Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Giveaway: The Man Who Loved Books Too Much: The True Story of a Thief, a Detective, and a World of Literary Obsession by Allison Hoover Bartlett

How Much Do You Love a Good Book?

CONGRATS to Jennifer (a.k.a. Knittingmomof3)! Thanks everyone for joining in on the fun and entering the giveaway! Plus thanks to everyone who shared what book they would steal! The list of books is up! Here's the LINK to the post of all the books worth "stealing"! Leave a comment and add to the list too!

The Man Who Loved Books Too Much: The True Story of a Thief, a Detective, and a World of Literary Obsession by Allison Hoover Bartlett is an adventure for all of us who love books! For those of us who love not just what's inside them, but the heft of them in our hands, the sensation of the texture of the pages as we turn them, the beauty of the book itself...

This story takes us into the lives of John Gilkey, an obsessed & bold book thief, Ken Sanders the man who made it his mission to catch Gilkey, and the journalist and author, Allison Hoover Bartlett, who explores the world of rare & beautiful books with the people who sell & collect them, including Sanders AND Gilkey.

In the opening of the book, a 400 yr. old book called a Kreuterbuch sits on Allison Hoover Bartlett's desk. I love old books, and just the way Allison described the Kreuterbuch in the prologue, "the pages, when turned, make a muffled crack... a dry woody smell..." I knew this would be a different kind of 'book thief' story. A book written by a person who truly appreciates & enjoys books - and not just for what's inside!

This particular Kreuterbuch (plant book) was found in the belongings of the deceased brother of a friend with a note attached to it explaining that it was 'accidentally' never returned to the college library it was borrowed from and asking for someone please return it. The book intrigued Allison and she decided to find its rightful owner. But that's only where the story starts- not one library would claim it... and as she searched the internet about stolen rare books, she found nothing about the Kreuterbuch, but found "story after riveting story of theft... thieves who were scholars, thieves who were clergymen, thieves who stole for profit.. and smitten thieves who stole purely for the love of books." One name that came popping up in her research was Ken Sanders, a rare book dealer, and John Gilkey, who was "one of the most successful thieves in recent years". Allison managed to befriend both men and gain amazing insight into what motivated each of them - Gilkey to steal & Sanders to hunt him down. But she doesn't stop at the relationship between Gilkey & Sanders, and the individual men themselves, she also does a wonderful job researching book collecting & theft thru the ages and writes about it in an entertaining and intriguing way. If books interest you, you will be glued to the pages reading about Don Vincente a nineteenth century monk who stole from his cloister and how his obsession lead to the murder of 9 men, or about the hidden beautiful paintings on the edge of a book called a fore-edge painting... many great stories and notes in the back of the book for reference to her research.

"Bartlett looks at the history of book passion, collection, and theft through the ages, to examine the craving that makes some people willing to stop at nothing to possess the books they love."

Allison is a wonderful writer, and The Man Who Loved Books Too Much was such an enjoyable and interesting read. If you love books, you should pick this book up! But I have a special surprise! Courtesy of Lydia of G.P. Putnam's Sons/ Riverhead I am having a giveaway to coincide with the release date of The Man Who Loved Books Too Much! I have one copy to give away BUT The Giveaway will only run 1 WEEK! Release date for the book is Sept. 17th and this Giveaway will end midnight on Sept.16th! So tell all your bookish friends and enter...

To Enter this Giveaway...

*To enter leave me a comment with your email address!
*For another entry Blog or Tweet about this giveaway and leave me the link.
*For another entry, tell me what book you would steal if you were a thief! (we all love books, so don't be shy!)

This Giveaway is open to U.S. residents ONLY, (No P.O. Boxes, please) Contest ends 11:59 pm EST on Sept. 16th. I'll randomly pick the winner the next day and email that person. Please check your email... winner must reply to me within 3 days...

Hey, would you like to read an excerpt? Here's the link on Allison's website! And you can read more about Allison there too!

Good luck everyone!

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