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Friday Faves: It’s ALL ABOUT YOU Edition

27 Jan

OK, it’s Friday afternoon.  I’m not feeling so hot (TMD, rainy gloom, sinuses).  BFF Sarah came home from work early.  And I’ve got less than 25 minutes to sneak in a blog post.  Why 25 minutes (or less), you ask?  Because I’m dying my hair! (Even we natural blondes need to rely on a bottle to get us through the lack-of-sun winter months. Don’t judge me!)

(My pics won’t post right, so I’m typing something here to fill up the space. La-dee-dah!  Doesn’t JOSH WILSON rock?)

If I ever try online dating again, I should use this at my main profile pic.  Love me as I am!!!

Being a woman on a schedule, Friday Faves is going to be ever so brief this week. So, why don’t you share some of your faves in the comment section?  Share a post from your blog, someone else’s blog, an interesting news article, or a silly video (go ahead and Rick Roll us!) 

Not only did DaySpring cards make me smile this week (read post), so did my friend Mel Brown, who send BFF Sarah and I some snazzy eco-friendly necklaces.  Mine is green, of course, and BFF Sarah’s is a pretty purple.  Doesn’t my necklace look fab with my 1000 Reasons perpetual desk calendar? (BTW, I got Ann Voskamp’s book for a friend AND the desk calendar at the DaySpring Online Store as a bundled deal cheaper than I would’ve paid on Amazon.)  Don’t forget to enter my giveaway to win a $20 gift card to the DaySpring Online Store, which you can also use on (in)courage products. (Check out Shari’s giveaway, too! Shari’s ends tomorrow so enter NOW!!!)

Look at all the faves I managed to sneak into that intro.  It’s time to wash out my hair dye (BFF Sarah says I’m five minutes overdue!!!), so share, share, share your faves so this post isn’t a total flop!

Cards Still Make a Difference & Giveaway!

26 Jan

{More info on these cards}

We have more excuses than ever not to send cards for birthdays, anniversaries, and other special occasions: The price of stamps just increased.  Again.  Cards aren’t eco-friendly (even though they can be recycled and are often made out of recycled materials).  And, of course, there just isn’t enough time to buy a card, address it, and pop it in a mail box.  Besides, e-card are often free…and nothing says, “I love you, Mom” like canned music and a mouse jumping out of a birthday cake.

In our tech savvy society, do conventional cards really make a difference?  That was the question I sought to answer with my brand new DaySpring cards—the Hope & Encouragement by (in)courage’s Holly Gerth  My test subjects?  The ladies in the Monday night Bible study that I lead.

First, I needed a control card to ensure that each member of my Bible study received a card that is equal in value and appearance.  I chose “Thank You For What You Do” from Holley Gerth’s collection.  What better want to tell the ladies in my flock how much I care about each and every one of them and thank them for the support they offer me weekly, as their fearless shepherdess.  As I addressed each card, I asked God to help me write a pithy message to each lady.  Despite using the same card, I didn’t want to express exactly the same sentiment to the varying personalities present at Monday night Bible study. 

Second, I wanted to give my Bible study a chance to spread the blessing to others.  I went through all my DaySpring cards, picked out about 12 (admittedly, it’s hard to part with any of my beautiful cards, but I was on a woman on a mission!), and placed them on the table at Bible study telling the ladies to pick a card or two to send (or give) to someone else.

After receiving their personalized cards from me, the ladies were more than delighted to choose cards for their own use. I overheard comments like, “Wow, these are really nice cards!”  “Amy, did you buy all these cards for us?” “They sell DaySpring cards at the local Bible bookstore!”   Most of all, they were excited that cards geared towards Christian women were relevant, beautiful, and affordable!  Someone remarked that the cards were great for anyone—Christian or not! 

One lady asked us to help her find a card that would be appropriate to encourage a friend whose mother just died.  Another wanted to use her card to uplift a co-worker who is going through an incredibly rough time.  A few ladies picked out cards and didn’t disclose how they would be used…yet.  Since one member of our group was unable to attend our “card shower,” we decided to sign and send her a card to let her know that we love her and she was missed!  Naturally, the choice of card was a group decision!

{This card, featuring a crown and a bookmark, was my favorite.  Oh, how I need to remember these words!}

While my experiment was wholly unscientific, I can safely say that greeting cards are still relevant.  There’s something about the tactile sensation of opening a card, especially when unexpected, knowing that the sender thought of you!  I like to save my cards and read the messages again and again—a reminder that people do love me when I feel unloved and unlovely or celebrated when I feel defeated. Will a card change the world?  Probably not.  But it can make someone’s day, and I’m grateful that DaySpring cards gave me the opportunity to bless others, who in turn, will use DaySpring cards to bless even more.

Yes, friends, cards really do make a difference.  Get a book of forever stamps, make a list of people who could use a beautiful card, and head over to the DaySpring Online Store to nab a few cards of your own. And, ladies, check out (in)courage for uniquely feminine musings as well as the fabulous (in)spired deals to get cute cards like mine!

Win a $20 code to use at DaySpring’s Online Store!

And I’m going to make it even easier for you to bless others with DaySpring cards, simply enter my giveaway to win a $20 coupon code to DaySpring’s online store,which offers a bounty of cards as well as other inspirational products.  To enter, simply fill out THE FORM.  For an extra entry, leave a comment about how a card cheered up your day OR how you used a card to bless someone else.  The giveaway will end at 11:59 PM EST on January 31, so get entering.

*If you really want to win, then head on over to my friend’s blog, Shari’s Sentiments, for another chance to win a $20 gift code.  Imagine if you win both of our giveaways…$40 can bring a lot of cheer!

*To my dearest FTC, I selected and was provided with the Holley Gerth Hope & Encouragement Pack from DaySpring, free of charge for review. These opinions are my own and do not reflect those of Dayspring in any way.* (P.S. I totally copy/pasted this disclosure from Shari’s blog.)

Friday Faves: OK to NOT be OK Edition

9 Dec

How are you doing?  By that I mean, how are you *really* doing?  Yesterday the receptionist at one of my doctor’s office (two appointments with doctors in one!!!) asked me this question and I was tired, tearful, and a plain ol’ mess.  I thought about saying, “OK,” which would have been a bold-faced lie.  I was clearly *NOT* OK.  I told her that I was having a rough day. She smiled sympathetically, talked to talk to me about my dogs (usually a great topic), but I wouldn’t budge.  I was not OK, and I couldn’t pull it together to have fake cheerful small talk.  Sometimes small talk just seems so, well, small. 

I needed someone pastoral to talk to, and since I don’t know the pastor at my new church that well, I decided to call my buddy, Brently, at First Pres in Bethlehem.  He was OK with me not being OK, listened to me, and then he prayed for me.  He told me that I totally need to check out the Christmas rock concert at the church next weekend and promised to give me two of the worship bands CD’s (I’m holding you to that, Brently).  Thank you, Brently!  After praying for me (over the phone, nonetheless) , I felt the Peace that surpasses all understanding–all because Brently took the time to listen to me when I was not OK.

Therefore, I want to offer a bit of advice for you when you’re not OK:

1.  You’ve heard “fake it until you make it.”   If I’m truly glum, faking it just makes it worse.  Be honest.  “Today I am not OK.” “Bad day.” “Dealing with some stuff.”  And remember, if the person asks you if you want to talk, you aren’t required to talk.  Just say, “No, thank you.” 

2.  God’s OK with you not being OK.  He longs to comfort His child.  Not being OK drives us to His arms.  The world is brutal; we need God’s comfort.  I like to journal my little heart out and read Psalms.  All of them. 

3. Talk to a safe person.  Don’t give away pieces of your heart to people who can’t be trusted with it.  Find someone who’s OK with you where you’re at and just let loose.  It’s one of the best things you can do–to find God’s peace. (If you don’t have a safe person, pray that God will provide someone…or take a risk on someone you think could be safe.  I mean, you could fall flat on your face.  That will hurt, but it’s worth risking to find that person that will point you to God.  And it’s not easy at all.)  Be wise about this, though.  Talking to the wrong person can be horribly painful.

4.  Listen to Bebo Norman, lots of Bebo Norman.  I’ve said in previous posts that Bebo Norman’s music has this incredible quality to calm me down and provide peace in many different moods.  Find your “Bebo Noman”–an artist, a book, a Bible passage, whatever, that comforts you and draws you into the heart of God, that calms your spirit, that helps you with not being OK.

I know these tips aren’t earth-shattering or anything.  They probably won’t change the world.  You probably know and utilize them already, but this is what’s on my heart.  And maybe, just maybe, there’s someone out there who needed to be reminded that it’s OK to NOT be OK as much as I did this morning.

I’m thankful to report by my NOT OK has returned to OK, thanks to the prayers of faithful friends.  I love you, guys!

Now that we’ve had our little affirmation session for the week, let’s get on to those Friday Faves, shall we?

*Last week I told you about the splediferous Jason Gray CD giveaway I’m doing here on Backseat Writer to celebrate “Remind Me Who I Am” hitting #1 on iTunes.  Apparently, you didn’t get the message, so I’m extending the giveaway a little bit.  GO ENTER THE GIVEWAY FOR AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF A WAY TO SEE IN THE DARK!!!  Even if you already own the album, enter if you know someone who NEEDS this album.  Seriously.  I want this album to go to a person who needs it.  Enter so we can make that happen.

*Earlier this week, Jenny Jones posted this video from Preston Leatherman I just had to re-share it here. The videos this character does are hilarious. Check out his version of “Footloose.”  Looks like he’s at Target, Wegman’s.  The mall.  And wearing Tom’s Shoes, which I can’t wear because I have wide feet, but I’m glad Preston can wear ‘em. And getting folks to dance with him.  Preston reminds me of Sue Heck’s “boyfriend” in “The Middle.”  This just makes me smile–might be a good thing to watch on those not OK days.  You gotta give Preston Leatherman mad props for the creative promotion of his music, which I kind of like.

*’Tis the season for FREE CHRISTMAS MUSIC!  Amazon always offers free downloads (25 days of Christmas songs–a new one each and every day), but there is a plethora of Christmas selection, including MXPX’s “Punk Rawk Christmas.”  While I’ve outgrown my punkish MXPX days, maybe you haven’t!  (And if you have, there are lots of other songs to make your days be merry and bright, like Leigh Nash’s “O Holy Night!  How I adore Leigh Nash.  You can also snag Eisley’s version of the songIt’s my very favorite carol, so I can never have too many copies of it.).  Also, my favorite site for checking out new artists, NoiseTrade, has a bunch of great music, which you can get for exchanging information, telling your pals about what you’re downloading (and leave a tip if you enjoy the music, so that artists can keep doing it).  Personally, I’m enjoying Folk Angel’s three-song sampler as well as Merry Christmas, Good Night, which is a smattering of various artists, and A Child Is Born by Sojourn (though somehow I obstained Advent Songs, which I can’t find on NoiseTrade right now).

*Musician Shaun Groves wrote an excellent post on his blog called, “Fan Mail,” about how he thought he was going to save the Christian music industry, but then realized how music, even the music some disdain, has the power to change people’s lives because of God.  Great post!

*My friend, Amanda Danziger, makes indie documentaries about the plights of impoverished people.  So far, she’s talked about street kids in Africa, women living in the slums of India, and now she’s taking on the City of Brotherly Love with her latest project,The Backyard Philly Project.”  The video above explains what the project is all about, and I’d like you to consider giving to this project.  I know I will!

I have more to share, but our attention spans are so short in this day and age.  I know I’m already tired of reading this post, so have a wonderful weekend and do leave a comment because it makes me more than OK. (And you don’t have to answer all of the questions, or any of them.  I just write them to invite conversation.)

What is something you read, saw, encountered that intrigued you this week?  How do you deal with not being OK?  How’s the Christmas shopping going?  What kind of cookies are you making?  Would you dance in the mall with an iPod?  Are you ready to fall asleep from exhaustion? (I am!)

Friday Faves: Snow Globe Living Edition

2 Dec

I’ve been going back and forth on bringing back Friday Faves.  Am I ready?  What if I do it this Friday and not next Friday?  I mean, do I even have any readers left besides my mother? 

Then I thought, if you write it, they will come.

So I fooled around on Facebook for a while (yes, those games I used to think were stupid are highly addictive and somewhat entertaining), scoped out Thursday’s online deals, goofed around on Twitter, played some more Facebook games (The wheat needed to be harvested).  And here I am, staring at my computer screen thinking of all the great things I read, saw, and experienced this week.

How could I keep all this awesomeness to myself?  Why, that would be selfish!  I don’t know what’s going to happen next week or the week after or the week after, but I’m sure God does.  I’ll keep the future rightly in His hands and focus on the matter at hand—this week’s Friday Faves.

I seem to listen to a lot of music or read a lot of books—not usually at the same time, though occasionally my loves do intermingle.  Currently, I’m in a music phase and with so many exciting things happening in the industry (like the GRAMMY Award Nominations…congrats, everyone!), there is much to share.

*I can’t stop singing “Snow Globe” by Matt Wertz, even though I don’t know all (or most) of the lyrics.  Mostly, I just prance around singing, “Sometimes I wish I lived in snow globe,” mumble, and then pick it up again on the “la-la’s.”  Therefore, I need to share this song with y’all.  And, as luck would have it, Matt Wertz was kind enough to make an enchanting music video for us to enjoy together. (Amy’s note: Matt Wertz must be very secure in his masculinity to wear long-johns in that video!) 

I always wished I lived in a snow globe, and I’m glad I’m not alone.  I’m sure someone’s going to form a Facebook group about this very topic, and I’ll probably join in. But under no circumstances will I be appearing in any music videos in my PJ’s.  Some things are just private, know what I’m saying? You’ve got to be a good friend or family member to see me in my scrubby night duds. 

For a limited time, you can download “Snow Globe” along with his album 23 Places FOR FREE on NoiseTrade: GO DOWNLOAD IT!!!  And while you’re out there LEGALLY downloading music, hop over to your fave music buying site, and check out Matt’s brand spankin’ new-this-year Christmas album called…wait for it…SNOW GLOBE!!!  I only wish the album came with a FREE Matt Wertz snow globe.

But, wait, you can head over to Matt Wertz’s website and get your very own snow globe necklace for $40, complete with an 18” sterling silver chain.  Cute idea, but kind of pricey, especially since I have to assemble the mini-snow globe myself AAAND I prefer 22” chains.  Now you know what to get for the person who has everything—a snow globe necklace!

Only 5 BUCKS, baby!  Like dollars, not male deer!

*While we’re on the topic of legally purchasing music…have you checked out some of the $5 digital music downloads on Amazon lately?  The “regular” album choices for December are pretty paltry, but the special Christmas music section is great!  For ONLY five dollars, you can treat yourself to some of my favorite albums including Christmas Spirits by Straight No Chaser, Wintersong by Sarah MacLachlan, A Very Merry Christmas by Dave Barnes, Christmas by Rebecca St. James (which I got as a Christmas present in 1997.  I love this album!), and one of my most loved Christmas albums, Let It Snow Baby… Let It Reindeer by Relient K.  Since I already own this great music, I’m thinking of purchasing Mindy Smith’s My Holiday–what do you think?

Jillian Edwards = one of the many reasons I love Noise Trade!

*NoiseTrade co-founder Derek Webb (he sings, too!) wrote a tantalizing post this week about why he’d rather give his music away for free than allowing it to be streamed on Spotify.  Check out, “Giving It Away:  How Free Music Makes More Than Sense.”   I’m a habitual NoiseTrade download junkie.  I mean, what won’t I do for free music?  Plus, I can discover amazing musicians without feeling pressured by a publicist. (Darn my people-pleasing tendencies!)  In fact, I recently discovered Jillian Edwards on NoiseTrade, and I think you’ll love her!

I might wear Long-johns in a music video for a Kindle Fire…

*Because we’re all about the free, I mean, all about the music, I want to you how to get FREE MUSIC from Plumb!  Ever since Plumb released her first album when I was in high school, I’ve adored her and her music.  Well, you can download TWO Christmas songs when you like Plumb on Facebook, and then if you tell your friends about Plumb’s awesomeness, I mean, her music (and how could you not?), then you will be entered to win some cool prizes like a Kindle Fire (drool!), an iPod shuffle, Plumb-y gear, or a personalized profile pic of Tiffany holding a sign thanking you!!! (I want one of her thanking me while wearing the wings she wore while singing “Send Angels” at Creation ’97!)  Now I’ll refrain from entering this contest (probably) because I’ll blow you all out of the water with my gazillion Facebook friends.  I mean, it wouldn’t even a fair contest.  But I really, really, really want a pretty Kindle Fire, uh, I mean, the other prizes that aren’t a Kindle Fire.  Love, I mean, like Plumb on Facebook, download the songs (Plumb’s version of “What Child Is This” gave me chills.  Beautiful), and WIN [me a Kindle Fire]!

Wowser!  If I didn’t already own one of these…

*You know what makes a great Christmas present? Jason Gray’s latest album, A Way to See in the Dark!!!  Know what makes it better?  If Jason Gray personally autographed it!  Know what makes ME the best ever?!  I’m giving away a copy of that very autographed album for FREE!!!  All you have to do is enter!  Deets hereYou know you want to enter!

Welcome back, Friday Favers!  Hmm….we need to work on a better name for you guys. 

Who wouldn’t want to go sledding with an eReader?

Amy’s Update:  I just learned about another great deal…a $25 gift card to Barnes & Noble for only $15 at SaveMore.com (This is my unique referral linkage, BTW.  I get $5 for every new person who signs up!)  Because I’m a first-time user, I got a $10 sign-up bonus, meaning that I can get my gift card for $5 (I think).  If not, I’m totally getting those Fandango tix (two tickets for $12, or rather $2 with my $10 bonus.  Woot!  I can see Breaking Dawn in theaters.  I mean, a mature adult movie that doesn’t involve werewolves and vampires.  Actually, your credit can only be applied to certain purchases and Fandango is not one of them.  Boo-hoo).  And in case you didn’t know, Barnes & Noble dot com has WAY cheaper books and like Amazon, they offer free shipping when on spends $25 or more. (I like to check out the after-Christmas sales at B&N to get pretty journals so I can write down my most private thoughts) Do the deal! (Take note that your gift card won’t be available until 12/12 or 12/13.)

Be honest–do you ever wish you lived in a snow globe?  Do you ever think you *do* live in a snow globe? (If so, I have a counseling degree; I  can help you.  Or at least run the peer support group!)  Would you wear an adult onesie in public, even if you were a TOTALLY famous musician like Matt Wertz?  Do you want to win a Kindle Fire?  Do you want to win ME a Kindle Fire?  Isn’t Plumb a fantastic dresser?  (If I dressed like her, I’d just look silly.)  Do you use Spotify?  NoiseTrade?  Buy a $5 Amazon album?  Breathe?  How is your Christmas shopping going thus far?  Are you thinking about getting a snow globe necklace for anyone on your list?

GIVEAWAY!!! Jason Gray’s “Remind Me Who I Am” is #1 on iTunes!

30 Nov

Wednesdays are killer, right?  Last weekend is a distant memory and this weekend seems like it will never arrive.  And to make matters worse, we’re in the holiday season—shopping, decorating, baking, avoiding Salvation Army bell ringers. I love the Salvation Army and all they do, but I could do without the bell ringers.  I wish you could give them $20 to stop ringing the bell for five minutes or at least until you make it to the car.

But this morning whilst performing my daily ritual of checking out what happened in the cyber world as  I slumbered, I learned something VERY EXCITING from Jen RoseJason Gray’s single, “Remind Me Who I Am” is #1 on the Christian & Gospel charts on iTunes!  Now “Remind Me Who I Am” will always be one of my favorite songs because of the impact it had (and continues to have) on my life,  so I would love to see it get stay at #1. (Note: I like Casting Crowns’ “Courageous” and Laura Story’s “Blessings,” too.  But neither song has hit me in the heart like “Remind Me Who I Am”).

Did you hear *that*, er, read *that?!  I’ll type it in CAPS for emphasis:

JASON GRAY’S “REMIND ME WHO I AM” IS CURRENTLY #1!!!

Personally, I believe you should buy “Remind Me Who I Am” because it’s a great song AND it’s only 69 cents on iTunes, but to help you in your music buying decision, I’m gonna back up this song with a  giveaway.  If you purchase “Remind Me Who I Am” on iTunes, you will get a chance to win an autographed copy of Jason Gray’s latest album, A Way to See in the Dark (and, yes, this is the album “Remind Me Who I Am” is on!) 

Maybe you already own the song or just can’t afford it right now, that’s OK.  I would never exclude anyone from a giveaway.  So everyone gets one entry, BUUUUUUT, if you buy the single on iTunes or gift the single to friends with an identity crisis, you get TWO extra entries for EACH purchase, and if you review the song on iTunes (I’m talking at least two sentence here, not “This song rocketh.” Put a little meat in that review), you get another TWO entries.  That means, you get ONE entry just for being alive, and TWO entries if you buy the song for yourself and TWO more if you leave a review of “Remind Me Who I Am” on iTunes, which gives you SIX chances to win!  (Or if you enter and buy the song for your Aunt Mabel, you have EIGHT your chance of winning A Way to See in the Dark!)

I funkified the photo because it looked subpar due to my messy desk background.

Just fill out THE FORM, tell me how many copies of “Remind Me Who I Am” you purchased on iTunes, write a smashing review, and [hopefully] win!  Remember, you get an entry just for being alive, so everyone can enter, but only one can win.  I mean, maybe I can get Jason Gray to send each one of you a hair follicle or something (by the way, JG did not ask me to run this contest, but I watched him personally autograph the CD, so he has foreknowledge that a giveaway would happen!)

Here are some links in REALLY BIG LETTERS to help you:

1. Buy “Remind Me Who I Am” by Jason Gray for 69 cents. 

(Or don’t and enter anyway.  But you get TWO extra entries for each copy of the song you purchase. (You’re on the honor system.  I mean, I love this song, but if you tell me you purchased 109 copies, I’m going to need to see that iTunes receipt.)

2.  Write a short, but meaningful review of “Remind Me Who I Am” on iTunes for another TWO entries.

(By the way, you can review the song without buying it on iTunes, so by being alive AND writing a review, you can get THREE entries.)

3. Then enter to win an authographed copy of the WHOLE album, A Way to See in the Dark by Jason Gray, right here!  I’m instituing use of THE FORM!

*FILL OUT THIS FORM*

The giveaway ends at 11:59 PM EST on December 7, so you have a whole week to snag this deal.  The winner will be emailed and if he/she does not respond within 3 days, a new winner will be chosen.  I am not responsible for prizes that are lost by the USPS, though it would be very sad and I would cry with you should that occur.  Oh, and if you buy more copies of “Remind Me Who I Am” or decide to write a review AFTER you’ve already entered do come back and tell me so I can give you even more extra entries.

Even if you don’t win this amazing album, and I hope you do, you still win by getting a copy of “Remind Me Who I Am” by Jason Gray.  And I do encourage you to purchase A Way to See in the Dark, for it is a phenomenal album…and it makes a great Christmas present! (I heard Aunt Mabel really wants a copy!)

Still not sure about the song?  Read WHY Jason Gray wrote “Remind Me Who I Am,” find out why I’m thankful for Jason Gray, and read a little about how “Remind Me Who I Am” has helped me (though I only mention the song as an afterthought, I realize it really helped me to come to terms with my identity in God and inspired this post). Learn more about Jason Gray and his awesome self at JasonGrayMusic.com.

Amy’s Random Aside:  I believe in Jason Gray and his music so much that I changed my Twiticon and my Facebook profile pictures to “Remind Me Who I Am.” (I added “Beloved” to the Facebook pic because Amy means “beloved.”)  If you just love Jason, his music, or what people to remind you who you are, email me and I’ll change your Twitter or Facebook book to look similar to mine. (Text may be different.  We are all unique creatures.)

(Click on my image to follow me on Twitter for tantalizing updates!)

OR


(Feel free to friend me on Facebook, too!)

Tell me, once again, why you like this song, why you like this song? (Sing that to the chorus of “Remind Me Who I Am”)  How have you deal with a spiritual identity crisis?  Jason Gray has great hair, so why do you think he’s wearing that hat in the music video for “Remind Me Who I Am”?  Do you recycle your cardboard boxes, make signs from them, or just throw them out in the regular trash?

Banned Books Week Giveaway Hop (Sept. 24-Oct 1)

23 Sep

{Click here for full list of blogs hosting giveaways!}

I hereby interrupt my “blogging break” for the Banned Books Week Giveaway Hop.  I mean, Banned Books Week only happens once year, right?

What’s my opinion of banned books?  I think it really depends on the book and *WHY* it’s being banned and from where the banning is taking place.  Honestly, there are some books that I think shouldn’t be in a school library, a public library, or even a church library (like anything by Joel Osteen.  Actually, his books are should be banned from society).  Of course, these books are based on *MY* opinions and how I view the world and society in general.

As a teen, I tried to read as many “banned” books as possible (with the blessing of educators), particularly if they were classics like Catcher in the Rye.  The best way to get someone to read a book is to ban it.

For my INTERNATIONAL (to where The Book Depository ships) giveaway, I’m going you can choose ONE of the following books chosen because it was banned or challenged for a funny reason…

*The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins for giving an 11 year-old nightmares. (You can also choose Catching Fire or Mockingjay, which are as equally “nightmarish”!)

*Brave New World by Aldous Huxley for being a repeat offender year after year.

*Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson for “glorifying sex.”  The book is about a girl dealing with her rape–not so glorifying!  This is a really good book about a terrible topic.

*The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien for being burned by a church and labelled as “satanic.” (Your choice of any ONE  book in the trilogy–The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, or Return of the King OR the ever “satanic” book, The Hobbit.)

*The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger for being the most banned book of all time!!!

*To Kill a Mockingbird  by Harper Lee for being a classic banned book!

*The Lord of the Flies by William Golding for a slew of reasons.  I happen to think it’s a great book.

*1984 by George Orwell for being “pro-communist.”

*Animal Farm by George Orwell for “indecent images of alcoholic pigs.”  A fave book of mine!

*The Bible, particularly Song of Solomon, for its “sexual imagery.”  (If you choose the Bible, it *must* be $15 or under…and please only choose this if you want the Bible!  This one is nice, despite being $15.69.  You can totally choose it.)

(Source: http://www.ala.org/ala/issuesadvocacy/banned/frequentlychallenged/challengedclassics/reasonsbanned/index.cfm)

To enter, simply fill out

*THE FORM*!

THE DEETS:  The giveaway runs until 11:59 PM EST on October 1.  After the winner is confirmed (via email) he or she will be announced on Backseat Writer, Twitter, and via White House Press Conference.  This giveaway is ONLY open to residents of planet Earth. Sorry, but the cost of shipping books to Pluto is just getting out of control. (Psst! That means it’s a international party, kids!)  I am not responsible for prizes that mysteriously disappear in the postal system.  You can leave a comment about a book that you *wish* was banned and why.  You won’t get any extra points, but it might make me laugh!

Thanks to I Read Banned Books and I Am a Reader, Not a Writer for organizing this fab giveaway hop! 

Back to the Books Giveaway Hop (Ended)

31 Aug

{Click here for a FULL LIST of all the participants!}

Congrats to winner Ricki @ Reading Challenged!

I am a life long lover of learning, so it is with great sadness that I pass the back-to-school section on my shopping trips.  I want a reason to buy a bunch of Crayola crayons for 25 cents, packs of highlighters for 50 cents, and folders with the cast of “Glee” for a $1.50.  But, alas, my days of school, college, and graduate studies are over…unless I go for a doctorate.  Though I think my fellow students would frown upon a “Spider-Man” lunch box.

OK, so maybe I’m not going back to school, but there are plenty of lucky kids hitting the books, going off to college, and there’s the rest of us–who have kids going to school (chorus of hallelujahs from parents everywhere) or who, like me,  get really psyched by the low cost of pens, paper, highlighters, and other office supplies.  Whatever your stage in life, you didn’t stop by for me to blather on about my old school days–you want to enter my giveaway!!!

Sometimes I accidentally [sometimes on purpose] acquire more than one copy of a book, and it seems a bit silly to keep TWO or more copies of the same book lying around, so ONE winner will get his or her choice of ONE of the following books from my “doubles” collection…

Marley & Me by John Grogan

(One of my all-time fave books! Used hardcover from a library sale.)

A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soilder by Ishmael Beah

(Another incredible read! Used paperback from a library sale.  It even has “Emmaus Public Library” stamps in it!   Only the best for my readers.)

Love Story by Jennifer Echols

(Brand-new paperback.  Won one in a giveaway & somehow got two!)

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

(Brand-new paperback.  Won one in a giveaway & somehow got three!)

To enter, all you have to do is…

Fill out “THE FORM.”

THE DEETS:  The giveaway runs until 11:59 PM EST on September 7.  After the winner is confirmed (via email) he or she will be announced on Backseat Writer, Twitter, and via White House Press Conference.  This giveaway is ONLY open to residents of planet Earth. Sorry, but the cost of shipping books to Pluto is just getting out of control. (Psst! That means it’s a international party, kids!)  I am not responsible for prizes that mysteriously disappear in the postal system.

EXTRA ENTRIES:  For TWO extra puntos, tell me the name of ONE (or two or three) book(s) that you were introduced to by a teacher and still count among your favorites!   Leave your answer in the “comments” section and make sure you the name you commented with on “THE FORM” or your comment, though very much appreciated, will not count as an extra entry.  (Also, if you leave a comment, but don’t actually name a book, then no extra points!  It *is* extra, and you don’t *have* to do it.)

For those hosting BACK TO THE BOOKS GIVEAWAY HOP giveaways, give yourself ONE extra punto on “THE FORM” with a link to your giveaway. 

Thank you to the fine folks at I Am a Reader, Not a Writer and Buried in Books for organizing this blog hop!

Thanks for stopping by my little corner of cyberspace! 

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