Children's Tile: A riff off of the classics The Velveteen Rabbit and Hitty: Her First Hundred Years, this book is both simple and multi-layered, beautiful and heartbreaking, easily comprehensible by kids and with enough depth to captivate adults. Its author examines the idea of love in almost all of its terrible glory, and when I read it I'm reminded of "Little Gidding" wherein T.S. Eliot writes, "Who then devised the torment? Love. / Love is the unfamiliar Name / Behind the hands that wove / The intolerable shirt of flame / Which human power cannot remove. / We only live, only suspire / Consumed by either fire or fire." A masterpiece.If these short descriptions have piqued your interest, remember the giveaway rules. Since the giveaway is intended to encourage young writers, you can't claim the titles for yourself unless you fall into one of these three age brackets. However, you can refer young readers to receive them. I'll award the books and a first-come-first-served basis. Send nominee names and info to ISawLightningFall [at] gmail [dot] com.
Young Adult Title: An old friend and I read this book at the same time when we were young, and today our conversation still touches on it. Despite being written in 1967, this science fiction novel has aged remarkably well. Touching on issues of loss of identity and societal safety versus freedom, it also serves a great primer for post-apocalyptic literature. Besides all that, it's also fabulous fun to read how three teenage boys pick their way across a devastated Europe while being pursued by powerful forces they don't completely comprehend. An exhilarating read.
College Title: Most creative writing manuals binge on motivational advice while starving themselves of substantive technical pointers. Not so this manual, penned by a speculative fiction author who has worked in the field for over 40 years. Don't let its slim shape fool you: If you follow all of its writing exercises, you will end up occupied for quite a while and a much better writer to boot. Filled with examples from authors as wide-ranging as J.R.R. Tolkien and Virginia Woolf, this title is truly a diamond in the rough.
(Picture: CC 2006 by gianΩmerz)