Archive for the ‘Free Book Friday’ Category


Free Book Friday: The Seven Year Bitch

April 16, 2010

Sometimes books show up on my doorstep that I’m not sure why they’re showing up on my doorstep. Such is the case with Jennifer Belle‘s new novel, The Seven Year Bitch. April is a little early for beach reading, but this one looks like a great contender for later in the season, especially for young mothers who’ve just had enough. So let’s make this easy. The first person to email “Bitch for the Beach” to gets to take this baby home — or rather, have it mailed to your home. (No need to send address now; I’ll contact you if you win it.)

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Free Book Friday: “The Poisoner’s Handbook”

February 26, 2010

Perhaps I’ve been stricken by some strange chemical, but I think I’m seeing double…. Is that two copies of Deborah Blum‘s new book up there on the shelf? No, I haven’t been poisoned myself, but somehow did get a double dose of The Poisoner’s Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York. The book is far too delectable for me to give up both copies, but I’m glad to share the gruesome goodies. The seventh person to email “Pour me a dram” to wins the extra one. No need to send name and address at this point; I’ll get that later if you win (and will handle postage and handling as well).

If you want to know more about the book, check out my review in last Sunday’s Washington Post or the just-released review from this coming Sunday’s New York Times, which wasn’t quite as positive. Longer coverage is also provided by Sarah Weinman in The Barnes & Noble Review, accessible through her own website here.

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Free Book Friday: Since It’s Basketball Season….

January 29, 2010

As a lot of folks know, my wife and I are both at George Mason University these days — and semi-regulars at the Patriots’ basketball games. (Go Mason!) And as a few know, I went to grad school at N.C. State, so there’s a soft spot for the Wolfpack too. But dating back to my youth, my heart has belonged to the Tar Heels, and even though I’ll admit I felt some pride when Mason brushed past them en route to the Final Four a couple of years back, I’m still a big Carolina fan today. (That fandom is contagious. Tara even picked up a UNC t-shirt last time we were in Chapel Hill.) Whatever your allegiances, however — and whether they’re as mixed as mine! — there’s no question that UNC head coach Roy Williams‘ new memoir from Algonquin Books, Hard Work: A Life On and Off the Court, is an inspiring read. I’ve already talked about the book on this site before, and I’m happy today not just to encourage it again here but also to pass along a copy of it.

The fifteenth person to email “Go Heels!” to gets it! I’ll get your address info later if you’re a winner and, as always, cover shipping and handling myself.

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Free Book Friday: “A Reliable Wife”

January 22, 2010

What’s better on a cold and rainy weekend than a nice gothic thriller? Yep, that’s what I was thinking. Luckily, I now have TWO copies of Robert Goolrick‘s bestselling debut novel, A Reliable Wife, and I’m willing to let my paperback version of it go to some lucky reader out there. (Still just trying to clear the shelves a little… one book at a time….) When A Reliable Wife was released last year, it earned high praise from reviewers across the country. Ron Charles at the Washington Post wrote that the book “isn’t just hot, it’s in heat: a gothic tale of such smoldering desire it should be read in a cold shower. This is a bodice ripper of a hundred thousand pearly buttons, ripped off one at a time with agonizing restraint. It works only because Goolrick never cracks a smile, never lets on that he thinks all this overwrought sexual frustration is anything but the most serious incantation of longing and despair ever uttered in the dead of night.” And Kim Church wrote in the Raleigh News & Observer that “Goolrick gives surprising new life to an old form. This is a literary page-turner in which, for all the mystery and brilliance of its plot, the real drama takes place in the hearts of the characters.”

A brand-new paperback copy of the book will go to the seventh person to email “Gothic is good” to If you win, I’ll get your address information later and will handle any shipping and handling costs as well.

UPDATE: The book has found a home.

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Free Book Friday: Sense and Sensibility and (Yep) Sea Monsters

January 8, 2010

Yes, it came my way too.

Round Two of Ben H. Winters‘ “updates” on Jane Austen — Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters — arrived on my doorstep nearly two months ago, got lost in end-of semester busyness and only emerged again during end-of-year cleaning. Along with it camen Winters’ essay “Jane Is My Co-Pilot,” which is pretty interesting and reveals more thought behind his approach here than I would’ve expected each time that I passed a display of these books in the local Wal-Mart. The essay has appeared on a number of blogs already, so I’m linking it at Bookgasm here instead of reprinting it again. But I will say my favorite parts of the essay are Winters’ recognition of the humor already in Austen (his analysis of how one character is “droll”) and his comparison of Austen to Margaret Dumont, the straight woman in so many Marx Brothers movies, waiting for the pie.

The fourth email request to gets the free copy.

UPDATE: The book has been claimed. Thanks to entrants!

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