First, I have the results of my Rich Like Them giveaway to announce! Since I rarely read all the comments in other people's giveaways, I want to give you a heads up: the responses to this question (tell about a person whose life philosophy or success you admire) absolutely made my week. If you need a mental pick-me-up, take five minutes to read about the inspiring people everyone wrote about. Wow. Thank you, all who entered.
The winners were chosen randomly, using Random.org, and they are:
Congratulations to the winners, I hope you enjoy the book! Email your U.S. or Canadian street address to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will pass it along to Hachette Book Group to send out your copy in the mail.
In other news...
I'm trying to be more organized, because I was getting overwhelmed with all the review copies sitting on my desk. I now have a Windows calendar filled up with reviews I want to post on particular dates this month. Which makes it seem ridiculous to check out additional books from the library, but that doesn't stop me.
Speaking of the library... I stopped by to pick up the holds waiting for me last week, and the hold shelf had nothing for me. Nothing! I was--what's that word again?--Oh yeah: astonished! Then I turned around and behold! A book cart, at the side of the check-out counter, empty but for two stacks of books: all for me. Yes, folks, I had my very own book cart at the library. This is what my world has come to.
Here's one of the stacks (the other was mostly kids' books):
The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family, by Annette Gordon-Reid: recipient of the 2008 National Book Award for non-fiction, this is the biography of three generations of a slave family owned by and intertwined with Thomas Jefferson's family.
The Secret Keeper, by Mitali Perkins, so excited to read this YA novel set in 1970s India!
The Geography of Bliss, by Eric Weiner. Weiner sought out the happiest places on earth, and I want to know what he found! Somebody blogged about this like a week ago. Do I remember who? I do not. If it was you, leave a comment and I'll link you.
Pure Skin: Organic beauty basics by Barbara Close. I ran out of a moisturizer I wasn't thrilled with last week, so I set about researching what to replace it with. Came across the Cosmetics Database and became completely overwhelmed by the toxicity in the skin care industry. After hours of research, I bought an Oil of Olay all day moisturizer that apparently won't kill me too quickly, and decided to look into natural alternatives.
Songdogs, by Colum McCann. When I wrote about his story Everything in this Country Must, it got me thinking I should read some more Colum McCann. Songdogs, from 1995, was his first novel (he has a new one coming out this spring!); it's about a young man who returns to his native Ireland in search of his father. Only 212 pages, the perfect St. Paddy's day read, if I can get to it!
Freddie and Me is a graphic novel memoir, which was recommended on An Embarrassment of Riches, which is my local library's awesome blog. It's a coming of age story which is centered around the music of Queen. Yeah, I'm not really sure, either, but I can't wait to find out.
Dear Darkness, by Kevin Young. I've been wanting to read more poetry and more African American authors, and Kevin Young fits the bill on both counts. Wish I could remember where I came across his name.