Friday, March 27, 2009

The Free Book Stimulus Plan!


Increase Your Karmic Footprint

Wanda Jewell has a problem. After
serving nearly 20 years as Executive Director of the Southern
Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA) she is overrun with books. All
kind of books; finished copies and galleys, advance reading copies,
advance reader editions, paperback and hardbound, slip-covered and not,
limited editions, signed and unsigned, personalized and not. Books
here, books there, books, books, everywhere…and each publishing season
brings more. It was while she was contemplating the management of her
extensive personal library, (with the television news on in the
background) that Wanda had her “Aha!” moment: How to weed her
collection and support her southern indie bookstores at the same time?
In a flash of Obama-induced inspiration, Wanda created her own Free
Book Stimulus Plan.

Books can be purchased anywhere. So
why shop at indie bookstores? Because buying a book at your local indie
bookstore doesn’t just stimulate your reading, it stimulates your local
economy. Shopping local is an investment in your own neighborhood and
good karma all around. And because you can get a free book!
Hoping to stimulate sales at indie
bookstores, Wanda is dismantling her personal library and offering it
to shoppers one free book at a time. Beginning April 2nd, readers who
purchase a book at a SIBA-member indie store and send her a copy of the
receipt will receive book from her collection completely free of
charge. Visit
for details and a list of participating bookstores. Print out the
request form on the site and mail it in with a copy of your store
receipt (the receipt must include the name of the store). That is all
you have to do to get a free book from Wanda’s personal library.

This offer is open only to
consumers living in the contiguous United States. Completed form with
receipt must be mailed to

Free Book, 3806 Yale Ave., Columbia, SC 29205

and only while supplies last. Consider this a challenge to deplete
Wanda’s library – she doubts it can be done!

Here is all that Wanda asks in return. Visit;
Pass it on. Post to blog. Pay it forward. Print to press. Play the 411.
Shout it out. Share the news. Spread the word. Soapbox it up. Tweet
& Retweet. Facebook & Myspace. Get the word out. Free Book for
Shopping Southern Indie Bookstores! Increase your karmic footprint!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Angel's Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

The Angel's Game
by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
Published by Doubleday Books
June 2009
ISBN: 9780385528702

When an author publishes their second novel after having tremendous success with their first novel, most readers approach it warily. For some authors it's hard to follow up a great debut with a second, equally as good. Luckily The Angel's Game is not actually Zafón's second book, just the second that's been translated to English. Zafón actually published a few young adult novels in Spanish before he wrote The Shadow of the Wind.

But needless to say, Zafón has done it again. He has woven a new story just as engaging & beautiful as SOTW.

The Angel's Game actually takes place in the same area of Barcelona as SOTW. Set in the period just before the civil war that leads up to SOTW. The main character is David Martin, who at the beginning of book is working at a newspaper & gets his chance to be a writer. Soon with the help of of his friend & mentor, Perdo Vidal, he is able to lift himself out of poverty & start writing for a living.

He soon leaves the newspaper & starts writing pulp fiction under a pseudonym for a less than desirable publishing house. But while making good money, he realizes that he is truly not happy & longs to write for himself. Soon he's approached by a mysterious benefactor, Andreas Corelli, who asks David to write a book for him. The subject would be Corelli's choosing. And David would have one year to write it. Once he's done, he will be rich & free to write for himself. But just who is this man giving him this chance? And what will it truly cost him in the end? I'd tell you more, but that might give something away.

Much like SOTW, there is an overall mystery winding it's way through the story. But at the same time there is a fabulous love story/triangle and sins of the past come back to haunt the characters.

Zafón really shines in his storytelling & his dialogue. The interaction between David & his "ward/protege", Isabella, is simply magic. As with SOTW, you really fall into the lives of these characters & live and breathe with them. But eventually the story has to end. And at the end I was in tears, not just because of the story, but simply because I knew my time with these characters was coming to a close.

This is a book I would highly recommend, definitely in my top 20 of all time.