2 years ago around this time I started blogging. My book blog was out in the world a day after my birthday, on the 3 January 2009.
Like many new bloggers new to the blogging world, I have no clue what is in store but I just wanted a place to hold my thoughts on the books I have read. I am also aware that I have an incorrigible obsession with books. So with the lack of creativity, I wanted my blog to begin with Biblio or Book something… I was frustrated to discover blog names like Bibliomania, Bookmania, Bookaholic wordpress.com are all taken, first two created by creators who didn’t bother to make use of their blogs and void of a single posting. I put in three other book reviews written before the blog was created and hence the birth of this blog.
I really, really want someone out there to tell me if they had given their blog one name, and wish they could have named it another? Names that are cooler, more poshy or more reflective of what the blog is about, over the years?
To celebrate my arduous and rewarding two years of blogging, I am giving away two books from the six that you could choose from, to two people. Using www.random.org, the first name that appears on the list will get to choose their first book of choice.
Random Acts of Heroic Love by Danny Scheinmann – Random Acts of Heroic Love is a semi-autobiographical debut novel by the author and actor Danny Scheinmann. It follows the parallel stories of two unconsciously connected men in two different time eras motivated by the memory of love: Moritz Daniecki, a young Austro-Hungarian soldier captured by the Russians during the First World War and sent to a POW camp in Siberia, who decides to escape in 1917 and walk thousands of miles for the sake of his childhood sweetheart Lotte; and Leo Deakin, who loses his beloved girlfriend Eleni in a bus crash in Ecuador in 1992, and in his despair embarks on his own journey of discovery and self-reconciliation.
The novel is based upon the true story of Scheinmann’s grandfather Moshe, who too was an Austro-Hungarian soldier captured by the Russians, and undertook a three year journey back to Europe to be reunited with his lover, also called Lotte. Leo’s grief and bereavement of Eleni also reflect the author’s personal experiences when he lost his late girlfriend Stella in a similar bus crash in South America in 1992. This is one of the most poignant story about love and loss and is one of my favourites.
Then We Came to An End by Joshua Ferris – Set in a Chicago advertising agency, Ferris’s hugely enjoyable first novel delineates both the absurdities of office life, and the frustration, anger and despair simmering under the surface of his characters’ daily routines. Most of the workers appear to be on the verge of a nervous breakdown, and when the agency starts to struggle to attract clients and a series of layoffs begins, some of the staff are tipped over the edge. A mix of the comic, the tragic and the surreal, description of the mundane activities of the working week (the meetings, the e-mails, the lunches) will be familiar (perhaps overly so) to anyone who has worked in an office.
Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee – Disgrace (1999) is a Booker Prize-winning novel by South African author J. M. Coetzee who won the Nobel Prize in Literature four years after its publication. In the story, David Lurie is a South African professor of English who loses everything: his reputation, his job, his peace of mind, his good looks, his dreams of artistic success, and finally even his ability to protect his own daughter. His “disgrace” comes when he seduces one of his students and he does nothing to protect himself from its consequences. He is dismissed from his teaching position, after which he takes refuge on his daughter’s farm. Many horrific incidents soon follow which changes his view about his country.
Digging to America by Anne Tyler – Digging to America is a story set in Baltimore, Maryland about two very different families’ experiences with adoption and their relationships with each other. Sami and Ziba Yazdan, an Iranian-American family, and Brad and Bitsy Dickinson-Donaldson, an all-American suburban family, meet at the airport on the day their infant daughters arrive from Korea to begin life in America. The two families become friends and begin a tradition of celebrating the arrival of their adopted daughters each year.
Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding – ex-library copy. This book doesn’t need any introduction, does it? I’m doing one for the chick-lit lovers.
The BlindingAbsence of Light by Tahar Ben Jelloun – In 10 July 1971, disaffected student Salim took part in a failed coup to oust King Hassan II of Morocco. With sixty others he was incarcerated in a secret prison complex in the Moroccan desert, Tazmamart; they were to remain there for nearly 20 years. A winner of 2004 IMPAC award, the book is a tragic and awe inspiring account of Salim and inmates in the desert gaol.
To help you make the choice, my favourites are Random Act of Heroic Love, Disgrace and The Blinding Absence of Light. I bought extra copies to give them away. All my reviews for the above titles can be found by searching in this blog (except Random Acts of Heroic Love, which is a favourite in my pre-blogging days)
Here’s what you have to do:
- Tell me if you are in or out for the giveaway draw.
- Pick one out of the following 4 options (A to D) and offer some advice on what I should do about my blog name; and
- Tell me if it ever cross your mind to change the name of your blog (you can be honest!).
- Option A. Change your domain (URL link) and change your blog name, I won’t forget who you (JoV) are.
- Option B. Keep your domain (URL Link) and change your blog name. I won’t forget who you are.
- Option C. Do nothing. Everything is fine as it is.
- Option D. Oh I don’t care, do whatever you like. I might confuse you with someone else.
The deadline is the last day of 2010, 31 December 2010 (London time). I will do the draw on the 3 January 2011. This is open to everyone internationally, I will ship to Antartica if you give me a valid address, and I would still ship if you have chosen option D too. 😉
Heartfelt thanks for everyone who reads and comments on my blog these past years. Big thanks to those who join in the madness of reading the Midnight’s Children with me, I hope you won’t blame me if you hate the book and can’t wait to throw it out of the window! I hope to receive your reviews about Midnight’s Children soon, even if they are negative ones. I have met so many new friends and grow as a book blogger, thank you for being the source of that.