Monday, September 17, 2007


Welcome, our SPi co-employees and friends, to the Writers Guild's online catalogue of books which we are making available for you to read and share among yourselves.

This is in line with Project R.E.A.D. (Reading as Exploration And self-Development), a project we are formally launching this month of September 2006. It will run for an entire year.

The books listed here are being made available to us by four (4) SPi employees who have generously opened to us their libraries. Let us take care of these books as if they are our own.

Here are the simple rules for borrowing:
1.) Text TITLE OF BOOK(space)YOUR NAME(space)SBU to 0926.622.3359 or email us at to reserve the book you want to borrow.

2.) Should you wish to pass the book on to a friend instead of returning it to us directly, please text us his/her name, mobile phone number, and SBU (in that order).

With this, you are now ready to borrow, read, and explore more of the world!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


Kant and the Playtpus
How do we know that a cat is a cat? Why do we agree on calling the beast a cat? Interesting questions, but an even more intriguing question lies at the heart of all modern philosophy – how much of our perception of things depends on our cognitive ability and how much on linguistic resources? At this point semiotics becomes inextricably linked to epistemology, or cognition. In these essays, Umberto Eco explores in depth such subjects as perception, the relationship between language and experience, and iconism that he only touched on in A Theory of Semiotics. Forgoing a formal, systematic treatment, Eco engages in a series of explorations based on common sense, from which flow an abundance of illustrative fables, often with animals as protagonists. Among the characters, a position of prominence is reserved for the platypus, which appears to have been created specifically to “put the cat among the pigeons” as far as many theories of knowledge are concerned. In Kant and the Platypus, Eco shares with us a wealth of ideas at once philosophical and amusing.

How to travel with a Salmon
This is Eco dissing out his ideas on gadgets, including the Electric Nose Hair Remover (“an instrument that would have fascinated the Marquis de Sade”), Eco on 33-function watches, fax machines and cellular phones, express mail, in-flight meals, Amtrak trains, porn movies and Westerns, computer jargon, bureaucrats – you name it.” How to Travel with a Salmon is a “delightful romp through the absurdities of modern life.” (Publishers Weekly)

Faith in Fakes: Travels in Hyperreality
These essays, written over the last 20 years and culled from newspapers and magazines, explore the rag-bag of modern consciousness. Eco considers a wide range of topics, from "Superman" and "Casablanca", Federico Fellini and Michelangelo Antonioni, Jim Jones and mass suicide, and Woody Allen, to holography and waxworks, pop festivals and football, and not least the social and personal implications of tight jeans.


"The only thing we require to be good philosophers is the faculty of wonder." - from his book Sophie's World

The Solitaire Mystery

Vita Brevis



"What is freedom of expression? Without the freedom to offend, it cease to exist." - Salman Rushdie

Midnight's Children


Haroun and the sea of stories

The Moor's Last Sigh

The Ground Beneath Her Feet


Sunday, September 17, 2006


"A person who writes books is either all (a single universe for himself and everyone else) or nothing. And since all will never be given to anyone, every one of us who writes is nothing..." - Milan Kundera

This is absolutely a MUST read for everybody falling in love(?), or hurt by love(?). This book exposes the dangers and the destructive consequences of having a moronic, stupid lover or partner, and how one's life can turn into hell due to one's (association with such) misfortune.

This largely autobiographical novel by Kundera narrates the story of a guy (the central character), whose playing tricks with his stupid girlfriend (who takes his every word seriously) by referring to Leon Trotsky, the then pariah of Soviet Communism, and her believing everything led to his expulsion from the college, the party and his ending up with years of forced labor. And then how a plan to avenge someone (by sleeping with him wife) backfires, when it turns out the hunter was actually being victimized. Now that's how life works! Life is life because it always has the final word, the final victory on us!

Anybody who wants to avoid such danger should read this book; so should everyone who is hurt by a stupid partner, so as to learn where things went wrong, and to know how to avoid such feats in the future.

A young woman in love with a man torn between his love for her and his incorrigible womanizing one of his mistresses and her humbly faithful lover—these are the two couples whose story is told in this masterful novel. In a world in which lives are shaped by irrevocable choices and by fortuitous events, a world in which everything occurs but once, existence seems to lose its substance, its weight. Hence, we feel "the unbearable lightness of being" not only as the consequence of our private actions, but also in the public sphere, and the two inevitably intertwine.

Interested? Text TITLE OF BOOK(space)YOUR FULL NAME(space)SBU to 0926.622.3359




"I am an extraordinarily lucky person, doing what I love best in the world. I'm sure that I will always be a writer. It was wonderful enough just to be published. The greatest reward is the enthusiasm of the readers." - JK Rowling

Harry Potter Series Books 1-6

J. K. Rowling has won the Hugo Award, the Bram Stoker Award, the Whitbread Award for Best Children's Book, a special commendation for the Anne Spencer Lindbergh Prize, and a special certificate for being a three-year winner of the Smarties Prize, as well as many other honors. She has been a featured guest on "60 Minutes," "The Today Show," and "Larry King Live." Rowling has also been named an Officer of the British Empire.

Interested? Text TITLE OF BOOK(space)YOUR FULL NAME(space)SBU to 0926.622.3359


Paolo Coelho blogs here!

Veronika seems to have everything she could wish for. She goes to popular night spots, she meets and dates attractive young men and yet she's not happy. Something is lacking in her life. That's why, in the morning of 11th November 1997, Veronika Decides to Die. After taking an overdose, Veronika is told she has only a few days to live.

This story follows Veronika through these intense days as to her surprise, she finds herself drawn into the enclosed world of the local hospital she is staying in. In this heightened state she discovers things she has never really allowed herself to feel before: hatred, fear, curiosity, love - even sexual awakening. Her experiences lead her gradually to realise that every second of her existence is a choice between living and dying. Paulo Coelho's new book is about those who do not fit into patterns considered normal by society. It is about madness and the need to find an alternative way of living for people who frequently have to face other people's prejudices because they think in a different way.

Note: Our copy is in Spanish. Anyone who has an English copy, please let us know. Gracias!

"There are inevitable moments of misfortune which interrupt our lives. However, they happen for a reason." Sometimes the world seems to have conspired against us, and so we ask ourselves, "Why does this have to happen to me?" Confronted by the inevitable, some of us become discouraged; others, however, grow stronger and increase their understanding.

The story of the prophet Elijah is an invaluable lesson of hope for the contemporary man. To what point can we predict our own destiny? This is the question that hangs in the air over The Fifth Mountain, and every one of us has tried to grasp it.

Evoking all the drama and intrigue of the colourful, chaotic world of the Middle East, Paulo Coelho turns the trials of Elijah into an intensely moving and inspiring story – one that powerfully brings out the universal themes of how faith and love can ultimately triumph over.

In all stories of love there is always something that moves us closer to eternity and the essence of life because the stories of love hold within all the secrets in the world.

But what happens when shyness prevents an adolescent love affair from developing? And what happens when, 11 years later, destiny brings the lovers together again? In the meantime, life has taught her to be strong and to hide her feelings. As for him, he is now a handsome spiritual teacher – with a reputation for performing miracles – who has turned to religion as a refuge from his inner conflicts.

Together they take a journey that is initially fraught with difficulty as blame and resentment resurface after years of being hidden. But by the River Piedra, in a small village in the French Pyrenees, they find a way to discuss many of life's big questions and re-evaluate their won special relationship.

By The River Piedra is a wonderful novel, with a poetic and transcendent narrative, that reflects all the mysteries of love and life.

Why is it that we destroy the things we love most? This is the question Paulo Coelho faces in this story of his confrontation with his past. 'The Valkyries' is a compelling account of his journey, as Paulo and his wife embark on a forty day quest into the searing heat of the Mojave Desert, where they encounter 'The Valkyries', strange warrior women who travel the desert on motorcycles.

This is not only a modern day adventure, it is also an exploration of one man's battle with self doubt and fear, as well as a true story of two people striving to understand one another through adversity. Ultimately, 'The Valkyries' delivers a powerful message about forgiving our past and believing in our future.

Every few decades a book is published that influences the life of its readers forever. Paulo Coelho's The Alchemist is such a book which has already achieved the status of a modern classic".

"To realize one's destiny is a person's only obligation."

Paulo Coelho's enchanting novel has inspired millions of delighted readers around the world. This story, dazzling in its simplicity and wisdom, is about an Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago who ventures from his homeland in Spain to North Africa in search of a treasure buried in the Pyramids. Along the way he meets a beautiful, young gypsy woman, a man who calls himself a king, and an alchemist, all of whom point Santiago in the direction of his quest. No one knows what the treasure is or if Santiago can surmount the obstacles along the way through the desert. But what starts out as a boyish adventure to discover exotic places and worldly wealth turns into a quest for the treasures only found within. Lush, evocative, and deeply humane, Santiago's story is an eternal testament to following our dreams and listening to our hearts.

Eleven Minutes tells the story of Maria, a young girl from a Brazilian village, whose first innocent brushes with love leave her heart-broken. At a tender age, she becomes convinced that she will never find true love, instead believing that 'Love is a terrible thing that will make you suffer...' A chance meeting in Rio takes her to Geneva, where she dreams of finding fame and fortune yet ends up working the streets as a prostitute. In Geneva, Maria drifts further and further away from love while at the same time developing a fascination with sex. Eventually, Maria's despairing view of love is put to the test when she meets a handsome young painter. In this odyssey of self-discovery, Maria has to choose between pursuing a path of darkness, sexual pleasure for its own sake or risking everything to find her own 'inner light' and the possibility of sacred sex, sex in the context of love.

In this gripping and daring new novel, Paulo Coelho sensitively explores the spiritual nature of sex and love and invites us to confront our own prejudices, demons and embrace our own 'inner light'.

It begins with a glimpse or a passing thought. It ends in obsession.

One day a renowned author discovers that his wife, a war correspondent, has disappeared, leaving no trace. Though time brings more success and new love, he remains mystified – and increasingly fascinated – by her absence. Was she kidnapped, blackmailed, or simply bored with their marriage? The unrest she causes is as strong as the attraction she exerts.

His search for her – and for the truth of his own life – takes him from France to Spain, Croatia and, eventually, the bleakly beautiful landscape of Central Asia. More than that, it takes him from the safety of his world to a totally unknown path, searching for a new understanding of the nature of love and the power of destiny.

With The Zahir, Paulo Coelho demonstrates not just his powerful and captivating storytelling, but also his extraordinary insight into what it is to be a human being in a world full of possibility.

Interested? Text TITLE OF BOOK(space)YOUR FULL NAME(space)SBU to 0926.622.3359