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GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED

WINNERS WILL BE ANNOUNCED LATER TODAY

Winter weather has made its way to the UK.  Combine the cold with short days and it makes me what to cuddle up to a good book with a cup of hot chocolate.  I joined a book club here in London and, so far, I’ve read two of their selections: In the Garden of the Beasts (Erik Larson) and Gone Girl (Gillian Flynn).  Both are books I wouldn’t have picked up on my own and that’s one reason for belonging to a club~ gets me out of my comfort zone.

The Garden of the Beasts (non-fiction) is a fascinating account of the newly appointed US Ambassador to Germany in 1933.  As much as I’ve read/studied about World War II, I found this book to be a fresh perspective of a mild-mannered college professor who became Ambassador by default and his rather wild, promiscuous and ambitious daughter.  It was impossible for me to read it without a deep sense of foreboding ~ not unlike watching the movie “Titanic” or “Dances with Wolves.”   Hindsight affords us the knowledge of what happens in the end and, as we all know, it’s not a happily ever after even for the survivors/victors.

Gone Girl (fiction) is currently #8 on the New York Times best sellers list. It’s a quick read with lots of twists and turns.  I found it difficult to like the characters and it was even more disconcerting because I found them to be deeply flawed but surprisingly realistic.  I’ve known people who are like Nick, Amy, the parents, etc.  Not to the extent they’re portrayed in the book but muted variations.  What kept me most interested though is the fast-paced, sharp and tense writing style. The story alternates 1st person between the Nick, the husband and Amy, the wife.  I don’t want to say much about the storyline because just describing it might give away too much.

Next month’s book selection is the classic: To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee).  I read it in the dark ages High School ~ great book, great story but I’m not sure I want to re-read it now.  May skip next month’s meeting and move onto the February selection which is Bringing Up the Bodies (Hilary Mantel).  I’m half way through her first book Wolf Hall and it’s fabulous!

Yesterday, the book club luncheon included a “book exchange”, and since I was the last to pick, I stole away with The Days and Nights of London Now ~ as Told by Those Who Love It, Hate It, Live It, Left It and Long For It LONDONERS (Craig Taylor).  It definitely wins the prize for longest titled book I’ll be reading this year.  I was very excited about the book until I read the author is Canadian.  For some reason, I assumed a book with that lofty London title would surely be written (compiled) by a Londoner.

The book I took to be exchanged was The Ambassador’s Suitcase (Matthew Parris) which my friend Leslie ended up with whichs works out well. We can trade books after we’ve read our own books. Originally, I ordered the action packed novel One Rough Man (Brad Taylor) to take to the book exchange. I wrote a review on it last year here. Unfortunately, it didn’t make it in time so I decided to do this book giveaway.   Also, my copy of Gone Girl is in pristine condition and it’s not a book I’m likely to re-read so I’m giving that away as well.

GIVEAWAY DETAILS:  Please leave a comment beginning with “The best book I’ve read in a long time is…”   Also, if you want to be considered for one specific book, please write either One Rough Man or Gone Girl.  Otherwise,  I’ll put your name in for both.  It will be possible for one person to win both books.  The winner will be chosen by my daughter, Logan who will pull a name from a hat for One Rough Man and then she’ll draw a name from the other “hat” with those who want to be in the running for Gone Girl.  I know, I can’t get any more “low tech” than that but it’s more fun this way.   Deadline to leave a comment will be Sunday, 9 December 2012 at midnight (GMT/London time).  We’ll choose names on Monday, 10 December.  FYI both are hardcover books which I’ll mail to you if you win.

Good Luck!!

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