Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Can't Say No to Free Books

I work in a magazine publishing house. With an office full of editors, we tend to receive complimentary copies of new books or unedited copies of soon-to-be published books for review. Unfortunately, if I receive any free books in the mail, they're not necessarily on subject matter I'm all that interested in - especially for leisure. But fellow editors in other departments do receive novels from time to time, and every so often the counter in the kitchen will have a pile of books sitting there for the taking. Again, some aren't interesting at all, but sometimes, if you come across the pile first, you can get lucky. Last week, I think I got lucky:

I'm Sorry You Feel that Way: The Astonishing But True Story of a Daughter, Sister, Slut, Wife, Mother and Friend to Man and Dog, by Diana Joseph. I actually read a good review of this book in Entertainment Weekly a few months back, so I recognized the cover and the title as a book I was interested in reading at one point. Synopsis:
Meet the men in Diana Joseph's life: "The boy," Diana's fourteen-year-old son, who supports the NRA and dreams of living in a house with wall-to-wall carpeting; Diana's father, who's called her on the telephone twice, ever, and who sat her down when she was twelve to caution her against becoming a slut (she didn't listen); Diana's brothers, or, as her father calls them, "the two assholes"; Diana's ex-husband, a lumberjack with three ex-wives, yet he's still the first one she calls when she's in a jam; and Diana's common-law husband, Al, an English professor who's been mistakenly called mentally challenged. Ostensibly organized around the various men in Diana's life, this is really a memoir about what it's like to be a modern, smart woman making her way in the world.
Believe Me, by Nina Killham. I've never heard of this book, but I read the back cover and it sounded interesting enough to try (since it's free). Synopsis:
In the tradition of Jodi Picoult—a fresh, smart, and deeply moving novel about the power of faith, love, and family. Thirteen-year-old Nic Delano has a lot of questions. Like why does he have a babysitter at his age-and where did she get such long legs? But mostly, what exactly is the meaning of life? His mother, Lucy, an astrophysicist and atheist, has always encouraged Nic to ask questions. But lately she doesn't like the answers he's getting. Nic has been hanging out with a group of devout Christians and is starting to embrace the Bible—and a very different view of the heavens. But when unexpected tragedy strikes, Nic and Lucy's beliefs are truly to put to the test. And they need each other now more than ever. But will a mother and her son be able to find a common ground where faith meets understanding and love is, ultimately, what endures?
City of Thieves, by David Benioff. I picked up this book, very unsure about it, but when I saw it was written by the man who wrote The 25th Hour (and adapted his book into Spike Lee's screenplay) as well as wrote the screenplay for The Kite Runner, well, frankly, that's a talented man. Synopsis:
During the Nazis' brutal siege of Leningrad, Lev Beniov is arrested for looting and thrown into the same cell as a handsome deserter named Kolya. Instead of being executed, Lev and Kolya are given a shot at saving their own lives by complying with an outrageous directive: secure a dozen eggs for a powerful Soviet colonel to use in his daughter's wedding cake. In a city cut off from all supplies and suffering unbelievable deprivation, Lev and Kolya embark on a hunt through the dire lawlessness of Leningrad and behind enemy lines to find the impossible. By turns insightful and funny, thrilling and terrifying, City of Thieves is a gripping, cinematic World War II adventure and an intimate coming-of-age story with an utterly contemporary feel for how boys become men.
Has anyone read any of these? When, if ever, do you come across free books?


CMS said...

Oooh! Those sound good! If they're worth reading, could I possibly borrow them from you? (I never find anything good in the "free book" pile.)

kristine said...

These all sound good! I am lukcy enough to have a friend who work sin publishing too....she picks up freebies for me from time to time!