As mentioned, I have the following books available for giveaway:
- Tepper Isn't Going Out by Calvin Trillin. Trade paperback. A very dryly funny slim novel about a man's search for parking in New York City.
- Her First American by Lore Segal. Mass-market paperback. An excellent if somewhat elliptical novel about a young Jewish woman who falls in love with an unreliable older black man.
- Into Love and Out Again by Elinor Lipman. Combining my critiques of both of the previous novels: A collection of short stories that are often too elliptical to be totally emotionally (read: romantically) satisfying, but which are nonetheless dryly funny and insightful and unfailingly well-written.
- Ariel by Grace Tiffany. Advanced Reader's Edition. A reimagining of The Tempest in novel form, with special focus on that pitiless force of the imagination Ariel.
- Kira-Kira by Cynthia Kadohata. Hardcover. This year's Newbery winner, about two Japanese sisters growing up in Iowa and the Deep South.
- Dixieland Sushi by Cara Lockwood. Trade paperback. Along similar lines, though much more buoyant in plot and tone, a fun chick-lit novel about growing up Japanese-American, deep Southern cooking, stupid crushes, and Mr. Miyagi.
- I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak. Hardcover. A smart, funny young adult novel with an ending that will either please you with its cleverness and heart or anger you with the author's own pleasure at his cleverness and heart.
- South Beach by Aimee Friedman. Paperback. Two teenage girls have the spring break of their lives in South Beach. Excellent guilty-pleasure reading; written by a friend of mine at Scholastic.
- Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. Advanced Reader's Edition. A girl falls in love with a vampire.
- Day of Tears by Julius Lester. Advanced Reader's Edition. A novel in dialogue about the biggest slave auction in American history; a hugely powerful, even painful evocation of the experience of being a slave.
Leave me a comment if you'd like to claim one of these and I'll happily get it out to you -- first come, first served.+++
While cleaning my shelves yesterday, I realized that I don't know the present location of my copies of The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass (that is, Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy). This was a little distressing, as not only do I love the books madly, they're all signed (The Amber Spyglass a signed first edition). So I sort of want to keep them on the radar. If I've lent them to one of you and forgotten about it, will you please let me know? Thanks.
Also, if you follow the link above, don't miss this brilliant essay on literature, politics, and moral education. Beyond its crystal-sharp writing and general wisdom, it has provided me with a new goal in life: "to shine with superior Lustre and Effect, and inform private circles with Sentiment, Taste, and Manners." Mr. Pullman quotes this particular epitaph again in this enjoyable conversation with Tamora Pierce and Christopher Paolini on fantasy fiction.
And that is all for tonight. It's May 31, the day after Memorial Day. Welcome to the summer! Huzzah!