Book Riot’s Awesome, Amazing Giveaway!

Book Riot book giveaway

Another amazing giveaway that you should know about (did you see the first one, that is still going on?). Every first Monday of the month, Book Riot is giving away 10 books to people anywhere in the world! So, head on over and enter yourself for this amazing giveaway. Good luck!

It’s really easy to enter, and you can do that (and find out more information) here.


OMG! All the Books Giveaway! (Starts Today!)

OMG All the Books Giveaway In case you haven’t already heard about this amazing (AMAZING) giveaway, I wanted to make sure that you knew about it. These are all books that are the buzzed about books of the season, the books that everyone is waiting for to be released, and you can win them! These are the books you can win (AND, and, and, and, you can actually win them ALL… read below to find out more):

April 7: Emma Straub, The Vacationers
April 8: Maggie Shipstead, Astonish Me
April 9: Ted Thompson, The Land of Steady Habits
April 10: Jean Kwok, Mambo in Chinatown
April 11: Caeli Wolfson Widger, Real Happy Family
April 14: Mira Jacob, The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing
April 15: Cristina Henriquez, The Book of Unknown Americans
April 16: Alexi Zentner, The Lobster Kings
April 17: Courtney Elizabeth Mauk, Orion’s Daughters
April 18: Scott Cheshire, High As The Horses’ Bridles 
April 21: Megan Abbott, The Fever
April 22: Edan Lepucki, California
April 23: Joanna Rakoff, My Salinger Year
April 24: Marie-Helene Bertino, 2 A.M. At The Cat’s Pajamas
April 25: Kevin Clouther, We Were Flying to Chicago
April 28: Roxane Gay, An Untamed State
April 29: Porochista Khakpour, The Last Illusion
April 30: Brian Gresko, When I First Held You
May 1: Courtney Maum, I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You
May 2: Celeste Ng, Everything I Never Told You
May 5: Robin Black, Life Drawing
May 6: Nicole C. Kear, Now I See You
May 7: Julia Fierro, Cutting Teeth
May 8: Miranda Beverly-Whittemore, Bittersweet

Want to know more???

From Miranda Beverly Whittemore’s website:

By entering into a daily giveaway, you’ll also qualify for the BIG GRAND PRIZE GIVEAWAY – ONE COPY OF EACH OF THESE BOOKS! Signed! By the author, even! That’s right, the grand prize winner will receive 24 signed first editions; each of the books listed above.


It starts today, so go visit her website now so you don’t miss out! Good luck!

Happy Birthday, Gloria Steinem

Gloria Steinem

When I was in college I had a horrible habit of bringing books to classes that I found boring. The reason I say the habit is horrible is because it tends to make one fail the course, which means re-taking it (or a similar version), therefore prolonging your boredom. The books, of course, were not horrible.

I became so close to failing two of these classes that I cannot even remember if I actually passed them or not. One in particular was a statistics class in which mid-semester I started bringing Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions to class. I got so into this book (by Gloria Steinem) that I missed a large section of the teaching and fell very, very far behind. I can’t remember how it turned out. If I didn’t fail, I came way too close to doing so. If I did fail, I didn’t care. To my knowledge, I’ve never used a thing that I would have learned in that class; however I know that reading that book helped shape who I am still.

Yesterday was Gloria Steinem’s 80th birthday. This past Sunday The New York Times came out with a piece called This is What 80 Looks Like, which didn’t have to remind us that Steinem is still relevant (because she is and actively so), but did. I’d love to re-read Outrageous Acts, and even more so I want to read Revolution from Within… I think it sounds fascinating… but even that one article made me excited all over again about what she’s done with her life.

So, here’s to Gloria Steinem who has made more of a difference in this world than many of us are old enough to understand. I’m incredibly thankful that I’m from a generation of women in this country that even if we try, even if we still haven’t broken the glass ceiling completely, has no idea what it was like to live in the world that Gloria and our mothers and grandmothers were born into.

Mo’ Reading, Mo’ Fun


I took some of the advice you gave me last week and have put it into practice. I’ve picked out some books that are a little lighter on the thinky-think and a bit easier to read, and then I’ve started reading them in front of TV. Imagine that! I never, ever thought that was possible – but then some of you mentioned you had tried it. I play with my phone in front of TV, so it’s not like I am glued to the TV screen all the time (therefore I don’t know why I’m so surprised). I suppose I thought I’d get distracted from my reading, but unless I’m watching a really good show (which I wouldn’t look at my phone during anyway) I’m good to go. Do I sometimes get pulled away by what’s happening on the show? Sure, but I’m getting more reading done.

Also, there have been a couple of times in the past week when I didn’t know where my phone was (gasp!). That hasn’t happened in way too long. Not going to lie – it feels good.

How’s the reading going for you?

Reading (Still) Interrupted.

iphone_or_cell_phone_hollow_book_safe_wwylv-300x183A little over two months ago, I wrote this piece for BookRiot on how my iPhone is getting in the way of my reading. The comments were interesting and some even inspired me. Unfortunately, my reading has not gotten any better. I read at bedtime, but lately have been falling asleep so quickly once I’m in bed that this does not add up to much time at all.

I have a hard time reading during the day, which is strange because it’s partly MY JOB.

I have a hard time reading at night because it’s well… dark and quiet and I like to be with other people and/or have the TV on.

When do YOU read? How do you keep from getting distracted by your phone/TV/conversations? I am finding it more and more rare that I find books that keep my interest enough that I would choose them over the previously listed things. However, part of the thing about reading is that the more you make yourself read, the more you feel like reading. It’s an interesting, yet true concept. Regardless, I can’t get myself to do it.

Surely I’m not the only one. Surely not everyone who is tearing through books is immensely interested in every single page of every single book they read. Please spill your secrets… how do you get your reading done?

How Do You Write?

ed5339aab4b6a9ab09ce8d69262fa0c0Those of you who blog or write (or both), how do you structure your work schedule?

Recently I read to just sit at the computer for a specific amount of time no matter what. If you’re writing, great – if not, still sit there. After reading that advice I was given it by someone other than who had written it.

Oddly, I’ve treated my desk and computer much the same as I’ve treated the bed for sleeping:  go there when it’s time for it to serve a function. I’ve always heard to use the bed for sleeping, not hanging out or watching TV. Without giving it much thought I’ve realized that I do the same with my work space… I use it when I’m ready to work. I’ve never thought of just making myself sit here until something to write comes into my head (I always thought that would be bad for the creative process). However, this week I started doing just that and, hello… I’m writing.

So, tell me… is this how you do things too? What works for you?

The Writer’s Room

The New York Times Style Magazine was stellar this Sunday. It even had a little something for us readers. Did you catch this piece about five writers and the rooms they write in?

16womens-well-writers-slide-LANH-tmagArticleUpstairs, downstairs, in a corner, at a desk, on the bed, with a view of trees, water, the street, the sky. Five writers, who all publish new books this year, explain how the right space can unlock the mind and let the words flow. (Read the rest of the article here.)

What’cha Listening To?


Lately I’ve been into non-fiction. This happens, it is not a random thing, and I will write more about why on BookRiot. However, when I am in the mood I’ve been in lately, non-fiction is all there is for me. I try fiction and… nope. I need a true story. I need to hear how it actually happened. So, I’ve almost (finally) finished Unbroken (which should not have taken me as long as it has – that has been mostly a lack of me switching over to the Audible app from my music), and decided to download Home by Julie Andrews. Have you read it? I hear it’s a good autobiography, plus she reads it – so, yes.

What are you listening to these days? What are some of your favorite audio books ever (it can be fiction too, I’ll get back around to those soon enough). One of my very favorites from the past year was The Chaperone. Such a wonderful story and the narration is incredible as well. The Goldfinch is also amazing (haven’t quite finished it yet for the same reason I haven’t finished Unbroken… don’t ask me why I think Home has a chance with the rate at which I’m listening to things).

Ann Patchett and I


The other day, I walked into my local bookstore to purchase a gift certificate for my mom. The bookseller in charge (and also my favorite), T, knows me. He’s old enough to be my father, has a handsome, friendly face, and a southern drawl. I know how old he is because he’s told me, and I know where he’s from because we’ve discussed it while discussing stories that take place there. I know which books he’s fond of and which he’d rather hide in the bathroom of the store, and which he loved as a younger man and which and hasn’t revisited in awhile. He concerns himself with my health (do I weigh enough?) and the amount of time I’ve been away from the store (have I been traveling again? did I buy too many books last time that it kept me away while I finished them?).

I stepped into the store and up to the counter, asking one of the other booksellers for a gift certificate. T, my favorite bookseller, was sitting in a chair behind the counter at the desk. I smiled and said hello and he immediately went into something like this…

“Did you hear Patchett’s interview with Terry Gloss? It was just amazing. She really opened up about her first marriage – how she got married for the wrong reasons… then once she was in it, the difficulty of getting out; the guilt, the questioning, so you let it go on and on and on when it shouldn’t. How much pressure is put on people around marriage – the whole weight of it. I really thought it was amazing because it was very similar to my experience. You’ve read Patchett right?”

“No, I own a couple of her books, but haven’t gotten to them oddly.”

“Oh yes, oh yes you own… (here he correctly listed what he remembered me owning, though I could have sworn I didn’t get them at this particular store). You know, you’ve always reminded me of her, of Patchett. From the first moment you walked into the store I’ve thought that,” he says all of this while his eyes flicker between me and somewhere in the distance where his thoughts are.

“You mean I look like her?” I was hoping that wasn’t the answer. Nothing against Ann Patchett, I didn’t actually know what she looked like, I’d never seen her (or looked at her author picture). I just wanted, needed, this to be about something more than just the way I looked. I wanted something more profound than that in this oddly serendipitous moment.

“Yeah, sort of, but other things too. She’s been here a few times, you know, the first time was years ago when she was probably around your age actually. Yes… you always have reminded me of her.”

My aunt has written me two or three times about reading Patchett’s new book of essays, This is the Story of a Happy Marriage. And here T was barreling into conversation about it on a day that I was thinking about relationships in general and one in particular. I looked over my shoulder and saw that there was one copy of the book left on the shelf. A signed first edition.

Of course I bought it. Of course I want to know why I remind T so much of Ann Patchett (he’s never read my writing that I know of – so it’s something else entirely that he was talking about) but I didn’t ask anymore questions, I didn’t want to spoil the eery magic of the moment. I’ve walked past this book so many times in the past couple of months at bookstores telling myself I’ll buy it soon. For some reason, I’ve been afraid of what I’ll find in its pages. I couldn’t articulate why if you put hot pokers to my skin. But now I have this book staring me down, so I have a feeling I’ll know the answer soon enough. And I’ll be back here to share it with you.