Country (Language) list:
Isle of Man
Help us choose a book as the December 2013 eBook for the MobileRead Book Club. The poll will be open for 5 days. There will be no runoff vote unless the voting results a tie, in which case there will be a 3 day run-off poll. This is a visible poll: others can see how you voted. It is You may cast a vote for each book that appeals to you.
We will start the discussion thread for this book on December 20th. Select from the following Official Choices with three nominations each:
• Dubliners by James Joyce
Feedbooks (ePub-Kindle-PDF) / Patricia Clark Memorial Library: Kindle / epub (Complete works)
Spoiler: Dubliners is a collection of 15 short stories by James Joyce, first published in 1914. The fifteen stories were meant to be a naturalistic depiction of the Irish middle class life in and around Dublin in the early years of the 20th century.
The stories were written at the time when Irish nationalism was at its peak, and a search for a national identity and purpose was raging; at a crossroads of history and culture, Ireland was jolted by various converging ideas and influences. They center on Joyce's idea of an epiphany: a moment where a character has a special moment of self-understanding or illumination. Many of the characters in Dubliners later appear in minor roles in Joyce's novel Ulysses. The initial stories in the collection are narrated by children as protagonists, and as the stories continue, they deal with the lives and concerns of progressively older people. This is in line with Joyce's tripartite division of the collection into childhood, adolescence and maturity. -- Feedbooks
• The Mysterious Mr. Quin by Agatha Christie
Amazon Ca / Amazon UK / Amazon US / Barnes & Noble / Google Books
Spoiler: From Amazon:
The Queen of Mystery has come to Harper Collins! Agatha Christie, the acknowledged mistress of suspense—creator of indomitable sleuth Miss Marple, meticulous Belgian detective Hercule Poirot, and so many other unforgettable characters—brings her entire oeuvre of ingenious whodunits, locked room mysteries, and perplexing puzzles to William Morrow Paperbacks. The inimitable Christie intrigues, surprises, and delights once again with The Mysterious Mr. Quin—a riveting collection of short stories centered around the enigmatic Harley Quin, whose unpredictable comings and goings are usually a good indication that something is about to happen…and rarely for the best.
Excerpt from Wikipedia:
...Each chapter or story involves a separate mystery that is solved through the interaction between the characters of Mr Satterthwaite, a socialite, and the eponymous Mr Quin who appears almost magically at the most opportune moments and disappears just as mysteriously. Satterthwaite is a small, observant man who is able to wrap up each mystery through the careful prodding and apposite questions of Quin, who serves as a catalyst every time the men meet.
In Agatha Christie's Autobiography, she claims that Quin and Satterthwaite became two of her favourite characters....
• The Unreal and the Real, Selected Stories of Ursula K. Le Guin Volume 2: Outer Space, Inner Lands by Ursula K. Le Guin
Spoiler: From Amazon:
For fifty years, National Book Award winner and Pulitzer Prize finalist Ursula K. Le Guin’s stories have shaped the way her readers see the world. Her work gives voice to the voiceless, hope to the outsider, and speaks truth to power. Le Guin’s writing is witty, wise, both sly and forthright; she is a master craftswomen.
This two-volume selection of almost forty stories taken from her eleven collections was made by Le Guin herself, as was the organizing principle of splitting the stories into the nominally realistic and fantastic.
Outer Space, Inner Lands includes classic stories “The Ones Who Walked Away from Omelas” and “Nine Lives” (both of which have been reprinted more than twenty times); Tiptree Award winner “The Matter of Seggri”; Nebula Award winner “Solitude”; and the secret history “Sur,” which was included in The Best American Short Stories.
Le Guin’s stories range from somber (“Small Change”) to hilarious (“The First Contact With the Gorgonids”), from fairy tales (“The Poacher”) to the quiet end of the world (“She Unnames Them”).
Stories in this volume were originally published in venues as varied as Amazing Stories, Playboy, Universe, The New Yorker, and Omni.
Companion volume Where on Earth explores Le Guin’s satirical, political and experimental earthbound stories. Both volumes include new introductions by the author.
The Unreal and the Real is a much-anticipated event which will delight, amuse, and provoke.
• The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Patricia Clark Memorial Library: ePub / ePub (Omnibus)
Spoiler: Containing a fascinating variety of stories, from narratives by Holmes himself to a meeting with his brilliant brother and the climactic and seemingly fatal meeting between Holmes and the criminal mastermind Moriarity, this volume sealed Holmes' immortality as a literary figure.
• The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury
Amazon Ca / Amazon UK / Amazon US / Google Play (AU) / Kobo (US)
Spoiler: The Illustrated Man is a 1951 book of eighteen science fiction short stories by Ray Bradbury that explores the nature of mankind. A recurring theme throughout the eighteen stories is the conflict of the cold mechanics of technology and the psychology of people.
The unrelated stories are tied together by the frame device of "the Illustrated Man", a vagrant with a tattooed body whom the unnamed narrator meets. The man's tattoos, allegedly created by a time-traveling woman, are animated and each tell a different tale. All but one of the stories had been published previously elsewhere, although Bradbury revised some of the texts for the book's publication.
The concept of the Illustrated Man would later be reused by Bradbury as an antagonistic character in Something Wicked This Way Comes, the tattoos coming to represent the souls of sinful victims of a mysterious carnival.
• The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling
Patricia Clark Memorial Library: ePub / Kindle
Spoiler: Joseph Rudyard Kipling ( /ˈrʌdjəd ˈkɪplɪŋ/ RUD-yəd KIP-ling; 30 December 1865 – 18 January 1936) was an English short-story writer, poet, and novelist chiefly remembered for his tales and poems of British soldiers in India, and his tales for children. He received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1907. He was born in Bombay, in the Bombay Presidency of British India, and was taken by his family to England when he was five years old. Kipling is best known for his works of fiction, including The Jungle Book (a collection of stories which includes "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi"), Just So Stories (1902) (1894), Kim (1901) (a tale of adventure), many short stories, including "The Man Who Would Be King" (1888) and his poems, including "Mandalay" (1890), "Gunga Din" (1890), "The White Man's Burden" (1899) and "If—" (1910). He is regarded as a major "innovator in the art of the short story"; his children's books are enduring classics of children's literature; and his best works are said to exhibit "a versatile and luminous narrative gift"Joseph Rudyard Kipling ( /ˈrʌdjəd ˈkɪplɪŋ/ RUD-yəd KIP-ling; 30 December 1865 – 18 January 1936) was an English short-story writer, poet, and novelist chiefly remembered for his tales and poems of British soldiers in India, and his tales for children. He received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1907. He was born in Bombay, in the Bombay Presidency of British India, and was taken by his family to England when he was five years old. Kipling is best known for his works of fiction, including The Jungle Book (a collection of stories which includes "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi"), Just So Stories (1902) (1894), Kim (1901) (a tale of adventure), many short stories, including "The Man Who Would Be King" (1888) and his poems, including "Mandalay" (1890), "Gunga Din" (1890), "The White Man's Burden" (1899) and "If—" (1910). He is regarded as a major "innovator in the art of the short story"; his children's books are enduring classics of children's literature; and his best works are said to exhibit "a versatile and luminous narrative gift"
THE WHITE SEAL
TOOMAI OF THE ELEPHANTS
HER MAJESTY'S SERVANTS
PARADE-SONG OF THE CAMP ANIMALS
• Tales From the Jazz Age by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Patricia Clark Memorial Library: ePub (Complete Works) / Kindle / lrf
Spoiler: "Tales of the Jazz Age (1922) was Fitzgerald's second collection of short stories, and it contains some of the best examples of his talent as a writer of short fiction. Often overshadowed by his major novels, Fitzgerald's short stories demonstrate the same originality and inventive range, as he chronicles with wry and astute observation the temper of the hedonistic 1920s. In 'May Day' and 'The Diamond as Big as the Ritz', two of his greatest stories, he conjures up the spirit of the age; in other stories he adopts a variety of forms - parody, a one-act play, fantasy - with unrivalled versatility. 'The Curious Case of Benjamin Button', a tale of a man living his life backwards, features among the 'Fantasies"
• 10 Wonderful Short Stories to Read For Free Online by Various Authors
Spoiler: No spoilers provided.
• Limits by Larry Niven
Phoenix Pick (Scroll down)
Spoiler: From Amazon:
Here is an extraordinary mix of fantasy and science fiction from one of the masters of science fiction, Larry Niven.
The stories in this collection include some collaborations with authors such as Jerry Pournelle (Spirals) and Steven Barnes (The Locusts), as well as stories written by Niven himself.
Larry Niven’s credits include the award-winning Ringworld series, his “Known Space” novels and the Man-Kzin anthologies. His collaborations with Jerry Pournelle include such titles as Lucifer’s Hammer, Inferno and The Mote in God’s Eye.
• Shifu, You'll Do Anything for a Laugh by Mo Yan
Spoiler: From Publishers Weekly:
If China has a Kafka, it may be Mo Yan. Like Kafka, Yan (The Republic of Wine; Red Sorghum) has the ability to examine his society through a variety of lenses, creating fanciful, Metamorphosis-like transformations or evoking the numbing bureaucracy and casual cruelty of modern governments. The title novella of this collection of eight tales chronicles the story of old Ding, whose 43 years of dedicated service to the Municipal Farm Equipment Factory have earned him the honorific Shifu, or master worker. Despite this praise, Ding is abruptly laid off one month before his retirement. After contemplating his options including setting himself on fire in protest Ding decides to go with a more entrepreneurial approach, converting an abandoned bus into a cottage-for-hire for lovers. As an old man getting his first taste of capitalism, he serves as a symbol for many of those facing struggles in modern China. Another entry, "Man and Beast," a leftover piece from Mo's Red Sorghum saga, evokes some of the horror of Japan's wartime treatment of China, while "The Cure" demonstrates the hatred and desperation China inflicted upon itself during the Cultural Revolution. Mo abandons the realistic mode for "Soaring," in which a new bride takes flight like a butterfly, though the violence with which she's brought back to earth proves that not every fable features a happy ending. This collection brings together stories written over the past 20 years and feels more like a random buffet than a carefully planned meal. Still, it provides a useful introduction to one of China's most important contemporary writers.
I�ve been following the TelecomTech posts ever since the HTC Sensation series, and as time goes by the top end smartphones get better and better. Now the Sony Xperia Z1 is the latest and greatest, and I�m one of the lucky Geekzone members selected to put it to the test.
Opening the box of the Sony Z1 and a sleek black sheet of glass stares back at you. Picking it up and the phone feels solid, with a glass back and only the power button and headphone jack noticeable around the black and brushed aluminium sides.
It is slightly heavier than expected when first picking it up (at 170g), but you soon don�t notice it, feeling almost reassuringly hefty. It fits in the hand comfortably, and in my opinion is the most stylish looking phone out there. Plasticky is not a word this phone will ever be accused of.
Switching on the phone and the 5.0 inch screen makes an immediate impression. At 1920x1080 pixels it boasts a full HD display which is bright and clear from almost any viewing angle. Coming from a small screen phone to a big screen phone is a joy, mobile browsing has moved from Opera mini (with images disabled!) to a full rich browser experience on Chrome or Firefox.
As a first time Android user setting up was simple enough, with the Sony setup guide taking care of the wi-fi password, Sony Entertainment Network account, Google account and social network accounts. The calendar synchronised with my Outlook.com account, and it also comes with Exchange ActiveSync for easy business connectivity.
Apps and Music services can be accessed from Google Play or the Sony Select screen. The Sony Select screen suggested the Asphalt 8 game, which looks stunning on the Z1 and has vastly improved the quality of my daily commute, in the screenshot below I had just crashed into a bus whilst riding on the bus�
The black bar with three dots on the side of the screen is where the Android navigation buttons are � like the Nexus phones, Sony have dispensed with physical buttons on the front of the device, which I didn�t even notice at first. For some apps like YouTube they disappear altogether until you tap the screen, for others like Asphalt 8 they stay available.
The 20.7 megapixel camera takes impressive pictures and I�ll be exploring the camera functionality more in a future blog post. In the meantime I�ve had good fun with the kids using the Augmented Reality feature, this one was taking Auckland Airport back to the late Cretaceous:
Performing the obligatory benchmark, my AnTuTu score is 33275 which puts it 4th in the overall rankings. This was after installing some apps and using the phone for a while � some other reviews have achieved a score of 35000. This is a �real world� review experience, but still it is nice to know it thinks the phone is �Amazing�.
The Sony Xperia Z1 has a waterproof rating of IP58, meaning it can be submerged up to 1.5 metres underwater. I can�t dive down that far without popping my ears, but we�re going swimming at the weekend so with not a little trepidation I�ll be taking some underwater photos to see if it really is as waterproof as it says it is..
About the Author:
Jon Bielby (JonB) is a keen follower science and technology, living in a house with Windows, iOS and Android gadgets. I�m working as a software tester in the healthcare IT field in Auckland, and have been an owner of Sony Ericsson phones since the K750i, with a W705 as my smartphone before upgrading to the Sony Xperia Z1. You can be one my first twitter followers at @j1blb
E-Book General - News