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Books Giveaway Preview

I have been contemplating a book giveaway for a while now. Busy schedule at work and my procrastination have rendered it futile. I couldn’t come up with a list of giveaway books in time for my birthday, which would have served an interesting gimmick. Anyway, I have decided to host a book giveaway starting after Thanksgiving to boost the holiday spirit and to encourage everyone to make the gifts of books during this season. Most importantly, I am indebted to all your support, advice, book recommendations, and visits!

1. Leave me a comment and tell me what your favorite read is for this year and why.
2. In your comment, tell me the book(s) of your choice. I’ll try to match the winners with the books of their choices.
3. Every day I’ll draw a winner in a method to be announced. Probably randomizer.
4. This giveaway is global, meaning, bloggers who live outside of the United States are welcome to join the raffle.
5. Deadline to enter is Monday, December 1.

List of Books:
The Teahouse Fire, Ellis Avery (HB)
The Echo Maker, Richard Powers (TP)
Perfume: The Story of a Murderer, Patrick Suskind (TP)
Up at the Villa, W. Somerset Maugham (TP)
Never Let Me Go, Kazuo Ishiguro (TP)
Snow, Orhan Pamuk (TP)
Map of Bones, James Rollins (HB)
Red Azalea, Anchee Min (TP)
The Master of Petersburg, J.M. Coetzee (TP)
A Sentimental Education, Gustav Flaubert (TP)
Labyrinths, Jorge Luis Borges (TP)
Arthur and George, Julian Barnes (PP)
Foucault’s Pendulum, Umberto Eco (TP)
The Night Watch, Sarah Waters (TP)
The Fortress of Solitude, Jonathan Lethem (TP)
The Hummingbird’s Daughter, Luis Alberto Urrea (TP)
White Teeth, Zadie Smith (TP)

*HB: Hardback TP: Trade Paperback PP: Pocket Paperback

46 Responses

  1. Wow! What a giveaway
    Am I allowed to enter now?! Okay, here goes:

    Favourite book of 2008? It’s going to have to be Alberto Manguel’s A Reading Diary, which was a journal-format book in which Manguel recorded, critiqued and reflected on the books he read throughout the year. It inspired me to think about my own reading, and how literature contributes to/is influenced by the world around us. In fact, it inspired me so much that it led me to create my own ‘reading diary’ in the form of my book blog! 🙂

    Yay, the books I would like are:
    Never Let Me Go, Kazuo Ishiguro (TP)
    Snow, Orhan Pamuk (TP)

    Hope I did this right 🙂

    Your number: 1

  2. I’m a lurker for a while (well, I read the feed on my bloglines)…but a free book will get me coming out of hiding.

    My fave book of 2008 is a tie between Kiran Desai’s “The Inheritance of Loss” and “Redemption Falls” by Joseph O’Connor. Kiran Desai captured very accurately the feel of change in India, the loneliness of a teenage girl and life in an unstable place. I loved every word. Joseph O’Connor’s book is a true piece of genius, with a cast of characters contributing to the weaving plotline. It’s my second book by O’Connor and I love it as much as the first (Star of the Sea).

    The books I’d like are:
    Snow by Orhan Pamuk or The Night Watch by Sarah Waters

    Many thanks! 🙂

    Your number: 2

  3. My favourite read so far is The Likeness by Tana French. it’s a crime thriller; the premise is a great one (Here’s my review).

    I’d love to win a copy of Labyrinths by Jorge Luis Borges.

    Thanks for hosting this great giveaway, Matt!

    Your number: 3

  4. You are a regular Santa Claus! What a great idea. Now I must think of some giveaways to sponsor myself.

    Favorite book this year is The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry. The prose was so lyrical, so poetic that it practically danced from the pages. Read it twice in two weeks and I never do that.

    Books of choice:
    Up at the Villa by Maugham
    White Teeth by Zadie Smith

    Many thanks!

    Your number: 4

  5. Wow that’s a lot of books to giveaway!

    My fav book this year was probably The Sisters of Misery by Megan Kelley Hall. I’m sure you’ve heard of it but for anyone who hasn’t, it’s a YA novel with magic and teen angst.

    Unfortunately for me, the only book I’m interested in on your list is:
    The Echo Maker by Richard Powers

    Your number: 5

  6. What a lovely project. I can’t resist reaching for the brass ring.

    You’ll think I’m buttering you up, but I mean this sincerely: my favorite read this year was the Master and Margarita, which I read twice and am poised to dive into once more soon. Now for the whys. I loved the challenge the book posed. it’s full of humorous conundrums and sly allegories, and it certainly it introduced me to one of my all-time-favorite pair of lovers. The book’s spiritual message is a deep one which I am still laboring to encompass; but the component of selfless love — as exemplified by Margarita, a flawed but deeply loving character — touched me the most. She is one of the great characters in literature.

    Any book on your list would be of interest, but the Maugham is a natural. The Ishiguro might be very interesting.

    Your number: 6

  7. This is a great giveaway since people outside the U.S are allowed to enter!

    My favourite this year would have to be ‘The Bell Jar’ by Sylvia Plath. I’ve been meaning to read this for years and I finally devoured it in one day. It’s poetic, sparse, devastating and one of the best metaphors I’ve come across. I never considered what the bell jar might have meant before reading this.

    You have such a great list of books. I’d choose:
    Up at the Villa, W. Somerset Maugham
    Never Let Me Go, Kazuo Ishiguro
    Snow, Orhan Pamuk

    Your number: 7

  8. my favorite read of 2008 (which i’m assuming means that the book should be published this year, not that i read it for the first time this year) is The Lost Books of the Odyssey by Zach Mason. it’s all these re-imaginings, lost tales, alternate endings, backstories and off-shoots of the Odyssey. Really beautifully written, humorous and thoughtful. It’s at once a tribute to that ancient text and putting it on its head. plus, the author sent out the text to reviewers in a wooden Trojan horse and wrapped in gold-leaf paper.

    my choices for your books:
    1) Labyrinths, Jorge Luis Borges (TP)
    2) The Master of Petersburg, J.M. Coetzee (TP)
    3) A Sentimental Education, Gustav Flaubert (TP)

    Your number: 8
    Nice choice for your favorite book. I never thought about the criterion, the book could be anything that you enjoy this year. Good luck!

  9. The book that has enchanted me the most this year has been Andrew Davidson’s The Gargoyle(click through for my review). The narrator takes you step by step through the process of nearly burning to death and the harrowing recovery such an injury requires, (nevermind the emotional scorching that goes along with it). He plans to simply get well enough to commit suicide but those plans are disrupted when a beautiful but very-possibly insane woman visits his hospital room with stories he cannot quite believe. However, he can’t quite disregard them either. Is reincarnation real? Can he love an insane woman? Can he love anyone at all?

    if available, my choices are:
    Perfume: The Story of a Murderer / Patrick Suskind (TP)
    Up at the Villa / W. Somerset Maugham (TP)
    The Hummingbird’s Daughter / Luis Alberto Urrea (TP)

    Your number: 9

  10. What a great giveaway! I’d love a chance to win Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro.

    The Secret Countess by Eva Ibbotson is the best book I’ve read so far in 2008, and the only new read to which I’ve given a 5-star rating. I loved how Ibbotson took a real-world story and endowed it with all the qualities of a fairy tale. The book isn’t magical realism, but it feels like it. Her characterization is equally superb; with a few choice details and some telling dialogue, she shows us everything we could possibly want to know about each and every one of her characters. It was an absorbing, emotional read that I’ve been recommending left, right and centre ever since I read it back in May.

    Your number: 10

  11. I wish to thank everyone for sharing their favorites of 2008—they will become part of my book buying list!

    It seems like Never Let Me Go and Snow are the the popular choices for now. Good luck!

  12. What a great giveaway! I have read The Echo Maker and Never Let Me Go…both are incredible reads. I guess if I were to choose from your list, I would select Map of Bones, but would be happy with any of them!

    I really had to force myself to sit down and ponder my favorite book this year. That is like choosing your favorite child! But if I must, it would be a tie between World Without End by Ken Follet and The Likeness by Tana French. They both are very different, but really drew me in and left me with echoes of the words bouncing around in my head for days.

    Your number: 11

  13. I have read books I liked and books I could not finish but the book that left me thinking months later was a Chapter book called WAGGIT’S TALE by Peter Howe.
    It has all the elements of a well thought out plot and characters that are endearing as a pack of throw-a-way dogs in Central Park.

    My nine year old grandson is reading it now.

    Map of Bones, James Rollins (HB)
    The Night Watch, Sarah Waters (TP)

    Your number: 12

  14. My favorite book so far this year has been The Savage Detectives by Roberto Bolano. While critics have a tendency to bash the 2nd half of the book, I found it quite clever. I first read the book title as ‘the savage DETECTIVES.’ 1/4 the way through the 2nd part and I realize the emphasis should be on savage; ‘the SAVAGE detectives.’ Then the book had a life of its own. The narrator trying to find the savages who were looking for a savage of their own. Clever clever clever.

    If I were to win, I would like the Borges book. Esp since Bolano seems to be compared to Borges quite often. My other choices would be either the Coetzee book or the Eco book.

    (p.s. I’m glad you’re opening it up to anywhere in the world…that’s cool. 🙂 )

    Your number: 13

  15. My favorite read of this year… This would probably be “The Sea of Poppies” by Amitav Ghosh. Why? I like anything that has to do with Asia, especially India. I like this author. And this monumental novel (the first in the planned trilogy) is about a ship and people who somehow get onto it, one way or the other, during the Opium Wars. A very tasty book!
    From the raffle, I would love either “Arthur and George” or “The Echo Maker” or “Snow” (no real preference).
    Great idea, by the way 🙂

    Your number: 14

  16. Gosh, this is a very generous giveaway, Matt!
    My favorite read of the year, The Future of Love, is actually a recommendation of yours. It’s a landmark novel that takes place before and after September 11. The novel reminds me how little gender difference, sexual orientation, ego, and past failed relationship really matter. Life is too precious and precarious to be wasted.

    I’m interested in your copy of Labyrinths and The Master of Petersburg. 🙂

    Your number: 15

  17. Great giveaway, Matt 🙂

    So far, my favourite book I’ve read this year is Mayflower by Nathaniel Philbrick. I like American history but had little knowledge of the Pilgrims and their life. Philbrick’s book is a page-turner with lots of information about that era.

    I’d be interested in Foucault’s Pendulum.

    Your number: 16

  18. My favourite reads of 2008, well, both the Adichie novels, Cold Mountain, The Heretic’s Daughter to name only a few.


    Adichie’s prose is truly marvellous. And you know about Cold Mountain. The HERetic’s Daughter, becos witch trials kind of still exists in a few remote parts of India. Unbelievable, isn’t it?

    My picks:

    The Teahouse Fire, Ellis Avery


    Red Azalea, Anchee Min

    Your number: 17

  19. My. oh my, this is so much fun! My favorite read this year was “A Handful of Dust” by Evelyn Waugh. (It figures that the earliest published would also be my favorite)! Waugh was such a talented man, and the novel was superb in almost every writerly aspect: the characters, the plot, the dialogue, the settings–all of it just blew me away.

    I’d like to try “Arthur and George” please. If that’s a no go, then the Eco or the Coetzee.

    Your number: 18

  20. My favorite book of the year is:
    A Life of One’s Own – A Guide to Better Living Through the Work and Wisdom of Virginia Woolf by Ilana Simons.

    The insights about Woolf’s life helped to get over my fear of reading her works. I understand where Woolf comes from.

    These are the books that interest me:
    Red Azalea, Anchee Min (TP)
    A Sentimental Education, Gustav Flaubert (TP)
    Labyrinths, Jorge Luis Borges (TP)
    The Night Watch, Sarah Waters (TP)
    The Fortress of Solitude, Jonathan Lethem (TP)
    The Hummingbird’s Daughter, Luis Alberto Urrea (TP)

    Thanks for having this contest.

    Your number: 19

  21. A little update:

    The books which most bloggers have expressed interest in:

    Labyrinths (5)
    Never Let me Go (4)
    Snow (4)
    The Master of Petersburg (4)
    Up At The Villa (3)
    The Night Watch (2)

  22. Great giveaway!

    My favorite reads for this year would be either The Meaning of Night by Michael Cox or Blindness by Jose Saramago. Both were utterly absorbing in different ways. Cox’s book is just a great Victorian pastiche—the closest thing you’ll find to reading a Wilkie Collins novel. And Blindess is just devastating in its picture of the brutality and beauty of humanity.

    You have a lot of authors I’ve been meaning to try on your list. I’d be delighted with any of these:
    Up at the Villa, W. Somerset Maugham (TP),
    Snow, Orhan Pamuk (TP)
    The Master of Petersburg, J.M. Coetzee (TP)
    A Sentimental Education, Gustav Flaubert (TP),
    The Night Watch, Sarah Waters (TP)

    Your number: 20

  23. Ooh.. I had to think about this for awhile. My favourite book I’ve read this year is .. The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness. I think. From the first sentence I was completely hooked. Loved the voice of the main character so much, finished it in two sittings on the same day, which is really saying a lot, especially with my lifestyle.

    I think your giveaway is very generous – The books I’d be interested in would be The Master of Petersburg by JM Coetzee and Labyrinths by Jorge Luis Borges and Sentimental Education by Flaubert

    Your number: 21

  24. Hi, Matthew – is it okay if I add more books to my list of choices? In addition to ‘Never Let me Go’ and ‘Snow’, I also wouldn’t mind receiving:

    Red Azalea, Anchee Min (TP)
    A Sentimental Education, Gustav Flaubert (TP)
    Foucault’s Pendulum, Umberto Eco (TP)

    I just re-read your list, and I can’t believe I missed these the first time round.

    Your number: 1

  25. Tuesday:
    Of course! You can enter to win all 17 books! Good luck! 🙂

  26. Definitely, Bolano’s The Savage Detectives. Not all literature is nearly as literate as this work. How would anyone like to try to measure up to it? The only one that can top Bolano … is Bolano.

    Thanks for the opportunity to win …

    Master of Petersberg
    Sentimental Education
    Up at the Villa

    Your number: 22

  27. Books I’d love to win: The Hummingbird’s Daughter, Snow, The Master of Petersburg (bet that surprises you)

    Favourite Read of the Year: Matt, are you really going to do this to me?!?! I’ve read so many incredible books this year. But I think War and Peace has to take honours…it just pulses with life, and in over 1,000 pages I never wanted to put it down. And that’s quite the accomplishment.

    Your number: 23

  28. Labyrinths is still in the lead. Looks like there’s a race going on for Master of Petersberg. A Sentimental Education is catching up.

  29. Favorite book this year: The Thirteenth Tale. It was suspenseful, it had interesting characters and was written well.

    Interested in:

    Up at the Villa, W. Somerset Maugham
    Map of Bones, James Rollins

    Your number: 24

  30. My favorite book this year was Bliss: A Novel – O.Z. Livaneli for two reasons (1) it was about a part of the world I have never been to but have heard alot about. (2) the main character was a young woman who was very level headed and didn’t depend on others to get her out of trouble.

    I am interested in winning
    Perfume: The Story of a Murderer, Patrick Suskind (TP) or
    Foucault’s Pendulum, Umberto Eco (TP)

    Your Number: 25

  31. My favourite book this year has been Any Human Heart by William Boyd, this novel is so ambitious, witty and engaging I can’t wait to re-read and would definitely recommend it.
    I also loved Notes From An Exhibition by Patrick Gale and Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin (just finished yesterday it took my breath away!)
    I would like Labyrinths, Red Azalea, The Master of Petersburg or The Hummingbird’s Daughter.

    Your number: 26
    The books you mentioned are so spot on! Gosh, I have read Aerodynamics of Pork and Kansas in August by Patrick Gale, whose works I have such a hard time finding in the US. I brought both books back from Hong Kong, where he was a guest of the literary festival back in March. Giovanni’s Room is one of my all-time favorite novels.

  32. I started reading Giovanni’s Room on the bus on the way to work and had to take the afternoon off because I knew I had to finish it the same day, in peace and have time to take it in!!
    I’ll have to track a paperback copy of Notes down and send it to you! The only other Gale book I’ve read is a Rough Music which I also enjoyed.

  33. I actually found a copy of Rough Music at the used bookstore but unfortunately the front cover is badly creased and the back chipped off.

  34. My favorite book this year was Gardens of Water by Alan Drew. I enjoyed this book because he focused on differences in cultures and religion in a way that made you really think deeply on the subjects.

    I would like to win:
    The Teahouse Fire
    Never Let Me Go
    The Hummingbird’s Daughter

    Thanks for offering such a great contest!

    Your number: 27

  35. Thanks Matt for making this an international giveaway!

    My favourite book this year is The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. The story is mainly based during WW2 and is narrated from the point of view of Death. Of course, death is dealt with but so is the idea of the power of words and that of humanity despite the horrors of war. And it’s also a good book to use with some secondary school students for discussion work.

    My choices are:
    The Echo Maker, Richard Powers
    The Teahouse Fire, Ellis Avery
    Red Azalea, Anchee Min

    Your number: 28

    The Book Thief has popped up all over the book blogsphere. It sounds pretty intriguing: I’ll have to check it out now that the paperback has been released. Good luck!

  36. Ooh, I’m still in time right? 🙂
    Various favorites this year include: Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, In the Woods, Half of a Yellow Sun and Coraline.

    I’m interested in The Echo Maker and The Teahouse Fire.

    Thanks Matt!

    Your number: 29
    Iliana, you’re in, just in time! I’ll start drawing the winners on Tuesday. Over half of you will receive a book.

  37. I loved reading “Strange Pilgrim” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, already one of my favorite authors. The book weaves a delicate web, revealing the experience of being foreign… through a series of unrelated short stories.

    English books are hard for me to get, and I’m interested in any of the titles you’ve listed. The only one I don’t want is “Never Let Me Go” since I have already read it.

    Your number: 30
    Thanks for entering, Christine. Good luck.

  38. I figure I can still slip in under the wire here. 🙂

    Let’s see, my favorite books (of course I can’t pick just one…) this year have been Tears of the Desert by Halima Bashir for its strong and courageous author whose story shows Darfur at its best and at its very worst and Sweetsmoke by David Fuller for breaking me out of a severe reading funk and for being beautifully done American Civil War era historical fiction that at once explores the issues and makes you feel like you’re there with its great descriptions and characters. Coming in a close third is When We Were Romans by Matthew Kneale for its utterly convincing child narrator. I just reviewed this one. But yes, I’ve gone on too long.

    There’s a fair few on your list I’d love to read, but my top three choices would be…

    The Teahouse Fire
    Arthur and George
    Red Azalea


    Your number: 31

  39. Hello everyone! Thanks for entering this contest. The deadline will be tomorrow, Monday, December 1 at noon, West Coast Time.

    I’ll draw the winners using Random.org on Tuesday. I will enter all your numbers and randomize the 17 winners. Good luck.

  40. Okay, I have two favorite reads of 2008. The first was not published in 2008, but I read it for the first time in 2008: Rebecca, by Daphne du Maurier. I loved discovering this creepy classic for myself. The mood created by du Maurier is incredible. My other favorite read was published in 2008: The Art of Racing in the Rain, by Garth Stein. I have a love of dogs, so a book told by the lovable lab-mix Enzo was a sure hit.

    The books I’d love to win (in order of preference):
    1. Snow
    2. Up at the Villa
    3. Foucault’s Pendulum


    Your number: 32

  41. I think maybe the best book I’ve read was “From Baghdad, With Love : A Marine, the War, and a Dog Named Lava.” Having several friends there, it hit home. It was quite inspiring also.

    The books I would like from your list the most are:
    Perfume: The Story of a Murderer
    The Teahouse Fire

    Your number: 33

  42. I would dearly love to win Perfume: The Story of a Murderer by Patrick Suskind.

    Your number: 34

  43. […] on Goodbye Deweyr on Reading Little Beer on Re-Read Books, A Matt’s…Wanda on Books Giveaway PreviewBeth F on […]

  44. My favorite book would have to be any of the Harry Potter books. I know I am an adult, but I just love Harry!

    I would like Perfume: The Story of a Murderer, Patrick Suskind but I would appreciate any new read!

  45. My favorite book this year was Gin Phillips’ The Well and the Mine. I’m from Birmingham, Alabama, and the book was based in Alabama coal country. It is destined to be a classic Southern fiction novel.

    I’m unfamiliar with most of the books listed – I know, I’ve had my head under a rock – but I love Southern fiction and historical fiction so I’ll let you choose if I should be so lucky as to win.

    Thanks for the generous giveaway!

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