Man Writes 400-Page Novel on Cell Phone

You know how you spend your commute alternating between sleeping, daydreaming, and refreshing your Facebook feed? Well, Peter Brett does something else: he writes novels… on his smartphone. >>>

Young adult or adult?

From the New York Times: In an essay called “I’m Y.A., and I’m O.K.,” author Margo Rabb muses about the increasingly blurred line between YA and adult books.

Today’s must-read … Three cups of tea

Three cups of tea

Three cups of tea

Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace . . . One School at a Time

by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin

Some failures lead to phenomenal successes, and this American nurse’s unsuccessful attempt to climb K2, the world’s second tallest mountain, is one of them. Dangerously ill when he finished his climb in 1993, Mortenson was sheltered for seven weeks by the small Pakistani village of Korphe; in return, he promised to build the impoverished town’s first school, a project that grew into the Central Asia Institute, which has since constructed more than 50 schools across rural Pakistan and Afghanistan. Coauthor Relin recounts Mortenson’s efforts in fascinating detail, presenting compelling portraits of the village elders, con artists, philanthropists, mujahideen, Taliban officials, ambitious school girls and upright Muslims Mortenson met along the way. As the book moves into the post-9/11 world, Mortenson and Relin argue that the United States must fight Islamic extremism in the region through collaborative efforts to alleviate poverty and improve access to education, especially for girls. Captivating and suspenseful, with engrossing accounts of both hostilities and unlikely friendships, this book will win many readers’ hearts.

Available from Amazon

New Dan Brown book offers industry hope

New book ... author Dan Brown, left, with US actor Tom Hanks.New book … author Dan Brown, left, with US actor Tom Hanks.
Photo: AP

A mammoth 6.5 million copies of Dan Brown’s new book will be printed in its first run.

Six years after the release of his mega-selling The Da Vinci Code,  Brown’s publisher said The Lost Symbol, a thriller set during a 12-hour period and featuring Da Vinci Code symbolist Robert Langdon, will come out in September.  >>>

Today’s must-read … Sea of Poppies

Sea of Poppies

Sea of Poppies

Sea of Poppies

By Amitav Ghosh

Diaspora, myth and a fascinating language mashup propel the Rubik’s cube of plots in Ghosh’s picaresque epic of the voyage of the Ibis, a ship transporting Indian girmitiyas (coolies) to Mauritius in 1838. The first two-thirds of the book chronicles how the crew and the human cargo come to the vessel, now owned by rising opium merchant Benjamin Burnham. Mulatto second mate Zachary Reid, a 20-year-old of Lord Jim–like innocence, is passing for white and doesn’t realize his secret is known to the gomusta (overseer) of the coolies, Baboo Nob Kissin, an educated Falstaffian figure who believes Zachary is the key to realizing his lifelong mission. Among the human cargo, there are three fugitives in disguise, two on the run from a vengeful family and one hoping to escape from Benjamin. Also on board is a formerly high caste raj who was brought down by Benjamin and is now on his way to a penal colony. The cast is marvellous and the plot majestically serpentine, but the real hero is the English language, which has rarely felt so alive and vibrant.

Available now at Amazon

2009 Pulitzer winners in journalism and arts

The 2009 Pulitzer Prize winners and finalists:


Public Service: The Las Vegas Sun.

Breaking News Reporting: The New York Times staff.

Investigative Reporting: David Barstow of The New York Times.

Explanatory Reporting: Bettina Boxall and Julie Cart of the Los Angeles Times.

Local Reporting: Jim Schaefer, M.L. Elrick and staff of the Detroit Free Press; and Ryan Gabrielson and Paul Giblin of the East Valley Tribune in Mesa, Ariz.

National Reporting: St. Petersburg Times staff.

International Reporting: The New York Times Staff.

Feature Writing: Lane DeGregory of the St. Petersburg Times.

Commentary: Eugene Robinson of The Washington Post.

Criticism: Holland Cotter of The New York Times.

Editorial Writing: Mark Mahoney of The Post-Star, Glens Falls, N.Y.

Editorial Cartooning: Steve Breen of The San Diego Union-Tribune.

Breaking News Photography: Patrick Farrell of The Miami Herald.

Feature Photography: Damon Winter of The New York Times.



Fiction: “Olive Kitteridge” by Elizabeth Strout.

Drama: “Ruined” by Lynn Nottage.

History: “The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family” by Annette Gordon-Reed.

Biography: “American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House” by Jon Meacham.

Poetry: “The Shadow of Sirius” by W. S. Merwin.

General Nonfiction: “Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II” by Douglas A. Blackmon.



Double Sextet by Steve Reich, premiered March 26, 2008 in Richmond, VA (Boosey & Hawkes).

Today’s watch and read – Watchmen


Alan Moore (Author)

Dave Gibbons (Illustrator)

Has any comic been as acclaimed as Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ Watchmen? Possibly only Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns, but Watchmen remains the critics’ favourite. Why? Because Moore is a better writer, and Watchmen a more complex and dark and literate creation than Miller’s fantastic, subversive take on the Batman myth. Moore, renowned for many other of the genre’s finest creations (Saga of the Swamp Thing, V for Vendetta, and From Hell, with Eddie Campbell) first put out Watchmen in 12 issues for DC in 1986-87. It won a comic award at the time (the 1987 Jack Kirby Comics Industry Awards for Best Writer/Artist combination) and has continued to gather praise since. It is one of the most influential graphic novels of all time and a perennial bestseller.  Now it is attracting a lot of new attention, thanks to the feature film adaptation which opened on March 6. This is the graphic novel that director Terry Gilliam once declared “un-filmable”

Watchmen is a murder mystery, a political thriller and a deconstructionist superhero tale for adults, among other things. It examines a world where superheroes are real, and imagines the political and social consequences of this world. In an Earth slightly parallel to ours, masked heroes are forced either to retire or work for the government. Someone has been killing former heroes, prompting wanted vigilante Rorschach to track down the old team. Aging, arms races, corporate power struggles, human relationships and even the narrative structure of one’s own life are examined through the conventions of superhero comics.

… more about the book, the movie, the author and the illustrator

2008 Philip K. Dick Award Winner Announced

It was announced at Norwescon 32, in SeaTac, Washington, that the winner for the distinguished original science fiction paperback published for the first time during 2008 in the U.S.A. is a tie between:


(Eos Books)


TERMINAL MIND by David Walton

(Meadowhawk Press)

To Kill a Mockingbird beats Bible in book poll

To Kill a Mockingbird has been voted the most inspirational book of all time, beating the Bible into second place.

Harper Lee’s 1960 classic, which has sold over 30 million copies worldwide. The deep-south depression era epic, recounts the life of middle-aged lawyer Atticus Finch, who is appointed to defend a black man accused of assaulting a white woman.  >>>

Today’s must-read – more charming fun in Shopaholic ties the knot

shopoholic_knotShopaholic Ties the Knot

by Sophie Kinsella

Another entertaining entry in Kinsella’s unabashedly fluffy Shopaholic series. Life could not get any better for Becky Bloomwood, the irresistibly daft heroine of Confessions of a Shopaholic (2001) and Shopaholic Takes Manhattan (2002). She has managed to parlay her personal and professional passions into a dream job as a personal shopper at Barney’s, and she and her wildly successful boyfriend live a life of relative peace and prosperity in Manhattan’s West Village. Well, at least they would if Becky could manage to curb her extravagant spending habits a bit. When Luke finally pops the question, a euphoric Becky manages to entangle herself in another rather sticky predicament. Becky’s cozy mum back in England has planned a homespun wedding for her only daughter on the same day for which Luke’s frosty society mother has booked the Plaza in New York. Two weddings on the same day, what’s a committed consumer to do? Chock-full of the charming antics and asides that made the first two installments hilarious best-sellers.

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