And the winner of Wolf Hall is….

Ally!

Congratulations! Please email me your mailing address: jillceleste AT hotmail DOT com

Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone for participating in Orange January. YOU ALL ROCK!!!!

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Orange January Giveaway #21: Wolf Hall

Wolf Hall by Hilary MantelGIVEAWAY CLOSED

Up for Grabs: Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

Orange Connection: Short List, 2010

Who’s Eligible to Win?: Anyone participating in Orange January – no matter where you live or if you’ve won a giveaway already this month. You’re also welcome to participate in the activity, even if you don’t want the book. Just let me know in the comments below to not enter your name into the drawing.

Your Activity: Our final Orange January giveaway! In the comments below, tell us how many Orange books you read and which one was your favorite.

Giveaway ends at 9pm Eastern tonight. Enjoy the last day of January!

And the winner of Untold Story is….

Deborah F.!

Congratulations! Please email me your mailing address: jillceleste AT hotmail DOT com.

I hope you all had a great Sunday! Our last giveaway will be January 31. See you then!

Orange January Giveaway #20: Untold Story

Untold Story by Monica AliGIVEAWAY CLOSED

Up for Grabs: Untold Story by Monica Ali

Orange Connection: Monica Ali has been nominated for the Orange Prize before with Brick Lane (2004 Long List). We’ll see if Untold Story gets nominated this year!

Who’s Eligible to Win?: Anyone participating in Orange January – no matter where you live or if you’ve won a giveaway already this month. You’re also welcome to participate in the activity, even if you don’t want the book. Just let me know in the comments below to not enter your name into the drawing.

Your Activity: Untold Story is about the late Princess Diana. Who are some of your favorite “royals” depicted in fiction?

Giveaway ends at 9pm Eastern tonight. Have an enjoyable Sunday!

And the winner of A Mercy is….

Carrie (aka Nomadreader)!

Congratulations! Please email me your mailing address: jillceleste AT hotmail DOT com. I will mail your book out in early February!

I am glad to read that many of you share my “Toni Morrison” intimidation! =)

Orange January Giveaway #19: A Mercy

A mercy by Toni MorrisonGIVEAWAY CLOSED

Up for Grabs: A Mercy by Toni Morrison

Orange Connection: Long List, 2009

Who’s Eligible to Win?: Anyone participating in Orange January – no matter where you live or if you’ve won a giveaway already this month. You’re also welcome to participate in the activity, even if you don’t want the book. Just let me know in the comments below to not enter your name into the drawing.

Your Activity: Toni Morrison is one those writers whose writing style intimidates me (in other words, I am afraid I won’t understand what she wrote). Are there any writers whose books intimidate you (or used to intimidate you)?

Giveaway ends at 9pm Eastern tonight. Thanks for participating!

And the winner of Homestead is…..

Peggy!

Congratulations! Please email me your mailing address: jillceleste AT hotmail DOT com.

Wow, great list of short listers. Definitely adding some to my wishlist! Thanks for participating!

BOOK REVIEW: The Dancers Dancing by Eilis Ni Dhuibhne

The Dancers DancingThe Dancers Dancing
By Eilis Ni Dhuibhne
Completed January 26, 2012

It’s the summer of 1972, and a group of teenagers from Dublin are traveling to west Ireland for “Irish College” – a time when they are immersed in Irish language, food and culture. The Dancers Dancing is a coming of age tale for most of the characters, but it’s young Orla who grows the most during this summertime adventure.

Orla and her friend, Aisling, are staying together with two older girls in a country cottage where they walk to the school house for lessons. The idea is to wholly submerge the students into Irish culture. They are not allowed to speak English, and by staying with families along the countryside, they are immersed in the pastoral lives of their fellow Irishmen and women. However, Orla is already on familiar ground. Her family is from the same village, which she tries to hide from her classmates, and Orla spends most of the summer trying to avoid her crickety aunt.

The Dancers Dancing is not a fast-paced, complex novel. It moves steadily with little dips and curves, like a river twisting through the countryside. My frustration with reading The Dancers Dancing has nothing to do with the writing or story; it’s my lack of knowledge about the plights of Ireland. I didn’t follow the significance of why the teens were being immersed in Irish culture, or fully understand the struggles between the Catholics and Protestants. Dhuibhne assumes her readers have an understanding of these intricacies, but sadly, I do not. Additionally, there was a lot of Irish language in the novel, with not enough context to interpret what was going on. A glossary would have been helpful for this reader.

None of this is the book’s fault. I just wish I had more historical and cultural information to more fully appreciate this novel. Despite my frustration, The Dancers Dancing was an enjoyable read. Dhuibhne writes beautifully, especially about the landscape surrounding the students. Shortlisted for the Orange Prize in 2000, The Dancers Dancing is a light treat for fans of literary fiction. (  )

Orange January Giveaway #18: Homestead

Homestead by Rosina Lippi

GIVEAWAY CLOSED

Up for Grabs: Homestead by Rosina Lippi

Orange Connection: Short List, 2001

Who’s Eligible to Win?: Anyone participating in Orange January – no matter where you live or if you’ve won a giveaway already this month. You’re also welcome to participate in the activity, even if you don’t want the book. Just let me know in the comments below to not enter your name into the drawing.

Your Activity: What are some of your favorite short-listed Orange books?

Giveaway ends at 9pm Eastern tonight. Have a fabulous Friday!

And the winner of Great House is….

Pamela!

Congratulations! Please email me your mailing address: jillceleste ATT hotmail DOT com. I will mail your book out in early February.

I love reading everyone’s comments – looks like we all have some beloved “reading accessories”!

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