Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Giveaway #1: Summer Reading!

Last summer, Emmie spent most of her break in Europe (plus a few days in Asia!). She went on the Turkey trip with us, and then spent around six weeks in Oxford, working as an assistant to the organizer of an NEH summer institute. While she was gone, I was shopping for books one day and ran across The Historian (do NOT read the plot summary if you're not a fan of spoilers!!!) by Elizabeth Kostova. I thought the book sounded like it was right up Emmie's alley, being that it's a blend of history (with lots of gothic and victorian elements) and folklore (dripping with the legend of Dracula) and she's an English/history major obsessed with Gothic and Victorian Europe and the literature of Dracula. So, I picked up a nice hardbound copy of the book.

In the meantime, Emmie was over in Oxford and found a copy of the The Historian in her lodge's little lending library. She carried it with her so's she'd have something to read on trains and buses while she enjoyed long weekends in various towns in the British countryside. She gradually worked her way through the novel, loved it, and thought that I might enjoy the story, so she picked up a softbound copy to bring home with her.

I've only just gotten around to reading it, which is a happy circumstance because I think this book makes for perfect summer reading -- much better than it would have been back last fall or in the dark, cold winter. It's not too intense, but the plot moves along at a right steady clip, and it's a bit on the thick side, for lots of long-lasting goodness. I've had a great time reading it -- I don't want to go into it too much, since I should be careful not to ruin the plot for those who haven't read it yet, but it's a great detective tale, peak at an historian at work, travelogue and historical novel, with a healthy dose of vampire legend thrown in. I'm not quite to the end, so I don't know how it's all going to turn out, but it's been a fun ride all along the way.

Since I've ended up with two copies of the book, I'm going to take advantage of the opportunity to do a blog giveaway, which is something I've wanted to do for a while. If you want my (still mint) hardbound copy of the book, leave a comment in this thread and while you're at it, give our friend Dracula a little shout out -- let the rest of us know your favorite part of the legend started with the great Stoker antagonist.

Since it may take a little while to get the word out to all of my many sevens of readers, I'm going to leave the contest open for two weeks (any and all commenters are welcome, whether foreign or domestic, friend, family or stranger). On Tuesday, June 16th, I'll take all comments made before 8pm and let a random number generator pick the winner. Hopefully that will leave enough time for me to get the book to you before the summer holidays really kick off at the beginning of July.

Sound good? Then let the commenting begin! Good luck and happy summer reading!

UPDATE: Since that song cuts off in such an abrupt way, here's the next track, so you won't be in suspense over where it's going:


Keera said...

Humph. Well, this'll be another "contest" I won't win. :-) Of the old horror classics, "Dracula" is the only one I have read but all I remember from it is that I got a bit paranoid about wood while reading the book.

At any rate, I want to hear what you think when you've finished the book, because one time I read a book that was a wonderful read the whole way through - only to have an ending that completely negated the whole experience (can't remember the book, though).

Kathi said...

I am a voracious reader in need of a new tome to dive into. Your gracious offer came across my Facebook page from a university friend. Would love to have your book and could even offer to exchange for something you've not yet read. Lovely offer - hope you go viral!


A Free Man said...

I'm always up for a new read, but then I 'won' one of your giveaways already. So, I don't want to be greedy!

Lucy said...

OK - I'm in. You have such great taste that I am sure I can't go wrong here.

Besides, I can make my book read it too next time I am "queen of the book". (That person gets to choose both the book to be read and the meeting place).

alice said...

Keera, I finished the book today and the ending was very exciting and satisfying.

Contest reminder! at 10,000 Monkeys and a Camera said...

[...] been able to keep up with my usual blogging. While the dust settles, don’t miss the fact that in a week, I will be a commenter some summer reading! Surely there must be a few people left out there who still read actual books! (I finished it today [...]

Keera said...

Alice, that book sounds like a winner, then! So maybe I should hope I win? :-)

And the winner is… at 10,000 Monkeys and a Camera said...

[...] I have to admit to some surprise. My stats say a lot of people saw this post, but I only got four contenders for the book. I can only assume that maybe people don’t [...]