Books! Friends! Contest! Oh my!

I’ve never done a contest before. My days in TV, when I had to answer the phone for wackos calling to win free stuff, turned me off to the whole idea. But I think it’s time to change that.

My friend Liz, wrote a fabulous book:

My (NOT SO)Liz Owen my not so storybook life Storybook Life is old-fashioned humor mashed with literary spoofery. Elizabeth thinks of herself and her husband, Matt, as a modern day Lucy and Ricky Ricardo. Together they’ve endured paint-color mishaps, sewage disasters, pest infestations, and a schnauzer that poops at tornado sirens. It was hardly the domestic perfection a young Liz imagined while reading Anne of Green Gables and Pride and Prejudice. Could it be that these literary stalwarts had led her astray?

Liz tells the story of her own path to happiness, along the way seeking revenge on her literary heroes: Jo March has to cope with a soul-sucking job, Elizabeth Bennett shepherds a Duggar-size brood of kids, and Anne Shirley deals with a penny-pinching husband.

I have an extra copy of the book, and I’m going to give it to one of you. (I bought one, and then her publisher sent me one!!) Because I’m crazy awesome like that. Part of what made me so awesome is all the books I read as a kid. Like Liz, my appetite for words was almost insatiable. So many of my friends are book nerds too.

So here’s the contest:

  • Leave a comment telling what book character influenced your world view. (Your comment is your entry.)
  • One week from today, November 10, I’ll use random.org to select a winner. Here’s the crazy cool part: I’ll even use my considerable amazingness to get the book signed by the author, personalized to whomever the winner wants. (Fine. I work with her husband, and I’ll send it home with him and a post it. But it will still be way cool.)

Did you go to France because you secretly wanted to be Madeline? Did you and your friends build a fort like the kids in Bridge to Terabithia? Do you still eat second breakfast like the hobbits in Lord of the Rings? That last one is probably just me.

Tell me all about it. Let me know your book memories and you could win another terrific book. And if you don’t win, you should totally buy it. It really is that good.

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21 Comments

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21 responses to “Books! Friends! Contest! Oh my!

  1. Anne Frank had the most profound effect on me as an adolescent. The book was a gift from my fifth grade teacher. She was so thoughtful and clever, wise beyond her years. The issues she faced as a young girl were so heartbreaking yet universal (aside from the Nazi persecution). First love, insecurity as a young girl, sexual awakening, sharing space with a sibling, etc. She inspired me to keep a journal, which may be why I went into journalism later.

  2. berit

    a.a. milne’s lovable Winnie the Pooh. an extraordinary outlook and simple stature as a bear with very little brain is wholly overshadowed by his love and fantastic intentions for his friends. i strive to love my friends the same way, even with very little brain. i’m still looking for my thoughtful spot, though.

  3. Anne of Green Gables and me, we’re kindred spirits. I adore the way Anne acts out parts of books and spells her name with an E and always gets into trouble by letting her imagination carry her away. When I first heard the story, I thought, “I am just like her… or maybe I wish I were more like her… but we’re definetely two peas in a pod.” She inspired me to read and definitely to write. (I have a degree in journalism.) She inspired me to stand up for myself, to use my creativity as often as possible, and she taught me the importance of having a bosom friend. The only difference between Anne Shirley and me? Her temper. I guess my hair isn’t red enough. 😉

  4. Sarabeth

    I loved the story of Sara Crewe in A Little Princess. We shared a name – and I always hoped that no matter what happened to me, I would keep on living as a princess, just like she did.

  5. Dagny Taggart in ATLAS SHRUGGED. Read the book for the first time in the 8th grade … reading a little above my level … or so Ms. James (my English teacher) at the time … but after I wrote a most compelling report on the book and explained to her the concepts of capitalism … she supported many more of my reading choices! I have always been fascinated with business … and entrepreneurship … and the creativity & intelligence needed to be successful as both. I have always strived to be that type of person … using my mind & my gifts … in business … for the pure joy of achieving or inventing or doing something in a new, fresh way.

  6. jblocker

    Dick and Jane Run! I remember when I read it over and over and over again, when the light bulb clicked and I understood!!! I read everything now!!

  7. Karrie

    My inspiring book wouldha e to be The day jimmy boa ate the wash. No particular reason just a good ole book that I always read growing up

  8. Ann Vidoloff

    Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh was a fabulous book. Poor Harriet writes down everything she sees and then discovers people don’t always view themselves in such honest detail. 🙂 Harriet was a gal trying to reconcile honesty and eventually, tact. I, too, have had to learn that not everyone wants to know that the emperor is naked. Just looking at the cover when I went searching for the author on the internet today brought a smile to my face. In fact, I think Miss Harriet is due for a re-read. 🙂

  9. Rondell

    I have loved to read since I can remember! There are so many books that influenced me as I was growing up but I think the one that sticks in my memory the most is Little Women, I think over the years I’ve read it at least 6 times!

  10. Bec

    Morrie Schwartz changed my life. Tuesdays with Morrie is the first book that I remember actually tearing up over. I related with the fear, and confusion of knowing a beloved mentor was reaching the end of their life.

    ” If you hold back on the emotions – if you don’t allow yourself to go all the way through them – you can never get to being attached, you’re too busy being afraid” …… The book changed how I react to emotion. I now (and have for over a decade) dive in fully to emotion, feel it fully, then try to figure things out.

  11. Holly Golightly from Breakfast at Tiffany’s changed my view of life when I was teenager.

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  13. My favorite book is “My Name is Ashler Lev,” it’s the only book I have ever read more than once. I first read it for a class in college – Religion in Literature – and I still recommend it to anyone who asks for suggestions on what to read. His struggle with being who he was when it wasn’t acceptable to his religion or family. . . devastatingly beautiful.

  14. Mary Tanner

    The Mother in “The Last Sin Eater” by Francine Rivers. How complicated things become when we are not able to honestly share our hearts about our failures and our victories in life. So sad that if only we communicate honestly misunderstandings can be avoided. I love her books.

  15. Engaburg Borlin. An Untamed Land!

  16. It’s so hard to pick just one character. My shy and quiet, prim and proper days of childhood (many thanks to my sweet southern mother and etiquette class) were in constant struggle against the Anne Shirley’s who climbed wild cherry trees, the Heidi’s who ran free in the Alps and ate SO MUCH CHEESE Mmmmmm!!! and the Jo’s who ran around as tomboys. Luckily, this mighty team of heroines won. No surprise, since Pippi was their leader =) And I have to say, my life has been much more fulfilling (and never a dull moment) ever since!

  17. Karen

    Just one? JUST ONE? How can I pick only one influence from my early years?
    The first books I remember devouring were Nancy Drew mysteries.
    (I still go through them like M&Ms.) Nancy was smart, popular, and got to travel to interesting places. And she helped people. I adored her. Did she have a profound effect on my world view? Maybe not, but she always dressed right for the occasion, and who doesn’t need to learn that lesson early?

  18. Waynette Traub

    Laura Ingles Wilder. I read the entire collection many times. I would braid my long hair like Laura when I was a kid. I would build forts/nest in the woods near my house pretending I was a frontier girl. I would escape reality when riding my horse by pretending I was Laura in the big woods. Today, I escape by hiking, exploring junk shops and nesting at my own home. Calico material is still a favorite pattern in fabric for me although you will not see me wearing it now.

  19. Carolyn A.

    I would say the guy (the name escapes me) from Flowers for Algernon. Love that book.

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