Saturday, August 21, 2010

Books I love CONTEST

I have been thinking a lot lately about books that made a difference in my life.

Sometimes when writing I try not to think about those books I love, because the bar is set so high it can get a little depressing.

But at other times, I remind myself that I have to start somewhere, and if I continue to work hard-- maybe one day, in 20 years or so-- I will have a book that I feel measures up to the books I love.

There are THREE books I love that I have been thinking about lately.

When I think about things I love, I want to share them.

I took one of them out of the library last week. It's a book I love but have never owned. Even the way we found it was a little magical. When my son James was a year old we went on a trip to Finland so I could go to a conference. (A completely different story is that this was called the Dry Toilet Conference, and it was all about composting toilets. It was awesome, if you're into that kind of thing. But I digress...)

We were living in the Netherlands at the time, so Finland was not such a trek. We rented a little cabin outside of Tampere, tucked into the woods around a massive lake. The cabin was isolated-- it was about 30 minutes by bus to town. When we got settled in the cabin we looked around and realized there were no English books.

One thing I love about renting a vacation place is the random assortment of books and such you find. You may read something you would never buy on your own. This house had a ton of Finnish books (no surprise, really), and some Finnish Huey, Dewey, and Louie comics. The comics were mildly entertaining but not able to dispel our boredom for long.

We started searching every nook and cranny of the house, to find JUST ONE English book, PLEASE.

Our efforts eventually paid off and we found The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. It's a story about a mysterious book, which made it even more perfect as a find.

We devoured it, recommended it to friends when we got home, sent it as a gift to others, but never bought it.

So I borrowed it recently from my library, and have started falling in love with it all over again.

In college I got hooked on John Irving, and one of my favorite books of his is A Prayer for Owen Meany. I love the characters in this book so dearly, and it taught me most of what I know about Vietnam. I feel Irving's strongest talent is weaving a complex story that finds its way back home again and again. It is one of my all time favorites, and I re-read it every few years. In fact I'm due for a re-reading right now.

Jandy Nelson's The Sky is Everywhere. This is a YA book that I've recently fallen for. As I've said in an earlier post, if you don't like this book we can't be friends. (No pressure, if you REALLY hate it, I am willing to discuss options). I love the premise, the characters, and the story so much. It is enchanting.

So, I am holding my first contest!

What you need to do to enter:

+1 Be a follower of this BLOG
+1 Comment on this post telling me your total number of entries, and super special bonus (+1) a book you love.
+1 Tweet it
+1 Blog about it


If the bookstore won't ship to you, I will.

Open until September 25th!!!!


  1. Ooo, am I the first to comment? WOO! ;)

    My favorite book is Peace Like a River by Leif Enger. It's the most incredible thing I have ever read.


    +1 for being a follower
    +1 for commenting with points
    +1 for book I love
    +1 for tweeting (here)
    +1 for blogging (sidebar here)
    5 Points!

    Thanks for the fun contest! *crossing my fingers!*

  2. My favorite book is To Kill A Mockingbird. IT's one of the few books I've read over and over again. +1 + 1
    Tweet+ 1

  3. Follower +1
    My fav book lately would have to be The Hunger Games! Not just because Mockingjay is coming out, but that doesn't hurt :) +1

    =2 entries!

  4. Ok, we're friends, cuz I just finished The Sky is Everywhere and loved it as well. :)

    I'll just go with my favorite book that I've read so far this year which would be Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers. +1

    I blogged about your contest (I added it to the bottom of the post you just commented on) +1

    And I started following - ok I think that adds up to 4 with a point for adding up my entries, but if I'm wrong, then you're free to change it. Thanks for doing the contest, the top two look really good. :)

    My email address just in case I win:

  5. Comment +1
    Favorite book- Harry Potter (all of them!) +1
    Follower +1


    Yay! Fun contest!

  6. Nice to see your favorites ladies -- Erinn I agree about TKAM-- love the book and the movie. Ahhh, Gregory Peck.
    And of course HP is high on my list, Holly. There was a filmfest on TV this weekend and we watched part of it (couldn't stay up to see it all).
    Sarah, I just put Catching Fire on hold at the library. Really looking forward to it. And by the time I finish, Mockingjay will be out! Woot!
    Angie- I have not read Some Girls Are-- but I have heard of it. It's on the TBR list.

    Jess- I just joined paperback swap and saw Peace Like a River on there-- so I hope to get it really soon. As soon as I accumulate some credits!

    Thanks for participating everyone!!!

  7. My favorite book is... wow... there are so, so, so many. I think off the top of my head it's "Redeeming Love" by Francine Rivers.

    +1 for becoming a follower
    +1 for posting
    +1 for telling you my fav book

    AND, I'm thinking about blogging about contests shortly so I may be coming back with another +1.

    Thanks so much... I love contests AND book suggestions!!! If I don't win, I'm totally going to read these books!

  8. Awesome contest! I've been dying to read The Sky was Everywhere.
    My favorite book is Harry Potter (I'm pretending it's just one book here..) +1
    I'm a follower now! +1
    And I'm commenting! +1

    TOTAL - 3

    I should tweet too, but I can't remember the password.. lol.

  9. + 1 follower
    + 1 commenting
    + 1 my favorite book that I've EVER read is The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.

    And, I would choose The Sky is Everywhere. I've read all three of your favorite books, but I gave away The Sky is Everywhere on my blog. But, I'd love a copy to share with my students!

    And, I agree that your other two books are pretty amazing. I loved them both!

    Thanks for the giveaway!

    mrsderaps @ hotmail . com

  10. +1 Best book ever. Little Prince. By Antoine Saint-Exupéry.

    +1 I am a follower.

    = 2.

  11. Erin- thanks for the tip on redeeming love, will add it to my super long reading list.

    Cheyanne- HP can count as one, I'd hate to force you to pick your favorite among them

    mrs DeRaps- if you win and already have the others, we could probably come up with substitutes!

    Mika- TLP is SOOO good. it features my favorite tree of ALL TIME, the Baobab, so it holds a special place in my heart.

    thanks for playing!!

  12. I'm going to have to go with Holly on this one, I love all the Harry Potter books. I tried to think of something that didn't have a lightning bolt scar slapped to the front of it... And it was impossible. :D

    +1 Follower!
    +1 Posting here!
    +1 Tweet!
    +1 Blogged!
    +1 Favorite book!


    +5! So exciting!

  13. Thanks for the contest!
    +1 for being a follower
    +1 for commenting with points
    +1 for book I love - The Birth of venus by sarah dunant

    Total 3


  14. finally here i am :)

    so, a book I love? The Tomorrow series by John Marsden which starts with Tomorrow When the War Began :) so so good.

    and three points for me all up and yay for it being international.

    and I too absolutely adore The Sky is Everywhere.

  15. Fun contest, WowWow!

    One of my favs is The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Shaffer. Just looove this book.

    +1 for being a follower (new)
    +1 for commenting with points
    +1 for book I love

    3 points, yay! But I'm across the pond, very kind of you to ship, not really fair...just want to enjoy your contest!

  16. Yay Glenna-- I totally understand.

    Thanks for dropping in Misha!

    Nomes, is there an Aussie Ministry of Literature? Do they know you should be on the payroll?

    Kittie- have heard a lot about it but haven't read it yet-- will add to my list. Thanks for sharing!

  17. Yay!! I love contests!!!

    My favorite book (right now) Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins


    +1 for being a follower
    +1 for commenting
    +1 for book I love
    +1 for tweeting
    +1 for blogging (sidebar)

    +5 points total!!! I've been dying to read The Sky is Everywhere!

  18. Thanks Jen! TSIE is the best new book (new to me) that I've read this year.

  19. +1 for being a follower

    +1 for commenting-thanks for making the contest international. Fingers crossed.

    +1 book I love- Has to be the Harry Potter series and the Hunger Games!


  20. Thanks for the awesomesauce of this contest!

    +1 for following
    +1 for commenting
    +1 for tweeting (@CaitlinEDarrell)
    +1 for side-barring (is that a word?)
    +1 for book love: Toss-up between A Clockwork Orange (NOT Angel), or the Hunger Games.
    so 5 points! Good luck everyone!


YAY for comments! Thanks for adding to the conversation.