Saturday, January 16, 2010

A Montage of Activities

When you are at a loss for words, what do you do?

That’s where I find myself today. I have been overwhelmed by the thoughtfulness of three blogging friends. Each one presented me with an award during the past week. Due to previously schedule posts, this is the first time I’ve had the opportunity to display the awards and thank them for them.

Ingrid and Amber at The Conscious Cat presented me with the “Kreativ Blogger” award on Monday, Jan. 11. In presenting the award Ingrid had these kind words to say about Thoughts in Progress, “a wonderful mixture of book reviews and other topics - a place for the mind to gather images. Not a cat blog, but Mason Canyon is owned by two cats.” Thank you so much Ingrid and Amber.

Michele at Southern City Mysteries honored me with an “Award of Bliss” on Thursday, Jan. 14.  Thank you for your kindness Michele.

Jemi from Just Jemi presented me with the “Super Sweet Award” on Thursday, Jan. 14. In presenting the award Jemi wrote these thoughtful words about this blog, “Mason writes a great blog and has the most amazing line up of guest bloggers!”  Thank you Jemi for such a sweet compliment.
Each one of these awards (Award of Bliss and Super Sweet Award use the same logo) carried a list of rules with them. I hope these ladies will be understanding and patient with me for not fulfilling all the items on the lists. I will pass these special awards on to various other blogs in the near future. I just need a little time to select that many blogs that haven’t already received the awards. Thank each of your again for your thoughtfulness. I’m honored.

To continue with the montage of activites, I have winners to announce for “The Survivors’ Club” book giveaway that ended Thursday, Jan. 14, and a reminder that the deadline for the “Sleep No More” book giveaway ends today at 6 p.m.

Drum roll please …….. The winners are: Kelly T. of Eureka, MO; Barbara S. of Coon Rapids, MN; Molly C. of Citrus Heights, CA; Jessica F. of Colorado Springs, CO; and Rebecca G. of Fayetteville, TN. Congratulations to the winners and thanks to all that entered. Wish everyone could have won.

Now thanks to Valerie and the Hachette Book Group and Anna and the Hachette Audio Books, we have some new giveaways to checkout.

To enter any or all of these giveaways, email me at Email me!. If that link doesn't work for you, the email address is: Your subject line should read, Win and the name of the book you are seeking. Your message should include your name and mailing address. I need a separate e-mail for each entry. All contests are open to residents of the U.S. and Canada. Sorry, but no post office boxes can be accepted. The deadline to enter each giveaway will be at 6 p.m. (EST) on Wednesday, Feb. 10. I have 3 copies of "Who Owns the World," and 3 copies of each of the audio books to giveaway.

“Who Owns the World, The Surprising Truth About Every Piece of Land on the Planet” by Kevin Cahill and Rob McMahon. The paperback contains 384 pages. (ISBN: 978044658129).

You don't have to be a student of geography or cartography to have an interest in the world around you, especially with globalization making our planet seem smaller than ever. Now you can IM someone in Alaska, purchase coffee beans from Timor-Leste, and visit Dubai. But what do we really know about these lands? "Who Owns The World" presents the results of the first-ever landownership survey of all 197 states and 66 territories of the world, and reveals facts both startling and eye-opening. You'll learn that:
--Only 15% of the world's population lays claim to landownership, and that landownership in too few hands is probably the single greatest cause of poverty.

--Queen Elizabeth II owns 1/6 of the entire land surface on earth (nearly 3 times the size of the U.S.).
--The Lichtenstein royal family is wealthier than the Grimaldis of Monaco.
--80% of the American population is crammed in urban areas.
--The least crowded state is Alaska, with 670 acres per person. The most crowded is New Jersey, with .7 acres per person. 

--60% of America's population are property owners. That's behind the UK (69% homeownership).
--And much, much more! With its relevance to contemporary issues and culture, "Who Owns The World" makes for fascinating reading. Both entertaining and educational, it provides cocktail party conversation for years to come and is guaranteed to change the way you view the U.S. and the world.

Haiti is well-covered in this book. The Hachette Book Group has created a geography quiz to share.

“Marriage and Other Acts of Charity: A Memoir” by Kate Braestrup. This audio book is unabridged and is read by the author. (ISBN: 9781600247781).

Kate Braestrup has been married and widowed, betrayed and betrothed, her personal spirituality constantly evolving along the way. How do God and love figure in our everyday lives and bonds with others? In “Marriage and Other Acts of Charity,” she tackles these big questions with stories from her own relationships--romantic and familial, platonic and professional--much as Anne Lamott weaves her spirituality through her tales of parenthood. With the same compassion and warmth that made Here If You Need Me a New York Times bestseller, Ms. Braestrup engages readers fully, regardless of their path in life. She tells us about teaching sex education for her daughter's eighth-grade class, and the welcome embrace extended toward her adopted nephew from Africa. She introduces the essential concept that charity--the key to all relationships--is a whole-hearted selfless emotion, which is but a hint of God's immense devotion. Kate Braestrup's very human outlook gives anyone seeking to understand human relationships a fresh perspective on what it is to love and be loved.

“I Am Ozzy” by Ozzy Osbourn with Chris Ayres. This audio book is abridged and is read by Frank Skinn.
(ISBN: 9781607883692).

The final word in sex, drugs and rock-and-roll, I AM OZZY is the heavy metal pioneer's unbelievable story in his own words, for the very first time. A lot of it ain't gonna be pretty. I've done some bad things in my time. I've always been drawn to the dark side, me. But I ain't the devil. I'm just John Osbourne: a working-class kid from Aston, who quit his job in the factory and went looking for a good time."

“Absolute Power” by David Baldacci. This audio book is unabridged and is read by Scott Brick. (ISBN: 9781607883210).

In a heavily guarded mansion in a posh Virginia suburb, a man and a woman start to make love, trapping a burglar behind a secret wall. Then the passion turns deadly, and the witness is running into the night. Because what he has just seen is a brutal slaying involving the president of the United States. Luther Whitney is the career break-in artist who's in the wrong place at the wrong time. Alan Richmond is the charming U.S. president with the power to commit any crime. And Jack Graham is the young attorney caught in a vortex between absolute truth and... “Absolute Power.”

“The Swan Thieves” by Elisabeth Kostova. This audio book is unabridged and is read by Treat Williams, Anne Heche, Erin Cottrell, Sarah Zimmerman, and John Lee. (ISBN: 9781600247453).

A sweeping novel of historical intrigue spanning centuries and continents, with a beautiful woman, a
mysterious painting, and an ancient secret at its heart. Psychiatrist Andrew Marlowe has a perfectly ordered life--solitary, perhaps, but full of devotion to his profession and the painting hobby he loves. This order is destroyed when renowned painter Robert Oliver attacks a canvas in the National Gallery of Art and becomes his patient. In response, Marlowe finds himself going beyond his own legal and ethical boundaries to understand the secret that torments this genius, a journey that will lead him into the lives of the women closest to Robert Oliver and toward a tragedy at the heart of French Impressionism.

Ranging from American museums to the coast of Normandy, from the late nineteenth century to the late twentieth, from young love to last love, “The Swan Thieves” is a story of obsession, the losses of history, and the power of art to preserve human hope.

“The Unnamed”
by Joshua Ferris. This audio book is unabridged and is read by the author. (ISBN: 9781600248771).

Tim Farnsworth walks. He walks out of meetings and out of bed. He walks in sweltering heat and numbing cold. He will walk without stopping until he falls asleep, wherever he is. This curious affliction has baffled medical experts around the globe--and come perilously close to ruining what should be a happy life. Tim has a loving family, a successful law career and a beautiful suburban home, all of which he maintains spectacularly well until his feet start moving again.

What drives a man to stay in a marriage, in a job? What forces him away? Is love or conscience enough to overcome the darker, stronger urges of the natural world? “The Unnamed” is a deeply felt, luminous novel about modern life, ancient yearnings, and the power of human understanding.

Thanks again to Ingrid (and Amanda), Michele, and Jemi for the lovely blog awards.

How does the giveaway book and audio books look to you? Are you familiar with these authors and their works?


  1. Wow - those are some great books!!

    Congrats on all your awards - and I change the rules all the time! I'm all for creativity and what fits in the schedule :)

  2. I'm a rule-changer, too! Or maybe a rule-breaker. :)

    You've got some great looking books here!

    Mystery Writing is Murder
    Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen

  3. Mason - Congratulations on your well-deserved awards! I'm very happy for you : ).

    Those giveaway books look tempting : ). It intrigues me, too, that The Unnamed is narrated by the book's author. I think it allows the listener an even better understanding of a book when the author does the narration. Authors know what's behind a book and the kind of impression they want to leave, so they're in a good position to express that in a narration.

  4. Jemi, thank you again for your award. The books are a bit different, but then that's what it's all about. :)

    Elizabeth, I think being a rule-changer just means that person is very creative and sees other directions to go in. :)

    Margot, thank you for the kind words. I like the fact that an author does their own narration on some books. It does give you more insight into how they want certain emotions presented.

  5. I like the variety of books you're giving away. Something for just about anyone.

    Congrats on your awards. Deserved!

    Straight From Hel

  6. Well deserved awards. And what a great selection of books. Your mailbox will be overflowing with entries.

  7. Helen, thanks for the kind words. I like offering something for everyone. and, at the same time maybe expose some readers to something they might not otherwise try.

    Carol, thank you for the kind words too. I think this is the most diverse group of books I've offered so far.

  8. Congrats on your awards - love the graphic for the Super Sweet Award! And I don't see anything wrong with changing the rules for these awards, either. It's the spirit of the award that counts the most.

    Love the list of giveaway books - what a great selection!

  9. Ingrid, thank you for your award. I agree, it is the spirit of the award that counts.

  10. congrats on the awards, well deserved :)

    As I've already mentioned before at Michels' SOUTHERN CITY MYSTERIES I was supposed to do THE SWAN THIEVES for Serbia last summer, but we kept waiting and waiting for it to be sent to us, and it never was since its release was delayed in USA too, so that deal fell through :(( Elizabeth is, by the way, from my neighboring Bulgaria by origin.

  11. Dezmond, thanks for the kind words. Maybe now that it's out here, you'll get another chance at it. I didn't know about Elizabeth's origin, how interesting.

  12. Excellent montage today. Hey kudos on all the awards - well deserved!

    The Old Silly

  13. Marvin, thank you for thinking so.

  14. Congrats on your awards-I love the little cupcakes. Unnamed sounds really interesting.

  15. Esme, thanks for your kind words. The Unnamed does sound interesting.

  16. please enter me

  17. Congratulations on your awards! Well deserved. This great selection of books are wonderful. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com


I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.