Book blog

1000 before 30 #49: The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro

A gentle, beautiful tale about the end of an era.

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Book blog

1000 before 30 #47: Brighton Rock – Graham Greene

A chance encounter with a newspaper man on a sunny day turns into a mystery that leads Ida Arnold on the hunt for a Brighton gang.
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Book blog

1000 books before 30 #22: Life of Pi – Yann Martel

There are very few books that live up to their hype. ‘Life of Pi’ is one of them. Essentially its main character Pi (short for Piscine) is in such a desperate castaway situation that, if swapping tales with Robinson Crusoe, the latter would probably hang his head and admit that life on his island wasn’t so bad.

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1000 before 30 #21: The Buddha in the attic – Julie Otsuka

This is the story of hundreds women who leave their native Japan to meet their new husbands in America. The only thing they know is what they look like, thanks to grainy portraits they were sent beforehand. They all speak as one narrative, with voices intertwining and telling tales of hope, desperation, disappointment and love found in their new world.

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Book blog

1000 books before 30 – kickstarting a literary marathon

I have to have read 1000 books by the time I turn 30. That is to say, on 8 April 2019, I will have read one thousand (ONE THOUSAND!) significant pieces of literature in my lifetime. At almost 26, my time is running out.

So why the sh*t would I want to do that?

The one thing I’ve learned in my 20s is the importance of making lists. Shopping lists, check lists, wish lists, what-can-you-do lists. Most of these are incomplete or just plain ignored as real life gets in the way –  but the intention is there. It’s calming the persistant niggle that says ‘you ought to be doing something important’ — that feeling that used to be reserved for writing letters and actually posting them in the sodding letterbox even though God knows I never have a stamp for the life of me and oh it’s so inconvenient on the way to work and my handwriting is terrible, cheers Miss!

I digress.

The latest plonker of a list was of things I wanted to accomplish before the age of 30. Sure, I want to go on a roadtrip and learn how to drive (come on already!), visit Australia, go mad in a roller disco and do a maze-a-thon, but I thought I had ages to go. Now I know I’m wrong.

Not just about the time thing, but I have a distinct lack of a silver spoon hanging out of my mouth, leaving next to no funds to traipse to the other end of the Earth for the next four years, to indulge myself in igloo-style hotels or Orient Express-style trips. I’m a Londoner, after all. We can’t stray far on our budgets.

What I can do is start all of my travelling and more in books while I work on physically getting myself to a variety of tropical locations – and catch up on all of the brilliant books I have been missing while on the way.

Until I get my hands on all of the books in my boxes, I won’t know exactly how far along the thousand mark I have gotten, but I have already established some ground rules:

1- Baby books don’t count, even if you pick them up years later and read them again, that’s still zilch and, not even Goodnight Moon even if it is an epic classic bedtime story because we have to be serious and have no fillers here

2- I will review every single book I have read this year (until now and in future months).

3- Comic books are only allowed as part of a series, and have to be categorised as one so as not to bulk up the list unfairly.

4- Series like Game of Thrones and Harry Potter count as individual books, despite being the same overall characters.

5- The order of books read is irrelevant – I will read whatever I get my hands on first. I will construct my list based on recommendations, classics and best sellers from the beginning of the written word until now. Recommendations are always welcome in the comments section!

My calculations are – 500 average read books, with two to three books average read a week is 104 read a year which makes it anywhere between 932 and 1124 books. In the coming weeks, I will publish the list of books that I have read in previous years so that the tally can be calculated more effectively. Let’s see what happens, hey!

Featured image: Creative commons courtesy of Texas State Library

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Penguin and Random House merger gets the green light in Europe

booksThe war against Amazon and the dominance in the digital reading age continues. The internet giant had seemingly grown out of proportion in the past, setting up an Author Network that destroyed the filter set in place by more conventional publishing houses and growing in popularity because of price competitiveness.

After the decline of paper copies sold and the dependence on Amazon for e-book sales, Penguin and Random House have begun a united front to fight back the competition that they depended on.

Last year, the two companies proposed a merger, which has now been approved by a EU Regulator. “The new entity Penguin Random House will continue to face competition from several large and numerous small and medium sized publishers,”the commission said in a statement published by the Guardian. “The merged entity will furthermore face a concentrated retail base, such as supermarkets for print books and large online retailers for ebooks, like Amazon.”

This move was expected to be approved, as the green light had already been achieved in Australia and New Zealand last month, and the US in February. This year, Penguin launched Bookish, a new personalized service that would appeal to book lovers everywhere. With the possibility to access interviews, additional content, reviews and simple one-click Amazon style buying, the service hopes to capture those who are looking for extra quality rather than low prices.

Creative commons photo by jm3

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Is there money in e-books?

ereaderThe rise of digital books means one important thing: an increase in demand for writers that can meet their needs. Is signing an e-book deal the same as signing a regular paper book deal? Can you live off the earnings of an e-book?

This infographic by NowNovel shows the rise in the economy of e-books, and whether authors are truly getting what they bargained for after investing in the world of digital reading. According to their data, e-books now rake in 30% of the market’s profit, making them the most popular form of reading after the traditional adult paperback. By 2016, it is expected that e-books will take over half the book market.

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Creative Commons Photo courtesy of paz.ca

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