Friday, July 19, 2013

Friday Freebie: The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells by Andrew Sean Greer and Shine Shine Shine by Lydia Netzer

Congratulations to Kathy Poulson, winner of last week's Friday Freebie: High and Inside by Russell Rowland and The Raven's Gift by Don Rearden.

This week's book giveaway is another dynamic duo of fiction: The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells by Andrew Sean Greer and Shine Shine Shine by Lydia Netzer. One lucky reader will win a copy of both (The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells is a hardcover and Shine Shine Shine is the freshly-published paperback edition).  Greer's book, just released last month, is high on my To Be Read pile o' books (aka Mt NeverRest) and Netzer's novel was one of my favorites from last year.  Even if you don't win the contest, you should add them to your reading list.  Obey me.

Here's a little more about what waits for readers in The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells:
From the critically acclaimed author of the New York Times bestseller The Confessions of Max Tivoli comes The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells, a rapturously romantic story of a woman who finds herself transported to the “other lives” she might have lived.  After the death of her beloved twin brother and the abandonment of her long-time lover, Greta Wells undergoes electroshock therapy.  Over the course of the treatment, Greta finds herself repeatedly sent to 1918, 1941, and back to the present.  Whisked from the gas-lit streets and horse-drawn carriages of the West Village to a martini-fueled lunch at the Oak Room, in these other worlds, Greta finds her brother alive and well—though fearfully masking his true personality.  And her former lover is now her devoted husband…but will he be unfaithful to her in this life as well?  Greta Wells is fascinated by her alter egos: in 1941, she is a devoted mother; in 1918, she is a bohemian adulteress.  In this spellbinding novel by Andrew Sean Greer, each reality has its own losses, its own rewards; each extracts a different price.  Which life will she choose as she wrestles with the unpredictability of love and the consequences of even her most carefully considered choices?
Blurbworthiness: “No one tells the secrets of the human heart more bravely or eloquently than Andrew Sean Greer. He has been called our Proust, our Nabokov, but with this novel he transcends all comparison. This is a genius-stroke of a book. Read it and weep.” (Julie Orringer, bestselling author of The Invisible Bridge)

In Shine Shine Shine, Lydia Netzer takes readers to equally fantastic and heartwarming worlds which we'd never be able to visit outside of fiction--unless, you know, we were an astronaut with a bald wife and an autistic kid.  Here's a little more about the novel which so delighted me last year (and continues to do so each time I think about it):
Sunny Mann has masterminded a life for herself and her family in a quiet Virginia town.  Her house and her friends are picture-perfect.  Even her genius husband, Maxon, has been trained to pass for normal.  But when a fender bender on an average day sends her coiffed blonde wig sailing out the window, her secret is exposed.  Not only is she bald, Sunny is nothing like the Stepford wife she’s trying to be.  As her facade begins to unravel, we discover the singular world of Sunny, an everywoman searching for the perfect life, and Maxon, an astronaut on his way to colonize the moon.
Blurbitude: "From the icy dead surface of the moon to the hot center of the human heart, Lydia Netzer's debut novel takes you on a rocket ride that will rattle your bones. This is an astounding first novel by a writer who is unique in her immense gifts." (Robert Goolrick, New York Times bestselling author of A Reliable Wife)

If you'd like a chance at winning both The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells and Shine Shine Shine, all you have to do is 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 26, at which time I'll draw the winning name.  I'll announce the lucky reader on July 27.  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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