A Typepad glitch prevented this post from going live so we've extended the closing deadline.
So, we never really get to offer a title that's under actual LBC consideration because we actually have to, you know, read our copy. But thanks to the kind folks at Riverhead, you now have a chance to read one of the summer nominations before the next READ THIS! selection is announced. We're looking forward to reading Nicola Griffin's Always, which has already garnered quite a bit of blog love. To that end, we are very, very pleased to have Colleen Mondor, Bookslut contributor, Summer Blog Tour organizer and host of Chasing Ray, stop by to tell you something about this book:
Nicola Griffith's Always marks the return of heroine Aud Torvingen, known for being tough and determined in previous novels, The Blue Place and Stay. While fans of the earlier titles will be delighted with this new offering, I came to Always with no knowledge at all of Torvingen or Griffith. What I found was not so much the noir hero advertised by the jacket copy, but a complex female protagonist caught up in a twisting storyline that encompassed mystery, romance, suspense and family drama. Ultimately I would have to classify this book as a big a literary thriller that takes readers through plots tied to real estate scams and domestic violence but never loses sight of what the book is really all about. You can enjoy these diversions (and the domestic violence sub plot will frankly blow you away by the end), but at its heart Always is more about the very nature of strength and how much emotional strength is part of the equation. If you are weakened by disease or trauma, are you still strong enough to be an equal component in a relationship - be it friendship or romance? How do we measure equality in our relationships and how do we navigate the shaky ground that diminished strength can present in issues of love? There's far more to those questions in Always and as Aud tries to find her way to what she needs - to who she needs to be - while in relationships with a lover, friend and parent, readers will be swept along by her discoveries. Quite frankly, it's impressive to see a protagonist that is kicking ass one moment and waxing philosophical on the complications of physical attraction the next. Always is smartly written, tightly paced and wholly original. As Gwenda Bond put it recently: One of the key differences between Aud and the typical male larger-than-life thriller hero is the depth at which we get to look at her insides--those characters tend to be ciphers, the reasons they are what they are often too thin to stand up to scrutiny. And they very rarely change. Aud isn't a cipher and she is constantly growing, changing, learning while still being completely consistent as a character, both of which are tributes to Griffith's fine, fine writing.
I found Always to be complex and complicated in all the best kinds of ways; it's a great read and absolutely perfect for summer.
You all know the drill by now. We'll take all entries until 8 p.m. PST, so drop us a note, subect line: ALWAYS AUD. At 3 p.m., we'll turn to the Random Number Generator and announce a lucky winner. As always, please include your full mailing address. Previous winners ineligible. And thanks, Colleen.
UPDATE: Congratulations to winner Nicole Perrin of Norwalk, CT. Have a fine weekend, folks.