May 30, 2013

Armchair BEA Day 3: Giveaways & Literature

Armchair BEA icon

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.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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 cover
  • 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?


Kristin said...

I love The Handmaid's Tale. That book cover is amazing!! Have you read Megan McCafferty's Bumped? It's her modern-day spin on The Handmaid's Tale as well as a response to the way teen pregnancy is portrayed by the media today. Fascinating stuff.

Becky LeJeune said...

I had to sort of twist today's genre topic a bi to fit my reading taste! Although, I do actually have HANDMAID'S TALE (only just recently bought that one). Guess that means I have some literature on my shelves!

loreleimarsh said...

Bumped has been on my TBR list for a bit and just haven't made it there yet. If it's that good, it may gain a few spots. :D

Tanya @ Mom's Small Victories said...

I have The Handmaid's Tale on my TBR list for the Classics Club and loved the Help. Here's my books that changed my life post if you'd like to stop by

Jennifer said...

The Handmaid's Tale, YES. That's one of my favorite books by one of my favorite authors. I included a novel of hers on my list as well!

melissa @ 1lbr said...

I'm terrible with literary fiction. But I figured I'd better enter to win that Soul Screamers book, since it came so highly recommended :)

Anonymous said...

That cover is awesome- and I loved The Help too!
Kerri @ Turn the Page Reviews

Anonymous said...

I am surprised at how many people have mentioned The Handmaid's Tale. Up here in Canada Margaret Atwood is a very divisive figure. I think it's because you have to read her in high school.

loreleimarsh said...

You mean y'all do or we do? Because our education system varies widely. I know my high school didn't teach this book because of the "sexual content" that they didn't want to address. I could see her being divisive though.

Anonymous said...

I've actually been meaning to reading The Handmaid's Tale for a while now! In my grade 12 english class, my group had to read 1984 and another group had to read The Handmaid's Tale and they said it was great. Can't wait to get my hands on it :)

Charlene C said...

I've only read The Handmaid's Tale, but I've been meaning to read The Help (before seeing the movie!)

loreleimarsh said...

I'm really excited to finally see the movie. It's waiting for me at the library! :D

Diamond Cronen said...

I LOVE series books too!! ^_^ I have not read The Handmaid's Tale either, it must be a states' education thing due to sexual content.

Thanks for stopping by my blog girl :) I love your blog, decided to follow. Looks like we are both obsessed with series! Haha

Dee @ Dee's Reads

Meg @ A Bookish Affair said...

I really need to re-read The Handmaid's Tale. It has been way too long!

Laurie C said...

I've read The Handmaid's Tale, but hadn't heard of Bumped before now.

Grace said...

I loved both "A Handmaid's Tale" and "Reading Lolita in Tehran." I read a lot of Margaret Atwood one summer because the library on my campus didn't have a fiction section, but did have the kind of books you'd find in lit classes. :)

Anonymous said...

I liked The Help! I need to read The Handmaid's Tale, I tried it once but wasn't in the right mood to get into it. I think it's something I would really like, though!

my ABEA post

Shannon (Giraffe Days) said...

Thanks for the giveaway opportunity, Laura!

I have a couple of Zola's books but so far I've been too intimidated to try reading them (and they're in English). I can't really remember what caused me to get them but at the time there must have been a reason!

loreleimarsh said...

Shannon, you should just dive in! He can be a bit long winded with overly detailed descriptions, but still enjoyable.