"In the Nick of Time" - Free 300+ Page Holiday Sampler of Bestselling Books!

Books make terrific holiday gifts, but finding those perfect books for friends and family is always a challenge. If only we could flip through those books’ pages on our schedule. If only if the bookstore could come to us.
That’s the idea behind this In the Nick of Time! holiday sampler PDF. Inside are excerpts from a dozen new novels and nonfiction books by New York Times bestselling authors, successful entrepreneurs, and wickedly talented storytellers, including:
Laurell K. Hamilton -- Divine Misdemeanors
Seth Godin -- Tribes and an exclusive excerpt of Linchpin, out next year
Joseph Finder -- Vanished
Cory Doctorow -- Makers
Chris Brogan & Julien Smith -- Trust Agents
Robert J. Sawyer -- Wake
Mitch Joel - Six Pixels of Separation
Cherie Priest -- Boneshaker
Tara Hunt -- The Whuffie Factor
Scott Sigler -- The Rookie
Seth Harwood -- Jack Wakes Up
J.C. Hutchins -- 7th Son: Descent
If you spot a great gift opportunity, you can order from online retailers directly from the PDF. You can also print the order form at the end of the document, and present it to your local bookseller. Helpful staff will find what you’re looking for.
From high adventure to savvy business advice, you’ll find something special for the special someones on your holiday list -- including you. You're also welcome to share this free sampler with friends and family. Refer them to this web page to download In the Nick of Time! -- http://JCHutchins.net/hoy .

I'm delighted by this project, which I coordinated -- and am honored to have worked with the amazing authors who participated...

Books make terrific holiday gifts, but finding perfect books for friends and family can be a time-consuming challenge. If only if the bookstore could come to us.

That’s the idea behind this In the Nick of Time! holiday sampler PDF. Inside are excerpts from a dozen new novels and nonfiction books by these New York Times bestselling authors, successful entrepreneurs, and wickedly talented storytellers:

DOWNLOAD THE IN THE NICK OF TIME! HOLIDAY SAMPLER

Spot a great gift opportunity? Order from online retailers directly from the PDF, or print the order form at the end of the document and present it to your local bookseller. Helpful staff will find what you’re looking for.

From high adventure to savvy business advice, you’ll find something special for the special someones on your holiday list -- including you. You're also welcome to share this free sampler with friends and family.

Click here to download the In The Nick of Time! holiday sampler -- and have the happiest of holidays!

What Matters Now - Free eBook

whatmattersnowcontrib

It's not every day that the world's most popular marketing blogger asks you collaborate on a project designed to get folks thinking about their lives, the world, and positive ways to improve them. So when bestselling writer Seth Godin invited me to participate in What Matters Now, I dove right in.

As Seth wrote in his post announcing What Matters Now, this eBook "encourages people to focus and use their energy to turn the game around," providing big thoughts and small actions to make a difference in the world. More than 70 authors contributed to the project, including big thinkers I've followed and respected for years: furturist Kevin Kelly, publisher Tim O'Reilly, writer and programmer Gina Trapani, artist Hugh Macleod, brilliant writers and entrepreneurs such as Merlin Mann, Derek Sivers, Chris Anderson, Guy Kawasaki, Paco Underhill ... the who's who list goes on and on.

I'm honored to be in such ultra-creative, ultra-talented company. My contribution, titled "Gumption," can be found at the end of the eBook.

Each contribution is well worth your time, and may provide a nugget of resonance -- or encouragement -- for you as we enter the new year. If you find value within its pages, please share What Matters Now with your friends and coworkers.

--J.C.

What I'm reading. (And what are YOU reading?)

I'm never one to turn down a good writing challenge, particularly if it hails from one of my favorite bloggers. Lorelle's blog is inspiring because she offers practical advice about blogging and the online life. She also issues weekly blog challenges. This week's challenge is a must-participate for me: "Blog about what you are reading, what you like to read, and why."

I'm up to my eyeballs in good books these days. I'm coming down from a months-long fiction binge (more on this in a moment), so I'm currently enjoying some excellent non-fiction.

Reading serves two purposes for me: entertainment and creative inspiration. My mind rarely seeks out new ideas for my own novels/short stories when I read fiction; I'm there to escape. But when I'm questing for concepts to explore creatively -- either in my fiction or my in "zero budget" marketing adventures -- I dive into non-fic.

So. That recent fiction binge. What did it entail?

  • Rainbow's End by Vernor Vinge: Vinge is my favorite SF author; his far-future A Deepness In the Sky is so damned good, I wish I could read it for the first time all over again. Rainbow's End is a near-future story, and its world is meticulously realized. Sadly, I wasn't invested in the characters (and there wasn't enough conflict for my tastes), and I dropped it halfway through.
  • NEXT by Michael Crichton: A book that had a lot of potential, but felt more like a "101" on the genetics industry than a true narrative. Again, the characters and conflict weren't compelling enough for me to recommend it. Sloppy.
  • Planetary and The Authority by Warren Ellis: Killer epic SF thrillers by the wickedly subversive Warren Ellis. Yeah, they're comic books ... and they've got better pacing and character depth than most traditional novels these days. Highly recommended.
  • Garden of Beasts by Jeffrey Deaver: I'm an unapologetic Deaver geek; no one can bonk you on the head harder with an unexpected plot twist than this guy. Garden of Beasts is a fascinating look at Nazi Germany, just before World War II. Deaver deftly educates readers on the history and political climate of the era, and throws in an excellent assassination plot, to boot. Recommended, as are his Lincoln Rhyme thriller series.

But my belly's full of fiction for the moment (aside from some podcast novels, which are serialized and feel more like "shows" than "novels" to me), so I'm currently immersed in non-fic. It's all tickling my creative side something fierce.

  • Merchant of Death by Douglas Farah and Stephen Braun: Just finished this remarkable true story about Victor Bout, an infamous and reviled Russian black-market arms dealer. In addition to directly arming many of the conflicts in Africa for the past 18 years, he's also put guns (and rockets, and helicopters and frickin' jets) in the hands of Columbian drug lords, the Taliban and other slimebags. The most terrifying part: He's still doing it. Excellent read.
  • Join the Conversation by Joseph Jaffe: Terrific read for mainstream noobs (or know-it-alls) who don't know it all about social media, the speed of communication, and the connectedness of the online world. Jaffe's prose is punchy and mischievously irreverent, and the perspective he provides is an excellent resource for folks interested in diving into the soc.media space.
  • Meatball Sundae by Seth Godin: Another excellent marketing-related read for folks curious about the social media explosion. Godin speaks volumes with few words (a rare writing trait indeed), and offers intriguing insights for marketing folk who aren't grokking the conversations -- and opportunities -- found in the soc.media space. Currently reading.
  • Letting Go of the Words by Janice (Ginny) Redish: This isn't just a great resource for bloggers, podcasters and anyone who wants to effectively communicate on the Web -- it's a fun, spunky read. Redish provides great writing advice (and context for that advice) in a style that keeps my peepers moving. The very execution of the book proves that she practices what she preaches. Currently reading.

So those are the things on my plate these days. What about you? What are you reading? Talk to me in the comments! Share your recommendations with fellow JCH.net readers!

--J.C.