Thursday, August 06, 2009
Every once in a while a plugola scandal wafts through the blogosphere--a blogola scandal, if you will--where somebody is blogging merrily along about how great a movie or gadget is and lo and behold it comes out that somebody might have given that something to said blogger for free, contingent of course on them blogging merrily about it.
I can promise that everything you read on here is my own two cents given freely, though loyal readers might suspect that there aren't a lot of people willing to give me freebies to blog about grassroots microcinema, obscure b-movies, old paperbacks, underground comics and zines, and the like. As Blogalicious once pointed out, I am prone to writing about "very weird and unpopular b-movies and comics"--many of which, as it happens, are my own.
That being said, I have been offered a DVD or two from time to time, though some Amazon and Netflix reviewers who have longed for my death--or at least a long incarceration in a b-movie Gitmo of some kind--might speculate that I would more likely be offered blogola to not mention their movie at all. Nonetheless I am glad to have stayed clear. The next time you see a horror or sci-fi movie getting talked about all of a sudden on all of your favorite genre blogs, you might stop and think about why. I'm just saying.
All this is a preface to the fact that Knopf emailed to ask me if I wanted to be one of only 250 bloggers to give away a free copy of The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson.
This is cool for a number of reasons. Loyal readers know I read and loved Stieg Larsson's first book, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and have pimped it mercilessly to the general reading public that I come across on the interwebs and in real life. I have nothing to gain professionally by sucking up to Stieg Larsson as Stieg Larsson is, unfortunately, dead and his books are being published posthumously.
I also liked that Knopf trusted me to give this book away and not ferret it under my pillow. Even though my name is going to be entered for a chance to win the third book for my very self to keep I have never done well in Vegas and am not holding out hope.
Even better, I get to come up with my own contest.
My first thought was that I would ask people to send in a picture of them holding a copy of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and then I would put their names in a hat and draw one at random. That wouldn't mean that they had read it, but I think they should know it exists before trying to mooch the second one off me (Knopf, actually). And I believe if they read a teensy bit they would probably get hooked like I did.
But my wife nixed that idea, saying she thought I would get a lot of weird or inappropriate photos. She was right; I had simply forgotten how many hot young things flock to my blog regularly to read about old D&D games I have played and what comics I like and what I thought about the new Star Trek movie.
So she suggested a wiser alternative. Send me a list of five good mystery/noir/thriller books. Don't send me your top five because I probably have already read them. In fact I read five pretty good books last week on vacation and can on average read four or five a month. If you happen to include a couple of Scandinavian thrillers in there I will write your name down twice as I am trying to find some more of those for myself. If you don't know what I'm talking about, here is a current list of good ones I have already read:
1. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson (natch).
2. The Redbreast by Jo Nesbo
3. Jar City by Arnaldur Indridason
4. The Princess of Burundi by Kjell Erickson
5. Missing by Karen Alvtegen
Yes, I know there is no Henning Mankel or Karin Fossum on this list, I haven't read their works yet and that's why I want a recommendation.
So. A list of five books. Make it worth reading or I throw your crap in the trash. Your name can go in the hat twice if you include Scandinavian authors. I will pull the name out at the end of the contest, which will be when my ass finishes reading the book for myself. Knopf didn't say I couldn't read it! So your book is slightly used by me. It's free, what do you want?
Send contest entries to firstname.lastname@example.org. Good luck!