First anniversary book giveaway

What one loves in childhood stays in the heart forever.   Mary Jo Putney

Snow-covered trees

After the storm.

                                         

Books Can Save a Life is a year old this month.

I’ve grown so fond of it here and of you who visit and comment. Meeting people from all over and re-connecting with friends and distant family  –  I never expected that.

Not to mention the beautifully conceived and produced blogs about books, writing, food, nature, gardening, travel, creativity, and other topics I’ve discovered, and the artistic geniuses behind them.

Books Can Save a Life is a lot like my backyard retreat, where I sit by our homemade pond after I walk or run. I always look forward to visiting Books to set down my thoughts and see who has stopped by.

To celebrate a year of Books, I’m having a book giveaway. By the end of February, leave a comment about a book you’re reading. a book you want to read, a book that’s becoming a movie, a book memory, or anything at all to do with reading, and I’ll put your name in a hat. (Actually, I use a rice bowl.) If I draw your name I’ll send you the book of your choice. If you can’t decide on a book, I’ll surprise you.

You might have noticed I’ve redecorated, too. I’ve chosen a new design theme in honor of the coming year and to signify a more expansive focus on topics beyond books. There’s so much I want to write about.

But you’ll still find plenty of books here.

Your comments and guest posts are what I absolutely love about this blog. Many of you spoke of books from your childhood that years later still evoke memories of family and loved ones, places you’ve been, and particular times in your lives. I think sometimes the very story or book we need comes along, or  somehow we’re led to find it.

Here are a a few comments from readers of Books this past year. Please keep them coming.

I can’t imagine my room without my personal bookcase, or a world without books. (Giuseppe)

It’s hard to put yourself in their places [The Hunger Games], living their lives and going through what they do daily in their “world,” but that’s what’s so great about books, they take you to different places and times through the amazing imagination of the authors. (Diana)

I find many so called adult novels pretentious. I want a story. I return, often, to what is classified as young adult literature, mostly because these are stories of life. Stories – in the true sense of the word. And, I can’t help but say that, years ago, I was saying to people, “Have you read the Harry Potter book?” And everyone said no. Then came that glorious day on the L in Chicago, traveling home from work, and I saw not one, not two, but six adults reading the book. I wanted to laugh out loud at the thought of those six people entering into another world…. (Donna)

Agatha Christie wrote a story without heroes; to me, that was heroic honesty.  Conversely, the inevitability of justice satisfied me. For all my contempt for two-faced authority, I still relished the idea of wrongdoers punished by divine oversight.  My sense of my own weakness as a child needed that reassurance. (Doug)

Cooking from Moosewood, even with its imperfections, was utopian. Funny how small, utopian practices can make you feel, despite the deepest contradictions, that summer is everlasting and life is good. (Judith)

….even the smallest person can step away from comfort and into challenge, that change is possible on scales small and large, that our efforts and intentions matter. The story reinforced for me that there are things in this world worth protecting–fellowship and love, food and conversation, adventure and courage, songs and stories. These are the things that sustain us when life is difficult, when we are hurt or afraid and have to be so much braver than we feel. (Adrienne)

Snow-covered bench

9 responses

  1. When I travel I like to stop in the bookstores and look for the English translations of local authors. I was recently in Reykjavik and asked the sales woman to recommend an author. She lead me to Halldor Laxness who had written several books. In 1955 he won the Nobel prize for literature for Independent People. I bought The Parish Chronicle which sounded like a bit like magic realism. By the way, Reykjavik has several decent sized bookstores for such a small city.

  2. Congratulations! I love finding new book blogs and getting new recommendations. Since I’ve started grad school, I haven’t had a lot of time to read for fun. But I am really enjoying Toni Morrison’s “The Bluest Eye.” Meanwhile, the rest of the Harry Potter series sits on my nightstand…book nerd confession: I’ve only read the first four. It’s my goal to read the rest of them this year!

  3. Totally agree with your comment about the homemade pond. Ours is a man made canal, but the same feeling of rest and enjoyment. Love your very professional winter photos and the beauty of freshly fallen snow (but without the shoveling)! Today’s Tampa Tribune Book Section featured “Little Elvises” by Timothy Hallinan. Have you heard of him?

    • No, I haven’t! I will have to look him up and see what that book is all about.
      We are still in a deep freeze here and our neighborhood is just stunning.
      It’s great that you commented – you are now officially entered in the book giveaway.

  4. Congratulations on reaching your one year anniversary of your blog! I enjoy reading it, from your memories as a child, book recommendations and your thoughts today. You certainly have a way with words and I look forward to the next entry. Your love of books and life shine through – I don’t know what I would do if it weren’t for my books.
    Sometimes I’m not a fan of books that are made into movies. I realize that they have to make some cuts and changes for time constraints, however I absolutely hate it when they make unnecessary changes to the storyline. If I haven’t read a book before the movie comes out I will not read the book until afterwards – I’ve been disappointed too many times. However there are several that I think they did a great job on: Hunger Games, Harry Potter series, Twilight series to name a few. My least favorite is Dear John by Nicholas Sparks.
    Again, thank you for sharing your love of reading with us! XOXO

  5. What a lovely idea Val! I wish a could devote some time to write something within February but I am not sure I will be able to. Thins coming moth I am going to study day and night very hard. Meanwhile, I have to read 6 books for university (basically 20th – 21th cent. Italian literature) so, once I finish, I’ll give you some feedbacks! Your blog is becoming more and more charming and I do like it! Thank you for mentioning me and for sharing you love for reading!

    All my love,
    Giuseppe

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