A new bunch of books to giveaway!
The giveaways for this theme will be about a random series of books related only because they are about things that make me think of summer!
For this theme I have a bunch of summer things in my mind:
7. going home to visit my family
9. blue sky
13. crazy reality shows
14. books with the word "summer" in them
I had other words, but couldn't think of books to use to relate to them! :)
RULES FOR ENTERING:
a. Post a comment to the blog entries of the books you would like to win AND answer the question that goes with it. There will be one summer word giveaway at a time.
Today's Question: Today's theme is about "going home." When I go back to my hometown, I love getting to eat some of my favorite Dutch food again that I can't get here. I love speculaas cookies, stroopwafel, poffertjes, and bonket. Are there any special foods that are unique to your heritage that you really enjoy?
b. Enter on or before the date specified. Today's book winner will be drawn on August 9.
c. Check back for the next summer theme word giveaway!
Today's summer word: "going home." I live in Wisconsin but grew up in a little town in Washington state where the theme is "visit Holland without a passport." The storefronts are set to look like a street in Holland and there's a canal running through the little Dutch Village mall. Every summer in August we fly back to spend time with my parents, my three bothers and their families, and all my nephews and nieces.
The books being given away: The Duet and The Recital by Robert Elmer. Why do these books remind me of home? Because the town in which The Duet takes place and the customs and characteristics of that town are based on my home town. Reading The Duet was like waking up and strolling down Front Street past the Dutch bakery, the Ace Hardware, the Reformed churches, and catching the farm smells. Elmer really captured the essence of my quiet, conservative Dutch hometown, right down to the Calvinist mindset and the reading of the Cannons of Dordt.
But even if you didn't grown up in a quaint little Dutch town, you can really enjoy The Duet. While the setting is my hometown and my heritage, it could be any small town USA and the growth that can come when we are willing to open our hearts up to something new and allow for the possibility that love can come when you least expect it. Elmer's characters are rich and deep and were as real to me as the Dutch farmers who hang out at the Dutch Treat with my dad. Gerrit is a stubborn dutchman (and believe me, they can be stubborn), who is resistant to change, afraid of things that are "different"--like a church that isn't Reformed, and a computer, and the possibility that his son doesn't want the family farm--who ends up opening himself up to a whole new world as he becomes friends with his granddaugher's piano teacher from New York. Joan gently reaches Gerrit and challenges him to try new things, including piano lessons--though don't let the other farmers hear about that one!
The Recital is a continuation of their love story and the challenges that come when a stubborn dutchman farmer is pulled out of his little dutch town and moves to the big city.
Here's more about the books:
WaterBrook Press, ISBN: 1-57856-740-8
When widower Gerrit Appeldoorn takes his granddaughter to piano lessons one day, he finds himself drawn to her music teacher: a woman unlike any he has known. It's an unlikely attraction. He's a retired dairyman with mud on his boots; Joan Horton is a world traveler and former piano instructor at New York's most prestigious academy of music. Not quite "beauty and the beast," but close.
Even so, Gerrit slowly begins to open his heart: to Joan, to music, to the possibilities that may be found in both. Yet as their relationship deepens, Gerrit faces crises concerning his family and farm, while Joan confronts a dark secret that threatens her future. While coping with these challenges, neither can predict how their duet will sound as they practice the music of renewed hope and second chances.
(I really cannot even wrap my brain around the beautiful way that Elmer captures both the comfort and security of small town life as well as the challenges that come from small town stubborness, if you know what I mean. I am immediately traveling in my mind back home to the comforts of the place where everyone knows you and yet am remembering the crazy stubborn "dutch" way. I love my small town home and miss it greatly! And while there were times when it drove me crazy to live there, having kids of my own has made me long to be able to bring them up in that safe environment. Here's to Lynden, Washington, the real dutch town!)
WaterBrook Press, ISBN: 140007164X
Gerrit and Joan discovered the beauty of second chances when they fell in love. But life isn't necessarily "happily ever after" when the widowed dairy farmer and big-city piano teacher get married. When they move to Chicago to pursue a teaching opportunity for Joan, Gerrit the country boy must find new purpose in an unfamiliar urban world. It's not an easy change for him, but his friendship with Zhao, a visiting Chinese musician, begins to give him new purpose.
Meanwhile, Joan tries to accept her husband for who he is, even as she struggles to find her place as a music professor in this clash between small-own values and big-city ways.
In this poignant sequel to The Duet, Joan and Gerrit redefine the meaning of love and home as they learn painful new lessons about mutual sacrifice.