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When I first started a book blog, I used the Blogger platform. Then WordPress came along with its very professional-looking, regularly refreshed templates. I was very much attracted to that, among other things.

I still love WordPress. The templates are amazingly refreshing.

These days I’m not so concerned about how the blog looks. I realise WordPress needs some form of advertisment revenue to sustain itself. And plonking ads on the free hosted blog is a fair enough deal. Which is why it doesn’t allow other ads to be put in the posts. Like Amazon Affliate or Google Adsense.

I still have plenty of blogs hosted on WordPress. I’ll continue to host them on WordPress.

Just that this one, I’ve decided to move it back to Blogger. Mainly because I’d like to see more click-throughs to my Amazon Affliate books. Not that there’s a lot but you know, I enjoy a complimentary coffee once every decade.


Adobe Photoshop CS6 essentials/ Scott Onstott

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One thing I learned from this book: manipulating text/ fonts and working in tandem with path/ vectors.

Easy to follow short exercises.

Painter X for photographers/ Martin Addison

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Useful primer on Corel Painter. I’m using version 12 and can follow this easily even if its talking about an older version.

Comprehensive section on the various brushes, pens, pencils etc. Particularly useful on understanding the various Clone Brushes and their effects.

Dedicated section on Clone painting. With short descriptive tutorials and examples.

Customising brushes, paper textures.

Explains watercolours, oils and pastels, blender brushes, portrait painting, hand colouring, Layers, printing and presentations (colour management).

27 First Set (Twenty-Seven)/ Charles Soule & others

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A “how to sell your soul to the devil and get away with it” story, told in a refreshing contemporary way.

Rock guitarist wants to regain his ability to play. Somehow gets hooked up with an entity called The Nine.

Not exactly the devil but a devil’s bargain in that sense.

Strange buttons embedded in his chest, each giving him strange creative abilities.

He gets 27 chances, hence the title.

And what happens in the end?

A perfectly logical twist.

Like I wrote earlier, in a way this is the ageless “how to sell your soul to the devil and get away with it” story.

Like the Billy Goats Gruff triumphing against the troll.

Underdog wins. That’s all I can say.

(Aside: from another angle, it’s like the devil and trolls being short changed, but that’s for another tale, I think).

Chew/ John Layman & Rob Guillory

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Had to borrow these since the title sported my family name!

It did not disappoint.

Tony Chu is a “cibopath” investigator for the US Food and Drug Administration, one who can get psychic impressions (past sequence of events) by taking a bite into things. Some things include corpses.

What a oddly different class of super powers.

Plus a really weird storyline that’s so quirky and somehow believable, in a comic book way.

The FDA is a powerful agency namely because if the Avian Flu outbreak, resulting in a global enforcement of a chicken and poultry ban.

Add some high-powered (money and/ or similar new superpowers) characters — baddies and sidekicks — in a unfolding conspiracy, plus Alien writing in the sky.

So very X-files.

Chew. [Volume 3]: Just desserts

Chew. [Volume 4]: Flambé

Adobe Photoshop CS6 Digital Classroom/ Jennifer Smith, AGI Creative Team 26

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006.686 SMI

Clear instructions; illustrated. Good systematic approach in learning Adobe Photoshop CS6. Presented as specific lessons and tasks (vs just describing each features).

Secrets of Corel Painter Experts: Tips, Techniques, and Insights for Users of All Abilities/ Daryl Wise

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006.686 WIS

Features individual Corel Painter users. Each digital artist shows a work, explains how its done. Most have a sequenced walk-through.

Plenty of inspiring works; insights into the digital art creation process using varying preferred techniques and styles.

A few artists I really liked (interestingly they happen to be asians):

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