Banned Books Week Giveaway Hop

Welcome to the Banned Books Week Giveaway Hop, hosted by Bookhounds.

While this hop is a couple of weeks early (Banned Books Week officially begins Sept. 24) its theme is evergreen.

I firmly believe in everyone’s right to read whatever they want. As Ben Franklin said in the movie 1776, “there’s nothing so dangerous that it can’t be talked about”. Or, to carry the metaphor a bit further, can’t be read about.

This does also mean that people have the right not to read about whatever they don’t want to. But their rights end at my nose. Just because someone does not want to read a particular type of literature or a particular book, that does not mean that other people don’t have an equal right TO read that literature. Banning a book removes it from everyone, not just those who don’t want to read it.

To give a very hypothetical hypothetical, I do not like inspirational literature, and I don’t read it. However, my desire not to read that one particular type of literature does not and should not affect anyone else’s right to adore it.

However, most current examples of book challenges involve books for children, whether in school or at the public library. “What about the children?” is one its most successful rallying cries. And parents do have a right to control what their own children read. But the emphasis on that sentence is the bit about “their own children”. Just as parents who think completely differently from them, or in some cases parents of children who see themselves or their families represented in the books that other parents want to ban, actively desire that their children read books that reflect their experience, or what they believe is the world at large.

Sometimes Heather really does have two mommies. Sometimes two boys really do kiss. But as this list of the Ten Most Challenged Books of 2016 shows, not everyone wants to see the world as it really is, and wants to keep their heads in the sand as long as inhumanly possible.

  1. This One Summer written by Mariko Tamaki and illustrated by Jillian Tamaki
    Reasons: challenged because it includes LGBT characters, drug use and profanity, and it was considered sexually explicit with mature themes
  2. Drama written and illustrated by Raina Telgemeier
    Reasons: challenged because it includes LGBT characters, was deemed sexually explicit, and was considered to have an offensive political viewpoint
  3. George written by Alex Gino
    Reasons: challenged because it includes a transgender child, and the “sexuality was not appropriate at elementary levels”
  4. I Am Jazz written by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings, and illustrated by Shelagh McNicholas
    Reasons: challenged because it portrays a transgender child and because of language, sex education, and offensive viewpoints
  5. Two Boys Kissing written by David Levithan
    Reasons: challenged because its cover has an image of two boys kissing, and it was considered to include sexually explicit LGBT content
  6. Looking for Alaska written by John Green
    Reasons: challenged for a sexually explicit scene that may lead a student to “sexual experimentation”
  7. Big Hard Sex Criminals written by Matt Fraction and illustrated by Chip Zdarsky
    Reason: challenged because it was considered sexually explicit
  8. Make Something Up: Stories You Can’t Unread written by Chuck Palahniuk
    Reasons: challenged for profanity, sexual explicitness, and being “disgusting and all around offensive”
  9. Little Bill (series) written by Bill Cosby and and illustrated by Varnette P. Honeywood
    Reason: challenged because of criminal sexual allegations against the author
  10. Eleanor & Park written by Rainbow Rowell
    Reason: challenged for offensive language

There are many more resources about banned and challenged books at the American Library Association’s Banned Books Week site.

So celebrate your freedom to read by picking up a banned or challenged book. Or settle in for a Harry Potter re-read. The Harry Potter series has the number one spot on the banned and challenged list for the entire 2000-2009 decade!

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September Book of Choice Giveaway Hop

Welcome to the September Book of Choice Giveaway Hop, hosted by FLYLēF.

For those in the U.S., Happy Labor Day and happy three-day weekend! And for everyone, happy unofficial beginning of fall. Or at least it feels that way.

The monthly book of choice giveaway hop is a chance to share upcoming books that we just can’t wait to get, and, at least at Reading Reality, enter the giveaway for a chance at either one of those books, or a gift card to help you get one.

End of August through October is one of the prime publishing seasons, so I have lots and lots of books to look forward to this month. Three of my favorite series have new entries this month. The ninth book in the marvelous Bess Crawford historical mystery series, Casualty of War by Charles Todd, is coming out at the end of the month. But next week, The Ruin of Angels, the sixth book in Max Gladstone’s marvelous Craft Sequence is arriving. And last but definitely not least, Secrets in Death, number OMG 45 in the series, by J.D. Robb.

As if that wasn’t enough, the new Ann Leckie book, Provenance, will also be published this month. I’m not completely sure whether this is or is not part of her award-winning Imperial Radch series, but I know it will be terrific science fiction.

So what books coming out this month that you just can’t wait to read? Answer in the rafflecopter below for your chance at a $10 Amazon Gift Card or the book of your choice, up to $10, from the Book Depository.

Happy Reading!

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As always, for more great bookish prizes, be sure to visit the other stops on the hop!

Clear Your Shelf Giveaway Hop

Welcome to the Clear Your Shelf Giveaway Hop, hosted by BookHounds!

Do your shelves look like that picture? Mine certainly do. Truthfully, so does my office floor 😉

So this hop is my chance to transfer some of the books on my shelves to some of your shelves. I get to clear a tiny bit, and hopefully you get something interesting to read.

I have two prize packs to give away this time around. Take a look at my books, and see if there’s anything that tickles your reading fancy.

Prize Pack #1 – Nothing But Romance. I was a judge for this year’s Maggie Awards, the Georgia Romance Writers Award for Excellence. This year I had a teeny, tiny piece of the Historical romance pile. As the finalists have already been announced, giving away my review copies doesn’t reveal anything, but it will give the lucky winner a chance to read some award-worthy romance. And just to sweeten the pack, I’m including an ARC of Lori Foster’s latest book. This “nothing but romance” pack consists of the following titles: Enchantment of a Highlander by Madeline Martin, The Legendary Lord by Valerie Bowman, A Pirate’s Revenge by Meg Hennessy.Wild Lavender by Nicole Elizabeth Kelleher and Worth the Wait by Lori Foster.

Prize Pack #2 – Assorted Miscellany. I get a lot of ARCs from a lot of sources in a lot of different genres. This prize pack contains a recent sampling of my non-romance ARCs. The non-romantic, assorted miscellaneous prize pack contains Bluebird, Bluebird by Attica Locke, The Daughters of Ireland by Santa Montefiore, Hanna Who Fell From the Sky by Christopher Meades, Perfume River by Robert Olen Butler and You’re Making Me Hate You by Corey Taylor.

Fill out the rafflecopter and let me know which prize pack you would pick if you are one of the winners. And maybe you will be. However, because I’ll be mailing this one out myself, this giveaway is US only. For those of you outside of the US, stay tuned. The September Book of Choice Giveaway Hop is only a couple of weeks away.

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And for more fabulous bookish prizes, be sure to visit the other stops on the hop!

Oh The Places You’ll Go Giveaway Hop

Welcome to the second annual Oh, the Places You’ll Go Giveaway Hop, hosted by The Kids Did It and The Mommy Island.

On Monday, I got stuck behind a school bus on my way to work. That was the first time in months. School is obviously back in session. August still seems early to me. It’s still hotter than blue blazes here in Atlanta, the air conditioning is running full blast, and it seems like summer isn’t near over yet. But if school has started, it must be, at least for certain definitions of “over”.

This hop is named for one of the many, many (many) terrific books by the late and very great Theodore Geisel, better known to all as Dr. Seuss. Did you know that once upon a time, before that mischievous cat ever found himself in that hat, Dr. Seuss drew editorial cartoons (for grown ups) during World War II? Who knew?

In addition to all of his wonderful books for children, he also wrote one book for “obsolete children”. Titled You’re Only Old Once! it is written and illustrated in Seuss’ singular style, but aimed at an audience that is just a few (dozen) years older than the audience for The Cat in the Hat and Horton Hears a Who.

But for all the places you’ll go, and all the time you might spend waiting while someone else has gone there, I have a giveaway. The winner will receive their choice of a $10 Amazon Gift Card or a $10 Book from the Book Depository. Perhaps an armchair trip to one of those places you’ll go.

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For more great prizes, be sure to visit the other stops on the hop!

Freedom to Read Giveaway Hop

Welcome to the Freedom to Read Giveaway Hop, hosted by BookHounds.

This hop celebrates U.S. Independence Day.

It’s important, this year and every year, to link the Freedom to Read with Independence Day. Why? Because the freedom to read is enshrined in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. While the First Amendment is generally thought of as the one about freedom of speech and freedom of the press (along with several other important freedoms), those freedoms of speech and press require that people also be free to listen to those speeches without fear of government interference, and the freedom to read what those free presses have printed without fear of government censorship or punishment.

So without that Freedom to Read, the tree falls in the forest and there’s no one to hear it. In today’s world of internet bubbles and information silos, it is more important than ever to be free to say, and print and READ all points of view – especially the controversial and unpopular ones.

In celebration of our Freedom to Read, I am giving away the winner’s choice of a $10 Amazon Gift Card or a $10 Book from the Book Depository, so that you can celebrate your freedom to read by getting something awesome.

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For more great bookish prizes, be sure to visit the other stops on the hop:

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July Book of Choice Giveaway Hop

Welcome to the July Book of Choice Giveaway Hop, hosted by FLYLēF.

And HELLO Summer!

Hot summer days are perfect for curling up in a nice air conditioned house with a good book. Or for stretching out by the pool or the beach, with a good book. Actually, I’m not sure there are any really bad times to spend with a good book!

This month, the two books I’m most looking forward to are Assassin’s Price by L.E. Modesitt Jr. and The Painted Queen, the last and final book in the Amelia Peabody series by the late Elizabeth Peters, assisted in this case by Joan Hess. Modesitt’s Imager Portfolio is one of my favorite epic fantasy series, so I start looking for the next book as soon as I finish the current one. And I loved Amelia Peabody. I have fond memories of listening to the early books. My first was The Last Camel Died at Noon, which had an awesome title in addition to being a marvelous story. Elizabeth Peters passed away in 2013, so I wasn’t expecting a final wrap-up to the series, but I’m very glad to have one.

So what books coming out this month that you just can’t wait to read? Answer in the rafflecopter below for your chance at a $10 Amazon Gift Card or the book of your choice, up to $10, from the Book Depository.

Happy Reading!

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For more terrific July book suggestions (and other great bookish prizes) be sure to visit the other stops on the hop!

Splash Into Summer Giveaway Hop

Welcome to the Splash into Summer Giveaway Hop, hosted by Bookhounds!

We really are splashing into summer here, it’s raining! Which makes it a great day to curl up with a good book. Not that summer days in general aren’t great days to do that. It’s hot outside, air conditioned inside, and the long days never seem to end. In a good way.

When we lived in Alaska the summer days never really did end. It got kind of twilight-ish between 1 and 3 in the morning, but never full dark. And it was glorious!

But Atlanta summers are long, hot and sticky. Except indoors, where the air conditioning seems to be permanently set to Alaska winter!

Whatever your plans are for the summer, here is your chance to win a little something to further those plans, especially if they are plans to read the lazy days away! The winner will receive their choice of a $10 Amazon Gift Card or a $10 Book from the Book Depository. This giveaway is therefore open to everyone who lives in any of the voluminous list of places that the Book Depository ships to.

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And for more fabulous bookish prizes, be sure to visit the other stops on the hop!


Beach Reads Giveaway Hop

Welcome to the Beach Reads Giveaway Hop, hosted by Stuck in Books.

Barnes & Noble may be having some difficulties, but they have a terrific definition for “beach reads”:

A beach read is a delicate and complicated combination of characteristics: it must be light enough to make you smile while simultaneously being absorbing enough to make you risk sunburn because you simply can’t stop turning the pages (books are the cause of approximately 85% of any bookworm’s sunburns).

While you may not have an actual beach to read on (Atlanta is landlocked, after all) the idea that summer reading is a bit, well, lighter and fluffier than reading the rest of the year seems fairly well established. Your mileage, including your mileage to a beach, may vary. And everyone’s definition of what constitutes “light and fluffy” may also have a certain amount of variance.

When I was in college and grad school, anything that wasn’t part of a class assignment constituted “light and fluffy”. Summer and Winter Break were the only times I had any significant unencumbered and unassigned reading time.

Now, of course, it’s whatever I want it to be. And my definition of “light” has changed to any book that I can’t put down, from the fluffiest romance to the most exciting, but possibly gloomy, epic fantasy. I just want to be so absorbed that I don’t notice that sunburn, or in my case the cat gravity that is putting my legs and feet to sleep.

What about you? What makes a book a “beach read” for you? And which ones are you most looking forward to diving into this summer? Give us your upcoming beach reads for a chance at either a $10 Amazon Gift Card or a copy of the book itself (as long as it’s less than $10).

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And for more chances at more beachy and bookish prizes, be sure to visit the other stops on the hop!

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Love in Bloom Giveaway Hop

Welcome to the Love in Bloom Giveaway Hop, hosted by BookHounds.

Everything is in bloom around here. We get our profusion of flowers in the Spring, because by Summer it is just too darn hot. Even the grass turns brown.

I love to receive flowers, but I also have cats. Usually one or more of the resident felines loves to eat the flowers. Erasmus used to get a whole rose petal in his mouth, and then let it kind of dribble out, slightly damp. He was a dear, sweet, dim cat, and he never quite got the point. My very first furbaby, Licorice, used to just knock the vase over and consume the flowers. And then, of course, “give” them back to me.

Freddie the Fredinator hasn’t had much exposure to flowers yet. As much of a bundle of energetic destruction as he is, I expect him to accidentally knock the vase over and then run away from the mess. One of these days soon we’ll see.

For your chance at a $10 Gift Card or $10 Book, tell us your favorite flower, or your favorite pets and flowers story via the Rafflecopter below.

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And be sure to check out the rest of the stops on the hop for more blooming chances at bookish prizes!

May I Suggest Giveaway Hop

Welcome to the May I Suggest Giveaway Hop, hosted by Stuck in Books.

It’s May, and may I suggest a book for you to read? That’s the theme of this hop, books that we would suggest to other people to read.

Suggesting books to the universe is a bit awkward, because I don’t know what kind of books the universe likes to read! But seriously, it is difficult to suggest (read that as shove) books to people without having a clue about what they know they like. But I’ll try, using some of the books that I’ve most forcefully suggested to people in the past.

Anyone who things they might like science fiction and hasn’t read Old Man’s War by John Scalzi needs to go out and get it. It is purely awesome. Anyone who thinks that epic fantasy is all either coming of age stories or blood and guts like Game of Thrones should try Imager by L.E. Modesitt Jr. Any mystery reader who hasn’t ventured to Three Pines should grab Still Life by Louise Penny and get themselves introduced to Chief Inspector Gamache. His four sayings of wisdom are ones we all need to remember to say, “I was wrong. I’m sorry, I don’t know. I need help.” We all have problems getting any and all of those phrases out of our mouths, especially when we need to the most.

Want to laugh until you cry, and with a bit of fantasy and commentary thrown in, pick up anything by Terry Pratchett (but start with either Mort or Guards, Guards). Like time travel but waiting for the next Outlander? Try The Jane Austen Project by Kathleen A. Flynn. Want to really sink your teeth into something meaty? American Gods by Neil Gaiman. The TV series may be fantastic, but the book is always better.

And that’s my final suggestion – NEVER judge a book by its movie.

I’ve listed some of my favorite suggestions, but now it’s your turn. What’s your favorite book to suggest? If you could shove one book at someone, what would it be?

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For more fabulous bookish prizes, be sure to visit the other stops on the hop!