Friday, 18 March 2011

My life in books...

I VISITED MY FAVOURITE BOOKSTORE YESTERDAY after watching the parade at Belfast city centre in celebration of St Patrick's Day in Northern Ireland. Having a quick chat with the owner (he's very kind), and again I explored his shop - dreaming that someday I will have a mini-library as big as this secondhand bookshop!

While moving slowly along the narrow spaces between the shelves, I could feel that these books are inviting me - to touch them and bring them home. I wish I could bring them all, but I only got three books, including John Boyne's fable, The Boy in the Sriped Pyjamas. I did not know that the author is an Irish until I watched the film (with the same title) few days ago. It is a brilliant adaptation and I thought that the book is an excellent read not to be missed. So, having the book in mind, I immediately asked the owner of the shop, if he has copies of it. Well, I was surprised that he stood up and within few seconds of scanning in the shelf, he got it - 214 pages/2007 edition!

My life in books is getting exciting...even inspired to write another short story. By the way, I've written my first story (in Filipino/Tagalog language) entitled, Loto (Lotto). Unfortunately, the electronic version was missing in my laptop, so I need to type it again in few weeks time, so watch out for that! To find more, CLICK HERE.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

BookFace: In celebrating St Patrick's Day

IT IS VERY RARE TO FIND A FREE EBOOK FROM AMAZON WEBSITE WHEN YOU ARE living in developing countries especially in Asia and the Pacific region. Excluding the classics, majority of free ebooks offered for a limited period are only accessible to UK, US, Canada and Australia residents both in and sites.

But few hours ago, I found out that this book is also free for download in Asia and the Pacific region. It might be a good read in time for St. Patrick's Day celebration around the world on the 17th March (that's tomorrow).

Synopsis: Forget about shamrocks, leprechauns, and all that blarney, 101 Things You Didn't Know About Irish History dispels the myths and tells the true stories of the Irish. Inside, you'll learn about about: Lives of the ancient Celts until the British invasions; Famous Irish including Michael Collins, Charles Parnell-and Bono!; The Potato Famine and Immigration (were there really gangs of New York?); Irish music and dance; Folklore, faeries, and leprechauns. Complete with an Irish language primer and pronunciation guide, 101 Things You Didn't Know About Irish History is an informative reference for anyone who loves the Irish! The author is Thomas Turner, Ph.D., a professor of history at Bridgewater State College, in Bridgewater, Massachusetts. The ebook contains 256 pages. (Source - Amazon website).

Note: Ebooks from Amazon website are not only compatable with Kindle reading gadgets but also suitable for laptops/computers and mobile devices (iphones, iPad). For additional information, CLICK HERE on how to download the free ebook reading application. Beware that this ebook may not be free for a long time, but it is free from the time of posting of this journal.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Belfast remembers Dickens...

FEW WEEKS AGO, I VISITED LINEN HALL LIBRARY (Belfast) to look at the exhibitions on Charles Dickens' Literary life. It was a delight to see all Dickens first, rare and limited edition of his books, including photographs, a commemorative postage-stamp, and decorative plates featuring scenes from A Christmas Carol. I also learned that this Victorian England's greatest novelist visited Belfast in three occasions: 1858, 1867 and 1869 when he gave public readings of his work. He even described Belfast as "tremendous houses there. Curious people, too. They seem all Scotch, but quite in a state of transition." My fascination with Dickens' stories started when I read A Christmas Carol last Dec 2010 after downloading a free ebook version of the book from I also got an old hardbound book (1983) from a charity shop containing three of his popular stories: A Christmas Carol (1843), Oliver Twist (1837), and Great Expectations (1859). If you are interested to read my review about Scrooge life in A Christmas Carol, CLICK HERE. I will post a long version review about this novel very soon.

Monday, 14 March 2011

Book Catcher 2011 Series Three courtesy of Waterstone's Bookshop

A WEEK BEFORE THE WORLD BOOK NIGHT LAUNCHING, I grabbed some of the discounted offers (3 for 2 deals) from Waterstone's Penguin mini modern classics collection. After an hour of browsing, I finally decided to purchase Shirley Jackson's Tooth, Premo Levi's The Magic Paint, and Rudyard Kipling's They, including the complete list of all the titles in print across the Modern Classics publication - from Chinua Achebe to Stefan Zweig with inspiring essay from Italo Calvino. These three mini publications contain short 3-5 short stories. Overall, these stories have unexpected and unpredictable endings!

Note: A short review for each mini book will be posted very soon...