Wednesday, March 25, 2015

BOOK GIVEAWAY! The Language of Flowers

Amazon just delivered an order made 6 months ago that had gotten lost in transit! Thing is after 2 months' wait the delay was reported to Amazon and they efficiently replaced the lost books at no extra cost. So that's how it is that I find myself in possession of two copies of *The Language of Flowers*
Like all bibliophiles I wish more people read the books I love, that's why I'm putting the new copy of Flowers up for grabs in my first ever Book *Giveaway! For one thing florists would stop putting yellow roses in wedding bouquets. Secondly, we'd have more flower emojis to just convey  more emotions and meanings. Not to mention how romantic it all is :)

Anyone can grow into Something Beautiful

The Victorian language of flowers was used to convey romantic expressions: honeysuckle for devotion, asters for patience, and red roses for love. But for Victoria Jones, it’s been more useful in communicating mistrust and solitude. After a childhood spent in the foster-care system, she is unable to get close to anybody, and her only connection to the world is through flowers and their meanings.

Now eighteen and emancipated from the system with nowhere to go, Victoria realizes she has a gift for helping others through the flowers she chooses for them. But an unexpected encounter with a mysterious stranger has her questioning what’s been missing in her life. And when she’s forced to confront a painful secret from her past, she must decide whether it’s worth risking everything for a second chance at happiness.

 How to win:
Simply comment and let me know your favourite books you wish everyone else would read. Here's a list of mine I wrote on Facebook last year when the #TopTenBooks challenge was going round.

The Top 10 Books Challenge

Was challenged to post my top 10 books by Karynn a while back and it’s taken me a few days because I don’t I have such a thing as a top 10. Top 100 maybe? Anyway restricting myself to only the books I’ve read more than twice this year, I came up with these. In order of the image attached;

1)  OUTLIERS – Malcolm Gladwell
I like a book that not only entertains me but also makes me think hard. My first introduction to Malcolm Gladwell was Blink! And I was blown away. I marveled at how his brain works and was convinced he’d never be capable of producing a greater book because where do you go from the top? And then I read Outliers. Wow. I desperately wished I’d already chalked up 10,000hours pursuing my passion as opposed to splitting them up studying the subjects the UG syllabus deems necessary. No wonder most Silicon Valley founders are college dropouts. Once you find what you are good at, drop everything else and pursue that. Clock those 10,000 hours while you still have use of all your faculties.

2)  HALF OF A YELLOW SUN –Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
This was my first Chimamanda and my introduction to the Biafra War.(I swear we never covered it in history class.) It gave me chills. Now I love me some Chiwetel Ejiofor any day but he must have done his character prep by watching Nigerian movies because his portrayal of Odenigbo was only rivaled in suckitude by Thandi Newton’s Olanna. Just take my word for it, read the book before you watch the movie. Or skip the movie entirely. But read the book.There’s a reason Chimmie is called Achebe’s heir.

3)  GONE GIRL – Gillian Flynn
I can’t sing this book enough praises so lemme just paste Amy’s “Cool Girl” monologue here:
*… the Cool Girl. Men always say that as the defining compliment, don’t they? She’s a cool girl. Being a Cool Girl means I’m a hot, brilliant, funny woman who adores football, poker,dirty jokes, and burping, who plays video games, drinks cheap beer, loves threesomes and anal sex, and jams hot dogs and hamburgers into her mouth like she’s hosting the world’s biggest culinary gang bang while somehow maintaining a size 2, because Cool Girls are above all hot.
…Oh, and if you’re not a Cool Girl, I beg you not to believe that your man doesn’t want the Cool Girl. It maybe a slightly different version – maybe he’s vegetarian so Cool Girl loves seitan and is great with dogs; or maybe he’s a hipster artist, so Cool Girl is a tattooed bespectacled nerd who loves comics. There are variations to the window dressing but believe me, he wants Cool Girl, who is basically the girl who likes every fucking thing he likes and doesn’t ever complain. (How do you know you’re not Cool Girl? Because he says things like: “I like strong women.” If he says that to you he will at some point fuck someone else. Because “I like strong women.” is code for “I hate strong women.”)*
God, I can’t wait to watch the movie and the changed ending!
**Edited to add** I have watched the movie and that ending wasn't so different from the book after all.
TFIOS is the definitive YA novel with a twist. I love books that make me cry (actually I think all books on this list have made me cry) but this novel, MY GOD, this novel came close to drowning me in my own tears! It really did. And the thing is I cried most during the happy times because the days were numbered! This book is so well written it made me join the #NerdFighters. Haven’t gotten over the Augustus movie casting so don’t know how good or not the movie adaptation went but one day when I feel like a good cry and don’t have the hours to re-read it, I’ll slip in the DVD and wait for the flood gates to open.

5)  DESIGN LIKE YOU GIVE A DAMN –Architecture for Humanity
This book is a must have for architects and architecture lovers.It’s a veritable goldmine of sustainable low cost innovative design. Every time I’m creatively stumped or feeling a bit disillusioned with my profession, this is one of the first books I crack open. It does for inspiration what Neufert and A.D and Ching do for getting the technicalities right.

6)  JANE EYRE – Charlotte Brontë
Jane Eyre was the first novel I recall reading after I found fairytales ended too fast.  7 year old me didn’t understand more than half of what was going on but I still soldiered on til the end and eagerly narrated it to the first friends I made in boarding school. This and Tess (Thomas Hardy) and P&P (Jane Austen) are the literary classics I loved before I even knew what literature lessons were. So I always make it a point to reread one or all three on a yearly basis just to see how my evolving worldview affects my enjoyment of these each time.

7)  THE SHACK – WM. Paul Young
The Shack did more for my spirituality than the Old Testament and all the deuterocanonical books combined! It reaffirmed what I’ve always thought; Faith is all well and good, it’s all these organized religions that mess things up. And yes, I know it’s a work of fiction but it reads so real! Which is all I ask for in a book.

Mockingbird was a revelation. I can’t believe I lived this long without ever reading it! That Scout is the daughter I dream of having and let’s all just agree right here, right now and forever more that Atticus Finch is the best book dad ever written! I can’t decide if I wanted to be married to him or fathered by him. Oedipus complex aside, I think there’d be less white cops shooting unarmed black men if every American parent picked a leaf or a chapter from Atticus’s parenting playbook.

9)  THE BOOK THIEF – Markus Zusak
The Book Thief like The Shack is that great read that you want to give all your friends immediately you finish reading it the second time. Like H.O.A.Y.S  the movie adaptation did not even come close to doing it justice. Max and Rudy lost much of their je ne sais quoi on the cutting room floor, that’s if it even made it onto the scripts. This book and The Boy in the Stripped Pajamas are such good reads about Nazi Germany from a civilian perspective they should be sold as a 3 book set with The Diary of Anne Frank. 

10)  THE CATCHER IN THE RYE – J.D.Salinger
Holden was as nice as he was screwed up which means he’s exactly the kinda guy teenage me dreamt of dating. I feel like all my other favorite YA male protagonists ie Spud (John van de Ruit), Moses (Barbara Kimenye) … are sort of, kinda derivatives of Holden. That J.D Salinger – making dysfunctional look so good. This book makes me feel like all my neuroses, least of which is not my obsessive thinking about the merest of things, is actually not so abnormal after all.

 *Giveaway is open to only readers currently residing in Uganda unfortunately :/

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