The Momentum Blog
Posted February 8, 2013 by Mark
1. When you’re introduced to a book’s family, it’s usually awesome
The Hunger Games introduces you to Catching Fire and Mockingjay. The Passage introduces you to The Twelve. And if you find the family isn’t to your liking, you don’t have to pretend to enjoy their company. Drop ‘em and move on.
2. A book won’t look at other readers while you’re reading it
But other readers will look at you and be jealous of how awesome you look reading your book. Especially if you’re doing it on an ereader (because tech is sexy).
3. It’s not a problem if your best friend borrows your book
This tends to cause friction in human relationships. And you can borrow your best friend’s books in exchange. Please note that sometimes ‘borrow’ means ‘keep’.
4. You never have to buy your book a gift
And with all the money you save you can buy yourself other books. And your first book won’t even care!
5. Books won’t try to cook you a meal
One of the worst things about being in a relationship is when someone thinks it will be romantic to cook you a meal regardless of their own cooking skills. So many overcooked pasta dishes and undercooked chicken fillets have been forced down the digestive tracts of people who just closed their eyes and pretended it was pizza for the sake of a relationship.
6. You don’t have to impress your book
When you pick up a book you can be in day-old underwear, eating Nutella from the jar with a spoon and your book won’t care. You have the freedom to be as flatulent as you want.
7. When you finish a book you have the option of keeping it for the memories
Try telling an ex that you want to keep them on a shelf with your other exes as a token of the time you spent together. It’s a great way to get a visit from the police. Or so a friend told me.
8. A book will always wait for you
It will sit patiently on your shelf, not caring how long it takes you to get around to reading it, not jealous of all the other books you prioritise before it, and it won’t ever be with anyone else while it waits.
9. If you get bored halfway through you can leave your book without any hassle
You don’t have to say, “It’s not you, it’s me”, “I need some space”, “I think I’d like to have a break”, you can just…stop.
10. It’s the perfect no obligation relationship
And let’s face it, that’s what were all searching for. A relationship where you’re engaged, extremely interested in what your partner has to say and always able to be yourself.
Love isn’t dead – it’s just a little tied up right now.
On Valentine’s Day the bestselling Zom-rom Flesh by Kylie Scott will be available FREE.
Tagged: Books, list, Valentine's Day
Posted by Mark
The following titles are all at reduced prices for a limited time:
Dragonfly by Erica Hayes is currently only $1.99
Willie’s Bar and Grill by Rob Hirst is currently only $1.99
Casting Couch Confidential by Bessie Bardot is currently only $1.99
The White by Adrian Caesar is currently only $1.99
The Beginning of Everything and the End of Everything Else by Christine Townend is currently only $1.99
The Fourth Passenger by Mini Nair is currently only $1.99
Time to Declare by Mark Taylor is currently only $1.99
The Bollywood Beauty by Shalini Akhil is currently only $1.99
More Aussie Gags by John Blackman is currently only $1.99
Aussie Slang Dictionary by John Blackman is currently only $1.99
Tagged: Books, discount books, list
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Posted January 14, 2013 by Mark
Do you have a spare less-than-one-dollar in your pocket? You do? Excellent!
Drive Me to Distraction by Caitlyn Nicholas is currently FREE
Don’t Come the Raw Prawn! by John Blackman is currently only $0.99
Aussie Slang Dictionary by John Blackman is currently only $0.99
Best of Aussie Slang by John Blackman is currently only $0.99
Christine’s Ark by John Little is currently only $0.99
The Beginning of Everything and the End of Everything Else by Christine Townend is currently only $0.99
The Raw Scent of Vanilla by Emilia Bresciani is currently only $0.99
Down to the Sea by John Little is currently only $0.99
Time to Declare by Mark Taylor is currently only $0.99
Tagged: Books, discount books, list
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Posted January 7, 2013 by Mark
2013 has only just begun and I’m already calling it. These are going to be the most influential and bestselling books of the year.
Fifty Shades Parker by E.L. James
The ‘fifty shades’ story continues, but this time featuring the cast of Parker Lewis Can’t Lose.
A Year in My Mind by Bret Easton Ellis
Collection of 12 months worth of Ellis’ tweets.
Hey, You Just Saw Me, And This is Crazy, But Here’s My Memoir, So Read Me Maybe? by Carly Rae Jespen
A Carly Rae Jespen joke. Current AND topical.
Book.gif by Tumblr
A 600 page novel told entirely in gifs. Actually that’s a pretty good idea.
Killing Small by Lee Child
Jack Reacher is hit with a shrinking ray (bringing him into line with the movie version).
Jamie’s Fifteen Nanosecond Meals by Jamie Oliver
If you haven’t spent three hours preparing the ingredients you’re doing it wrong.
From Twilight to the Break of Dawn: A Fan’s Journey by Joel Naoum
Momentum publisher Joel Naoum’s epic 3,500 page critical analysis of the series that has meant so much to him personally. Written in the form of an extended love letter to Edward Cullen.
Chopper Unchopped: All eleven volumes of Chopper’s memoirs together in one edition. Only $14.99 for a limited time!
Click here for more information and over 3,500 pages of profanity-laden Chopper goodness.
Tagged: 2013, list
Posted December 22, 2012 by Hannah Story
Gift-giving is hard. Too hard. I mean, how many gifts do you people want? Aren’t birthdays and anniversaries enough?
Apparently they’re not enough. Everyone wants presents on December 25 too. But luckily for you, I’m saving you all the thinking and the tear-jerking sense of failure that comes with being unable to pick out something perfect for your mother, father, brother, sister, boyfriend, girlfriend, and that guy who you’ve noticed watching you as you walk down the street. I’m just so helpful. You can thank me with a gift later.
I’ve chosen books, because if I had my hipster way I would give everyone Radiohead’s entire discography (on vinyl) and be done with it, but apparently giving people the stuff you like isn’t very “thoughtful” or in the “Christmas spirit.” Plus books make good Christmas presents because Anne said so.
And you know what the best parts about giving an ebook for Christmas are? There are so many options, and there are no lines on the internet.
So for dad, you could buy Defender by Chris Allen- because we all know dads love books with explosions in them.
And for mum, you can try Pamela by Samuel Richardson because classic romances make middle-aged ladies swoon.
And for your brother who thinks he’s the next George R.R. Martin, you could buy How to Write Badly Well by Joel Stickley. That way he’ll know if everything that he’s doing is wrong and he should start again.
Your sister who spends summer star-gazing in the mountains might like The Big Book of Astrology by Kelli Fox- she’ll then be able to tell you about your doomed Sagittarius-Taurus romance.
And your girlfriend? Buy her Flesh by Kylie Scott and wait with bated breath for your sex life to be magically spiced up. Also this way there’s no awkward unwrapping-apocalyptic-erotica-in-front-of-grandma moments.
Your boyfriend can read The Book of Bloke by Ben Pobjie to justify his disgusting bedside habits (and you’ll let it slide because it’s the festive season and he just poured you another glass of red).
And as for that stalker from down the street? I don’t know why you were considering buying him a gift. Don’t do that. That’s daft. He definitely wont stop sending you creepy emails if you acknowledge him at Christmas time. This is why your mother says you always make bad decisions. What were you thinking?Books, Christmas, ebooks, ereading, gift ideas, gift-giving, intern, list, reading
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Posted October 12, 2012 by Mark
People love telling others what to read. There’s always a new list popping up that contains all the books you most definitely should read before you get hit by a hovercar. Usually these lists are just an opportunity for the author to show off about the books they’ve read (or pretended to at any rate). So here’s my contribution:
10 books you absolutely must read
1. Every single book by your favourite author
2. The one that a friend recommends even though it’s in a genre you’ve never read
3. The one by the debut novelist you aren’t familiar with
4. The books that mean something to your parents
5. At least one book that was written in another language (preferably a translated edition…unless you can speak the language. In that case, show off)
6. The one with the really cool cover that caught your eye
7. The one you found on a park bench/train carriage
8. The one a struggling writer begs you to read
9. The “adult” novel that was just ahead of your reading level when you were 13
10. The Young Adult novel that one of your kids loved
Some of our books meet the criteria listed above! 100 Ways to Write Badly Well by Joel Stickley is a hilarious guide to the art of awful writing. Remember – if a thing’s worth doing badly, it’s worth doing badly well. Available now for $2.99
Tagged: Books, list
Posted September 18, 2012 by Anne
Recently there has been a lot of discussion in the book world about reviews and criticism. There have been warnings about an epidemic of niceness on social media, articles on unfavourable reviews, the outing of sock puppet reviews on Amazon, and revelations of authors buying reviews in bulk.
Discoverability (drink) has been overtaken by sockpuppeting (drink) as the buzzword of the moment in publishing circles (so says FutureBook maven Sam Missingham), but it’s still the central concern of most ebook publishers. Readers can’t just go into a bookstore and pick up one of their books – they need to stumble across it in the wilds of the online jungle, so reviews and web chatter are increasingly important. Little wonder some authors are driven to fake their own book reviews.
If you’re concerned about how technology and web culture is affecting books, reading and writing, there are several things you can do. There are so many authors and books out there that for the truly excellent to come to the fore they need a bit of help from devoted readers.
I’ve put together a handy list of things you can do to support your favourite authors, and help fellow book lovers.
1. Buy books. I know right, easy
2. Read books. Bizarre, yes, but proven effective
3. Review books. Review widely, review often. You don’t have to be a professional reviewer anymore for your opinion to count (thanks Internet!). All you need is an account with your friendly (internet) neighbourhood retailer. Amazon is likely to be the most effective, but there is also Apple’s iBookstore and Goodreads. Or you could even set up a blog and become one of those people that publishing publicity departments adore, a book blogger. But let’s not get too crazy
4. Social media mention it up. Post your thoughts about the latest book you’re reading on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr – hell, even Google+. Do it as you’re thinking about reading the book. Do it when you buy the book – post a photo of the cover. Do it mid-read, if you are inspired by a particularly interesting plot twist, or a beautiful sentence. Triumphantly announce your completion upon finishing the book, or mourn the end of a particularly brilliant book. The more you talk about reading, the more you will motivate others to read
5. Give ebooks as gifts. Okay sure, ebook gifts aren’t quite as impressive as a gift-wrapped print tome, but they are usually far less expensive and far more portable. Just enter in the email address of the lucky recipient, and bam, you’ve made someone’s day. Unless you give them a diet book or something. Don’t do that. Ebooks aren’t just for Christmas guys. They’re an everyday gift. Give one today.
May I suggest one of these?Tagged: Amazon, authors, Books, discoverability, ebooks, ereading, FutureBook, gift ideas, iBookstore, list, reading, review, social media, sock puppet, writing
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Posted August 22, 2012 by Anne
“We need to make books cool again. If you go home with somebody and they don’t have books, don’t fuck them.” – John Waters
That’s all very well and good, but these days you don’t need to take someone home for them to be able to see your bookshelf. You just need to show them your device. No not that device.
So before you go all the way home with your date, ask them to hand over their e-reading device. Take a quick look at their library, and use this handy guide to what your date’s taste in books says about them as a lover.
Chuck Palahniuk/Bret Easton Ellis/Philip Roth
If you bruise easily you may want to exercise caution.
Jonathan Franzen/Haruki Murakami/David Foster Wallace
You might need to pull the “shut up and kiss me” routine with this windbag, but once you’ve got things underway you can likely expect this lover to last the distance.
Thomas L. Friedman/Tim Flannery/Michael Pollan
I hope you like body hair. [Um, I wrote that before I saw the above photo and now I'm kind of all turned around on the subject. He's holding Hot, Flat and Crowded, by the way.]
Richard Dawkins/Christopher Hitchens/Sam Harris
If you’re one of those people who has a tendency toward “oh god” exclamations during sexual activity you may want to tone that down.
Diana Gabaldon/Nora Roberts/Jodi Picoult
There will definitely be cuddling after sex, quite possibly prior to and during the act also. Suffocation warning, and not the good type either.
George R. R. Martin/Robert Jordan/Raymond E Feist
This date has no problem with commitment or patience. Likely to be a dedicated lover, but may require a detailed map. When it comes to the cut and thrust part of the night, expect great things.
Anthony Bourdain/Marco Pierre White/Gabrielle Hamilton
Likely to have an excellent appetite, and a willingness to eat out, if you know what I mean.
Charlaine Harris/Anne Rice/Stephen King
Watch out for teeth. If you like that type of thing, by all means, take this one home. But look, you may want to lay down towels. Could get messy.
Stephanie Meyer/J.K. Rowling/Suzanne Collins
Ask to see their ID and double check their birth date.
Definitely, definitely fuck them.Tagged: Books, Bret Easton Ellis, Chuck Palahniuk, dating, e-reader, ebooks, ereading, fiction, Jonathan Franzen, library, list, non-fiction, Philip Roth, reading, romance, sex
Posted August 17, 2012 by Mark
I might be alone on some of these.
Listening to music while reading
Catching the train home each day, I see people reading books with their earphones in. I tried once and couldn’t concentrate on my book (probably because I was listening to something that was too AWESOME).
Licking your finger before turning a page
It’s just gross. Plus I don’t want to see your tongue. Well, most people’s tongues.
Being all precious about the spine of a paperback
It looks much better if it’s been read. Otherwise it looks like you bought it just to put on your shelf. And that would push you into book hipster territory.
When someone’s lips are moving
It’s not a conversation.
When someone is reading a book I hate
Because it’s really hard for me to not judge you.
People on the train who read the free newspaper instead of something proper
There is a world of stories out there. Characters you are yet to meet. Adventures you’re yet to go on, ideas you haven’t been exposed to yet. And you’re reading about Masterchef contestants.
Folding the corner of the page instead of using a bookmark
The bookmark industry is having a hard time these days (probably because of companies like ours).
So what are the reading habits that annoy you?Tagged: list, reading
Posted August 3, 2012 by Mark
As a coping strategy when dealing with literary snobs (who will judge you to your face because you haven’t read the books they have), you sometimes have to pretend you’ve read a book you haven’t.
But how do you go about pretending you’ve read a book with confidence? What happens if you’re caught out in a lie?
Fortunately you can deduce many facts about classic books by looking at their covers, reading the contents page, and paying attention to the way they are referenced in popular culture. I’ve provided a handy outline as to how you can pretend to have read five classic novels. And please note that no disrespect is meant to these books or those who love them!
1. Moby Dick by Herman Melville
Clearly this one has a nautical theme. Look at the cover! Also, the book’s full title is Moby Dick or The Whale. So boats, a whale. It’s a well respected book so it’s fairly safe to assume that it’s not told from the perspective of the whale, therefore there has to be a human character.
Not to be confused with: The Old Man and the Sea or The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.
Handy hint: in Star Trek: First Contact, Captain Picard makes a speech that essentially sums up the plot and point of Moby Dick in about 30 seconds.
2. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Ok, again – look at the cover. Clearly there’s some romance going on here. You will have picked up the names ‘Elizabeth Bennett’ and ‘Mr. Darcy’ from popular culture, and the word ‘swoon’ is often attached to ‘Mr. Darcy’. Lakes, wet shirts, definitely some sort of marriage.
Not to be confused with: Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, or the Turkish restaurant I plan to open called ‘Pide and Prejudice’
Handy hint: there have been several faithful adaptations over the years and you can watch the trailers on youtube.
3. Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell
Set in the year 1984, but written, like, ages before. You know things from this book, even if you don’t know you do (known unknowns, right). Big brother. Clocks striking 13. War is peace, etc.
Not to be confused with: Brave New World, the reality series Big Brother, David Bowie’s worst song.
Handy hint: Cleverly parodied on both The Simpsons and Futurama.
4. Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
There are orphans, themes about class and crime, plus Obi-Wan Kenobi played Fagin in the movie. There was also a successful musical, and several of the songs contain lines from the novel.
Not to be confused with: David Copperfield (the book), David Copperfield (the magician).
Handy hint: It’s cool to acknowledge that Dickens wrote the ‘airport novels’ of his day.
5. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
Funny fact about War and Peace: nobody has actually read it. So just make up whatever you like and people will have to play along and pretend they know what you’re talking about.
Tagged: list, reading
Posted July 30, 2012 by Mark
Here are the most popular blog posts for the last week. Click the headings to read the full posts:
- Why aren’t you paid more?
Because I’m not a professional athlete…
I’ve been thinking about action heroes lately, inspired by the August release of This Green Hell by Greig Beck, the third book to feature kick-ass hero Alex Hunter. Here’s my list of ten noteworthy action stars…
An author friend of mine was talking to another author friend of his about the large number of women who read his books. This surprised him. His books are for the most part military thrillers in which the main character (often a man) shoots and explodes his way through his problems, usually scooping up a lady friend along the way for extracurricular fun. This shooting of problems and gratuitous sexy times, said the author’s friend, did not make any of his novels a boy’s book…
I’m a huge fan of having things beamed directly into my brain, so obviously podcasts are just about my favourite way to pass the time. Well, that and reading books. My favourite podcasts up until now have been largely pop culture-themed - This American Life, Marc Maron’s WTF podcast, all of the Slate podcasts (with the exception of the sports one because what? But if someone wants to make a good argument in favour of it I’m all ears), WNYC-created Alec Baldwin’s Here’s The Thing and RadioLab, and the always salacious Risk…
If you’re interested in getting more from Momentum, then why not sign up to our monthly newsletter? You can do so here.
Tagged: fiction, list, podcast, Posts With Momentum
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Posted July 27, 2012 by Greig Beck
I know this is where I should list weighty tomes by authors with unpronounceable Eastern European names. Or perhaps even demonstrate how, as a well-rounded author, I dabble in a little Lithuanian poetry after dinner… but alas, I cannot. I have to be true to what I read and enjoy.
Below are the real books that have influenced me, and still to this day, are the ones I may pull off a shelf in between new purchases.
1. Charnel House by Graham Masterton.
My favorite horror author. This story, and Masterton’s earlier works (such as The Manitou), has some of the most amazing and original terror scenes. This particular book has the killer first line of dialogue – ‘It’s my house. It’s breathing.’ Many of his stories, like mine today, have as their basis an underlying myth or legend.
2. John Carter of Mars series, by Edgar Rice Burroughs.
I read the entire series when I was about 14… then again at 18, and again at 25. The series was written by Burroughs almost exactly 100 years ago and follows the adventures of ex soldier, John Carter who is transported to Mars. He meets and falls in love with the beautiful Princess Dejah Thoris, and must battle monstrous creatures while saving the red planet. Like the writer’s Tarzan character before, John Carter came from a time when heroes were heroic (recently made into a slightly disappointing movie).
3. Who goes there? by John Campbell.
A rare short story from the 1950s. It was later turned into a movie (called The Thing) in the mid 50s, once more in the 80s and then just recently in 2011. Campbell’s description of the psychological breakdown of the men when trapped in the Antarctic while encountering a hostile alien creature is still very powerful, very claustrophobic, and very frightening. The 50s and 60s were a great time for monsters!
4. Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton.
I remember being in Basel, Switzerland on business, and being in a bookstore on a Saturday morning as they were putting it out on the shelves – I took it straight out of their hands! The story was so fantastic – the research, the characters, and the concepts – wow. I slept about 4 hours the entire weekend, and finished it just in time for work on the Monday morning!
5. Alien by Alan Dean Foster.
I’d like to start by thanking Alan for reminding us that aliens might not be all weird little turtles with lights on their fingers. From the moment the author had a crew pulled from hypersleep to touch down on the bleak planet LV426, it had me rapt. Mixed up POVs and a very small book, but one I have reread several times and each time can still feel the sense of dread, tension, and downright fear as they try and stay ahead of the creature running loose on board the massive mining vessel Nostromo.
6. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes.
Later made into a great movie starring Cliff Robertson (Charly). I know, I know, this seems incongruous after the other books I’ve listed, but the science is terrific, and effects of the science, brilliant. A simple man undergoes an experimental treatment, and ends up a genius. The book is written like a diary – the main character’s entries progressively go from a crayon-like scrawl, to a very polished prose. The way Keyes has the character grow both emotionally and intellectually is awesome. Read it to see the growing sophistication in the writing style. (This concept has been used many times – hello Limitless).
7. The Time Machine by H.G. Wells.
I saw the Rod Taylor movie when I was a kid, then read the novel. Since then I have collected many antique copies, marveling at the fantastic cover art designs. I also have the Easton Press edition with the missing chapter called the ‘Grey Man’. This fantastic tale influenced too many stories and authors to count. He gave us the term “time machine”, and also brilliantly explored the concept of divergent evolution – think Eloi vs Morlok. This work certainly inspired my Valkeryn Series. Wells gives us a story that is every sci-fi reader (and author’s) dream – science, fantasy, excitement and fun.
8. Phantoms by Dean Koontz.
Following my novel, Beneath the Dark Ice, how can I not mention this book by Koontz, and the parallels with my own first story? Of course it influenced me!
In Phantoms, two sisters, return to their hometown to find everyone missing or dead. The few bodies they do encounter are strangely mutilated. Later, the police managed to find a reference to an author of a book called, The ‘Ancient Enemy’, where he describes various mass vanishings of people in different parts of the world over the centuries. Koontz describes in fantastic detail how and why the townsfolk are gone, where the mass disappearances have gone throughout history, and even ties it in with the possible extinction of the dinosaurs. Fantastic science, eerie scenes, and like in The Thing, a monster that could be hiding in the body of the person right next to you – I loved it!
Greig Beck, horror, list, The Time Machine, This Green Hell, thriller, Valkeryn
Posted by Mark
1. Why aren’t you paid more?
Because I’m not a professional athlete.
2. Why are you always on Twitter?
I’m the hero that Twitter needs. Not the one it deserves. Or something.
3. Why don’t your friends ever eat?
Because they’re alcoholics.
4. Why don’t you tuck your shirt in?
Nobody does that anymore.
5. Why do you still buy books? Can’t you get them for free now?
Books are awesome.
6. Aren’t you running late?
7. Is the book you gave me for my birthday one that you publish?
8. Did you go to the bar? I thought you had a meeting?
We had a meeting at the bar.
9. Can you stop putting photos of your coffee on social media?
10. Why did you come home in a bad mood?
I had a nasty argument with my boss about Batman.
Tagged: list, publishing
Posted July 25, 2012 by Mark
I’ve been thinking about action heroes lately, inspired by the August release of This Green Hell by Greig Beck, the third book to feature kick-ass hero Alex Hunter. Here’s my list of ten noteworthy action stars. Feel free to add yours in the comments!
Alex Hunter “Arcadian” (Beneath the Dark Ice, Dark Rising, This Green Hell by Greig Beck)
Alex is a super soldier who is constantly thrown into formidable adventures. Physically and mentally strong, his favourite hobby is saving the world.
Shane Scofield “Scarecrow” (Ice Station, Area 7, Scarecrow, Scarecrow and the Army of Thieves by Matthew Reilly)
Many of the characters on this list kick enough ass that they are given movies. Scarecrow hasn’t been put in a movie because he kicks too much ass in an extremely expensive way.
Caitlin Monroe (Without Warning, After America, Angels of Vengeance by John Birmingham)
A heartless killer with a heart of gold, Caitlin kills a lot of people, especially the ones who have wronged her.
Jason Bourne (The Bourne Series by Robert Ludlum)
The Jason Bourne in literature is a much darker character than the one portrayed by Matt Damon in the movies. He’d definitely kill a dog if it got in his way.
Hit-Girl (Kick-Ass by Mark Millar)
If you like your action stars wise-cracking, then Hit-Girl is for you. Also, if you find the idea of children swearing hilarious, she’s perfect.
Dirk Pitt (Deep Six, Sahara, Atlantis Found, and many others by Clive Cussler)
Good looking adventurer who is witty and lives in a refurbished aircraft hangar. As you do.
Molly Millions (Neuromancer, Johnny Mnemonic, Mona Lisa Overdrive by William Gibson)
Surgically-enhanced ‘Razor Girl’ who has mirrored lenses attached to her face. Would snap Trinity from The Matrix like a twig.
James Bond (007 Series by Ian Fleming)
Ah, Mister Bond. Welcome to my action heroes list. Allow me to explain how I’m going to use it destroy the world. Then I’m going to leave you suspended over a shark tank guarded by one of my henchman. I’m sure you won’t escape.
Jack Reacher (Killing Floor, Die Trying, Tripwire, and many others by Lee Child)
About to be portrayed by Tom Cruise even though Jack Reacher could eat Tom Cruise for breakfast.
Katniss Everdeen (The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins)
I’ve only read the first one, so no spoilers please. Katniss’ survival instinct and intense loyalty to her family and friends pushes her to become an action hero with brains and heart.
You can pre-order This Green Hell by Greig Beck here.
Tagged: action, Greig Beck, hero, list, This Green Hell
Posted July 18, 2012 by Nina D'Aleo
Sidekicks play a vital role in fiction. They can provide a humorous, likeable foil to a broody and detached hero. They can also find the information, give the advice and have the hero’s back when things get hot (or cold – as in carbonite cold). Where would we be without sidekicks?
You might be a sidekick if….
1. You’ve ever been told to ‘punch it’
2. You have to call your best friend ‘Mister [insert name here]’
3. If you’ve ever said ‘holy [insert word here]’ (sh@! and cr*p excluded)
4. You have an English accent
5. You have furry brown hair – all over your body (and face)
6. Someone wearing leather or a black trench-coat keeps telling you to research stuff – and you do it.
7. You or your best friend own a cape. And you’ve worn it in public. And you’re older than 12.
8. Your general knowledge could be described as ‘encyclopaedic’
9. Your ears could be describe as ‘unusually pointy’
10. Your name is Robin, Ron or Watson. No exceptions. Sorry.
A few types of sidekicks
The unwanted/rejected sidekick
Kid – The Matrix Reloaded
This would-be-sidekick would definitely stand at Neo’s side through any kind of trouble. Unfortunately, Neo isn’t interested and it’s a case of sidekick rejection.
The best bud sidekick
Chewbacca (aka Chewie) - Star Wars
When you’re 7 something ft of furry muscle, you don’t really need to be anyone’s sidekick, but this Wookiee remains loyal to Han Solo through everything.
The apprentice sidekick
Robin (aka The Boy Wonder) – Batman
Robin is always ready to run into danger for Batman, but there must be part of him that secretly hopes Batman will get put into traction for a while, so that he can fly the batwing without permission and walk around the mansion wearing only his cape.
The with you till the end sidekick
Samwise Gamgee – Lord of the Rings
When Frodo Baggins can no longer walk, his sidekick, Sam, carries him up Mount Doom so he can complete his heroic journey. That’s dedication.
The brainy sidekick
While Willow Rosenberg (Buffy) and Hermione Granger (Harry Potter) both fall solidly on the nerd side of brainy, these witches also have some badass magical skills. Brains and power – great combination in a sidekick (unless they turn evil and try to destroy the world).
Nina D’Aleo’s debut novel, The Last City, is being described as ‘Blade Runner meets Perdido Street Station’ and will be released worldwide on August 1. Pre-order it now for the special price of $2.99 here.
Tagged: list, sidekicks
Posted July 13, 2012 by Mark
1. It by Stephen King
A novel that taps into primal, childhood fears starring a creature that can take the form of your most terrifying nightmares.
2. The Ritual by Adam Nevill
Four friends go on a hiking holiday in a Swedish forest. Taking a shortcut (always a bad idea) they find themselves stalked by an ancient horror that dwells in the forest. Brilliantly written and truly terrifying.
3. Collected Ghost Stories by M.R. James
Brilliant, scary, creepy short stories that are simple and frightening.
4. The Tailypo by Joanna Galdone
This children’s book about an old man who is stalked by a ghostly dog-like creature in a forest scared the hell out of me when I was little. I have bought a copy for my daughter and can’t wait until she’s old enough to be scared by it.
5. The War of the World by H.G. Wells
I find something completely terrifying about this book, that’s not been captured in any subsequent adaptations (barring Orson Welles’ infamous broadcast). I think it’s because the novel completely lacks hope. The Martians are too strong (plus they drink blood).
1. Haunted – Chuck Palahnuik
Fantastic concept around the torture that writers put themselves through – real and imagined.
Based on the true story of Kitty Genovese, who was murdered in Brooklyn in 1964. It is alleged that 38 people watched her die, each assuming someone else would do something. A masterful and chilling interpretation of a truly horrific event.
3. American Psycho – Bret Easton Ellis
While it is about a serial killer, the scary part in this book is the intricate detail with which Patrick Bateman describes not just the heinous murders he carries out but his superficial material concerns.
4. The Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde
The idea of ageing is horrific, and this book conveys that perfectly.
5. The Vampire Chronicles – Anne Rice
Mark actually suggested this one as a joke, but I am an out and proud Anne Rice fan. Okay so it’s not so much scary as sexy, but throw in the Mayfair Witches series and I think the Rice oeuvre is a valid Friday the 13th selection.
Scary vampires. I was really worried for Bella in this book.
2. New Moon
There are even scarier vampires and wolf but he’s ok and so’s Bella.
4. Breaking Dawn
I am so glad the movie is in 2 parts it took me ages to read the book its really loooong.
5. The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner
I read this five times and it always scares me.
Tagged: horror, list
Posted July 11, 2012 by Mark
I always have conversations about e-reading technology. Something that comes up often in these conversations is that people sense ereaders are incomplete somehow. There’s something missing, be it the smell of a real book (groan) or the ability to show off what you’re reading (groa-oh wait, I like to do this). So I’ve taken the liberty of designing the best, most complete e-reader possible. Feel free to add your own suggestions in the comments! I’m also looking for a name…
1. Ok, you ‘smell of a real book’ people. Let’s get something straight. Real books smell horrible. The new ones smell of ink, the old ones smell of decay and the absorbed odours of the locations they’ve been read (the toilet/public transport). Ew. That’s why this new e-reader releases bursts of Le Male by Jean-Paul Gaultier at regular intervals.
2. You want to show off what you’re reading? This e-reader not only has a screen on the back that displays cover art, but a speaker that broadcasts the title, author, publisher and ISBN whenever it senses more than one person in the room. If you’d rather the public didn’t know what you’re reading, then the speaker can be deactivated and the display will read ‘Innocent Novel’.
3. Tiny blades hidden along the edges give you random paper cuts. For those who miss paper.
4. The e-reader automatically fixes splelling errors so you’re eye’s arent assaulted by typo’s.
5. It detects other e-readers that are in the vicinity, and scans what’s being read. It can then send disparaging messages to the owners of the device (if you’re the type of immature idiot that likes making fun of people for what they read – I know I am).
6. The sleeve it comes with makes a really awesome snapping sound when you close it, so you have the satisfaction you normally get when closing a hardcover.
(Thanks to Daniel Dalton for the awesome image!)Tagged: ereader, list
Posted July 4, 2012 by Mark
Hipsters are a strange breed. It’s an identity that can’t be claimed, only denied. But if you deny it, it means you’ve been accused. And if you’ve been accused it’s because you’ve probably done something extremely hipster-ish, like used the phrase ‘probably never heard of them’ in relation to a band.
So I’ve compiled a list of the ten signs you’re a book hipster, just to be helpful. Feel free to disagree or add your own in the comments!
People call me a hipster all the time, but an online quiz told me I’m a borderline hipster at best. Who to believe?
1. You don’t want an ereader because you want other people to know what you’re reading
You see these people pretending to read paper books all the time. But really they’re glancing around the room, to see who’s noticing them.
2. You like to take instagram photos of your food…with your book casually in the background of the shot
Actually, I did this the other day.
3. You now appreciate the works Stephen King produced in the 80s (but everything he wrote in the 90s was terrible)
“The Shining is a brilliant interpretation of the American ghost story but Rose Madder was meaningless twaddle.”
4. You are purposefully rough with your books when you read them so that it looks like you’ve read them several times more than you actually have.
Not only have I read all the books I own, I’ve read them all at least seven times.
5. You think you’re Hemingway
6. You have personalised book plates that say “from the library of (insert name)”
You do not have a library. You have a bookshelf.
7. You have a book bag
Normal people call them ‘bags’.
8. You like to hang out in independent book stores, but secretly shop on Amazon.
You probably make purchases on your phone while you’re in there.
9. You snort derisively at any book that’s popular without having read it
*cough* 50 Shades of Grey *cough*
10. Unlike music hipsters, you need authors to be verified by a major label before you’ll read them.
Hipsters only like authors that you’ve never heard of…who are published by a major publishing house and who are preferably award winners.Tagged: hipster, list