My first bloggy contest!

I can’t remember ever hosting a contest around here before, but I enjoy participating in them on other sites.  I have discovered that I need your help, so I thought I would present my question, gather your responses and give a prize to one of the respondents chosen at random.  What’s the prize?  Ten skeins of Rowan All Seasons Cotton seen below.  In the interest of full disclosure, one of the skeins has been partially used and another has been knit up but put back into a nice center pull ball, but it’s all still there.


Many of you may know that I will be graduating this semester.  I have to defend by the end of April, which means that I will be finished with my masters degree in just a few weeks.  One of the things I have missed the most while I have been in school is reading books that I want to read, not books/articles that I have to read.  I would like to read some of the classics that I missed in school, and some newer books that I have missed because I’ve been in school.  I am fairly open in my book taste, but I do have a harder time getting into fantasy/sci-fi books.  Please share with me the books and/or authors that you think I should not miss.  They can be classics or beach reads, I’m looking for a variety!  These books will then make up a Summer Reading List for me and I’ll let you know what I’m reading as the summer progresses.  I will announce the winner on Friday, March 24th.  Thanks for playing!


26 thoughts on “My first bloggy contest!

  1. Definitely The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. It’s the book I recommend to anyone asking and no one’s been disappointed yet. It was hard for me to get into Updike’s Rabbit series but once I did, I really liked them. My favorite reads from the past year are Everything Is Illuminated and Life of Pi.

  2. I’ll give you two, an old favorite and a new. First, my favorite book of all time, the Power of One, by Bryce Courtenay. I’ve recommended this one dozens of times and virtually never had a bad review. It’s a beautifully written book, with terrific characters (skip the movie, though, it’s not worth it at all). The second one is a book I just finished recently, the Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini (hopefully I spelled that right). It’s a really powerful, interesting book, although it can be rather disturbing. I’m really glad I read it. Good luck with the end of your semester!

  3. Congratulations on your upcoming graduation, Sarah!
    If you like Southern-style writing, Sullivan’s Island by Dorothea Benton Frank is a great one. It’s set in Charleston, SC and nearby Sullivan’s island. There’s a little bit of everything in this one! It has relationship themes (husband-wife/mom-daughter/sister-sister), spooky gullah tradition, and a little bit of love. Mostly it’s a beach story. I loved it! I also like Plantation, by the same author.
    How wonderful it will be for you to be able to read purely for pleasure!

  4. Congrats on finishing. I unfortunately didn’t have the discipline you have re: reading for fun while in school, and it took me much longer to finish.
    Anyway, I really enjoyed Life of Pi (altho’ it’s pretty old – 2001) There’s the James Patterson books. If you enjoy this genre of brain candy books (Kellerman, Cornwell, Deavers), you may like him.

  5. The Outlander series, by Diana Gabaldon. The back makes it sound a little like a fantasy novel, but I promise it isn’t. So good.
    And also, for funny, A Girl Named Zippy by Haven Kimmel. Easy read, and really entertaining.
    I’m also currently reading Julie and Julia – it has some blogginess in it (http://tinyurl.com/zx3kr)
    Have fun! and BIG congrats on your graduation!

  6. you don’t have to put me in the running for the contest, because i never knit with cotton, but i wanted to share some books anyway. my favorite author of all time is Robert Heinlein. He’s classified as science fiction, but his books are much more than that. If you only ever read one Heinlein book it should be The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress. i love that book so much, and have read it so many times that i can hear the narrator in my head while i read it. if you like it and want more i would recommend The Cat Who Walks Through Walls and JOB: A Comedy Of Justice after that.
    Others to pick up: Sister Emily’s Lightship by Jane Yolen, Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card, and the Sin City graphic novels (only if you liked that movie, they are very violent and not for everyone).

  7. Never Have Your Dog Stuffed – the charming, hysterical and touching memoirs of Alan Alda
    Assassination Vacation – Sarah Vowell
    Devil in the White City – Erik Larsen
    Good Time Girls of the Alaska-Yukon Gold Rush – Lael Morgan

  8. My favorite current author is Brad Meltzer. His best book (in my opinion) was The Tenth Justice. The others just haven’t been able to live up to that one, but The Zero Game was pretty good. The ending of The Millionaires annoyed me. But they’re good “bathtub” reading! That’s about the only time I get to read anymore. 🙂

  9. I recently really enjoyed “The Glass Castle” by Jeannette Walls and “Prep” — neither are classics, but good reads. Congratulations on your upcoming graduations!

  10. The three book series by Phillup Pullman – The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife and the Amber Spyglass were all fantastic. The kind of reads that have you up until 3:00am consistently. I also really enjoyed Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides.

  11. Ah, right up my ally… Gotta remind you about the classic Chronicles of Narnia series and Les Miserables (modern version). For fluff beach reading – anything by Karen Kingsbury (clean romance), and anything by Terry Blackstock (clean suspense).
    And of course, a MUST read for all: “Who has your heart? The Single Woman’s Pursuit of Godliness” by yours truly and coming out in September!! 🙂 (Yeah, I know it’s not for summer and I know you’re not single, but you know I had to include it!!)

  12. I recommend The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri. It’s a story about an Indian person growing up in America and not feeling American or Indian. I think I liked it so much because I felt a lot like that person did while I was growing up.

  13. Hi! Congrats on your upcoming graduation. I recommend a couple of books: Kite Runner by Hosseini – I read that last summer and it was a quick read. If you haven’t read The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by McCullers, I am just re-reading this classic and I am just immersed in it. I also recommend The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion, The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger, The Year of Yes by Maria Headley, Good in Bed by Jennifer Weiner, The Once and Future King by Terence Hanbury White (this one is on my to-read list) also The Turk and my Mother by Mary Helen Stefaniak. I want to check out The Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant too. And of course I can read To Kill a Mockinbird every year and still love it! I have tons more but that should do for now. Good luck!!

  14. Total trash beach reading, but I couldn’t put down anything from the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series. If you need a fun fix, they’re great quick reads.

  15. Okay, some of these will be repeats from comments above, but that just means that they should definitely be added to the list!
    Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
    Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon
    The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey
    Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver
    The Other Boleyn Girl or The Queen’s Fool
    by Philippa Gregory
    I hope that you enjoy your reading time!

  16. Congratulations on finishing! What a great accomplishment. I always enjoyed reading some kind of fun book after finals when I was in college. My favorite series has to be Chronicles of Narnia, followed by the Jan Karon Mitford books. The Mitford books are especially relaxing and entertaining. My sister got me on to them. I’m a sucker for anything about Laura Ingalls Wilder. There’s now a few series about her mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. Just do a Laura Ingalls Wilder search and you’ll find all the titles and authors. I pass them on to my niece when I’m finished, so I don’t have the books here. Happy reading!

  17. Jane Austen. Read anything by her really, because they’re all delightful and readily available. And how about some poetry? Just go to your local (book loving) bookstore and ask who is good, likely they’ll carry poems from someone who lives nearby and writes beautifully but since so few people ready/buy poetry it’s difficult to uncover great poetry. And you can never go wrong with Ms. Austen.

  18. Lets see I enjoy any book by James Patterson, Maeve Binchy and John Grisham. I know really deep thought provoking reads, but great for summer beach reading. However, one book that you really have to have the right frame of mind to read is Lovely Bones. It is a touching book about a girl that is murdered and how she still communicates and watches over her family.

  19. A book I’m half way through right now is “Left To Tell” It is a page turner and a very uplifting story. Imaculee grew up in Ruwanda Africa and this is the story of how she was caught up in the Ruwandan massacre of Tutsi’s and was kept captive for 91 days is a 3 x 5 bathroom and learned to forgive her enemies and found God. I recommend it to everyone as a book of Inspiration.

  20. The Amelia Peabody series of mysteries by Elizabeth Peters is a lot of fun. I’ve been listening to them through audible.com while I knit. Congrats on your dissertation!

  21. I missed the contest, but I have to third or fourth the recommendation for the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon – they are truly that awesome. Also, I just finished The Devil Wears Prada and loved it, and an old standby is The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett (really long – perfect for a vacation when you only want to take one book). My favorite books of all time are The Hero and the Crown and The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley – I think they’re classified as young adult, but I get a lot out of them.
    Enjoy all of your new reads!!!

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