Friday, September 5, 2008

DISCUSSION: Buying books

I created the OCB blog with the intent to offer Orthodox publishers a vehicle for promoting their book and magazine news and for readers to learn that news. After all, I don't think it's a secret that I work for one of the aforementioned publishers. But today, instead of posting the usual press release or book review, I'd like to get your opinion on what you buy as readers. So here are some questions up for discussion:

(1) Would you say that the recession has affected your book-buying at all? Slowed it down? Or not?

(2) How often do you buy Orthodox books and from where?

(3) How much does price factor into your decision to buy (or not buy) a book? Are Orthodox books too expensive?

(4) What can publishers of Orthodox Christian books do to improve their products and services?

(5) What is your favorite Orthodox book? Your favorite Orthodox publisher?

(6) Is there anything you can't stand about the way Orthodox books are currently published in the English-speaking world?

(7) Orthodox children's books: do you ever buy them? Why or why not?

(8) What kind of Orthodox book would you like to see more of in the future?

(9) Would you buy a book from your church book store as a matter of principal, even if it were offered for a much lower price on Amazon? Or would you go for the deal?

(10) Are books flying off the shelves at your church bookstore, or have they been collecting dust for years?

Please take a moment to comment on any one (or all) of these questions. And while you're at it, respond to our poll. After all, it's your feedback that helps us publishers provide you with books of increasing quality and integrity. Without your feedback and support, we would be nothing.

Have a great weekend, and keep reading!

In XC,
Heather Zydek
Blog Moderator

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

BOOK SALE: Conciliar Press Children's Books

Tomorrow is the last day of a one-week sale on Orthodox Christian children's books published by Conciliar Press. Conciliar's "Back to School Sale" includes discounts of up to 30 percent on select Conciliar Press children's books through Thursday, September 4, 2008. Visit www.conciliarpress.comto browse books on sale.

NEW BOOK: Royal Monastic by Bev. Cooke

The life of a princess isn’t all glamour, handsome princes, and beautiful clothes. It’s also devotion to duty, sacrifice for your people, and a lot of just plain hard work. And if your country happens to suffer two world wars and a communist takeover in your lifetime, it means danger and suffering, exile and heartache as well. Princess Ileana of Romania endured all this and more. But her deeply rooted Orthodox faith saw her through it all, and eventually led her in her later years to the peaceful repose of monasticism. But that life included sacrifice and hard work as well, because as Mother Alexandra she was called to build the first English-language Orthodox women’s monastery in the United States—the Monastery of the Transfiguration in Ellwood City, Pennsylvania. Princess Ileana’s story is a thrilling tale of love and loss, danger and rescue, sacrifice and reward. Her inspiring life stands as a beacon of faith and holiness for young women of all times and nations to follow.

"Royal Monastic [is] a comprehensive and enjoyable read for any age…Readers will learn to appreciate the woman who lived on three continents during the most troubled time in modern history--a woman who in some ways could identify with everyone she met, yet in other ways with no one on earth."
-- Mother Christophora, Abbess, Orthodox Monastery of the Transfiguration

"Royal Monastic is an excellent and engaging historical biography of a truly remarkable princess turned monastic. Mother Alexandra is an example of Orthodox Christian virtues of love, suffering and self-sacrifice."
-- Chrissi Hart, Author of Under the Grapevine: A Miracle by Saint Kendeas and The Hermit, The Icon and The Emperor: The Holy Virgin Comes to Cyprus

Bev. Cooke is the author of Keeper of the Light: Saint Macrina, Grandmother of Saints (Conciliar Press, 2006) and Feral (Orca Book Publishers, 2008). She lives in Victoria, British Columbia. Learn more about Bev. and her work at

Purchase Royal Monastic at