May Book Give Away

May 4, 2008 at 1:53 pm | Posted in Books, Free | Leave a comment
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It’s May and spring is finally here. I’m in the mood to do some spring cleaning and I thought I might provide my readers with the gift of a new book.

This year I’ve received several Advance Reader’s Copies of books and I’ve reviewed them here at Literate Housewife. Five of them are part of this book give away:

Artist’s Proof

The Forgery of Venus

Gardens of Water

The House at Riverton

The Venetian Mask

I’m also giving away my two used trade paperback copies I own…:

Bel Canto

The Cider House Rules

And two hardcover copies…:

Jonathon’s Story

The Lady and the Unicorn

What do you need to do to get one of the free books?  If you live in the US or Canada, simply leave a comment to my review of the book(s) you are interested in and let me know why you would like to read it.   For each book, I’ll draw a winner at random from all of the comments posted on Tuesday, May 20th.   I’ll let the winner know by email.  If I get the addresses, I’ll have all of the books in the mail that Thursday or Friday.

This is a win/win situation.  My bookshelves will be just that much tidier and you might find yourself with a free book.

Good luck!!!

#46 ~ Bel Canto

November 7, 2007 at 11:41 pm | Posted in Books, Culture, Reading | 6 Comments
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Bel Canto by Anne Patchett

I have only attended one opera in my life. I cannot remember its name. I saw it in Berlin on my second night in the city. Jet lag did not help me to stay awake or become involved in the experience. Still, I do not imagine that I would have been that much less sleepy or bored had I been fully awake. My lack of overall interest in opera did not in anyway impact my enjoyment of Bel Canto.

This book tells the story of a grand South American government banquet that is taken hostage by guerrilla warriors. The banquet was held for a Japanese businessman in hopes that he would open a factory in their country. Mr. H only agreed to attend the event because they paid a great price to have Roxanne, a brilliant soprano, perform for him. He never had any intention of opening a factory. Opera had been his passion from early childhood and he could not turn down the opportunity to see her in person.

The president of this country was supposed to be in attendance at this birthday banquet. He begged off at the last minute to stay home and watch the special Tuesday evening episode of his soap opera (he’s a man after my own heart – Latin soap operas are the best. I have such warm memories of watching those at my Bolivian youth group leader’s house on Wednesday nights). As the president was the object of the guerrillas, the kidnapping was a debacle from the beginning.

The beauty of this book comes from two for me: the descriptions of the main characters’ histories and their love of music and the description of the life that unfolded in the Vice President’s mansion throughout their months of captivity. Although I do not enjoy classical music or opera, I do have a strong connection to the music I do enjoy and can relate to the way in which music can move you beyond language. I know that I might very easily agree to attend an event at which U2 would be performing just for me if I only had to lie about something I might do in the future. I could then imagine being held hostage with Bono in close quarters…

I found Patchett’s writing very beautiful and, in comparison with Claire Messud, non-obtrusive. Thankfully, you can write about art and sophistication without having a pickle shoved up your bum. My only complaint would be with the short chapter that occurred after the siege was ended. There always seems to be a need to tie things up – even if it’s not always neat. I would have preferred to let my imagination take me into the character’s future.

Off to Denver

November 5, 2007 at 11:54 am | Posted in LIfe, Reading | Leave a comment
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I’m heading out to Denver on business this afternoon for a few days. I’m hoping to fully catch up on my reviews and get even closer to the 52 book mark. I still haven’t finished Bel Canto, but that’s not because I’m not enjoying it. For the past month I’ve either been packing or unpacking it seems. That gets in the way of my reading and blogging!

I’m bringing the following books with me:

Will I finish them all? Well, it’s a long flight to Denver from Roanoke and I’ll have three nights to myself… No. I’m not Super Literate Housewife. Still, I can be assured that I won’t finish one book without having another handy. 🙂

Have a great week!

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