Forever Giveaway!

You guys, when Simon & Schuster recently contacted me and offered an autographed copy of Forever by Judy Blume, I totally fangirled.  This is Judy Blume we’re talking about; the woman who created what may have been my first literary crush, Peter from Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing and who later taught me we must, we must, we must increase our bust.  I grew up on that awesomeness!

And when the book arrived in the mail and I saw that adorable cover and that amazing signature inside, I knew I had to share it with you. I mean, this is a book about high school love!  It’s about losing the big V! And it can be all yours (you know, if you win).

Contest Deets:

Enter only once by commenting below. Tell me something about your first love (notice I said first love not first time. Ahem).

US entires only please

Must be 18 or older.

Winner will be chosen using random.org

Winner will be notified via e-mail and must respond within 48 hours, otherwise another winner may be chosen.

I am not responsible for prizes that may be lost in transit.

Contest ends 08/29/12 at midnight EST.

Good Luck!

Top Ten Tuesday- Childhood Favorites

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Today we’re reminiscing about our favorite childhood reads.  I have to be honest, that is one of the lovely bonuses of having children (though, of course, there are many): You can steal their books! I didn’t steal these though. These I read when I was just a kiddo. And I read them over and over again like a big old nerd. Some things never change.

1. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl– This was far and away my favorite book as a kid. I still look for books that can envelope me in such charm and magic. And food is always, always a plus. Especially chocolate, hello.

2. Superfudge by Judy Blume– I think I may have mentioned before that at one time I found Peter to be cute. I was a kid, ok? What did I know?  Still, I read this book over and over because I thought it was hilarious.

3. Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume– Alright, so clearly I had a thing for Peter. And I just loved his adorable family. This is exactly how tattered my copy looked.

4. The Dollhouse Murders by Betty Ren Wright– This book used to scare the pants off me, but I found myself wishing it was plausible. Wouldn’t the world be so much better if dolls could help us solve crimes?  Then again, that would be totally creepers.

5. Ramona the Pest by Beverly Clearly– Am I the only who who still, when called to sing the national anthem at a baseball game or otherwise (um, not professionally or anything) have the urge to say “by the dawnzer lee light”? Is that just me? Ramona is still on my brain.

6. Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great by Judy Blume– I don’t even remember what this book was about, but I remember loving it and thinking it was really funny. Of course it was great, it’s Judy Blume!

7. Betsey-Tacy and Tib by Maude Heart Lovelace– I loved this book, even though I have no recollection of  what it was about.  Friendship, I guess, which is a theme that speaks to us at any age.

8. The Nancy Drew series by Carolyne Keene– Oh man, I read this series like crazy. These books always had me on the edge of my seat and I loved every minute of it. No one could solve mysteries AND rock that ‘do like Nancy.

9. The Sweet Valley High series by Francine Pascal– Yes, I hate to admit it, but I loved these horrible, cheesy books, even though I pretty much hated Jessica and Elizabeth (which is why I really appreciate this).

10. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak– I STILL love this book. I was so happy to grow up and share it with my own girls and they loved it so much that they asked me to read it to them almost every night.  I read it so often that I can still recite it (along with Goodnight Moon and Guess how Much I Love You). Such a great story.

Top Ten Tuesday: Authors I’d Die to Meet

by Tee

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is: Top 10 Authors (Living or Dead) I’d Die to Meet.  Not as easy as it sounds, mainly because it’s hard to name only ten. So here is my list, though I’m sure I’ll kick myself later for forgetting someone vital.

1. Meg Cabot– Ok, in actuality, I’ve already met Meg Cabot Goddess of YA Literature and Creator of Michael Moscovitz Fake Man of My Dreams.  And yes, before you ask, I babbled on about Mr. Moscovitz like a total idiot, even saying he’s better than Mr. Darcy (which he IS. I mean, hello. Ever heard of a sense of humor Darcy?) and made her sign my Forever Princess book while all the other ten-year olds waited to have their Allie Finkle books signed (my little one among them).  In truth, she was very funny and gracious, she took her picture with us and gave my daughter–who dreams of being an author someday–lots of advice about writing.  Still, I’d love to be her new best friend meet her again someday. Obviously, I’m hoping some of her awesomeness will rub off on me, but I’d settle for another picture and signed book.

2. Jane Austen– I know I make fun of Mr. Darcy alot (ahem, like in the paragraph above), but I love the pants off Pride and Prejudice.  The whole story gets me EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.  And then, of course, there’s Emma, which is probably my favorite Austen novel because it’s so funny.  And Persuasion.  Can we talk about Captain Wentworth and his amazing, romantical letter at the end?  Swoon City!  Jane Austen found a way to be pro-female while still being humorous and romantic.  She, and let’s be honest, Mr. Darcy, are the standard by which romantic love stories/heroes are measured.

3. Harper Lee- Holy bananas, so do I need to say anything else except that she wrote To Kill a Mockingbird and, in doing so, created one of the greatest literary characters ever when she breathed life into Atticus Finch!!??!  And I’ve always loved that this beautiful book was written from the perspective of a child, rather than an adult.  It takes such a keen perception to get back to the innocence of childhood and to recall it so perfectly.

4. Charlotte Bronte- Two words: Jane Eyre.  Such a beautiful, perfect book that it has me on the edge of my seat with every reading, even though I know what happens.  Bronte wrote a great novel that was truly feminist (in a feminine way, meaning her character never had to revoke her femininity to rise above her circumstances) and showed me that even the most difficult circumstances can be overcome with grace and poise.  And she created Mr. Rochester, who I love like a crazy person (so like Bertha, only less stabby).

5. E. Lockhart– This woman exudes awesomeness. I mean, I don’t know her personally (sigh) but I love her books.  First off, she invented Frankie Landau Banks. Secondly, she wrote the Ruby Oliver series. She has a way of creating sweet, funny girls who, despite their insecurities (or perhaps because of them) are bold and lovable.  And funny. So, so funny.

6. CS Lewis– You guys, having gone to Christian school my whole life, I obviously knew about CS Lewis. As such, since everyone read The Chronicles of Narnia I, like a total idiot, refused.  It wasn’t until I was an adult and found out that the films were coming out (and seeing how awesome the first trailer looked) that I decided I’d better get on the ball and read them. And holy cow, I can’t believe I waited so long! I loved the story behind them (how he wrote them for his niece) and that they were sweet and magical enough for my young children to fall in love with, but interesting enough to keep my attention.  Beyond that, I read another of his books, Mere Christianity and was pretty much sold on him.

7. Roald Dahl- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was my favorite book growing up. I read it over and over and even now, watch the film quite often (the original one).  It wasn’t until my oldest child studied his other works in school that I realized how incredibly brilliant his books are.  Though Charlie is the pinnacle, there are so many fun, kooky stories.  His ideas were lively and unique and, even when I read them with my children, still feel as if they are magically transporting me.

8. Sarah Dessen– Girl Crush alert.  I love me some Dessen.  It’s not just that I think her blog or Twitter feeds are hilarious (though they are), or because she created Wes and Bert Baker (though they are both good reasons to throw Ms. Dessen some love).  No, it’s just because every time I read one of her novels, even if it deals with a tough subject, I want to crawl inside it. I love her words and am amazed at her talent.  Also, I heard she handed out whoopie pies at BEA and I’m very easily bought off by dessert.

9. Gayle Forman– Oh my goodness, I hope this woman writes thousands more books because I have absolutely loved her two most recent ones, If I Stay and Where She Went.  Yeah, I actually said in my review of Where She Went that I wanted to marry it.  Kind of embarrassing.  Hopefully if I ever meet her at a signing I don’t act like a complete idiot, but I’m not promising anything.

10. Judy Blume– You guys, Superfudge, Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, Blubber, Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great, Are You There God?  It’s Me Margaret (the book that told be I’d get boobies if I worked at it.  It totally didn’t work, but it gave me hope)…  Judy Blume was with me during so much of my childhood.  Her stories made me laugh and smile and cringe in all the right ways and they made me feel as if someone understood me.