“One day, a man of average height stood on a station platform holding a very heavy bag.  That man was me, but it was not my bag.”

When a book starts thusly, one can only imagine what is to follow.  Although I could anticipate the possibilities, I at least knew the ride with Christian Oster would be nothing short of entertaining brilliance.  And I was right.

In the Train, translated from the original French by Adriana Hunter, tells in first person how one man named Frank, in his eccentric attempts to find a woman, meets a likely prospect at a train station.  Finding unusual and sometimes embarrassing ways to stay in her presence, the resulting 148 pages form a book that you don’t want to read in public.  Unless you enjoy laughing out loud in the dentist’s office waiting room, that is.

At the center of Oster’s latest translated bit of genius is yet another quirky and socially inept individual you’ll wish you knew in person.  So seemingly out of touch with social convention is this story’s hero that if Woody Allen were to meet the man, he’d probably comment, “Nice, but a little neurotic.”

One thing I appreciate in Oster’s writing is his ability to convey to the reader what others think of the narrator – even when the narrator is totally clueless as to how others perceive him.  And Oster can keep his audience cringing with embarrassment over Frank’s behavior while simultaneously laughing and hoping for more of the same.  

But In the Train isn’t a laugh-a-minute, fluffy entertainment piece.  This story can be viewed through many windows.  For instance, our train traveling individual finds himself in situations where all he can do is suppose things.  He supposes how others view him, he supposes what’s going on in their minds, he supposes one thing after another – correctly  or incorrectly as the reader is left guessing.  As his assumptions shift, grow, get tossed and reformed, it’s as if the story – and the reader’s assumptions – morph constantly from one possibility to another.  And isn’t that how our lives indeed go?  As we choose how to perceive situations, even the people around us, don’t we write and rewrite our own realities?  And will the man of average height who took the train to chase the girl write his own reality, and eventually win her over, despite his lack of social graces?  One need only read the book to find out.

Want to win your own copy of the book I couldn’t put down and finished mere hours after receiving it (woe is me – when’s the next Oster?)  I have an extra copy to give away, fresh from Object Press.

Multiple Options for Multiple Entries:

1.) Just tell me about a preconceived notion you once held but was shattered.  Or perhaps you were right all along.  (***You may enter once a day, but please list a new item you like each time.) Remember, leave an interesting comment. If I cannot contact the winner, you might be chosen instead based on your comment.

2.) Blog about, Twitter, and/or Subscribe! Get an extra entry for each of these activities.  This time just leave a separate comment for each (only one time for each extra activity completed), giving me a link to your blog post, your Twitter name, and/or a note saying you’re a subscriber. (Subscribe in the upper right !  

(Psst!  My Twitter name is dkMommy.)

Feel free to do all five to gather multiple entries to win! You have until midnight EST on Monday, April 19, 2010, to enter.

I have read and reviewed numerous short story collections here at carp(e).  Most of them contain a theme of some sort; occasionally they’re as apparent as having a group of stories about the same characters.  Other times, the common factor is harder to detect – an emotion, for instance, or an exploration on one facet of the human condition.  With “Where The Dog Star Never Glows” by Tara L. Masih, a common thread I discovered was surprisingly a feeling, or a spirit in the story telling.  That beautiful spirit that permeates Masih’s short stories is nothing short of extraordinary.  Truly written from the heart of a poet, her ability to turn a phrase is more than appealing to this particular reviewer.

Each story is set in an unexpected setting;the island of Dominica, Texas on the Mexican border, India.  Every one is filled with imaginative, solid characters that are easy to connect with, difficult to part with by story’s end.  Most of the stories have the characters placed in the midst of change – sometimes headed for the better, sometimes the worst, often with the location playing a major role.  Throughout the book there permeates an unexpected sense of peace, even as characters battle against tough life decisions.  Settings and people alike are brought to life with well-chosen words handled like paint on a canvas, leaving the reader with lucid imagery and a sense of deep reflection.  

When well written, short stories have the ability to leave the reader with strong emotions in a smaller span of time – often within a mere few pages.  Masih’s stories have managed to stay with me days after finishing the book. The final tale in particular, “Delight”, will hold a special place with me for quite some time.

If you’re a lover of the short story, do yourself a favor and check out “Where The Dog Star Never Glows” by Tara L. Masih.  The vivid colors of this collection certainly will glow, and for a long time.

Want to win your own copy?  We’re giving one away!

Multiple Options for Multiple Entries:

1.) Just tell me about a place that changed you.  Maybe it changed you for the better, or maybe it was for the worst. (***You may enter once a day, but please list a new item you like each time.) Remember, leave an interesting comment. If I cannot contact the winner, you might be chosen instead based on your comment.

2.) Blog about, Twitter, and/or Subscribe! Get an extra entry for each of these activities.  This time just leave a separate comment for each (only one time for each extra activity completed), giving me a link to your blog post, your Twitter name, and/or a note saying you’re a subscriber. (Subscribe in the upper right !  

(Psst!  My Twitter name is dkMommy.)

Feel free to do all five to gather multiple entries to win! You have until midnight EST on Wednesday, April 7, 2010, to enter.

For most of us, the wilderness of Alaska is shrouded in a beautiful mystery. We picture pristine forests, clear rivers and all manner of wildlife.  Its culture is diverse and unique from much of the lower 48, and it is these two elements – the land and the culture – that give Garth Stein’s novel Raven Stole the Moon the perfect soil in which to plant a story.

Raven Stole the Moon begins in Seattle where a husband and wife struggle to survive the two-year anniversary of their son’s death.  In an effort to make sense fo it all, wife Jenna suddenly flees her life and finds herself in a remote town in Alaska, reconnecting with her heritage and trying to find closure by returning to the land of her son’s death.

But no sooner has she found herself in Alaska than strange and otherworldly things start to occur.  Her Tlingit ancestry resurfaces, bringing with it all the myths and legends she’d assumed were nothing more than fairy tales.  But it seems there may be more to the town’s stories of Tlingit folklore.  Jenna begins to question the events surrounding her son’s death.  What really happened?

Stein, author of bestselling work The Art of Racing in the Rain, has a writing style that is fully engaging, a mixing of mystery and suspense with a bit of romance, and he weaves a tale filled with the supernatural without losing the realism.  His voice is fresh and unique, and anyone searching for a book that holds them tight right to the end will find such an experience in Raven Stole the Moon.

Want to win your own copy of Raven Stole the Moon?  We’re giving one away!

Multiple Options for Multiple Entries:

1.) Just tell me about a supernatural occurrence.  It can be something that happened to you, or you can get creative! Or maybe you think it’s all bunk – tell me! (***You may enter once a day, but please list a new item you like each time.) Remember, leave an interesting comment. If I cannot contact the winner, you might be chosen instead based on your comment.

2.) Blog about, Twitter, and/or Subscribe! Get an extra entry for each of these activities.  This time just leave a separate comment for each (only one time for each extra activity completed), giving me a link to your blog post, your Twitter name, and/or a note saying you’re a subscriber. (Subscribe in the upper right !  

(Psst!  My Twitter name is dkMommy.)

Feel free to do all five to gather multiple entries to win! You have until midnight EST on Monday, March 15, 2010, to enter.

Click Here for More Giveaways

Number 2 of the Charlie Chan Series, The Chinese Parrot: A Charlie Chan Mystery lands our master detective in the California desert.  But this time, he not only must find a murderer, he must discover who’s been murdered!  Helping Bob Eden deliver a string of pearls to a buyer started out sounding simple enough; now Charlie Chan finds himself undercover and is painfully forced to speak bad English – not such a comfort for our intellectual sleuth who prides himself in the well-formed and poetic sentence.

Biggers manages to make the second book of his Charlie Chan series, The Chinese Parrot: A Charlie Chan Mystery even better than the first.  Great dialog reminiscent in style of some of my favorite old movies, an even more complex mystery plot than the first, and a lot more of Charlie Chan himself, are all to be found in The Chinese Parrot.  And as before, Biggers jumped decades ahead of his time by subtly taking on the misconceptions of race to stereotypes while keeping his audience guessing, laughing, and completely riveted in yet another compelling mystery I, for one, am impatiently awaiting Academy of Chicago’s fall release of numbers 3 and 4 of the Charlie Chan series.

Want a shot at winning The Chinese Parrot?  Here’s your chance!

Multiple Options for Entry:

1.) Just tell me a real mystery you’ve encountered – solved, unsolved, one sentence or ten!  Baffle me… (You may enter once a day.) Remember, leave an interesting comment.  If I cannot contact the winner, you might be chosen instead based on your comment.

2.) Email subscribers get an extra entry for as long as their subscription is active.

     Already a subscriber?  Leave me a separate comment on this post to let me know you’re interested in this giveaway.

     Want to subscribe?  Just enter your email address in the “Subscribe” box on the left. (Please make sure to verify your Feedburner subscription by responding to the email they send you. If you do not receive it, check your junk mail. Only verified subscriptions are entered for all the giveaways.)

3.) Blog about this giveaway on your blog with a link back to this post.  Come back and leave me a Comment with a link to your blog post. (If your comment doesn’t show up right away, don’t worry – I may have to approve it first.  My blog might think it’s spam but gosh darn, I certainly don’t!)

4.) I’m feeling Twittery.  If you Twitter a link to this giveaway, come back and comment here to let me know your Twitter name for another entry! (I’m dkmommy if you want to follow me.)

Feel free to do all four to gain several entries to win! You have until midnight EST on Wednesday, May 13, 2009, to enter.

Check out all current giveaways for both my blogs here.

Click Here for More Giveaways

If you’ve been visiting this blog long enough, perhaps you remember one of my favorite books from 2008, Locke 1928 by Shawna Yang Ryan.  I love being able to follow up on authors whose works I’ve reviewed, and it’s such a great feeling to discover a book I favored is going even stronger now than last year!  

For anyone who knows a little about the publishing industry, you’ll know how hard it is for an author’s work to not only go from a paperback to a hardcover, but from an indie press to one of the big guys.  That’s just what Shawna Yang Ryan has done with Locke 1928, which has recently been republished by Penguin Press in hardcover under the title “Water Ghosts“.  

I’m really proud to have been given the opportunity to review Ryan’s book under its first publication with El Leon Literary Arts, and it’s pretty exciting to see the book reaching an even wider audience.  Here’s a bit of the description I gave in my review: “When three Chinese women float to shore on a dilapidated boat after having been adrift at sea for over a month, the men of the town line up to woo them. The madame of the local brothel begins having visions she takes as a warning. The pastor’s wife, the only “whitewoman” in town who isn’t a prostitute, takes two of the women under her wing, and it could be a big mistake.” You can read the review in its entirety here: Locke 1928. This book will transport you to 1920’s Locke, California.  The town was real, making the story even more enticing.  By the time you finish reading, you’ll swear the characters were real too.

A big congratulations are due to Shawna Yang Ryan.  We look forward to hearing about your continued success!  Just remember us when you finally meet Oprah…

I have two copies of Water Ghosts in its beautiful new hardcover format (retail $25) to give to a couple of very fortunate carp(e) readers!

Multiple Options for Entry:

1.) Just tell me a short ghost story! It can be one sentence or a paragraph; this book is about what happens when a Chinese ghost story comes true, so give us a scare. (You may enter once a day.) Remember, leave an interesting comment.  If I cannot contact the winner, you might be chosen instead based on your comment.

2.) Email subscribers get an extra entry for as long as their subscription is active.

     Already a subscriber?  Leave me a separate comment on this post to let me know you’re interested in this giveaway.

     Want to subscribe?  Just enter your email address in the “Subscribe” box on the left. (Please make sure to verify your Feedburner subscription by responding to the email they send you. If you do not receive it, check your junk mail. Only verified subscriptions are entered for all the giveaways.)

3.) Blog about this giveaway on your blog with a link back to this post.  Come back and leave me a Comment with a link to your blog post. (If your comment doesn’t show up right away, don’t worry – I may have to approve it first.  My blog might think it’s spam but gosh darn, I certainly don’t!)

4.) I’m feeling Twittery.  If you Twitter a link to this giveaway, come back and comment here to let me know your Twitter name for another entry! (I’m dkmommy if you want to follow me.)

Feel free to do all four to gain several entries to win! You have until midnight EST on Wednesday, May 6, 2009, to enter.

Check out all current giveaways for both my blogs here.

Click Here for More Giveaways

One of my favorite genres is mystery.  I like a good pulpy, noir mystery classic; a page turner if you will.  I used to read them all the time.  I still own stacks of old Alfred Hitchcock and Ellery Queen magazines that I can’t seem to part with, but since starting carp(e) I haven’t been able to sink my teeth into a nice bit of pulp in quite sometime.  I suppose that’s because carp(e) focuses on indie presses, and I haven’t stumbled on any old mysteries coming out of the indies.  But thank goodness for Academy Chicago Publishers!  They’re bringing back the Charlie Chan series, complete with incredible pulp art covers, and I’m having the time of my literal life.

First int he series is The House Without a Key.  The famous Chinese sleuth of the 1920’s Hawaiian Islands is introduced to the world for the first time.  Published originally in 1925, The House was rather revolutionary in that the hero was Chinese – an intelligent, witty, particular detective.  The characters in The House Without a Key are Bostonian upper crust, oftentimes surprised to find the man in search of the murderer is not as “white” as they.  It’s fun seeing the characters change their tune as Chan so cleverly works out the mystery.  

In The House Without a Key, young John Quincy from Boston travels to Hawaii to retrieve his wayward aunt.  But upon arrival he discovers a cousin has been murdered.  This high class Bostonian family can’t afford the scandal, however – and Cousin Dan has a sordid past that can do nothing but create scandal.  Young John Quincy finds himself in the heat of the mystery and it’s having quite an effect on his old money, old family preconceived notions of the world.  What’s more, no one seems to be able to put the clues together – no one but the famous Charlie Chan.

Want to win your own copy?  Snag the first of the Charlie Chan series ($14.95 retail) and get going on the upcoming collection!  

Multiple Options for Entry:

1.) Just tell me why you love mysteries!  Are your reasons chilling?  Blood curdling? Or perhaps they’re a complete mystery to you. (You may enter once a day.) Remember, leave an interesting comment.  If I cannot contact the winner, you might be chosen instead based on your comment.

2.) Email subscribers get an extra entry for as long as their subscription is active.

     Already a subscriber?  Leave me a separate comment on this post to let me know you’re interested in this giveaway.

     Want to subscribe?  Just enter your email address in the “Subscribe” box on the left. (Please make sure to verify your Feedburner subscription by responding to the email they send you. If you do not receive it, check your junk mail. Only verified subscriptions are entered for all the giveaways.)

3.) Blog about this giveaway on your blog with a link back to this post.  Come back and leave me a Comment with a link to your blog post. (If your comment doesn’t show up right away, don’t worry – I may have to approve it first.  My blog might think it’s spam but gosh darn, I certainly don’t!)

4.) I’m feeling Twittery.  If you Twitter a link to this giveaway, come back and comment here to let me know your Twitter name for another entry! (I’m dkmommy if you want to follow me.)

Feel free to do all four to gain several entries to win! You have until midnight EST on Tuesday, April 21, 2009, to enter.

Check out all current giveaways for both my blogs here.

Click Here for More Giveaways

If you’ve ever read a book based on the story of King Arthur, you probably have a pretty good idea on the story line.  Perhaps you remember the sword in the stone, his love Guinevere, or the magical Merlin.  Helen Hollick gives readers a fresh new look at a magnificent tale that has fascinated many for generations.  The Kingmaking strips away everything you thought you knew about Arthur’s life.  

The first part of a trilogy, The Kingmaking gives us a rather realistic look into what Arthur’s life may have been like before becoming a king (if indeed he did exist at all – no one’s sure!)  Gone are such fantastical elements as a small boy pulling the Excalibur from a stone; but what Hollick has replaced these scenes with will leave readers wondering if she’s known something of the truth all along. 

While The Kingmaking is a work of fiction, it reads as a well-researched historical dramatization.  Most certainly much research has gone into adding credibility and an amazing amount of detail to the book.  Anyone with the least bit of interest in such history (the book takes place in the mid 400’s AD) will thoroughly enjoy the rich and historical detail.  I closed the book feeling I’d learned a great deal about the time period, and in fact felt I’d not only read about, but visited Britain’s Dark Ages.

Most impressive of all is Hollick’s ability to lose the reader in her craft of storytelling.  Scenes come alive, jumping off the page and engaging the reader.  Many was the time during this 600-page novel when a battle scene had me so drawn in I was sure I could physically hear it.  I even remember one scene jumping and thinking, “I hope it doesn’t wake my son!”  No, he slept peacefully as I sat in the living room engaged in battle from my couch.  Fortunately I had a sword at the ready for protection.

Not once during The Kingmaking did I ever think, “My, what a long book!  I’m ready for something else.”  No, instead I finished with a sigh, wondering where the time went and hoping that Helen Hollick has that second of the Pendragon’s Banner Trilogy well underway.  Because I don’t know how long I’ll be able to wait to get back to old Britain.

I am happily bestowing carp(e) libris reviews’ Goldfish Award on The Kingmaking.  I dub it an award-winner most certainly!

Want to win your own copy of The Kingmaking?  I thought you would…

 

Rules for Entry:

1.) Just Leave a Comment telling me why you’d be interested in reading The Kingmaking.   (You may enter once a day – following entries don’t require you to answer the question.) Remember, leave an interesting comment.  If I cannot contact the winner, you might be chosen instead based on your comment.

2.) Email subscribers get an extra entry for as long as their subscription is active.

     Already a subscriber?  Leave me a separate comment on this post to let me know you’re interested in this giveaway.

     Want to subscribe?  Just enter your email address in the “Subscribe” box on the left. (Please make sure to verify your Feedburner subscription by responding to the email they send you. If you do not receive it, check your junk mail. Only verified subscriptions are entered for all the giveaways.)

3.) Blog about this giveaway on your blog with a link back to this post.  Come back and leave me a Comment with a link to your blog post. (If your comment doesn’t show up right away, don’t worry – I may have to approve it first.  My blog might think it’s spam but gosh darn, I certainly don’t!)

4.) I’m feeling Twittery.  If you Twitter a link to this giveaway, come back and comment here to let me know your Twitter name for another entry! (I’m dkmommy if you want to follow me.)

Feel free to do all four to gain several entries to win! You have until midnight EST on Tuesday, March 3, 2009, to enter.

Follow the booktour for The Kingmaking and find some great new book blogs:

http://harrietdevine.typepad.com/ 2/20

http://lazyhabits.wordpress.com/ 2/21 and interview 2/27

http://carpelibrisreviews.com/ 2/23

http://www.historicalnovels.info/BookReviews.html 2/23

http://www.bibliophilemusings.com/ 2/23

http://lilly-readingextravaganza.blogspot.com/ 2/23 and guest blog 2/25

http://booksaremyonlyfriends.blogspot.com/ 2/25

http://peekingbetweenthepages.blogspot.com/ 2/26 and guest blog 2/27

http://webereading.blogspot.com/ 2/26

http://www.caramellunacy.blogspot.com 2/26

http://www.chikune.com/blog/ 2/27

http://bookthoughtsbylisa.blogspot.com/ 3/1

http://www.skrishnasbooks.com/ 3/1

http://jennifersrandommusings.wordpress.com/ 3/1

http://rhireading.blogspot.com/ 3/1

http://passagestothepast.blogspot.com/ 3/2

http://thetometraveller.blogspot.com/ 3/2

http://steventill.com/ 3/2

http://savvyverseandwit.blogspot.com/ 3/2 and interview 3/3

http://astripedarmchair.wordpress.com/ 3/3

http://www.CarlaNayland.org 3/3

http://readersrespite.blogspot.com/ 3/3 and interview on 3/5

http://libraryqueue.blogspot.com/ 3/4

http://thebookworm07.blogspot.com/ 3/4

http://www.myfriendamysblog.com/ 3/5

http://samsbookblog.blogspot.com 3/5

http://goodbooksbrightside.blogspot.com/ 3/5

http://teddyrose.blogspot.com/ 3/6

http://sculpturepdx.blogspot.com 3/6

Check out all current giveaways for both my blogs here.

Click Here for More Giveaways

Real enough to make you wonder how the author could have lived so many lives, sad enough to hope he didn’t, Down to a Sunless Sea is a collection of short stories in varied shades of humanity.  Author Mathias B. Freese writes in a wide range of convincing voices.  One thing I like to see in a short story collection is an array of different voices.  As a character actor shapeshifts and reinvents himself from one part to the next, every one of Freese’s stories has a completely different perspective.  It’s as if the bus stops and the reader gets off and hails a taxi for the next “ride” on another point of view.  Much more enticing to a reader, I believe, than feeding the same tone over and over, changing only a scenario, as oftentimes happens in the short story collection.

The one common thread throughout the book is a sort of psychological look into each main character and a darkness that seems to permeate each life.  It wasn’t until I’d finished the book that I read on the back cover that Mathias Freese is in fact a clinical social worker and psychotherapist.  His 25 years experience in these fields has richly added to his fine capacity to tell a riveting short story; the overall impression is one of well-written human observation.

Want to win your own copy of this award-winning collection?  We’ve got one to give away!

Rules for Entry:

1.) Just tell me why you’d like to read Down to a Sunless Sea.  (You may enter once a day – following entries don’t require you to answer the question.) Remember, leave an interesting comment.  If I cannot contact the winner, you might be chosen instead based on your comment.

2.) Email subscribers get an extra entry for as long as their subscription is active.

     Already a subscriber?  Leave me a separate comment on this post to let me know you’re interested in this giveaway.

     Want to subscribe?  Just enter your email address in the “Subscribe” box on the left. (Please make sure to verify your Feedburner subscription by responding to the email they send you. If you do not receive it, check your junk mail. Only verified subscriptions are entered for all the giveaways.)

3.) Blog about this giveaway on your blog with a link back to this post.  Come back and leave me a Comment with a link to your blog post. (If your comment doesn’t show up right away, don’t worry – I may have to approve it first.  My blog might think it’s spam but gosh darn, I certainly don’t!)

4.) I’m feeling Twittery.  If you Twitter a link to this giveaway, come back and comment here to let me know your Twitter name for another entry! (I’m dkmommy if you want to follow me.)

Feel free to do all four to gain several entries to win! You have until midnight EST on Wednesday, February 25, 2009, to enter.

Check out all current giveaways for both my blogs here.

Click Here for Giveaways & Coupon Codes

Tax-Free Retirement by Patrick Kelly is reviewed by our guest writer Dan Ruger. 

What could I possibly stay away from, given my pretty busy day, to read about retirement? Tax-Free Retirement seemed like a boring lecture at first glance, but given the shroud of laudatory snippets that haloed the book I opened it and went with it to the end. An emotional roller coaster, an eye-opener, and far away from a novel, the numbers the book gives are daunting as is the realization of financial ignorance. I would look at it as a confrontation between Goliath and David, and David’s not winning. Not now, not ever. However, there’s a way to make David survive and keeps Goliath at peace as long as there is tribute.

And there’s where Patrick Kelly comes in with his book and shows us, the Davids, how to keep most if not all of our tribute from being hoarded by Goliath, the mask that hides Uncle Sam. That being said, you have a pitch for life insurance beautifully laid in front of you. Nothing wrong with that; even more, it is presented as an investment due to the generally unknown tax benefits of a well written life insurance policy. The author – who drew policies of this sort in his career – fairly cautions the reader on getting advice from reputable firms and agents in order to have a well put together plan and not just satisfy the sale figures of some avid business.

How appropriate this is, given today’s economic quagmire. And although the interest rates cited in this book are just memories of a better past, we still have to think of our financial future. All in all, “Tax-Free Retirement” needs to be read; it helps paint the big picture and gives a unique and viable perspective on your financial past, present and future.

Want to win your own copy of the National Best-Seller “Tax-Free Retirement”?  Carp(e) libris reviews is giving one away! 

Rules for Entry:

1.) Just visit the Tax-Free Retirement site and tell me something you learned about Patrick Kelley’s book.  (You may enter once a day – following entries don’t require you to answer the question.) Remember, leave an interesting comment.  If I cannot contact the winner, you might be chosen instead based on your comment.

2.) Email subscribers get an extra entry for as long as their subscription is active.

     Already a subscriber?  Leave me a separate comment on this post to let me know you’re interested in this giveaway.

     Want to subscribe?  Just enter your email address in the “Subscribe” box on the left. (Please make sure to verify your Feedburner subscription by responding to the email they send you. If you do not receive it, check your junk mail. Only verified subscriptions are entered for all the giveaways.)

3.) Blog about this giveaway on your blog with a link back to this post.  Come back and leave me a Comment with a link to your blog post. (If your comment doesn’t show up right away, don’t worry – I may have to approve it first.  My blog might think it’s spam but gosh darn, I certainly don’t!)

4.) I’m feeling Twittery.  If you Twitter a link to this giveaway, come back and comment here to let me know your Twitter name for another entry! (I’m dkmommy if you want to follow me.)

Feel free to do all four to gain several entries to win! You have until midnight EST on Wednesday, February 18, 2009, to enter.

Check out all current giveaways for both my blogs here.

Powerful and written in a solid voice, Pavel Brycz’s “I, City”is a book told from the perspective of the city itself.  The book’s narrator is actually the city of Most in the Czech Republic; having watched its inhabitants through omnipresent eyes, the city tells us stories, gives us short glimpses into the lives of the dwellers of Most.  While in many ways, the stories of the people could happen in any city, in Most the inhabitants are met with their own challenges – the challenges that occur while living in a city in decline.  But the city seems sympathetic towards those who dwell within her walls, somewhat proud of their strength and resilience.  We get to hover over the streets, sneak into the buildings, listen in on conversations, and thus get to know Most.

Each chapter is an appearance of new characters, offering the opportunity to observe a scene of life, which leaves one with the sensation of walking through a city invisible.  Pavel Brycz understands how to say much with few words, giving a resonating power to each short chapter which presents a series of stunning impressions on the reader.  Beautifully translated, the book flows effortlessly in English.

Originally written in Czech, “I, City” is the first of Pavel Brycz’s books to be translated into English.  Published by Twisted Spoon Press of Prague, Czech Republic, the book was translated by Joshua Cohen and Marketa Hofmeisterova.  I have a copy of “I, City” sent to me straight from Prague to give to one carp(e) libris reviews reader.  The winner of this book is guaranteed a unique and beautiful book, not only in writing style but in its physical appearance as well.  Ready to enter?

1.) Just leave a comment telling me something your city or town might say about you if it were to tell your story.  (You may enter once a day – following entries don’t require you to answer the question.) Remember, leave an interesting comment.  If I cannot contact the winner, you might be chosen instead based on your comment.

2.) Email subscribers get an extra entry for as long as their subscription is active.

     Already a subscriber?  Leave me a separate comment on this post to let me know you’re interested in this giveaway.

     Want to subscribe?  Just enter your email address in the “Subscribe” box on the left. (Please make sure to verify your Feedburner subscription by responding to the email they send you. If you do not receive it, check your junk mail. Only verified subscriptions are entered for all the giveaways.)

3.) Blog about this giveaway on your blog with a link back to this post.  Come back and leave me a Comment with a link to your blog post. (If your comment doesn’t show up right away, don’t worry – I may have to approve it first.  My blog might think it’s spam but gosh darn, I certainly don’t!)

4.) I’m feeling Twittery.  If you Twitter a link to this giveaway, come back and comment here to let me know your Twitter name for another entry! (I’m dkmommy if you want to follow me.)

Feel free to do all four, plus enter once a day, and you can gain up to 10 entries to win! You have until midnight EST on Friday, January 2, 2009, to enter.