Friday, September 9, 2016

Serialised e-fiction: The Jewel Sea

Though nothing will ever replace the joy of a book-in-hand for me, there are situations when only an electronic device will do.  I almost always have my phone on me, so ‘sneak-reading’ (that’s another blog post) is a bit easier when a big open book isn’t visible.  Recognising the ubiquity of the smart-phone, the clever folks at The Pigeonhole have come up with a pretty innovative way to deliver their books. They send it to you in segments which they call Staves (a nod to Dickens’ A Christmas Carol I think).  The staves are delivered directly to your phone in their free app, and you can read them anytime after they arrive, or read along with their online bookclub, discussing the book with others, and making use of bonus content which they’ve incorporated - things like interviews, maps, pictures, little tidbits of information directly embedded into the text.  The conversations are also embedded into the text - all very discretely - you can ignore it or read as you go or read later.  

Not that I don’t already have a massive TBR stack - some on the go already - but the site was so slick and nicely designed, that I was tempted to check it out by joining in the reading of Kim Kelly’s The Jewel Sea which  started yesterday. So far I read the first stave and am enjoying it quite a lot.  The story is set in 1912, mostly on a fictionalised SS Koombana, a real boat that disappeared on a journey from Port Hedland to Broome. So far the narrative has drawn me in, and I’m looking forward to reading the second stave, which arrived in the past hour, tonight in bed (with the lights off - sometimes backlighting makes a lot of sense - sorry Kindle and paperbacks - I still love you - more the paperbacks than the Kindle).  One thing I noticed which was particularly cool about this reading, is that the author is joining in the conversation, and I’m pretty confident she will respond to questions if they arise.   Another nice thing is that the release a number of slots free for each book.  If you get in quickly, you can join in the readings that interest you free (there are lots of free classics too), and even if you don’t, the cost is pretty reasonable.  The Jewel Sea had 200 free slots, and there are still 3 free ones left.  If you’re quick, you can still join in at no cost and check it out here:

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Compulsive Reader Sept Newsletter is out

The latest issue of Compulsive Reader News has now gone out.  The newsletter contains 10 new reviews, a copy of Paul Mitchell’s just released We. Are. Family up for grabs, as well as a pretty thorough round-up of literary news including the Miles Franklin, the Ngaio Marsh, the James Tait Black, and the Arthur C Clark. If you’re a subscriber, a copy should be hitting your email inbox soon if it hasn’t already.  If you don’t want to wait for the monthly newsletter you can read the reviews and interviews the moment they come in on our Facebook Page (thinking I might do a few Facebook giveaways soon too, so go forth and like if you want to win some books).  If you’re not a subscriber, you can sign up free at the website:  If you can’t wait for email or you want to check the newsletter out first, you can grab yourself a copy here (but giveaways are subs only): Compulsive Reader Archive.  Happy reading!