FridayReads

Because books are better when shared.

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FridayReads Q and A Day

Today when we woke up we didn’t know what we were going to do. We stumbled around in our tie-dye pajama pants, grouped our way to the coffee maker, and even managed to read a few emails. Then we got to thinking (always a sign that those close should duck and cover), if there was a catastrophe and our little table became deserted island, which book would wish to have on it? Well we couldn’t pick on so we asked you all on Twitter and Tumblr. This question sparked another and so on. Next thing you know we were immersed in an impromptu FridayReads Q and A.

We got some really fantastic answers and as a means of showing recognition to all of you wonderful readers who chimed in, from LOLITA to our favorite boy wizard, Harry, we are listing you and your answers below!

Question One: Readers-we have questions! You’re stuck on a deserted island Cast Away style! Oh no! What books would you want with you?

Twitter Says: @neilmadder said an SAS survival guide, @craigtimes said HOW TO SURVIVE ON A DESERTED ISLAND (we guess that’s a good choice*winks*), @midnightjaz says they’d get stuck with 50 SHADES OF GREY, @bridgetoflynn says she could read STARDUST over and over, @trappedbybooks wouldn’t mind being stuck with her The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices series’ as well as PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, @femmmefatal said Wally Lamb, EDGAR SAWTELLE, and THE PILLARS OF EARTH, @RachaelNiamh said THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN, THE LITTLE PRINCE, and THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISCO, @songbirdamb116 said The Harry Potter series and the His Dark Materials trilogy, @InkWritLitLady said THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON, @kaitiann18 said she’d have time to figure out what was happening in ULYSSES, @ONEZIANNA said OLD FRIENDS and THE WIND IS MY MOTHER, and @Cat_Isador said a survival guide and anything about tropical plants, bugs, plants, and animals you can eat, as well as one on how to make a boat/raft, @tmarkham92 said ALL THE KINGS MEN, TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, AS I LAY DYING, IN COLD BLOOD, MERE CHRISTIANITY, and EVERYTHING IS ILLUMINATED.

Tumblr Responses: botanyandbooks said: Anything by Kim Stanley Robinson and beautifulbookborrower said: Probably the Bible. I’m not religious normally, but if I were stuck on an Island for an extended period of time, I would probably be praying quite a bit for someone to rescue me.

Question Two: Now what’s your all time favorite book or poem? Is it the same as your deserted island read?

Twitter: @queenkelso said Poem: TO HIS COY MISTRESS Book: ATONEMENT, @theliterarypop said LOLITA, @trappedbybooks voted ROMEO AND JULIET, @kpopninja said the entire Harry Potter Series, @ihateonionrings said EAST OF EDEN, @silverneurotic said SUMMER SISTERS and THE STAND, @travelsweeps said ANNA KARENINA, @dellaustin chose LORD OF THE FLIES to be thankful to be alone, @ONEZIANNA chimed in again with a book: ZEITOUN and a poem: In Some Quiet Place, @Anj_T said HUNGER GAMES trilogy/THE RED TENT/IT/BOSSY PANTS/MIDWIVES/GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO and Sandford’s Davenport series, @a_wordssmith said the poem To His Coy Mistress (that’s 2!), @jscape2000 digs TORTILLA FLAT for their fav and ULYSSES for their island read, @nimue_ likes anything by Jeffery Deaver, @bluepoet21 likes THE ROAD NOT TAKEN, @chriswolak like DRACULA, @dictionllc said their favorite is THE APPLE AND THE ENVELOPE and they would read the novel they had time to write on the island, @Pukubooks likes the poem You Begin and the book THE SECRET HISTORY, @allscott12 said they like anything by Diana Gaboldon or Juliet Marillier, @ctrphotos25 said THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISCO or MANALIVE, @graziella53 said PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, of course, @AlexZamorski said ON THE ROAD.

Tumblr responded with: erfette said: The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster! I’d have to bring something longer to an island, though, inbedwithbooks All-time favorite? WATERSHIP DOWN by Richard Adams As far as island reads go, I don’t think I could survive with, joycetagli said: The Painter of Battles of Arturo Perez-Reverte is my all time favorite!!! That, nothing else, should accompany me in that damn island, ronniefein said: Winds of War/War and Remembrance, by Herman Wouk; and favorite of younger days: Tree Grows in Brooklyn, byt Betty Smith. Definitely both island takes.

Thanks to @Anj_T we asked what your favorite non-fiction read is: @thebeercolonel said IN SEARCH OF THE TROJAN WAR or BRITAIN BC, @kevinmcveigh said they have several authors they always go with, @Anj_T said herself that she enjoys BOSSY PANTS, GAME CHANGE, IN THE GARDEN OF BEASTS, A TRAIN IN WINTER and most of Stephen Ambrose works, @FlynnMeaney said they just read FLAPPER: A MADCAP STORY OF SEX, STYLE, CELEBRITY, AND THE WOMEN WHO MADE AMERICA MODERN and it was great, @HyannisPubLib said SHIP OF GOLD IN THE DEEP BLUE SEA.

Then the last question we asked you all was-Which fictional character has had the most influence on you:

@craigtimes said Phillip Marlowe (because he just keeps asking questions, no matter what), @HillaryKelly said Jane Eyre (several times over!), @iamjmai said Becky Sharp, @ablantis said Elizabeth Bennette, @ctrphotos25 said Innocent Smith, from Manalive, because of his amazing outlook on life and how maddeningly simple he is, @MissSerenaReads said Alaska Young. As selfish and self-destructive as she is, she always wanted an inth of her coolness and awesome, @harperdesignbks said Amory Blaine, @loubyjo said Christopher from CURIOUS INCIDENT, @ZialloG said Jo March, @VictoriaStern digs Edmund Pevensie, and @ewhitesides also said Jo march.

We love reader/follower participation (obvs, have you been ’round here on a Friday?) and appreciate each and every one of your answers. We didn’t plan this little shin-dig but the turnout was great. Have a great week, readers!

Filed under qanda fridayreads twitter followers

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Our FridayReads

Whoa ladies and gents, things have been a bit crazy over at casa de FridayReads today. Splish splash mishaps and technological difficulties galore. Now that things have seemed to be resolved me can march onward with the books and such.

Blanket? Check! Books? Check! Pants? Definitely NOT check. Hokay-

Bethanne: Leader of our Ravenous Pack: THE TWELVE! That is all, until I finish it…

RebeccaMaster Giveaway-er and Multitasking Extraordinaire-I’m reading Robert Goolrick’s memoir THE END OF THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT, and it is fan-freaking-tastic. (See also: heartbreaking and surprisingly funny.) Also working on THE LEGEND OF PRADEEP MATHEW by Shehan Karunatilaka and still digging in and out of MAGIC HOURS by Tom Bissell.

AmandaSeller of Promotional This, Thats, and The Other ThingsI’m reading ULYSSES by James Joyce. Which. You know. Kill me now. But also, I love it? I’m also reading VAGINA: A NEW BIOGRAPHY by Naomi Wolf (Sept 2012) and OTHER PEOPLE WE MARRIED by Emma Straub

VeronicaThe Interweb Do-dad Specilist-I’m knee deep into Julian Barnes’s A History of the World in 10 1/2 Chapters. I wish I had someone with whom to discuss this. Have not gotten very far into One Drop. I guess I am a monogamous reader, at least at this point in my life.

PaigeOur Social and Other Awesome Things Intern-I am reading AND LAUGHTER FELL FROM THE SKY by Jyotsna Sreenivasan, which I can’t put down, and am about to start THE UNSEEN by Katherine Webb (which has the most gorgeous cover, maybe ever).

BrittneyOur Socially Awkward Minion-Still reading ANGELMAKER by Nick Harkaway and about three quarters through GOBLET OF FIRE.

Don’t forget that tomorrow is Friday so hop onto Twitter and use our hashtag #FridayReads to let us know what your nose is in AND get the chance to snag our giveaway of TALES FROM THE MALL by Ewan Morrison. Also, don’t forget about our amazing 150K giveaway. ZOMG I can’t contain myself. All you have to do to have a crack at this one is retweet one of our 150K giveaway tweets with the phrase “I want to win @randomhouse beach books from #fridayreads!” (MAKE SURE you put a “.” in front of the @FridayReads so all your friends can learn about the giveaway, too!)  If we reach 150K followers by June 29th we will be selecting five of YOU that have retweeted with the above phrase as the winners. Each winner will get ALL FIVE books!

Filed under fridayreads books

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Get In Our Heads

Of course we have to ask what you favorite book is. What is it that makes it your favorite? (Multiples are definitely acceptable)

The Great Gatsby is my favorite book of all time. I had a Gatsby summer once, and I love the 20’s. Also in my list of top picks are Last Days of Summer by Steve Kluger andEverything Matters by Ron Currie, Jr. Kluger’s book is hilarious; Currie’s book is poignant and soul-important.

Is there a book that has had the most influence on you as a reader? (If so, which?)

I am not sure, but I whipped through all the Nancy Drew books like my life depended on it. I went to grammar/middle school with voracious readers, and we competed with each other about what and how much we had read. I credit this with my ache to read.

You are an author, yes? When did you know you wanted to write books?

I have a hard time describing myself as an author, even though I did publish one book. I am not sure who said it first, but I thought it was Stephen King in his book On Writing: “The writer is the person who stays in the room,” and I haven’t been staying in the room much lately. When I was a kid, I kept a journal pretty steadily, and I always liked to write.

How do you manage your reading life with motherhood? Do you have a hideout spot you like to read?

Often I try to go to bed when my son does, so I can catch some pages before my husband comes to bed to watch some shows. I also get my son to sleep in the crook of my arm while I am reading.

Ever done anything crazy in order to read a book? (Such as mow down pedestrians on the sidewalk to get home faster?)

Once, I slide tackled a bookseller to get my hands on an early copy of Justin Cronin’s The Passage

What do you like most about being a reader?

When you find someone who has read the same book as you, you have instant common ground. 

When your face isn’t in pages, what do you like to do with your time?

As of late, I have been pretty domestic with my extracurriculars. However, I love to nap, walk, and drink coffee.

What are some of your weirdest reader quirks?

Quirks? Hmmm. I know I sometimes fall asleep with my books on top of me and my glasses on my face.
 

If you could live in any book, which one would it be? Why?

Maybe The Glimpses of the Moon by Edith Wharton because of the time period in which it is set? It is a bit romantic.
 
   Do you possess any superpowers?


My husband says I have “speed-of-light-impatience.”

Filed under contributor team fridayreads

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Get In Our Heads

It is probably fair to say that you all know that we at FridayReads eat, sleep, and breathe books. But what else do you really know about us? Not much? I didn’t think so. In order for you all to get better acquainted with those of us who bring you all of these readalicious tidbits I have been (nicely) cracking open everyone’s skulls to pick their brains. Mmm. Each week we will present to you a feature on a FridayReads member. This week we would like you to meet Paige.

"I am a reader lucky enough to review the books I fall in love with and the remarkable authors who create their worlds. Pollyanna meets Daria, I am a book reviewer, author interviewer, literary agent intern, FridayReader and YA storyteller. I’m the girl with her nose in a book, getting lost, right now, inside the written world."

You can visit my website at: http://paigecrutcher.com/, check out my articles at: http://www.examiner.com/authors-in-national/paige-crutcher, or catch my rambles on my blog: http://paigesprose.blogspot.comI tweet nonsense and yummy writing links on Twitter at: @PCrutcher

BB: Do you have a favorite book (or more than one)? What about it/them do you heart so much?

PC: Oh, I have so many! I think I have a treasure chest of favorites - books I turn to on rainy days, sunny afternoons, and when I need a sweet escape. At the top are Neil Gaiman’s NEVERWHERE, Rebecca Wells’ DIVINE SECRETS OF THE YA-YA SISTERHOOD, Lewis Carroll’s ALICE IN WONDERLAND, collections of Oscar Wilde and H.P. Lovecraft, and Kerouac’s ON THE ROAD. 

BB: Has there been a particular book that has had the most influence on you as a person? A reader? A reader-person?

PC: After I read ALICE IN WONDERLAND I never felt lonely again. I believe that each book I read affects me, that in some shape way or form it adds to the fibers of my being. Which is part of the magic that is story.  

BB: Is there a particular genre that you read more than others?

PC: lurve YA, and read it frequently. I’m also into contemporary realistic novels - they always broaden my perspective. But I haven’t really met a genre I didn’t like. Great books can cross any divide, I think. 

 BB: What is your reading style? Marginalia notes, use and abuse books, care for them as if they were a newborn infant?

PC: I try to protect them, but if (when) I fall in love with a sentence or phrase I’m not against highlighting or marking it. The books are my precioussssssss. Sometimes they’re in danger of being loved up. 

 BB: Do you have a favorite “reading spot” or do you read anywhere you can?

PC: I read everywhere. In a tree, under a box, in a bar while wearing socks. Story here, story there, story travels everywhere!

 BB: Have you ever done anything crazy to read a book? (Like mow down pedestrians to get home quicker?)

PC: Ha! No, but I do go into the vortex while reading. So if I am walking while reading (which I do), chances are I may have passed a neighbor or friend and inadvertently growled while they tried to get my attention. 

 BB: When your face isn’t stuck in pages, what do you like to do with your time?

PC: Create. If I’m not reading, I’m writing or painting or dreaming. Daydreaming is a very important part of the creative process in my opinion. And when I’m not inside a form of story, I’m with my family - laughing. I love to laugh and am a little on the goofy side.

BB: What are some of your weirdest reader quirks?

PC: My friends and family kid me about reading while out in public. I’m happy to pull out a book anywhere. But I must say, I think that’s part of the purpose of story. It’s a mobile tardis. I also walk and read quite often, but I don’t think I’m alone in doing so. It’s a great way to exercise the mind and body.  

 BB: If you could live in any book, which one would it be and why?

PC: As much as I love being inside the books, I don’t think I would want to live in one. If I did, I’d worry about all the other stories I was missing out on. But I have always wanted to be Pippi Longstocking for a day. I love that monkey and horse.  

BB: Do you have any superpowers?

PC: Yes. I am secretly one of the X-men. 

BB: What is your favorite part of being a reader?

PC: Never being lonely. 

Filed under interview readers fridayreads

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Our FridayReads

Sometimes things can get a bit wild here at FridayReads. The pants come off (and sometimes stay off all weekend), our hair comes down, and we let loose with multiple books at a time. Our FridayReads usually don’t fit in just one Tweet so we’ve compiled a list here for your reading pleasure. Still not satisfied? Clickity-click on the titles for more bookish amazing-ness.

Bethanne: Leader of our Ravenous Pack- GONE GIRL by Gillian Flynn, PARK LANE by Frances Osborne, and THE STONECUTTER by Camilla Läckberg.

RebeccaMaster Giveaway-er and Multitasking Extraordinaire- I’m reading SHINE SHINE SHINE by Lydia Netzer, which is every bit as awesome as Bethanne and Amanda said it would be, THE STEAL: A CULTURAL HISTORY OF SHOPLIFTING by Rachel Shteir (totally fascinating), and THE BLIND GIANT by Nick Harkaway, about being human in the digital age.

AmandaSeller of Promotional This, Thats, and The Other ThingsI’ve reading EVERYTHING BEAUTIFUL BEGAN AFTER by Simon Van Booy, Homer’s ODYSSEY, and TELEGRAPH AVENUE by Michael Chabon (Sept 2012).

VeronicaThe Interweb Do-dad Specilist- I’m reading WILD by Cheryl Strayed and will start INSURGENT by Veronica Roth.

PaigeOur Social and Other Awesome Things Intern: I’m hopelessly devoted to the brilliant, honest, and hilarious HOW SHOULD A PERSON BE by Sheila Heti. I’m also re-reading SAVING RUTH by Zoe Fishman - I’ve only just finished it, but I had to go back inside the story immediately. It’s that good.

BrittneyOur Socially Awkward Minion- I have (regrettably) not been able to read much this week but am almost through DEADLOCKED by Charlaine Harris. I also got this awesome collection of stories (thanks, Amanda!) called THE NEW WEIRD that I have been dipping into and am still working on 1Q84

Don’t forget to tell us what your FridayReads are by commenting below, on Facebook, orTumblr. You can also use the hashtag #fridayreads on Twitter. Any of these will also enter you in the running for a chance to win this week’s giveaway: (a two-fer) THE WILDER LIFE by Wendy McClure and THE LONG GOODBYE by Meghan O’Rourke.

Filed under fridayreads reading weekend

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Get In Our Heads

It is probably fair to say that you all know that we at FridayReads eat, sleep, and breathe books. But what else do you really know about us? Not much? I didn’t think so. In order for you all to get better acquainted with those of us who bring you all of these readalicious tidbits I have been (nicely) cracking open everyone’s skulls to pick their brains. Mmm. Each week we will present to you a feature on a FridayReads member. First up with have Amanda.

Amanda Nelson is a freelance writer and blogger from Richmond, Virginia. She is the sarcastic-yet-earnest voice behind the blog Dead White Guys: An Irreverent Guide to Classic Literature. Amanda is also a weekly contributor to BOOK RIOT, a bookish news and social commentary site, and the Sales Manager for FridayReads. She specializes in honest book reviewing and reader-focused literary criticism, and is a member of the National Book Critics Circle. She has a Bachelor’s in History from Virginia Commonwealth University, which she mostly uses to sound smart at parties.

BB: I feel like I am obligated to ask what your favorite books are but then tell me why you heart these books’ faces, too.

AN: I have a top five that are constantly in flux, but right now they’re: Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy, Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf, The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway, The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro, and Arcadia by Lauren Groff. I love them all for different reasons (this is a pretty odd list), but all five of them are heartbreaking in their own ways.

BB: Has there been a particular book that has had the most influence on you as a reader? A person? A reader-person?

AN: Well, FridayReads’ own Rebecca has recommended several modern works that I never would’ve read when I first started blogging because I was a strict classics-only reader. That’s been very influential…and of course, the owner of the bookstore where I work part time made it mandatory that I read something contemporary at least once a week, so that’s helped.

BB: I have seen your shelves and your books, they are a-plenty. How many do you have?

AN: I own around 800 books right now. That’s also in a constant state of flux. Every time I bring another one into the house, I try to let one go. Otherwise my tiny townhouse would be overrun.

BB: Is there anywhere in particular that you prefer to read or just anywhere there isn’t a baby trying to gnaw the corners of your novel?

AN: Not really, though I hate reading outside. I find bugs and sunlight distracting.

BB: I know you write in your book margins (which makes me cringe even thinking about it). Is there anything else you do to your books? Toss ‘em around, use them as coasters, level out uneven chairs?

AN: No, I’m generally pretty careful with my books, though I tend to be more abusive with paperbacks than hardbacks. I also own some first editions that I won’t write in.

BB: Ever done anything crazy in order to read a book? (Such as mow down pedestrians on the sidewalk to get home faster?)

AN: I think the craziest thing I’ve done is taken the day off from work to finish a book, or pulled over on the side of the road to read. But I haven’t done anyone bodily harm…that I know of.

BB: Aside from it making you totally amazing, what do you like most about being a reader?

AN: That it’s solitary. I’m a bit of a hermit, and reading is a hobby (and a profession) that doesn’t require me to leave the house or talk to anyone if I don’t want to.

BB: When your face isn’t in pages, what do you like to do with your time?

AN: I’m an 80 year old woman in spirit, so my other big time commitment is stitching. Other than that, I spend most of my time working or taking care of my twins.

BB: What are some of your weirdest reader quirks?

AN: I hate lending books. I catalogue them online. I make spreadsheets of what I want to read over a season, and then ignore it and read whatever I want. I call my Nook “the TARDIS.”

BB: I know you’ve got some literary ink. What do your tattoos say and from where?

AN: My arm is the cover of an Ayn Rand book (doesn’t mean I’m a fan, thankyouverymuch), and below it is a quote from John 1:5, “The light shineth in the darkness, yet the darkness does not comprehend it.” My abdomen is another Biblical quote, Daniel 12:3, “Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens.” My back is a work-in-progress. I’m taking lines from my favorite literary works and making a poem out of them. Right now it reads, “in secret, between the shadow and the soul/ enchanted and repelled by the inexhaustible/variety of life,” which is a combination of lines from a Pablo Neruda sonnet and The Great Gatsby. Haven’t decided what’s next yet.

BB: If you could live in any book, which one would it be? Why?

AN: Anne of FRICKIN’ Green Gables, my friend. BECAUSE IT’S AWESOME.

BB: What other superpowers do you possess?

AN: …the ability to make snap judgements about strangers based on their reading selections at the airport?

So there you have it, folks. A tiny peek into the mind of Amanda. Do you have any similarities? Any differences? Let  us know and don’t forget to tune in next week for our interview with Paige.

Filed under team interview fridayreads

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Our FridayReads

Sometimes things can get a bit wild here at FridayReads. The pants come off (and sometimes stay off all weekend), our hair comes down, and we let loose with multiple books at a time. Our FridayReads usually don’t fit in just one Tweet so we’ve compiled a list here for your reading pleasure. Still not satisfied? Clickity-click on the titles for more bookish amazing-ness.

Bethanne: Leader of our Ravenous Pack- ALYS, ALWAYS by Harriet Lane, an unusual novel, debut from Harriet Lane (Scribner). Revisiting second half of WOLF HALL so I make sure I really understand BRING UP THE BODIES, which I just finished. This weekend I plan to read THE TWELVE by Justin Cronin, if it arrives from publicist as it should…

RebeccaMaster Giveaway-er and Multitasking Extraordinaire- I’m in a monogamous reading relationship with Gillian Flynn’s GONE GIRL right now. Dark, twisty, and totally amazing, it’s scratching the same “show me an awesomely screwed up marriage” itch that MR PEANUT did. I love it so hard.

AmandaSeller of Promotional This, That’s, and The Other ThingsI’ve finally hit the halfway point of Homer’s ODYSSEY! I’m also reading HIS EXCELLENCY, GEORGE WASHINGON by Joseph Ellis, THE GREEN SHORE by Natalie Bakopoulos (June 2012, Simon & Schuster), and EDENBROOKE: A PROPER ROMANCE by Julianne Donaldson, which is a super-fun Regency romance with a great Jane Austen feel.

VeronicaThe Interweb Do-dad Specilist- I don’t have access to these lovely advanced copies of things now. Bummer! However, I had a holdover—reading an arc of THE KILLING MOON by N.K. Jemisin—not so exciting as it is out already.

PaigeOur Social and Other Awesome Things Intern: I am reading THE BOY WHO STOLE THE LEOPARD’S SPOTS by Tamar Myers and Rachel Gibson’s RESCUE ME. I just finished the new Sookie Stackhouse (wowzers!) am giddily anticipating the end of the series.

BrittneyOur Socially Awkward Minion- I am currently knee deep in my Harry Potter  re-read (halfway through THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN) and finding that, when not reading them, I am clutching the books to my chest all Gollum-style. “My precioussss” I also decided to go ahead and start DEADLOCKED (the new Stackhouse novel) thanks to Paige’s excitement. Lastly, 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami.

Don’t forget to tell us what your FridayReads are by commenting below, on Facebook, or Tumblr. You can also use the hashtag #fridayreads on Twitter. Any of these will also enter you in the running for a chance to win this week’s giveaway: Love, Life, and Elephants: An African Love Story. This is a long weekend for those in the U.S. so get your drinks cold, your grills fired up, and your books open (Warning: books are, indeed, flammable.)

Filed under FridayReads reading books

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This Week’s Giveaway

This week’s giveaway is TO THE LAST BREATH by Francis Slakey, from Simon and Schuster! It comes out May, 8. 2012.

Check out the website for TO THE LAST BREATH: http://www.tothelastbreath.com/

Be sure to “like” TO THE LAST BREATH on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ToTheLastBreath

And visit TO THE LAST BREATH at Simon and  Schuster: http://books.simonandschuster.com/To-the-Last-Breath/Francis-Slakey/9781439198957

Synopsis:

A journey to the most extreme points on Earth and deep inside the human spirit 
Before Georgetown physics professor Francis Slakey set out to climb the highest mountain on every continent and surf every ocean, he had shut himself off from other people. His lectures were mechanical; his relationships were little more than ways to fill the evenings. But as his journey veered dangerously off course, everything about him began to change. 

A gripping adventure of the body and mind, To the Last Breath depicts the quest that leads Slakey around the globe, almost takes his life, challenges his fiercely held beliefs, and opens his heart. The scientist in Slakey explores the history of Robert Falcon Scott’s doomed Antarctica expedition, the technology of climbing, and the geophysics of waves. But it is the challenges he endures and the people he encounters—a Lama who gives him a mysterious amulet, a life-or-death choice atop Everest, an ambush at gunpoint in Indonesia, a head-on collision in the high desert—that culminate in a moving lesson about what it means to be human.

Praise for TO THE LAST BREATH:

“Intrepid Francis Slakey scales each continent’s highest peak, surfs every ocean, and lives to tell the tale in To The Last Breath, an exhilarating thrill show for armchair adventurers who prefer air conditioning to thin air.”
– Vanity Fair

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This Week’s FridayReads Giveaway

This week’s FridayReads giveaway is BEASTLY THINGS by Donna Leon!

Check out the website: http://www.groveatlantic.com/?title=Beastly+Things

Synopsis: 

Donna Leon’s best-selling Commissario Guido Brunetti series has won her legions of passionate fans, reams of critical acclaim, and a place among the top ranks of international crime writers. Brunetti, both a perceptive investigator and a warmhearted family man, is one of the treasured characters of contemporary mystery fiction. Through him, Leon has explored Venice in all its aspects: its history, beauty, food, and social life, but also the crime and corruption that seethe below the surface of La Serenissima.

When the body of a man is found in a canal, damaged by the tides, carrying no wallet, and wearing only one shoe, Brunetti has little to work with. No local has filed a missing-person report, and no hotel guests have disappeared. Where was the crime scene? And how can he identify the man when he can’t show pictures of his face? The autopsy shows a way forward: it turns out the man was suffering from a rare, disfiguring disease. With Inspector Vianello, Brunetti canvasses shoe stores, and winds up on the mainland in Mestre, outside his usual sphere. From a shopkeeper, they learn that the man had a kindly way with animals.

At the same time, animal rights and meat consumption are quickly becoming preoccupying issues at the Venice Questura, and in Brunetti’s home, where conversation at family meals offers a window into the joys and conflicts of Italian life. Perhaps with the help of Signorina Elettra, Brunetti and Vianello can identify the man and understand why someone wanted him dead. As subtle and engrossing as the other Commissario Brunetti tales, Leon’s Beastly Things is immensely enjoyable, intriguing, and ultimately moving.

Filed under Fridayreads giveaway

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This Week’s FridayReads giveaway

This week’s giveaway is  THE HOUSE OF VELVET AND GLASS by Katherine Howe.

Be sure to like out Katherine Howe’s Facebook page, and check out the book’s website!

Synopsis:

Katherine Howe, author of the phenomenal New York Times bestsellerThe Physick Book of Deliverance Dane, returns with an entrancing historical novel set in Boston in 1915, where a young woman stands on the cusp of a new century, torn between loss and love, driven to seek answers in the depths of a crystal ball.

Still reeling from the deaths of her mother and sister on the Titanic, Sibyl Allston is living a life of quiet desperation with her taciturn father and scandal-plagued brother in an elegant town house in Boston’s Back Bay. Trapped in a world over which she has no control, Sibyl flees for solace to the parlor of a table-turning medium.

But when her brother is suddenly kicked out of Harvard under mysterious circumstances and falls under the sway of a strange young woman, Sibyl turns for help to psychology professor Benton Derby, despite the unspoken tensions of their shared past. As Benton and Sibyl work together to solve a harrowing mystery, their long-simmering spark flares to life, and they realize that there may be something even more magical between them than a medium’s scrying glass.

From the opium dens of Boston’s Chinatown to the opulent salons of high society, from the back alleys of colonial Shanghai to the decks of theTitanicThe House of Velvet and Glass weaves together meticulous period detail, intoxicating romance, and a final shocking twist that will leave readers breathless.

“From the opium dens of Shanghai and Boston to the grand salons of Titanic and Lusitania to the parlors and bedrooms of the Allstons’ richly decorated townhouse, Howe tethers us to her story and then unleashes shocking revelations.” - USA TODAY 

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