Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Armchair BEA: International Giveaway

So it's day two of Armchair BEA and that means it's giveaway time!  As the theme for the day is favourite reads of 2012, I've decided to offer a giveaway featuring some of my favourite reads for the year so far.

Rules of the giveaway:
* Everyone who enters gets one entry.
* You don't have to be a follower of my blog, although new followers are very much appreciated.
* Giveaway open to anywhere that the Book Depository ships to.
* Choose which book you would like to receive now, but you can always change your mind if you win.
*Closing date - Sunday 10th June 2012 at 12pm GMT.
*The winner will be contacted by email and will have 48 hours to provide a mailing address.

On to the books!

Option 1 - Gillespie and I by Jane Harris:
Gillespie and I is narrated by Harriet Baxter, a spinster looking back at the time she spent with the artist Ned Gillespie at Glasgow's Great Exhibition of 1888.  It was a difficult time for the family, but is Harriet all that she makes herself out to be?

I loved this one for the unreliability and wonderful creepiness of the narrator, Harriet.  It's a book you definitely won't forget.

Option 2 - Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller:
This is a retelling of the Trojan War from the point of view of Patroclus, who has grown up with the famous hero Achilles.  Their friendship grows into something more and the human story of their relationship is told against the backdrop of Greek Mythology.

I wasn't expecting to love this book as I'm not a massive fan of mythology.  But the human story is simply beautiful and Miller is a deserving winner of the Orange Prize.  Regular readers, I'm sorry for yet again going on about this book!

Option 3 - Jamrach's Menagerie by Carol Birch
Jaffy Brown is a child in Victorian London living in poverty.  After a chance encounter with a tiger, he meets Jamrach, owner of a menagerie and goes to work for him. One opportunity leads to another and Jaffy is soon a sailor on an expedition searching for the Komodo Dragon.  But disaster strikes the ship and the sailors face hardship after hardship, leading to horrible consequences.

This is an old-fashioned rip-roaring adventure story with a darker side as the need for survival starts to overtake human ideas.  I can guarantee that this book will stay with you once you have read it.

Option 4 - The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman
The story of Jewish resistance to Roman soldiers in the fort of Masada in 70AD, told by four very different women.  Yael's mother died in childbirth and she has been blamed for it ever since. Revka is a baker's wife who witnessed horrific things when her village was destroyed. Aziza wants to be a warrior, but is trapped by her gender. And Shirah has followed the man she loves to the fortress, putting her children in danger.

The Dovekeepers is historical fiction at it's best - it doesn't just tell you about Ancient Israel, it takes you there.

Fill out the form to enter:


  1. Ooh Song of Achilles and The Dovekeepers are two books I'm so keen to read.

  2. Thanks for the opportunity and a great selection to choose from.

  3. I do love the different books you read! :-)

  4. Thanks for the giveaway!

  5. Thanks for hosting a giveaway! I hadn't heard of "The Dovekeepers" but now I must read it! Glad that you shared it with us :-)

  6. This is a wonderful giveaway, Thank you!

    I loved Gillespie and I. I don't know that I've ever read a 500 page book so quickly and enjoyed it so much!
    I didn't pay much attention to Song of Achilles when I saw it around the community because I'm not a big fan of mythology. I think the stories are interesting but I don't care to read them over and over. But then I began to read reviews by bloggers raving about this book and it's story.
    Thank you for going on about it!

  7. The Song of Achilles is on my pile and I hope to read it soon, so many people I know have read it and just loved it.

  8. that's a hard choice. Thanks for the giveaway.

  9. Thanks for the chance!

    I've been wanting to get my hands on The Dovekeepers! I've always loved Hoffman's books.

  10. I've been on the hunt for good historical fiction and I think I just hit the jackpot :) These books sound bloody amazing: especially Song of Achilles!

    Have a fun BEA ^_^

  11. Thanks for the giveaway!!

    Mickey @ imabookshark

    PS - Come enter my giveaway! Thanks!

  12. DUDE, way to be one of the awesome people actually doing a giveaway. I have been totally not following what the Armchair website is saying, so I didn't even know today was a giveaway day.


  13. Thanks for the giveaway! All of these books are on my TBR so it was hard to choose just one to enter!

  14. The Dovekeepers sounds amazing! I love Alice Hoffman's work. I'm glad you joined ABEA! Tattooed Books

  15. Thanks for the giveaway. A nice choice of books.

  16. Great selection! I humbly invite you to my giveaway, you may like some of these.

  17. Hi Sam,
    I love the books you chose for this giveaway! I'm keeping my fingers crossed to win Jamrach's Menagerie~
    Beth :-)

  18. Those all sound like great titles and I haven't read any of them. Love Alice Hoffman, but I think I'm most curious about Carol Birch's writing because I've heard so much about Jamrach's Menagerie.

  19. I have a few of these books on my wishlist because of your review, but how to choose? I closed my eyes and clicked...The Dovekeepers it is. ;)

  20. I've heard such great things about The Song of Achilles. I might just have to pick that one up!

  21. I have seen GILLESPIE AND I mentioned in a few places recently, and it sounds pretty good. Thank you for hosting a giveaway today--I hope you have a great week!

  22. Thanks so much! I'm leaving tonight, no time to join actively this year, except in entering for giveaways!!

  23. The Dovekeepers looks interesting, I might have to check it out. Thanks for the recommendation!

  24. Jamrach's Menagerie sounds really interesting, kind of like Water for Elephants.

  25. Interesting books. I might have to check out The Dovekeepers if I don't win.

    Girl Who Reads

  26. Thanks for hosting the giveaway! Great idea to coordinate it with Armchair BEA. I've heard great things about Gillespie and I so I entered for that one :)