June giveaway

Same rules as usual: Please leave a comment below and let me know which of these 2 books you’re interested in. (If you’re interested in both, that’s fine.) You have until the end of this month to enter, and then I’ll draw names at random and announce the winners on Fri, Jul 1st. (Must have US mailing address — sorry, international friends!)

(Images and descriptions courtesy of GoodReads and Amazon)

Bee SeasonBee Season
by Myla Goldberg

Eliza Naumann, a seemingly unremarkable nine-year-old, expects never to fit into her gifted family: her autodidact father, Saul, absorbed in his study of Jewish mysticism; her brother, Aaron, the vessel of his father’s spiritual ambitions; and her brilliant but distant lawyer-mom, Miriam. But when Eliza sweeps her school and district spelling bees in quick succession, Saul takes it as a sign that she is destined for greatness. In this altered reality, Saul inducts her into his hallowed study and lavishes upon her the attention previously reserved for Aaron, who in his displacement embarks upon a lone quest for spiritual fulfillment. When Miriam’s secret life triggers a familial explosion, it is Eliza who must order the chaos.

Not merely a coming-of-age story, Goldberg’s first novel delicately examines the unraveling fabric of one family. The outcome of this tale is as startling and unconventional as her prose, which wields its metaphors sharply and rings with maturity.

The BoatThe Boat
by Nam Le

A stunningly inventive, deeply moving fiction debut: stories that take us from the slums of Colombia to the streets of Tehran; from New York City to Iowa City; from a tiny fishing village in Australia to a foundering vessel in the South China Sea, in a masterly display of literary virtuosity and feeling.

In the magnificent opening story, “Love and Honor and Pity and Pride and Compassion and Sacrifice,” a young writer is urged by his friends to mine his father’s experiences in Vietnam — and what seems at first a satire of turning one’s life into literary commerce becomes a transcendent exploration of homeland, and the ties between father and son. “Cartagena” provides a visceral glimpse of life in Colombia as it enters the mind of a fourteen-year-old hit man facing the ultimate test. In “Meeting Elise,” an aging New York painter mourns his body’s decline as he prepares to meet his daughter on the eve of her Carnegie Hall debut. And with graceful symmetry, the final, title story returns to Vietnam, to a fishing trawler crowded with refugees, where a young woman’s bond with a mother and her small son forces both women to a shattering decision.

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Writerly Thursday


Inspired by Jose Antonio Vargas


  1. Les

    Oooh. Definitely The Boat.

  2. I’ve wanted to read The Boat for ages. I guess I could check it out from the library, but it’s got such a nice cover…. Still, if Les wins it, I will try to suck it up.

  3. I loved Bee Season, but the movie did not do it justice. I taught that book one year for 9th grade, and at the UH reading festival, Eliza Goldberg was there and my students got to meet her. She was very cool.

  4. The Boat! Fingers crossed :)

  5. Oh I would love to read Bee Season. I never did get around to it when it first came out.

  6. Hey Kristin,

    I’m not entering the contest since I’ve already read both books (and really liked them). I just wanted to say that the first story in The Boat slayed me; I was like a fish flopping on my floor afterwards. I’ve followed Nam Le ever since (the dude needs a twitter account!). He’s got some fantastic foreign covers for his book. Check ’em out here: http://www.namleonline.com/book.html

    The Finland and Canadian covers do it for me.

  7. Jon

    Loved Bee Season, want to read The Boat–but will recuse myself because of past contest winnings.

    Thanks for putting these on!

  8. Andrew-
    Oh, I love that he put all the covers up! I think the Korean is my fave.

  9. Couldn’t resist entering. I already own Bee Season, but would love to win The Boat. Thanks for posting the contest.

  10. Julia

    Bee Season, Please.

  11. Hello, Kristan,
    I’d love to win The Boat.
    Thank you for stopping by my website. I agree that Geeta is amazing!
    Best wishes,

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