The Great Big Montmaray Book Giveaway

The paperback edition of The FitzOsbornes at War comes out in North America in two weeks, so I thought I’d hold a Montmaray giveaway to celebrate.

A stack of Montmaray books

Would you like to win one of the Montmaray books pictured above? If so, leave a comment below telling us about one of your favourite books, one that you’d like to recommend to other readers. You can write as much or as little as you want about the book. It can be any sort of book at all (although, ideally, it will be a book we haven’t heard much about, one that you think deserves more appreciation). I’ll choose three comments at random, and those three comment-writers can then let me know which Montmaray book they’d like me to send them. Of course, you may have read all the Montmaray books already, but perhaps you borrowed them from the library and would like your own, personally signed, copy? Or perhaps you’d like to give one to a friend?

Conditions of entry:

1. This is an international giveaway. Anyone can enter.

2. Make sure the email address you enter on the comment form is a valid one that you check regularly, so I can contact you if you win. No one will be able to see your email address except me, and I won’t show it to anyone else. Please don’t include your real residential or postal address anywhere in the comment. However, it would be nice if you mentioned which country you live in, because I’m curious about who reads this blog.

3. The three winners will be chosen at random, unless there are three or fewer comments – in which case, it won’t be random and all will win prizes.

4. Each winner can choose one of the Montmaray hardcovers or paperbacks pictured above, or one of the CD audiobooks of either A Brief History of Montmaray or The FitzOsbornes in Exile (not pictured above, but they do exist). See my book page for a list of the available books and audiobooks. Please note that I have lots of the North American editions, but not so many of the early Australian books. I’ll try to give each winner his or her first choice of book, but if all three winners want, say, an Australian first edition of A Brief History of Montmaray, then whoever emails me back first will get their first choice and the others might have to choose a different Montmaray book.

5. Entries close at 9:00 am Eastern Daylight Time in the US on the 8th of October, 2013, which is when the Ember paperback edition of The FitzOsbornes at War goes on sale in North America. The three giveaway winners will be emailed then, and I will post off the winners’ books as soon as possible after that.

6. This contest and/or promotion is not sponsored or authorised by Random House Australia. Random House Australia bears no legal liability in connection with this contest and/or promotion.

Off you go – recommend a book for us in the comments below. Good luck!

17 thoughts on “The Great Big Montmaray Book Giveaway”

  1. My favorite book, which I would recommend to readers is Tamar by Mal Peet. It is a wonderfully written book set in three time period that all connect together in the end and it is a bit different since there are codes and ciphers to unravel as well.

    Alex Baugh

  2. You said a book we haven’t heard much about, so here is one – a book that has been out of print for decades and you can only buy second hand. High Latitude, by John King Davis.

    It’s an autobiography of just a part of the authors life – from 1900 when he ran away to sea aged 16 until 1917. The first third or so describes life as an officer on merchant sailing ships as they were rapidly being replaced, and when their cargo was anything that needed to be transported cheaply rather than fast (mostly coal, interestingly). He describes learning about how to read the weather, the sea and the ship and the isolation of being out at sea for weeks at a time. There are some fascinating descriptions of Australia and coal mines in South America.

    Then in 1907 he was employed as Chief Officer on the Nimrod for Shackleton’s British Antarctic Expedition, and the rest of the book details his career as an ice captain: for Shackleton’s expedition, then as Captain of the Aurora for Mawson’s Australasian Antarctic Expedition, then (after a couple of years transporting soldiers around the world during WW1) in charge of the relief expedition that went out looking for both halves of Shackleton’s second, more famous expedition.

    The book was written in the 1960s when Davis was an old man, and he reflects on some of the changes to the world since the events of the book – you can imagine your own. There are a couple of comments that make me cringe, particularly one about an “unruly negro sailor”, but mostly it’s an enjoyable book that gives a fascinating insight into the past.

  3. Hi,
    The book I’d like to recommend is Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear.
    Maisie Dobbs is the first a series of books about a female investigator in the 1030’s, a bit like Miss Fisher but less flamboyant and more English. (I’m from Australia.)

  4. Hmm…one of my favorite books? So many to choose from…but the one I tend to go to just for a fun read in a different format is “Sorcery and Cecilia, or the Enchanted Chocolate Pot” by Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer. It’s regency but with magic, and is essentially two different mysteries, although they are intertwined. It’s told in letters between two good friends, one in London and one In the country, as they each investigate their mystery and learn how the mysteries are connected. And of course there is a bit of romance. It’s not groundbreaking or thought-provoking, but it is fun and light and very entertaining, and it’s dig finitely one of my favorite comfort reads. 🙂

    And for a book I love that is a bit more well-known, “Code Name Verity” by Elizabeth Wein. So good! Suspenseful and thought provoking and sad and so well-written…it’s just amazing. 🙂

  5. There are so many books I would recommend – I have endless lists of excellent books and it’s so difficult to just pick one! I’ll give it my best shot, however.

    One of my favorite lesser-known books is called “Give Me the World”, written by Leila Hadley. After a tumultuous divorce in the 1950s, she gave up her job in Manhattan and she and her six year old son Kip sailed around Asia on a schooner for eighteen months. It’s a powerful memoir that shows a different side of a woman’s life in the 1950s. What is truly special about this book is Hadley’s writing – everything is luxuriously described and you can picture everything that happens. I am often captivated by books, but this was a special kind of captivation. The photographs included in the book serve only to reinforce the images created by Hadley’s writing.

  6. One book that I recently read and would recommend is “The Graveyard Book”, by Neil Gaiman. It’s a series of interesting adventures and was a fun easy read.

  7. The book Meet Me In St. Loius, by Sally Benson, which the movie of the same name is based on. Of course the tone of the book and movie are different. The book is more episodic and not Hollywood sweet. The chapters are titled by month and it follows a family during a year in their life. The characters seem like real people just living day to day moments in their lives. The stories first were published in The New Yorker magazine in the early 40’s under a different name. The book does have some racist passages that made me cringe.

    Pennsylvania, USA

  8. One of my absolute favorite books is Til We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis. It is a challenging retelling of the myth of Psyche, told from the viewpoint of one of Psyche’s ugly sister Orual.

  9. It’s so lovely reading everyone else’s recommendations. Till we Have Faces by C.S Lewis has long been one of my favourites, and just this week I read the trilogy in letters that starts with Sorcery and Cecilia or the Magic Chocolate Pot, which was delightful. I am going to try to get my hands on ‘Maisie Dobbs’ and I definitely need to read Give me the World.

    A book I keep rereading is Between Silk and Cyanide: A Codemakers War by Leo Marks, which is a memoir of Marks’ time as a codemaker during the second world war. It is at times desperately sad, but Marks’ passion for his work, his searing intelligence and the humour throughout make it a fascinating and addictive read. There’s a lot of coding stuff in the book, which my husband loved, and I skipped.
    I don’t know if you came across it during your Montmaray research?

    1. Can’t resist replying to this, because Leo Marks! He nearly made it into The FitzOsbornes at War – he was going to be a friend of the Colonel, and Sophie was going to write a poem for him (he used poems to encrypt messages). But in the end, I decided I couldn’t fit an entirely new character into an already-too-long book. There’s a tiny anonymous reference to him, though, when the Colonel gives the sample of Kernetin to his “best cryptographer” (who then fails to decipher it).

  10. Here’s an oldie-but-goodie: The Diary of a Nobody by George and Weedon Grossmith. It was originally published serially in Punch in the 1880s, and then later as a novel. It is the diary of a somewhat socially awkward, middle-class Englishman, and it still reads as very funny over a century after it was written. I still laugh thinking about the part where he wakes his wife up in the middle of the night because he is laughing at his own joke that he told earlier in the day.

  11. I can’t really pick one book, but I’m currently obsessed with Dorothy L. Sayer’s detective novels about Lord Peter Wimsey. They’re set in England in the 1920s and 1930s, and they’re wonderful. There are some bits that haven’t aged well, but they are feminist and Bohemian and well-written. They have a very strong voice and a sense of time that I love. I really can’t recommend them enough. I’m from the US, by the way.

  12. I have to give a shout out to L.M. Elliot’s Annie Between the States, a YA historical fiction set during the American Civil War. Equal parts coming-of-age story, family drama, period romance, and military history, it delves deeper into historical details than many other children’s/YA novels set in the period, and it doesn’t try to dumb down the complexities of the War Between the States. I’ve always thought it was too bad that it isn’t more well-known.

  13. While I usually think of myself as more of a fiction reader, two of the books I most enjoyed reading recently are non-fiction.

    The first is “Why the West Rules – For Now”, by Ian Morris. It takes a long sweeping view of the history of Western and Eastern social development, showing how these two major civilisations swapped products and ideas over the centuries. This 600 page history book is just as addictive to read as a tightly plotted novel, and gets even more exciting as Morris turns his attention to imagining what past trends may say about the future.

    The second book is “The Hare with Amber Eyes”, by Edmund de Waal, which is about the history of a collection of small ceramic objects and the lives of their collectors. The book spans a period of history from the late XIXth century to the present, and takes place in Paris, Vienna, Odessa and Japan. Apart from being beautifully written and a fascinating story, I enjoyed this book especially because I read it while on holidays in Paris. I was very excited to visit a park and a street that feature in the book, and to visit houses similar to those in which the collection once resided. This book really helped me imagine the layers of history in a city like Paris!

  14. I recommend a series of four books by Ruth Elwin Harris. The books are called The Silent Shore,The Beckoning Hills, The Dividing Sea and Beyond the Orchid House. They are about four sisters and are set in England during World War One. Each book is written from the point of view of one of the sisters. Some scenes take place in several of the books, but they seem very different because the sisters see things very differently. I was fascinated by how the author managed to describe the same scenes so differently by using different points of view. (I’m from Norway.)

  15. So, after days of thinking on it, I’ve finally come up with my recommendation. Penguin and Pinecone by Salina Yoon is a great picture book that can be enjoyed by anyone, and there’s a great lesson in it for all ages. I’m in my mid-twenties and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

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