Some Odds and Ends, Song Yet Sung & Contemporary Fiction Giveaway Pack

The Dog Days of Blogging

I think I have entered into what are for me the dog days of summer.  I haven’t felt like posting anything lately, so I have just been going with that.  I have a few giveaways that I would like to post and at the end of this month I will be wrapping up The Color Purple read-a-long that I did with Heather from Age 30+…A Lifetime of Books.

Reading Notes

I have read a lot of great books this month.  Two were classic novels – The Color Purple, by Alice Walker  and To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, which I read over the weekend.  I also got my first taste of Crime and Punishment via graphic novel and read two fabulous upcoming books Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin and Man in the Woods by Scott Spencer.

July has been such a great reading month that it put me in a bind when I had to choose what was next on my list.  I spent two days not reading anything while I considered all the possibilities.  To Kill A Mockingbird is an extremely hard book to follow up, and I was afraid that unless I chose something radically different, anything I chose couldn’t possibly be any good by comparison. I read a lot of first chapters and put aside lots of books that just weren’t right for me to read right now.

What Next?

At the suggestion of Mary Sharratt (whose Daughters of the Witching Hill is fabulous and had me in raptures earlier in the year), I had picked up a book called Song Yet Sung, by James McBride.  It’s been hanging out on the shelves for a couple of weeks.  She said that she really enjoyed it, and when I was trying to decide what to read next, it kept catching my eye.  McBride is best known for his memoir, The Color of Water: A Black Man’s Tribute to His White Mother in which he recounts his experiences as a black man growing up with a white mother.  While I had heard of his memoir, I had no idea that he had even taken a turn at writing fiction.  But he has not only written Song Yet Sung, but also Miracle at St. Anna, which was optioned for a movie.

So far this has been the perfect read and I am so grateful to Mary for her recommendation.  It has complex characters and presents different perspectives than I am used to in slave narratives.  History is so intriguing because you always run across people that you never dreamed could have existed because of the seeming unlikelihood of their experience, and yet in Song Yes Unsung I have met a female slave trader and hunter and learned about the black men who assisted her in her work.  The complexities facing those operating the Underground Railroad were enormous.  Whom do you sacrifice to ensure the safety of the operation. Tough decisions, right?

The rest of the month will be rounded out with How Dolly Parton Saved My Life, by Charlotte Connors for my Skype Book Club on Sunday afternoon, and Justin Kramon’s Finny.

Giveaway Winners

My Got Books? Giveaway ended on Sunday and Sophia won the YA Giveaway pack.  My signed giveaway of Shiver and Linger ended on Sunday as well and Kathy from Bermudaonion won that prize.  Congratulations to the winners!  I will e-mail you today for your addresses.

Contemporary Fiction Starter Library Giveaway

I also have several books that I would like to get to a good home.  And by several I mean a lot, a lot.  I have grouped them by category and the first pack that I want to give away is a collection of contemporary fiction.  Take a look at the list and if you are interested, fill out the form for a chance to win.  The books are a mixture of new book and unread and really gently read ARCs.  I will pick one winner to receive the whole pack, and I will ship by media mail anywhere in the United States.

Never Let You Go: A Novel, by Erin Healy
The Local News A Novel, by Miriam Gershow
Goldengrove: A Novel, by Francine Prose
Mr. Rosenblum Dreams In English: A Novel, by Natasha Solomons
Little Bee: A Novel, by Chris Cleave
I Thought You Were Dead: A Love Story, by Pete Nelson
Neverland: A Novel, by Douglas Clegg
Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter: A Novel, Tom Franklin

    1DA652C2516038AE4D02F55645591F39 Shutter Island, by Dennis Lehane

    Readers looking for other giveaways of either books or a wide variety of products should check out Giveaway Scout. They literally have hundreds of giveaways listed and they also offer you the ability to be notified via e-mail when a new giveaway in either a specific category or all categories are posted.

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      1. Did you see that they shut the pool down to people at the end of August, and make it for the dogs? I just love this picture. The doggies are looking like they are having so much fun!

    1. I’m definitely entering the giveaway! I really look forward to hearing your thoughts on the McBride book. I read The Color of Water years ago and really enjoyed it. I didn’t know he had written any fiction either!

      1. I am halfway through and if you liked The Color of Water I would suggest that you c]heck this one out. I will shocked if I am not still enthusiastic about it by the end.

    2. I’ve been having a hard time following up The Passage. I’ve disliked the two books I’ve read since, and now I’m having trouble getting one to “stick’ at all. Part of it is probably burnout since I’m at the end of an academic term and we’ll be starting a new teaching load next week. Blarrg!

      1. Some books require you to be more careful in choosing what follows it. It’s so relative. I knew that it would be easy for me to not like a good book just because it was nothing like my last read.

    3. Bleh. I can’t write a review if my life depended on it. I’m hoping this changes soon, or you all will be getting a big fat nothing from me on a daily basis. Too much travel, and recovering from travel, and fighting children, and back to school, and a grumpy whiny Sandy. I am feeling whiny too that I didn’t win your Shiver/Linger giveaway, but I guess if someone was going to win it, it should be Kathy. She is just the nicest person ever.

      1. Some periods just get too busy. It has been so hot that I just don’t want to do anything. I’m not even reading all that much. And Kathy usually wins, but she is so sweet that no one can begrudge her!

    4. I keep forgetting James McBride has other books besides The Color of Water, which I totally loved. I have just gotten hugely distracted. Thanks for the reminder! :–)

      1. I have The Color of Water. Have had it for ears and have never read it. It looks like I will be trying to dust that off soonish, he is a great writer. Miracle at St. Anna’s looks really good as well, though I think you might really enjoy this one.

    5. We read two of the same books this month, “To Kill a Mockingbird” and “The Color Purple.” I’ve participated in the TCP read-along; and I’m trying to get my review posted this weekend. Also, I know what you mean about reading first chapters trying to decide what to read next. I bought “Song Yet Sung” a couple of months ago. I’ll watch for your review. Have a great weekend.

    6. Song Yet Sung sounds really good so I’ll be looking forward to reading your thoughts on it when you finish. I love To Kill A Mockingbird and all of these posts and reviews about it make me want to reread it again. Enjoy the rest of your summer 🙂