Friday, June 6, 2014

Friday Freebie: Inappropriate Behavior by Murray Farish and Stop Here by Beverly Gologorsky

Congratulations to Jane Rainey, winner of last week's Friday Freebie: James Madison: A Life Reconsidered by Lynne Cheney.

This week's book giveaway is another dynamic duo: Inappropriate Behavior: Stories by Murray Farish and Stop Here by Beverly Gologorsky.  One lucky reader will win a copy of both books.

In Murray Farish's debut short story collection, the title story--about a family facing hard times after the husband gets laid off from work--opens with these lines:
George and Miranda Putnam have been called to another meeting at their son’s school. It’s hard for Miranda to get off work, but she’s going to be there. For George, it’s no problem, and there’s a part of him that’s glad for something to do. There’s a part of him that’s glad to have another grievance to nurse deep into the night.
Here's the publisher's description of the rest of the book:
The characters in Inappropriate Behavior teeter on the brink of sanity, while those around them reach out in support, watch helplessly, or duck for cover. In their loneliness, Murray Farish's characters cast about for a way to connect, to be understood, though more often than not, things go horribly wrong. Some of the characters come from the darkest recesses of American history. In "Lubbock Is Not a Place of the Spirit," a Texas Tech student recognizable as John Hinckley, Jr. writes hundreds of songs for Jodie Foster as he grows increasingly estranged from reality. Other characters are recognizable only in the sense that their situations strike an emotional chord. The young couple in "The Thing About Norfolk," socially isolated after a cross-country move, are dismayed to find themselves unable to resist sexually deviant urges. And in the deeply touching title story, a couple stretched to their limit after the husband's layoff struggle to care for their emotionally unbalanced young son. Set in cities across America and spanning the last half-century, this collection draws a bead on our national identity, distilling our obsessions, our hauntings, our universal predicament.

Beverly Gologorsky's novel Stop Here revolves around a Long Island eatery called Murray's Diner--no relation to Mr. Farish, I'm assuming.  Here's the publisher's synopsis of the book:
Ava, Mila, and Rosalyn all work at Murray's Diner in Long Island. They are friends and coworkers struggling to hold together their disordered lives. While Ava privately grieves the loss of her husband in the first Iraq War, Mila struggles to dissuade her seventeen-year-old daughter from enlisting in the second. Rosalyn works as an escort by night until love and illness conspire to disrupt the tenuous balance she'd found and the past she'd kept at a safe distance. The promise of a new relationship with a coworker soon begins to restore Ava's faith in her own ability to feel, and Mila learns through wrenching loss that children must learn from their own mistakes. But ultimately it is love–for one another and for their wayward families–that sustains them through the pain and uncertainty of a world with no easy answers.
Elizabeth Strout, author of Olive Kitteridge, had this to say about Stop Here: "Unflinching, piercing, Gologorsky looks straight into the face of class in this country, capturing the reverberations across generations of who really fights our wars, who really serves our coffee, who really gets up in the dark to wipe the diners' counter clean.  This book is filled with an array of characters whose bravery is unsung, women who persevere with a dignity unseen by many, until Gologorsky pulls the curtain back and allows us in.”

If you’d like a chance at winning a copy of both Inappropriate Behavior and Stop Here, simply email your name and mailing address to

Put FRIDAY FREEBIE in the e-mail subject line.  One entry per person, please.  Despite its name, the Friday Freebie runs all week long and remains open to entries until midnight on June 12, at which time I’ll draw the winning name.  I’ll announce the lucky reader on June 13.  If you’d like to join the mailing list for the once-a-week newsletter, simply add the words “Sign me up for the newsletter” in the body of your email.  Your email address and other personal information will never be sold or given to a third party (except in those instances where the publisher requires a mailing address for sending Friday Freebie winners copies of the book).

Want to double your odds of winning?  Get an extra entry in the contest by posting a link to this webpage on your blog, your Facebook wall or by tweeting it on Twitter.  Once you’ve done any of those things, send me an additional e-mail saying “I’ve shared” and I’ll put your name in the hat twice.

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