Sunday, February 28, 2010

Giveaway! War of Words by Simon Read

Several months back I won War of Words, by Simon Read on a Twitter giveaway with the fabulous Union Square Press. From the website-

"War of Words tells the shocking story of the birth of the San Francisco Chronicle, a paper founded in a time when the news business was literally a matter of life and death.

In San Francisco of the Old West, bad news was considered the best news and the term “circulation war” was literal. In this midst, Charles de Young—co founder of the San Francisco Chronicle—launched his fledgling paper in 1865. With a nose for news and an ear for gossip, he promoted politicians he favored and lambasted those he scorned. His weapon of choice for ridding San Francisco of corruption was not sword or pistol, but pen.

De Young’s verbal venom targeted Isaac Kalloch, a golden-tongued preacher with a tainted past. Kalloch’s run for mayor infuriated de Young. Insults volleyed back and forth until the verbal blows erupted into explosive violence on the streets of San Francisco.

Using newspaper accounts, diaries, and letters, Simon Read reaches back in time to reconstruct a news story that captivated the nation, granting modern newshounds in-the-moment access to the shocking events that led to the start of one of America’s greatest newspapers."

You all know that I am a huge fan of historical fiction, and this one was an excellent read! At times it was heavy on the historical narration, but then it would swing right back to reading like a dramatic modern day soap opera. Anyone interested in history of journalism, San Fransisco, or just stories about crazy ole' times will surely enjoy this book!

Rather than host a giveaway, I am trying something new. FIRST PERSON TO TELL ME THEY WANT IT, GETS IT. Just leave me a comment below, and it's all yours.


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

You know it's good when it starts with "True Story"...

The other day I went to to visit my Nana. She is at the tail end of pancreatic cancer, so once a week I try to go and sit with her and visit. This week I thought I would bring her some candy. See's is her favorite, so I get in the car (waaaaaay later than I was planning on) and hop on the freeway. Why do I need to get on a freeway to get anywhere?! I mean come on. Then, I passed the exit I needed so I got off the freeway, got back on the freeway, got back off the freeway, and then maneuvered my way into the Mall. Unpack the stroller, drop a rock on my toe (THANK YOU MIDDLE SON) yadda yadda, get to the Sees store. I get her favorite, the 1 lb mixed box and a few things for the boys for Valentines day. Back on the freeway with said candy (and one in my mouth, but whatever). I tried to quickly get all the way over to the carpool lane, but then realized that I wouldn't make it in time for my freeway change, so I swerved all the way back over to the right, to merge onto the 405. I swear i'm a good driver.

Then it happened. Eric Estrada pulled up behind me. Solo. Aren't CHiPS supposed to always be in pairs?! Clearly he was already FAILING as a traffic cop.

Oh shit! Oh shit! Shut up I tell myself. Act natural! Why do we always say "shhhhhhhhhh" when we see a cop?! They're NOT librarians for Christs sake!

Then....the inevitable.....The lights and the "MERP MERP" soundy thing.

So I pull over and he approaches my passenger window.

Eric Estrada- "Ma'm, do you know why I pulled you over?"

Me- "I believe it would be safe to assume it was because I veered so quickly from the left to the right side of the freeway."

Eric - "You would be incorrect in that assumption."

This was gonna be great.

Then, Eric proceeds to tell me he pulled me over because.........of MY TIRE. It's low, and bald, and probably dangerous. But really?! My TIRE?!

Eric asks me for all my info, which I give him, after sorting through sippy cups, Manga novels, and a jumble of plastic body parts. Upon which he asks me THE golden question.

Eric - "And where are you headed young lady?" Oh now it's young lady?! I'm not the babysitter, dude.

And here it is- TRUE STORY...

So I say-"I'm bringing See's candies to my sick Nana who is dying of Pancreatic cancer."

At which point, Eric Estrada shits his pants, gives me all my info back, and wishes me a great day.

And then my Nana split her candy with me, while we watched soap operas and talked about Vampires.