Winner – World Book Day 2015: Blogger Schenken Lesefreude (Bloggers Give Books)

Hi,

It’s finally time to announce the winner of our giveaway to celebrate World Book Day and our Second Blogiversary. Unfortunately, I had to disqualify one entrant for entering the giveaway multiple times. Did you really think I wouldn’t notice?

Edit (5/5/2015 05:12pm):

[Anyways, Rachel, you are the lucky winner of a copy of Donal Ryan’s The Thing About December. I just sent you an e-mail and you have 72 hours to reply.]  Sorry Rachel, but you didn’t answer my e-mail.

This is why we have a new winner: Fornika! Congrats! I just sent you an e-mail and you have 72 hours to reply.

If you haven’t won, don’t be sad, it’s the weekend. Go on and read a good book. There are many more out there 🙂

Blogger Schenken Lesefreude

 Donal Ryan The Thing About December
The Thing About December
Image provided by Transworld¹
Synopsis quoted from Transworld¹:

‘He heard Daddy one time saying he was a grand quiet boy to Mother when he thought Johnsey couldn’t hear them talking. Mother must have been giving out about him being a gom and Daddy was defending him. He heard the fondness in Daddy’s voice. But you’d have fondness for an auld eejit of a crossbred pup that should have been drowned at birth.’

While the Celtic Tiger rages, and greed becomes the norm, Johnsey Cunliffe desperately tries to hold on to the familiar, even as he loses those who all his life have protected him from a harsh world. Village bullies and scheming land-grabbers stand in his way, no matter where he turns.
Set over the course of one year of Johnsey’s life, The Thing About December breathes with his grief, bewilderment, humour and agonizing self-doubt. This is a heart-twisting tale of a lonely man struggling to make sense of a world moving faster than he is.

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Giveaway – World Book Day 2015: Blogger Schenken Lesefreude (Bloggers Give Books)

Happy World Book Day, Book Lovers!

To celebrate World Book Day and our Second Blogiversary, we’re giving away a copy of The Thing About December by Irish author Donal Ryan. I chose this novel because it is one of the best books I’ve read in 2014 and I would love to share this wonderful story with you. All you have to do is answer one quiz question. The giveaway is international and you have time to enter from today until April 30, 2015. Good luck!

Blogger Schenken Lesefreude

 Donal Ryan The Thing About December
The Thing About December
Image provided by Transworld¹
Synopsis quoted from Transworld¹:

‘He heard Daddy one time saying he was a grand quiet boy to Mother when he thought Johnsey couldn’t hear them talking. Mother must have been giving out about him being a gom and Daddy was defending him. He heard the fondness in Daddy’s voice. But you’d have fondness for an auld eejit of a crossbred pup that should have been drowned at birth.’

While the Celtic Tiger rages, and greed becomes the norm, Johnsey Cunliffe desperately tries to hold on to the familiar, even as he loses those who all his life have protected him from a harsh world. Village bullies and scheming land-grabbers stand in his way, no matter where he turns.
Set over the course of one year of Johnsey’s life, The Thing About December breathes with his grief, bewilderment, humour and agonizing self-doubt. This is a heart-twisting tale of a lonely man struggling to make sense of a world moving faster than he is.

  • You can participate as long as The Book Depository ships to your country for free.
  • You have to be 16 or older to participate.
  • The giveaway runs from April 23, 2015 until April 30, 2015.
  • Be fair! One entry per person/immediate family/household.
  • I am not responsible for lost or damaged items. There will be one winner who will receive one English language paperback copy of Donal Ryan’s The Thing About December, sponsored by All That Magic.
  • You you have to enter through Giveaway Tools.
  • The winner will be selected at random and notified via e-mail. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, another winner will be drawn.
  • The personal information you enter will only be used to contact you in case you win. It will be deleted after the giveaway.
  • I can amend and interpret these official rules at any time, and terminate, suspend or cancel the giveaway at any time for any reason.
  • All decisions are final.
If you want to enter the The Thing About December giveaway, click this link: Entry-Form

Review – The Spinning Heart by Donal Ryan

Hello,

After reading Donal Ryan’s wonderful novel The Thing About December, I also had to read The Spinning Heart which was longlisted for the 2013 Man Booker Prize.

The Spinning Heart
Image provided by Doubleday¹

In The Spinning Heart, twenty-one inhabitants of a rural Irish town tell us about their lives after Ireland’s financial collapse.

First to tell his story is Bobby Mahon. He was foreman at the local construction firm, its unexpected closing-down having effects on the whole town. Bobby links the twenty other people who follow, but the more stories we get to read, the harder it gets to remember who is who. There are just too many characters and the Irish names I have never heard before make it a guessing game to find out a character’s gender.

The plot is like a puzzle. In the beginning it seems a bit loose, but the further you read, the more the pieces start to fit together. The individual chapters are like short stories that are just connected enough to make The Spinning Heart a novel. This lack of connection makes the book a bit slow to read. Nevertheless, some of the stories make you want to know more and it is a pity that you have to part ways with the characters so soon. Overall, The Spinning Heart is a nice debut, but if you have to choose, I’d recommend you read The Thing About December.

3 Star Rating: Recommended

¹ http://www.transworldbooks.co.uk/editions/the-spinning-heart/9781781620083

Review – The Thing About December by Donal Ryan

Hi,

Today I’d like to introduce you to Donal Ryan’s novel The Thing About December. I have the hardcover edition, but there’s a new, very beautiful paperback edition that was released last week. Donal Ryan’s first book The Spinning Heart was longlisted for the 2013 Man Booker Prize and won the Guardian First Book Award in the same year.

Also, thank you Iris from Leseerlebnis for this wonderful gift!

The Thing About December
Image provided by Transworld Publishers¹:
Synopsis quoted from Transworld Publishers¹:

‘He heard Daddy one time saying he was a grand quiet boy to Mother when he thought Johnsey couldn’t hear them talking. Mother must have been giving out about him being a gom and Daddy was defending him. He heard the fondness in Daddy’s voice. But you’d have fondness for an auld eejit of a crossbred pup that should have been drowned at birth.’

While the Celtic Tiger rages, and greed becomes the norm, Johnsey Cunliffe desperately tries to hold on to the familiar, even as he loses those who all his life have protected him from a harsh world. Village bullies and scheming land-grabbers stand in his way, no matter where he turns.
Set over the course of one year of Johnsey’s life, The Thing About December breathes with his grief, bewilderment, humour and agonizing self-doubt. This is a heart-twisting tale of a lonely man struggling to make sense of a world moving faster than he is.

My Thoughts:

Donal Ryan set his novel in a village in contemporary Ireland. Large parts of the story take place on Johnsey Cunliffe’s farm which is so lonely it sometimes resembles a still life.

In The Thing About December, we follow one year in the life of the main character Johnsey Cunliffe. Johnsey is a lonely young man with a job he doesn’t like, less than a handful of people he can count on and a lot of problems coming his way. I was instantly able to connect to Johnsey. He is a very sweet man who knows much more than people seem to notice.

Donal Ryan doesn’t use standard English to tell Johnsey’s tale, so some passages might be hard to read for those who aren’t native speakers of English. The language however, reduces our distance to Johnsey to a minimum and helps us to empathize with him. Throughout one year, we get to know the intimate thoughts of a man whom we would probably just pass on the street. The Thing About December will leave you thinking about all the lonely people spending day after day within their four walls and it will make you cherish your friends and family even more. A wonderful novel for everyone.

5beans

¹ http://www.transworldbooks.co.uk/editions/the-thing-about-december/9781781620090