Monday, July 14, 2008

Humble Beginnings & A Book Giveaway

It was a dark and stormy day. The date was July 23, 2006; the time was 3:17 p.m. I finally relented and took my husband's advice to start a blog. I was procrastinating. Although I was enjoying the book I was reading at the time (Bombay Time by Thrity Umrigar), I was more in the mood for something else. And so, I turned to blogging.

On that day two years ago, I wrote:
I began keeping a reading journal about three years ago, jotting down my thoughts and feelings about the various books I read. I don't pretend to be any good at reviewing the books I read, mind you, which is probably why it's taken me so long to get up the courage to start a blog. Still, there is a part of me that wants to share my thoughts with others out there and this is one opportunity to do that.

Along with my book reviews, I hope to share some of my other musings with you, whether it be about books, sometimes movies or television, and on the rare occasion something outside of those topics completely. I hope you will enjoy visiting my blog!
Sarah Durant's The Birth of Venus was the first review posted on Musings of a Bookish Kitty. My friend Linda Sheehan was the first to post a comment on July 29, 2006, under my review of Empire of the Sun by J.G. Ballard. (Thank you, Linda!) I was not even a blip on the radar back then. My reviews mostly went unnoticed, with an occasional visitor stopping in now and then.

I have grown as a reader through blogging in more ways than I can imagine. I am reading books I might not have read otherwise and interacting with a community of readers and writers who have expanded not only my reading, but my thinking as well. My review writing still needs work, I admit, but it is an ever evolving process.

Reading has always been a passion of mine. I cannot imagine life without it. I am grateful that I have had this opportunity to share it with all of you.

This past week, I celebrated my 10th wedding anniversary by hosting a book giveaway. I could not let my 2 year blog anniversary go without a similar celebration, could I?

Hachette Book Group USA is doing a Summer Reads Giveaway and wants to give away 14 books to up to FIVE people. Can you believe it? It is like Christmas in July! Five lucky winners will receive all fourteen books. Yes, you read right. Fourteen books per winner!

Note: The giveaway is only open to people in the U.S. and Canada. Apologies to my friends in other countries.

Listed below you will find the 14 books being given away and links providing information about each book. Following the list are instructions on how to sign up.

Hachette Book Group USA Summer Reads Giveaway:

Fact over Fiction:
The Monster of Florence by Douglas Preston, $25.99
(ISBN: 0446581194 Read an Excerpt Listen to an Excerpt
View the Video Author Website * Audio Book Available)

The Preacher and the Presidents by Nancy Gibbs , Michael Duffy, $14.99
(ISBN: 1599951045 Read an Excerpt * Audio Book Available)

Swine Not? by Jimmy Buffett , Helen Bransford, $21.99
(ISBN: 0316035599 Author Website Listen to an Excerpt)

Historical Fiction:
Miscarriage of Justice by "Kip" Gayden, $22.99
(ISBN: 159995687X Chapter Excerpt)

Trespassers Will Be Baptized by Elizabeth Hancock, $21.99
(ISBN: 1599957086 Author Website Reading Group Guide)

He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not by Trish Ryan, $19.99
(ISBN: 1599957132 Author Website Reading Group Guide )

Reading Group Recommendations:
A Summer Affair by Elin Hilderbrand, $24.99
(ISBN: 0316018600 * Audio Book Available)

Barefoot by Elin Hilderbrand, $13.99
(ISBN: 0316018597 Chapter Excerpt Reading Guide 1 * Audio Book Available)

Made in the U.S.A. by Billie Letts, $24.99
(ISBN: 044652901X Read an Excerpt * Audio Book Available)

Off Season by Anne Siddons, $24.99
(ISBN: 0446527874 Listen to an Excerpt * Audio Book Available)

A Rose by the Door by Deborah Bedford, $6.99
(ISBN: 0446677892 Chapter Excerpt)

Remember Me by Deborah Bedford, $6.99
(ISBN: 0446690430 Chapter Excerpt Reading Guide 1)

Child 44 by Tom Smith, $16.00
(ISBN: 0446402389 Chapter Excerpt
* Audio Book Available)

Close by Martina Cole, $24.99
(ISBN: 0446179965 * Audio Book Available)

How to Enter:
1. Leave a comment on this post along with the following:
a) A recommendation of a book I have not yet read or reviewed here on my blog
b) The title of a book you have read
or want to read based in part on a review I posted on my blog
c) Include an e-mail address where I can reach you if you do not have one listed on your blog or profile page
2. For every comment you leave on any post on this blog between now and the giveaway deadline, you will receive one (1) extra entry. You must first leave a comment in this post to officially enter.
3. If you would like three (3) more entries, post about this contest on your blog and be sure to let me know in the comment section here.
4. Deadline to enter the drawing is Saturday, August 2, 2008, 11:59 PM PDT
5. You must have a valid mailing address. No P.O. Box addresses please.
6. The Giveaway is limited to U.S. and Canada.



  1. I love the fact that this contest is being offered on so many blogs - it's great!

    Here are my recommendations, along with links to my review in case you're interested:
    Cane River - I loved this one!
    Emergency Sex and Other Desperate Measures - catchy title, fascinating book
    The Avengers: A Jewish War Story - this book taught me things about WWII that I never knew
    and finally, The Endurance: Shackleton's Legendary Arctic Expedition - I listened to the audio book and was completely enthralled!

    If you do read/listen to any of these, please drop by my blog and let me know. I'd love to hear what you thought of them!

  2. me again - sorry, I gave you the wrong link for Cane River - try this one instead!

  3. I'm going to sign up again for one of your give-aways, because my greedy little reading fingers cannot turn down the chance to win many books.
    1. Have you read Shadow Family by Miyabe, a Japanese mystery?
    2. too many to remember! I'm still planning to read Broken for You, that you loved last year.

  4. Heather J - Thank you for entering and for the book recommendations. I haven't read any of the ones you mentioned, and only have heard of one, Cane River. They all sound good! Thank you too for including the links to your review!

    Elizabeth - I understand the feeling. LOL Thank you for the recommendation of Shadow Family. I haven't read that one, but it does sound like something I would like. I have another of Miyabe's books on my shelf--one I won in a contest Tanabata ran earlier this year that I am looking forward to reading. I have a coworker who really likes the author as well.

    I do hope you enjoy Broken For You when you get to it. I have a long list of recommendations and am not sure when I will get to them all! Still, it's fun to compile lists like this. I'll never run out of reading ideas. :-)

  5. Happy Blogiversary, Wendy! I never would have guessed that you've been doing this for only two years. Then again, in blog years that's probably the equivalent of at least a decade :-). Thanks for deciding to start this blog - and to your husband for encouraging you; you have become one of my favorite people, and I always enjoy reading your reviews, even if I'm not so sure about the books themselves :-).

    I've actually passed up this contest on a few other blogs, but I'm going for it this time.

    1) I recommend two books that I passed along to you earlier this year, The Ruins of California by Martha Sherrill and Eleanor Rushing by Patty Friedmann, and I have totally selfish reasons for doing so - I really want to read your reviews and know what you think of them!

    2) Your praise of it prompted me to finally pick up a copy of Broken for You by Stephanie Kallos, but I haven't read it yet. I'm also interested in checking out Clea Simon's mysteries, but haven't been able to find them in bookstores around here (and I keep forgetting when I go to Amazon).

    Nice to see that you got the embedded-comment form to work!

  6. I'm SO glad you started blogging! When I sort of dropped out of the Yahoo! Groups (I miss Linda Sheehan!) I was glad to be able to keep up with many of my favorite participants (including yourself) through blogs. I love your reviews and think you do a wonderful job.

    I'll be back to answer your questions for my official entry!

  7. OMG I just realized I've been blogging for over a year! My first post was on June 22, 2007. Goodness, how time flys by.

    Great contest by the way but I'd rather not be put in right now since my TBR pile is in danger of crushing me!

  8. As someone who's just started review blogging, this was a very uplifting post. I'm already noticing a difference in my enjoyment of reading because of my blog, and it's great to hear about your growth as a reader because of your own blog.

    Your review of Nefertiti put that book on the radar for me. I love all things Egyptian, but I had no clue it existed before reading your review. I can't wait to read it!

    Amazing contest! Please enter me. :)

  9. Hey Wendy, I stopped by!
    Nice job on the blog. One of these days, I really need to do it as well.


  10. Happy Blogiversary, Wendy! You're one of my favourite bloggers and I hope you stay around for many more years :)

  11. Happy Blogiversary, Wendy!
    What a coincidence that we started blogging around the same time! I always enjoy reading your blog, so please keep those posts coming! :)

  12. I'm going to continue to recommend you read more Mo Hayder and start her Jack Caffrey series with "Birdman".

    I'd like to read "Tokyo Year Zero" by David Peace based on your review.

    My email's on my profile

  13. Congratulations on nearly two years of blogging! That's impressive!

    It's been a pleasure getting to know you. I've really enjoyed reading your blog and have definitely appreciated your presence at mine. My wish list has repeatedly been a "victim" of your reviews - off the top of my head I can think of two that I've added (though there's probably a good many more!) - After Hours at the Almost Home and Machete Season.

    I'll recommend you three books that I think are awesome but a bit underloved - Black and White by Dani Shapiro (a daughter becomes the unwilling subject of her mother's art - it's a very human ethical dilemma sort of book), The True Story of Hansel and Gretel by Louise Murphy (the author turned Hansel and Gretel into a really well-done Holocaust novel), and The Other Side of You by Salley Vickers (this is the first book in a long time that I've wanted to re-read because I think it's very possible I could get more out of it the second time around).

    Here's hoping for many more years of good reading and blogging for you! =D

  14. What a beautiful remembrance. Like you, my husband talked me into blogging and I'm so glad that he did. It's nice to be able to share a passion with others. I'm very thankful that I've found your blog.

    One book I'd like for you to read and review is The Monsters of Templeton. I love that novel and would like to read other people's opinions about it. I think you'll like it. Here's hoping I get lucky. If not, I know that some other great people will.

  15. You've given me so many wonderful ideas for things to read, and I hope that I have found one or two that you haven't read.
    I recommend for you: No One You Know by Michelle Richmond, which I really enjoyed recently. Another one that I would suggest is Names My Sisters Call Me by Megan Crane.

    The book that I am really looking forward to reading based on your comments alone is Broken for You by Stephanie Kallos. I'm actually saving this for a rainy day.

    Christine (

  16. What a nice essay about the roots of your blogging ... and where it has grown! Congratulations on two very productive years online!

    I was thinking about books I've read in the past year, and checked your list to make sure you haven't read *Suite Francaise* by Irene Nemirovsky. The book consists of two novellas written in June 1940, about events of June 1940 ... semi-biographical as Nemirovsky and her family are removed from Paris during the war. Chilling, as the book was discovered after her death (she had been a successful novelist in Paris during her lifetime). It has its light moments, as Nemirovsky does such a great job describing the various characters and personalities involved. The appendices telling *her* story are incredible.

    The book you've reviewed that is on my wish list is Thrity Umrigar's *Bombay Time*. I read *The Space Between Us* earlier this year and found it very powerful.

    And, yes, I'll blog about your giveaway!

  17. It's great to celebrate blogging! Even before I blogged I kept journals... but they definitely slowed down when I started typing because I'm much faster.

    Okay I scoured your blog for any hinting of the titles I'm going to suggest -- so please forgive me if you've already read them... but Terry Goodkind's series: The Sword of Truth. The first novel is Wizard's First Rule and the last one that just came out October 2007 is Confessor. There are a total of 11 books in this epic fantasy. I love that each book is a stand-alone novel, but as a whole it speaks on a much greater level. Goodkind is an extremely expressive and deep author. LOVELOVE LOVE.

    And a book that you reviewed that made me want to read it (and Stephanie at The Written Word is Nefertiti by Michelle Moran.

    I will blog about your giveaway!

  18. Congratulations on TWO YEARS! That's awesome. I hope you're around for many more.

    I would recommend On Chesil Beach, by Ian McEwan. See my review here:

    As for a book I would like to read as a result of your review: Moonlight Downs, by Adrian Hyland.

    My email address is: thebluestockingsociety (at) gmail (dot) com.

    Thanks for having such a lovely giveaway!

  19. You don't give yourself enough credit--you are a great writer, and I have really been enjoying your blog!

    If you haven't read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, I would highly recommend it!

    After I read your review of Nefertiti, I not only added it to my TBR list, but to my TBR SOON list! I also think Killing Rommel sounds quite interesting!

    e-mail: lorla (at)yahoo (dot) com

  20. Florinda - Thank you for your kind words! You are one of my favorite people too. You'd know that if you knew just how often I say things like, "Florinda says . . " My husband feels like he knows you too! It is hard to believe it has been too years already. Sometimes it feels like forever and sometimes like I'm still brand new to blogging.

    I am glad you decided to join in! Those are great recommendations and definitely books I want to read. :-) I hope you will like Broken For You. I always get a little nervous when someone reads a book based on my say so. At least other people like it too.

    Thank you for the tip on the embedded-comment form. Once I figured out how to switch to Blogger-Draft, it was really easy to do.

    Andi - I'm glad I started blogging too. I might not have stuck with it had it not been for great people like you. You've been so supportive. I truly appreciate it. Thanks so much for your kind words.

    Jen - LOL Congratulations on hitting the year mark. I missed my first anniversary too. The other day my immediate TBR pile fell on me. I was trying to reorganize a few of the books and the next thing I knew, they were falling down on top of me. :-) So, I understand the fear of being crushed by your TBR pile.

    Ruth - It's very addicting! I pay more attention to what I read now and as a result am noticing things I might have missed otherwise. Plus it is fun to discuss books I've read, reading other people's perspectives. I hope you will enjoy Nefertiti when you get to it.

    Denise - Hi, Denise! I am glad you dropped. :-) You should give blogging a try!

    Nymeth - Thank you! That is so sweet of you to say. You are one of my favorites too. :-)

    Melody - Thanks! I noticed that we started around the same time! I am glad we found each other. :-)

    Nicola - I really must read more Mo Hayder. Must, must, must! Thanks for the recommendation! I loaned my copy of Tokyo Year Zero to a coworker and she's reading it now. I can't wait to hear what she thinks of it when she's done.

    Megan - Thank you! Machete Season is a must read, I think. Especially in today's political climate. I do hope you get the chance to give it a try.

    Black and White and The Other Side of You do sound good. They are going straight to my wish list. I had the opportunity to read The True Story of Hansel and Gretel before I began blogging and found it to be a very moving story. I've recommended that one quite a bit to others myself. Great choices!

    Jennifer - Thank you so much! Our husbands are smart men. I am really looking forward to reading The Monsters of Templeton. It's definitely one I want to read. Thank you for the recommendation!

    Christine - See, you were able to come up with two books I haven't yet read. :-) I recently bought a copy of Michelle Richmond's other book, Year of Fog, and am looking forward to reading it. Her new one, No One You Know sounds really good too. I've added both Richmond's and Crane's books to my wish list. Thank you!

    Dawn - Thanks! And thank you for the recommendation. I do want to read Suite Francaise. I've heard such great things about it and it's set in a time period that I am really drawn too. I hope you get a chance to read Bombay Time. I enjoy Thrity Umrigar's work very much. I want to get her most recent book one of these days.

    Monica - I think so too! And book giveaways are a great way to celebrate. Terry Goodkind . . . I think my husband may actually have a copy of Wizard's First Rule. I haven't read it myself but will definitely have to remedy that. I need to get back into fantasy reading.

    Jessica - Thank you! I read Atonement last year and really liked it and so I am sure I will enjoy On Chesil Beach too. Thank you for the recommendation! I do hope you get the chance to read Adrian Hyland's book. He did such a good job with his characters and in making the setting come to life.

    Laura - You're too kind. Thank you! I was just reading your review of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. :-) I do need to read that one. Thanks for the recommendation!

  21. I'm glad you blog or otherwise I'd not have a great blog friend! Bless your husband for encouraging you. :)

    I am looking forward to many more years of wonderful blogging from you so don't you ever stop writing, OK? And keep those reviews coming. I need constant book wish list update. LOL.

  22. Congratulations on your first two years of blogging! You're one of my regular stops and I always look forward to your posts. And I've added many books to my wishlist thanks to your reviews! Here's wishing you many more years of blogging and good books! :)

  23. Congrats on your two year blogging anniversary! I posted about your contest here:

    My book rec is Summer Sisters by Judy Blume. I just finished it and loved it - it's a nice, quick summer read. Here is my review:

    Thanks for hosting this giveaway!

  24. Sorry, I posted the wrong link above. Here is where I blogged about this contest:

  25. I know there are many books I've acquired as a result of your reviews! Machete season is one. An author I discovered thanks to you is Amulya Malladi. Thanks!

  26. Happy Blogging Anniversary - Looks like we both started about the same time (July 2006). I'm always excited to see new posts here - you've encouraged me to read several books.

  27. Happy Blogversary! :)

    This is my first time here as it seems I've stumbled on today's blog hopping trend: book giveaways. LOL!

    My recommended book: Twilight series by Stephanie Meyers

    I also blogged about this giveaway here.

    It's teen fic, but very addicting, thanks to my teen daughters :)

    I just finished an oldie, The World According to Garp as my introduction to John Irving. I've heard good things about him and watched all the movie versions of his books but realized hadn't read any of the actual books.

  28. A great book you can concider reviewing would be the Mrs. Lieutenant book by Phyllis Zimbler Miller...I am reading it right now, but always love to read others thoughts on books like this.

    This is a great giveaway and would love to be entered please.

  29. Happy Blogiversary!! I'm so glad you did decide to start a blog. You're one of the first blogs I first came across. Not entering this contest because I have an absolute mountain of books to read now.

  30. Happy Blogiversary! If I recollect, I think we first met at a Yahoo Group (Book Crazy?) I am no longer active there, but it's great to keep up with those who have blogs!

    I think I'll enter this one.
    I would recommend The Blood of Flowers by Anita Amirrezvani.
    I have After Hours at the Almost Home by Tara Yellenon my TBR list after reading your review.

  31. Sadly I do not have a blog. (I need the time to actually read books). I would recommend The Spies of Warsaw by Alan Furst and Word Origina and How We Know Them by Anatoly Liberman.

  32. Happy anniversary - both of your marriage and your blog!

  33. Jeanne - Thank you for the recommendations! I've been wanting to try something by Alan Furst, and the Word Origin book sounds like something I would enjoy reading. You don't need a blog to enter. Just make sure I have your e-mail address in case I need to notify you if you win.

  34. Alice - Thank you! And my husband thanks you too. :-) I have had the opportunity to meet quite a few people I might not have met otherwise. Blogging has been a good to me in many ways. :-)

    Nat - Thank you so much! Your blog is on my must visit list too. :-)

    Shana - Thanks for the anniversary wishes, the recommendation, and posting about the drawing on your blog. Judy Blume was a childhood favorite of mine. I read every one of her children's books I could get my hands on. I've read one of her adult books and keep meaning to read more by her.

    Tara - You are welcome! I was eying Amulya Malladi's latest book recently and thinking how I want to read that one soon. So many books . . . :-)

    SuziQ - Thank you! I enjoy reading your blog too and you've certainly help build both my TBR pile and my wish list grow. :-)

    JMom - Thanks! There sure seems to be a lot of giveaways going on right now, doesn't there? Thank you for posting about my giveaway on your blog and for the recommendation. I am looking forward to reading Twilight, which I hope to do before the movie comes out. I have a coworker who is quite smitten with the books and has been on my case to hurry up and read the series. I still haven't read anything by John Irving. Must remedy that.

    Barbara - Mrs. Lietenant does sound good! Thank you for the recommendation.

    Lisa - Thank you! I completely understand what you're going through. My mountain is about ready to topple down onto my head. :-)

    Alisia - Thank you! I'm not nearly as active as I once was in book groups. I still visit Book Crazy now and then, but not as regularly as I once did. The Blood Flowers is definitely one I want to read. I found a remainder copy so that I wouldn't let it slip by me.

    Clea - Thank you!

  35. Congrats on 2 years-whoo!!!

    I would recommend Change of Heart by Jodi Picoult-awesome book or Monsters of Templeton, another fantastic read.

    I think I will read A History of God after checking out your review

    I will also post about your giveaway on my blog...

  36. I mentioned the giveaway in the "Announcements" section of this post, so I get some bonus entries for the contest now, right? :-)

  37. We're reading _Dervishes_ in my book group, will be discussing this tonight. Loved your review, can't wait to hear what others think.

  38. Happy Bloggiversary Wendy! I love your reviews so you better not stop blogging ever :) -- wishing you many more years of book blogging.
    Well what a fantastic way to celebrate. I don't think you've read this one yet but I'd love to hear your thoughts on "In the Woods" by Tana French. Great book. After reading your review of the Matt Beynon Rees book, A Death in Gaza, and now that I've read the first in the series I do plan to continue on with it.

  39. Oh Wendy--I think you are a wonderful review writer!! Happy Bloggiversary. :)

    I did a quick search for The Book Thief and didn't see it--really, you haven't read it? Do so! Also, I think you should give Snow Crash another go. ;)

    I know there have been others, but in particular I read The Translator because of your review. You also posted in your comments some other books that you read about Africa that I jotted down to read.

    my email is tstineman AT hotmail DOT com

    And I posted here:

    Blogging has definitely expanded my reading in so many ways as well--I love it!! Glad it has been such a great experience for you as well.

  40. Okay, I wasn't going to enter, since I just won a book in your wedding anniversary giveaway, but I can't resist - it's 14 books!

    So, my recommendation is to read Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. I guarantee you'll be hooked and want to read the rest of the series.

    I have read many books as a result of your reviews, but the one that stands out most is Broken for You, which has become one of my all-time favorite reads.

  41. P.S. Forgot to mention my suggested book -- actually I have two that we've done recently in my book group -- _Unaccustomed Earth_ by Jhumpa Lahiri; and _People of the Book_ by Geraldine Brooks.

  42. I"m not sure if I can enter this one, as I just won your last one, but if I can I'd love to be in it! I posted about it on your blog this morning, regardless.

    I recommend gods in Alabama by Joshilyn Jackson, and one I found here is Apples and Oranges. I have a fraught relationship with my brothers as well.

  43. Infected by Scott Sigler and Cold Plague by Daniel Kalla would be worth your time. Kalla wrote a previous book, Pandemic, that takes place before Cold Plague. (I'm currently reading this.) I'd agree with those who also suggested People of the Book and The Book Thief.
    I specifically read The Way the Crow Flies by Ann-Marie MacDonald based on your review.

    I would love a copy of The Monster of Florence by Douglas Preston. It's on my wish list

  44. Thanks for the great contest! I have blogged about it here.

    I would recommend Tales of a Female Nomad. I am a travel memoir fan, and I really enjoyed this one.

    I agree with your review of The Arthurian Omen. A light, fun book for when you just want to be entertained.

  45. Two years, congrats!!! My three permanent cats, two foster cats and I would like to recommend my favorite book of all time, Back Home, by Michelle Magorian. After spending her formative years (7-12) in the US, safe from all the bombs of WWII, Rusty's back home in England, where nothing is familiar- not her parents, not the little brother she's only just met, certainly not that harpy who's supposed to be her grandmother, and definitely not the boarding school she's been shipped off to. She's trying to fit in in a culture almost entirely foreign to her, and it's not working out so well.

    This is probably my favorite book of all time, one I've re-read time and time again since I first discovered it in the library as a child.

    Come visit me sometime!

  46. Congrats!! I've been blogging for almost a year and a half now. Doesn't it feel like forever??

    Well...duh! I'd love to be entered in this fantastic drawing!!

  47. Happy Blog-I-Versary!!!! I know I don't comment much lately (no time, no time), but I always enjoy your reviews, and I'm always adding books to my TBR list because of them, so I for one am glad you decided to start blogging! HUGS

  48. Hi there!

    If you haven't read Cloud Atlas or Ghostwritten by David Mitchell, you really should. They are two of my favorite books.

    I liked your review of Septembers in Shiraz by Dalia Sofer and I plan to read it soon.

    My e-mail address is lenoreva AT hotmail DOT com

    It's so great to have you in the blogging community :)

  49. P.S. I blogged about this in my LT Tuesday post!

  50. I would recommend These Is My Words by Nancy Turner. That's the first one that popped into my head. I'm sure there's many many others!

    And a book you reviewed that looks interesting to me: Nightwalker by Jocelynn Drake. I'll be remembering this one when I'm needing a vampire fix or something.

    Hopefully I'll get something posted on my blog about your contest! I'll get back to you when that happens! :)

  51. Congatulations!!!! and what a
    awesome contest!!

  52. Hi--What a great contest!
    1. I highly recommend "Nim Chimpsky: The Chimp That Would Be Human." As you are a fellow kitty and animal lover, I think you would find it very interesting.
    2. I am interested in reading "Rape: A Love Story" which I just read about on your blog.
    framboise (on librarything)
    email: ftsay AT yahoo DOT com

  53. Happy Blogiversary and thanks for hosting this giveaway! I would recommend 3 Aces by Richard Ide. It's romantic suspense on a road trip, and one of my most enjoyable reads so far this summer.

  54. Julie - Thank you! I really do want to read both Change of heart and Monsters of Templeton. Both are great recommendations.

    Florinda - Thanks! You definitely have earned bonus entries. :-)

    Heather P. - I hope your book group discussion went well! Dervishes seems like it would be good fodder for conversation. Thank you for the recommendations! Both books you mentioned are ones I'm looking forward to reading one of these days. I've heard such great things about them.

    Iliana - Thank you! I have Tana French's book right here waiting in my immediate TBR stack. I can't wait to read it!

    Trish - Thank you for your kind words! It's true. I still haven't read The Book Thief. I want to, but I haven't managed to make my way to it yet. And I do want to read Snow Crash too. Thank you for reminding me!

    Carrie K. - I'm glad you decided to enter. :-) Thank you for the recommendation! You gave me an idea. I think I'll get that one for a friend of mine who is looking to start a new series--and she doesn't like just any series. One of these days, I'll read it too. :-)

    Lisa (Books. Life. Lists) - Of course you can enter! A blogger friend sent me her copy of gods in Alabama, but I still haven't managed to read it. I do want to though! Thank you for the recommendation!

    Lori - I dropped in at your blog and read your reviews of your recommendations. They do sound good! Thank you!

    Lallybroch - Tales of a Female Nomad sounds like an interesting one. I definitely will be adding that to my wish list.

    Stephanie (Open Mind) - Thank you! Back Home sounds good. I'll definitely have to look for that one.

    Stephanie (Book-a-holic) - Thank you!

    Karina - Thanks so much! I've enjoyed blogging. Sometimes I think I spend too much time doing so, but it hasn't lost its charm. :-)

    Lenore - David Mitchell is an author I have been wanting to read for some time now. Thank you for the recommendations!

    Suey - Thank you for the recommendation! I probably should reread These IS My Words. I read it many years ago and really enjoyed it.

    Photoquest - Thank you!

    Framboise - Thanks! My nickname in middle school was Chimpanzee. I'd forgotten all about that until I saw your recommendation. :-) I will definitely be on the look out for Nim Chimpsky.

    Ruth - Thank you for both the anniversary wishes and the recommendation. 3 Aces sounds like a good one.

  55. I'd recommend for you A Rose for the Crown by Anne Easter Smith. You seem to have read and enjoyed some of the same historical fiction as I have and this is a really good one we don't seem to share. In the same vein, I became really interested to read Nefertiti by Michelle Moran after reading your review. I had seen it in hardcover, but only after I read the review and found it in paperback did I buy it, and it's getting closer to the top of the TBR pile. =)

    Thanks for hosting this contest - I'll also be linking back to you shortly on my blog, where my email address is in my "about meghan" section!

  56. Thank you for the contest! I put Tarnished Beauty on my TBR pile and enjoyed your review of Nefertiti since it's on the pile as well :) Thanks for the contest!

  57. Hi! I blogged about this contest just now, and I'm so excited you're doing it! A recent book that I loved was "We Need to Talk About Kevin" and also I just read "Atonement" and enjoyed it too. Check out my blog for tons of other book reviews too. :) Thanks again!!

  58. Thanks for the contest! I'm presently reading a great mystery called THE FOURTH WATCHER by Timothy Halliana. I also just finished THE BLUE CHEER by Ed Lynskey. These were books I hadn't heard much about, but they are great and word should get out.

    You can check out other reviews I've done, some author interviews and a book contest I'm holding myself at

  59. Thank you so much for sponsoring this give-away. I am a big Fan of authors, Preston, Letts, and Siddons - winning all of these books plus more really would be like Christmas in July!
    I just finished reading an exceptional novel by Tana French called 'In the Woods' and strongly urge those who enjoy compelling characters and mystery to read this.
    Thanks again!
    Lori C. in Worcester, Ma.

  60. HI,I would love to be entered into this contest.

    I would love to see what you think of Mr. Thundermug by cornelius Medvei; here's my review of the book for more information:

    I am in Maryland.

  61. You knew I'd enter didn't you???

    I just finished reading Hotel Du Lac, by Anita Brookner - I haven't reviewed it yet, but I'd recommend it. Wryly humorous and introspective...

    As far as a book I haven't read, that you have (and which I *want* to read): Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Readers by Anne Fadiman. I remember your posts about Fadiman's books and how much they made me want to go right out and buy the book!

  62. I commented earlier, but just wanted to let you know that I've mentioned your contest on my blog.

  63. A book I just love to read over and over is "Mutant Message Down Under" by Margo Morgan
    It's full of surprises and each read is a new adventure. Enjoy. And thanks!

    K P

  64. I'd like to recommend Cindy Woodsmall's Whent he Heart Cries a wonderful series Sisters of The Quilt.
    Theresa N

  65. My recommendation would be - Malgudi Days by R.K.Narayan

    callmeabookworm at gmail dot com

  66. Book you should read: Deerskin by Robin McKinley (I love fairy tales.) Can a recommend another? Where is the Mango Princess? by Cathy Crimmins--a wonderful memoir about her experiences with her husband's brain injury and recovery.

    Book review that interests me in reading the book (or however you want to phrase it): Broken for You by Stephanie Kallos


  67. First of all,

    Congratulations on both you wedding and blog anniversary!

    Here are a couple recommendations for you:

    Ringside 1925: Views From the Scopes Trial by Jen Bryant Its a YA historical gem!!

    The Secret River by Kate Grenville. A must read IMO, an excellent historical about the pioneers of New South Wales.

    A book I have wanted to read due to your review of it is: The Translator: A Tribesman's Memoir of Darfur by Daoud Hari

    my email is teddyr66(at)yahoo(dot)com

    Thanks so much for celebrating this special occasion with your loyal readers, your the best!

  68. 1. I would love to recommend Rules of Deception by Christopher Reich. I see that you are a fan of mysteries and intrigue as I am and this was a return to this genre for me. I loved it.

    2. I am planning on reading Admit One based on your review. I have seen this book mentioned several times and now it is time to read it.
    This is my first time to your blog based on a recommendation on I am an Early Reviewer and a life long reader like you and I have finally decided to start my own blog for my book reviews as well. I am also a "California Sunshine Girl" (my DH name for all of us). I look forward to seeing the results of your contest and thank you for sharing. I have added your blog to my reader as I love the way you catalog everything. donura at gmail dot com.

  69. 1. I think that you should read The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold and Mansfield Park by Jane Austen. If you'd like to see my review of Mansfield Park, go here:

    I'm on chapter 10 of Anna Karenina and based on your review I'm super excited to read it now! I'm actually going to get off the computer and read. Hahaha. I also put The Alchemist on my book list because of your review!

    e-mail is

    I also posted about this contest on my blog and added you to my blogrool! Go check it out!

  70. I forgot to recommend to you the book Jia: A Novel of North Korea by Hyejin Kim. This book will break your heart. It's so sad but it's so good! The main character is Jia but there are a few other stories in the book based on the people that Jia meets along on her journey. It's so good I read the whole thing in one day!

    E-mail again is
    Blog is

  71. Meghan - I do enjoy historical fiction, although sometimes I don't think I read enough of it. Thank you for the recommendation of Anne Easter Smith's book. It does sound good. I hope you enjoy Nefertiti.

    Amanda - I hope you will enjoy Tarnished Beauty and Nefertiti. I enjoyed both.

    Heather - Isn't Atonement great? I really enjoyed that one. Thank you for the recommendation of We Need to Talk About Kevin. I am looking forward to reading it.

    Jen - Both of your recommendations sound good. It's especially fun discovering treasures among little known books and then being able to share them with others. Thanks too for the link to your blog!

    Lori C. - Ooo! I am really looking forward to reading In the Woods. I can't wait! Thank you for the recommendation.

    Serena - Mr. Thundermug sounds like a fun book. Thank you for the recommendation!

    Jennifer - Do you have an e-mail address where I can reach you if you win? Also, don't forget to make a recommendation and list a book I reviewed that influenced you to qualify to enter.

    Wendy - I knew you wouldn't be able to resist. :-) You always have good recommendations for me. Hotel Du Lac sounds great. Thank you for the recommendation.

    Ruth - Thank you for the link, Ruth! I added in your extra entries. :-)

    KP - I looked up Morgan's book on Amazon and it does sound interesting--not to mention a bit controversial. I will definitely have to add that one to my wish list. Thanks for the recommendation!

    Theresa N. - I've heard great things about the Sisters of the Quilt series. Thank you for the recommendation!

    aBookworm - Thank you for the recommendation! I look forward to reading Malgudi Days.

    Jena - Deerskin does sound good! As does Crimmins book. My wish list is like Santa's Christmas list--rolling on the floor. :-) Thank you for the recommendations.

    Teddy Rose - Thank you! It's been a month of anniversaries. :-) Thank you too for the recommendations. They both sound good, especially Kate Grenville's book.

    Donura - Thank you for the recommendation. I haven't read anything by Christopher Reich before, but I'm looking forward to giving him a try. It's nice to meet another LTer! I look forward to checking out your blog!

    Princesshoney - Thank you for the recommendations! I read The Lovely Bones years before I began blogging and loved it. I haven't yet read Lucky by the same author, but I do plan to at some point. I am really looking forward to reading Mansfield Park. Hopefully this year if I can get my act together. The Jia book sounds intriguing. I'll definitely have to add that one to my wish list. I hope you enjoy Anna Karenina! It's such a good book. Thank for too for posting about my drawing!

  72. Happy Blogiversary, Wendy! Congratulations on TWO YEARS! That's awesome. Thanks for having such an awesome contest!!!

  73. What a great contest! Hi Wendy! I miss you here at the hospital and I thank you for thinking of me and your prayers. You're AMAZING. Also, You've been awarded by me an award on my go see and put it up on your blog. I really liked the Devil's Footprints so far this year and I also liked Loose Girl and Schooled! I do a lot of lurking and I'll post again when I can, but I'd LOVE to win this one! Thanks again Wendy for everything! xoxo Amy your Park-Avenue Princess

  74. Oh and HAPPY BLOG-O-VERSARY and your Anniversary that I missed being in this icky place! YAY!!!

    xoxo Amy

  75. Wow! What a fantastic giveaway!

    Book recommendation: Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali

    Based on your review, I added Nefertiti to my libary queue.

    Keeping fingers crossed!


  76. Amy - You are definitely missed here too! Thank you for the award! That is so sweet of you! And thank you for the anniversary wishes. :-)

    Devil's Footprints--what a great title! Who is the author of that one? I found a couple of different books with that title on the Amazon site. I enjoyed Loose Girl quite a bit too!

    Evelyn - Thank you for the recommendation. Infidel sounds really interesting. I will have to add that one to my wish list!

  77. Hi there! I am so intrigued by this..and all the books look fabulous..
    I am re- reading a book that I am sure you have not come across. It is a compendium of 5 books actually(LOL)
    They are all together called the, "Pop Larkin,"stories, and are by a wonderful English author, HE Bates.
    Ok now the book I would like to read is Molokai by Alan Brennert. I love Hawaiian history and culture and am interested in learning more about the sad history of the people forced to live in isolation on Molokai.
    Happy Bloverserary too, I am amazed that you have only been blogging for 2 years! Here's to many more!

  78. Merri - Thank you for the anniversary wishes! It's hard to believe it's been two years. Sometimes it feels like yesterday when I started and other times it feels like I've always been blogging. :-) Thank you for the recommendation!

  79. I'm so behind on blog reading that I almost missed your fun contest. I'm entering just in time - whew!

    Let's see - what to recommend? The series I've read and loved lately is the Grace Valley books by Robyn Carr. They're warm, quirky and always have a happy ending. She also writes The Virgin River series, which I haven't read yet.

    Thanks for the contest! I've got a couple giveaways going on over at my blog - check em out!

  80. Oh, sorry - I will post about your contest on my blog. Also, my email is: . Thanks!

  81. I just won this contest on another blog, so I'll need to withdraw my entry and let someone else enjoy the thrill of winning. Thanks for a great contest Wendy!

  82. Susan - Thank you for entering! I remember reading your interview with the author and am looking forward to trying something by Robyn Carr.

    Ruth - Congratulations!

  83. I just reviewed The Good Thief by Hannah Tinti on my blog. It was really good.


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