Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Your Guide to Free Ebooks

Pierpont-Morgan Library
The internet is a great resource for readers, and I take advantage of it as often as I can. Copyright Law is a complex animal, but basically, anything published before 1923 is no longer in copyright in America--and many later works never had their copyright renewed. In countries like Canada and Australia, copyright does not extend as far back as it does in America. And whenever works do go out of copyright, there are armies of fans, readers, and academics out there who take the time to scan, edit, and put them up online for our enjoyment, readable on tablets, ereaders, or plain old computer screens. Here are a few of the resources available online for free, public domain ebooks.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Exploring Ideas Through Fiction

A good book is one that makes us think--about ourselves, and about our world. Even in genre works, like sci fi, fantasy, and horror, the author still explores ideas about what it means to be human: love, hatred, trust, belief, war, disease--plus uncountable others. Even if an author doesn't intend to send a message in their work, the way that they present their characters and their setting will include certain assumptions and judgments about life.

There is no way to escape these themes, any more than writers can escape characters, plots, or words, so it is important for us to consider how we want to use them--and how they are used by authors we read. There are a number of ways to present and explore these themes in books, some more effective than others. So, in order from least to best, here are the different methods authors use to present ideas in their works: