Thursday, March 3, 2011

A Charlatan and the Search for Truth

Blogging for Books has provided me with a copy of the book "A Charlatan's Boy" by Jonathon Rogers in exchange for reviews and me posting it a couple of different places, including on my blog. I chose this blog, as it seems most applicable to the topic at hand, but I may end up posting other reviews on my other projects if I feel they are specific to the broad topics at hand.

Image found via

It took me a while after reading this book to decide whether I liked it or not. The plot was... thin... at best, with nothing spectacularly surprising or even generally unusual to contribute, but the writing itself was phenomenal. The descriptions and thoughts of this poor orphan boy were evocative, and brought me to an understanding of what it meant to be in such a terrible plight. Due to the thin plot, I ultimately decided to judge the book primarily on the lessons it teaches, and here is where the book really comes across. Independence is all fine and dandy, and living the life of a nomad is great, but in order to be happy you need to find a community that is willing to accept you for who you are.

The one part of this that it doesn't address is that we shouldn't be close-minded and anti-strange in our own lives, but accept those we meet for themselves, but hey, no book is perfect, right?

Anyway, I'd give it about 3 stars.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Three Victories and a Local Giveaway

I've had three victories this week, and they aren't crappy little ones, either. I entered a competition on Facebook, something about Best Friends or some such. I won a $20 Fandango Gift Card! Second, Google sent me $100 credit for ads, which I have every intention of using for this site (primarily). Last but not least, I instantly won a 1 GB Flash drive on campus today from a new service the University of Utah offers: money advice. Not only are they giving away free prizes on campus, but they are also giving away $150 in Campus Bookstore credit. Just go to their website, take the quiz, get all the answers right, and you get an entry!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

5+; Something a bit more... Intimate.

Today's topic is inspired by Sweeps4Bloggers, a site I often go to for their great giveaways and fantastic multi-entry system. With Valentine's Day on the horizon, I figure there must be plenty of free giveaways for things that are more intimate, romantic, and fun. The first of these comes from S4B, but after that I'm going to see what else I can dig up.

#1. Orabella, and Australian company, is working with Sweeps4Bloggers. They are giving away two free bras. At first, this doesn't sound that great, but when you look into the details, they get pretty impressive pretty quickly. They are "Elegant Italian lace bras created in the best style and the appeal as every woman should be proud to show her elegance and sensuality. Nothing but softness and comfort!" Which isn't entirely a full sentence with nouns and verbs and whatnot, but it gets the point across, which is that these bras are simply amazing. And, like I said before, S4B offers great ways to get extra entries. Tell them you came from here?

#2. More Lingerie, I'm mostly adding this one because one of the sets (that's right, 5 different choices, 5 different winners) has polka dots, which my wife just loves! In order to enter, you have to go to the Facebook page, like them, subscribe to the mailing list, AND comment on the specific note. But they are probably worth it.

#3. Musical, Valentine, Romantic, and er... Crafty? Well, sure. This is a package of scrapbook supplies that are all about love, music, and paper. Maybe not everyone's cup of tea, but who wouldn't like a cute homemade card that simply sings?

#4. Speaking of paper, maybe you should make a card. Or write a letter. With valentine's coming up quickly, sometimes it is the little things that count. If you can't be bothered, or are simply worried you'll run out of time, this contest is for you. All you have to do is write a note for your loved one. They'll store it until Valentine's and then send it on time for you. Plus, you get entered into a free contest to win an iPod Shuffle.

#5. Speaking of writing, the next one actually takes work on your part. The winner gets a $250 gift card, but you actually have to be the best one to win. Yikes! Pressure!
Only not really, because you just have to complete the "Roses are Red, Violets are Blue" poem with your own finishing lines. Sounds kinda fun, doesn't it?
Here's my entry:

Roses are Red,
Violets are blue,
Seeking a soul mate
Brought me to you.

Think you can do better? Go enter and win!

#6. If you don't know how much I simply adore Goodreads, this must be the first entry of mine you've read. Here are just a few Love Stories they are giving away, with more to come (I'm sure) as February draws every closer. Love Inc., Love of Chocolate, Love is the Best Medicine, All that Love Stuff, Unprotected Texts.

That pretty much wraps it up. So it wasn't all bunnies and storks, but it makes for a good list of Valentine's stuff, yeah?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

5+ All Vacations

With January weather depressing everyone (although it has been warm the last few days, that is a pretty relative term in January), I thought it would be nice to show you the places you could be. If you were rich. Since you probably aren't, the next best thing is to win a trip somewhere absolutely astonishing, so today is all about Vacations! If you missed yesterdays post, there are a couple more vacations there as well, so go check it out!

#1 Hawaii! Not to put to fine a point on it, but we're starting off the with big guns. A free trip to Hawaii sounds amazing, doesn't it? Sun, sand, swimming, relaxation, and just enjoying the fact that all your friends are still back in the cold harsh grip of winter. Budget Travel is giving away a free Hawaii trip, including airfare and six nights at a fabulous beachfront hotel. This  is a single entry sweep, which is fantastic. Go take a look at it!

#2 Bermuda. Finding an international giveaway that includes full airfare seems pretty difficult, but if I see one I'll definitely post it. In the mean time, here's a great way to enter a contest and stay entered. The Reefs and Nisbet Plantation give away a free stay every month. All you have to do to enter (permanently) is subscribe to their newsletter. Best yet, the stay is a full week long and includes more than just a continental breakfast. With afternoon tea and a dinner included, this is a great way to enjoy the Island experience in full. Sign up here.

#3 Puerto Rico (or Hawaii). This one also draws for laptops and other fantastic prizes.

#4 Colorado. Not really a great destination for a winter vacation, right? Instead of sun and sand, they offer free skiing, including lessons and passes to local ski resorts. This one includes airfare as well, and great accomodations!

#5. Texas. Er, wait, what? Oh, right... The SUPERBOWL in Texas. Not that Texas isn't warm in winter, but well, y'know. Texas. Not exactly the tropical vacation of dreams, except that you can WIN FREE TICKETS to the SUPERBOWL. In Texas. This ends RIGHT AWAY, Jan 22, and requires a newsletter signup. But hey, you could win tickets to the Superbowl.

And that wraps it up.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

5+ Giveaways Today: A little of everything

1. One of my favorite places to enter is over at Goodreads. Here, not only can you enter to win books, but you connect with community and see what your friends are reading and enjoy. The only downside I've seen is that contests are one per household, so my wife and I don't have separate accounts. This week I'm entering to win a bunch, but my favorite contests have one of the following: Few entries competing, Lots of copies available, an interesting subject, or a just plain awesome title/cover.

Of course, simply putting up a few books from Goodreads doesn't count as a full post, so here are a few other things I've been doing lately:

2. I'm entering to win a trip, with both Instant Win and a sweepstakes at the end. The Harry and David promo has some pretty awesome prizes, so go check it out.

3. Todd and Erin, local show hosts, also have a blog with prizes, giveaways, coupons, etc. For the most part they link to other places, and their emails often have fantastic information. They also do a monthly gift card giveaway. They have a lot of followers, but someone has to win, right?

4. If you're willing to travel just before Valentines Day, there is a free trip to New York for Fashion Week. Sponsored by Payless, this is a single entry sweep, which I personally really like. 

5. Speaking of Travel, this next one is absolutely astonishing. The Select Registry: Distinguished Inns of North America is giving away a $500 gift certificate, which is available for use at any of 400+ properties across the country. While no airfare is paid, the gift certificate by itself is just plain awesome, as many of these locations are Bed and Breakfasts, or small, privately run locations big on charm and elegance.

6. Leite's Culinaria has a couple of books up for free giveaways, one for delicious Indian spices and the other for The Butcher and the Vegetarian. They both sound amazing, and they both end right away, so get cracking and enter NOW!

7. One for the kidlets, As They Grow Up is offering Pocoyo Bath Toys. This is a blog giveaway, which means that entry can be a bit more of a hassle, but if you win, its always worth it.Watch for their ways to get extra entries and boost your chance of winning!

Speaking of boosting your chances of winning, expect to see me picking up Twitter for this blog pretty soon. I've never used it before, but if there is something I really want to win, the extra entries from tweeting the contest would be worth it. Maybe.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Starting (for real)

Now that life is back to normal, I plan on posting AT LEAST ONCE EVERY DAY.

With a guarantee of AT LEAST 5 links to giveaways, blogs, sweepstakes, freebies, or cool shinyness. I promise. Really.

Friday, December 24, 2010