Wednesday, April 13, 2011

2 Year Blogoversary Giveaway

    Boy howdy! It's hard to believe that I started this blog two years ago, but that's exactly how long it's been. 2 years and 66 reviews. I know. That is on a much smaller scale than some of you insanely productive readers and reviewers out there! But I've said before that I am a very slow, distracted reader. So 66 is a lot to me!

    So in tribute to this little landmark I decided to hold a giveaway. The winner of the giveaway will get to choose one of my twelve favorite books that I've discovered and reviewed here since my blog began in April 2009. You have your choice of the following books, covering several different genres, and shown with my rating:



    Born Under a Million Shadows by Andrea Busfield (9.5 out of 10)

    A moving tale of the triumph of the human spirit amidst heartbreaking tragedy, told through the eyes of a charming, impish, and wickedly observant Afghan boy

    The Taliban have withdrawn from Kabul’s streets, but the long shadows of their regime remain. In his short life, eleven-year-old Fawad has known more grief than most: his father and brother have been killed, his sister has been abducted, and Fawad and his mother, Mariya, must rely on the charity of parsimonious relatives to eke out a hand-to-mouth existence. 

    Ever the optimist, Fawad hopes for a better life, and his dream is realized when Mariya finds a position as a housekeeper for a charismatic Western woman, Georgie, and her two foreign friends. The world of aid workers and journalists is a new one for Fawad, and living with the trio offers endless curiosities—including Georgie’s destructive relationship with the powerful Afghan warlord Haji Khan, whose exploits are legendary. Fawad grows resentful and worried, until he comes to learn that love can move a man to act in surprisingly good ways. But life, especially in Kabul, is never without peril, and the next calamity Fawad must face is so devastating that it threatens to destroy the one thing he thought he could never lose: his love for his country.

    A big-hearted novel infused with crackling wit, Andrea Busfield’s brilliant debut captures the hope and humanity of the Afghan people and the foreigners who live among them.

    Click here to read my review


    Under This Unbroken Sky by Shandi Mitchell (9.5 out of 10)
    Evocative and compelling, rich in imagination and atmosphere, Under This Unbroken Sky is a beautifully wrought debut from a gifted new novelist.
    Spring 1938. After nearly two years in prison for the crime of stealing his own grain, Ukrainian immigrant Teodor Mykolayenko is a free man. While he was gone, his wife, Maria; their five children; and his sister, Anna, struggled to survive on the harsh northern Canadian prairie, but now Teodor—a man who has overcome drought, starvation, and Stalin's purges—is determined to make a better life for them. As he tirelessly clears the untamed land, Teodor begins to heal himself and his children. But the family's hopes and newfound happiness are short-lived. Anna's rogue husband, the arrogant and scheming Stefan, unexpectedly returns, stirring up rancor and discord that will end in violence and tragedy. 

    Under This Unbroken Sky is a mesmerizing tale of love and greed, pride and desperation, that will resonate long after the last page is turned. Shandi Mitchell has woven an unbearably suspenseful story, written in a language of luminous beauty and clarity. Rich with fiery conflict and culminating in a gut-wrenching climax, this is an unforgettably powerful novel from a passionate new voice in contemporary literature.

    Click here to read my review


    The Pull of the Moon by Elizabeth Berg (9 out of 10)

     In the middle of her life, Nan decides to leave her husband at home and begin an impromptu trek across the country, carrying with her a turquoise leather journal she intends to fill. The Pull of the Moon is a novel about a woman coming to terms with issues of importance to all women. In her journal, Nan addresses the thorniness—and the allure—of marriage, the sweet ties to children, and the gifts and lessons that come from random encounters with strangers, including a handsome man appearing out of the woods and a lonely housewife sitting on her front porch steps. Most of all, Nan writes about the need for the self to stay alive. In this luminous and exquisitely written novel, Elizabeth Berg shows how sometimes you have to leave your life behind in order to find it.

    Click here to read my review


    Of Bees and Mist by Erick Setiawan (9 out of 10)

    Reminiscent of Keith Donohue's The Stolen Child, Erick Setiawan's richly atmospheric debut is a beautiful, engrossing fable of three generations of women in two families; their destructive jealousies, their loves and losses, their sacrifices and deeply rooted deceptions, and their triumphs.

    Of Bees and Mist is the tale of Meridia -- raised in a sepulchral house where ghosts dwell in mirrors, she spends her childhood feeling neglected and invisible. Every evening her father vanishes inside a blue mist without so much as an explanation, and her mother spends her days venomously beheading cauliflowers in the kitchen. At sixteen, desperate to escape, Meridia marries a tenderhearted young man and moves into his seemingly warm and charming family home. Little does she suspect that his parents are harboring secrets of their own. There is a grave hidden in the garden. There are two sisters groomed from birth to despise each other. And there is Eva, the formidable matriarch whose grievances swarm the air like an army of bees. In this haunting story, Setiawan takes Meridia on a tumultuous ride of hope and heartbreak as she struggles to keep her young family together and discovers long-kept secrets about her own past as well as the shocking truths about her husband's family.

    Readers of magic-realist fiction will instantly be captivated by this richly evocative fairy tale. Of Bees and Mist takes place in a nameless town during a timeless era, where spirits and spells, witchcraft and demons, ghosts and clairvoyance -- both real and imagined -- are an everyday reality. Setiawan skillfully blends the real and the fantastical as he follows our heroine over a 30-year time span in which her love, courage, and sanity are tested to the limit.


    Click here to read my review


    Eternal on the Water by Joseph Monninger (9 out of 10)

    From the day Cobb and Mary meet kayaking on Maine's Allagash River and fall deeply in love, the two approach life with the same sense of adventure they use to conquer the river's treacherous rapids. But rivers do not let go so easily...and neither does their love. So when Mary's life takes the cruelest turn, she vows to face those rough waters on her own terms and asks Cobb to promise, when the time comes, to help her return to their beloved river for one final journey. 

    Set against the rugged wilderness of Maine, the exotic islands of Indonesia, the sweeping panoramas of Yellowstone National Park, and the tranquil villages of rural New England, Eternal on the Water is at once heartbreaking and uplifting -- a timeless, beautifully rendered story of true love's power.

    Click here to read my review


    The Reapers are the Angels by Alden Bell (9 out of 10)

    Zombies have infested a fallen America. A young girl named Temple is on the run. Haunted by her past and pursued by a killer, Temple is surrounded by death and danger, hoping to be set free.

    For twenty-five years, civilization has survived in meager enclaves, guarded against a plague of the dead. Temple wanders this blighted landscape, keeping to herself and keeping her demons inside her heart. She can't remember a time before the zombies, but she does remember an old man who took her in and the younger brother she cared for until the tragedy that set her on a personal journey toward redemption. Moving back and forth between the insulated remnants of society and the brutal frontier beyond, Temple must decide where ultimately to make a home and find the salvation she seeks.

    Click here to read my review

    Falling Home by Karen White (9 out of 10)

    Falling Home is a coming home story about forgiveness and acceptance, and of finding love in the most unexpected of places. Home is where the heart is, but Cassie Madison prefers to think of it as a place where one is born, then outgrows, along with skinned knees and childhood dreams. A humiliated Cassie left Walton, Georgia for Manhattan fifteen years before, vowing never to return. 

    And then her sister calls. Their father is dying and wants Cassie to come back home. When Cassie's father dies, saddling her with the family's antebellum home and letters hinting of an unknown sibling, Cassie finds herself sinking into the red Georgia clay like quicksand. Reluctantly, Cassie is pulled into the lives of her sister and family, and that of Sam Parker, the town doctor. 

    When tragedy strikes, Cassie is led to discover that home is a place that lives in one's heart, waiting with open arms to be rediscovered. 

    Click here to read my review


    Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank (8.5 out of 10)

     The classic apocalyptic novel that stunned the world.

    Click here to read my review






    Under the Dome by Stephen King (8.5 out of 10)

    On an entirely normal, beautiful fall day in Chester's Mill, Maine, the town is inexplicably and suddenly sealed off from the rest of the world by an invisible force field. Planes crash into it and fall from the sky in flaming wreckage, a gardener's hand is severed as "the dome" comes down on it, people running errands in the neighboring town are divided from their families, and cars explode on impact. No one can fathom what this barrier is, where it came from, and when — or if — it will go away. 

    Dale Barbara, Iraq vet and now a short-order cook, finds himself teamed with a few intrepid citizens — town newspaper owner Julia Shumway, a physician's assistant at the hospital, a select-woman, and three brave kids. Against them stands Big Jim Rennie, a politician who will stop at nothing — even murder — to hold the reins of power, and his son, who is keeping a horrible secret in a dark pantry. But their main adversary is the Dome itself. Because time isn't just short. It's running out.

    Click here to read my review


    The Color Purple by Alice Walker (8.5 out of 10)

    The Color Purple is the story of two sisters—one a missionary to Africa and the other a child wife living in the South—who remain loyal to one another across time, distance, and silence. Beautifully imagined and deeply compassionate, this classic of American literature is rich with passion, pain, inspiration, and an indomitable love of life.

    Click here to read my review


    Room by Emma Donoghue (8 out of 10)

    To five-year-old Jack, Room is the entire world. It is where he was born and grew up; it's where he lives with his Ma as they learn and read and eat and sleep and play. At night, his Ma shuts him safely in the wardrobe, where he is meant to be asleep when Old Nick visits.

    Room is home to Jack, but to Ma, it is the prison where Old Nick has held her captive for seven years. Through determination, ingenuity, and fierce motherly love, Ma has created a life for Jack. But she knows it's not enough...not for her or for him. She devises a bold escape plan, one that relies on her young son's bravery and a lot of luck. What she does not realize is just how unprepared she is for the plan to actually work.

    Told entirely in the language of the energetic, pragmatic five-year-old Jack, ROOM is a celebration of resilience and the limitless bond between parent and child, a brilliantly executed novel about what it means to journey from one world to another.

     Click here to read my review


    Darling Jim by Christian Moerk (8 out of 10)

    Fiona Walsh thought her family’s secrets would follow her to her grave, but when her diary is found by a young postman, Niall, the truth about her untimely demise—and that of her sister and aunt—begins to see the light of day. It’s the most tragic love story he’s ever heard.

    Niall soon becomes enveloped by the mystery surrounding Jim—an itinerant storyteller who traveled through Ireland enrapturing audiences and wooing women with his macabre mythic sagas—though a trail of murder followed him wherever he went. The Walsh sisters, fiercely loyal to each other, were not immune to “darling” Jim’s powers of seduction, but found themselves in harm’s way when they began to uncover his treacherous past. Niall must now continue his dangerous hunt for the truth—and for the vanished third sister—while there’s still time. 

    And in the woods, the wolves from Jim’s stories begin to gather.

    Click here to read my review

    Rules for the giveaway (you knew there had to be some):
    • You must be 18 years or older
    • Open international. I retain the option of delivering the book by whatever means I prefer, e.g. Book Depository, Barnes and Noble, etc.
    • There is a $20 maximum. You have your choice of paperback, hardback or kindle edition, as long as that option it is under $20.
    • To enter, just comment below. Be sure to leave your email address in your comment, or have it visible in your profile. You don't have to decide which book you prefer at this time, but I would be curious to know. Don't worry- you will have a chance to change your mind, if you should win.
    • For extra entries, follow my blog, follow me via Facebook/Networked Blogs, and/or blog about this contest. One extra entry for each. Sidebars are okay.
    • Leave a separate comment for each entry.
    • That's a total of 4 possible entries!
    • Those who don't follow the rules risk being disqualified.
    Deadline is May 8, 2011

    Good Luck! Ready, Set, Go!

Post Title

2 Year Blogoversary Giveaway


Post URL

http://ohjustinbiebier.blogspot.com/2011/04/2-year-blogoversary-giveaway.html


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