Happy Blogiversary to Me! (plus a giveaway)
I started this blog a year ago today with Vance’s encouragement. I really wasn’t sure what direction it would take, but I knew I would have plenty of posts about books since I love to read. Then I discovered the book blogging community and I was hooked. In the past year I have:
- had over 450 posts
- gotten over 78,00o hits
- gotten over 10,00o comments
- deleted over 3,000 spam
- made countless friends
My most popular posts have been:
- John Grogan on Blog Talk Radio
- Review: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (short story)
- Nicholas Sparks didn’t sign my book
- Review: Against Medical Advice
- Review: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
To celebrate my blogiversary, I’ve worked with the marvelous Miriam of Hachette Books to come up with a unique giveaway. Each book in this giveaway has something to do with me in a vague sort of way. One winner will receive each of these books:
Our Dumb World by The Onion
In late 2007 the hardcover edition became one of the hottest books of the holiday season, entertaining and offending hundreds of thousands of readers around the globe. This new, easy-to-carry paperback edition is perfect for the intrepid traveler to any of the world’s exotic locales–from Afghanistan, “Allah’s Cat Box,” to Ukraine, “the Bridebasket of Europe,” to the USA’s own Nevada, “Where Everyone’s a Loser.”
Packed with beautiful full-color maps and framed with inaccurate essays about all the world’s peoples and places, OUR DUMB WORLD is a gut-busting send-up in which no nation escapes unscathed.”
As Always, Jack by Emma Sweeney
From Publishers Weekly –
“At the end of WWII, a 26-year-old navy pilot meets and falls in love with a beautiful California girl named Beebe. They have about two weeks together before he is shipped off to the South Pacific for six months. When he returns they marry, have four sons and 10 good years together before he, still in the military, is killed in a plane crash off Bermuda in 1956. At the time of his death, his wife was pregnant with a daughter. The daughter spends her life longing for information about the father she never knew. Years later, after her mother’s death, the daughter finds a bundle of letters that her father wrote to her mother in the six months before their marriage. Those letters are presented along with a foreword and afterword by the daughter, Sweeney, now a New York literary agent and gardening book author. The letters portray a decent, kindhearted young man with a quirky sense of humor who is obviously in love. Aside from a few colloquialisms of the 1940s, they could have been written by any lovesick military man in history. They are often corny, sometimes boring (as they only partially open doors into the psyches driving this old-fashioned romantic correspondence) and never erotic (not even suggestive unless “Greetings, my scandalous Scandinavian” counts). While these letters are obviously very precious to the woman who discovered them, they don’t offer much character development or anything unique. (Apr. 10)Forecast: While war correspondence is a crowded subgenre, this attractively packaged little book (5″ 7″) has a blurb from War Letters editor Andrew Carroll and a planned tour that includes a stop at Annapolis. With more than 1.5 million members of the U.S. Armed Forces, it has a ready audience alert to the perils of separation, along with many more sympathetic to that predicament.”
Girls in Trucks by Katie Crouch
“Sarah Walters, the narrator of GIRLS IN TRUCKS, is a reluctant Camellia Society debutante. She has always felt ill-fitted to the rococo ways of Southern womanhood and family, and is anxious to shake the bonds of her youth. Still, she follows the traditional path laid out for her. This is Charleston, and in this beautiful, dark, segregated town, established rules and manners mean everything.
But as Sarah grows older, she finds that her Camellia lessons fail her, particularly as she goes to college, moves North, and navigates love and life in New York. There, Sarah and her group of displaced deb sisters try to define themselves within the realities of modern life. Heartbreak, addiction, disappointing jobs and death fail to live up to the hazy, happy future promised to them by their Camellia mothers and sisters.
When some unexpected bumps in the road–an unplanned birth, a family death–lead Sarah back home, she’s forced to take another long look at the fading empire of her youth. It takes a strange turn of events to finally ground Sarah enough to make some serious choices. And only then does she realize that as much as she tried to deny it, where she comes from will always affect where she ends up. The motto of her girlhood cotillion society, “Once a Camellia, always a Camellia,” may turn out to have more wisdom and pull to it than she ever could have guessed.”
Gods in Alabama by Joshilyn Jackson
“For 10 years Arlene has kept her promises, and God has kept His end of the bargain. Until now.
When an old schoolmate from Possett turns up at Arlene’s door in Chicago asking questions about Jim Beverly, former quarterback and god of Possett High, Arlene’s break with her former hometown is forced to an end. At the same time, Burr, her long-time boyfriend, has raised an ultimatum: introduce him to her family or consider him gone. Arlene loves him dearly but knows her lily white (not to mention deeply racist)Southern Baptist family will not understand her relationship with an African American boyfriend. Reluctantly, Arlene bows to the pressure, and she and Burr embark on the long-avoided road trip back home.
As Arlene digs through guilt and deception, her patched-together alibi begins to unravel, and she discovers how far she will go for love and a chance at redemption.”
Trail of Crumbs by Kim Sunee
“When Kim Sunée was three years old, her mother took her to a marketplace, deposited her on a bench with a fistful of food, and promised she’d be right back. Three days later a policeman took the little girl, clutching what was now only a fistful of crumbs, to a police station and told her that she’d been abandoned by her mother.
Fast-forward almost 20 years and Kim’s life is unrecognizable. Adopted by a young New Orleans couple, she spends her youth as one of only two Asian children in her entire community. At the age of 21, she becomes involved with a famous French businessman and suddenly finds herself living in France, mistress over his houses in Provence and Paris, and stepmother to his eight year-old daughter.
Kim takes readers on a lyrical journey from Korea to New Orleans to Paris and Provence, along the way serving forth her favorite recipes. A love story at heart, this memoir is about the search for identity and a book that will appeal to anyone who is passionate about love, food, travel, and the ultimate search for self.”
To enter this giveaway, simply leave a comment on this post. Contest is open to US and Canadian residents only (no PO Boxes, please). I will use random.org to determine the winner. Contest ends at midnight EST, Monday, June 22, 2009. Winner will be announced on Tuesday, June 23, 2009.