Tag Archives: giveaway

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Reasons I Love the Fall Season

I’ve fallen accustomed to these Top Ten Tuesday posts. There’s a lot more bumping around in my head than book reviews. It’s still mostly books, though. Here’s my 10 reasons to love the Fall season.

1: New Book Discoveries

If you follow me on Twitter, you may have already come across these excellent lists of Fall books:

Amazon’s Fall Review Preview
Goodreads Picks Fall’s Biggest Books
Vulture’s 46 Books to Read This Fall

For me, some of the new authors & books I’ll be discovering are THE SECRET CHORD, AND WEST IS WEST, ALL THE STARS IN HEAVEN, and THE WITCHES. And that’s just some of the books I’ll be reading is just October! (If you haven’t already, check out Lisa See’s review of THE WITCHES on Traveling with T’s site as part of #30Authors.)

2: Books With Diversity!

Two books came out today featuring LBGTQ protagonists: UNDER THE UDALA TREES and AFTER THE PARADE. One is set in 1968 Nigeria where the punishment for having a same sex partner is punishable by stoning–or worse! The other is set in modern day, where a man who has never been alone in 40 years of life sets off on a journey of self discovery, leaving his longtime partner.

3: Stephen King

His writing kicked-off my voracious reading habit; he also celebrated a birthday yesterday. He’s been pumping out two books a year lately, too. The Spring book series is part of a crime phase he’s in; the Fall books brings back classic King. 11/22/63 is my favorite of his latest batch of books. This Fall, we’ll see a new collection of short stories.

4: Halloween

You can’t think of Stephen King and the Fall without thinking of Halloween! My kids have already drawn maps of the neighborhood, strategizing the best routes for candy collection. It’s no wonder this holiday is the second highest spending holiday outside of Christmas. People love the crunching leaves, the spookiness, the dark nights, the scary movies and books.

5: Margaret Atwood

Last year was my first Atwood novel! It was a collection of short stories. This year, her new book THE HEART GOES LAST is about to release (expect a review this week). I’m also listening to Claire Danes narrate A HANDMAID’S TALE. On my shelf is a copy of THE BLIND ASSASSIN. All good!

6: Anthony Marra

One of the best books I read last year is Anthony Marra’s A CONSTELLATION OF VITAL PHENOMENA. I’ve read part of his next book THE TSAR OF LOVE AND TECHNO and so far it is incredible! Starting in Stalin’s Soviet Union, a man is tasked to erase any history of art or media that conflicts with the regime. The stories build from there in typical Marra style. Like I said, incredible!

7: Fall Fairs

I grew up in Ohio and enjoyed the county fairs. Anywhere I’ve moved in the United States, I’m enjoying the fairs: from Washington State to Connecticut. This year: the Big E! They have everything from 2-foot-long corn dogs to fried butter. Yes, butter that is fried. There’s animals and crafts and rides, too, but lots and lots of food. Don’t worry, no fried butter for me.

8: The Fall Weather

Halloween and the fairs wouldn’t be the same without the cool, sometimes windy, weather. There’s just something about the crispness of the air that adds to the season. Pumpkin-flavor everything and warm spice seasonings add to the traditional Fall foods. The kids’ activities are in full swing: Scouting to ballet.

9: Thanksgiving

There’s plenty to be thankful for this year. Here in the states, it is a special day to connect with family and remember the great year.

10: David Mitchell

Last, but certainly not least, is David Mitchell. No stranger to the Man Booker list, his novels span from CLOUD ATLAS to THE BONE CLOCKS. He has even translated a book from Japanese about autism. This Fall, SLADE HOUSE is due to arrive: spooky house, mysterious timeline. Looks like an excellent addition to the Mitchell lineup.


Note: Don’t forget to enter my contest giving away UNDERMAJORDOMO MINOR!

My review is here.
The contest details are here.


Top Ten Tuesday: Reasons to be glad that I’m back from vacation (GIVEAWAY announcement)

I recently returned from a trip in the deep, deep, dark, dark woods. I literally went over the mountains–several of them–and kept going. I was sitting somewhere near the border of Maine and Canada, measurable by latitude and longitude, versus the nearest street corner. Needless to say, I didn’t have cell phone coverage.

What could have looked like this:

Thankfully turned out more like this:

I had a great time connecting with family and nature. I’m also glad to be back!

Here are ten reasons that I’m glad to be back:

1. Announcing the winner of the ARMADA giveaway!

Nearly three weeks ago I posted a contest celebrating 300 blog followers. In that time, I’ve gained nearly 50 more followers!!! THANK YOU, everyone!!

The winner of the book ARMADA is Msbiblioglasses. I’ve reached out to her, asking for an address to send the book.

2. Announcing ANOTHER contest!!

I just posted my review of UNDERMAJORDOMO MINOR by Patrick DeWitt. It just so happens that Ecco Books gave me an extra copy to give to one of YOU!!


Thanks to Tamara Welch for helping me work out some kinks in my last contest. (You should follow her rockin’ bookish Twitter account at @rockstar1023.)

Click below to submit an entry to the contest (U.S. Mailing addresses only; an international contest is coming soon–I promise!). You can get a free entry just by clicking and answering a simple question, or more entries for following me on Twitter and Tweeting a message about the giveaway. Anyhow:


If I set it up correctly, you can get an extra entry for sending a Tweet. Try the button in the link above and see. The contest runs through 9/23–good luck!!

3. I read lots of books in the woods. Now to do the reviews.

Here’s one of the reviews I posted (did three yesterday): IDYLL THREATS

4. Catching up on Twitter.

Wow! A lot can happen on Twitter while you are away. Today is no exception: with the release of FATES AND FURIES and a slew of other books, along with Agatha Christie’s birthday, and the Man Booker Short List announced. Wow!!

Feel free to follow me or send me a Tweet: @ryan_reads

Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered!

5. Catching up on Instagram!

My bookstagram account is now up to over 500 followers–thank you!!! But let me pause and direct your attention to an awesome account to follow: @books_with_taylor. Taylor is an up-and-coming publishing industry rock star. She was with Algonquin and is now with Scribner. And, yes, those are authors she’s standing with in all those photos. For example, you can go there and see her with Liz Egan from A WINDOW OPENS.

6. Did I mention I read lots of books while away? Yeah, lots of them.

Here’s my review of the self-help, change your habits book TRIGGERS.

7. Yes, a LOT of books.

@books_with_taylor above introduced me to David Cronenberg’s CONSUMED. You may know him from movies like THE FLY or HISTORY OF VIOLENCE. Expect more of the same in the book. (In case you didn’t click the link, my review says: it’s really good!). Not for everyone. Here’s the NSFW–VERY NSFW–trailer for the book. Yes, you can see read typical Cronenberg stuff like this:

8. I mean like, a TON of books.

Here’s one that game out today: SUPERBETTER. Whether you play video games or not, you can get–not just better–but SuperBetter at life. Jane McGonigal is the “first person in the world to earn a Ph.D. studying the psychological strengths of gamers and how those strengths can translate to real-world problem solving.” She takes her TED talks and puts it to great use in her second book. Go for it!

9. So many books.

I linked it above, but I finished up UNDERMAJORDOMO MINOR while in the woods. It was quirky and very good. It’s a lesson on life, but mainly about love. Make sure you click the entry above!

I also read IN A DARK, DARK WOOD, which I hope to review tomorrow.

10. Back to you and this blog.

A lot happened in the short period I was away. I think I would like to start a new segment on Friday called FRIENDSHIP FRIDAY. This Friday I will be talking about planning for upcoming books and writing to the publishers to request those books! If you have any tips, please let me know in the comments below. I’ll be sure to point back here and perhaps to your blog.

So, while I had fun, it’s good to be back!

GIVEAWAY!! Celebrating 300 followers

This week, I’ve crossed over 300 in four ways:

This calls for a celebration!!!!!!

To celebrate, I’m giving away a copy of ARMADA by Ernest Cline.

Because I already have a copy, I can only ship to addresses within the United States. For my international fans, I’ll be hosting a book depository giveaway in the near future (think 500 followers) for a book of your choosing.


I have reviewed ARMADA, but here are some other great reviews:

Aside from this hard cover book, check out the SWEET inside of the dust jacket:


Here are the details:

  • Must be following my blog
  • Reside in the United States
  • To enter, like and comment on this post (anything, about this book or whatever)
  • Contest runs through September 15, 2015
  • Winner will be randomly selected
  • Winner will be announced here and on another post

THANK YOU to everyone that is following, here and on Twitter and on Instagram!!!

Feel free to use the sharing buttons below to spread the knowledge of this contest. If it goes well, there will be many more to come!

UPDATED: Thank you to everyone that entered. Congrats to Msbiblioglasses for winning! FYI: there’s a new contest!!!