Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon: End of Event Meme

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Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon has come and gone, and what an event it was! With over 900 readers and a full day of bookish fun, I’ll admit I’m exhausted this morning. I didn’t make it the full 24 hours, but I made it as far as I could until the words no longer made sense — somewhere within hour 20 (aka 2:30ish in the morning). Below are my responses to the end of event questions… complete with gifs, of course.

1. Which hour was most daunting for you?

The final hours were the worst. My brain got to the point where it didn’t want to do it anymore, and I started suffering because of it. I wanted to go the full 24 hours, but after Hour 20 hit I was like this:

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2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?

I’m learning that Children’s Literature and Young Adult books are easier to get through. That’s not to say it’s simple subject matter, but the writing tends to flow more easily. That, and some Nonfiction is also a good decision. Reading #GIRLBOSS went fast because she’s just a real person talking about something I’m interested in. So, when all else fails, find a like-minded person who wrote a memoir or some kind of Nonfiction work.

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3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?

Like I ever! This is my second time participating and I can’t think of anything from either event that I would change.

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4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon?

I love the massive amount of people participating in the event. I’m not someone who spends a giant chunk of my time online since the point is to read, but I enjoy the small chunks of time I take to talk with others on Twitter, Instagram, and through blogs. It’s much more fun when you’re participating with others. I mean, I read at least an hour almost every day, and the normal day doesn’t feel like this, so it’s definitely the people that make it special.

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5. How many books did you read?

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6. What were the names of the books you read?

1. See Now Then by Jamaica Kincaid
2. The Hours by Michael Cunningham
3. #GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amorusa
4. The Only Boy by Jordan Locke
5. The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland In A Ship Of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente

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7. Which book did you enjoy most?

#GIRLBOSS and The Hours

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8. Which did you enjoy least?

See Now Then and The Only Boy. I hate giving such assessment when I’m in the midst of a readathon, but alas.

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9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders?

I was not, but a message to them:

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10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?

Extremely likely. I’ll be reading.

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Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon: Hour 8 Update

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Eight hours have come and gone in Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon! I haven’t done much with Twitter today, but I’m trying to break every so often to comment on blogs and respond to comments on my blog. I’m sure I’ll get more internet-addicted as the event wears on, but for now I’m focusing on the books. I’ve posted my progress below.

Currently reading:
#GirlBoss by Sophia Amoruso

Books finished:
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland In A Ship Of Her Own Making by Catherynne Valente
See Now Then by Jamaica Kincaid

Pages read:
429 pages

Running total of pages read:
See above.

Amount of time spent reading:
Almost 6.5 hours

Running total of time spent reading:
See above.

Snacks:
I haven’t snacked yet. Breakfast was cereal and yogurt (with coffee), and lunch was a peanut butter and banana sandwich (with coffee). I’ve been at my mother’s house and didn’t plan on being here this long, so once I get home I’m sure I’ll eat some puppy chow as a reward for getting through two books.

Thoughts on my first two reads, courtesy of Ron Swanson…

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland… by Catherynne Valente:

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See Now Then by Jamaica Kincaid:

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So, I guess the books evened out. But that’s all I have for now! You can find me on Twitter (@lostgenreader) for random updates and shenanigans. Link up any posts you want me to check out. It’s easier for me to visit people that way than some massive list.

Happy reading! Stay excellent!

Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon: Hour 0 Update

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Welcome (again) to Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon! The reading is about to begin, but first I thought I’d fill out the “Opening Meme” questions as posted on the main site. My answers are below, and then it’s time to start reading!

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?
I am reading from Fargo, North Dakota, United States. It’s in the low-40s this morning, so I’m happy to be indoors.

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?
I am most looking forward to reading The Hours by Michael Cunningham. I’ve been meaning to read it for a long time, and it’s shown up on other readathon event lists without getting read. The time has come for The Hours. I plan on starting that a little later in the day. You can find my complete list here.

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?
I’ve been eating healthy lately, but for today’s event I made puppy chow, so naturally I’m pretty excited about that. Also, COFFEE.

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!
I work at a natural health company as a Copywriter/Proofreader. I’m also gearing up to start National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) in a couple weeks. My life consists of working, reading, and writing for the most part, and I travel when I can afford it. My massive trip comes next summer when I go to England. I’ll be visiting other countries in Europe as well but haven’t made any final plans yet.

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to?
This is my second Dewey’s Readathon event. One thing I’d like to do different this time around is have more focus. It was hard for me to concentrate last time with other plans cropping up, but today I have no other plans. I am ready!

I begin my readathon at my mother’s house (cat-sitting/laundry day) with Popcorn the cat, a mug of coffee, and The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland In A Ship Of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente

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That’s all I have for now. You can find me on Twitter (@lostgenreader) for random updates and shenanigans. Feel free to link me to your first update post, or anything readathon related.

Happy reading to all participants!

Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon Master Post

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Welcome to Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon! This event is hosted by some pretty fabulous ladies. Read more about them and the event by clicking here. There’s a lot of information on that blog, so make sure to click around. With over 900 readers participating, you know this event is going to be huge. Rest assured, if it’s 7AM Central Time, October 18 – 7AM Central Time, October 19, I will be reading. Okay, I might be sleeping at some point, but I will mostly be reading.

This reading event comes with more than just books. It comes with snacks. It comes with taking a break for dance parties in the comfort of your home (or favorite coffee shop, I don’t judge). It comes with Twitter chats. It comes with mini-challenges. It comes with reading updates.

I have a lot I want to accomplish this time around, but mostly I hope to be reading. I’m always in favor of spending most of my time reading during a readathon… you know, because that just makes sense. But this is a special kind of event, so I’m sure I’ll make some times for Twitter chatting, updates, and mini-challenges along the way. With that in mind…

My Readathon List:
1. What I Know For Sure by Oprah Winfrey
2. See Now Then by Jamaica Kincaid
3. The Hours by Michael Cunningham
4. #GirlBoss by Sophia Amorusa
5. Stone Mattress by Margaret Atwood
6. The Only Boy by Jordan Locke
7.The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland In A Ship Of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente

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I’m certain I won’t get through all of these reads, but I’ll be happy with 4 or 5. I wanted to break it up a bit this time around with some categories so I had a nice collection to work from. We have…

The Youths (YA/Children’s Lit)

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The Power Women (Non-Fiction)

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The (Mostly) Fictions

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Find me on Twitter (@lostgenreader) for random updates and shenanigans.

Happy reading to all participants!

What are YOU reading this weekend?

Jane Eyre Read-Along Update: Chapters 6-10

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Week two of the Jane Eyre Read-Along is now behind us. With week three nearly over already, the hosts (A Night’s Dream of Books and Babbling Books) posted some questions regarding Chapters 6-10 that I have answered below. Please feel free to leave me your thoughts or link to your own responses for me to check out. I apologize in advance for any rambling bits.

1. What are your impressions of the way Helen Burns endures punishment and abuse?

I would first like to throw out a single line of lyrics by one of my favorite musicians, the great Billy Joel: “Only the good die young.”

Okay, okay, I realize Billy Joel wasn’t solely focusing on goodness in his song, and I realize that he came long after the writing of Jane Eyre, but there’s an overlap here. The overly good characters rarely live long once their purpose is served, especially if their death is part of said purpose. Jane needs people like Helen in order to accept that there is some goodness in the world among all the wickedness she endures. It also helps Jane accept that being good along isn’t enough. Helen endured so much abuse, but that didn’t save her from death’s door. More than anything I think this encourages Jane to remain true to herself. She loves Helen, but she knows she isn’t like her in many ways. Experiencing this terrible loss serves as an acceptance of who she is rather than encourage her to behave like Helen.

Along those lines, Helen is a damn saint, or at least it’s hard to think of her as anything else. That, or she’s brainwashed. She continues to recite scripture in the hours of her pain. Her beliefs never waiver and, like Jane, she remains true to herself until the very end of her life. Upon her death, Helen experiences peace rather than anger, and she tells Jane she’s going to heaven. She truly believes the pain is worth it because of where she ends up, and there is no focus on her pain. For a child, that’s pretty damn saint-like.

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2. What are your impressions of the way that Jane sees punishment and abuse in comparison to Helen?

Helen is passionate about her faith, but Jane is passionate overall. Helen believes that she must deserve her punishments, whereas Jane knows she is being treated unfairly and argues the fact. I find myself viewing Jane’s reactions as more realistic, but then again there isn’t much that’s considered realistic about a saint when compared to the average person. I admire Jane’s passion and fierce defense of herself. She rejects the injustice and fights for her beliefs and freedoms. Jane can perhaps be too stubborn at times, but that’s to be expected with children. They still have a lot to learn, and considering how much abuse Jane endures I’m not surprised she behaves how she does. I feel that the two girls cover each end of the spectrum when it comes to their reactions.

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3. Would Mr. Brocklehurst have been a more realistic and interesting character had he been less overtly fanatical, cruel and hypocritical, and just deeply flawed, instead?

I don’t think a single characteristic of Mr. Brocklehurst should be changed. Perhaps he doesn’t seem like a realistic character to some, but neither does Helen, yet I find her characteristics fitting for this novel. As such, Mr. Brocklehurst’s intense behavior serves a purpose. We’re meant to hate him. We’re meant to see nothing redeemable in him. We’re meant to feel sympathy for these poor girls. To suggest that he isn’t realistic is to put up blinders to the types of people existing in the world both in Bronte’s time and in the present. We may not want to think or believe that such people exist, but they do. He’s a villainous character for a reason. Him simply being flawed would take away from the purpose of his character.

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4. Helen Burns exudes confidence and is sure of her personal beliefs. Do you find it realistic that a young person exhibits such traits?

I’m not sure I’d call Helen confident overall. She’s confident in her faith, yes, but she still accepts her faults. She’s sure of her personal beliefs in regard to faith, but she’s not sure of herself overall. I think she simply wants to please her superiors, god being the biggest superior of all. Because of this, I think Helen is more realistic than we give her credit for. She’s a bit extreme, perhaps, but when you end up somewhere with nothing it’s only natural to cling to something such as faith. Considering how much abuse she endures, it’s only natural to find solace somewhere. She’s going it at the best she can.

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5. Miss Temple seems to influence Jane’s personality and outlook on life during her stay at Lowood. Would Jane have developed differently without her influence?

Jane found goodness in Helen, but that wasn’t enough. She needed to find the same in an adult, and she found that in Miss Temple. She meets adults who are (sometimes) kind to her, but she needs to see a kind and gentle adult with no malice or deceit. Miss Temple helps Jane accept that there is goodness in the world, and that there are people who don’t misuse Christianity and faith. Jane doesn’t completely forgive her negative upbringing, but Miss Temple helps her accept that not every adult in the world is evil. This will help her later on when it comes to trusting others.

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6. Jane’s time at Lowood is marked in the narrative by the seasons and the description of weather. Does this have any significance?

Just as the weather is significant at the beginning of the novel, so too is it significant during Jane’s time at Lowood. Negative times cross with poor weather conditions such as Jane’s arrival. The season improves when Miss Temple appears. Generally speaking, the weather will foreshadow the overall mood of the scenes throughout the novel. Perhaps that’s Bronte’s way of saying, “It’s storming outside, so here comes a big one.”

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And because I can’t help but include Harry Potter, here’s another meme in regard to weather/foreshadowing:

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Jane Eyre Read-Along Update: Chapters 1-5

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Week one of the Jane Eyre Read-Along is well behind us. With week two underway, the hosts (A Night’s Dream of Books and Babbling Books) posted some questions regarding Chapters 1-5 that I have answered below. Please feel free to leave me your thoughts or link to your own responses for me to check out.

1. The novel opens on a very dreary, rainy November afternoon. How do you think this contributes to the general mood of the first chapter?

The opening scene foreshadows not only an overall melancholy feel to the first chapter, but to the novel itself. I won’t go into detail, but new readers of the novel will understand what I’m saying as they read on. In regard to the first chapter, Jane is subjected to the abuse and ridicule of every other character. She is also trapped indoors and therefore is in clear sight of those she deems her enemies. The rain washes away all hope for Jane to escape from the horrors of her upbringing, especially her cousin John.

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2. What literary function do curtains and draperies have in the opening chapters?

A couple things are happening with the curtains. First, Jane manages to hide behind them from her cousin John. Not only is it a metaphor for safety and seclusion, but it’s also a false hope because Eliza knows where she is hiding. The curtains do not offer protection, only temporary seclusion. They are not a shield as one may think.

The curtains later act as a symbol of death and loneliness in the Red Room where Mr. Reed died. Red also represents anger and passion. Jane is clearly angry despite her fear, and she proves to be a passionate character throughout the novel. Many see her as dead inside as well as angry and viscous, but really she’s acting out of passion. The red may represent death for Mr. Reed, but for Jane it’s all about fueling the fire inside of herself to fight on and continue being true to herself.

In short, there is nothing good going on with those curtains. There is never anything good going on with curtains in literature. It’s best to just stay away from curtains, am I right?

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3. Mrs. Reed’s cruelty would have been noticed and reported had it taken place in our contemporary society. What factors do you think might have contributed to its tacit acceptance at the time?

Many horrendous yet realistic examples of unjust child abuse exist in novels by Charles Dickens, but also in Jane Eyre we see this with Mrs. Reed. She is the highest ranking person in the Reed household, and because of this everyone must abide by her rules. (Let’s not talk about the little twit John Reed. He doesn’t count.) The servants cannot interfere even if they wanted to on account of needing to maintain their positions. The other children have been mentally poisoned to feel a lack of empathy toward Jane.

Society turned a blind eye to matters within the home. The government left it up to the parents (usually the man, but in this case the woman) to dole out punishments and treat children as they saw fit. Justice in child abuse cases came about much later, and so situations like Jane’s wouldn’t even be mentioned let alone handled during the time of the novel.

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4. Bessie’s attitude toward Jane is inconsistent; at times, she’s kind toward the child, while at others, she scolds her unfairly. Why do you think she acts this way?

This goes back to the previous question about Mrs. Reed’s behavior. Bessie cannot risk losing employment, and so she must behave in a manner declared by her superiors. While she may pity Jane she cannot openly confess to such opinion. She also attempts to make Jane understand the realities of the world, but to no avail. Jane is far too passionate to listen, and so Bessie must continue being hard on her when necessary. In many ways she is just as trapped and alone as Jane.

5. Jane speaks more like an adult than a child, especially in the scene with Mrs. Reed, after Brocklehurst leaves. Do you think this is because she’s a very intelligent, precocious child, or is this simply an unrealistic aspect of the novel?

It’s clear that Jane is a rather passionate child, and she understands that her aunt’s treatment of her is wrong. That being said, I’m torn on an answer to this question. I do think we underestimate children. We forget what it’s like to be ten years old and simply label all children with the same characteristics. To reverse, I wonder how educated Jane truly was compared to children today. It’s different, of course, but little is known of her education at this point. She was raised with the other children, sure, but how much was she educated? It’s easy for me to believe she could behave this way, and yet it could be a slip in narration. Adult Jane could be recounting her own history, and it’s difficult to remember every specific word used in a memory. She may have instead spoken in the memory how she spoke in her adult years. And I that’s the answer I’m going with for now.

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6. How did Bronte show hypocritical vs. true Christian behavior in the characters of Mr. Brocklehurst and Miss Temple?

Some people use their faith to justify their own behaviors and actions, and others are simply pure of heart and hope to do well in the world. I don’t have much to say about Miss Temple yet, but Mr. Brocklehurst is clearly the hypocritical one. He speaks of wickedness and being a liar, but he is the liar, the wicked one. He wants to instill fear in Jane’s mind so that he can have the control, and he sees cruelty as a way to act on behalf of god. There is nothing just or right in this man as far as I’m concerned. I’m rather anti-Brocklehurst if you can’t tell.

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Jane Eyre Read-Along Master Post

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Welcome to the master post for the Jane Eyre Read-Along! This event is being hosted by A Night’s Dream of Books and Babbling Books. Participants will read Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte from September 22nd to November 21st. Visit their blogs for more details on reading dates.

Each week will involve a series of questions for participants to answer. I’ve always been very hit and miss on being dedicated to a weekly update, but I’ll do my best to keep on track with the blogging side of the event. To start, I have answered the initial three questions as posed by the marvelous event hosts.

What do you know about this novel and its author?
I know a few random factoids about Charlotte Bronte such as her writing under a pseudonym (Currer Bell). Her sisters also wrote under pseudonyms (Ellis and Acton Bell). I know that the book received a fair amount of criticism for the darker tones, but it also received a lot of praise.

Have you ever read it before, or is this your first reading?
I read the book previously in 2011. I’m participating in the reread because the book version as become fuzzy for me after watching a movie version more times than I can count.

Have you seen any of the TV or movie versions?
I have seen the 2011 movie version, and I admit to reading the book initially because the movie was about to come about. This happens a lot with books due to the increase of book-to-film adaptations, and I rarely regret it. I won’t talk too much about my thoughts on the book since those will come, but I will say that I’m in favor of the novel as well as the author. More to come on that.

Here is the edition of the book I’ll be reading:

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Happy reading to everyone participating!

Banned Books Giveaway

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Update: Congratulations to Vicki! She will receive The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie. Thank you all again for signing up!

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Welcome to the Lost Generation Reader Banned Books Giveaway! This event is hosted by Book Journey, so make sure to check out that blog for various posts and giveaways having to do with this wonderful event. I’m just going to stick to a giveaway this year due to scheduling, so without delay…

The Giveaway
I am giving away a banned book of choice to one randomly selected winner. To sign up, simply leave a comment stating your favorite banned book as well as the book you’d like to win and email address for contact. You can earn up to two bonus entries for following me on Twitter and Facebook, but it isn’t required. Let me know in the comment if you’ve done this.

Click here for an extensive list of banned books to choose from.

The giveaway will end on Saturday, September 27th at 11:59 PM Eastern Time.

Good luck to all, and happy reading!

Austen In August Giveaway Winners & Final Remarks (#AustenInAugustLGR)

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Happy Friday to you all! I apologize for my absence these past few days. I’ve been putting together the list of winners and recovering from what I thought to be a very successful Austen in August. Many thanks again to Adam for creating thing event and for allowing me to take the reigns this year. Thanks also go out to everyone who participated in the event, especially those who contributed guest posts and giveaways.

Without further delay, here is the list of winners for the giveaway items I posted about last week:
Longbourn by Jo Baker: Melissa
Among the Janeites by Deborah Yaffe: Hannah
Old Friends & New Fancies by Sybil Brinton: Sharon
Amazon Gift Certificate ($15): Jancee
Amazon Gift Certificate ($15): Barbara

Thank you all again for making this event a success! I hope to see you back next year for another round of Austen in August.

Final Austen in August Giveaway (#AustenInAugustLGR)

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Hello, friends! I hope this week has gone well for you all thus far. As the last couple guest giveaways wrap up on their blogs, it is a truth universally acknowledged that I promised you all one final giveaway before Austen in August ends.

I have a few goodies to give away. First, I have a copy of the three books I ended up reading for Austen in August. Okay, I’m still working on one of them, but it will be read by the end of August. Up for grabs are Among the Janeites by Deborah Yaffe (autographed), Longbourn by Jo Baker, and Old Friends & New Fancies by Sybil Brinton.

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Second, I am giving away two $15 gift certificates to Amazon. Gift certificates can technically be used on any Amazon purchase, but I’d prefer it be Austen-related since it’s for an Austen event. This makes a total of five winners between the books and gift certificates.

To enter, you must be an Austen in August participant. Please leave a comment on this post that includes your name, email address, and book of choice. Feel free to list the books in the order you’d want to receive them if more than one book interests you. Everyone who comments will be entered for the Amazon gift cards.

I’ll run the giveaway through Tuesday, September 2nd (11:59 pm EST) so everyone has enough time to enter. Winners will be selected using Random.org and will be contacted Wednesday, September 3rd. You must respond to my email within 48 hours in order to officially win.

That’s it! I’m heading out of town for the weekend, but I hope to get another post or two up before the month ends. I’ll still post my book reviews as promised, but it might be the first week of September before I’m all caught up with those.

Happy weekend to all!

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