Welcome back to Armchair BEA! If you're not sure what it's all about be sure to visit the Armchair BEA headquarters.
Before I jump right into the giveaway, I want to talk about what I'm giving away. Something we haven't talked about officially all week are series! If you have had time this week to check out my archive, then you'll see LOTS of series. I'm a pretty big fan of book series. To me they are like a television show with seasons, multiple episodes featuring the same core characters that I love to hate and just flat out love and my heart breaks when it's over, either for the season or series ending. Some of my favorite series are: Mercy Falls by Maggie Stiefvater, Mercy Thompson by Patricia Briggs, Revenants by Amy Plum, & Soul Screamers by Rachel Vincent. I've been fortunate enough to meet some of these women (it's not intentional that they're all ladies, I promise) and I've even hosted a week celebrating one of these series.
Now here's where the fun part comes in. While I don't have a first copy of all of these to give away, I've got something just as good. There will be two giveaways. The first one is for US residents only and will allow you to win your choice of one of the following books:
- The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
- My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent
- Angus, Thongs, and Full-frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison
- Die for Me by Amy Plum
- Delirium by Lauren Oliver
- Leaving Paradise by Simone Elkeles
The second giveaway is open internationally! I'm giving you the chance to pick your own book(s)! I will pay up to $15 (US) for you to choose your own book(s). You tell me your selection and I will pay for it on your behalf.
Contest rules: You must be over 13 years old to enter; if you submit an entry into the US only giveaway, you must have a US address for me to ship to; if you submit an entry in the international giveaway you must tell me your book selection(s) within 72 hours of receiving my winning notification email; both giveaways close at 12:00 AM (CST) on June 1.
If you're still with me, we'll now progress to the more "high brow" portion of today's segment. :) General literary fiction is a term I associate with assigned readings in high school and college. That being said, there are still a few great ones that really had a profound impact on my life or helped me to see another point of view:
- The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood was the first book I read about women's roles in society that actually frightened me; and it's fiction! There were so many parallels between this book and our world that caused me to take pause and reevaluate how I was thinking and behaving in regards to what's going on this world. I also think this book started me on my post-apocalyptic/futuristic world kick. It also encouraged me to educate myself about real women's roles & lead me to reading more women's memoirs (like Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali & Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi).
- The Help by Kathryn Stockett doesn't always get the credit it deserves. While the content wasn't earth-shattering, the execution was incredible. Told from three very distinct points of view, we follow the events of a few months in the lives of a non-traditional Southern belle writing a book about "The Help", her maid, and another maid. This book shone a fairly accurate light on the reality of life in the South during this time period. It had such a profound impact on me because of the conversations it opened up with other people about that time period.
- L'assommoir by Émile Zola was one of the first books I read completely in French. In my literature class during my semester abroad we read selections from several time periods and only a few select books. This one was one of the books we read. It was a whole new way for me to learn a language. By reading it on my own, digesting what I thought was the meaning, and then dissecting it in class I gained a new respect for writers, their craft, and second language apprehension. If you've never tried it, give it a shot some time!
There you have it folks. Three of my most influential, and most non-required by school, reading assignments. What books did you choose?