Check This Out: Authorgraph

aglogoI’m a book addict.  I love books in all shapes, forms, and styles.  Hardcover, paperback, or eBook.  You name it.  I’m addicted.  Since starting my blog I’ve made a conscious effort to attend more book signings not only to hear authors discuss their works, but to get my books signed!  There is nothing quite like being able to meet an author whose work you admire and then getting them to sign said work for you.  It’s truly a thrill.  With the advent of eReaders and eBooks I’ve found myself buying an eBook, learning that the author was coming to my bookstore, and buying a physical copy simply so I could have a book for signing!  Of course that means spending double the money on books, but I get a signed book and to me it’s worth it.

For those of you who may be unable to buy double books and/or stick with digital books only let me tell you about authorgraph!  Authorgraph offers eBook readers the ability to request author signatures on their eBooks!  You simply put in a request for the book and author of your choice (of what’s available) and send a note of what you’d like your dedication to read.  You will get back a PDF copy of the title page that you can add to your eReader. Voila! You have signed eBooks!  I know that I’ll be spending my weekend trying to get caught up with all my requests.  It’s a great FREE service that really allows just one more way to interact with your favorite authors.

Check it out here

Check This Out – Kickstarter Funds Free Book

Say you have a great idea, but no way to finance it.  In this tough economic climate, this can often be the reality.  Now, with the advent of Kickstarter, many people have turned great ideas or fledgling businesses into great and prosperous projects with the help of crowdsourced funds.  Melanie Steele was one such person, with a great (and true) story about her struggles in America as a newlywed from Canada in 13 Years in America.  Steele came to America in 1998, newly married and unabashedly optimistic.  Her work details her 13 year struggle with the American dream, and how she’s chased it through high and low points.

Wanting to share her work for free, Steele immediately posted her project on Kickstarter after finishing the book.  She quickly raised the funds necessary (plus some more!) to translate her Microsoft Word document into several different forms that could be easily downloaded and shared for free.  Steele used the excess funds raised to help pay for her website, and provided small incentive rewards for those who donated.  In all, it’s a great representation of what Kickstarter is and how it can be used to promote innovative and exciting projects.

To visit Steele’s site and read her book for free, click here.

Check This Out – Cagney Cried

As you all know, I am a HUGE film fan.  I eat, sleep, and breathe films.  I love all genres, most especially indie’s as they are some of the best films out there.  Unfortunately as they typically have limited budgets not everyone ends up hearing about them, leaving some great works unseen.  My reason for bringing all this up is because I have a great little film that I want to get on your radar, Cagney Cried.

It is an independent film about a New York City schlub that moves to L.A to pursue his dream of becoming an actor but winds up in jail.  It’s written by and stars Steven Randazzo.  What makes this project so intriguing to me, and probably other film fans, is the fact that it’s about an actor who wants to get a role playing a modern-day James Cagney.  For those unfamiliar with Cagney, he is one of America’s all time most influential actors.  One of Cagney’s most iconic films, The Public Enemy, is considered one of the most significant gangster movies of the black and white film era.  In essence he was the all-time gangster badass of black and white films, and was kind of a big deal.  Even though the core issues of the film are dealing with people wanting to become stars and following their dreams, it is also a great homage to Cagney.   Anyway enough of my blabbing, go check out the link below to see the Kickstarter page for this film, you won’t be disappointed!

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/57431933/cagney-cried?ref=live

Check This Out – A Novel Challenge

With 2012 rapidly approaching I’ve started doing some research on what reading challenges I should partake in for the new year.  Thanks to some wonderful friends of mine on Twitter they directed me to a blog called A Novel Challenge.  The blog compiles all the reading challenges from across the web in one location, making my life completely simple.

Within the next few weeks you’ll start seeing me publish sign-up posts for the reading challenges I’ll participate in.  I hope that some of them will be of interest to you, and that you’ll be inspired to start/participate in them as well.

As always I’ll be doing my 100 books for the year and encourage any who would like to join me to definitely do so.  In the meantime hit up A Novel Challenge and sign up for some good reads!!

Check This Out – The Austen Games

For those of you who have been following the blog, you know that a few months ago I was a writer for an online choose-your-own-adventure game called The Potter GamesAdam Spunberg (creator of The Potter Games) has recruited me (I’m keeping my role a secret!) to help out with his newest bright idea, The Austen Games.  I’ll let you creative people speculate about the games and who is going to be a part of them.  The games will be released just in time to celebrate Jane’s 236th birthday on December 16th.  Until then, watch the preview below!

Check This Out – The Potter Games

Fans of The Hunger Games and Harry Potter listen up! If you have not yet heard of or played The Potter Games boy are you missing out!!  The Potter Games is an online “chose your own adventure” game that takes the characters from Harry Potter and thrusts them into the world of The Hunger Games.  Each character was written by members of both fandoms, and the authors really outdid themselves in their stories.  I even got to be a part of the creation of Neville!  Not only can you play as each character from the HP books, but new features are constantly being added.  You can be part of Team Neville or Team Luna and rally to rebel against the gamemakers, or you can begin your journey with your fellow Hogwarts students to find all the Horcruxes.  The brain behind the games was none other than friend of the blog, Adam Spunberg!  Fellow blog friend Sam Cushion was also involved in both the music for the game and the design of the website.  Bravo to you both!

Before you head off to go play, make sure you have lots of time to devote to it.  Once you play as one character you won’t be able to stop! Well, off you go, and may the wands be ever in your favor!

Check This Out – The Strand Book Store

Hi everyone and welcome to my first “check this out”!  As this is a book blog, I figured what better to talk about than a semi-local mecca for book enthusiasts in the biggest city in the US.  The Strand Book Store has over 18 miles of New, Used, and Rare books!  It is always packed to the walls with bibliophiles and tourists alike, and carries an amazing selection of books and cool “The Strand” memorabilia.  Check out their events page for upcoming events at the store such as signings and author presentations.  Most of all, stop by and check it out in person.  It’s an experience you won’t soon forget!

Check This Out – The Hunger Games Fireside Chat

Tonight is the seventeenth episode of The Hunger Games Fireside chat, hosted over on the Picktainment website by friends of the blog Adam S and Savanna!  Todd and I were both asked to join in on this special edition where they’ll be discussing the differences and similarities between The Hunger Games and Battle Royale.  For those of you unfamiliar with Battle Royale it’s a similar book/movie in which teenagers are forced to battle to the death in an arena.

For the full list of tonight’s participants and a more specific breakdown of discussion points, check out the promo here.  You can follow along the discussion on Twitter as well.  Participants and their twitter names are below:

Adam Spunberg (Host): @AdamSpunberg
Savanna New (Co-Host/Producer): @MlleNouveau
Down with the Capitol: @HungerGamesDWTC
The Hob: @TheHobOrg
Crystal: @pikko/@mockingjaynet/@FictionalFood
Natalie: @nataliezutter/@crushabledotcom
Kim and Todd: @lifeand100books and @ttotheodd
Rebekah: @Rebekahdg
Jon Rosenthal: @tgtsnbn
Ariel: @Madam_Pince

Todd and I are super pumped to be joining all of these great participants tonight.  We hope you listen in!

Happy listening!

Check This Out – Operation Paperback

My aunt Barbara recently told me about an amazing organization that she had recently heard about on TV.  After doing a little research, I knew it was something that I wanted to share with you guys.

Operation Paperback was started in 1999 as a way to send books to our soldiers stationed overseas.  Originally you could only send books to two countries: Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.  Today you can send books all over the US and to 36 countries overseas.

Not only can you send books to soldiers and military hospitals through this non-profit, but you can help service members achieve professional goals by sending certain books, support military chaplains, help ground troops with books that help them with the locals, or supply children’s books for those soldiers who read to their children over the computer.

For those that are interested there are many ways to help.  For starters, check out Operation Paperback’s website here.  What’s amazing about this organization is it allows you to ship books directly to the troops yourself.  The process allows you to write a note to the service person that you’re helping, making the donation more personal.

I do hope that you’ll check out this organization and send some books to very worthy candidates.  If you chose to donate books please come back and tell us about your experience!

(For those with Twitter accounts, you can follow Operation Paperback here)

Check This Out – Amelie Live Tweet Watch

I wanted to share with you guys an awesome event that my friend Adam Spunberg and I will be hosting tomorrow night.  We will be doing a twitter viewing of the film Amelie around 11:45pm EST tomorrow, May 13, 2011.

For those unfamiliar with Amelie, read on!  It’s a 2001 French film following Amelie, a young twenty-something waitress who tries to do good for the people around her.  The film is not only visually stunning, but the soundtrack of the film is exquisite as well. 

See below for a music preview: 

I honestly cannot begin to tell you how much I love this film.  It has remained high on my list of favorite foreign films and my favorite films of all time.  The acting is outstanding, Audrey Tautou is a wonderful actress fitting the role of Amelie perfectly.  The story is amazing: imagine a world where people did random acts of kindness all the time!  How wonderful is it!?!

For those of you wishing to join us in the live tweet please leave a comment below with your twitter name and also the country/state you live in.  (We want to see how far-reaching our Amelie viewing gets!)  I’m going to create a follow list on my twitter account (@lifeand100books) and put everyone participating on the list.  That way we can see each other’s film thoughts.  We will also be using the hashtag #AmelieSociety. 

Adam and I are SUPER pumped to share this film with you all!  Until tomorrow, happy viewing!!