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Meagan Spooner

Birthday Book Bonanza!

Posted July 5, 2011 at 5:00 am in ,

Hey everyone! Normally I would be posting tomorrow for Wisdomous Wednesday, but I’m putting that on hold this week because today is a SUPER AWESOME SPECIAL DAY: my birthday! (Pause for applause.) Nah, it’s okay. That’s not normally a reason for anybody but me to celebrate, but as it turns out, I’m getting my favorite present of all: books! In the form of money to spend on them, that is.

I need some help picking out books, because while I have a list already, I know I’m missing some awesome books that I really should be reading.

So! To celebrate my awesome birthday I’m doing my first-ever giveaway!

To enter, all you need to do is leave a comment below and recommend a book to me. Any book at all. It doesn’t have to be a new release. I do have a preference for young adult, and I do have a preference for science fiction and fantasy, but my interests are definitely not limited to those, so branch out as much as you want! And please tell me why you’re recommending it—it can just be a sentence or a few words.

The contest will be open until 12:00 AM July 11th, and I’ll draw a random name to be announced that Tuesday. I’ll buy the winner any book of their choice, from the list of recommendations or not, when I get my own. (Within reason, of course. I’m not gonna spring for a hardback copy of the Complete Works of William Shakespeare. Mostly because you should already own that.) And after having lived in Australia for a year and watching all the domestic-only contests go by, this contest is open internationally!


Here are the contest details:

+1 entry for each book you recommend (max. 5 points, though feel free to rec. more!) and be sure to tell me why you’re recommending it!

+1 for following my blog (new follower or old!)
+1 for following me on twitter (new follower or old!)

+1 for retweeting the contest
+2 for tweeting yourself about the contest (you can do this in addition to retweeting)
+5 for blogging about the contest

The maximum you can get is 15 entries. Please link in your comment where appropriate, and add up your total entries!


I don’t want the contest to just be about how loudly you shout about it, hence the book recommendations being weighted as heavily as blogging about it. That said, of course I’d love it if you tweeted, blogged, called your friends, hired a skywriter—though you might need photographic evidence of the latter for me to count it. ;)


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45 Responses

  1. Sarah says:

    Happy Birthday Meagan!

    This is perfect timing, although you’ve probably already read these books if you’re into fantasy (I’m some years late to the party on these ones!)

    I’ve just read the first three books of a series called ‘The Pendragon Cycle’ based on Arthurian legend. It was the whole series when my other half bought the books many years aho, but apparently there are three more now :)

    Right now I’m on the second book of the ‘Memory, Sorrow and Thorn’ trilogy (although there are actually 4 books. The 3rd book was so long it had to be split into 2!), by Tad Williams. As I say, you’ve probably already read them but if not, read them. Soon. I thought the first book was amazing but other half said it’s nothing compared to the last, so I can’t wait!

    Sorry this comment is so long but I just finished the first book in the series at 3am this morning (couldn’t put it down) and I’m so happy to be able to share!

  2. Sarah says:

    Okay, let’s do this properly!

    ‘The Pendragon Cycle’ is written by Stephen R Lawhead and comprises of 6 books. They are: ‘Taliesin’, ‘Merlin’, ‘Arthur’, ‘Pendragon’, ‘Grail’ and ‘Avalon’. (I’ve read the first three).

    The ‘Memory, Sorrow and Thorn’ trilogy by Tad Williams comprises of ‘The Dragonbone Chair’, ‘Stone of Farewell’ and ‘To Green Angel Tower’. In Britain the last book is split into two, known as ‘Siege’ and ‘Storm’ but in the US I think it’s just parts 1 and 2.

  3. Ellen says:

    The only problem with this contest is trying to remember which books I’ve already recommended to you…

    …starting with Kristin Cashore’s Fire and Graceling. I’ve already recommended those, right?

    Catherine Fisher’s Incarceron and Sapphique are another pair I’ve probably recommended before because they’re dystopias with a magical twist.

    Gish Jen’s Mona in the Promised Land is an older YA book I recently reread and liked just as much the second time.

    Another oldie but goodie — Richard Peck’s Blossom Culp series, middle-grade fantasies set in the early 1900s, starting (I think) with The Ghost Belonged to Me.

  4. Laura Hughes says:

    Happy Birthday!!! I’m sending you virtual caramel slice :-) !!

    I must think carefully about what books to recommend, but I’ll definitely be back before the 11th!

    Hope you had a great day

  5. Sammi K Walker says:

    THE WIDE AWAKE PRINCESS by E.D. Baker. It’s actually middle grade, but it’s also really fantastic! It’s about what happens when sleeping beauty pricks her finger, and everyone in the castle falls asleep… except for her sister! So her sister goes on a quest to find Sleeping Beauty’s true love (by rounding up every prince she can find). It includes a nice mix of other fairy tales, and is a pretty fun, light read. :)

  6. Sammi K Walker says:

    Oh yeah, and it’s so sweet of you to give away a book, when it’s YOUR birthday! :)

  7. Meagan says:

    Hey guys! Thanks to all who’ve entered so far! Just a reminder, it’d be super helpful if you could mention at the end of your comment what additional entries you’re doing. Like so:

    +5 book recs
    +1 Tweet (link)
    +5 blogged (link)

    I think I’ve got everything for everyone who’s commented so far, but I want to make sure I don’t miss any extra entries for you guys!

  8. Oooh I LOVE the idea. HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I could go on forever with a list of YA fantasy/sci-fi. You probably already read a lot of them too! Here goes off the top of my head: Hunger Games, Clockwork Angel, White Cat/Red Glove, Beautiful Creatures, Mistwood, Clarity, and Ondine (Ebony McKenna). I follow you on Twitter and I shall tweet for you. Sooo…. That makes 8? If I did that right. Math hurts my brain.

  9. Carol Riggs says:

    Whoa, I SO had to laugh at your comment on my blog (can’t answer it cuz you don’t have an email linked to your blog, fooey). The zombie kitty and the “brain-filled paddock.” LOL Hey, Happy, Happy Birthday!!!

    Anyway. Wow, I thought I was already following you. That’s remedied. So–Follower of Twitter and blog=2 points + 5 max for books = GRAND TOTAL: 7 points.

    Books: THE MAZE RUNNER by James Dashner, NEVERMORE by Neil Gaimon, SKINNED by Robin Wasserman, INCARCERON by Catherine Fisher, LITTLE BROTHER by Cory Doctorow, MATCHED by Allie Condie, PARANORMALCY by Kiersten White (I haven’t read the last 2 but heard they’re great!)

  10. Brenda Agaro says:

    I hope you’re having/you had a Happy Birthday today! :D

    Okay, books. Hmm…

    THE SEARCH FOR WONDLA – a fairy tale/sci-fi blend by Tony DiTerlizzi. A girl, named Eva Nine, who has been living in an underground sanctuary is forced to escape to the world above. She goes on a journey with her robot caretaker and an alien roamer to find other humans. It’s targeted towards middle grade readers, but it is enchanting. The worldbuilding is amazing, and reading it may make you feel nostalgic for your favorite childhood books/movie. Plus, there are lovely illustrations by the author himself!

    UNEARTHLY – a YA paranormal romance by Cynthia Hand. Clara, who is quarter angel, receives a vision that causes her, along with her mother and brother, to move to a new town in order to fulfill her purpose. Realistic characters and relationships. The writing is great as well. I especially recommend it if you’re not into/tired of YA paranormal romance/urban fantasy.

    THE RAGING QUIET by Sherryl Jordan. This is a YA historical fiction novel, taking place during the middle ages. After Marnie’s husband dies unexpectedly, she befriends a young man named Raver, who happens to be deaf (despite others thinking him possessed by the devil.) The relationship between Marnie and Raver is portrayed beautifully in this novel. Their romance is built up in a good pace. The heroine remains strong even after going through ignorance and trials. A sweet and memorable story.

  11. Alaina says:

    If you’re up for scifi, I always recommend Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. Very deep and well-written. It’s definitely one of my favorites.

  12. Happy birthday Meagan! Giving away presents on YOUR birthday makes you, like, the new Bilbo Baggins. So, here are some recs for you to ponder:

    ‘Daughter of the Forest’ by Juliet Marillier: one of the most beautiful fairy tale retellings I’ve read, hands down. Plus, Ms Marillier lives in Perth, so yay for Australian success stories!

    ‘The Iron King’ by Julie Kagawa: you might have already read this one, because it’s everywhere. But if not, you should give it a go. YA Fantasy involving A Midsummer Night’s Dream characters? Yes. Please.

    ‘Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour’ by Morgan Matson: I’m not usually a fan of Contemp YA, but Amy and Roger changed that for good. Awesome roadtrip story – great for a trainride or long drive read :)

    ‘Halfway to the Grave’ by Jeaniene Frost is also one of my all-time favourite series, but it’s Urban Fantasy (read: vampires) so it could be an iffy choice. Hilarious, though. Like Buffy, in book form.

    So, thats:
    +4 for Rec’s
    +1 for following
    +1 for following on Twitter (@CaitlinEDarrell)
    +1 for retweeting the contest

    = 7 POINTS :) Have a great birthday!

  13. Happy Birthday :)
    Divergent — I read it in 2 days so I liked it a lot.
    Perfume– it’s a little different from what I normally read but it’s great.
    Game of Thrones — read it 10 years ago and it’s still good.
    The Hunger Games — I’m only recomending the first book here.
    Wicked Lovely – a light but good read.
    +5 recommendations
    +1 follower
    +1 retweet
    +1 Twitter follower (@LyndaRYoung)
    = 8

  14. Hi Meagan, Happy Birthday! What a fab idea for a prize fest!
    I recommend:
    Neverwhere by Neil Gamon;
    Cosmic is an excellent funny YA read by Frank Cotterill Boyce;
    The Chaos Walking Trilogy by Patrick Ness is an edge of the seat YA sci fi;
    Room by Emma Donaghue is an adult mystery from a child’s POV;
    Kissing Games of the World by Sandi Kahn Shelton is a real fiction/romance. :O)

  15. Oh I forgot
    +1 follower;
    +7 recommenations;
    +5 blogging about contest.

    I don’t tweet or FB I’m afraid :O)

  16. Happy birthday!

    I’m recommending:
    Divergent by Veronica Roth
    Inside Out by Maria V. Snyder
    Chasing Brooklyn by Lisa Schroeder
    Far from You by Lisa Schroeder
    The Healing Spell by Kimberley Griffits Little
    The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
    Across the Universe by Beth Revis

    I’m an old follower +1
    Book recs +7

    I’ll put this on my sidebar and link it on FB, but I don’t think I get any extra points.

    tmilstein at gmail dot com

  17. Happy Birthday.
    Do you want paper books only or are you interested in e-books?

    So here goes, I recommend my book, The Treasures of Carmelidrium. I don’t remember if you’ve already read it. It is an e-book.

    Paper book, so you didn’t say fiction…I will recommend some writers books…Self Editing 4 the fiction writer by Renne and King. 45 Master Characters and how to build them by Victoria Lynn Schmidt and 20 Master Plots and how to build them by Ronald B. Tobias. There are many more but these are must haves.
    N. R. Williams, The Treasures of Carmelidrium

    • Meagan says:

      Unfortunately I don’t have an e-reader, and I spend so much of my time reading CP manuscripts on my computer, not to mention my own manuscripts on my computer, that I can’t quite bring myself to read books on the computer too. But when I do get an e-reader I’ll check out your book! :)

  18. Talli Roland says:

    Happy happy birthday, Meagan! :)

  19. Michelle says:

    Happy birthday!

    Just stumbled across your blog and couldn’t help entering. Here are some great books you may or may not have read:

    The Eye of the World: Robert Jordan
    Star Wars: Darth Bane: Path of Destruction: Drew Karpyshyn
    Eragon: Christopher Paolini
    The Hunger Games: Suzanne Collins
    Twilight: Stephenie Meyer (not exactly sci-fi/fantasy, but I believe it’s classified as YA

    +5 books
    +1 new follower :)

  20. Mary says:

    Pretty website.

    Followeing you on Twitter.

    Ebooks, I’d recommend Lindsay Buroker’s Encrypted.

    Papter back: To say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis, Dark Jenny by Alex Bledsoe, Boneshaker by Cherie Priest, The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi, Roarke by Francis Pauli

    Books 5, twitter 1, following 1

  21. Krista says:

    I agree that this is a great idea!

    You may have read some of these, but they are ones that I enjoyed reading:

    The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley
    The Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander
    The Riddle Master of Hed by Patricia A. McKillip
    The Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia C. Wrede

    I highly recommend these – and anything else by these authors. They are some of my absolute favorites!

    • Meagan says:

      Three of those four are among my ALL TIME favorite books! I’ve read one Patricia McKillip book and loved it–I’m definitely adding Riddle Master of Hed to my list!

  22. Lovely! Happy birthday!

    I’m a follower here and on Twitter and till tweet about the contest. I’d recommend Divergent, The Marbury Lens, The Forest of Hands and Teeth, Dead Tossed Waves, and Hourglass. Enjoy! ;)

    Total Points: 8

  23. Kari Marie says:

    Meagan – How awesome of you to share your birthday present!

    I’m not much of a fantasy reader but here’s a couple of the books I recently read and/or am still reading and love:

    Treasures of Carmelidrium by NR Williams. This is an ebook as she self pubbed. I’ve been intrigued with the story so far about a musician who ends up driving her car through some sort of portal and ends up in an alternate time/place/world. Also, I have a soft spot for flute players (the MC).

    Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins – This is YA urban fantasy/paranormal. I love the voice of the MC Sophie. She’s sarcastic and the perfect amount of real. If you get into it, you can always pick up book #2: Demonglass (the reason why my eyelids are currently propped up by toothpicks because I’m so tired from staying up too late to read).

    Once a Witch by Carolyn MacCullough – Another YA urban fantasy/paranormal favorite about a time traveling witch. A delightful combination! I dislike the MC’s name, but her love interest in yummy…

    Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan – OK, I think this is MG but these five books were fantastic. I love the blending of Greek gods and the modern world.

    A couple others that are supposed to be amazing are Divergent and The Hunger Games, although I haven’t read them yet.

    +4 books
    +2 a tweet
    +1 I’m a already a blog follower
    +1 I just followed you on Twitter (which I should have done a while ago) :)

    SO, I think that’s 8 entries.

  24. I get a lot of books already, so don’t enter me. But thought I’d throw in a recommendation. DIVERGENT by Veronica Roth, if you haven’t read it yet. That one has really stuck with me!

    Happy birthday, girlie!! I hope you have a fabulous time of it!

  25. Glaiza says:

    Wishing you a belated happy birthday!
    Book recommendations:

    - Ombria in Shadow by Patricia Mckillip (first book that I read of hers and loved.)
    - Eon by Alison Goodman (YA fantasy with an awesome herione and spirit dragons inspired by Asian mythology. I also recommend buying the sequel as it’s even better than the first book.)
    - The Marbury Lens by Andrew Smith (I just started reading this but it’s an amazing dark, gritty YA fantasy which is split between the real world and a surreal, parallel world called Marbury.)
    - When Lips Touch Three Times by Laini Taylor (Gorgeous writing with twisted YA fantasy retellings of folktales like The Goblin Fruit.)
    - Obernewtyn by Isobelle Carmody (My favourite YA post-apocalyptic fantasy series. )
    - Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve (MG/YA post-apocalyptic steampunk – the world building is absolutely amazing.)

    I hope you like them!
    + 5 Book Recs
    + 1 Twitter
    + 1 Blog follower

  26. Happy Belated Birthday, Meagan, and thank you for this fantastic giveaway! I’m going to rec mostly contemporary, because that’s my favorite genre. :)

    The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson – Beautiful language, characters you want to know, a romance that’ll make you envious.

    Stolen by Lucy Christopher – She takes you to the Australian Outback, gives you Stockholm Syndrome, and makes you root for a kidnapper. Enough said.

    Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta – My all-time favorite YA! I LOVE Jonah and his interactions with Taylor, the mystery is layered and genius, and the way the ending all ties together is brilliant.

    A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini – My all-time favorite adult novel! Heart wrenching with a fascinating setting and characters who’ve stuck with me over several years. One of the few books I’ve reread.

    And I’m reading Chime by Franny Billingsley right now. So far, it’s absolutely stunning. Main character Briony is downright luminous.

    And points…
    +5 Book Recs
    +1 Twitter Follower
    +1 Blog Follower
    +2 Tweeting about the giveaway
    9 Total

    Thanks again, Meagan!

  27. Amie Kaufman says:

    Hi lovely,

    Don’t enter me (you left enough books behind), but this is a good opportunity to record my recs as well!

    Books I have read this year that you haven’t yet, that are awesome:

    POWERLESS by Matthew Cody — brilliant MG with a take on superpowers that I utterly loved. I read the opening and knew I wasn’t going to put it down. Matthew Cody’s a big comic book fan, and you can tell in the best way possible.

    HOW THEY MET AND OTHER STORIES by David Levithan — because it’s like an extra dose of WILL GRAYSON, WILL GRAYSON, and because he’s brilliant. It’s a book of short stories full of meetings that are happy, sad, uplifting, thought provoking and sometimes all of these things. Because they’re short, as well, they’re fantastic character studies

    IF I STAY by Gayle Foreman — a story about Mia. After her family’s in a horrific accident, Mia watches herself in hospital, and needs to decide whether she’ll stay or whether she’ll go. As she thinks back on her relationships with her family, friends and boyfriends, she winds her way towards her choice in this beautiful, heartbreaking, life affirming book.

  28. Nas says:

    Wishing you a very Happy Birthday!

    Ok, I would recommend Lisa Hendrix’s Immortal Champion! I ound it to be a very entertaining and enjoyable story with a very hot hero!

    And another recommendation, Wendy S Marcus Medical Romance, When One Night Isn’t Enough, it is a fun, sexy, very intense story, if you like medical romances!

  29. I just finished reading INCARCERON, a great blend of fantasy and sci fi and thriller and incredible writing. Just picked up SAPPHIQUE, the sequel! (And hey, don’t enter me in the contest, give it to someone else. Just wanted to post and say Hi! and gush about Incarceron.)

  30. Beth says:

    What a great contest!
    I just finished reading The Thirteenth Tale, after walking by it in bookstores for months. I couldn’t put it down, and was actually reading in the middle of the night to finish it. If you loved Jane Eyre or Rebecca, you’ll love this one!

    I know I was the last person in the world to read If I Stay, but I just read it this spring and thought it was wonderful.

    And I don’t think you normally read MG, but I have to recommend Fablehaven. I read the whole series out loud to my daughters and we all loved it! Action, adventure, humor and huge plot twists – it had it all!
    So, 3 points for recommendations and 1 for being a follower!

  31. Belated happy birthday! I don’t need to be entered, but have you read Preston & Child’s Pendergast series?

  32. Jenny says:

    Happy (now belated) birthday! No need to enter me in the contest because I have a stack of books and Shakespeare’s complete works to get through, but I did become a blog and Twitter follower and retweet.

  33. I’m a new follower, thanks to Sarah’s blog post!

    I’ve a couple of book recommends.

    YA/Fantasy – Ordinary Angels by India Drummond. My first step into this type of book and I loved it!


    as I’m into crime, I recently read a debut crime novel I loved. Girl 4 by Will Carver. I loved it because it has a very different style to other crime novels with points of view being given by the protagonist, antagonist and victims. A breath of fast moving fresh air.

    Oh and Happy Birthday!

  34. Yahong says:

    Dude, you MUST (IMO) read Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John. Feel-good YA contemp with pink hair, rock n roll and a deaf protag. <3

  35. Joan says:

    Oooh, Meagan! Happy birthday x)))

    +1 Obviously, I start off by recommending Jennifer Donnelly’s REVOLUTION. I cannot stress enough just how incredible this historical fiction is. The writing is amazing, pulling you into this amazing journey of two strong, broken girls.

    +1 the SHIVER series. Maggie is amazing at producing this lyrical writing that puts down the essence of people. You can tell her characters are REAL and they’re important and true. I love, love, love it.

    +1 my favourite fantasy book is Karen Miller’s THE INNOCENT MAGE. I didn’t think much of it — my brother was the one who bought it originally. But once I started reading… oh my, the world-building, the characters, their stories, their desires, the secrets!!! I never knew politics could be as suspenseful as Miller describes it… or the secrets of palace life!

    +1 anything by MARKUS ZUSAK. Nuf said. :)

    +1 I recently read Roald Dahl’s BOY and again, Dahl proves that he IS the best story-teller of his time. Read it :)

  36. Happy Birthday, Meagan! You have plenty of fantasy books listed here, so for a change, try these:
    Okay for Now by Gary Schmidt — it will break your heart.
    Audrey, Wait by Robin Benway — funny and smart.
    Sparrow Road by Sheila O’Connor — very sweet with great characters.
    Angry Management by Chris Crutcher — Crutcher is the best. All his books are wonderful
    Land of a Hundred Wonders by Lesley Kagen — if you love quirky characters (as I do) you will love this.
    I’ve just become a follower. 6 points. I like your contest.

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