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 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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50 comments to May 2012 // Books + A Summer Reading Giveaway

  • Rachael
    June 5, 2012 at 7:53 am

    I was just reading about Tana French this morning! I really want to get Gillian Flynns new book. She also writes super creepy but awesome mysterious.

  • JulieVK
    June 5, 2012 at 7:54 am

    Hey, great giveaway! I keep a list of books I want to read, and one that a friend just recommended highly is “Drift” by Rachel Maddow. Don’t know if I’ll get to it by this summer, though…

  • Katie
    June 5, 2012 at 7:57 am

    Okay, okay, I’m a sucker for the possibility of a B&N giftcard…mainly because I don’t have a Kindle, really want to read The Paris Wife, and it’s only out in hardcover. Which I refuse to buy with my own monies on principle…but would be more than willing to purchase with a winning giftcard! :)

  • Elizabeth
    June 5, 2012 at 7:58 am

    I’m dying to read the new Tana French book! Comes out in July. However the Sac library is in some kind of summer funk/massive slow down. I sure could use a book gift certificate right about now! Ha ha.
    I think I might also reread Summer Sisters because it’s the best summer beach read of all time and it’s been awhile.

  • Beth
    June 5, 2012 at 8:15 am

    I’ll admit it, I really want to see what all the Fifty Shades of Grey fuss is about.

  • Mary
    June 5, 2012 at 8:16 am

    A BOOK giveaway?! Is there anything in the world more awesome?! Thanks, Holly! I am dying to read Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson (the bloggess) because she’s by far the most hilarious person I’ve ever read. I grabbed the first chapter for free on my kindle an literally could not stop giggling. Also, I’m looking forward to reading Born to Run as soon as its my turn at the library :)

    • TenaciousCleo
      June 5, 2012 at 9:15 am

      I too was waiting for the Jenny Lawson book….I’m so glad I got it from the library because it really didn’t live up to the hype or my own expectations. Everyone in my book club felt the same way:(

  • gail
    June 5, 2012 at 8:34 am

    i’d like to get a copy of ‘escape from camp 14’. heard about it on npr

  • fawn
    June 5, 2012 at 8:35 am

    I’d like to *finish*1Q84 (I’m so close) and get my hands on the new Tana French. What could I read in between? After the Fog! Please count me in. :) Thanks for hosting and happy reading too.

  • Lesley
    June 5, 2012 at 8:52 am

    One from my [long] list of books to read is Words in Air: The Complete Correspondence between Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell. I am super intrigued by the idea of reading an entire book in letter form…and that’s enough to make it onto my list!

    A funny aside: Part of my morning-with-a-4-month-old routine involves checking Facebook with my right hand while I pump a bottle for the afternoon with my left hand. This morning, as I was reading this post (I always love your book reviews!), I all of a sudden hear a gush, gush and immediately my shorts are wet. The pump/bottle literally has milk coming out of the seams in my treasured moment of distraction.

    Adore you and your blog!

  • TenaciousCleo
    June 5, 2012 at 9:14 am

    “A Camp Story: A History of Lake in the Woods Camp” by my good friend David Himmel…..I’ve watched while he wrote this book over the past two years and am super excited to get it now that it’s finally been released! It’s a great book about summer camps in the midwest…..Im also dying to relive my summer camp years after seeing Moonrise Kingdom this past weekend.

  • TenaciousCleo
    June 5, 2012 at 9:16 am

    Oh, and just for good creepy reading, check out The Graveyard Queen series by Amanda Stevens. I wrote a whole blog post about her first book, The Restorer. Soooo good. The second book, The Kingdom, was so creepy I couldn’t read it after hubby went asleep. Just started the third in the series. I think you’ll LOVE.

  • Nicole
    June 5, 2012 at 9:19 am

    Jeneration X!!!!!
    I started reading Jen Lancaster after discovering her on this very blog. How appropriate to purchase her new book with a gift card from you, Holly?

  • PinkieBling
    June 5, 2012 at 9:29 am

    Aw, this is so cool of you! I’m dying to read my first Tana French book, and/or my first John Green book. YAY, summer!

  • Tami
    June 5, 2012 at 9:42 am

    Any book By Nora Roberts

  • Liz
    June 5, 2012 at 9:47 am

    Total beach read, but I really enjoy Mary Kay Andrews and want to read Spring Fling.

    Thank you for doing this!

  • Brian
    June 5, 2012 at 9:53 am

    I’m looking forward to the last Artemis Fowl book.

  • Michelle
    June 5, 2012 at 10:10 am

    I’m dying to read Most Talkative, Andy Cohen’s book. After reading Gail Simmons’ book (which I agree didn’t completely meet my expectations, but I still enjoyed reading), I want more Bravo gossip!

  • bethanyrx
    June 5, 2012 at 10:37 am

    Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. Just for the title alone. 😉

  • Kerry
    June 5, 2012 at 10:54 am

    The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova. My mom gave it a 5 on Goodreads so it must good!

  • LizScott
    June 5, 2012 at 11:51 am

    I’d use the GC to buy the sequel to Bared to You, except I already pre-ordered it, soooooooooooooooo. Ahem.

    I’d get the Likeness. I *really* enjoyed In the Woods, and have the Likeness from the library, but like you I am stalling in picking it up. Why? I have no idea!!

  • Miriel
    June 5, 2012 at 11:57 am

    Don’t make fun of me, but I really want a complete Shakespeare compilation…and look! B&N has one! FOR EIGHTEEN DOLLARS. I think it is fate.

  • Diane
    June 5, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    I’m pretty curious about Bared to You, I have to admit. I’m on the wait list for it at the library, number 18 of 30, so it may be a while. If I win the B&N gift card, I can just buy it for my Nook!

  • Tara
    June 5, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    You rock, Holly! (And you’re beautiful and sweet and… Does flattery work or is this a randomly chosen winner thing? ;))

  • Melinda
    June 5, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    Nalini Singh’s “Archangel’s Storm” smutty uf but with some of the best world building around.

  • Christy
    June 5, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    I must have been hiding under the Twitter rock a little too much lately because I really liked 50 Shades and have never heard of Bared to you, so that is now on the top of my list of must reads. I’ve never been into the whole romance novel thing till I caved with 50 shades and I’m still not 100% sold that I want to read more and more, but because of your suggestion I want to give Bared to you a go.

    Also I already own Healthy Child, healthy world and that is something that I’m really looking forward to reading even though it isn’t reading for fun.

    Thank you for the giveaway, you rock.

  • San
    June 5, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    Thanks for doing this, Holly. How sweet of you. My book suggestion is a bit political, but I am intrigued:
    As Texas Goes by Gail Collins!

  • Kellie Elmore
    June 5, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    I adore Sarah Addison Allen so, ANY book by her (except for The Sugar Queen which I own already) would be AWESOME!!! Thanks for a great opportunity to win FREE lit! ♥

  • Erin
    June 5, 2012 at 6:54 pm

    i’m not quite ready to pull the trigger on getting “gone: a novel” on pre-order for my nook but i’m close…

  • Ashley H
    June 5, 2012 at 8:25 pm

    Argh I have so many books I still need to read but I can’t resist getting Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson when it comes out!

  • Amanda
    June 5, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    My to read list is so absurdly long it is hard to pick just one! A little embarrassing, but I was planning some Janet Evanovich brain candy this summer :)

  • Jesabes
    June 5, 2012 at 8:52 pm

    I feel like I should come up with something better, but I’m dying to finish reading Sookie Stackhouse #6. I checked a compilation out from the library on my Kindle and it expired when I was halfway through that one!

  • kara t.
    June 5, 2012 at 9:31 pm

    I’ve been dying to read Unbroken! And on a nutrition note, It Starts With Food!!

  • Reid
    June 6, 2012 at 3:52 am

    Ever since I heard about The Case of the Exploding Mangoes on NPR a week or so ago I can’t stop thinking about it with curiosity!

  • Caia
    June 6, 2012 at 5:55 am

    Janet Evanovich – Wicked Business. Comes out June 19 – can’t wait!!!

  • Megan W
    June 6, 2012 at 6:06 am

    I was so excited when I read this post! I love reading about the latest things you’ve read PLUS a book giveaway, yay! I’m really excited to read Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness. It’s the 2nd book in her All Souls Trilogy. I’m rereading A Discovery of Witches (#1) to prepare. Happy Summer Reading!

  • Denise
    June 6, 2012 at 7:40 am

    I am going to read “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened” by Jenny Lawson (aka The Bloggess). I have heard hilarious and great things about it and that book is at the top of my reading list.

  • Trish
    June 6, 2012 at 7:43 am

    A Night Like This by Julia Quinn.
    I am unabashedly a romance junkie and Julia is one of my favorite historical romance writers.

  • Lauren
    June 6, 2012 at 7:48 am

    I’ve wanted to pick up Ready Player One since I saw the Hunger Games movie – I need something to fill the void! Although I have to admit, in the summer I’m lazy and usually pick up fluffy chick lit. I’m intrigued by Bared to You (which I totally read as A CrossFit novel. Is it wrong that I’d read a smutty CrossFit novel?)

  • Elizabeth
    June 6, 2012 at 7:53 am

    So this giveaway has inspired me to stop being a total creep and actually comment on the blog (which, P.S. I have totally fallen in love with.) So this summer I’m actually hoping to get my hands on the Fifty Shades of Gray Series. I’ve heard good, and slightly awkward, things about the books so obviously I need to check that out while vacationing this summer!

  • 2012 // Spring Bucket List — How’d I Do?
    June 6, 2012 at 8:22 am

    […] — I read exactly 10, even though I picked up 12. Not bad. Don’t forget to enter my Summer Reading Giveway! Plant Garden — The garden is in the ground and looking pretty good. I keep meaning to post an […]

  • Kristin
    June 6, 2012 at 8:52 am

    The new Gillian Flynn. Love her! And there’s a new Tana French in July? Yay!

  • Steph
    June 6, 2012 at 9:27 am

    I really want to read The Zookeepers Wife! Maybe Holocaust books aren’t the best summer reading, but I am fascinated no matter the season! :)

  • Amelia
    June 6, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    I really want to find a new (to me) mystery series that has been around for a long time so that I can read all of them one after the other. That is my favorite :) But that’s not specific at all! I am also really excited to get my copy of It Starts with Food from the Whole 9 folks. I am a Paleo dork.

  • Crystal
    June 6, 2012 at 8:17 pm

    This’ll probably sound awful, but I am excited to read “Becoming Sister Wives” by the Browns. I know it’s just a silly pseudo-celebrity memoir but I have always been fascinated by polygamists (but not enough to be one!).

  • Dana S
    June 7, 2012 at 11:34 am

    Fifty Shades of Grey to see what all the fuss is about. Thanks.

  • Maureen
    June 7, 2012 at 11:35 am

    I am excited for the new Hilary Mantel, Bringing Up the Bodies-the sequel to Wolf Hall. Thanks for doing the giveaway!

  • aubreylaine
    June 7, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    I am wanting to read The Language of Flowers :)
    family74014 at gmail dot com

  • Friday Five! | BookSparks PR
    June 8, 2012 at 6:05 am

    […] Shoop’s After the Fog was recently featured on Holly Would if She Could.  ”It is full of moody secrets and twisted family dynamics and I just love stuff like that! […]

  • Winner Winner, Chicken Dinner
    June 9, 2012 at 8:44 am

    […] The Bookshelf Project Winner Winner, Chicken Dinner By Holly on June 9, 2012 If you're new here, you may want to subscribe to my RSS feed or Like the Holly Would If She Could Facebook Page where I post fun things I come across and general daily updates. Thanks for stopping by!Where did that phrase even come from anyway? Ah well, not important. What is important…we have a winner in the Summer Reading Giveaway. […]





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