April 23 is World Book Day. Go celebrate with Bookxcess in Amcorp Mall. I’ve bought some books from there before. They’re really cheap : brand new paperbacks are going for RM19.90! Happy reading.
Popular has nominated twenty best selling local books to vie for the Star/Popular Readers’ Choice Awards. Readers get to choose their favourite titles and if their ranking matches the final tally, they get to win a prize too.
Get your voting form from The Star – Tuesday and Sunday editions.
Last Sunday, Starmag ran a guide to the fiction titles. I hope the non-fiction list will be out this Sunday. Watch out for it.
I’m glad that in the non-fiction category, Adibah Amin’s As I Was Passing and Yvonne Lee’s The Sky is Crazy made it to the list too with Honk! If You’re Malaysian. In a sense, Adibah is my mentor, in a passive way. I used to read her Sri Delima’s column back in the seventies. Yvonne is my mentee. I’ve watched her break into print and author a best-selling book. She has taught me quite a few things too, especially in matters pertaining to book PR.
I think it’s great that mentor-me-mentee are all in the fray.
I have a tattered Oxford dictionary, a Webster which I don’t like to use, two thick tomes of World Book dictionary and two Roget’s thesaurus. Nowadays I hardly refer to these writing tools. I find the online dictionary and thesaurus so much more easy to use. All I have to do is to key in the word and the explanation pops up in a jiffy. No more leafing through pages and squinting at small print.
Dictionary.com and Thesaurus.com are very useful but if I’m looking for some grammar references in addition to word definition, Encarta is where I go to. For example, this morning I was searching the word ‘series’ as I wasn’t sure what the singular form of the word is. I found this useful explanation on the Word Usage box at the bottom of the page.
Series can be a singular or a plural noun, depending on its meaning. When it is used to refer to a single set of things, it takes a singular verb even if it is followed by the preposition of and a plural noun: A series of medical tests is planned for next week. When series refers to two or more sets of things, it takes a plural verb: Three series of medical tests are planned for next week.