Once upon a time I had interests (mostly books). And things I felt passionately about (mostly books). And I ran with it and turned it into a degree (in books). I spun it into a career (in college I worked as a book critic, and now I work for a book editing company) and earned myself a full scholarship to grad school (studying... books!). I liked books. I loved books. I hauled a U-Haul trailer full (well, half full, anyway) of books across the country when I moved back home-ish to the midwest. I. Like. Books.
That said, I can't remember the last time I read a book outside of work. (I think it was Lorrie Moore's A GATE AT THE STAIRS sometime in 2010, and before that? A collection of Sherman Alexie stories at the hospital while I was in labor. Seriously. Ms. K took 36 hours to, erm, work her way out into the world, & I needed something to occupy my mind.)
But it's a new year (...three months into a new year?) and one of my resolutions was/is to read something that a)is not for work, and b)is not for K. I love GOODNIGHT MOON as much as the next parent, but -- enough is enough.
So, with that in mind, this month I'm publicly declaring my intent to actually read a book that's been on my to-read list since it came out back in October: Rebecca Johns' THE COUNTESS. Rebecca and I worked together for a time (she's since moved on) and she's a fellow mom (of an adorable toddler girl!) When I heard her new novel was coming out I told Bob about it and he ordered me a copy for my birthday, right around the same time that I won one on Rebecca's facebook page! What does this mean for you?
It means I'm giving one away! I'm keeping the autographed, personalized one (sorry, gang) but the copy that I'm giving away is a gorgeous hardcover -- brand new and still in the shrink wrap from Amazon!
Here's the blurb, via Amazon and Publishers Weekly: Johns's creepily enticing second novel (after Icebergs) travels to 1611 Hungary as Countess Erzsébet Báthory--aka the Blood Countess--is being walled into a castle tower as punishment for the murder of dozens of women and girls. She begins writing her life story as an exposé of the many betrayals that have brought about this--as she sees it--outrageous and unjust imprisonment. The steady, calm tone of Erzsébet's narration lulls the reader along so that the first hints of madness in her girlhood engender doubt and discomfort rather than horror, and as her lack of remorse and grandiose sense of entitlement are unveiled, a matter-of-fact self-portrait of a murderer emerges. This is a carefully researched story, gothic in tone and grimly atmospheric, with subtly handled psychology and an initially unassuming tone. Unlike most serial killer stories, this rewards patience and close reading.
Sound like something you're interested in? Leave a comment to enter our giveaway! Here's how to earn a chance to win:
1) Tell me what the last thing you did for you was. Time out for a book? A movie? A meal somewhere other than McDonalds? Leave a comment and spill!
2)"Like" us on Facebook! Click here to go to our page. Leave a separate comment to tell us that you've done so!
3)Subscribe or follow us via RSS or Google Friend Connect. Again, let us know via a separate comment here!
4)Tell your friends! Link to this post on your blog, facebook, twitter, etc., and again -- can you guess what's coming here? -- leave a separate comment to let us know you've done so!
We'll choose a winner via random.org on Friday, March 18. Until then? Enter, enter, enter! Reclaim some of your pre-parenthood self along with me!