Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Join Our Multiple Sclerosis Novel Challenge Team!!

As you would be aware from my earlier post, I have signed up to raise money in the Multiple Sclerosis Novel Challenge. Originally I nominated to raise $500, but I've had such a great response and have already raised $385 so I've just raised my target to $750. I've also started up a team for the friends, family and colleagues of Ambire Secondhand Books. The beauty of a team is that we can work together to raise the money and share our success stories. So far, our team has three participants and we are looking for more people to join.

You can view our team page and our current list of team members by clicking on the following link -
http://register.thenovelchallenge.org.au/The-Novel-Challenge/Feed+Your+Reading+Habit/e. Click on this link to join us and you will be asked to register as part of our team. It's easy and will only take a few minutes of your time. Multiple sclerosis is a disease of the central nervous system affecting more young adult Australians than any other neurological condition. There is no known cause or cure.

If you have any questions don't hesitate to contact me directly at ambire@optusnet.com.au.

Happy reading!!

Friday, 25 June 2010

The MS-Readathon Grows Up - Help Us Raise $500 for Multiple Sclerosis

If you grew up in Australia then you'll remember the MS-Readathon in school. It's a classic fund-raising event that linked children's reading with furthering research into Multiple Sclerosis and providing assistance to sufferers. As a kid, I took part in the MS-Readathon nearly every year and always got a buzz out of how many books I could finish in 30 days. The MS-Readathon is still around, but now there's an adult version called the MS Novel Challenge. And I've just signed up!! My goal is to raise $500 within 30 days for the cause. I've opened my account with a donation and hope that you can help me reach my target. The beauty of the challenge is that it's all online. You can make a donation securely online, get a receipt and watch my progress through my very own MS Novel Challenge page - http://register.thenovelchallenge.org.au/The-Novel-Challenge/AmbireBooks. Any donations go directly to the charity so it's all completely above board. You might even want to sign up for the challenge yourself, and if you do we'd love to hear about your progress and throw a dollar or two your way - just leave a link to your page in the comments!!

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

New Giveaway - The Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins)

With the third and final instalment of Suzanne Collins bestselling Hunger Games series titled 'Mockinjay' due out on 25th August 2010, I thought I'd take you back to where it all began. Here's your chance to win a brand new copy of the first book in the series simply titled 'The Hunger Games'. This thrilling series aimed at young adults takes the reader into the very near future and a reality TV show called the Hunger Games where teenagers must fight against each other for their own survival. Kill or be killed is the motto!!

To win a brand new copy of the first book in the series just leave a comment telling us what your favourite young adult action/adventure series is. Mine is John Marsden's Tomorrow When the War Began series and I'm really looking forward to the blockbuster movie interpretation due out soon. Entries are open until 5pm EST on Friday 2nd July. The competition is open to residents of Australia, New Zealand, Canada, USA and the UK. The winner of the competition will be announced on Tuesday 6th July. Good luck to everyone!!

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

The Share-A-Book Program - Aust. Literacy & Numeracy Foundation

I've been looking ferociously on the internet for places I can donate some of our excess stock to and it's actually been harder than I thought. Most of the organisations are based overseas, so postage is a nightmare, and they often only take brand new books. The predominant ones within Australia are your major op-shops like the Salvos or St Vinnies. Whilst these charities are great, I was hoping to donate to an organisation that was focusing on literacy and getting books to those most in need.

After some searching I stumbled upon The Australian Literacy and Numeracy Foundation website (http://www.alnf.org/programs/share-a-book.php) and a program they have titled Share-A-Book. The program is focused on providing new and quality second hand books and magazines to indigenous, refugee and marginalised communities and is exactly what I was looking for. Their focus is on children and teens so books must be age appropriate and as such I have parceled up a box of pre-loved young adult titles for donation. They are in the mail this afternoon and it feels great to give!!

For more information on the Share-A-Book program just visit this website link - http://www.alnf.org/programs/share-a-book.php. Or if you want to donate books you can mail them to: Share-A-Book, 208 New South Head Road, Edgecliff NSW 2027. Reading should be accessible to everyone so let's share the love of books.

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Reading Experiment 1 - Georgette Heyer - The Verdict

The verdict is in!! I can now officially say that I have read my first Georgette Heyer novel. I can also officially announce that unless held at gun point this will be the last Georgette Heyer novel I will ever read. The three words that immediately come to mind are 'Mills and Boon'. Sure, Venetia is set in the English regency period, but other than that it reads like a Harlequin romance. Of course, in saying this I am admiting to having read such a book, but I was 15 at the time and I haven't picked one up since.

If I had to put my finger on some of the main problems I had with the book I'd have to start with the shallowness of the characters. I really struggled with their one dimensionality. The book also rests heavily on the witty repartee between Venetia and Dameral, but their constant verbal to-ing and fro-ing increasingly annoyed me. The death knell was in the romance itself. I don't know if I missed something, but I honestly didn't believe the two main characters were in love. It was all too frivolous. This may be palatable to a large portion of the global population and I give them leave to enjoy Heyer's novels, each to their own and all that, but they don't do anything for me.

Whilst this hasn't been a particularly positive reading experiment, I am determined to continue, so any suggestions about where I might test the waters next would be appreciated.

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Book Giveaway - Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

I just received a brand new copy of the first book in the Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead and have decided to use it as the first ever book giveaway on this blog. The truth is that I am all "vampired" out and don't have any desire to read another slightly tweaked version of an age old story. I'm sure there's someone out there still riding high on the twilight phenomenom who would appreciate it, so here's how you can enter. We had Harry Potter and wizards, now we've got Twilight and vampires. We want to know what you think the next craze will be? Just leave us a comment and you'll be entered into our random draw. The giveaway is open to any persons residing in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the USA or the UK. You have until Friday 11th June to get your entry in and the winner will be notified on Monday 14th June. Good luck!!

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Reading Experiment 1 - Georgette Heyer

As a the owner/operator of a second hand bookstore there is a general assumption that I have read everything in stock. How anyone could think that I have read over 30,000 books is beyond me, but it seems to be the case. Though I read widely and often, there are many popular authors I've never gotten around to reading. However, in the interests of being able to recommend books to my clientele with authority, I have decided to read at least 1 book every month that is outside my normal range. Whether I like the book or not, at least I will have an opinion!

So this month I have decided on Georgette Heyer, the alleged queen of Regency Romance. Romance in general is a no-go zone for me, but her books sell well in my store and there are millions of hard-core Heyer fans out there (particularly online) who would have me believe that she is a true genius. After a little bit of googling to determine which book to start with, I trudged down to my bookshed and pulled Venetia off the shelves. I am now over a third of the way through the book and ..........well I've decided to keep you in suspense. Stay tuned for the review!!