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Thursday, November 17, 2011

What books are you thankful for?

Want one of the first ARCs of Masque of the Red Death? Read on....

Okay so, it's that time of year...Thanksgiving. One of my favorite holidays because it's relaxing and no-one gives my kids gallons and gallons of candy (we still have a huge Halloween stash, and I actually just found and threw away a sad half eaten Easter bunny). The trees have lost their leaves, and the weather is getting genuinely cold (I heard a rumor about snow soon, but I'm ignoring it).

And at Thanksgiving, the tradition is to...give thanks? So that's what I'm going to do today. Sitting in my favorite chair with my space heater at my feet...I am thankful for my books...

Most of my books are actually in storage from when we were "staging" our house, so what you are seeing is my TBR stacks, my recently read stacks, the complete series of the X-files...a few albums owned by my husband, and our "classic" shelves. Which aren't classics to most people, just to us. 

I am so so so thankful for books. Most of the periods of my life that I consider most bleak are times when I did not have time to read. I need books. 

One thing I realized as I was composing this, is that I have trouble gushing about books. I want to keep using the phrase blew me away, because a really good book just makes me forget everything, I can't put it down. I lose track of the world around me. And yet, describing that, it comes across a little flat. 

Anyway, here are some books I'm thankful for...

Flowers for Algernon- It was a book that made me look at the world in a different way, it forced you to walk in someone else's shoes. 

The Giver- It seems lots of YA writers were inspired by The Giver, at least I see the influence everywhere, it was just one of those books that blew me away. 

The Time Traveller's Wife- Another book that blew me away, so imaginative, and so...evocative, and so contemporary in so many ways. 

The Witching Hour- I love so many Anne Rice books, but the history in The Witching Hour and Lasher made me appreciate a different type of storytelling...

The Far Pavilions by MM Kaye- this isn't my usual type of book, I think it's considered a romance? It was a historical romance that I read as a teen, one of those sweeping can't put the book down experiences. 

Looking for Alaska- this and Speak were the first YA books that wowed me, every line seemed to be pure genius. 

The Road- yes it's bleak. Yes, there are scenes that still haunt me, but the writing, omg. Has any writer ever described horror so beautifully? 

Okay, so tell me a book that you are thankful for, and maybe follow my blog (I don't post much, but when I do, it can be interesting...maybe?) Anyway, post and I'll sign you up for a chance to win the ARC. The contest lasts all week, and I'll draw the winners name, probably on the Sunday after Thanksgiving, and mail it out the next monday! International entries are fine. 

Here's what you would be winning...

There may be a few of these out in the wild, but very few. You'd be one of the first to get one!!!! 

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Blogger DawnRaeMiller said...

Looking for Alaska & Jellicoe Road made me realize YA didn't have to mean immature or fluffy. congrats on Masque - it sounds amazing!

November 17, 2011 at 6:57 AM  
Blogger Angie said...

Squee!!!! I wants to win, Bethany!!

You have a lot on my list that I loved too, like LFA and the Witching Hour - I read that one so many times the pages were falling apart. Right now the book I'm most thankful for is Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta. I had to put all my other books downstairs on our bookshelves, but this is one that I keep by my bedside all the time, to look at and just reminisce with the characters for a few pages. I may be reading it again sometimes soon. So yeah, that's the book I'm most thankful for, and I can't wait to read Masque. It sounds so good!

November 17, 2011 at 6:58 AM  
Blogger Jamie Blair said...

Yay Masque ARC!!!

I've recently discovered Markus Zuzak and his work has changed my whole outlook on the way I write. I Am The Messenger and The Book Theif don't even go on the bookshelf, they stay on the nightstand!

Paper Towns is my favorite John Green book, and I can't wait for The Fault in our Stars!

Please Ingnore Vera Dietz by AS King is definitely up there on my thankful for list as well.

November 17, 2011 at 7:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ooh a book I'm thankful for would be Hal Duncan's Vellum.

I loved what he did there will parallels and time jumps and mythology and the worlds and just nnghhhh. Yes.

November 17, 2011 at 7:06 AM  
Blogger Melanie said...

I want to win! I want to win! (but if i don't you know my ass is buying that books ASAP!) So, what books am I thankful for? One of the books I love most was a book I won in a contest. The Absolute True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. It's actually MG, but man, I could not put that book down. I'm also thankful for Twilight because that was the book that sparked my passion to write. I'm also thankful for all of Courtney Summers' books (thanks Angie for the rec!). She does voice so well and has an canny ability to take a not so likable character and make you want to cheer her on. I also have to give a shout out of thanks to the authors of The Sky is Everywhere and Anna and the French Kiss because they are just so full of awesomeness!

So, did I win? Did I? Did I? Huh? :D

November 17, 2011 at 7:08 AM  
Blogger Lindsay Cummings author said...

Im thankful for something a bit different. Its a short story called "the most dangerous game" and that's what inspired me to write! Then of course, Gary Paulsen's HATCHET, which made me love writing survival stories. I met him at SCBWI this year...the man is hilarious, and so cute with his pot belly and suspenders, lol.

November 17, 2011 at 7:13 AM  
Blogger Angel (Mermaid Vision Books) said...

Flowers for Algernon! I NEVER find anyone who's read it, so the fact that you have just made me admire you all the more.

My pick would be a book that's just as underrated imo: Scribbler of Dreams by Mary Pearson. It was one of the first YA books I ever read and it inspired me to become a writer.

Even if I don't win, I'll be impatiently counting down the days until Masque of the Red Death comes out. It sounds like an amazing book, and I'm eager to see what you've done with the story. :)

Mermaid Vision Books

November 17, 2011 at 7:14 AM  
Blogger Lindsey Roth Culli said...

Girl. Pretty much all the books you mention are among my favorites, too. But especially The Giver which rocked my 10 yo world when I read it. it was the first book that ever transported me somewhere else.

And then the Road turned around and did that again when I read it the first time (I think I've read it at least 8 times now....).

Living in the "land of Poe," I'm extra excited for you and your book!

November 17, 2011 at 7:17 AM  
Blogger Llehn said...

I'm thankful for Enid Blyton's Five On A Treasure Island. It's the book that got me hooked on reading.

GFC follower.


November 17, 2011 at 7:20 AM  
Blogger Alina said...

Some books I'm thankful for:

Enders Game by Orson Scott Card, where I learned that a protagonist can be deeply flawed yet still win my whole heart, a child can be the greatest hero, and satisfying endings don't always mean "happy".

All Madeleine Brent books because the girls in them are strong, self-disciplined and generous and I can read them again and again without ever growing tired of them.

Hatchet, by Gary Paulsen because it was my first encounter with self-sufficiency and it's just plain brilliant.

Goose Girl by Shannon Hale, because it showed that while every story may have already been told, they can still be transformed into fresh and riveting works of art.

Howl's Moving Castle by Dianna Wynne Jones, because even the smallest details serve a purpose, and it's a rich and joyous reading experience.

I could go on...but I won't. :) Cannot wait to get my greedy paws on Masque, Bethany!

November 17, 2011 at 7:22 AM  
Blogger Erin Brambilla said...

Oh, your ARC is so pretty! So excited for you!

Let's see, there are so many books I'm thankful for.

Today I'm going to say I'm thankful for Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins and The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson. I read them both just this past year, but I'm thankful because they turned me on to contemporary YA. And I LOVE it.

November 17, 2011 at 7:25 AM  
Blogger Blake S. said...

I'll mention this to my wife, as she's the reader of the two of us, but I do know her favorite book of all time is "She's come undone". She's read it numerous times and always recommends it to people. As for me, sadly I've never been much of a reader though I did devour the Vampire Chronicles as they came until after Memnoch. Then I kind of lost interest. The Mayfair Witch chronicles sadly I could just never get into. I made it half way into Witch Hour and gave up. It just never grabbed ahold of me. Everyone tells me it got better in the second half, maybe one day I'll give it another chance.

November 17, 2011 at 7:26 AM  
Blogger Rina Heisel said...

I'm thankful for stories set in the wilderness- the sense of urgency they often have is so thrilling.

Watership Down by Richard Adams and Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George blew me away when I was a kid.

November 17, 2011 at 7:34 AM  
Blogger Krista Ashe said...

I am most thankful for To Kill a Mockingbird. It has meant so much to me as a reader, an educator, and a writer. Although written in 1960 and with a setting of the Great Depression, the themes of TKaMB are still resonant today--love, courage, racism, feminism, scapegoating, childhood innocence. They are also issues that can be found in many young adult books.

I got to teach TKaMB for 6 years. When I moved up to teach HS, I greatly missed getting to teach it. To see the story come alive for a student--perhaps even a reluctant reader--is amazing.

When I first started writing, I wrote for an adult audience, and I describe that book as very TKaMB like

November 17, 2011 at 7:39 AM  
Blogger KyCactus said...

Before I was swept up in the work of Jack Kerouac, and before I ever heard the term “Young Adult,” my first literary romance was in the early 1990s with Edgar Allan Poe. During a high school trip to my grandmother’s home, we found ourselves browsing her many shelves of hardbound books, most of which were older than my father. I found a green hardback edition of a 1940-something Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe. I asked, and I received it.

I enjoyed the language and monstrous imagery of his short stories, but I mostly enjoyed his poetry. There were many nights after the parents went to sleep when I snuck out under the streetlight, smoked cigarettes, and recited the first few dozen lines of The Sleeper, which begins: “At midnight in the month of June, I stand beneath the mystic moon, an opiate vapor, dewy, dim, exhales from out her golden rim…”

I felt like I understood the man, and years ago when I toured his home in Baltimore, the tour guide pointed out a preserved scrawl on the wall of his home, which said, “Help me.” Kind of sums up my thoughts throughout high school.

So, I'm thankful for Edgar, who stood with me on long nights. Now, that green hardback book is on my "classic" shelf.

Thanks for doing this sporadic blog. I enjoy following your comments on AW, and I root for your success and growth as a writer.

November 17, 2011 at 7:40 AM  
Blogger Suzanne Young said...

I am thankful for Sarah MacLean's romance novels. Very thankful.


November 17, 2011 at 7:43 AM  
Blogger Debra Driza said...

Oh, great contest! *drools over shiny MASQUE ARC*

Let's see--I'm thankful for:

A LITTLE PRINCESS--one of my faves as a youngster

BIG RED--started my lifelong love of dogs

FLETCH---introduced me to how mysteries and humor can be a wonderful mix

BRIDESHEAD REVISITED--showed me how humor and tragedy can co-exist in one package

BRIDGET JONES'S DIARY--my first introduction to chick lit

TWILIGHT--propelled me into writing

SOME GIRLS ARE--showed me how hardcore YA could be


ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS--showed me how joyful YA could be

November 17, 2011 at 7:44 AM  
Blogger Kate said...

Ooh- this is tough to narrow down! I think I'll go with books I'm thankful for that I read pre-adulthood:
The Faraway Tree (Enid Blyton), LOTR (by some guy), The Talisman (Straub/King), The Chrysalids (Wyndham), 1984 (Orwell) and The Neverending Story (Ende).
Great giveaway Bethany! Thanks!

November 17, 2011 at 8:12 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley - it was the first fantasy book I ever read, back in 4th grade, and I only picked it up because there was a horse on the cover, lol. Needless to say it blew my mind!

November 17, 2011 at 9:15 AM  
Blogger Bookyurt said...

Whoops - that was me above, I just forgot to update my profile!

November 17, 2011 at 9:17 AM  
Blogger Chanelle said...

Thankful for Harry Potter of course! It got me into reading, and without reading, could never have become a writer.

Great giveaway, Beth!!

November 17, 2011 at 10:25 AM  
Blogger Moon Daughter said...

I'm really thankful for Twilight by Stephenie Meyers *waits for people to roll their eyes*. I frequently would visit my local Barnes and Noble and the cover would pop out, but I'd refuse to buy it because it was about vampires (never was much for them). Well, one day, because there was nothing I was uber excited to read, I bought my own copy of Twilight because it was on the cheap side of my price range. I read it, before I heard of all its hype, expecting to hate it. Surprisingly, I was hooked from the very first page, reading it faithfully when I shouldn't have been. Shhh, don't tell my boss! I loved it. The reason why I am thankful is because it made me realize I need to stop being so prejudice against books I think I won't like and just take a chance. My new philosophy has encouraged me to read books I normally wouldn't and I have to say that I've read some really great books because of it.

November 17, 2011 at 11:18 AM  
Blogger Raven said...

Ooh thanks for the giveaway!

Hmm books I am thankful for...

JANE EYRE - I read it when I was eleven and I have loved it ever since. It made me get serious about my writing plus it's a story that I think everyone can enjoy on some levels. I am also very thankfulf for Mr. Rochester...

TWILIGHT - I know, I know. But it was the first YA book I ever read...sorta. I was about twelve/thirteen when it came out and so my mom wouldn't let me read it at first but when I finally got a chance to pick up the series, I loved it and it taught me that there are exceptions to every fairy tale and that you can make any creature/concept your own.

WUTHERING HEIGHTS - read this three years ago when I was fourteen. It was a very haunting book and at the same time it was very beautiful. After reading Wuthering Heights, I began to incorpate elements of the "hauntingly beautiful" in my own writing.

MOCKINGJAY - I am thankful for the entire Hunger Games series but Mockingjay was the book that ripped my heart out. It was the book that trampled on my heart, burned it and then pieced it back together in the end. It made me realize the true power of words and how a trilogy SHOULD be done.

I am also thankful for contemporary YA like Cracked Up to Be (pretty much all of Courtney Summers books), Looking for Alaska, Paper Towns, Break, Jellico Road, etc. because I mostly write contemporary ficton and you don't know how beautiful reality is until read and write it.

Thanks again!

*stares at shiny and beautiful MASQUE ARC*

November 17, 2011 at 1:48 PM  
Blogger Sniffly Kitty said...

I am thankful for Wild Magic by Tamora Pierce. It is probably the first fantasy book I ever picked up, and I've been hooked on the genre ever since.

November 17, 2011 at 1:50 PM  
Blogger Heather Dougherty said...

OOOh ooh! Love this contest! The books I'm thankful for are Eye of the Dragon by Stephen King - because it opened my eyes to a world outside of the traditional books I'd been reading. As a young teen girl I realized I could love fantasy too!

Nancy Drew books were my escape as a young girl. I would curl up in my room and read several books in a weekend and all my drama would slip away.

And then it isn't a single book - but everything by Jane Austen and Bronte sisters. I know it can be cliche' but I can still read their books and feel that same amazement I had the first time I read them. :)

November 17, 2011 at 2:57 PM  
Blogger bethany griffin said...

Oh wow, you guys are naming some AMAZING books.

November 17, 2011 at 3:27 PM  
Blogger Rachael Allen said...

Bethany, love the idea and can't wait to get my hands on Masque (now or later)!

I'm thankful for Wuthering Heights, Ender's Game, the A Song of Ice and Fire series, The Harry Potter series, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series, a ton of books by Lauren Myracle, and so many more.

ETA: Het, way to bust out the Nancy Drew!

November 17, 2011 at 4:45 PM  
Blogger SAHarian said...

A book I am thankful for is The Hobbit, the first book I ever read where I felt as though a piece of my soul had left me and was now engrained into the words, the first book I ever finished and flipped back to the first page and started reading again.

November 17, 2011 at 6:40 PM  
Blogger Lena Coakley said...

Oh, I love that a few people have said Wuthering Heights. It's such a strange and wonderful book. I read it once every ten years or so and every time I see something totally different in it. I'm also grateful for David Copperfield by Charles Dickens, a book my grandmother read out loud to me--another book I read again and again.

The first time I heard about the premise for your book (I think it was on the Verla Kay boards) I knew I wanted to read it!

November 17, 2011 at 9:23 PM  
Blogger Laurie said...

I am thankful for Harry Potter without which I would never love books as I do today.

Also, I am very thankful for Courtney Summers' Cracked Up to Be, a contemp that finally made me feel like I wasn't crazy to be writing what I was writing.

November 18, 2011 at 6:39 AM  
Blogger Linda said...

I'm thankful for Jellicoe Road. I used to be under the impression that literary = boring. Reading Jellicoe Road showed me that's not true.

November 18, 2011 at 12:27 PM  
Blogger Cheri Williams said...

I'm thankful for SO many! Lately I've loved THE GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS, THE BOOK OF BLOOD AND SHADOWS, and GRAVE MERCY. And I'm quite sure I'll be thankful for MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH--can't wait to read it!!

November 18, 2011 at 5:24 PM  
Blogger Katie C. said...

There are so many books, but I'm most thankful for THE LITTLE PRINCE by Antoine de Saint Exupery. I've read it at least six times and every time I do I discover something new. Reading it always puts things in perspective and helps me remember what's truly important in life. The writing is incredibly moving and it also helped me cope during a very difficult time when my grandfather passed away. I have a tattoo of the star from the barren landscape at the end of the book to remind me of the people I love most in my life. :)

November 19, 2011 at 12:33 PM  
Blogger Shelli (srjohannes) said...

wow that book shelf looks like mine :)

November 20, 2011 at 4:10 PM  
Blogger magan bagan said...

It's hard to pick, because there are so many that I've discovered lately that are phenomenal.

But I can say that I'm thankful for White Cat by Holly Black because it was nothing like I expected it to be and was unlike any of the other books I'd read up to that point.

And, it's not a single book but more of a series, The Baby-Sitters Club books. They were so much fun to read when I was kid and, again, unlike anything else I'd been able to get my hands on. They were great for little girls and kept them reading.

Thanks for the giveaway Bethany!

November 20, 2011 at 4:39 PM  
Blogger Emily said...

Mostly I'm thankful for the Harry Potter series. I was already a huge reader so it's not that it got me into reading, it just changed my life and continues to make me who am today. Also, Melina Marchetta's writing (especially On the Jellicoe Road) which showed a fantasy reader that even some contemporary books can break my heart in the most wonderful way.

November 21, 2011 at 12:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your cover looks AWESOME! Congrats!

I'm thankful for so, so many books, but I'll have to go with Katherine Paterson's BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA, Thomas Hardy's MAYOR OF CASTERBRIDGE, and Jennifer Donnelly's A NORTHERN LIGHT.

November 21, 2011 at 2:28 PM  
Blogger inluvwithwords said...

I love this post, cool twist on the normal "what are you thankful for" question.

Books that I am most thankful for are: The Bible, Persuasion, Villete, Alan & Naomi (read this in middle school and have never forgotten it), The Book Thief, The God of Small Things.

November 21, 2011 at 4:09 PM  
Blogger Joyce Lansky said...

I am thankful for Among the Hidden and anything else that Margaret Peterson Haddix writes. She keeps me hooked and worried about her characters while Gordon Kormen (can't mention just one book) makes me thankful with Schooled, No More Dead Dogs, and his many other books that give me a laugh.

Thanks for the contest. I'm now following you and would love for you to follow me back.


November 22, 2011 at 4:51 AM  
Blogger Rae Ann Parker said...

I am thankful for the Nancy Drew series that I read as a child and the school and public libraries where I found the books.

I'm thankful for the Harry Potter series because I love the books. Also because my whole family read them and enjoyed discussing them over and over and over.

I'm thankful for the books by authors that help me be a better writer and that is a very long list.

Congratulations on your beautiful book cover, Bethany! I look forward to reading Masque of the Red Death.

November 22, 2011 at 6:03 AM  
Blogger Evelyn said...

I enjoyed reading your post, Bethany. Congrats on Masque of the Red Death!

The book I'm most thankful for is the Bible.

I noticed that Rae Ann mentioned Nancy Drew. I'm also thankful for that series and for the Trixie Belden books, because they're what got me turned on to reading as a kid. I wasn't much of a reader before that.

November 22, 2011 at 10:45 AM  
Blogger Kat Bender said...

I was excited to hear you're doing an ARC giveaway! I can't wait to read your book. Masque of the Red Death is my favorite story by Poe.

Hmm, I'm thankful for so many books... I also loved The Giver, and To Kill a Mockingbird as one commenter mentioned. If I had to pick a series, I'm most thankful for The Chronicles of Narnia. C.S. Lewis was the author who introduced me to fantasy stories, and I've been reading and writing them ever since. The Lord of the Rings also changed my life, as a writer and a person. The Three Musketeers, Les Miserables... I could go on and on! I'm just thankful for books in general. Every one I've read has helped shape me in some way.

November 26, 2011 at 4:15 AM  
Blogger Anna said...

I am definetly thankful for The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting, it's the book that got me reading again. :D That and Twilight, as cliche as it sounds, that started it all off for me.



November 26, 2011 at 10:03 AM  

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