Written by: Beth Woodward, CC2K Books Editor
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about Borders’ closing and the ways I think the book industry is evolving. I said that I didn’t think books were going anywhere, and I stand by that. What I underestimated was how much of an emotional impact it would have on me. A few days after that article was published, I went to the Borders across the street from my apartment. It was one of the saddest things I had ever seen. Empty shelves everywhere, the café tables already upturned (and for sale, if you’re interested in that kind of thing). I felt like a vulture just being there.
So what did I do? I bought books. A lot of them. Then I decided I was going to give them away. Think of it as Borders’ final gift to you.
I love giving away books. I love spreading awareness of my favorite books and authors to new readers, bringing them to a new audience. Plus, it’s almost my birthday, and I love nothing more than giving presents to other people for my birthday. (What can I say? I’m weird.)
The books I’ve chosen are some of my favorites. Some of them I’ve talked about on the site, some of them I have not, but I’ve selected them because I love them and I want to share them with other people.
To enter, post a comment below. One entry per person; one book per winner. Please leave an e-mail address where you can be contacted. All comments must be posted by 11:59pm Pacific Time this Saturday, August 13. I’ll select winners randomly and contact them on Sunday. I have only one request: if you end up with a book that isn’t your thing, pay it forward. I’d be much happier knowing these books have found a happy home with your little cousin or Grandma Ethel or your local library than collecting dust.
The books available, in alphabetical order by author, are:
Mind Games by Carolyn Crane. (Read my review here and my interview with Carolyn Crane here.) I love this series like you wouldn’t believe. I love the way it takes something normally considered a weakness (people’s neuroses) and turns them into something empowering by weaponizing them. I love the push-pull dynamic between Justine and Packard. I love that the series has a lot of moral gray area. Most of all, I love that this series is a fun, exciting read that has left me on the edge of my seat from the beginning. And, with the final book in the trilogy coming out in December (October if you’re an audiobook lover), now is the perfect time to get started on this series.
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. Is it a romance? A historical novel? Science fiction? It’s all of the above and more. It’s 1946, and former WWII nurse Claire Randall is on a trip to Scotland with her husband. She steps through a circle of stones and is mysteriously transported through time, back to 1743, and doesn’t know how to get home again. She gets taken in by a group of Scottish Highlanders, and develops an attraction to young Jamie Fraser. There’s a war on the horizon—the Jacobite Rising of 1745—and a volatile British officer who has it in for Jamie. It’s one of those books that has something for everyone.
Feed by Mira Grant. (Read my review here.) It’s got zombies. It’s got intrigue. It’s got horror. It’s got political conspiracies. It’s got everything. Quite simply, it was one of the best, most unexpected novels of 2010. The scariest thing about this book is how real it is. Take away the zombies, and you’re getting a horrifying glimpse into the future of our society.
A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving. Full of idiosyncratic yet sympathetic characters, this remains, to this day, one of the most emotionally resonant books I’ve ever read. At the center of it all is Johnny Wheelwright and his best friend, Owen Meany. The book asks a lot of deep, spiritual questions, questions that wouldn’t resonate so much if not for the strength of its characters.
Unholy Ghosts by Stacia Kane. I love it when urban fantasy dwells on the dark side of humanity and morality, and Kane’s Downside Ghosts series does nothing but. This dystopian world Kane creates is full of imprisoned ghosts that would suck the life force out of you if they escaped. The heroine, Chess Putnam, is a drug addict. The male lead, Terrible, is an enforcer for a gangster. That they are still incredibly sympathetic characters is a testament to Kane’s skill as an author. To me, the moral ambiguity of these characters and this world makes it that much more interesting.