Monday, November 9, 2009

Rachel's Friday Book Giveaway

Yay! Time for me to giveaway some of my most favourite and inspiring reads.

The same rules apply - post a comment on this post (or any other post this week) and you'll be in the draw. The deadline is THIS Friday the 13th of November, 12 noon EST.

For something a little different, I've chosen a novel, an autobiography, and a book on the craft of writing, for the winner of this week's draw to choose from.

People of the Book, by Geraldine Brooks.
Geraldine Brooks is an Australian author who won the Pulitzer Prize for her book, March (the hitherto untold story of the father from Little Women). I chose People of the Book because of Brook's masterful use of language - with a few expertly chosen, concise words, she is able to say so much, and say it beautifully. But she is also a brilliant and ingenious story teller. Central to the story is a book, a Jewish codex known as the Sarajevo Haggadah, and its survival through 500 years of history; and Hanna, an Australian rare-book expert who is charged with restoring it. Hanna begins to find tiny fragments of evidence of the book's history within its pages and its binding, and becomes determined to unravel the book's mysteries. And as Hanna does so in twentieth century Australia and Sarajevo, Brooks takes us back to nineteenth century Vienna, to Venice of 1609, and to fifteenth century Seville, as each secret is unlocked, one by one. A great mystery, and so cleverly written ... I really love this book.

Mao's Last Dancer, by Li Cunxin.
This is the story of Li Cunxin, who, as a boy in poverty-stricken rural China (and I'm talking poverty-stricken; he and his family often had to fight rats for their food stores), was chosen by pure fluke to become one of Chairman Mao's ballet dancers. And how this one stroke of luck so dramatically changed his life, forever. If you've ever thought your life is hard, this book will make you think again; but it's also a story of the importance of perseverance and having faith in yourself. The movie of this book has just been released, and I can't wait to see it.

The Courage to Write: How Writers Transcend Fear, by Ralph Keyes.
This book is fantastic. Keyes acknowledges that anyone involved in a creative process is going to experience anxiety, and he reassures you that all your fears are normal. But he then goes on to offer practical advice on how to make the most of the fears all writers face, instead of collapsing under the weight of them. I found it an extremely worthwhile read.

So, there you have my picks. Now go forth and comment!


  1. You make it very hard to pick! They all sound really good *s*

  2. Ooh, it's fun seeing recommendations for books I would never normally read... But are prior winners still eligible? :-)

  3. Ohhh...all of these sound great! I really need to get that Keyes book...really need to. Soon. :)

  4. Put me down for...ah, dang, I can't win, can I? :)