Monday, September 29, 2008

What Is A Book Worth?

 books on trees There is no intrinsic measure of what a book is worth that really defines what people should pay for an author’s loving work. There has been a lot of buzz on the Internet and in newspapers, magazines and even on radio and TV talk shows about what should be charged for a book. We talk a lot more about such things today than we have in the recent past. Maybe that is just another measure of our current fear of financial ruin.

I still read some newspapers and magazines in their paper form. I also still buy some paper books although I am slowly and reluctantly converting my reading habits to staring at a screen rather than turning a page. I’m studying Spanish using my computer and the package provided by Rosetta Stone instead of books I bought long ago.

The truth about my reading habits is that I have long ago run out of adventure authors and science fiction that meets my standards. A book comes along once in a while that piques my interest but not nearly often enough to fill my insatiable need to read.

Reading fills my time and even occasionally my mind with pleasure, even when the writing is moderately bad I usually find something to enjoy in a book. I have just had to broaden my horizons a bit. Now I read anything that has a story line or a plot that grabs me.

It is as clear to me as to most of you that the whole architecture of the publishing world in undergoing a vast change. From POD to digital books there are so many changes that anyone could have a hard time keeping up with the scorecard of who’s on first and who’s out these days. Amidst it all there is still one obvious fact, people will write even if there is no money in it.

There are over a million bloggers out there and the number is growing rapidly. How many of you were born after the word blog entered the common language? That is the first really huge new form of literary expression in a long time and it is almost always free to the reader. I think that makes my point.

The literary forms and their values are changing rapidly. I am loving this changing world of writing all more than I ever thought I would when I first saw the written word on a digital screen. I won’t even tell you how long ago that was but it was a long time before the word blog entered the language. And is literacy suffering? Not a bit if you pay attention to the fact that every child with a cell phone is writing to their friends every day even if we can’t understand their new language at all!

So what is a book worth? Less than it used to be, if all it does is sit there and wait for you to turn its pages. That is becoming obvious. But maybe a whole lot more if it offers a new vision of what is possible in the new digital world of literary forms and shapes we are building today. I hope you are enjoying these changes as much as I am. It’s a truly brave and interesting new world for those of us who are already living here. Why don’t you join us and try it out?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

eBook Discounts for September 26, 2008

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The election and the economy are on everyone's minds these days. And so it is even more important than ever to escape into another world or another period in time.

Take a break and enjoy these great titles. Use discount code C3KL9 at check out to get this week's discounts!
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Generation Kill eBook edition
by Wright, Evan
In the tradition of Black Hawk Down and Jarhead comes a searing portrait of young men fighting a modern-day war. A powerhouse work of nonfiction, Generation Kill expands on Evan Wright's acclaimed three-part series that appeared in Rolling Stone during the summer of 2003
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List Price : $14.00
Your price $11.97 (Using your 10% discount and $ .63 points in eBook Reward points)
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Anathem eBook Edition
by Stephenson, Neal
Anathem, the latest invention by the New York Times bestselling author of Cryptonomicon and The Baroque Cycle, is a magnificent creation: a work of great scope, intelligence, and imagination that ushers readers into a recognizable—yet strangely inverted—world.
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List Price : $19.95
Your price $13.82 (Using your 10% discount and $ .73 iin eBook Reward points)
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Bad Money eBook edition
by: Phillips, Kevin
Kevin Phillips describes the consequences of our catastrophic economic policies, our mounting debt, our collapsing housing market, our diminishing oil, and the end of American domination of world markets. Kevin Phillips has been a political and economic commentator for more than three decades
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List Price : $25.95
Your price $22.19 (Using your 10% discount and $1.17 in eBook Reward points)
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The Other Queen: A Novel eBook edition
by Gregory, Philippa
new and unique view of one of history's most intriguing, romantic, and maddening heroines: Mary Queen of Scots. For years, readers have clamored for Gregory to tell Mary's story, and The Other Queen is the result of her determination to present a novel worthy of this extraordinary heroine.
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List Price : $17.99
Your price $13.84 (Using your 10% discount and $ .73 in eBook Reward points)
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Change We Can Believe In: Barack Obama's Plan to Renew America's Promise (Paperback) eBook edition
by: Obama, Barack (Foreword)
Barack Obama has proven to be a new kind of leader–one who can bring people together, be honest about the challenges we face, and move this nation forward. Here he outlines his vision for America. with bold and specific ideas about how to fix our ailing economy and strengthen the middle class, make health care affordable for all, achieve energy independence, and keep America safe in a dangerous world.
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List Price : $13.95
Your price $10.74 (Using your 10% discount and $ .57 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

American Wife eBook edition

I am still trying to decide if American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld was a cheap and lazy promotional gimmick or a stroke of marketing genius. 

The premise, a thinly-disguised historical novel about a President's wife, is a great marketing hook.  Certainly easier to market than the more honest statement:  that this novel is the story of a marriage like many others, of accommodation and compromise, giving and taking, and, in the end, sticking to it and to each other for better and for worse.

No matter how it is marketed, Curtis Sittenfeld is a graceful writer with a wonderful ear for internal dialog and an eye for exquisite detail.  The fact that she manages to keep the very thin plot/storyline going for over 500 pages is a remarkable feat all by itself.  I suspect the book could have sold on it's own with out the marketing hype.

That said, I have to confess that about half way through the book I could not help but wonder how an intelligent, charming and self-aware woman would be willing to put up with her husband's childishness and astonishing faults.  I know that love is a strange and wonderful thing, but I have a hard time figuring out how it endures in the face of such monumental selfishness and fundamental immaturity. 

I would have felt better about Alice is she had been passionate about her husband, rather than accepting.  And I can't help but wonder if it is possible to be THAT accepting of anyone you believe to be so fundamentally different that you.

I keep hoping that she will find a passion -- even motherhood.  But instead, she sublimates her real self until she becomes a stilted and cartoonish woman.  She is the President's wife with a fully managed and orchestrated life; appearances to maintain and places to be.

I read EVERY word, even the several thousand that could have easily been edited out.  I kept hoping that either I would finally understand her or that she would actually break free and get her own life.

I did not particularly like the book, but I was hooked from beginning to end.  And it has stayed with me over the last few days.  I can't help but wonder how much of Alice is like Laura Bush. 

This is an engrossing read and a great escape and a book you will continue to ponder long after you have read the final page.

Here's the official stuff:

On what might become one of the most significant days in her husband’s presidency, Alice Blackwell considers the strange and unlikely path that has led her to the White House–and the repercussions of a life lived, as she puts it, “almost in opposition to itself.”

A kind, bookish only child born in the 1940s, Alice learned the virtues of politeness early on from her stolid parents and small Wisconsin hometown. But a tragic accident when she was seventeen shattered her identity and made her understand the fragility of life and the tenuousness of luck. So more than a decade later, when she met boisterous, charismatic Charlie Blackwell, she hardly gave him a second look: She was serious and thoughtful, and he would rather crack a joke than offer a real insight; he was the wealthy son of a bastion family of the Republican party, and she was a school librarian and registered Democrat. Comfortable in her quiet and unassuming life, she felt inured to his charms. And then, much to her surprise, Alice fell for Charlie.

As Alice learns to make her way amid the clannish energy and smug confidence of the Blackwell family, navigating the strange rituals of their country club and summer estate, she remains uneasy with her newfound good fortune. And when Charlie eventually becomes President, Alice is thrust into a position she did not seek–one of power and influence, privilege and responsibility. As Charlie’s tumultuous and controversial second term in the White House wears on, Alice must face contradictions years in the making: How can she both love and fundamentally disagree with her husband? How complicit has she been in the trajectory of her own life? What should she do when her private beliefs run against her public persona?

In Alice Blackwell, New York Times bestselling author Curtis Sittenfeld has created her most dynamic and complex heroine yet. American Wife is a gorgeously written novel that weaves class, wealth, race, and the exigencies of fate into a brilliant tapestry–a novel in which the unexpected becomes inevitable, and the pleasures and pain of intimacy and love are laid bare.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Oprah's pick: Story of Edgar Sawtelle eBook edition

Oprah has a new book club choice: The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski.

Interesting pick!

Born mute, speaking only in sign, Edgar Sawtelle leads an idyllic life with his parents on their farm in remote northern Wisconsin. For generations, the Sawtelles have raised and trained a fictional breed of dog whose thoughtful companionship is epitomized by Almondine, Edgar's lifelong friend and ally. But with the unexpected return of Claude, Edgar's paternal uncle, turmoil consumes the Sawtelles' once peaceful home.

When Edgar's father dies suddenly, Claude insinuates himself into the life of the farm—and into Edgar's mother's affections.
Grief-stricken and bewildered, Edgar tries to prove Claude played a role in his father's death, but his plan backfires—spectacularly. Forced to flee into the vast wilderness lying beyond the farm, Edgar comes of age in the wild, fighting for his survival and that of the three yearling dogs who follow him. But his need to face his father's murderer and his devotion to the Sawtelle dogs turn Edgar ever homeward.

This is not a book I would normally read -- I'm not exactly into books about kids, the cold north mid-west or dogs.  But it came so highly recommended that I actually broke down and read it.  I'm glad I did.

This 500+ page tome is a modern day Hamlet retold.  And some of it is even retold by Almondine (the dog).  This really shouldn't work, but somehow (magically) it does.  Now, I know that handicapped kids and pets can make a toxic mix of sentimentality. But Wroblewski writes with such grace and energy that Edgar Sawtelle never succumbs to that danger.

The great thing about having so many pages to work with is that the author takes his time setting the story.  The first hundred pages are very laid back and tell all about the family and the farm,  And then, just as you are totally engrossed the drama begins.

It is a little slow going in the beginning but worth the effort of hanging in there.  Especially if you have memories of a beloved childhood pet.  Eventually I got so far into Edgar and Almondine's world that coming back to my daily reality was something of a shock! 

For once, I agree that Oprah has picked a winner.

The current price is $19.95 but since it will soon be a best seller that price will be discounted to $17.95.  And yet . . .

I want you to have the experience of a great book.  So eBooks About Everything is offering the book at $14.00.  Use coupon Oprah10 at checkout to claim your discounted price.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

eBook Discounts for September 17, 2008

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Evidently, there's no getting away from the election -- so pick your poison: Sarah or Mike. Vampires, romance and war are also up.

Buy one or buy them all -- just use coupon code BAS27 at discount to get your special price! Enjoy!
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Sarah: How a Hockey Mom Turned the Political Establishment Upside Down eBook edition eBook edition
by Johnson, Kaylene
This is the first biography released of Governor Palin, baseds upon personal interviews with Palin, her family, and other highly placed sources to explore Palin's family life, her upbringing in a devout Christian home, her political rise, and how she went from being a long-shot candidate to--potentially--one of the world's most powerful women and political figures.
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List Price : $15.95
Your price $12.28 (Using your 10% discount and $ .65 points in eBook Reward points)
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Dead Until Dark eBook Edition
by: Harris, Charlaine
Sookie Stackhouse is a cocktail waitress in small-town Louisiana, but she keeps to herself and doesn't date much because of her "disability" to read minds. When she meets Bill, Sookie can't hear a word he's thinking. He's the type of guy she's waited for all of her life, but he has a disability, too--he's a vampire with a bad reputation
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List Price : $5.99
Your price $5.12 (Using your 10% discount and $ .27 iin eBook Reward points)
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Mike's Election Guide eBook edition
by: Moore, Michael.
It's a great year to be an American and a voter. Don't miss out on all the fun! And don't miss out on MIKE'S ELECTION GUIDE -- it's the indispensable book that belongs in every American's back pocket this season.
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List Price : $10.99
Your price $8.46 (Using your 10% discount and $ .45 in eBook Reward points)
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Nights I Rodanthe eBook edition
by Sparks, Nicholas
Adrienne Willis is 45 and has been divorced for three years, abandoned by her husband for a younger woman. The trials of raising her teenage children and caring for her sick father have worn her down, but at the request of a friend and in hopes of respite, she's gone to the coastal village of Rodanthe in North Carolina to tend the local inn for the weekend
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List Price : $7.99
Your price $6.15 (Using your 10% discount and $.32 in eBook Reward points)
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A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier eBook edition
by Beah, Ishmael
This is how wars are fought now: by children, hopped-up on drugs and wielding AK-47s. Children have become soldiers of choice. In the more than fifty conflicts going on worldwide, it is estimated that there are some 300,000 child soldiers. Ishmael Beah used to be one of them.
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List Price : $22.00
Your price $16.93 (Using your 10% discount and $ .89 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, September 15, 2008

Fun on the Net -- how to waste a little time

Since I was sick last week (very bad head cold), I took to my bed with my UMPC. For the first time in many months I had the time to just poke around the Internet for the hell of it. I was once again struck by how much stuff you can find. Here are the sites that I especially liked:


For example there is Wordle. This nifty little site lets you put in a web address and then it creates a word cloud from the text. A word cloud is a graphic representation often a word is used. The bigger the word the more often it was used. Here is the word cloud for the first page of this blog:

In the sample of the blog Thrumpton was the word most often used. It would be interesting to see how the whole site fares as opposed to just the front page. I had hoped that eBook or even Book would show up more prominently.


My mother always said that "only boring people get bored". Far be it to argue with my mother, but I have to say that after two days of laying around I was pretty bored. Fortunately I stumbled on the mother of all time wasting sites --

There are more ways to waste time than you can imagine: quizzes, trivia, games, bad stories and pickup lines, stupid tricks and strange inventions. Pictures, words, music; you name it.

This is a site that brightened up my day!

Google Gadgets

From the useful to the ridiculous -- Google gadgets for the Google Desktop has them all. Now, I am a great fan of Google Desktop; I honestly don't know how I would find anything with out it. But my use has always been rather utilitarian and business like. I finally took the time to find out what else I could put on my desktop.

Here is a whole new dimension to how to waste time: Check out Catch the Bee, Hot or Not, Tetris, Daily quotes and pictures, newsfeeds and computer performance monitors. Some of these are even useful!

I am happy to be feeling better, but I am not so sure I am as stoked about the idea of actually working. I'm sure that there has to be a way to incorporated some of these finds into my daily work life; I just need a little time to figure it out.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Supreme Courtship eBook edition

My intro to Supreme Courtship was at Book Expo earlier this year.  As a matter of fact (for some unknown reason) I ended up with three paper copies. 

Two I gave away and one I hung on to.  Here is my guilty secret -- I read this book in paper form.  Lest you think too badly of me, this is the only book I have read this year in paper form. The upshot is that I loved the book; hated reading in paper! 

Seriously, I am a Chris Buckley fan; I loved Thank You for Smoking (both the book and the movie) and Boomsday and expected to like this book as well.  I was not disappointed.

You have to admit the very premise is comedic: a "Judge Judy" gets nominated to the Supreme Court and struggles to be taken seriously.  Just the idea makes me smile.  Anytime you superimpose government and popular culture there are thousands of opportunities to poke fun.

Buckley doesn't hold back much.  He makes fun of popular culture, presidential election politics, the supreme court, lobbyists and tv shows.  Then, he keeps having fun with other little details like case names (“Miskimin v. Incontinental Airlines”) and some creative with legalese Latin (“per res sciatica”).  He even throws in an opinion or two about the Supreme Court’s recent track record.

Some of the best lines are reserved for election politics.  The story takes place in an election year with two very lame presidential candidates.  To add injury to insult the candidates talking points include all too familiar themes:

  • change
  • a return to greatness
  • a brighter future for all, not just some, Americans
  • a pledge to change the way Washington does business

Perhaps it is fair to say that the more things change the more they stay the same. 

No matter, in this election year, when all I want is to have the damn thing over with, there were at least a few laughs.  That's more than I can say for the current one.

The publisher says:

President of the United States Donald Vanderdamp is having a hell of a time getting his nominees appointed to the Supreme Court. After one nominee is rejected for insufficiently appreciating To Kill A Mockingbird, the president chooses someone so beloved by voters that the Senate won't have the guts to reject her -- Judge Pepper Cartwright, the star of the nation's most popular reality show, Courtroom Six. Will Pepper, a straight-talking Texan, survive a confirmation battle in the Senate? Will becoming one of the most powerful women in the world ruin her love life? And even if she can make it to the Supreme Court, how will she get along with her eight highly skeptical colleagues, including a floundering Chief Justice who, after legalizing gay marriage, learns that his wife has left him for another woman. Soon, Pepper finds herself in the middle of a constitutional crisis, a presidential reelection campaign that the president is determined to lose, and oral arguments of a romantic nature. Supreme Courtship is another classic Christopher Buckley comedy about the Washington institutions most deserving of ridicule.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Check for eBook Discounts Next Week

This is the end result of my vacation:
To sick to think, type, or be interested in anything. . .and I certainly can't focus long enought to post anything. Right now I am just waiting for this to end. But even so vacation was soooooo worth it! Back to bed!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The New York Times Reports A New E-Newspaper Reader Echoes Look of the Paper

Yesterday eink newspaperPlastic Logic Corporation unveiled it's latest (and as yet unnamed) device:  a big light-weight plastic screen version of an eNewspaper.  Its light, portable and constantly updated.  The device should be on the market early next year.

The screen is close to 81/2 x 11 inches and is continually updated by a wireless link (where wireless is available).  Hundreds of pages can be stored to read at leisure for those who do not want to keep up to the minute.

The device is easy to read since it uses eInk technology.  The is the same technology that is used for Bookeen's Cybook, the Sony PRC reader, Irex Illad and other eBook readers. 

It will be fascinating to see which news organizations will be the first to implement.  Hearst already distributes versions of it's paper on the Kindle.  I have been wondering about that -- as a daily reader of the New York Times and Washington Post online, it would take a lot to convince me to buy an expensive device to view what I can now see for free.  But evidently Kindle and Hearst believe there is a market out there and are pushing ahead.

The more I think about it the more I am able to relegate it to an Interesting idea and fun technology.  But the real question for me is much more urgent:  Do any of us need one more device? 

I am the proud owner of a Cybook, an Irex Illiad, an eBookwise reader, a Palm, a Nokia based cell phone, a Blackberry, an ultra-mobile pc and 2 laptops.  Do I really need one more thing to carry around?  It has gotten to the point that when I travel I practically need a separate suitcase just to carry my cords, cradles and cables. 

None of the above mentioned devices is close to ideal for eBook reading let alone eNewspaper.  The eInk devices are nice but don't accommodate color and are not backlit.  The Blackberry, cellphone and Palm work fine, but the screen is way small.  The UMPC is heavy and overkill as are the laptops. 

I find that the device I read from most often in my Palm.  It is backlit, has beautiful color with a great touch screen, connects to the Internet from almost anywhere and has multiple useful programs and functions besides. I can even hook up to skype and use it as a phone.  My only complaint is the size of the screen -- very small. 

Makes me think that it is easy to get gadget blind and lose track of the real objective -- information!


Monday, September 8, 2008

Thrumpton Hall eBook edition

Thrumpton Hall by Miranda Seymour was one of those books that took me forever to finish.  I'm not even sure why.  Henri suggested that it was because it is the quintessential British book.  Nothing happens for something like 300 pages.  But that really isn't the reason. 

This is a very odd and oddly affecting book. I found it beautifully written and deeply unsettling.  I am always attracted and repulsed by stories of great obsession.  From Romeo and Juliet to George Seymour and Thrumpton Hall, the power of obsession is both fascinating and repulsive. 

This is the story of a house, a fading way of life and an entire family.  The story is always dominated by George Seymour. He is a priggish snob and a self aggrandizing jerk.  A study in eccentricity and total self obsession.  He wants to be an aristocrat but the closest he can get is to being a bastard descendant of Charles II.  He wants a title but wasn't born to it and didn't have enough money to buy one.  In the beginning I tried to be be at least marginally non-judgmental.  By the end, I just flat out hated him.

The story is saved by Miranda Seymour's writing skill.  She does not spare her father or herself.  And the story is infinitely humanized by the interwoven narrative of her Mother and her mother's memories. 

Miranda Seymour is a fine writer and I am a fan which is why I picked up the book in the first place.  I find it fascinating that today she is living at Thrumpton Hall.  She rents it out for weddings, movie shoots and even as a vacation spot just to keep it.  In many ways she is as tied to the house as he.   In Thrumpton Hall she has proven that not only is she a fine writer but that (as her Mother points out) she is much like her father. 

The official stuff:

Dear Thrumpton, how I miss you tonight, wrote twenty-one-year-old George Seymour in 1944. But the object of his affection was not a young woman but a house—ownership of which was then a distant dream. But he did eventually acquire Thrumpton, a beautiful country house in Nottinghamshire, and it was in this idyllic home that Miranda Seymour was raised.

Her upbringing was far from idyllic, however, as life revolved around her father's capriciousness. The house took priority and everything else was secondary, even his wife. Until, that is, the day when George Seymour, already in his golden years, took to wearing black leather and riding powerful motorbikes around the countryside in the company of a young male friend. Had he taken leave of his senses? Or had he finally found them? And how did this sea change affect his wife and daughter?

Both biography and family memoir, this sometimes hilarious, sometimes heart-wrenching story—told in a voice as unforgettable as it is moving—is a riveting and ultimately shocking portrait of desire and the devastating consequences of misplaced love.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

eBooks Discounts - September 3, 2008

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This week we offer: Money, War and Marriage . . .along with a little fiction!
Use coupon code A9JG4 at check to get your discount.
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Suze Orman's Financial Guidebook: Put the 9 Steps to Work eBook edition
by Orman, Suze
A One-on-One Financial Planning Session with Suze Orman. In this fully revised edition of Suze Orman’s Financial Guidebook translates Suze’s own brand of motivation and inspiration into a user-friendly, hands-on workbook that will empower you to work through the nuts and bolts of personal finance, with Suze as your trusted adviser.
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List Price : $l9.95
Your price $8.51 (Using your 10% discount and $ .45points in eBook Reward points)
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The Color of Magic eBook Edition
by: Pratchett, Terry
On a world supported on the back of a giant turtle (sex unknown), a gleeful, explosive, wickedly eccentric expedition sets out. There's an avaricious but inept wizard, a naive tourist whose luggage moves on hundreds of dear little legs, dragons who only exist if you believe in them, and of course THE EDGE of the planet.
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List Price : $l7.99
Your price $6.83 (Using your 10% discount and $ .36 iin eBook Reward points)
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A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier eBook edition
by Beah, Ishmael
This is how wars are fought now: by children, hopped-up on drugs and wielding AK-47s. Children have become soldiers of choice. In the more than fifty conflicts going on worldwide, it is estimated that there are some 300,000 child soldiers. Ishmael Beah used to be one of them
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List Price : $22.00
Your price $17.82 (Using your 10% discount and $ .89 in eBook Reward points)
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Jupiter's Bones eBook edition
by: Kellerman, Faye
Once Dr. Emil Euler Ganz was a preeminent astrophysicist with a world-renowned reputation. But then he vanished without any warning to his family or colleagues. Fifteen years later, he reappeared as ""Father Jupiter,"" the founder and charismatic leader of the scientific cult, The Order of the Rings. And now he's dead--
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List Price : $7.99
Your price $6.15 (Using your 10% discount and $ .89 in eBook Reward points)
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Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts eBook edition
by Parrott, Les
Meeting the needs of a generation overwhelmed by divorce odds, relationship experts Les & Leslie Parrott share seven key questions to help couples identify and overcome stumbling blocks to a building a healthy, lifelong marriage.
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List Price: $11.99
Your price $10.25 Using your 10% discount and $ .54 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, September 1, 2008

As I Live and Breathe the Cell Phone is Taking over the Center

Henri has been doing some thinking about kids, cell phones, open systems and the PC.  Here are his reflections. . .

cellphone Nothing has given me greater pleasure in life than the birth of my children. My youngest daughter turned thirty two this month. The next events in line have all had to do with the birth of revolutionary ideas in the world that I have lived in for sixty five years so far.

Let’s see, there was the birth of computing as a business support system. Then there was the ongoing revolution in electronics. The development of the human genome from the first days of the shape and form of DNA to the publication of the first actual readout of the genome itself was as fundamental a breakthrough in human knowledge.

Along the way there have been many gratifying moments and more than a few terrifying discoveries. The Ozone hole, global Warming and other threats to the ecosystems that sustain us all are among the scariest. Of course even the greatest gains in knowledge can be perverted by misuse or abuse. The idea that scientists are responsible for their creations is still gaining traction. Codes of ethics and other means of controlling misuse of great ideas are still in their infancy.

Meanwhile the Personal Computing revolution has given birth to the Internet and the Cell phone revolution has been playing around with the power that network offers. Now we are about to watch the birth of a new stage in that set of gains in human communication.

The PC King is dying and a new Queen is about to take over. Open systems are coming to cell phones. Taken together with the still growing power of handheld devices this will end the reign of King PC. Cell phones are the new center of Personal Computing. The iPhone is the earliest prophet of this revolution but the next wave will blow away all doubt.

You can start with the Android Operating System contributed by Google and end with the ever evolving nature of handheld devices themselves. It has been years since anything like the vitality that exists in the competition for market share in Cell Phones existed anywhere else in the electronic world.

There are reasons to believe that this next revolution in Personal Computing will bring on revolutions in education, publishing, government and too many other human institutions to mention here.

cellphone girlI am hoping to watch and continue to work to help those revolutionary times achieve the best possible results for the most people possible. There are millions of people who like me see these changes as positive. I hope you are among them.


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