And the winner of Foreign Bodies is…..

PHOEBE!

Congratulations! I know Phoebe in “real life,” so I will make sure she gets this book! =)

Thanks to everyone for their responses! Sounds like interesting dinner guests, one and all!

Orange Prize Giveaway #19: Foreign Bodies

Foreign Bodies

GIVEAWAY CLOSED

Up for grabs: Foreign Bodies by Cynthia Ozick

Orange Connection: Short List, 2012

Your activity: You’re throwing a dinner party, and you can invite two authors (male or female, and still alive). Who would you invite? Tell us in the comments below.

Reminders: Orange July giveaways are open to all Orange July participants (you must be signed up through this Mr. Linky page), is open to anyone around the world, and you can win more than one giveaway. You’re welcome to participate in any giveaway activities without being entered into the drawing; just let me know in your comments. Giveaway closes at 9pm Eastern. Have fun!

And the winner of The Bean Trees is….

NOMADREADER!

Congratulations! Please email me your mailing address: mrstreme@gmail.com.

It’s wonderful to hear your pet stories. Thanks for sharing! =)

Orange Prize Giveaway #18: The Bean Trees

The Bean TreesGIVEAWAY CLOSED

Up for grabs: The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver

Orange Connection: Not an Orange book, but Barbara Kingsolver is no stranger to the Orange Prize!

Your activity: Every time I read, my basset hound Emma joins the fun, curling up next to me on the recliner or bed. Do you have any pets? Do they hang out with you when you read? Let’s hear about your furry, feathered and scaly friends in the comments below!

Reminders: Orange July giveaways are open to all Orange July participants (you must be signed up through this Mr. Linky page), is open to anyone around the world, and you can win more than one giveaway. You’re welcome to participate in any giveaway activities without being entered into the drawing; just let me know in your comments. Giveaway closes at 9pm Eastern. Have fun!

And the winner of The Dancers Dancing is….

ANNEDC!

Congratulations! Please email me your mailing address: mrstreme@gmail.com.

Thanks to everyone for participating! So many wonderful ways to procure books! =)

Orange Prize Giveaway #17: The Dancers Dancing

The Dancers Dancing by Eilis Ni DhuibhneGIVEAWAY CLOSED

Up for grabs: The Dancers Dancing by Éilís Ní Dhuibhne

Orange Connection: Short List, 2000

Your activity: What’s your favorite way to procure books? Do you borrow them from your local library? Buy them from a bookstore? Swap books on Bookmooch or Paperbackswap? Tell us in the comments below.

Reminders: Orange July giveaways are open to all Orange July participants (you must be signed up through this Mr. Linky page), is open to anyone around the world, and you can win more than one giveaway. You’re welcome to participate in any giveaway activities without being entered into the drawing; just let me know in your comments. Giveaway closes at 9pm Eastern. Have fun!

And the winner of The Forgotten Waltz is….

VASILLY!

Congratulations! Please email me your mailing address: mrstreme@gmail.com

Wonderful answers to today’s question! Some of your comments included “new to me” authors, so I am off to check them out! Thanks for participating!

Orange Prize Giveaway #16: The Forgotten Waltz

GIVEAWAY CLOSED


The Forgotten Waltz
Up for grabs: The Forgotten Waltz by Anne Enright

Orange Connection: Short List, 2012

Your activity: Anne Enright was born in Dublin, and still lives and works in Ireland. Do you have any favorite writers from Ireland (male or female, alive or dead)? Tell us about your Irish favorites in the comments below.

Reminders: Orange July giveaways are open to all Orange July participants (you must be signed up through this Mr. Linky page), is open to anyone around the world, and you can win more than one giveaway. You’re welcome to participate in any giveaway activities without being entered into the drawing; just let me know in your comments. Giveaway closes at 9pm Eastern. Have fun!

And the winner of Beyond Black is….

IFI!

Congratulations! Please email me your mailing address: mrstreme@gmail.com.

And in the spirit of the question, here is my top five:

1) Barbara Kingsolver

2) Ian McEwan

3) Sadie Jones

4) Anne Tyler

5) Cormac McCarthy

(and like many of you, this list could change at any moment!)

Thanks for participating! =)

BOOK REVIEW: The Giant, O’Brien by Hilary Mantel

The Giant, O'Brien by Hilary MantelThe Giant, O’Brien
By Hilary Mantel
Completed July 21, 2012

Why does Hilary Mantel get nominated for so many literary awards? Quite simply, she can evoke a time and place like no one else. To say she can write is an understatement. As I finished my latest Mantel selection, The Giant, O’Brien, I literally put the book on my lap and sat in wonderment for a few minutes. She’s not just a writer; Hilary Mantel is an artist, and The Giant, O’Brien is proof of her talents.

The Giant, O’Brien is loosely based on two historical figures: Charles Byrne, an Irish Giant whose bones are on display at the Museum of the Royal College of Surgeons, and John Hunter, a Scottish anatomist. In this book, Charles Byrne is represented by the fictional Charles O’Brien. O’Brien travels to London to make money so he can restore Mulroney’s, a pub in Ireland that was a favorite spot among storytellers. O’Brien was illiterate, but he had an amazing knack for storytelling, drawing from ancient stories of Ireland. O’Brien was surrounded by a motley crew of men, who leached off O’Brien and looked for every opportunity to exploit the giant for profit.

Enter John Hunter, a curious surgeon, whose thirst for knowledge resulted in grave robbing, inflicting paupers with diseases and even using his own body to study syphilis. Hunter sees O’Brien as a unique specimen and becomes determined to acquire O’Brien’s corpse for study. Lucky for him, O’Brien’s entourage is ready to help.

Set in late 18th century London, The Giant, O’Brien shows the reader the horrors of poverty during this time. Prostitution, thievery, drunkedness and fist fights were common events in poverty-stricken London, and we see it all through O’Brien’s gentle eyes. Juxtaposed with the poverty is the quest for medical knowledge through John Hunter’s character. Everyone in this book was after the same thing – a better life – whether that meant new explorations of the human body, or a place to unwind and tell stories.

It took some time for me to settle into Mantel’s writing style, but once I did, I embarked on an unforgettable tale about greed, poverty and the human spirit. I highly recommend The Giant, O’Brien to people who enjoy reading high-quality literary fiction. This book definitely showcases the artistic talents of Hilary Mantel. (  )

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