Saturday, April 16, 2011

Want to win a copy of Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention?

Win this by....
CONTEST IS CLOSED. @chaitea won the free copy

Open to U.S. Twitter users only. Here are the easy-peasy rules:

1. Leave me a comment that you want to win with your Twitter name @luckyreader.
2. Participate in Sunday evening's 4/17 7 pm EST #Blacklitchat with Victor LaValle, author of Big Machine.

I'll go through the archive of Tweets and see if your name is there, and enter you in the drawing. Odds are really good for this one folks, so please participate! Big Machine is an EXCELLENT read, and I bet you'll be intrigued by what LaValle has to say during the chat!

What do Big Machine, a novel, and Malcolm X, a biography, have in common? Both are about men who started out on the wrong road and then took a turn.

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. LaValle has garnered critical acclaim for his previous works (a collection, Slapboxing with Jesus, and novel, The Ecstatic), and his second novel is sure to up his critical standing while furthering comparisons to Haruki Murakami, John Kennedy Toole and Edgar Allan Poe. Gritty, mostly honest-hearted ex-heroin addict protagonist Ricky Rice takes a chance on an anonymous note delivered to him at the cruddy upstate New York bus depot where he works as a porter. Quickly, Ricky finds himself among the Unlikely Scholars, a secret society of ex-addicts and petty criminals, all black like him, living in remote Vermont and sifting through stacks of articles in a library devoted to investigating the supernatural; the existence of a god; and the legacy of Judah Washburn, an escaped slave who claimed to have had contact with a higher being that the Unlikely Scholars now call the Voice. Ricky's intoxicating voice—robust, organic, wily—is perfect for narrating LaValle's high-stakes mashup of thrilling paranormal and Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man, as the fateful porter—something of a modern Odysseus rallied by a team of spiritual X-men—wanders through America's messianic hoo-hah.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

National Library Week

I was about to head over to my local library to pick up a book on hold and to get my backpack of books I read to Head Start kids as part of the Denver Public Library's Read Aloud Program. When I went online to check my account to see what I had on hold, I discovered it's National Library Week. And today is National Book Mobile Day. OMG, book mobiles! I loved the book mobile when I was a kid! And I still love libraries and believe they are vital to a healthy community.

I also discovered this contest, which runs through Monday, for teens to make videos about why they need libraries to try to win money for their local library.

As you probably know, with budget cuts, libraries are hurting, but in a depression recession, library use soars. If you can help your library out, now is a good time.

I posted the following before, but it's so good, it's worth posting again.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Diverse Book Events

Now this is what I'm talking about! Here's another example of authors taking matters into their own hands. Diversity in YA has brought together a variety of authors to read and sign together. Upcoming tour stops include San Francisco, Austin, Chicago, Cambridge, Mass., New York and San Diego.

Go here for dates and locations and go here for bios of the participants (which includes Varian Johnson, Dia Reeves, Nnedi Okorafor, Jacqueline Woodson, Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich and Rita Williams-Garcia). And if the Diversity in YA Tour comes to your city, please go out and support!

Kudos Cindy Pon and Malinda Lo for putting this together!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Monday, April 4, 2011

A Chapter a Month

Note: The site goes live at 12 Noon EDT.

Victoria Christopher Murray is a bestselling author, but that may not be the achievement she goes down in history for. After today she may become best known as the creator of one of the most innovative potentially game-changing ideas I've ever heard of:

A Chapter a The site goes live today with new works from over a dozen authors. You can buy their work via download for .99 a chapter at a time. From the site:

As a reader, you will enjoy fresh, exciting chapters every month as we reveal our stories to you one chapter at a time. You will travel with us on our writing journeys and watch our novels come to life on paper...and beyond. Each month the authors will offer you something behind the pages - whether it's a live interview with your favorite character or an ask-the-author-anything session, on this website it's more than just the story. And there's even more if you're a preferred reader. Imagine having access to the author - through live streams - while their novels are unfolding. You will be able to let the author know what you're enjoying about the story, what you'd like to see happen...and who knows...your suggestion just may appear in the next chapter the next month. Whether it's live videos, a scene that appears as a short movie, or just the old-fashion written word, you'll relish your favorite authors and try a few new ones as well. So welcome to our world - where readers and writers are joined together in A Chapter a Month!

It's easy to try a new author. Spend .99 and if you don't like it, move on. Keep checking the site too. New authors are joining. Including me! I'll be selling a novel on the site starting this summer. Stay tuned for news and details about that here and on