May 2012 // Books + A Summer Reading Giveaway

Well according to Goodreads, I am 14 books behind pace on my annual reading goal. I guess I need to start reading comic books to catch up, eh? :) Actually though, is there any better time to play reading catch-up than during summer? I think not! I love summer reading and have such fond memories of the library summer reading challenges of my youth. So much fun. It might be completely worth it to have kids just to get to participate in that again!

This summer I want to help YOU get into the swing of summer reading too with a fun little giveaway. I’ve never done a giveaway here but why the heck not start now? Well, why not start in a minute…first we are going to talk about the books I read in May.

There were three:

The Likeness by Tana French
First of all, this was a book from The Bookshelf Project, and I’m excited to say I’m making steady progress here despite being behind on my annual reading goal. I’m averaging about a book a month from my own shelf and I’m happy with that. This book has been sitting on my shelf for years as I bought it right after I finished In The Woods. It’s become a joke in our house that it took me so long to read The Likeness considering how much I raved about French’s first book. Both books I HIGHLY recommend.

The thing about French’s books is that they are so much more than just thrillers//detective novels//mysteries. First, she writes beautifully — her way with words is just so engaging. But also she really has a gift for getting inside the heads of her characters — her books are equal parts character study and crime to solve. It’s just a great combination. The characters feel like real people that you miss when the books are over. I will definitely read anything she writes (even if it takes me YEARS to do it!)

Bared To You: A Crossfire Novel by Sylvia Day
I just typed “A CrossFit Novel” twice. Um…this is NOT a CrossFit novel. If you spend any amount of time on twitter you already know this is a super trash-tastic romance novel that you will hate yourself a little bit for reading.

Recommended by Smart Bitches, Trashy Books to those who liked 50 Shades of Grey I picked it up at the recommendation of a friend (BUSTED Liz!)– who I can now no longer look in the eye when we see each other since reading this book. :) Because dude, this books was FILTHY. I mean, almost hilariously filthy but I’ll tell you what the story kept the pages turning for me.

Quit laughing, I’m being serious.

It was a good story, but man I just don’t know if romance novels are my cup of tea, and it’s not because I’m highbrow in my lit choice. It’s mostly because there is so much suspension of disbelief. Like I am just not the type of person who goes to the grocery store and sees the checkout clerk and then has a five page aside about his forearms and what they may indicate or whatever. I usually just smile and buy my groceries. There is a lot of this in romance novels. Who knows, maybe I’m missing out. That said it was a fun departure. And honestly, I’ll probably read the next one. If for nothing else just to read hysterical phrases out loud to Garrett and watch him squirm with embarrassment. Now THAT was a good time!

After the Fog by Kathleen Shoop
So with a name like After the FOG, this doesn’t come across at first like a summer reading book, but there are elements of it that just make it the perfect juicy read to sink your teeth into this month. It’s historical fiction set in a steel mill town during the 1948 “killing smog.”

It is full of moody secrets and twisted family dynamics and I just love stuff like that! It’s a book you can sit down with and get caught up in. The characters are complex, and I actually learned a lot while staying entertained. I always like when that happens. A bit slow to start, but man in the end it was a totally worthwhile read.

And I mean, hello — the kindle edition is $2.99. Get after it! But you know what is even better than a $2.99 kindle book? A FREE BOOK!

Heeeeeeey-O, we should talk about that.

Summer Reading Giveaway

So I’ve never done a giveaway here on the blog and it’s mostly because I hardly ever enter giveaways myself. I don’t know why, but most of the time there are a million steps involved and so I just don’t. I’m lazy. Now you know my secrets.

When I decided I wanted to try my hand at it, I wanted to make sure it was simple and that it was something worth giving away, you know? What I’m saying is, something I would want. And FREE BOOKS are always something I want :)

So here’s the scoop — I’m giving away a copy of Kathleen Shoop’s book After the Fog (full disclosure, a giveaway copy of this was provided to me by BookSparks) as well as a $25 gift card to Barnes & Noble (which was provided by my own bank account just because I’m so dang appreciative of all of the book suggestions you all give me each month!)

A new book to read plus a gift card to buy more? I LIKE IT. I would enter, so obvs I think you should too!

Here’s what you do:

* Leave a comment on this blog post (not on FB or Twitter) telling me about the one book you are dying to buy this summer (You didn’t think I was going to let you off the hook for leaving suggestions did you? haha)
* You have until Friday, June 8 at midnight EST.
* I’ll choose a winner using random.org and post the winner here.
* Open to the US only.
* Only one entry per person.

That’s it! No jumping through hoops, no Facebooking or Tweeting anything crazy (although if you want to share the giveaway with your friends, by all means please do so!)

All you have to do is leave a comment and you are entered. And then maybe a fun package full of BOOK and BOOK MONEY will show up in your mailbox. Groovy, right? I thought so too!

*****

So tell me…what book are you dying to get your hands on for summer, friends?

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