Tag Archives: Book

100th Post and a Giveaway!

23 Mar

image from the interpreter

100 POSTS!!!

I can’t believe it! When I carved out my little cornet of the internet on November first, 2011, I didn’t honestly know if I would stick with this more than a month. I didn’t think anyone would read or care, but 100 posts later we’ve had some good discussions, I’ve had an essay published on a major online community, and I’ve made friends I never would have met otherwise. I know it’s not as big as, say, a year’s anniversary, but for a lady notorious for starting projects and not seeing them through, 100 posts is a pretty big deal. On this auspicious posting occasion I feel like it’s a good time to looking back on all that’s happened in the last 4.5 months. Oh, and celebrate with a GIVEAWAY!

I’ve gotten tons of questions and comments on the rotating art gallery I use as my header. I’ve talked about how much I love the artist, the lovely Nidhi Chanani of San Francisco, and even dedicated one of my favorite Friday Fives to how her art perfectly illustrates my life right now. Nidhi has graciously agreed to help celebrate my 100th post by giving away a signed copy of her gorgeous book Everyday Love. It’s an 8×10 soft cover with 96 pages of over 98 of her gorgeous art prints. Help me thank her for her generosity by heading over to her etsy shop and checking out the book for yourself. See below for how you can win a copy of this gorgeous collection of some truly unique art.

It’s Friday, boys and girls, which means that 100th post or not, it’s time for a Friday five. I wanted to share five of my favorite experiences since November first, when I started this blog. Here they are, in no particular order:

Going away with A before tax season started, and starting a new tradition.

Visiting my little sis and seeing some seriously amazing art.

Going on a spiritual retreat (sadly without A) and further cementing some already amazing friendships.

Writing this, and having some amazing conversations with my girlfriends as a result.

Joining a gym and committing to make time to put my health first. (Btw I found out last night that I’ve dropped 4% of my body fat in the last three weeks. I’ve lost 7 pounds of fat and gained five of muscle. Boo yah!)

So that’s my Friday Five. Now, on to the GIVEAWAY!!!

Enter to win a signed copy of Everyday Love by Nidhi Chanani up to four times by doing the one or all of the following:

  1. Leave a comment below telling me one of the best things that’s happened to you since November first, 2011.
  2. Follow my blog via a reader or email. (Enter your address in the field on the top of the right sidebar for an email subscription.)
  3. Tweet a link to this giveaway.
  4. Share a link to this giveaway on Facebook or Google+.

If you choose to do any of options two through four, please include them in your comment. (If you already follow my blog through a reader or email, include this in your comment as well.)
For example, here’s a sample comment:

One of my favorite experiences has been crossing three goals off of my life list since November. I already follow Bigger in Real Life by email, and I tweeted about your giveaway and posted about it on my wall. (Or whatever the Fbook lingo is. Ya’ll know I’m not down with the FB.)

This person would get four entries into the drawing for Nidhi’s book. Comments will be open until 9:00pm PST on Monday, March 26th. The winner will be chosen through a random drawing, and I’ll announce the winner on Tuesday, March 27th.

Good luck everyone! And may the odds be ever in your favor.

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Friday Five: Books That Keep Me Up All Night

2 Mar

There’s been a lot of sleepless nights lately at casa de BiRL. For once it’s not just because of insomnia, I’ve been reading some really excellent books lately. Unfortunately they all seem to get good right before bed. So here they are, the top five titles that have kept me up lately, from most to least recent:

The Paris Wife

Since I just reviewed this awesome book, I’ll spare you, except to say read it! But not before bed. I saw the sun rise thanks to this little gem.

Unbroken

Again, recently reviewed. This one comes with a serious Do Not Start Before Bed warning. Or, if you do, stop once Loius gets to Hawaii. After that there’s no turning back until the war’s over.

The Night Circus

Oh! I so called it! I picked up this book shortly after it came out (that was pre-Bigger in Real Life, and I’ve been meaning to write the review for a while) and as soon as I was done I said to A, “I bet they’re going to make this into a movie. It would make a really good one.” And I was right! (I’d put money on Unbroken being made into a movie too, by the way.) I totally see this visually taking on a Baz Luhrmann à la Moulin Rouge feel. Here’s hoping! Check out Cinema Blend for the full story. Anyhow, self-congratulations aside, this book is lovely. Luminous yet dark with pulsating, palpable descriptions, The Night Circus is a haunting novel that feeds into my love of gothic-esque fiction. It’s a longer read, so didn’t read all of it in one night, but I definitely stayed up way past the point of comfort because I couldn’t ever fathom what would come next.

Another Piece of My Heart

Jane Green’s been a favorite of mine for years. Yes, she writes what would be classified as “chick lit,” but I like to think that it’s the thinking girl’s chick lit. I snagged this book as a pre-publication promo, and it’s another book I’ve been meaning to review. Jane Green still needs to get an American to proof-read her books for accuracy sake, but I think this is her most raw, moving book to date. She takes an already hard situation–making a blended family work when the mom is an alcoholic, the dad is raising his two girls, the oldest of which becomes unmanageable when he marries another woman, around whom most of the story is based–and ups the ante by throwing in infertility issues and a prodigal daughter. All this has the potential to stray across the line of believability in the hands of a less talented writer, but Jane Green always writes incredibly believable characters that have you feeling every hurt and triumph right along with them. Though a longer novel for a girly-book, it’s still a fast, yet satisfying read. I read this in one night mostly because I thought I could. And I did.

Garden Spells

I own every book Sarah Addison Allen has written, thanks to how utterly and completely I fell in love with Garden Spells. Her other books are wonderful, but nothing compares to this first one. I picked it up before a long weekend in a mountain cabin, not knowing what to expect. After reading for a half-hour next to an increasingly sleep-deprived A, I got up and padded into the living room because I knew I was in it for the long haul. I fell head-over heels into the world of Claire and Sydney Waverly, their lives, their loves, their tenuous trip towards accepting each other as sisters and making a life together. One part Practical Magic, one part Like Water for Chocolate, this book made me hungry for new experiences and for home-grown, handcrafted food. I’ve read it at least four times since its publication, and it never disappoints. It’s one of my best books on my shelf.

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