Two for the Road

Riverhead Books is releasing two books,  a memoir and a nonfiction book about a personal obsession, on April 14, 2011.   You will have to wait until then to buy and read them, but you can try right now to win a galley copy of these books.  Based on the responses received to this giveaway, Munchy the cat may decide to give one galley each to two readers, or both of them to one lucky reader.   (These galleys are pre-publication paperback versions of books that will be released in hardbound form.)

The first of the two books is a memoir, The Long Goodbye by Meghan O’Rourke.   Here is the official synopsis:

What does it mean to mourn today, in a culture that has largely set aside rituals that acknowledge grief?   After her mother’s death, Meghan O’Rourke found that nothing had prepared her for the intensity of her sorrow.   In the first anguished days, she began to create a record of her interior life as a mourner, trying to capture the paradox of grief – its monumental agony and microscopic intimacies – an endeavor that ultimately produced this book.   With poignant lyricism and unswerving candor, O’Rourke captures the fleeting moments of joy that make up a life, and the way memory can lead us out of the jagged darkness of loss.  The Long Goodbye is not only an exceptional memoir, but a necessary one.

The Long Goodbye is emotionally acute, strikingly empathetic, thorough and unstintingly intellectual…  and elegantly wrought.  …It’s above all a useful book, for life — the good bits and the sad ones, too.”   Richard Ford

Meghan O’Rourke is the author of the award-winning book of poems, Halflife.   She is a culture critic for Slate.

The second book is The Wilder Life by Wendy McClure, subtitled My Adventures in the Lost World of Little House on the Prairie. Here’s a summary:

Wendy McClure is on a quest to find the world of beloved Little House on the Prairie author Laura Ingalls Wilder – a fantastic realm of fiction, history and places she’s never been yet somehow knows by heart.   She retraces the pioneer journey of the Ingalls family – looking for the Big Woods among the medium trees in Wisconsin, wading in Plum Creek, and enduring a prairie hailstorm in South Dakota – and immerses herself in all things Little House.   This is a loving, irreverent, spirited tribute to a series of books that have inspired generations of American women.   The Wilder Life is also a story about what happens when we reconnect with our childhood touchstones – and find that our old love has only deepened.

Wendy McClure is the author of I’m Not the New Me.

To enter this giveaway, please provide your answer to this question:  Which of these books would you like to win, and why?   You can post your response here (with your name and an e-mail address), or you can choose to send an e-mail with your answer to .   This will count as a first entry.   For a second entry, give us the title and author of the very best or very worst book that you’ve read in 2010-2011, and explain why you loved it or hated it.  

In order to be eligible to win a galley in this giveaway, you must live in the continental United States and be able to supply a residential mailing address.   You have until Thursday, April 14, 2011 at midnight PST to submit your entry or entries.   Munchy will use his feline instincts and judgment to pick the winner or winners.   The winner(s) will be contacted via e-mail.  

As always, be careful out there.   Good luck and good reading!


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9 responses to “Two for the Road

  1. Thanks for the giveaway! I would love to win The Wilder Life because the Little House books were my favorites in elementary school.
    The very best book I’ve read this year is It Can’t Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis. It is, by far, the most realistic, and therefore the scariest, dystopia I’ve ever read.
    susanna dot pyatt at student dot rcsnc dot org

  2. Love this, my daughter and I have been to several Wilder sites and we love these book. thanks

    • I want the Wilder Life, I loved the little house series and my daughter reads them now. I loved Shutter Island, I read it last year. I read it in the afternoon and I still think about it, amazing story. Haunting, devastating and yet amazing at the same time.. Sorry I hit post to soon last time.

  3. pearl

    I would love to read The Long Goodbye since it resonates with me. After losing my mother there was a void that could not be filled. Perhaps this wonderful book will bring me solace and hope. thanks for this great giveaway.

  4. pearl

    A memorable book that has affected me deeply is Still Alice by Lisa Genova. This story was unforgettable, emotionally beautiful and filled with realistic characters and profound moments. The best ever and wonderful book.

  5. I’d like to win The Long Goodbye by Meghan O’Rourke. Not only does it sound wonderful, but I’m all about grief, mourn a lot of people (and things like my good health), so I feel I would connect with it well.

    I LOVED The Wilder Life and will be reviewing it soon & hosting a giveaway for it on my own blog. Either way, both of your winners will love their books!

  6. The worst book I read in 2010 was required for my last job. It was called Good to Great, and I didn’t care for it because not only did the simple advice “make your company GREAT!” repeat the theme way too much, but the author used a hedgehog as motivational mascot. All I could think of was Ron Jeremy, the porn star, while reading it, lol!

  7. Margie

    I would like The Wilder Side. My daughter used to love the Little House books when she was small. She and I would really enjoy some history behind these fun books.

  8. Margie

    I just finished Finding Jack by Gareth Crocker, and really enjoyed it. The story is about an American soldier during the Viet Nam war, who befriends a dog in Nam, and his attempts to get the dog home with him. I’m a dog lover, so that aspect of the book appealed to me.

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