Monday, August 26, 2013

Teaser Tuesday & GIVEAWAY: Vacationland by Sarah Stonich

Meg walks the path from the lodge, hoping Polly might have leftover poundcake In her cabin for tea, maybe some of the oranges. The path twines along the shore through a copse of birch, down to the inlet of bald rock where the two remaining cabins stand.

-- From "Occlusion," one of the linked stories in Vacationland by Sarah Stonich.

I know from Stonich's earlier books, These Granite Islands and The Ice Chorus, which I reviewed here, that she knows how to set the scene and keep a story moving. Her writing is elegant, but unobtrusive – the story always comes through.

The connected stories in Stonich's new book are all set at Naledi Lodge, now the forlorn remnants of a once popular summer lake resort in northern Minnesota.  Once you start reading, you won't be able to stop.


On a lake in northernmost Minnesota, you might find Naledi Lodge—only two cabins still standing, its pathways now trodden mostly by memories. And there you might meet Meg, or the ghost of the girl she was, growing up under her grandfather’s care in a world apart and a lifetime ago. Now an artist, Meg paints images “reflected across the mirrors of memory and water,” much as the linked stories of Vacationland cast shimmering spells across distance and time.

Those whose paths have crossed at Naledi inhabit Vacationland: a man from nearby Hatchet Inlet who knew Meg back when, a Sarajevo refugee sponsored by two parishes who can’t afford “their own refugee,” aged sisters traveling to fulfill a fateful pact once made at the resort, a philandering ad man, a lonely Ojibwe stonemason, and a haiku-spouting girl rescued from a bog.


The contest is for readers in the USA only (sorry) and is open until Labor Day Monday, September 2, 2013, at 4:00 PST. There are five ways to enter and each one is worth a chance to win. To enter, do any or all of the following, but you must leave a comment for each one and you must put an email address in a comment so I know you want to enter the giveaway:

1. Comment on this post. You must include an email address. If I can't find a way to contact you I will draw another winner. (1 entry)

2. Blog about this giveaway. Posting the giveaway on your sidebar is also acceptable. Leave a separate comment with a link to your post. (1 entry)

3. Follow this blog with Google or NetworkedBlogs, or subscribe via email (or tell me if you already are a subscriber or follower). Leave a separate comment for this. (1 entry)

4. Tweet this post on Twitter. Leave me a separate comment with your twitter user name. (1 entry)

5. Post this on a social network. Put it on facebook, post it on Google+, pin it on Pinterest, Stumble it, digg it, reddit, or otherwise put it out there in the social network. Leave a separate comment with a link or explanation. (1 entry)

There are a lot of ways to enter (maximum of five entries), but you must LEAVE A SEPARATE COMMENT for each one or they will not count. I will use to pick the winners from the comments.

This contest is open to entries from the U.S. only. The deadline for entry is 4:00 PM, Pacific Time, on Labor Day Monday, September 2, 2013. I will draw and post the winner's name in my Teaser Tuesday post going up at 5:00 PM on September 2, 2013.  

Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by Should Be Reading, where you can find the official rules for this weekly event. 

Mailbox Monday

Thanks for joining me for Mailbox Monday this holiday weekend! MM was created by Marcia, who graciously hosted it for a long, long time, before turning it into a touring event (details here).

Kathy at Bermuda Onion stepped in to host in August -- thanks, Kathy!

I got one book last week, from Sasquatch Books:

Driving Home: An American Journey by Jonathan Raban. It is a collection of essays by a Brit living in America. It looks like it might be a little more heavy on politics than travel, but I'll give it an open mind.


For more than thirty years, Jonathan Raban has written with infectious fascination about people and places in transition or on the margins, about journeys undertaken and destinations never quite reached, and, as an expat, about what it means to feel rooted in America. Spanning two decades, Driving Home charts a course through the Pacific Northwest, American history, and current events as witnessed by "a super-sensitive, all-seeing eye. Proving that an outsider is the keenest observer of the scene that natives take for granted, this collection of Jonathan Raban’s essays affirms his place as the most literate, perceptive, and humorous commentator on the places, characters, and obsessions that constitute the American scene. Raban spots things we might otherwise miss; he calls up the apt metaphors that transform things into phenomena. "He is one of our most gifted observers." (Newsday).

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