Year of the Bookwormz: 2011

52 weeks. 2 friends. 1 challenge.

Summertime Giveaway: FREE Garth Stein Swag Bag! ***Winner just announced*** May 26, 2010

Ok guys. Are you ready for this??

I’ve been bursting at the seams with excitement over here and can finally announce this exciting giveaway!

Thanks to Garth Stein and his publicist, Sarah at Terra Communications, I am excited to announce our first contest here at Year of the Bookwormz. One OH-SO-LUCKY winner will receive a FREE Garth Stein  ‘GoEnzo.com’  SWAG BAG (pictured below) with a stunning red Raven Stole The Moon umbrella AND autographed hardcover copy of Garth Stein’s prolific New York Times Bestseller, Art of Racing in the Rain!

How can you win this fantastic booty?
It’s SUPER EASY! Just leave a comment  and tell us:

1) Your name

2) The name of your favorite pet (past or present)

3) Something funny or cute or anything at all this pet did/does to make you smile

If you’ve never had a pet, you can still enter– use your vivid imagination and make something  up!

This contest will be open until Wednesday June 9th.

After the contest closes, a winner will be chosen using Random.Org. Please check back here to find out if you’re the lucky winner of this fantastic prize pack!

Not only is my favorite author of my favorite novel an amazing writer, speaker, and chef, but he’s extremely generous, humble and kind. If you follow this blog, you know I had the honor of meeting Mr. Stein last month at the Bethesda Writer’s Center where he made all the girls cry (ok but then he made us laugh immediately after). I look forward to supporting his future endeavors, including attending his event in September. After viewing this blog and my photos from the event, Sarah, Garth’s publicist,  approached me asking if she could use my photos in Garth’s newsletter. (No brainer!) I was honored and told her yes immediately! She then gave me the opportunity to host this giveaway.

Where would we be without technology?! Social media and Web 2.0 afford me the platform for promoting someone I believe in and support so much. Being able to reach out to our readers and give one of you the gift of this compelling novel  is a privilege. The Art of Racing in the Rain changed my life and I believe if you read it, it will change yours as well.

Good luck! Please share this with all your friends!!

xo♥xo,

LibraryLove

PS- Here’s a photo of one of my favorite pets. His name is Zumo and his strength amazes me. Zumo is our 18-month-old rescue Akita. He loves his weekly hydrotherapy rehab sessions and this photo just makes me smile every time I see it, because it’s like a circus just getting him into his “swim gear”. One afternoon, while unloading the dogs from hydrotherapy, one of the young neighborhood girls asked, “So Zumo is a rescue? He, like, jumps in pools and saves kids and stuff?” I laughed and replied, “No sweetie. We rescued him.” 🙂

 

Author Spotlight & Book Signing:: Emily Giffin :: May 20, 2010

No author’s work epitomizes summer reading like Emily Giffin (NOT Griffin)! Thanks to Fabookulous’ recommendation and a few credits from Paperbackswap.com, my girls and I devoured each of Giffin’s books last summer by the pool/beach. On the outside, the book covers are girly and bright. On the inside, these books will make you laugh, cry, and call your best friend. Giffin’s books cover all the bases- life’s challenges in personal growth, relationships,  marriage, friendships, motherhood and beyond. These books are written in such a fun and fresh way. To quote CoverGirl- they’re just easy, breezy!

In March, while on vacation visiting family and away from the computer, Fabookulous was bursting at the seams to tell me about Giffin’s tour dates hot off the press! With the date firmly inked on the calendar, we sent a “smoke signal” and organized a group of our gal pals from near and far. Tonight was the long awaited Girl’s Night Out to share in the excitement of meeting Giffin as she kicked off her 2010 summer book tour (thankfully with a stop in our town) promoting her latest release, Heart of the Matter. The girls and I HAD anxiously awaited this event since voraciously devouring all her books last summer. We’d been chomping at the bit for more. Turned out it was also the BabyMoon weekend I organized for one of my besties to come down to stay with us at “The Chateau” for a girly weekend of pampering and prenatal massage before her new baby arrives. She was able to arrive a day early and join us for GiffinFest2010!

Those of us who were able, met at a french cafe for dinner before the big event. We arrived in plenty of time to save prime seats for our other friends who were coming from farther away in traffic.

I don’t know how it happens, but I seem to make new friends everywhere I go.  I was complimenting the girl in front of us on her gorgeous blue/purple dress. We starting chatting books and she loved hearing about our blog. Turned out this was her VERY first book signing event! So Alyssa, if you’re reading this, I’m so glad to have met you and we hope to see you at the Jennifer Weiner event this summer 🙂

From the moment Emily walked into the room, she captivated us. She’s the kind of girl you want in (as I call it), in your “friend arsenal”; intelligent, friendly, hilarious, kind and thoughtful. It was such a fantastic opportunity to hear her talk openly about her process for writing Heart of the Matter as well as her other bestselling novels, balancing being a wife, and and mother of twin 6-year-old sons and a 3-year-old daughter.

My gal pals and I coordinated outfits to match the beautiful deep purple cover of Heart of the Matter. Emily was so tickled by our gesture that she had her assistant take a photo of Emily with our group especially for her blog. I cannot wait to see it! Emily, we love you and cannot wait for you to come back around!! I would say more but I have out-of-town company to attend to. I knew you folks would want a quick recap and the night was just spectacular. Thanks to my girlfriends for making it extra special. As I say, it’s always better together!

With the most wonderful time of the year a week away, that’s right folks- pool and beach season, time to pack that beach bag, pool bag or airline carry-on with your favorite summer reading. What’s at the top of your favorite summer reads? Drop us a comment anytime, I’d love to get suggestions for my summer TBR list.

Want more Giffin? The first book, Something Borrowed, is currently being made into a major motion picture!! So far, Kate Hudson (Darcy), Ginnifer Goodwin (Rachel), Colin Egglesfield (Dex) and John Krasinski (Ethan) have been cast for the film. As can be expected, we can’t wait to make a fun night of this and go as a group to see the film when it comes out 😉 In the meantime, check out Giffin’s recent blog post as she shares her experience of visiting the set of the film, and getting to meet the cast! Giffin is also working on the screenplay for Baby Proof!


Happy reading and don’t forget the sunscreen.








xo♥xo,

LibraryLove

 

Spotlight:: When Worlds Collide:: Sue Monk Kidd & Jenna Lamia:: May 18, 2010

Did you know June is National Audiobook Month? The other day, while perusing the “just added section” of my library’s iPod audiobook catalog, loading up my wish list for next month, I stumbled upon a gem: The Secret Life of Bees!! Just when it couldn’t get any better, I see under the title, read by Jenna Lamia!!!!!!!!

Sue Monk Kidd’s Secret Life of Bees left a lasting impression on me when I first picked it up a few years ago after a recommendation from one of my besties. I absolutely adored it; I laughed, I cried and I felt like Lily was my little sister who I wanted to just take under my wing. I wanted Lily to know she would overcome the horrible turn her young life took and comfort her. Watching the movie was just “so-so”, as I’ve found are 99.9% of movies adapted from novels. Knowing Lamia was the voice of Lily, I made a beeline and downloaded Bees immediately. Kidd’s other books have been on my TBR list for a while now. I was recently re-inspired when Traveling With Pomegranates became available from my local library, Kidd’s dual memoir with daughter Ann Kidd Taylor. Mermaid Chair is also on its way to me through Paperbackswap.com. Unfortunately, Kidd’s author event in my area falls on what seems to be THE busiest weekend of the year and I won’t be in town. If Fabookulous can make it, I will anxiously await her gushing afterward!

Jenna Lamia, my FAVORITE voice-over artist, in addition to narrating Secret Life of Bees, has cropped up in some of my other favorite audiobooks (go figure)! I just love when worlds collide and simply had to blog about it. I plan to follow her career, as Fabookulous would say, “like white on rice”! After a quick IMDB search, Lamia has also appeared in numerous films as an actress, but carved out a perfect niche in the voice-over universe. Lamia read the voice of Skeeter in Kathryn Stockett’s The Help, a book that will remain in my Top 10 best reads. In addition to narrating the entire audiobook for Bees, Lamia also narrated the audiobook for friend and YOTBWZ2010 supporter, Beth Hoffman’s debut novel, Saving CeeCee Honeycutt. Interestingly enough, I found many similarities between the three books’ main characters- Skeeter, Lily and CeeCee. If I were a college student again, I’d write a character analysis paper comparing/contrasting these three young women. I think it’d be fascinating to analyze these three books in relation to one another’s main characters. Lamia’s voice is the perfect tie to bind them and I thank the “voice over powers that be” for “casting” the audiobook just right. Lamia’s voice so perfectly springs these authors’ words from the page and into life with such feeling and intensity. Her timing is right on point.

If you’re new to the audiobook realm, I highly recommend you just give it a try and observe June’s National Audiobook Month in a few weeks. Take a listen to Saving CeeCee Honeycutt, The Help and/or Secret Life of Bees and come back here to let me know your thoughts, feelings, reactions! You will be hooked. Audiobooks make my commute, housework, and summer roadtrips much more enjoyable and are widely accessible from your local library’s digital download section or in CD format. When all else fails, head over to iTunes and download the audiobooks from there.

“Jenna Lamia brings a fresh, captivating voice to the audiobook world, and with only a few audiobooks under her belt, she has had amazing success. Her performance of THE SECRET LIFE OF BEES was a 2003 Audie Award Finalist in the prestigious category of Best Female Narrator. Director Paul Ruben shared his excitement about their work on the audiobook, saying, “Only good actors make good directors, and she’s one of them. A natural.” GIRL WITH A PEARL EARRING was her first audiobook, and an Earphones Award Winner. We celebrate HOPE WAS HERE with another Earphones. She has an attentive ear for the nuances of speech patterns and regional inflections, yet makes an effort not to overprepare. “I let the characters grow and take care not to be too knowing,” she says. “I come to the story as the listener does, allowing it to unfold.” Jenna’s success is not just in audiobooks; a big break came with her 1998 performance in Ah, Wilderness on Broadway, and recently she starred in Bed Bound Off Broadway. She’s now in Los Angeles where she had a role in HBO’s Oz. Movies on the way include Audrey Tautou’s Nowhere to Go But Up. Jenna’s interest in audiobooks will likely keep open some time for narration in the coming months”.–2003 Narrator Yearbook.

Look for my review of Secret Life of Bees coming soon!

Happy reading,

Xo♥xo,

LibraryLove

 

Author Spotlight and Book Signing:: Garth Stein :: April 17, 2010

Two barks Denny, two barks!!

Have you ever read a book that changed the way you view the world? For me, that book was Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein, which continues to hold its place on the New York Times Bestseller list. Tonight, I had the rare opportunity to meet this amazing author alongside my friends Becca, Planetbooks, and her husband. Stein held a reading, Q&A discussion, and book signing that still has me floating on a cloud.  Not only is Stein charming, funny, and down to earth, he also loves to cook! Click here for his favorite recipes 🙂 Garth has excellent skills as a public speaker, gave fantastic eye contact, and was truly connected with engaging the audience. As someone who volunteers with animal rescue, this book had such a profound impact on me, I haven’t stopped thinking about it since I first read it, as ARR is told from the viewpoint of the family’s beloved dog, Enzo. In our rescue newsletters, we try to establish a connection from our orphan dogs to the reader  often telling their stories as if they themselves, the dog, were writing to our readership. We’ve gotten so many compliments on these types of stories and love doing it whenever possible. It was so fascinating to hear Garth talk about the path to publication, and how difficult it was to find an agent who would represent a novel narrated by the dog. I think it to be genius, and I’m SO glad Garth persevered and followed his dream. In doing so, he challenged the status quo.

I also loved Stein’s Raven Stole the Moon and look forward to supporting and promoting this creative and thoughtful author.

Albeit a small token, I gifted Garth a handwritten card along with a copy of The Ultimate Man’s Survival Guide. Garth, I hope you enjoy this book and that you will share it with your 3 sons, as a very small token of my appreciation for your talent and what you do to change peoples’ lives with your writing. What do you get the person who changed your life? Maybe a book that can teach him and his sons how to fend off a bear attack? Or how to find food in the wilderness? Sure, why not! If nothing else, Garth, I hope you get a kick out of it 🙂 I hope to get a full review of the book when we see you at your event in September!!

I’ve shared ARR with countless friends in my circle who have each loved it for their own reasons. Make a beeline for your nearest bookish establishment and pick up a copy of Art of Racing in the Rain or any of Garth Stein’s artful works.  Stein is on my VERY short list of top favorite authors. Art of Racing in the Rain does not disappoint. I laughed, I cried, and smiled at the end of the book and loved the way Stein tied things up. Enzo, one of the main characters, will always be in my heart and I will be forever changed by him. Check Stein’s website for more information on his other projects or to attend an event in your area.

“Garth Stein is the author of the New York Times best-selling literary novel, The Art of Racing in the Rain (Harper, 2008). Now published in 23 languages, The Art of Racing in the Rain was the #1 BookSense selection for June, 2008, the Starbucks spring/summer 2008 book selection, and has been on the IndieBound™ bestseller list since its publication. Stein’s previous novel, How Evan Broke His Head and Other Secrets (Soho Press, 2005) won a Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Award, and was a BookSense Pick in both hardcover and paperback. Raven Stole the Moon (Harper, 2010) was Stein’s first novel. He has also written a full-length play, Brother Jones, and produced a number of award-winning documentaries. With an M.F.A. in film from Columbia University (1990), Garth worked as a documentary film maker for several years, and directed, produced, or co-produced several award winning films. Born in Los Angeles and raised in Seattle, Garth’s ancestry is diverse: his mother, a native of Alaska, is of Tlingit Indian and Irish descent; his father, a Brooklyn native, is the child of Jewish emigrants from Austria. After spending his childhood in Seattle and then living in New York City for 18 years, Garth returned to Seattle, where he currently lives with his wife, three sons, and their dog, Comet.” ~GarthStein.com

Two barks from our Akitas, Senshi and Zumo!!


Don’t forget to patronize your local library and pick up a page turner. 

Happy reading!

xo♥xo,

LibraryLove

 

Sarah Pekkanen’s Book Signing:: The Opposite of Me :: March 10, 2010

It’s not everyday your friend becomes a published novelist. Wouldn’t ya know that yesterday WAS one of those days??

The Opposite of Me, Sarah Pekkanen’s debut novel, was FINALLY out in publication yesterday after months and months of anticipation. As some of her biggest fans, we of course arrived as early as possible to be front and center, showing our support and love.

The girls and I grabbed dinner to-go from Cosi and arrived before the chairs were even set up. I have no shame and as “the stealthy room mom” we set up our makeshift carpet picnic in the middle of the kid’s section of the book store, where the reading would eventually take place, to save our spot. The room started to fill and Sarah came out about a  half hour before the reading to mill around and visit with her guests. Sarah grew up in the area and we knew it’d be a packed house with all her friends, family and supporters! 

While the girls went upstairs to buy their books, I had some really nice quality time to chat with Sarah (although I was sad they missed our convo). I shared how amazed I was that Jennifer Weiner, one of my all time favorite novelists, was so supportive of Sarah’s novel- giving her the Golden Touch (think Oprah to Rachael Ray). I asked her if she’d thought about doing a co-tour with Jennifer Weiner? Or thought of teaming up on some east coast dates? I expressed how much my friends and I would JUMP at the opportunity to attend a joint charity women’s tea/brunch/lunch if both ladies were to host a round table discussion on being a modern woman in the writing industry. She loved the idea and I look forward to our “Roadtrip to Philly” to come to fruition! 😉 What a dream come true for Sarah! I adore Sarah’s approachability and down to earth nature. She’s easy going, sweet, and opened the floor up for questions for the good part of 30 minutes last night at the reading. I’ve never heard so many great questions asked from an audience. I especially loved hearing Sarah’s endearing responses and learning about the writing process (from both a business and creative perspective). As a wife and mother of 3 sons, I’m amazed at how well Sarah balances all the hats she wears and her drive and comic timing inspire me. After the signing, we headed over to Parker’s for the after-party celebration and so Sarah could get that LONG OVERDUE Chocolate-tini!

We surprised her with a handmade card (thank you Planetbooks!) and a bottle of our ‘special’ champagne. Sarah’s husband, Glenn Reynolds, was so sweet to come over and chat with us while Sarah mingled with her other guests. As the night went on and folks were gradually making their way home, we stuck around. We planned ahead for a late night on purpose.  We wanted some quality time to really chat with Sarah and show our support and love for her but one-on-one. Her FIRST book signing for her FIRST novel obviously is a once in a lifetime occurrence. These events are like weddings- you want to make your rounds and say thank you to everyone. We honestly didn’t expect to have as much one-on-one time with Sarah as we did (although we were hopeful)! It just truly touched us that Sarah and Glenn gave so much of their evening to us. We all went home feeling like we were floating on a cloud. I woke up with the same feeling this morning. I cannot say enough how gentle, kind, sweet and just downright adorable Sarah is! She invited us to join her on that  road trip to Philly and I just cannot wait to watch all the success unfold for Sarah Pekkanen.  I hope you will pick up a copy of The Opposite of Me! And don’t forget to check out this week’s People Magazine for the review of The Opposite of Me! Looking forward to joining Glenn in Sarah’s cheering section for many years to come.

Sarah, from the bottom of my heart, I could not be more excited and proud to witness your moment in the spotlight.

And for goodness sake, PLEASE set some time aside with your adorable hubby Glenn to enjoy that champagne.

You deserve it.

All my love and support,

xoxo,

LibraryLove

PS- Special thanks to Planetbooks and Amy for making the

night even more special because we shared it together.


 

Bookwormz Day Out:: Library of Congress:: March 6, 2010

142 million items. 650 miles of bookshelves. Over 32 million books. Materials in 470 languages.

Fellow blogger, BFF, and bookworm (alliteration!) Fa-Book-ulous,  took me out on a fantastic surprise birthday date today. Part of the day included a surprise trip to  THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS!!! It’s only fitting, my name isn’t LibraryLove for nothin’, that I finally get the chance to see the biggest most awe-inspiring, architecturally amazing (alliteration!) library! Conceptually and socially, I appreciate everything about the library. This was a rare opportunity to see where it all began. This year we are challenging ourselves to rise beyond cultural norms. We’re reclaiming the library and shouting from the rooftops that reading (for free) is cool!!!!!!!!!!!

“The Library receives some 22,000 items each working day and adds approximately 10,000 items to the collections daily. The majority of the collections are received through the Copyright registration process, as the Library is home to the U.S. Copyright Office. Materials are also acquired through gift, purchase, other government agencies (state, local and federal), Cataloging in Publication (a pre-publication arrangement with publishers) and exchange with libraries in the United States and abroad. Items not selected for the collections or other internal purposes are used in the Library’s national and international exchange programs. Through these exchanges the Library acquires material that would not be available otherwise. The remaining items are made available to other federal agencies and are then available for donation to educational institutions, public bodies and nonprofit tax-exempt organizations in the United States”~ LOC

Fa-Book-ulous planned a guided tour with a vibrant and knowledgeable docent who shared rare tidbits as she showed us around the LOC. We kept glancing at each other with raised eyebrows amazed at how much we didn’t know about a place only 30 minutes east of our hometowns and so integral to our country’s history. So often we take for granted the (free) opportunities around us. The LOC is part of our nation’s history and I hope this will inspire you to check it out!

The Library of Congress is the oldest federal cultural institution serving as both the research arm of Congress and the largest library in the world with millions of books, recordings, photographs, maps, and rare artifacts. It’s been on my list of sightseeing adventures, and now I can cross it off!

Seeing Thomas Jefferson’s library (pictured below) and the beautiful architectural  artistry together with Fa-book-ulous was a wonderful experience. We will forever share our ‘book bond’ and this was the icing on the cake! We didn’t have time to check out the other two buildings that also make up the FOC but hope to get back there one day! Who knew that if you need to go to their library to research, you access all the materials online, or, call ahead! A team of librarians are at the ready to be your concierge! They will literally pull reference materials on your selected topic and have them waiting upon arrival. Now THAT’S service w/ a smile!

“I cannot live without books” ~Thomas Jefferson, June 10, 1815

Xoxo,

LibraryLove

 

Sarah Blake’s Book Signing: The Postmistress February 28, 2010

Hi all!

Today was a very special day.  My dear friend and fellow book blogger, Planet Books, whisked me away on a fun-filled birthday date about town. The highlights- mozzarella tasting,  gourmet dinner, cupcakes, and Politics & Prose for Sarah Blake’s book signing!

What an amazing privilege to listen to fDC native, Blake, read in her gentle soft tone, from The Postmistress. Even more amazing? Getting to hear (from where else but the front row of course) about the almost decade long journey to completing this amazing work and the impetus behind it. Like Stockett’s The Help, Blake’s Postmistress was also inspired by events of September 11th, 2001. Blake explained how moved she was by a 9/11 photo. She yearned to know more about what was going on “to the left and to the right” of that particular photo depicting a man and son, who were killed on that fateful day. Directly from Blake’s website, here’s a quick description of the book in case you’ve lived under a rock for the last two weeks and didn’t see it in People Magazine, The NY Times Best Seller List or all the other publications she’s been praised in:

Iris James is the Postmistress of Franklin, Massachusetts a small town at the end of Cape Cod. She firmly believes her job is to deliver and keep people’s secrets, to pass along the news of love and sorrow that letters carry. Faithfully she stamps and sends the letters between people such as the newlyweds Emma and Will Fitch, who has gone to London to help out during the Blitz. But one day she slips a letter into her pocket, and leaves it there.

Meanwhile, seemingly fearless radio gal, Frankie Bard is reporting the Blitz from London, her dispatches crinkling across the Atlantic, imploring listeners to pay attention. Then in the last desperate days of the summer of 1941, she rides the trains out of Germany, reporting on what is happening to the refugees there.

Alternating between an America on the eve of entering into World War II, still safe and snug in its inability to grasp the danger at hand, an a Europe being torn apart by war, the two stories collide in a letter, bringing the war finally home to Franklin.

It was also fun getting to meet fellow book bloggers, S. Krishna’s Books & The Book Lady’s Blog, who shared our front row experience. Thanks to Planet Books, I cannot wait to read my very own autographed copy! Stay tuned for my review in the next few weeks! I will be circulating this book around to my network and can’t wait to hear what they and my book club babes think of this amazing novel. If you can, I urge you to attend one of Blake’s book tour dates. Grab your copy asap!

Xoxo, Library Love