All posts tagged: Books

Reviewed The Humans by Matt Haig

As a story, the way it moves is unlike anything I can remember reading. Laugh out loud funny at times; very insightful about life and love; peppered with sentimental, inspirational schmaltz; and also a fast-paced page turner. It’s some kind of sorcery. It’ll make you sad and lonely, but also take you to a place where it doesn’t matter. Reviewed The Humans by Matt Haig.

➟ Graphic Adventures, the Book

Straight from the pages of Wikipedia, compiled and edited by one Philipp Lenssen, this book tells the story of an era most people my age lived through and think back upon with great affection: the early period of computer adventure gaming. Companies like Sierra On-Line, Lucasarts, Microprose, and Adventure Soft defined the boundaries of what we now know of interactive storytelling, plot-driven game design, and narrative/item-based puzzles. It’s on sale at Amazon for $29, and is also available as a free, downloadable HTML file with “loads of screenshots”. YJSoon has a useful tip: run it through Calibre to make an EPUB file, and it’ll sit nicely on your iPad’s iBookshelf. Link (via @YJSoon)

Author of the Month: William Gibson (June)

  I read fiction sporadically, in a manner that exhausts all interest in holding another book when I’m done; a holdover from my university days when being asked to read five novels a week wasn’t unreasonable. So sometimes I go for months without, and then at other times like this past week, I bite down hard and can’t let go. Aside: That last phrase gives me a mental image of Cory Doctorow’s domain name, craphound.com, where you should really go and get his latest book, “For The Win”, as a free download. I’m currently on my fifth William Gibson, and the third for the week, Idoru. These books have been around for years, and I thought I was all alone in picking them up on a whim, until I saw on Twitter this morning that two other friends are currently rereading Neuromancer. A coincidence is a terrible thing-that-could-be-blogging-fodder to waste, so I decided I would suggest an author each month and maybe some of you would like to read along. Gibson is a remarkable talent. …

Since You Asked

I think I do a good impression. Just wanted to mention a great birthday gift I got today, a signed copy of Cary Tennis’ Since You Asked. Cary is Salon.com’s resident advice columnist, and a damned good one. Certainly the best I’ve ever read. The book is a collection of his responses, which are unfailingly thoughtful, inspiring and human, even when they don’t have any solutions to offer. Buy the book from Cary’s own site here (he even signed the receipt, adding “Enjoy!”) or from Amazon via the link below.

Some books I have been reading

A Study in Scarlet,The Sign of the Four,The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes:I wasn’t very much interested in reading any of the Sherlock Holmes stories, apart from the Hound of the Baskervilles, which I read on a whim maybe a year ago and found underwhelming. That story’s constant suggestions that the answers laid in the realm of the supernatural were more irritating than anything, but then I saw the new Guy Ritchie adaptation, which did quite the same thing to entertaining effect, and decided to give the detective another go (imagining him to be Robert Downey Jr. all the while). A Study in Scarlet is really a prequel to the stories, and a great idea for a first novel – to treat one’s protagonist as an established force, a genius in the imaginary present, and then head backwards in time to tell a story from his earlier days as an earnest student of his craft. The Sign of the Four, I’d advise you to skip. It’s not bad at all, but Sherlock Holmes really belongs in …

Why the $14.99 Ebook is a Tragedy for Reading

Edit: Inserted an extra paragraph before the last one, 20 minutes after hitting Publish. Sorry about that.— I couldn’t believe my girlfriend was oblivious to the huge row between Amazon and the publishing houses of Macmillan, HarperCollins, and Hachette. Until I remembered that, unlike me, she has a real job, and that the whole thing only blew up one week ago. “The iPad was announced only last week? No way, it feels like two weeks at least!” I said, not realizing that the constant reading of similar news stories can cause a retardation of time (amongst other things). If you haven’t caught up on Amazon’s ebook troubles, this post by John Scalzi will serve as an excellent primer. Short summary: Amazon used to sell ebooks at a near-standard price of $9.99, reportedly at a loss on what they paid the publishers, to help sell more Kindles.Monkey wrench: Apple’s iPad bookstore will reportedly let publishers set their own prices, which will be $14.99 for most new books.Result: Publishers have started to push Amazon to raise its …

Comparing ebooks: Classics, Stanza, and Eucalyptus on iPhone

Reading books on little mobile devices has never been very pleasant. I first started reading ebooks ten years ago, on the black and green screen of my PalmPilot. I packed it with Shakespeare to avoid bringing a bag full of books to class. Later in university, I would do the same to get around bringing a suitcase of books back and forth every summer. I used my computer then, and much better looking PDF files. On every new phone I’ve bought in the last ten years, I would try and find ways to read books on it, but in that era, it was like hoping your phone could tell you where you were on a map and how to get someplace else. Up until my last Nokia phone, which DID have GPS, the dream of comfortably reading books was still a distant one. Apps were clunky and coded in Java, could only access ugly system fonts, and were no better than opening up a text file in notepad. Proper formatting was secondary to getting words …