Tag Archives: book giveaway

Get Glue Winner + Giveaway!

Thank you to everyone who participated in the Get Glue Decewy Decimal Challenge last month! Through a random name-picking-out-of-a-hat, the winner of February’s giveaway is Eva from A Striped Armchair!!.


But don’t despair. I have another prize this month! But this is one more general. I’m giving away an extra copy of Jane Austen Ruined My Life by Beth Pattillo. Just leave me a comment with your favorite Jane Austen book and why. Double points if you link to this giveaway on your blog, Triple points if you also include a review for the Dewey Decimal Challenge. I’ll name a winner at the end of the month (April 1st).

Jane Austen Ruined My Life

The Graveyard Book Giveaway

This is just a quickie reminder that the last day to sign up for a copy of The Graveyard Book is this Saturday the 18th. You can check out my post here for contest rules.

The Graveyard Book – Review

Fans of Rudard Kipling’s Jungle Book and Harry Potter will find many similarities between these three titles. The Jungle Book, along with Neil Gaiman watching his son bike through a graveyard was the primary inspiration for this moody and dark children’s book about an orphaned boy being raised by a most peculiar crowd.

First line: There was a hand in the darkness, and it held a knife.


Starting out similar to Harry Potter, the story begins with a family being murdered in the dead of night by a man Jack. The only survivor of the killings was a young toddler who had managed to crawl out of his crib and sneak out the door and into the cemetery across the street. Through some form of luck, the ghosts residing of the buried dead in the graveyard took in this boy, and defended him from the killer. Like the Jungle Book, Bod, is raised with ghosts and learns how to live and act among the ghosts as they do. The story progresses though 8 chapters. In each chapter Bod Owens, short of Nobody, is older by two years. He has a not so typical childhood in the graveyard, learning to read and write from ghosts, and eventually learning about his past.

The book is full of mystery and suspense, but is also sprinkled with witty and unexpected humor. The main characters are Bod, and his guardian Silas, a brooding man who is neither living nor dead, but can easily walk between both worlds. I often forgot it was a children’s book, there being many words I had to stop and look up in the dictionary, as well as a number of references to literary characters throughout the ages. That is all a part of Neil Gaiman’s charm in his written work. He does extensive research when writing, and it yet it seeps out in his work very casually, as if he just knows everything about everything and can make it funny through some kind of pun. My complaint is that the characters seemed a little stale and unchanging, but then, how much can you expect a ghost to change? Maybe they were set to stay the same to reflect the changes in Bod over the years?

I still place Coraline as my favorite children’s book of Neil Gaiman, and am utterly undecided in terms of which novel to adore. Neverwhere was the first creation of his that I read. I read American Gods for the majority of a 10 hour drive up from Las Vegas and Anansi Boys had me laughing constantly as I read on the train to work.

For anyone interested in buying this book, apparently it does not want to stay on the bookshelves of the big chain bookstores (its either sold out, or filed away somewhere offbeat) Amazon has marked-down the cost of the book on their website.


If you haven’t already, please check out my giveaway post for a copy of The Graveyard Book, and the recap for a night with Neil Gaiman, stop 6 of his 9 city book tour.

Find this book at your local library

Buy this book from Amazon


The Graveyard Book
by Neil Gaiman
HarperCollins, 2008
320 pages

Neil Gaiman Reading Recap + The Graveyard Book Giveaway

Neil Gaiman read chapter 5 and the Interlude of The Graveyard Book to 600 lucky audience members at Gunn High School Saturday night. The event was cosponsored by Kepler’s Books Inc. (the best Independent Bookstore south of San Francisco) and the Palo Alto Library. The stage was wonderfully and theatrically decorated with tombstones of characters from the book, as well as a screen with an image of an eerie graveyard. There was a plush leather seat in the middle of stage complete with one reading lamp, one stuffed raven and two water bottles.

The Graveyard Book
Neil read for about 40 minutes (he has the best reading voice, its deep, it’s soothing, it has a British accent…). Then there was a raffle for a Coraline audio CD (I did not win). Then there was a short intermission. There was a Q & A which is always fun and interesting. While waiting in line, the audience wrote questions on index cards, this giant stack of index cards was then handed to Neil, as he flipped through them on the stage answered questions. Most of the questions he answered were about The Graveyard Book. There is one sentence in the book that is not on the audio cd. Chapter 6 had to be completely re-written because it did not match the tone of the rest of the book, and he wrote chapter 4 first, before working on the other chapters of the book. His next book to be released will be called Crazy Hair, and it is also a children’s book.

After the Q & A we were surprised with a couple of short movie clips. The first being a behind the scenes trailer of the Coraline movie. Its stop-animation in 3-D, and it is going to be fantastic. It should be coming out in theaters sometime this year. We also saw snippets from 4 scenes of Coraline. Palo Alto was the third audience to view these clips. Neil requested that no one You Tube the clips, but I doubt anyone really listened. Lastly, Neil read to us a poem that he had written for Tori Amos when she was pregnant with her baby girl. It is a beautiful poem, and reminded me of All The Places You Will Go by Dr. Seuss. I think this poem will also be published at some point in 2009.

Since Neil had broken his finger in China, he did not stay after the reading to individually sign books for the 600 audience members. I had already pre-ordered The Graveyard Book and was hoping he would sign it Happy Birthday Nari, but no such luck. Having a giant school-girl crush on him, I ended up buying a second signed copy of the book. =) Luckily for all my loyal readers, that means I will be giving away my spare copy of The Graveyard Book!!

Rules: All you have to do is comment on this post with your favorite Neil Gaiman creation (movie, comic book, novel, picture book, etc). I’ll announce the winner on October 20th, so make sure you get in your entries before midnight on October 19th. . Extra entries if you post about this entry on your blog or website.

Immortal – Review & My first giveaway contest!

Immortal Immortal
by Traci L. Slatton
Bantem Dell, 2008
ISBN 9780385339742
513 pages

Immortal by Traci L. Slatton is a story of 180 year old Luca Bastardo. The novel traces his life from his childhood as an orphan on the streets of Florence to his death through a first person narrative. When he was barely ten years old, Luca was sold into a brothel by one of his best friends. Until then, Luca had been living on the streets, struggling to survive. Luca managed to survive in the brothel despite the violence inflicted upon him and the other children by the sadistic Bernardo Silvano as well as all the patrons patronizing the brothel. Slatton is not graphic on the physical details of the rape and sodomy that takes place, but rather focuses on the emotional damage, and Luca’s struggle to stay sane and strong in order to support himself and the other children held prisoner. Luca finally manages to escape Silvano and Florence, albeit temporarily, after the Black Plague struck. As Luca grows, he comes into contact with some Italy’s finest creators. Luca befriended Giotto, he saved Cosimo de Medici from kidnappers, tutored Leonardo da Vinci and befriended Botticelli. In his lifetime, Luca has the form of many professions, often striving to help the innocent and the poor in any way he can, while still trying to keep the mystical aura surrounding him from attracting unwanted attention. Luca attempts to learn about his origins and some explanation as to why he does not age as everyone else does. Luca tries to find out about his past, although the members of the Silvano family tree haunts his every step through his life.

What I like about this novel, is that Slatton was able to keep her writing elegant, detailed, but not overly dramatic or graphic. At times the dialog felt cliche and forced. It is really in Part 2 of the novel when Slatton’s talent is at its peak, and you are sucked into the Italian Renassiance, witnessing some of the most historic events in Italy’s history through the eyes of one of the world’s oldest men. Slatton is very accurate with the historical detail of Italy in the 1300s and 1400s. Her writing is very fluid and each chapter melds into each other before you realize you’ve read nearly half the book in a few short hours. You develop a sympathy with not only Luca, but with all of Italy through Slatton’s discussion of philosophy and religion and the simple act of finding love and happiness, two of Luca’s biggest struggles to achieve.


That being said, I would like to host my first giveaway of a copy of Immortal to celebrate 6 months of book blogging! I can’t believe I started blogging only six months ago at the beginning of February. I feel as if I’ve been reviewing books much longer than that.

Contest rules:

All you have to do is comment and tell me which historic person of the 20th Century you would like too meet. Comments must be posted by August 15th 11:59pm. You can also receive extra entries for blogging about this giveaway. Please check back on August 16th to see who the winner is!


Book Giveaway by author Scott Douglas

Taking a page out of the Choose Your Own Adventure series (which I particularly adored as a child) author and librarian Scott Douglas, announced on his Blog that he is giving away eBooks of a book he wrote. You can go to a wiki page that he set up and have a chance to change parts of the book that you don’t necessarily like. You can make modifications to scenes, characters, descriptions, etc.

There are a few ways to get this book:
1. Go to the blog for the book (librarytree.blogspot.com)
2. Download a PDF, MS Word, or TXT version of the book on my website (http://www.scottdouglas.org/thelibrarytree.htm)
3. Go right to the wiki page (http://librarytree.wetpaint.com).

Keep in mind you will need to start a free Wetpaint Wiki account in order to make the changes.