Archive for May 31, 2008

Aboitiz 2Go Updated Shipping Rates

Effective 1 June 2008, new shipping rates of Aboitiz 2Go:

Within Metro Manila:

Medium pouch: PhP80.00

Large pouch: PhP105.00

Extra Large: PhP140.00

Outside Metro Manila:

Medium: PhP100.00

Large: PhP115.00

Extra Large: PhP150.00

Updated 3 June 2008, some minor corrections.

For 2Go Express – Rates official site link, click here.

New Titles Posted, May 2008

Hi all,

New titles posted for auction, including a hard-to-find hardbound graphic novel of Dave McKean- Cages. This book now out-of-print and very hard-to-find (and expensive).

Cages by Dave McKean

By mid-June typing www.avalon.ph on your browser will direct you to the shopping site.  For now here’s the list of auction items posted, ending Friday, 30 May 2008:

RARE! Cages by Dave McKean (Hardbound Complete!)
The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli (Borders Classics)
The Mammoth Book of Sex Diaries: Sex Blogs
Fantastic Tales by I.U. Tarchetti (Hardbound)
The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Fantasy (HUGE!! Hardbound)
The Best American Poetry 1994 (A.R. Ammons)
The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror: Sixteenth Annual
Omni: Best Science Fiction Two (Edited by Ellen Datlow)
Conspiracy Files: Paranoia Secrecy Intrigue (HB)
Wanderlust by Troy M. Litten (Photography)
The Illustrated Guide to Witchcraft (HB)
Voodoo: Secret Power in Africa (Hardbound, Taschen)
i  six nonlectures by E.E. Cummings
Amulets: Sacred Charms of Power & Protection by Sheila Paine
Postcards from the Basque Country (HB)
The Dictionary of Uncomfortable Words (HB)
The Harper Hall Trilogy by Anne McCaffrey (Pocketbook 1-3)
Iron Chef: The Official Book (2004)
Lot of 4 The X-Files book
The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror: Eighth Annual Collection
Buried Fire by Jonathan Stroud
Saffron and Brimstone: Strange Stories by Elizabeth Hand
The Best of the Best American Poetry 1988-1997
Paris Out of Hand: A Wayward Guide (HB/ Gordon, Bantock)
The Saint of Dragons by Jason Hightman (Pocketbook)
The Probable Future by Alice Hoffman
Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman (Original Audio CD, Sealed)
100 Great Problems of Elementary Mathematics
Book Finds: How to Find, Buy & Sell Used & Rare Books
The Boss’s Survival Guide
The Book of Answers (New York Public Library)
All About Love: New Visions by Bell Hooks
Junk English 2 by Ken Smith
How to Think Like Einstein by Scott Thorpe (Hardbound)
DNA For Beginners (Comic Book Form)
The Story of Rock: Smash Hits and Superstars
Sea Room: An Island Life in the Hebrides by Adam Nicolson
The Kingdom by the Sea by Paul Theroux
Down Under by Bill Bryson
A Traveller’s History of Oxford by Richard Tames
Simon & Schuster’s Guide to Fresh & Marine Aquarium Fishes
The Incredible Potato Cookbook (150 recipes…)
Sweet and Savory Sauces (Hardbound)

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Shopping Site Updates:

Still doing some minor configuration settings but orders are already being processed without any issues.  More announcements will be made on features such as the Tell-A-Friend Reward Points and Gift Registry.  Check out the Avalon.ph blog for the freshest updates (http://blog.avalon.ph).

The direct link to the shopping site is:

http://www.avalon.ph

Discount Coupons!  Enter the codes upon checkout.  Valid until 01 June 2008.  Payment must be made within a reasonable timeline or discounts will be voided.

Enter ’10off’ – Get a 10% discount on purchases above P1,000.00. This applies on Fiction and Non-Fiction books.
Enter ‘RRLARGE’ – Get a 15% discount on Moleskine Large Ruled Reporter Notebooks!

Here are new titles posted on the shopping site:

I Shudder At Your Touch: 22 Tales of Sex & Horror (HB)
How to Cook by Raymond Sokolov (Revised Edition)
The Hedonism Handbook: Mastering the Lost Arts of Leisure & Pleasure
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (HB 1st/1st)
Choice Cuts: A Savory Selection of Food Writing.. (HB)
Legends: New Short Novels (King, Pratchett, Martin/ HB)
Assassin!: The Deadly Art of the Cult of Assassins
Do Elephants Jump? Imponderables by David Feldman (HB)
When Do Fish Sleep? by David Feldman (Imponderables Book)
Blink: Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Gladwell (HB)
Innocent Erendira and other stories by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Encyclopedia of Hell by Miriam Van Scott
The Rincewind Trilogy by Terry Pratchett (Omnibus HB 5 9 18)
The Fifth Elephant by Terry Pratchett (HB, Discworld 24)
Thief of Time by Terry Pratchett (HB, Discworld 26)
Night Watch by Terry Pratchett (HB, Discworld 27)
Monstrous Regiment by Terry Pratchett (HB, Discworld 28)
Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett (Hardbound)
The Amazing Maurice & his Educated Rodents by Pratchett (HB)
The Last Hero by Terry Pratchett (Hardbound, UK)
When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops? by George Carlin
Mutants: On Genetic Variety and the Human Body
You Shall Know Our Velocity! by Dave Eggers
Endless Feasts: Sixty Years of Writing from Gourmet
Brilliant Food Tips and Cooking Tricks

Happy shopping!

Jasper
www.avalon.ph

Avalon.ph Online Shopping Site v7.0

Welcome to the new look of Avalon.ph!

http://www.avalon.ph

The website is now integrated with a full-featured shopping cart.  The new ‘version’ will offer a unique online shopping experience while rewarding customer loyalty through Avalon Gems (Reward Points) and other special bonuses.

What’s new with Avalon.ph?

Product Bundle Offerings.  Interested to get product A?  The item might offer another product/s for 10%-20% discount or more!

Relevant Cross-Selling.  If you like product A, we also recommend product B, C, and D. We will only recommend items that are truly relevant or purchased by other customers in the past.

Discount Coupons.  Occasionally, Avalon.ph will offer coupons such as free shipping, discounts on price, discounts on quantity and more!

Product Reviews.  You may submit or read product reviews by users of Avalon.ph.  Check out the recommendations before purchasing.

Create a Gift Registry.  Take advantage of Avalon.ph’s newest feature allowing your friends or family to view what items you want for any occasion (or non-occasion).  You may even publicly display your gift registry through a link.

Purchase a Gift Certificate. Can’t decide what to give someone?  Buy a Gift Certificate for a friend or family member!

Affiliate Commissions.  Be an affiliate of Avalon.ph and earn commissions from referrals (commissions as in cash, not reward points).  As long as you can insert a javascript on your webpage/blog sidebar, you can qualify to have a window of Avalon.ph items displayed on your site.  To see an example please view the right sidebar of this blog.

Avalon Gems (Reward Points). Earn points while making purchases or referring other customers (that successfully made a purchase), then redeem points for discounts.  Currently, 100 Reward Points is equal to Php10.00.

Referral Points (Through Tell-A-Friend).  You do not have to be an affiliate of Avalon.ph to earn referral points.  Just click on the Tell-A-Friend link (make sure you are logged-in), and once the customer made a successful purchase on his visit (on THAT particular visit), you will earn points!

Gift wrapping options.  Let us package your item/s before shipping!

Be an Avalon.ph Supplier.  Avalon.ph is now capable of arranging a drop-ship/supplier arrangement with merchants.  This is still in development but you can now open your own ‘brand shop’ within Avalon.ph.  Excellent extension of your website or multiply.com store!  Take advantage of the impressions and purchasing power of users who browse on Avalon.ph.  Remember that many users come to Avalon.ph to buy!  For inquiries please e-mail me: support _at_ avalon dot ph (anti-spam).

Digital or Downloadable products.  Now, the website can sell electronically (legal) products securely.  If you are a supplier, you can market your original music, images or other applications.

AJAX enhanced shopping features. Information is presented to you without the ‘click & wait’ that is normally part of every Web page.  Just hover your mouse over the item and view product information without even having to visit the product details page.

Due to a difference in the product database, users are encouraged to re-register ONLY on the shopping website.  If you prefer that I just import your details send Avalon.ph auction site username and request to: support _at_ avalon dot ph (anti-spam).   A new password will be e-mailed to you… however…

NEW user registrations (not through import) on the shopping site before 15 May 2008 will earn 100 bonus reward points.  This will be applied within 12-24 hours after you registration.

More details to follow!

Jasper
www.avalon.ph

Book Review: The Dante Club by Matthew Pearl

A Perfect Circle

His is a pen of fire with heart’s blood as his only ink.
     -The Dante Club

I rarely give a 5 whenever I evaluate a book, but this thriller deserves all the kudos it can get. The novel is very well-thought out; it certainly reflects how well Matthew Pearl knows his Dante. The plot is quite impeccable; the suspect was really unexpected! When I found out about it, I was very shocked as to why it was that person responsible for all the murders. Though the killer’s reasons are valid and interesting (interesting because the killer’s motivations are very much rooted to the literary context of the novel), they also came off as psychological, and therefore, ordinary. I compare the prose to a picturesque view: the beauty of the way the book was written is something to be deeply appreciated, like a grand view of the sea that needs ample time for someone to able to take it all in. It was slow-paced, yes, but the slowness makes the gradual unfolding of events all the more sweeter to discover. Pearl threw a couple of verses from the Inferno itself, and the Dante Club’s usage of such verses solidified the connection of Dante’s celebrated work with the lives of the members of the Dante Club. In fact, what I like most about the book is that Pearl put meat and bones to the prominent literary personages that are now commonly just referred to as names, personages that have been put on a pedestal to be revered and venerated, but not really known intimately. The book was gripping because I was immensely fascinated in reading about the thoughts and actions of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Oliver Wendell Holmes, J. T. Fields, and James Lowell, however fictional they may be. Such prominent literary figures were the main cast of the novel, and it was just very amusing to see them live their ordinary lives a century ago. Reading about them working, talking as friends, calling for a horsecar, and even just walking around Cambridge somehow breathed life into these literary figures that were only just normally studied in English class. Pearl was able to put them down from the pedestal. In The Dante Club, he not only showed the greatness of Dante, the twisted plot inspired by Dante’s Inferno, but above all, he showed the readers that the prominent members of the Dante Club were really just like the rest of us: ordinary people engaged in mundane things such as family and career. Pearl was able to expertly tie up a ribbon of historical fiction and a brilliant plot. Throughout the novel, I could see how much the historical context of the story influenced the movement of the plot. I give this book a standing ovation because it draws a perfect circle of suspense, gore, history, literature, and greatness.

Purchase your copy of this book on Avalon.ph

Book Review: Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom


Life in Death

What simply makes Tuesdays with Morrie a winner is the fact that it’s nonfiction, that it happened in real life. When I was reading about Mitch Albom’s conversations with his former professor, Morrie, I ultimately thought about how these actual tête-à-têtes occurred in real life. This makes the whole plot all the more magical, because usually, when a tearjerker comes out in the market, I always think of cheesy writing styles and melodramatic scenes that seem exaggerated and not too different from any average soap opera. And although some scenes are melodramatic, they are only rightly so, for in truth, death is a tragic affair. Albom was able to capture Morrie’s courage and strength as his body deteriorated gradually. Tuesdays with Morrie does not intend to be dramatic, it just is. And that sets it apart from all the tearjerkers that Nicholas Sparks and Judith McNaught have to offer. Reading this book made me rethink about my priorities, and hours after closing the book for the final time, I was still pondering about its theme. Certainly, it left a deep imprint on me, as it showed how a person’s life is not measured by his age, but by the number of things he has fulfilled and done in such a transitory world. Morrie’s life, and death, showed us one thing: how a person could have a lifetime in such a short while.

Purchase your copy of this book on Avalon.ph

Book Review: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time


Curiosity Saves the Cat

I opened this book with doubt and reluctance, for I am naturally not a fan of tender stories that tug at your heartstrings with their dramatic flair and saccharine verbiage. But The Curious Incident of the Dog gives you none of that, and this quality of the book- that light, funny, and innocent atmosphere- makes the story of Christopher even more heart-rending. The point of view of the story makes the book uniquely special. It is chronicled and narrated by Christopher, an autistic teenager who is intent on finding out the murderer of his neighbor’s dog. The story was narrated cleanly and simply, which adds to the fact that all Christopher writes is the truth. All that is deemed to be chronicled are only those that he observed with his very eyes, and those that he felt and learned. The objectivity of the way Christopher feels and thinks provokes such emotion in me because I could see how different he is from normal people. The book opened me to the idea of what sets autistic people from the rest of the world. The author was able to show that Christopher does not have a different world, but a different way of seeing the world. The world for him should be a fruit of logic and objectivity. This accounts for the fact that throughout the novel, there are bits and pieces of trivia, as Christopher is fond of showing people that life is like a math equation. The readers are not let in on his world, because he has no separate, delusional world, but he lets readers people to see with new eyes, with his eyes. Surprisingly, as his curiosity compels him to find out who killed the dog and make the pieces fit, he realizes the cold brutality of  his discovery, not just about Mrs.  Shear’s pet, but also about his own life. Uncovering the truth though, is only half of the whole experience. It is actually about how Christopher, an autistic child, reacts to and faces the truths laid bare before him that make this novel a staple in every bookworm’s personal collection.

Purchase your copy of this book on Avalon.ph