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Read an E-book Week!

I could have sworn this came later in the year last year, because I thought I posted about it here, rather than at the other abominable site where I had my blog.

No matter! It’s Read an E-Book Week! It started yesterday, March 7th, and goes until March 13th. If you go to the E-Book Store on that website, you’ll see some of the participants who are offering books for the week. Some of the e-books are free, while others are, as the site says, “deeply discounted.” Many participants are offering a different free download each day during the week.

Many thanks to Graham Storrs, at whose website I discovered that it’s E-Book Week. And by the way, Graham’s got a science fiction e-book of his own on sale right now: TimeSplash. Go read an excerpt here, and then run, don’t walk, and buy a copy or two!

Women’s History Month: Favourite Authors?

I didn’t realize that March was Women’s History Month until I saw it mentioned on the Penguin USA blog. What they’re doing there is asking people to name their favourite women writers in the Comments section of their blog.

Anyone who’s talked books with me for any length of time will already know my favourite female author — my favourite author, period. Dorothy Dunnett is my favourite fiction author of all time. Even if I were to lose my home, my cats, and all my other worldly goods, you wouldn’t be able to pry the Lymond Chronicles from my clutching hands.

I’ll have to mull over my other favourite female fiction writers. I love a great many of them.

When it comes to non-fiction, my hands-down favourite would be Margaret Macmillan, author of Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed the World, the book about the months-long conference held after World War 1, during which the three great powers divided the world up among them, creating most of the world political problems we’re still wrestling with almost a century later.

These two, Dunnett and Macmillan, are at the very top of my favourites list, male or female.

Canada Reads 2010 Book Lineup

Yes everyone, it’s time for “Canada Reads” once again. That is, time for the books and their defenders to be announced, so that we all have time to read them before the big discussion and final vote in the spring. So here are the titles, and the names of their celebrity defenders:

  1. Fall on Your Knees by Ann-Marie MacDonald – defended by Olympic track and field athlete, Perdita Felicien
  2. The Jade Peony by Wayson Choy – defended by Dr. Samantha Nutt, Executive Director of War Child Canada
  3. Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture by Douglas Coupland – defended by Roland Pemberton (aka Cadence Weapon), Edmonton’s poet laureate and hip hop artist
  4. Good to a Fault by Marina Endicott – defended by Simi Sara, Vancouver TV and radio broadcaster
  5. Nikolski by Nicolas Dickner – defended by Montreal author and publisher Michel Vezina

So there you have it! If you want more information on the individual books or authors, visit the official Canada Reads website. The deliberations will take place in the spring, hosted by Jian Ghomeshi. Can’t wait!

Robert Sawyer on live chat on CBC, Thursday

If you’re a Robert Sawyer fan in particular, or a science fiction fan in general, you might want to check out the live chat on the CBC Book Club, tomorrow, September 10, at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

Sawyer’s most recent novel, Wake, has been available since April, and if you visit that web page, you can find the opening chapters, and hear Sawyer reading the first chapter, among many other things connected with the novel. The story deals with the time in the future when there are enough “neural connections” in the world wide web to produce a consciousness. (Consciousness, indeed, is one of Sawyer’s favourite topics.) This book is the first in a trilogy, of which the remaining volumes will be Watch and Wonder.

Another very cool thing happening for Sawyer right now is the taping of an ABC TV series, Flash Forward, based on his novel of the same name. In this story, the consciousness of every human being on earth is jumped into the future for two minutes, before returning to their own time. The novel, and now the TV series, speculate on what the consequences of that jump would be.

If you get the chance to read or participate in the CBC Book Club chat tomorrow, I think it will be a great time. I love listening to Sawyer being interviewed, so I suspect this chat will be very entertaining, not to mention informative.

If you can’t get to the chat, do play around on his website. There’s a lot of fascinating stuff there.

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