby, the family is forced to reconsider its history, its future, and what it means to be truly happy.

Radiantly funny and disarmingly tender, with Weiner's whip-smart dialogue and sharp observations of modern life, Certain Girls is an unforgettable story about love, loss, and the enduring bonds of family.

Highly recommended.


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