Saturday, January 27, 2007

How to Be Your Own Literary Agent by Richard Curtis

iconiconAs a freelance writer and a novelist hopeful, I am of course interested in the process of getting a book published. And as a compulsive do-it-yourselfer, I want to be able to handle the process myself - or at the very least understand it!
How to Be Your Own Literary Agent is almost a necessity for anyone who wants to publish a book - whether or not you intend to get an agent. The book basically explains an agent's job - everything from how they decide whether to represent a book, to how they negotiate a contract.

For authors who want to get published without using an agent, this book is a basic how-to guide. For authors who do prefer an agent, the book will ensure that you understand the process well enough to keep tabs on your agent - and make sure he or she is truly working in your best interests! Regardless of which camp you fall into, the information contained in this book will enable you to keep from getting screwed, by either the publisher or your own agent.

Definitely a good book for any aspiring author to own!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

Note: The image here links to a cheap paperback copy of Treasure Island.  If you want an ebook version, you can download it for free from Project Gutenberg.

I am currently reading Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island for the first time since probably middle school. I'd forgotten much of the story - most of what I knew about it was from Disney's Treasure Planet (one of my favorite Disney animated movies), as sad as that may seem.

I knew that Treasure Planet, despite being adapted for a futuristic setting, drew a lot of its characters and elements from Stevenson's novel. I hadn't remembered how much of it had come directly from the novel, though. In fact, most of the book is translated into movie form in some shape or form: the sailing ship becomes a space ship, the island becomes a planet, and the marooned sailor Ben Gunn becomes a crazy robot. The names and places stay the same: the Jim Hawkins and his mother, the Benbow, Billy Bones, Long John Silver, the mutiny, etc.

In other words, anyone who loved the action and adventure of Treasure Planet is bound to enjoy Treasure Island. Robert Louis Stevenson knew what he was doing when he crafted boys' adventure novels, that's for sure!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Walden by Henry David Thoreau

Note: The image here links to an inexpensive paperback copy of Walden.  For an ebook copy, go to Project Gutenberg to download the book for free.

The last time I read Walden was about almost five years ago, in an American Literature class in college. I'm reviewing it now for a lit site that I am contributing to, and I decided that I should probably reread it in order to write the best review.

I had forgotten how dry Thoreau's writing could be, and how little he thought of society. He spends a great deal of time criticizing people for placing so much importance on clothes, fancy houses, and many other living expenses that he deems unnecessary. In fact, Walden is entirely based on Thoreau's premise that one doesn't have to have lots of clothes, or a big house, or indeed even spend the majority of his life working. Walden is more than just a book about living closer than nature - it's about a return to a simpler style of living.

Welcome to Livre du Jour!

Livre du Jour, which means Book of the Day, is where I'll be blogging about what I'm currently reading. Posts will include the title and author of what I'm reading, an in-the-moment review, and a quick link to follow if you're interested in reading it for yourself.

I read pretty quickly, typically finishing a book in a couple of days or less, so check back often!