#SNARKTEMBER 16th with @BarnabyHazen #Giveaway

National Read an eBook Day:

Five Recommendations from an Author


National Read an eBook Day could not be any more self-explanatory. Learning of this celebration rendered naïve and perfunctory research from me—I hopped around the internet expecting the timeline of the invention to begin maybe several years before I first noticed them on the market, but this was not the case. One article from The Guardian takes us back to the 1970s as a point of departure. In short, the story of the eBook is very much worth looking into, running all the way to and beyond Stephen King’s first huge eBook seller, Bag of Bones, which according to the above article sold half a million copies “in 48 hours,” March of 2000.


As a former school teacher and current author, at the top of my list of reasons to celebrate is accessibility of literature for youth. Many parents and professionals in the education field begrudge and fear what is available to children by digital means, but think of the enriching books these same kids and young adults can acquire! Market options aside, there are books available for free to young readers, and this is very much in keeping with the intention of the internet movement, originally.


Check out this article just as a starting point for getting digital books in front of your kids at no cost: https://www.thebalance.com/free-kids-kindle-books-1357953


This in mind, I’ll begin my eBook recommendations with two YA (Young Adult) books:

  1. Girl in Pieces, Kathleen Glasgow
  2. This Raging Light, Estelle Laure


Girl in Pieces deals with the subject of self-harm by putting the reader inside the skin of Charlie, a young lady with some unhealthy coping mechanisms including cutting herself. Through a semi-autobiographical account, Glasgow has pushed the edge of what’s considered YA friendly while offering healing and hope to vulnerable young women in a world full of endless false turns and dangerous traps set up just for them.


Laure’s This Raging Light, along with being a very sweet, heartstring pluck of a romance novel also dances around the delicate subject of foster care and displaced children realistically and empathically. Her second book is out now too: But Then I Came Back. I haven’t read it yet, but it seems to be something of a sequel, also very romantic, and highly promising given the quality of her first book.  


Next we’re onto existential classics, because that’s where I still live. I have trouble reading on a screen for extended periods, and so for me, the 200K word plus options are kind of out of the question as eBooks.


So I offer up two suggestions, according to their manageable length by screen, and under-rated positions against other books by the same authors:


  1. The Gambler, Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  2. Letter to My Father, Franz Kafka


I’m not sure what to say about either of these, except that The Gambler is commonly overlooked simply because Dostoyevsky wrote it under some financial duress—my answer to this is the fact that it was written in desperate haste, and reads quicker than some of his work has little bearing on the value of it. Still classic Russian humanity, bare, golden in honesty of human error; beautiful.


Regarding the Kafka recommendation, I never have read this digitally, but the idea of taking it in on a computer or tablet, maybe while travelling by train is compelling and I’m always overdue to reread anything of Kafka’s—anything he’s written, anytime is right for me.


Finally, a shameless plug:


  1. Misfortunes of T-Funk, Barnaby Hazen

Because it’s a book with original music built in; because I wrote it based on decades of experience in music unlike those experiences that usually go to print; because it’s first of a trilogy, and you, my friends, have mostly fallen behind on that account.


And so I leave you with one last toast to eBooks, ladies and gentlemen—for the kids, for the classics, for the music, and for ourselves.



Barnaby Hazen is an author, editor and musician. Driven strongly by collaboration, it seems natural his first venture into writing began with a friend. Seven Eleven Stories periodical took shape in 2014 and just one year later, Seven Eleven Forgotten and Other Stories  debuted with a full-length collection featuring nine strange tales on convenience store fiction.

In 2017, Misfortunes of T-Funk, the first in a series, pulls directly from Hazen’s own life in music. Having been a lifelong, dedicated listener, teacher and performer, his latest novel incorporates his self-recorded and produced musical tracks directly into the chapters of his new novel. Hazen’s music illuminates his main characters and further elaborates on the story, creating a unique and personal soundtrack for readers of the book.

Having spent years as an educator, Barnaby’s time as an elementary school music teacher particularly inspired him to become involved with The Bud Hawthorne Revue.  He writes and edits the publication, along with Mr. Hawthorne himself, and is eager to continue offering contributions to literary culture given his unique perspective on writing. 

Hazen lives in Taos, New Mexico with his wife Sarah and their adorably troublesome pets.

 Stay current on all of his upcoming fiction at SevenElevenStories.com.

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