Friday, January 14, 2011

Friday Freebie: "The Great White Bear" by Kieran Mulvaney

Congratulations to Ken Egan, winner of last week's Friday Freebie, The Wilding by Benjamin Percy.

This week's book giveaway remains in the wild with unpredictable bruins.  The Great White Bear by Kieran Mulvaney is, it goes without saying, about polar bears--specifically, about their struggle to survive in a world of diminishing ice.  Here's the publisher's blurb for the book:      
       Polar bears are creatures of paradox: They are white bears whose skin is black; massive predators who can walk almost silently; Arctic residents whose major problem is not staying warm, but keeping cool.  Fully grown they can measure 10 feet and weigh close to 2,000 pounds, but at birth they are just 20 ounces.  Creatures that may wander thousands of miles over the course of a year, they begin life in a snowdrift.
       Human encounters with these legendary beasts are cause for both excitement and apprehension.  Tales throughout history describe the ferocity of polar bear attacks on humans; but human hunting of polar bears has exacted a far larger toll, obliging Arctic nations to try to protect their region’s iconic species before it’s too late.
       Now, however, another threat to the polar bears’ survival has emerged, one that is steadily removing sea ice and the life it supports.  Without this habitat, polar bears cannot exist.  The Great White Bear celebrates the story of this unique species.  Through a blend of history, both natural and human, through myth and reality and observations both personal and scientific, Kieran Mulvaney masterfully provides a context for readers to consider the polar bear, its history, its life, and its uncertain fate.
If you'd like a chance at winning The Great White Bear, all you have to do is answer this question:

What Canadian town is known as "the polar bear capital of the world"?  (The answer, if you don't already know it, can be found on Mulvaney's website)

Email your answer to

Put FRIDAY FREEBIE in the e-mail subject line.  One entry per person, please.  Please e-mail me the answer, rather than posting it in the comments section.  The contest closes at midnight on Jan. 20, at which time I'll draw the winning name.  I'll announce the lucky reader on Jan. 21.
P.S.  Last week's Friday Freebie asked this question: "What was the best book you read in 2010?"  Here's a sampling of the responses from those who entered the contest (the first two books received multiple votes):
Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
Last Night in Twisted River by John Irving
NOX by Anne Carson
The Savage Detectives by Roberto Bolano
Safe From the Sea by Peter Geye
Refresh, Refresh by Benjamin Percy
Thirteen by Richard K. Morgan
Pike by Benjamin Whitmer

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