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Entries in Books (4)

Wednesday
Feb162011

Experimental Narratives – House of Leaves

I gave one of my friends a copy of Jonathan Safran Froer’s new book Tree of Codes, which was created by die-cutting one of Froer’s favorite books The Street of Crocodiles into an entirely new book. He said that if I was interested in avant-garde literature I might like Mark Danielewski’s House of Leaves. He said it was difficult to explain it but that he’d bring in a copy for me to peruse through.

Yesterday, I got to see it and it is bizarre and in the best way a book can be. When looking through it I felt like I was going through an unorganized folio of collected material and it was my job to decode the information and make sense of the whole thing. I felt like it was my duty to find the through line, the plot, the narrative, the meaning, etc. It was a unique and wonderful experience. And this is prior to reading a single page of text, for all I know, the story could be crap, but if this mood of investigation and discovery is what Danielewski is after, he’s already succeeding before page one, which says a lot. I’m looking forward to challenge of figuring this the book out and hopefully making my way to the end.

If you're interested in experimental literature I recommend checking this book out for at least a quick flip through its 700+ pages.

Take Care.

Tuesday
Feb012011

My Reading Year 2010

Yesterday, I tallied up all the books I read in 2010 and came up with 25. For a kid who had only read 6 or 7 books (start to finish) by the age of 17, this was pleasant surprise to learn about myself. Here’s a list of what I read this past year:

1. The Iliad – Homer

2. Junky – William S. Burroughs

3. Notes from the Underground – Fyodor Dostoyevsky

4. The Iron Whim: A Fragmented History of Typewriting – Darren Wershler-Henry

5. Paradise Lost – John Milton

6. The Rape of the Lock – Alexander Pope

7. The Scarlet Letter – Nathaniel Hawthorne

8. King Lear – William Shakespeare

9. Richard II – William Shakespeare

10. Design As Art – Bruno Munari

11. Dubliners – James Joyce

12. The Truth About An Author – Arnold Bennett

13. Bartleby the Scrivener – Herman Melville

14. Outliers – Malcolm Gladwell

15. The Outfit – Darwyn Cooke and Donald E. Westlake

16. The Now Habit – Neil Fiore

17. Poetics – Aristotle

 

18. Lyrical Ballads – William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge

 

19. Walden – Henry David Thoreau

20. Beowulf – Anonymous with Seamus Heaney

 

21. Gulliver’s Travels – Jonathan Swift

 

22. Inferno – Dante

 

23. Everyman – Anonymous

 

24. Three Theban Plays – Sophocles

 

25. Tree of Codes – Jonathan Safran Froer

Tuesday
Jul272010

I'm Officially A Pirated Commodity!

For some authors, seeing their name in print is when they know they’ve made it. For actors, it’s seeing their name in lights on Broadway. For the band “Nirvana”, it was an accolade to have your song parodied by “Weird Al”. And for me, it’s having my book pirated in the torrent and rapidshare communities.

All the achievements previously mentioned have a common thread for the artist: People like your stuff enough advertise it. And it means something particularly special in my mind, as an artist you’ve made something worth sharing. And this was why I didn’t distribute the book through torrent and pirate sites, because I knew that if the book was worth its salt it would end up there eventually. It was released November 2, 2009 for download, and now almost three months shy of its release anniversary, Learn To Speed Read, has been made available to the pirate communities. My book is now worth being stolen (not really since it’s free to download and share but some users might not know that). And it feels great.

I’d like to send out a big “THANK YOU” to all the pirates and their communities for supporting and distributing my book.

On another note, more updates to follow this week. I’m back from a long trip and have stock piled a lot of material to post. So stay tuned, because the best is yet to come.

 

Sincerely,

Kris Madden

 

PS: If you want to download the book from one of the sites I've come upon. Here are some links:

http://avaxhome.ws/ebooks/eLearning_book/LearnToSpeedReadTheOfficialKrisMaddenWorkbook.html

http://www.ebook3000.com/Learn-To-Speed-Read--The-Official-Kris-Madden-Workbook_81597.html

http://www.downarchive.com/ebooks/216698-learn-to-speed-read-the-official-kris-madden.html

http://www.ebookee.com/Learn-To-Speed-Read-The-Official-Kris-Madden-Workbook_667996.html

http://www.sosotech.com/html-study/learn-to-speed-read-the-official-kris-madden-workbook.html

http://www.directdownloads.ws/downloads/305872-learn-to-speed-read-the-official-kris-madden-workbook.html

Thursday
Mar182010

Find Free Books With Google

My previous post, “Why buy the milk, when you can get the milk for free?” looked at sites that are giving away content for free. This post looks at how to find books for free with Google using a simple search query.

Here it is:

intext:”[Title of Work]”+”[Author]” filetype:pdf

Like this:

I don’t know how long the link will be available after this is posted, but my guess is that plenty more will pop up, since that’s the nature of the internet-beast.

And when you need a textbook for a graduate class:

A little more digging, but anyone can find a pdf of the book in its entirety.

Why am I writing this?

To let modern day writers know that their work is being distributed around the internet in a million different ways, both known and unknown. I found myself in The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan Student Handbook, for the 09-10 school year. As a writer, I don't want to spend my days hunting down every last unpaid copy of my book, I'd rather be writing and reading, which is my book can be downloaded, shared, "pirated", transfered, read, etc. for free. But if you want something you can hold your hands, you got to buy a copy, which I think is pretty fair, and so do other popular authors, like Cory Doctorow and Seth Godin.

But everyone's different, so if you're a writer looking to find these circulating free copies of your work, this is one way to locate some of them.

And if you're out to find free stuff on the internet... well, you probably already know about this trick.

 

DISCLAIMER:

I do not endorse illegal activity. This post is meant for informational and educational purposes only to be used at your own discretion.