Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Bookspotting and Surprises

I just got back to Hong Kong after spending the Chinese New Year holiday in Arizona with my family. I didn't mention on the blog that I'd be going out of town because my visit was a complete surprise! Because I have such a big family (my parents + 8 siblings, 7 of whom live in AZ), I got to surprise people multiple times over two days.

I did some bookspotting along the way. While waiting for my first flight in HK, I spotted a man reading a book by Harlan Coben. On the plane, a pair of cherubic siblings were bashing each other with Diary of a Wimpy Kid books. A woman sitting near me during my layover in Narita/Tokyo was reading Life of Pi. My second layover was in Dallas, where I had to run all the way through the airport to get to my plane on time. I spotted one person reading on an iPad at the gate.

I took my brother and sister to the climbing wall at our local rec center, where I spotted a woman reading a Nora Roberts book. One of my sisters was reading Willa Cather's My Antonia for school and one of my brothers was just about to start Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics. I tore through the paper-book versions of Wonder by R.J. Palacio and Torn by Justin Lee while I was at home, and I'm nearly finished with Barbara Kingsolver's The Poisonwood Bible on my Kindle.

My journey back to Hong Kong also took three flights, but I didn't spot as many readers. A woman in the Phoenix airport was carrying a novel by Sharon Kay Penman. There were two people reading Japanese paperbacks in Narita, but no English titles that I could see. I went back to work this morning, and spotted a Kindle and a woman reading a Chinese paperback on the way.

What are people reading in your town this week? Did you do anything exciting for Chinese New Year?

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Expat Women in Asia Anthology: DEADLINE EXTENDED

Happy New Year! I wanted to let everyone know that the deadline for submissions to the Expat Women in Asia anthology has been extended to the 31st of March. We've received a lot of great submissions so far, but with so many people traveling during the Lunar New Year we'd like to give everyone a little more time to send in their work. Here are the details:

Expat Women in Asia: Call for Submissions

Editor Shannon Young is seeking contributions from expatriate women in East Asia for a new anthology from Signal 8 Press in Hong Kong. This collection will feature the writing of women who are currently expatriates or who previously lived in an East Asian country. For the purposes of this anthology, we construe East Asia to include Korea, China, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, and the ASEAN countries. All submissions should be creative non-fiction and/or travel memoir pieces that speak to the expat experience in modern East Asia. Potential topics include travel, work, relationships, gender roles, safety, family, and repatriation. We are looking for stories with a strong and personal narrative arc, not just travel guides or descriptions of the places you’ve lived. We hope to make this anthology as inclusive as possible, as well, and we welcome submissions from women from different parts of the world.

Contributions should be between approximately 2000 and 5000 words in length. Each writer will receive two copies of the completed anthology and a percentage of the royalties to be determined by the final number of contributors. Please send all submissions, with a brief paragraph about the author, to shannon [at] typhoon-media [dot] com. Submissions should be in Microsoft Word, .doc or .docx format, and in a standard font. The deadline for submissions is 31 March 2013. This title will be released in paperback and e-book formats in the spring of 2014.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Bookspotting and Shipspotting

MV Explorer at Ocean Terminal
The bookspotting was a bit sparse this week as I spent most of my commute with my nose buried in A Memory of Light, the long-awaited final installment in the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson. I've been reading the series since I was 13, and the ending was quite moving. If you spotted me surreptitiously crying into a 909-page hardback book on the train this week, that's what was going on. I did spot a woman carrying an enormous law textbook through Central Station, and I saw a child on the train reading an English middle-grade book. There was also a man walking toward the ferry piers with an English book that had a bright yellow cover.

After work this afternoon I went down to TST to take a peek at the MV Explorer, the cruise vessel that hosts Semester at Sea and is currently carrying a group of entrepreneurs around the world. It is my newest ambition (along with one day being cool enough to speak at a TED event) to go on an Enrichment Voyage like Doug Mack, who was recently the travel-writer-in-residence aboard the Explorer

As some of you know, I am currently writing a book set on a post-apocalyptic cruise ship, so I've been taking every opportunity to go down to Ocean Terminal and spy on the big ships in the name of research (and inspiration). The MV Explorer's Open Ship event today was during my working hours, so I had to make do with the views of the ship from the harbor, terminal, and Star Ferry. I'm planning to do more thorough research aboard the Star Pisces, which does daily overnight cruises from Hong Kong.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Signal 8 Press $1.99 Sale

Just wanted to let you all know about a special $1.99 e-book sale that Signal 8 Press is holding this month. Full disclosure: I do editing work for Signal 8 Press, and it is the publisher of the Expat Women in East Asia anthology for which I have been gathering submissions over the last few months. Signal 8 Press is based in Hong Kong and specializes in books with some connection to the Asia-Pacific region, so I thought this would be relevant to the readers of A Kindle in Hong Kong.

Of these titles, I had some hand in proofreading or otherwise helping with River Dragon Sky, Watering Heaven, and Handover. I read Dispatches from the Peninsula before my affiliation with Signal 8 began, and you can find my review here. I've also written reviews of two novels by Hong Kong writer Xu Xi, who is the author of Access.

The Signal 8 book I am most excited about is The Gunners of Shenyang, a memoir which officially comes out in May. I had greater editorial input in this book, and I can promise you it's worth reading. It's like a Chinese version of the movie Three Idiots set at a university during Mao's Great Leap Forward. It's college-boy toilet humor meets desperate political resistance during some of China's darkest days.
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