Friday, July 30, 2010

Happy Anniversary Penguin! (and a book giveaway)

Back in 1935, Allen Lane had the brilliant idea of making quality paperback books available, and more importantly, affordable. Skeptics thought he was crazy, but they were proven wrong.

"The Bodley Head found itself, at the beginning of the week, sold out of 'Penguins,' 150,000 having been sold out in four days. Mr. Allen Lane has asked us to say that he will supply the waiting orders as soon as his printers and binders allow him to do so."

— The Bookseller, August 8, 1935
Today is Penguin's 75th anniversary, and I was invited to give away one of their books.

The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards

"On a winter night in 1964, Dr. David Henry is forced by a blizzard to deliver his own twins. His son, born first, is perfectly healthy. Yet when his daughter is born, he sees immediately that she has Down's syndrome. Rationalizing it as a need to protect Norah, his wife, he makes a split second decision that will alter all of their lives forever. He asks his nurse to take the baby away to an institution and never to reveal the secret. But Caroline, the nurse, cannot leave the infant. Instead, she disappears into another city to raise the child herself. So begins this beautifully told story that unfolds over a quarter of a century in which these two families, ignorant of each other, are yet bound by David Henry's fateful decision that long-ago winter night."

The Memory Keeper's Daughter is an exquisite study of human nature. It's lyrically written from the heart. If it had been a song I'd heard for the first time while driving, I would have had to pull over to fully experience it.

I'm giving away one copy of The Memory Keeper's Daughter. Please leave a comment (by midnight, August 5th, 2010)  if you'd like to be entered in the drawing.

Residents of the US and Canada only please.