Thursday, May 27, 2010

Book Recommendations and Contests and Jury Duty, Oh My

There are A LOT of great contests going on right now, and there are two I'd like to bring to your attention. First off, my lovely writing group friend Megan Rebekah is having a 500 followers contest on her blog. She's got 3 books to choose from or A FULL MANUSCRIPT CRITIQUE. Trust me when I tell you, you want the critique (even though she's got some awesome books too). Megan is a fantastic beta. Her notes have made my stories SO MUCH BETTER.

Second, I'm sure you've heard about Elana Johnson's book deal giveaway extravaganza this week. It's been epic. There is still another day or two to enter to win one of her prize packages. They are all super cool (all of them include Girl Scout Cookies!), so you should go leave a comment there too.

So you all know I'm trying to read 100 books this year, right? The book count currently stands at 31 and the year is almost half over, so I may not make it (or I may need to start counting picture books!). But I have read several amazing books this year though and I thought you might want to know about the very best book I've read so far this year. The Help by Kathryn Stockett was amazing. I know it's a bestseller. I know many of you have already read it. But those of you who haven't need to pick it up.

And finally, I have jury duty next week. I think this is pretty unfair since I served on a jury just a few years ago and my husband has NEVER been called, but I'll smile do my civic duty. Anyway, because of Memorial Day and jury duty I may not be around much next week so I hope you all have a great week. May agent offers and book deals abound!

What's the best book you've read so far this year?

32 comments:

Sandy Shin said...

I haven't read a lot of books this year (which I do need to rectify), but the best one yet is THE HUNGER GAMES, though it wasn't published this year. Definitely a great read.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

It is so bizarre about how some people always get jury duty and some never do, and yet they say the draws are random. So far, I've only made it to be seated in the jury box and then being dismissed by the defense attorney.
I soooo want a crit from Megan. I think you guys have the most awesome crit partners.
On books, I'm going to say Life As We Knew It, even though it's disturbing, and Going Bovine, although I know some people don't care for it (I thought it was brilliant).

Shannon O'Donnell said...

This year? Hmmm... I finally got around to reading the Percy Jackson series. I'd say they top my list right now. But I haven't read my copy of Fablehaven 5 yet...

Amy Tate said...

You're a better citizen than me. I got called for jury duty last summer. But when I called the clerk and asked what my kids should wear, she told me not to come, lol!

Karen Amanda Hooper said...

I won one of Elana's and I'm hoping to win one of Meg's. :)

Sorry about jury duty. I have never been contacted about JD. Ever. Knock on wood.

You should use Amy's line. That would so work for you! ;)

Mary Campbell said...

Thanks for the heads-up on the contests. I've never been on jury duty - yet. I know it's our civic duty, but I'm really glad I haven't had to do it.

Melissa said...

I've never been called for jury duty, either. Now that I've said that, I'll probably get the call next week;)

I've read the sequel to Life As We Knew It (The Dead & The Gone) and it was wonderful. Very dark and thought provoking, and it makes you so very thankful for everything we have now. I'm about halfway through Hex Hall right now and I'm loving it so far.

MeganRebekah said...

Why does everyone get jury duty but me? It's so not fair. I actually want jury duty, but they don't want me. I'm sure I'll finally get my summons at the worst possible opportunity.

I stated to keep track of my books read, but gave up after a month. I'm guessing I'm around 40ish.

And I love The Help. Such a good book!!!!

Diane said...

Make sure when you go, you tell them you are pregnant. The first time I ever got called for jury duty, I had just had my son. I told them I had just birthed, was nursing and had no other childcare. They took my name off the list and I've never gotten called again.

Natalie said...

I would totally play the pregnancy card if I thought it would work! Last time I got called for jury duty I was like 7 months pregnant, with 2 kids at home and no one to watch them. They gave me zero pity. I don't think being 4 months pregnant with 3 kids at home will be any better.

Erica Chapman said...

Bummer about Jury Duty, I had that this year too. Oh well. Maybe you'll get a cool one! You can use what you learn for an exciting new book!

Hmmm. This year I would say it was Hunger Games, same as Sandy. I tore through it! Have a great weekend ;o)

Catherine Denton said...

The Princess Academy.

Patti said...

Good luck with jury duty. I've never had to do that.

Best book: Too many to choose.

Caroline Starr Rose said...

So glad you loved THE HELP. It was my favorite read of the year, too.

I've been called for jury duty twice. My husband never. What's that all about?

Jessica Nelson said...

Both great contests! Too funny, my husband just got called to jury duty for the first time on the first.
I wish I'd get called! What an intriguing situation, so much to study. I hope you have an interesting time. :-)

Jess of All Trades said...

Prodigal Summer, by Barbara Kingsolver :D

Hope you get some time to rest this weekend.

Jemi Fraser said...

There sure is a lot of fun stuff going on around the Internet these days!

I think the best book I've read this year is The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. It's told from the perspective of an autistic teen. Awesome!

Aubrie said...

Good luck with your jury duty! I've never had to do it, but my mom got called in and she hated it. Hope you like it more than she did!

Cynthia Reese said...

Loved, loved, loved THE HELP ... books like that make me want to back slowly away from the keyboard.

If you liked THE HELP, you may well enjoy another southern novel, GODS IN ALABAMA by Joshilyn Jackson. It's terrific!

And yeah, no fair on the jury duty ... I've had to serve several times since I've been married, while The Husband has only had to serve once -- and got excused.

Stephanie Faris said...

I've never done jury duty...but I keep waiting for the day I'm called. I know I'll be a little nervous about navigating my way there, but what an exciting opportunity to research!

Trisha Leaver said...

The Help is on tap for this month's book club. I picked it up yesterday and can't wait to start it. Let's see . . . my suggestion would be The Lady with the Dragon Tattoo. It's actually the first in a series of three books.

Vonna said...

Wow, Natalie, that's rough having jury duty with little kids at home. In our area, a stay-at-home mom (or dad, if he's the full-time kid-watcher) doesn't have to do jury duty if she has kids under 10 yrs. old.

Solvang Sherrie said...

Jury duty seems to be going around right now! Ick! The best book I've read so far this year? I can't pick just one! Top four: Linger by Maggie Stiefvater, Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X. Stork, Hero by Perry Moore, and Drums, Girls & Dangerous Pie by Jordan Sonnenblick. Maybe one of them can get you through the waiting around times during jury duty :)

Jennifer Shirk said...

Oh, gosh. They really should exempt mom's with small kids at home.

I just read Hex Hall by Rachel hawkins and I have to say I really LOVED it.

Lisa and Laura said...

Have a great week! Thanks for the links.

Sarah Skilton said...

Best of luck with jury duty. I'll be interested to hear how our experiences compare!

Anita said...

I read several books per week, so this is a difficult question for me. I'm going to wimp out and just say that I think the WIMPY KID books are hilarious...I haven't laughed out loud that much since I don't know when. I hope jury duty is an absolute blast! :)

Georgina said...

I've just decided that I am going to try reading 6O books in one year. If you count Nick Bantock's 3-part series, "Griffin and Sabine", then reading picture books would be OK, right?
Have fun with JD. I've never been called up but given the social justice work I do, I'd probably be kicked off by the defense lawyers during selection. - G

Aubrie said...

Thanks for the links! I did enter Megan's contest. Woo hoo! The best book I've read this year: Never Let me go by Kazuo Ishiguro. It's literary fiction and broke my heart.

Nicole Zoltack said...

I've been so hard at work on my novels that I haven't had much time for reading but I did really enjoy Kelley Armstrong's YA series.

CKHB said...

Best book I've read so far this year: "SUM, 40 tales from the afterlives." BRILLIANT.

Joanne Fritz said...

Can't believe you weren't exempt. I got called twice when my kids were little and was excused both times.

Best book so far? Ooh, that's a tough one. I'd have to say THE DREAMER by Pam Munoz Ryan and Peter Sis. It's exquisite.