Friday, July 4, 2014
Friday Freebie: Big Book Bonanza! The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, Labor Day by Joyce Maynard, Little Bee by Chris Cleave, The Valley of Amazement by Amy Tan, The Explanation for Everything by Lauren Grodstein, The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman, The Tilted World by Tom Franklin & Beth Ann Fennelly, Note to Self by Alina Simone, Tampa by Alissa Nutting, and Guests on Earth by Lee Smith
Congratulations to Carol Sensenbrenner, winner of last week's Friday Freebie: Wayfaring Stranger by James Lee Burke.
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, Labor Day by Joyce Maynard, Little Bee by Chris Cleave, The Valley of Amazement by Amy Tan, The Explanation for Everything by Lauren Grodstein, The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman, The Tilted World by Tom Franklin & Beth Ann Fennelly, Note to Self by Alina Simone, Tampa by Alissa Nutting, and Guests on Earth by Lee Smith. All the books are new trade paperback editions (a couple have come from my personal library where they were treated with the most tender loving care imaginable). For those of you who aren't familiar with the books, here are the publishers' jacket copy descriptions of each one...
The Fault in Our Stars
by John Green
by Joyce Maynard
by Chris Cleave
It is a truly special story and we don't want to spoil it.
Nevertheless, you need to know something, so we will just say this:
It is extremely funny, but the African beach scene is horrific.
The story starts there, but the book doesn't.
And it's what happens afterward that is most important.
Once you have read it, you'll want to tell everyone about it. When you do, please don't tell them what happens either. The magic is in how it unfolds.
"Cleave has a Zola-esque ability to write big and deeply....[he] makes the reader think about political issues and care about his characters." (USA Today)
The Valley of Amazement
by Amy Tan
The Joy Luck Club. With her characteristic wisdom, grace, and humor, Tan conjures up a story of inherited trauma, desire, deception, and the power and stubbornness of love.
The Explanation for Everything
by Lauren Grodstein
A Friend of the Family, author Lauren Grodstein has written a taut, provocative morality tale centered on one of the most polarizing issues of our time. As she dissects the permeable line between faith and doubt, she creates a fiercely intelligent story about the lies we tell ourselves, the deceptions we sustain with others, and how violated boundaries--between students and teachers, believers and nonbelievers--can have devastating consequences.
The Ocean at the End of the Lane
by Neil Gaiman
the best books I read in 2013.)
The Tilted World
by Tom Franklin and Beth Ann Fennelly
Note to Self
by Alina Simone
by Alissa Nutting
Guests on Earth
by Lee Smith
Evalina Toussaint, orphaned child of an exotic dancer in New Orleans, is just thirteen when she is admitted to Highland Hospital in Asheville, North Carolina. The year is 1936, and the mental hospital is under the direction of the celebrated psychiatrist Dr. Robert S. Carroll, whose innovative treatment for nervous disorders and addictions is based upon fresh air, diet, exercise, gardening, art, dance, music, theater, and therapies of the day such as rest cures, freeze wraps, and insulin shock. Talented Evalina is soon taken under the wing of the doctor's wife, a famous concert pianist, and eventually becomes the accompanist for all musical programs at the hospital, including the many dances and theatricals choreographed by longtime patient Zelda Fitzgerald. Evalina's role gives her privileged access to the lives and secrets of other patients and staff swept into a cascading series of events leading up to the tragic fire of 1948 that killed nine women in a locked ward on the top floor. She offers a solution for the still-unsolved mystery of that fire, as well as her own ideas about the very thin line between sanity and insanity; her opinion of the psychiatric treatment of women and girls who failed to fit into prevailing male ideals; and her insights into the resonance between art and madness. A writer at the height of her craft, Lee Smith has created, through her masterful melding of fiction and fact, a mesmerizing novel about a world apart a time and a place where creativity and passion, theory and medicine, fact and fiction, tragedy and transformation, are luminously intertwined.
If you’d like a chance at winning a copy of all 10 books, 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 July 10, at which time I’ll draw the winning name. I’ll announce the lucky reader on July 11. 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.