Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Cat Head Theatre - Hamlet Act 2 Sc. 2

When BookMooch works, it works very well...

So BookMooch does work. I mooched a copy of Julio Cortazar's Blow-up, and Other Stories from someone in the US about 2 weeks ago, and it reached me today. Looking at the amount the guy paid for postage - approx. US$9 - I don't feel so bad any more about shelling out $15 to send China Mieville's The Scar to Finland.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Book launch at BooksActually, 28 Sept 2006

Happy 100th, Shostakovich!

Dmitri Shostakovich - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Banned Books Week: 23 - 30 Sept

Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom to Read is observed during the last week of September each year. Observed since 1982, this annual ALA event reminds Americans not to take this precious democratic freedom for granted. This year, 2006, marks BBW's 25th anniversary (September 23-30).

BBW celebrates the freedom to choose or the freedom to express one’s opinion even if that opinion might be considered unorthodox or unpopular and stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of those unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints to all who wish to read them. After all, intellectual freedom can exist only where these two essential conditions are met.

American Library Association website

Google on banned books

Wikipedia entry on banned books

Kinokuniya Bargain Alley find

The Bargain Alley at the Liang Court branch of Kinokuniya is always good for cheap, interesting finds. Picked up a new printing of the Arden Shakespeare Troilus and Cressida for a mere $6 as you can see. I was also tempted by The Sandman Papers, but just the idea of academically dissecting such a great series seems unsavoury. But if you're interested you should get down there quickly - it's just $12.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

A new Rainbow

Oh yeah. Have been wanting to get a Penguin copy of Gravity's Rainbow for ages. Kinokuniya only has the Vintage edition, which has miniscule text. This new version comes out at the end of October - not very far away.

Work in Progress

As you may have noticed, I've decided to change the blog layout. We're still open for business though.
See, this is what happens when you're tired and not thinking properly. You go and lend a set of five Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics (ok, they're second-hand and yellowing but still) to a soon-to-be-ex-colleague on her last day of work. Why didn't I put 'em up on BookMooch?

Monday, September 18, 2006

Thomas who?

I've just discovered that there are no Thomas Pynchon novels - not one - in any Times the Bookshop outlet here on my tiny island. I'm disappointed. I know I shouldn't be, but I am.

Incidentally, this made me decide not to bother with joining their membership programme despite the lower cost - $10 a year vs. Kinokuniya's $21.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Thursday, September 07, 2006

At night projections from moving cars are shone on the buildings downtown. Each car projects a video of a wild animal. The animal’s movements are programmed to correspond to the speed of the car: as the car moves, the animal runs along it speeding up and slowing down with the car, as the car stops, the animal stops also.

Primal and ethereal. Very cool to watch. Take a look at Wildlife

(via Wooster Collective)

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Imagine a book of short stories comprising:

Sixty-two entries, each in the voice of a beheaded historical, mythical, animal or modern figure, make up the collection. Each is exactly 240 words, Butler's estimate of the number of words that could be spoken by a decapitated head before oxygen runs out. Among the post-mortem monologues Butler imagines are John the Baptist, Medusa, Cicero, a chicken, Nicole Brown Simpson, Maximilien Robespierre, Valeria Messalina and himself, "decapitated on the job" in 2008.

Gripping cover too.

(Via Book Covers from the NYT book review)
In case anyone's wondering, I got my iBook back from the Apple Service Centre earlier this week. Turns out that the 3rd party RAM chip was responsible and they had to change the motherboard. Thank goodness for warranties. I don't need the extra RAM right now anyway.
Came across a new service that, like BookCrossing, tries to find new homes for unwanted books. Unlike BookCrossing however, BookMooch introduces a points system and allows matching of books to individuals. Panegyrist explains the system here.

While being an improvement over BookCrossing, I don't think it solves the main problem with trading systems like these: that people will game the system by flooding it with lousy books. In BookMooch's case, since you get the same number of points when you post "MS-DOS for Dummies" as you do for Julio Cortazar's "Hopscotch", I think people will eventually start dumping books that they know are unwanted in order to earn points, so that they can ask people for books that are wanted.

Well, it's still early. Here's my list of books to give away

Saturday, September 02, 2006