Monday, February 7, 2011

It's An Ill Wind That Blows No Good

I had a less than stellar day last week, one that included bad surprises both North and South of 49. I consoled myself with the fact that if I could just hang in there until after dinner things would improve. After all, it isn't often that I get to hear an author speak whose book was nominated for the Man Booker Prize.

Somehow our local library had managed to get Emma Donoghue to come give a talk about her latest book Room, which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. I had listened to an interview with this author on CBC radio some months earlier and here's the thing. She might live in Canada, but she is originally from Ireland. This means she comes complete with an Irish accent, and to tell you the truth she could have been giving a talk about how to program a DVR and I would have signed up just so I could listen to her.

Her book is extremely popular and has a huge hold line ahead of me for library copies. I knew there was no possible way a copy would become available before the scheduled talk, but I also knew I would get more out of her talk if I had actually read the book. Still, for several reasons, I was hesitant to buy a copy. This book is just not the kind of thing I normally read. Plus it is only out in hardcover so is pricey. And if you remember from an earlier blog post I am on a minimalizing program. This meant that if I bought the book I had to get rid of three other books in my collection.

Of course, I caved and ordered the book online. In the end what tipped the scales in favour of buying it was the fact that I could get it signed by Emma Donoghue. What bibliophile doesn't love a signed copy of a book? However, in order to meet the minimum amount required to get free shipping I had to also order another book, which meant I was now out six books under my minimalizing plan and $45 (okay, I didn't need to spend that much to get free shipping, but the other book I had in my wish list was also pricey). By the way, this process of spending money in order to save money actually has a name. It is called spaving. Really. If you don't believe me check out the Urban Dictionary.

The book came just a few days before the scheduled talk, so I put aside all my other reading material, left my knitting needles untouched, and spent the weekend reading. Honestly, I have to say that if I wasn't going to hear the author, and if I hadn't by now invested quite heavily in this book I probably would not have finished it. The subject matter was darker than I usually delve into, but I persevered. Sunday afternoon I breathed a sigh of relief when I turned to the final page. Now I was prepared for the talk.

So while I was in the midst of one of the unpleasant events of that day the phone rang. It was the library. They wanted to let me know that due to the winter storms in Ontario Emma Donoghue's plane had not been able to take off and the talk was canceled. And I had thought the day couldn't get any worse. All I could think of as I hung up the phone was, "But I bought the book..."

Since "it's an ill wind that blows no good" I have decided to give the book away to a lucky reader of this blog. Please don't be frightened off by my comments about the book. It is not a bad book. In fact, it is very well-written. The problem is I am the wrong reader for the book. It needs a new home.

If you would like a chance at winning what is quite possibly the most expensive unautographed copy of Emma Donoghue's book Room in existence all you have to do is leave a comment on this post. If you link to this post on your blog I will enter your name an extra time. If you become a follower of this blog that will earn you an extra entry as well. Just be sure to leave your email address within your comment so I have a way of getting in touch with you should you end up being the winner. Also, if you put a link in your blog or you become a follower please indicate that in your comment as well. I am willing to send this book anywhere in the world that Canada Post delivers. After all, as long as I'm spaving, I might as well spave big. The contest ends at midnight February 13th, and the winner will be announced February 14th. Bonne chance!


  1. I read a review of this book just a few days ago. I don't think I want to read it.

  2. My Irish grandmother will be disappointed in me, but I think I should pass on entering and allow the book to find a better home. I don't usually read dark material either.

    Thanks to a fortunate typo, I'm on my way to creating a new word: defination. It will be the term used for a definition that is specific to a particular nation. LOL!

    You reminded me that I have a spaving story. My oldest brother and his wife owed me $$$ and had stopped making their monthly payments. Three months later, the wife was telling my mother about the great deal she got on a new sound system. I said nothing, but she pushed, insisting that I agree she had saved a lot of money. Well, I guess I should save the ending for a post.

  3. I can read dark material that I can't watch on TV. I could give the book a home.

    I just read the review and it is a sad premise. I used to have to work very hard to entertain my ADD boy at the bus, in waiting rooms and worst of all at a restaurant. I think I'm curious about how this mother entertained her son.

  4. I knew there was a reason I was not technically "following" your blog yet!
    Now I am. And I'm commenting to double my chances.
    I have been reading steadily in the last couple months, so its not that I'm lacking material, but I like to mix it up now and then, and the premise sounds VERY interesting...I could give "Room" a home. On top of that, I can't say no to free books.

  5. Hi there, I found your blog via Ravelry. I have been wanting to read this book for ages, but similar to your library, the wait list is taking forever! I think it's been over six weeks now.

    I'm going to follow your blog, too. (I'm also having a giveaway on my blog, if you'd care to take a look!)


  6. The cover makes me want to own that book, but the write-up sounds like a Jodi Picolt storyline. Too dark for my season of life. It should go to someone other than me :)

  7. Oh, Kristie, I don't want to read it either -- I just want to congratulate you on a wonderful, funny post. I've picked the book up a couple of times in bookshops -- I think we have the paperback, here -- and put it down again.

  8. Oh, I'd love to win this book!!
    I'm a follower too ;)

    Have a great week.

    hege-svendsen at

  9. I'm glad you read it..... now I don't have to! Sorry you had to buy the book. Have you thought about donating it to your library? That way, the long list of people eagerly waiting would be shorter...... it is what I do whenever I find myself with a popular book (or book on tape) that I do not love. I love my library, and it always makes me feel less guilty for spending the money on something I could have waited for.

    Barbara M.

  10. Sounds dark, but very interesting. Sometimes we need those dark stories to remind us of the light in our lives.

  11. I like free books!
    Too bad the talk got canceled. Especially when you went to all that trouble.
    p.s. I never know what to expect with this blog...
    throwing in Urban Dictionary references? :)

  12. Hi, I'd love to win this! I'm following your blog, and I've included a link at my own blog. :)

  13. Looks interesting, and I'd like to read it. I've linked to the giveaway from my blog and you can contact me by leaving a comment there.