If you had more time, what would you do? Read more books!

If you had more time, what would you do? I was asked this question (or at least something like that) during my IELTS speaking part, and what I should’ve answered (totally a suck up) was: Read more books!

But that’s actually what I did (I mean, during the times that I wasn’t playing Sims) during my 3 month break from work.

I’m keeping a list of the books I’ve read since then (so this list will constantly be updated).

  1. The Handmaid’s Tale
  2. 50 Shades Book 2
  3. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before
  4. The Selection Book 3
  5. The Baby Deal (Harlequin)
  6. The Heir
  7. The Queen
  8. The Vampire Academy
  9. Frostbite
  10. Shadowkiss
  11. Blood Promise
  12. Spirit Bound
  13. The Last Sacrifice
  14. PS I Still Love You
  15. Fan Girl
  16. Are you there God? It’s me Margaret
  17. The 100
  18. Day 21
  19. Homecoming
  20. I Was Here
  21. Paper Towns
  22. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
  23. The Girl in the Mirror

I usually read using iBooks on my iPhone, but a while ago I tried Play Books on my Sony Xperia Z3, and I found out that if ever there’s a word you didn’t understand, you can just press and hold on the word and a dictionary will appear. I think that can be really good for ESL (English as Second Language) readers.

Screenshot_2015-07-29-19-43-19 (1)

And I also recently discovered that Google Play sells books now (yes, it took me this long to find out). And a lot of authors actually has short stories up on the store for free.

Screenshot_2015-07-29-19-44-27

I think short stories are great for people just starting to read, because they’re short, so it’s less intimidating and you still get a complete story out of it (yah, I don’t think I made much sense).

Also in other book and reading related news, the Page One in Taipei 101 had a clearance sale (clearance = sad, but sale made me slightly happy), and all the books were 90% off, so I bought a bunch of them.

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As in a bunch of them.

So yeah! Here’s to more reading!

My goal to read at least 100 books before the year is over.

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TIBE (Taipei International Book Exhibition)

After that crowded affair at TGS, books are the thing to make me feel better.

My sister and I met up at Eslite in Taipei City Hall and headed to the TWTC (Taipei World Trade Center?), where TIBE was held.

On the way there, we saw cherry blossoms. The sight of cherry blossoms and the warm weather makes me happy :).

TIBE sign. The exhibition spans 3 halls, the first is General Books, the second is Comics, while the third is Children’s Book.

A cute stall decorated like a Taiwanese train station.

A lot of authors and illustrators were there for book signing events.

Rebecca Dautremer

Jimi was there, but we missed him by maybe three hours.

Kawashima Kitori

At the end of the day, a book fair is about buying books. So a picture of our loot:

We got 5 pocket books for only 300 NT, four picture sticker books for only 99 NT, 5 Chinese picture books for only 10 NT each…! Really, just take our money…

I love book fairs.

Cocos2d for iPhone 1 Game Development Cookbook Giveaway

UPDATE: This contest is now closed

Like I mentioned in my previous post, Packt published a new Cocos2d book and they asked me to hold a giveaway contest. I’m holding it both here and in the Cocos2d forums (http://www.cocos2d-iphone.org/forum/topic/28099).

So here it is, rules, rules:

  • I will select a winner using random.org 🙂
  • Contest ends on 12 Noon Pacific Standard Time January 18th.

There, pretty simple right? 🙂

Also ManiacDev is also holding a book giveaway contest, he is giving away Unity3D and iOS books. If you guys are interested you can check out his blog: http://maniacdev.com/2012/01/giveaway-get-a-unity-3d-or-ios-book-there-will-be-6-winners-enter-here/

That’s about it 🙂

New iOS and Android Books from Packt

iPhone JavaScript Cookbook

iPhone JavaScript Cookbook

Written by Arturo Fernandez Montoro

Overview of iPhone JavaScript Cookbook

  • Build web applications for iPhone with a native look feel using only JavaScript, CSS, and XHTML
  • Develop applications faster using frameworks
  • Integrate videos, sound, and images into your iPhone applications
  • Work with data using SQL and AJAX
  • Write code to integrate your own applications with famous websites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr
  • These practical recipes include code and screenshots offering a clear step-by-step guide using different frameworks

Link: http://www.packtpub.com/iphone-javascript-cookbook/book/mid/170811hge054

Cocoa and Objective-C Cookbook

Cocoa and Objective-C Cookbook

Written by Jeff Hawkins

Overview of Cocoa and Objective-C Cookbook

  • Develop Cocoa applications using advanced UI concepts
  • Implement the latest Objective-C features and incorporate them into your applications
  • Debug Cocoa applications using advanced tools and techniques
  • Add advanced animation and multimedia to your Cocoa applications

Link: http://www.packtpub.com/cocoa-and-objective-c-cookbook/book/mid/170811c2v5x9

Core Data iOS Essentials

Core Data iOS Essentials

Written by B.M.Harwani

Overview of Core Data iOS Essentials

  • Covers the essential skills you need for working with Core Data in your applications.
  • Particularly focused on developing fast, light weight data-driven iOS applications.
  • Builds a complete example application. Every technique is shown in context.
  • Completely practical with clear, step-by-step instructions.

Link: http://www.packtpub.com/core-data-ios-essentials/book/mid/170811chs5cu

Flash Development for Android Cookbook

Flash Development for Android Cookbook

Written by Joseph Labrecque

Overview of Flash Development for Android Cookbook

  • The quickest way to solve your problems with building Flash applications for Android
  • Contains a variety of recipes to demonstrate mobile Android concepts and provide a solid foundation for your ideas to grow
  • Learn from a practical set of examples how to take advantage of multitouch, geolocation, the accelerometer, and more
  • Optimize and configure your application for worldwide distribution through the Android Market

Link: http://www.packtpub.com/flash-development-for-android-cookbook/book/mid/170811i8nwzh

Android Application Testing Guide

Android Application Testing Guide

Written by Diego Torres Milano

Overview of Android Application Testing Guide

  • The first and only book that focuses on testing Android applications
  • Step-by-step approach clearly explaining the most efficient testing methodologies
  • Real world examples with practical test cases that you can reuse

Link: http://www.packtpub.com/android-application-testing-guide/book/mid/170811fja1lj

Anyone interested in obtaining a free review copy in order to review the book in preferably under 2 weeks time can contact Packt’s online marketing representative Shaveer at shaveeri@packtpub.com with the subject line “book name- review request”. It can be for more than 1 book as well.

Packt Celebrates its 50th Oracle Book

Throughout July Packt Publishing will be celebrating the release of its 50th Oracle book – cementing its reputation as one of the leading publishers in Oracle books.

To mark this milestone Packt is offering the following discounts:

·         20% off all Oracle print books

·         30% off all Oracle eBooks

Packt first started publishing Oracle books in 2006, and has since published best-sellers such as Getting Started With Oracle SOA Suite 11g R1 – A Hands-On Tutorial, Oracle Coherence 3.5 and Oracle Fusion Middleware Patterns.  And with more than 20 exciting new Oracle titles scheduled for 2011 this current success is only set to increase.

Packt owes much of its success to its print-on-demand mantra which not only allows it to produce books on specialist areas, but enables a quick response to new developments in technology – which was recently demonstrated with Packt publishing the first ever book on GoldenGate, the Oracle GoldenGate 11g Implementer’s guide.

Packt’s entire range of Oracle books is also available via PacktLib, Packt’s Online Library, and as part of Packt’s celebrations it’s offering you the chance to win a year’s subscription to PacktLib worth $220 click here for details: http://www.packtpub.com/article/50th-oracle-book-offer

For further information on this, and other books published by Packt Publishing, please visit www.PacktPub.com

Packt Open Source announce exclusive discount offers on best-selling books

Packt Open Source has this week announced a series of discounts on its selection of best selling Open Source books. Readers will be offered exclusive discounts off the cover price of selected print books and eBooks for a limited period only. 

So far in 2011, Packt Open Source announced in March that its donations to Open Source projects has surpassed the $300,000 mark, while in April insight into various projects was offered during the ‘Believe in Open Source’ campaign and July’s series of discounts continue this trend of Packt showing its commitment to the Open Source community.

The Packt Open Source books included in this exclusive discount offer include well known books such as JBoss AS 5 Performance Tuning, PHP jQuery Cookbook, Drupal 7 Module Development and Blender Lighting and Rendering, amongst others.

“This special discount showcases a host of Packt Open Source topics and allows readers to purchase some of our most well renowned books at an exclusive price” said Packt Open Source Marketing Executive Julian Copes. “

To ensure you do not miss this fantastic offer, visit the special discount page now, where you can view the extensive list of books included in the offer and access an array of related articles that were written by the authors.

The exclusive discounts are available from 4th July 2011. To find out more, please visit the Packt website.

Review: Unity 3D Game Development by Example Beginner’s Guide

Unity 3D Game Development by Example Beginner's Guide

This is an excerpt of my previous blog post.

This book is written by Ryan Henson Creighton aka Cassie the 5 yr old game developer’s dad. This book is about 380 something pages, and it takes you through Unity from the basics (as in what Unity is, what you can and cannot do *hint* MMOs unless you are really popular and has like a hundred friends or something). And then he teaches through examples, hence the title of the book. He also gives readers programming basics. All in all, the author is actually quite a fun read, because of his wit and humor, and it is nothing like my Computer Programming 1 professor, who tends to drone.

Overall, I think this book is easy read, it’s not intimidating in such a way that it bombards you with information, code bits that you can’t even begin to grasp. I think that beginners, even those who have “never coded before” would find this book easy to digest, and might even be able to “build fun games”.

For those who are interested in the book, you can check it here. The book actual offers samples codes and projects that you can download even if you haven’t bought the book, here.