Daily Deals: Postcards From Nam and The Enchanted Kingdom: Elisa’s Adventure

Postcards From NamToday Amazon offers Postcards From Nam by Uyen Nicole Duong just for $0.99. This book is Award-Winning Finalist in the Fiction: Multicultural category of the 2012 International Book Awards.

Mimi (the protagonist of Mimi and Her Mirror) is a successful young Vietnamese immigrant practicing law in Washington, D.C. when the postcards begin to arrive. Postmarked from Thailand, each hand-drawn card is beautifully rendered and signed simply “Nam.” Mimi doesn’t recognize the name, but Nam obviously knows her well, spurring her to launch what will become a decade-long quest to find him. As her search progresses, long-repressed memories begin to bubble to the surface: her childhood in 1970s Vietnam in a small alley in pre-Communist Saigon. Back then, who was her best friend as well as her brother’s playmate, and what did art have anything to do with the alleys of her childhood? What was the dream of these children then? What happened when these children were separated by the end of the Vietnam war, their lives diverged onto different paths: one to freedom and opportunity, the other to tragedy and pain? Now Mimi must uncover the mystery of the postcards, including what might have happened to the people who where less fortunate: those who escaped the ravaged homeland by boat after the fall of Saigon. When the mystery is solved, Mimi has to make a resolution: what can possibly reunite the children from the alley of her childhood even when the alley exists no more?

About the Author

Uyen Nicole Duong earned a B.S. in journalism/communication from Southern Illinois University, a J.D. from the University of Houston, and an LLM from Harvard Law School. She worked for ten years as a law professor in Colorado before moving to Houston, Texas, where she lives today. Postcards from Nam is the third installment of a three-book series on the end of the Vietnam War and the settlement experience of Vietnamese Americans in the United States. The first two books are Mimi and Her Mirror and Daughters of the River Huong, the latter of which has been used in Vietnamese studies courses at Yale University and San Jose State. In addition to writing fiction, she pursues L’Art Brut (raw art).

 

The Enchanted Kingdom: Elisa's AdventureAs usual Amazon opens for free download an application for Kindle Fire. Today it is The Enchanted Kingdom: Elisa’s Adventure.

In the kingdom of Arroyo, the King is looking for someone to take the throne when he is gone. The person who finds the Royal Ruby will inherit the kingdom. Rian, the royal scholar, believes he has found the heir to the kingdom in a peasant girl named Elisa.

The Enchanted Kingdom: Elisa’s Adventure is a colorful fairytale world where huge dragons, wise magicians, kind monsters, and peculiar plants live. Help the young heiress Elisa ascend to the throne and learn how to rule her country. The road to the royal throne is full of fascinating quests.

This adventure app cleverly combines match-3 with find the hidden objects games. Unravel the mysteries and riddles that encompass more than 50 captivating levels, and search colorful locations for hidden objects. The game’s high-quality, 3D-style graphics in this fairytale adventure will delight both young and old.

Help Elisa save her kingdom!

 

Hay Festival Highlights Anti-Kindle Sentiment

The Hay Festival of Literature & Arts, taking place now through June 10th in Wales, has been one of the largest growing literary gatherings since its inception in 1988.  From a humble gathering of around 400 bibliophiles, it has become a staple for the community that expects to draw in around a quarter of a million guests over its ten day run this year.  The Festival boasts panels with famous authors, debates about literature and environmental sustainability, and a number of other topics and activities.  A much-cited quote taken from Bill Clinton in 2001 declares it “The Woodstock of the mind”.  It is unfortunate, knowing about all this, to hear the recent press around participants’ demands to completely ban the Kindle from the event for the duration.

It would be hard to call this a surprise considering the nature of the festival.  Whatever else it has become, the festival was begun as a way to draw attention to the town of Hay-on-Wye and its position as a central location for independent bookshops.   In many ways this has been amazingly successful.  As things expanded, and they certainly have by this point with there being over a dozen different official “Hay Festival” events happening around the world every year, it just would have been nice for a bit of a wider view to take hold.

I’m not against the idea of the festival.  If anything, however, the Kindle belongs right in there with everything else.  Consider their own description of the festival itself:

“Hay celebrates great writing from poets and scientists, lyricists and comedians, novelists and environmentalists, and the power of great ideas to transform our way of thinking. We believe the exchange of views and meeting of minds that our festivals create inspire revelations personal, political and educational.”

This event is meant to be a gathering in celebration of great writers and thinkers, not favorite formats and business interests.

The Kindle protesters, led by local bookshop owner Derek Addyman, blame the activities of Amazon for the recent closings of five of the area’s thirty or so secondhand book stored this year.  Add to this the fact that the town’s only seller of new books went out of business as well and you can understand some of the pressure that the group must be under.

It’s interesting to see exactly how hostile the statements are getting, though.  Addyman has been quoted as saying “Booksellers here definitely want them banned. You see people walking around with Kindles and they are like robots in another world…Kindles are just a phase and they won’t last. They are our enemy.”  It isn’t a great way to garner sympathy from potential customers, given the increasing support eReaders have been enjoying every year.

If the Hay Festival really is a celebration of the written word and great writers, then the Kindle is going to be especially important in making those things more accessible to the readers of the world.  If this is still simply a propaganda-driven event meant to promote Hay-on-Wye bookshops then they need to make that more clear.  To the best of my knowledge there has been no actual ban, nor was there ever really going to be one, but it is rather sad that this sort of thing is allowed to hijack what is otherwise an interesting and potentially productive event.