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!

Keep or Giveaway: My Hollywood by Mona Simpson

Round two of keep or giveaway. If you’re interested in knowing if I kept the other book, I’ve updated the post with the result.

I’d love your help to decide if I should keep this book or give it away. If I decide to give it away then I will donate it to my local coffee shop (where there is a leave one, take one system) or my local library. If you are very interested in a book and would be willing to pay the $2-4 for Media Mail shipping, let me know in the comments and I can contact you to get your mailing address.

So, onto the book…

My Hollywood by Mona Simpson

My Hollywood by Mona SimpsonA wonderfully provocative and appealing novel, from the much-loved author of Anywhere But Here and A Regular Guy, her first in ten years. It tells the story of two women whose lives entwine and unfold behind the glittery surface of Hollywood.

Claire, a composer and a new mother, comes to LA so her husband can follow his passion for writing television comedy. Suddenly the marriage—once a genuine 50/50 arrangement—changes, with Paul working long hours and Claire left at home with a baby, William, whom she adores but has no idea how to care for.

Lola, a fifty-two-year-old mother of five who is working in America to pay for her own children’s higher education back in the Philippines, becomes their nanny. Lola stabilizes the rocky household and soon other parents try to lure her away. What she sacrifices to stay with Claire and “Williamo” remains her own closely guarded secret.

In a novel at turns satirical and heartbreaking, where mothers’ modern ideas are given practical overhauls by nannies, we meet Lola’s vast network of fellow caregivers, each with her own story to tell. We see the upstairs competition for the best nanny and the downstairs competition for the best deal, and are forced to ask whether it is possible to buy love for our children and what that transaction costs us all.

We look into two contemporary marriages—one in America and one in the Philippines—and witness their endangerment, despite the best of intentions.

My Hollywood
 is a tender, witty, and resonant novel that provides the profound pleasures readers have come to expect from Mona Simpson, here writing at the height of her powers. (Description from cover flap.)


 Keep or Giveaway?

The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon


The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon

I read this over the weekend and oh. my. god. so much fun to read. I haven’t had this much fun reading a book in months. Page turning, creepy, can’t-stop-reading goodness. Luckily I had a house full of people while reading because I’m not sure how brave I would have been otherwise (I’m a MAJOR scaredy-cat, though, so take my timidness with a grain of salt).

Really recommend this book if you want something to kill a chunk of time OR if you have the time to read and to not be interrupted (because you’re not going to want to pull yourself away from this one)!

Find the book description here.

Food for Thought: Which Three Books Define You?


Today, over at Book Riot, Kim Ukura posted about how this week NPR asked what three books summarize you. What an interesting question! I know it’s probably impossible to decide, but if you HAD to would you be able to choose three books that summarize who you are? Kim posted some of her favorite responses, which you can see here

I keep trying but can’t come up with anything. I can come up with books that described me at certain points in my life (early college, Wuthering Heights… somewhat dramatic and utterly in love). But I’m struggling with present day. I think I would have an easier time coming up with books that describe others. 

How about you? Can you come up with three (or even one)?

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.

Keep or Giveaway: The Sisters by Nancy Jensen

I got the idea for this new series from Jamie of The Perpetual Page-Turner, who does a Date With My Bookshelf series. My series will be a little different because I’ll be going through my bookshelves deciding whether to keep a book or give it away.

I have so many books that have been sitting on my shelf for quite some time and part of me thinks this is a good sign that I will never read the book. However, this isn’t always the case. I will, in fact, go back through and read books from my shelf that have been there for years, but there are other titles that I look at knowing they will probably never be opened (I keep them just in case).

I’d love your help to decide if I should keep these books or give them away. If I decide to give them away then I will donate them to my local coffee shop (where there is a leave one, take one system) or my local library. If you are very interested in a book and would be willing to pay the $2-4 for Media Mail shipping, let me know in the comments and I can contact you to get your mailing address.

So, onto the first book…

The Sisters by Nancy Jensen

The Sisters by Nancy JensenGrowing up in hardscrabble Kentucky in the 1920s, with their mother dead and their stepfather an ever-present threat, Bertie Fischer and her older sister Mabel have no one but each other—with perhaps a sweetheart for Bertie waiting in the wings. But on the day that Bertie receives her eighth-grade diploma, good intentions go terribly wrong. A choice made in desperate haste sets off a chain of misunderstandings that will divide the sisters and reverberate through three generations of women.

What happens when nothing turns out as you planned? From the Depression through World War II and Vietnam, and smaller events both tragic and joyful, Bertie and Mabel forge unexpected identities that are shaped by unspeakable secrets. As the sisters have daughters and granddaughters of their own, they discover that both love and betrayal are even more complicated than they seem.

Gorgeously written, with extraordinary insight and emotional truth, Nancy Jensen’s powerful debut novel illuminates the far-reaching power of family and family secrets. (Description from cover flap.)


 Keep or Giveaway?

Middlesex :: Week Six

Welcome to the read-a-long of Middlesex! We’re reading this book through February and March. You can see the reading schedule and guidelines on the Starting Post Page.


Week Six: The Oracular Vulva


Hi all, just wanted to post this for those of you who still want to discuss it. I don’t think we fully decided whether or not you all wanted to keep chatting about the book? Just wanted to make sure this was here for you if you do.

If there isn’t any discussion, then I won’t post after this… I’ll just gauge by your responses here. :)

Who’s Reading Along:

** Please don’t forget to come to this blog each Monday and share your thoughts in the comments section of the weekly discussion (see below for more information).**

Friendly Reminders:

  • If you are participating and I don’t have you on this list, please let me know in the comments section. I did not include people who said ‘maybe’ so if you have changed your mind and are definitely reading along with us, let me know so I can add you. Also, if you are not going to be able to join us anymore please let me know and I will take you off the list.
  • Comments from the previous week’s reading will be closing Sunday afternoon (before the next discussion takes place on Monday). If you would like to be part of the discussion, please remember to comment before then.
  • Each week, on Monday, share your thoughts about the previous week’s reading. If you are stuck on what to comment about, you can respond to my post or others’ comments. Regardless, you MUST check in each week (two weeks without a response and you will be taken off of the list — see below for details on why). You may have only one “off week” (which may not be the last week of reading for obvious reasons) and still be kept on the list, but you must let me know in the comment section by saying something like, “I’m catching up,” or “I’m still reading.” ***for all week’s discussions please refrain from posting ahead, even if you have read ahead, as to not spoil the book for others***
  • If you are a blogger you may post a link to your blog if you are posting about each of the each week’s reading. If I, or other readers, have extra time we will gladly try to visit your blog; however, you must make sure to share your thoughts here on this blog, and be part of the main conversation or your comment will not be counted.
  • If you go for two weeks without commenting in my weekly update comments section, I will assume you are no longer participating and will take you off of the list (*NEW GUIDELINE*, in order to get back onthe list, you need to a.) Have missed no more than two weeks of discussion, b.) Let me know you would like to be on the list again, and c.) consistently be part of the discussion for the next two weeks after requesting to be put back on the list.). This is in no way to be discouraging, but helps to keep the read-a-long organized (and helps me remember who’s completed what read-a-long). Thanks!

Book Riot podcast show notes (believe me, you’ll want them.)

Remember Wednesday when I told you to listen to Book Riot podcasts because they are so fab? Today I am following up to tell you that even if you can’t listen to the podcasts because of whatever excuse you want to come up with, you can still look at the notes for each show and get some of the stellar information they are giving out.

For example, week one:

Book Riot Podcast, Episode #1Want to see more of the podcasts, click here.

I promise I’ll change the subject next week, but I just wanted to make sure you knew about this fabulous thing going on. Also, episodes #2 and #3 got me to finally pick up Inferno and get sucked in. Have you read it yet?

Book Riot Podcasts (just do it).

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I am openly admitting that it took me almost a year to check out and support the Book Riot podcasts (mostly due to the fact that I am behind in the podcast world and navigating them feels confusing). Oh. My. God. I am in loooooooooovvvvvveeee with these podcasts. I don’t know how to convince you that it’s not because I write for Book Riot other than to point out the fact that we were asked to check it out LAST MAY and give feedback and I have just outed myself as just listening for the first time last week.

I have been listening to the podcasts pretty much every free moment since. I am actually getting sad about the idea that I will (in the not-too-distant future) have caught up and have to wait for new ones like everybody else. Within the first week of the podcasts, they were featured in the iTunes store as New and Noteworthy (not too shabby), so I’m not the only one who thinks they’re crazy interesting.

They are only an hour long. Book news, new releases, and recommendations are all discussed among other things. I highly, HIGHLY recommend you giving it a try – at least once. In case you are like me and are not super podcast savvy, let me tell you how easy it is. Download the app. Open the app. Press play on Episode One and go from there. You don’t have to download a thing after you’ve got the app – they just play!

If you have any trouble, shoot me a comment and I can see if I can help you. Also, any questions about the podcasts, same thing.

Once you give it a listen, come back and tell me what you think. I’m dying to know if you love them as much as I do!

(Find more information about the podcasts here.)