Kane's Bookblog

This is a blog of what's on my bookshelf. Everything expressed here is personal, and not affiliated with my employer.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Vulcan's Hammer

by Philip K. Dick
5 of 7 stars *currently reading*

Bill Casebeer recommends PKD, and this is my first foray into the author. I've skimmed his novels before, but never enjoyed the writing style. I can now appreciate the shorter novels, especially after not enjoying lots of deadwood elsewhere. I actually find myself enjoying the slower pace that I am taking, considering each sentence, letting the prose do more than transmit plot data!

Still, the story so far has some rpetty simplistic elements. The most striking is that one main character - a very powerful govt employee - seems downright naive. He is oblivious to the wealth and sophistication of an entire continent that his world government rules, and where one of his employees lives. Huh?

I picked this one up at random. PKD has many books. Which should I try next?


by Haruki Murakami
* currently reading *

This was a surprise gift from my friend, Jim Coyer! I have wanted to read it for some time, being a fan of Murakami's fiction.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Wild Sheep Chase

a novel
by Haruki Murakami
7 of 7 stars

Of all Murakami's novels, this is my favorite. The plot is excellent, and the strange quest of a funny, somewhat passionless, observant man in Tokyo stays with me. In addition, it's a quick read.

How Amazon works

My thinking is that if this site were to work, it would need a revenue stream. Advertising or affiliate feedback. Maybe we could allow users to keep all the revenue from their own affiliate links with Amazon and BN. Problem is ... people with lots of traffic would wise up and leave our hub.

So ... what are we developing here? A unique site, or an open standard? Well, it doesn't matter to me either way. If this effort accelerates the developement of a standard, that's fine, so long as I can get my friends to use it! My selfish intent here is to stay up to speed on the reading habits of my many pals around this pale blue dot, not to get rich.

OK, so here is how Amazon's affiliate program works. Actually, they call it Amazon Associates.

I just registered. Let's test with the next blog on WILD SHEEP CHASE...

An Overview of Book Blogs

The excellent Virginia Postrel's blog, Dynamist.com, is in my RSS feed. She recently posted a blog that shared her recent reading list, which got me wondering why the blog technology hasn't been harnessed for a book blogging website? Not a site where someone like Postrel blogs on her current reading, but a site that enables EVERYONE to blog on their current reading.

It seems like a no-brainer. Where's Amazon on this?

In my ideal world, I would have an RSS feed from every friend -- so that I would know what they are reading! They wouldn't have to write and tell me. It would just show up on my RSS feeds, right? I have yet to hear from a single friend who has discovered a site/technology like this, so I am exploring the possibility of innovating it by myself. Here's my take on what the bookblog entry form might look like.

So that has me thinking ... and here is what I've discovered so far:

http://www.csmonitor.com/2005/0907/p15s01-bogn.html is a nice summary article of the impact of individual book bloggers, vis-a-vis the publishing industry.

http://www.triangle.com/books/zane/story/2118926p-8499194c.html is a nice commentary by Peter Zane, with links to some great individual book blogs.

So, if I were to start up a new website the enabled people to have a free book blog of their own, even easier to use than blogger, what do you think we should call it? I found these domain names available:


Ender's Shadow

by Orson Scott Card
5 of 7 stars

This is well-written but somewhat flawed parallel novel for Ender's Game, which I consider one of the top five SF books ever. A bit too much direct copying of the scenes (and verbatim dialogue) from the first novel. And perhaps too much time explaining each sentence of dialog with internal thoughts and caveats. I like where he takes Bean as a character, but one has to say it strays too far from the original characterization, which is not fully credible.