Goodreads Book Giveaway

Back To Good by Laura McCarthy Benson

Back To Good

by Laura McCarthy Benson

Giveaway ends April 07, 2017.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

09 April 2009


So I'm totally excited about this contest today! I'm giving away 4 Books instead of the three that I posted yesterday! THEY are: Along for the Ride, Sarah Dessen Strange Angels, Lili St. Crow Unclaimed Heart, Kim Wilkins Waiting on You, Susane Colasanti These ARE extremely sought after books, so I've upped the stakes a bit. I want to read (between 500-750 words)what your favorite book is and who is your favorite author. You can post here or you can e-mail me at If you e-mail me, YOU MUST post HERE to let me know. I'm the only one judging these small essays so don't be afraid. I'm not looking for brilliant pieces of work, just something from your heart. If it doesn't hit the word count, don't worry, mine didn't either, that is a guideline. Just have fun and think about what book you consider your favorite. Like I mentioned yesterday, unfortunately this contest is open to the US and CA. Please have fun with this contest. And to get it started! My favorite books of all time have to be the "Little House" series. I adored Pa and Ma and Mary and Laura and Carrie and what life was like in Frontier America. The hard winters they endured in Milwaukee the move to Missouri. Laura meeting and falling in love with Almonzo Wilder. I know there are so many great authors out there, but I'd have to say Laura Ingalls Wilder is by far my favorite. Her life was so richly depicted in books and she lives such a long life (she died at age 90). She wrote from the heart and told her story the only way she could with truth. I was also a HUGE fan of the show that was on in the '70s. Even now, when I catch it on cable, I have to stop and watch because it reminds me of being bathed, in my jammies, sitting on the couch and watching it with my mom. That was the routine EVERY Monday night! I've tried to read them to Rebecca, but she never got into it, so I'm sharing them with Lily and she really enjoys them. I encourage everyone to try out Laura Ingalls Wilder. She is an American gem. This contest will close on May 3, 2009


  1. I'd have to say my favorite book is Keeping You A Secret by Julie Anne Peters. There aren’t many books for GLBT teens out there, and I think this one is definitely one of the better ones. It’s about a girl, Holland, who meets a new girl at her school and starts to fall in love with her. But Holland has a boyfriend, and isn’t sure what to do. She decides to go after the girl, but has to hide it so that her peers and mom don’t find out. But then they do, and, well it’s a great story. Julie Anne Peters is also one of my favorite authors, because of how she writes and the topic she writes on. All of her books have to do with GLBT teens in some way, and I think that’s great. I definitely look up to her, and we need more authors like her. Anyone who is GLBT and hasn’t read her books definitely should. I’d even recommend it to anyone who wants to see what kind of harassment and whatnot that GLBT people have to face in every day life.

    GLBT = gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgendered, if you didn’t know. :)


  2. My favorite book of all time is the Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien, who is also my favorite author. Tolkien wrote so that every word felt alive. Many people don’t like his books because they feel that there’s too much description and information in them, but that’s why I love them. He created whole races, languages, alphabets, customs, and histories for Middle Earth, most of which we as the reader would never need to know about, but all of which make the books so much more life-like. Since you know about the history of Isildur you understand Aragorn better. You get a better feel for the rich culture of the elves by the inclusion of the Elvish language in the books.

    When you read Tolkien’s writing you aren’t left with a series of questions wondering about something, because he comes out and tells you what happened or why something happened or the history of a specific place. When other authors don’t do this I feel like I missed something, or just think “Gee, I wish I knew _____”. For me, reading about Middle Earth is like having one of those awesome history teachers that doesn’t focus solely on dates, but tells you about the events in a way that makes them seem real.

    This is why I love the Silmarillion so much. The Silmarillion is essentially the entire backstory to The Lord of the Rings. It starts literally at the beginning of time and covers the wars against Morgoth, who is basically a corrupt god. It’s the entire history of the Elvish civilization, though it also includes the story of the human race as well up to the start of the first war against Sauron. However, it doesn’t read like a history textbook. Each chapter is a separate story, with references to other events and chapters. When you read them in order they give you a timeline of events, but if you read just one chapter it’s like reading a fairytale or a short story.

    Plus, the Silmarillion has stories about everything. The Tale of Beren and Luthien is a love story to rival even Romeo and Juliet. The Children of Hurin is full of tragedy and betrayal and mistakes. Then there’s the stories of the five battles against Morgoth, of which my favorite is the Nirnaeth Arnoediad, or the Battle of Unnumbered Tears. For anyone who’s really familiar with The Lord of the Rings, however, the best part of the Silmarillion will undoubtedly be towards the end of the book, where you start getting references to familiar characters, such as Elrond and Gandalf and Galadriel.

    Even if you haven’t read The Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit you could still read the Silmarillion, simply because it starts literally at the beginning. All of the little details included in The Lord of the Rings, such as customs and languages and the history of a culture, are actually unfolding and starting to develop, so you don’t miss out on anything. I highly recommend both this book and its author to everyone, simply because it appeals to anyone.


  3. Interesting contest. I'll enter for sure. It's okay as long as I have an US address to receive the books if I (am lucky enough to) win right?

  4. Great idea for a contest! I'm not entering, but good luck to everyone that is! :D

  5. Thao, that is fine!

    WhatBriReads and Willowe, Love your stories! Excellent!

  6. If I had to choose, I would say that my favorite book of all time is Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. Speak is about a girl, Melinda, who has withdrawn herself from everyone and everything around her, to the point where she hardly talks at all. She has lost all her friends and has gained the hatred of her peers for calling the police that broke up a huge party during the summer. Anderson keeps the reason why Melinda called the police a secret until further into the book, and while I already knew what was coming, it still impacted me the same when I actually read it. Speak, in all it's 200 pages, spoke to me in a way a book never had before. I felt things while reading this book that books never had made me feel. I knew that for me, this was the book. The book that showed me what reading, writing, and expressing yourself through words was all about. The book that would stay with me for times to come. The book which the words it contained would still run through my head long after I set the book down. I don't think many readers ever get the chance to experience such a thing, which is why I consider myself lucky for coming across this book. I doubt any book will ever mean as much to me as this one did, which is why Laurie Halse Anderson is my favorite author. Up until the point that I read Speak I had never come across narrators that were so pained, but at the same time so funny and sarcastic. Anderson writes those types of characters amazingly. I was so upset to learn that she had done a big trip to my library only two years before I ever read her books. I have never wanted to meet an author more in person than Laurie Halse Anderson. One day, I know I will meet her, and tell her how much her books meant to me.


  7. Okay, I just read Thao's comment and I'm glad. :) I'm trying out for this contest. Just need to get the creative juices running. Thanks!

  8. My favorite books (because I can't choose) are: Prophecy Of The Sisters By: Michelle Zink, Order Of Odd Fish By: James Kennedy, and the Mortal Instruments Trilogy By: Cassandra Clare! (Those are only a few by the way!) The reasons that those are my favorites are: Prophecy Of The Sisters was interesting and a dark gothic YA read which I love stuff like that. Order Of Odd Fish has really weird ideas but James Kennedy is able to put you in a whole other world where you get the customs and everything else very quickly. ( Which by the way I love!) The Mortal Instruments was totally amazing (basically words kind describe all of the awesomeness in these books!) and unlike Twilight I absolutely loved all of the books! Now onto my favorite authors. Cassandra Clare, Michelle Zink, James Kennedy, Laini Taylor, Lisa Mantchev, and TONS more!

    Thanks Laura,
    Senfaye :)

  9. I am going to travel on the route of clich├ęs and cringe-like nods and say Twilight by Stephanie Meyer. Has it been the best book or series I read? No. Has it been my favorite I have read? No. So why do I love it so? Stephanie Meyer has done what many other books I have read have not been able to do—continuously read.

    Before Twilight I dabbled into a book here and there whenever I got bored—nothing too addictive…yet. It was never anything serious mostly school related topics. So when the buzz around school was that Twilight was the book to read—teenage girls swooned, the book on the bus (attached to girls by their hips), in class, everywhere! I quickly ran to my local library—by quickly I mean after 2 years—and borrowed it straight away. Addiction! Total and complete worship! After 1 day I ran back to the library to grab New Moon and Eclipse! I fell in love with teens books ever since. It was what fueled me and motivated me that there are some amazing books out that!

    Twilight may not be the most brilliant thing ever created but for a late bloomer such as me, you can call it the Eiffel Tower or Van Gogh and I would have believed you even if it was a dumpster besides the local Chinese take-out. It was sheer perfection, absolute genius, Ms. Meyer was, that morphed the traditional vampire into something body tingling. Do not believe me? The Twilight was the first book I ever owned. No picture books, no books from school sales, nothing. It took me a few months collecting it and it was worth it. I am proud albeit just in private that I loved Twilight and it will forever hold a place in my reading heart.

    Nowadays I read about 2-3 books per week outside of school and for that, we can thank Twilight. So yes, Twilight impacted me on my reading life on a large scale. I would have never been a bibliophile or even meet many of the fellow bloggers (whom I chat with on some occasions when I should not have!) if it were not for Twilight.

  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

  11. This is a great contest. You are so right these books are really sought after. im going to email you.
    thanks for the contest!

  12. My favorite book, one that I read to my students every year, no matter their age, is A Dog Called Kitty by Bill Wallace. This is the sweet story about a boy, who is scared of dogs, that befriends a stray dog who shows up in their barn and won't leave. He starts out wanting to kill the dog and put him out of his misery, and goes to trying to keep the dog from getting killed when the neighboring farmers put out poison meat because a dog is killing their cattle. Kitty is named because he comes to feed when mom calls the cats, "Here kitty, kitty, kitty." I love the story because it shows how the love of an animal can change people. It does have a sad ending, and no matter how many times I read it, I still tear up everytime.
    Bill Wallace would have to be on of my favorite authors, not only because of this book, but because of others too, like Beauty. Most of his stories are based on animals and they are just so touching. He writes for upper elementary, middle grade kids, but adults will love his books as well. I know I do!

    shelcows AT gmail DOT com

  13. I just e-mailed my entry to you, hope you like it!
    my email address is

  14. I just e-mailed my entry to you, hope you like it!
    my email address is

  15. I just e-mailed my entry, its

  16. I just e-mailed my entry, its

  17. whoops, sorry, I thought that my computer was screwing up when I didn't see the post, I'm sorry!

  18. Okay, I would have to say that my favorite book of all time is Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret. by Judy Blume. The book is about an eleven-year-old girl named Margaret who moves from New York to Farbrook, New Jersey. Through the book she tries to deal with growing up, making new friends, and finding out who she really is.

    I no longer gush about the book daily to my friends, or reread it every other week, but for me, this book will always hold a special place in my heart. I can really identify with the main character in the book, mostly because of how she feels about religion. Her parents are both different religions, Catholic and Jewish, so they do not force her to follow any specific religion, they let her choose. When she moves to New Jersey, every one is either Catholic or Jewish, and they are amazed that she doesn't abide by a specific religion. Margaret feels that she does not need to give a name to what she believes, she just has to have faith and love. I feel like this also, because even though my family is religious, I really don't like having to go to church because it just seems that it should feel more important or special, but it doesn't. Also, I always feel that I am closer to God when I am alone.

    Even though I am much older than I was when I was really into this book, I still have happy memories involving it, and it is just really special to me. I would definitely recommend this to any young girl coming into her teenage years, it really makes you feel more confident about yourself and your beliefs.


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