Friday, September 26, 2014
Friday Freebie: Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy by Karen Abbott; Auto Biography by Earl Swift; This is the Story of a Happy Marriage by Ann Patchett; A Case for Solomon by Tal McThenia; An Appetite for Wonder by Richard Dawkins; A Curious Man by Neal Thompson; and Karl Marx by Jonathan Sperber
Congratulations to Marjorie Rommel, Carl Scott, Frank McGeough and Edie Rylander--winners of last week's Friday Freebie: My Life as a Foreign Country by Brian Turner.
This week's book giveaway is sure to put a smile on the face of any lover of history, biography, true crime and--oh heck, just damned good writing. There's something here for just about everybody. Up for grabs: Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy: Four Women Undercover in the Civil War by Karen Abbott; Auto Biography: A Classic Car, an Outlaw Motorhead, and 57 Years of the American Dream by Earl Swift; This is the Story of a Happy Marriage by Ann Patchett; A Case for Solomon: Bobby Dunbar and the Kidnapping That Haunted a Nation by Tal McThenia; An Appetite for Wonder: The Making of a Scientist by Richard Dawkins; A Curious Man: The Strange and Brilliant Life of Robert "Believe It or Not!" Ripley by Neal Thompson; and Karl Marx: A Nineteenth-Century Life by Jonathan Sperber. Auto Biography and Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy are hardcovers, the rest are trade paperbacks. One happy reader will win a copy of ALL THE BOOKS. Here's more about what you'll find between the covers:
Shop Class as Soulcraft and The Orchid Thief, Earl Swift's wise, funny, and captivating Auto Biography follows an outlaw-genius auto mechanic as he painstakingly attempts to restores a classic 1957 Chevy to its former glory--all while the FBI and local law enforcement close in. To Tommy Arney, the old cars at Moyock Muscle are archaeological artifacts, twentieth-century fossils that represent a place and a people utterly devoted to the automobile and transformed by it. But to his rural North Carolina town, they're not history; they're junk. When Tommy acquires a rusted out wreck of an old Chevy and promises to return it to a shiny, chromed work of American art, he sees one last chance to salvage his respect, keep himself out of jail, and save his business. But for this folk hero who is often on the wrong side of the law, the odds of success are long, especially when the FBI, local authorities, and the bank are closing in. Written for motor heads and automotive novices alike, Auto Biography interweaves this improbable hero's journey with the story of one iconic car to chart the rise, fall, and rebirth of the American Dream. Told in words and eight pages of photos, this wise, charming, and heartbreaking true story is an indelible portrait of a man, a machine, and a nation on the road from a glorious past into an unknown future.
The God Delusion, the name Richard Dawkins became a byword for ruthless skepticism and "brilliant, impassioned, articulate, impolite" debate (San Francisco Chronicle). His first memoir offers a more personal view. His first book, The Selfish Gene, caused a seismic shift in the study of biology by proffering the gene-centered view of evolution. It was also in this book that Dawkins coined the term meme, a unit of cultural evolution, which has itself become a mainstay in contemporary culture. In An Appetite for Wonder, Richard Dawkins shares a rare view into his early life, his intellectual awakening at Oxford, and his path to writing The Selfish Gene. He paints a vivid picture of his idyllic childhood in colonial Africa, peppered with sketches of his colorful ancestors, charming parents, and the peculiarities of colonial life right after World War II. At boarding school, despite a near-religious encounter with an Elvis record, he began his career as a skeptic by refusing to kneel for prayer in chapel. Despite some inspired teaching throughout primary and secondary school, it was only when he got to Oxford that his intellectual curiosity took full flight. Arriving at Oxford in 1959, when undergraduates "left Elvis behind" for Bach or the Modern Jazz Quartet, Dawkins began to study zoology and was introduced to some of the university's legendary mentors as well as its tutorial system. It's to this unique educational system that Dawkins credits his awakening, as it invited young people to become scholars by encouraging them to pose rigorous questions and scour the library for the latest research rather than textbook "teaching to" any kind of test. His career as a fellow and lecturer at Oxford took an unexpected turn when, in 1973, a serious strike in Britain caused prolonged electricity cuts, and he was forced to pause his computer-based research. Provoked by the then widespread misunderstanding of natural selection known as "group selection" and inspired by the work of William Hamilton, Robert Trivers, and John Maynard Smith, he began to write a book he called, jokingly, "my bestseller." It was, of course, The Selfish Gene. Here, for the first time, is an intimate memoir of the childhood and intellectual development of the evolutionary biologist and world-famous atheist, and the story of how he came to write what is widely held to be one of the most important books of the twentieth century.
If you’d like a chance at winning all the books in this week's Friday Freebie, 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 Oct. 2, at which time I’ll draw the winning name. I’ll announce the lucky reader on Oct. 3. 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.