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Daily Deals: A John Irving novel; two romances; and a non...

A Prayer for Owen Meany by John IrvingA Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving. $ 2.99

From the Jacket Copy:

I am doomed to remember a boy with a wrecked voice—not because of his voice, or because he was the smallest person I ever knew, or even because he was the instrument of my mother’s death, but because he is the reason I believe in God; I am a Christian because of Owen Meany.

In the summer of 1953, two eleven-year-old boys—best friends—are playing in a Little League baseball game in Gravesend, New Hampshire. One of the boys hits a foul ball that kills the other boy’s mother. The boy who hits the ball doesn’t believe in accidents; Owen Meany believes he is God’s instrument. What happens to Owen after that 1953 foul ball is extraordinary.

In the summer of 1953, during a Little League baseball game, 11-year-old Owen Meany hits a foul ball that kills his best friend’s mother. What happens to him after that fateful day makes A Prayer for Owen Meany extraordinary, terrifying, and unforgettable.

If you are a religious person, it sounds like this book might be offensive because while Christianity is a theme in the story, it’s often mocked, as is the government and any other institution of power. Is Owen Meany, a diminutive boy with enormous power over his peers, an allegorical figure?

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The Marquess of Cake by Heather HiestandThe Marquess of Cake by Heather Hiestand. $ 1.99

From the Jacket Copy:

Coffee. . .tea. . .or a pastry chef sweeter than any confection. . .

Scotch trifle fit for Queen Victoria, scones with clotted cream. . .Alys Redcake knows the way to a man’s heart. Yet she is unaware that with each morsel–and flash of ankle–she is seducing the handsome marquess frequenting her father’s tea shop. Unmarried at twenty-six, Alys’s first love is the family business. But thoughts of the gentleman’s touch are driving her to distraction. . .
With his weakness for sugar, the Marquess of Hatbrook can imagine no more desirable woman than one scented with cake and spice. Mistaking Alys for a mere waitress, he has no doubt she would make a most delicious mistress. And when he finds himself in need of an heir, he plans to make her his convenient bride. Yet as they satisfy their craving for one another, business and pleasure suddenly collide. Will Hatbrook’s passion for sweets–and for Alys–be his heart’s undoing?

85,000 Words

I’ve wanted to read this since I first saw the anachronistic cover. It looks like a cute book and a couple of reader friends have said that while it is not perfect, it was a cute and fun read.

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More Than This by Shannyn Schroeder. $ 1.99

From the Jacket Copy:

When a lonely teacher teams up with a handsome bartender for some outrageous acts, they both get more than they bargained for . . .

Learning her ex-husband is going to be a father, Quinn Adams is determined to have a baby of her own-without the partnership of a man. But her sister and friends believe she needs to focus on herself first, and step out of her comfort zone by completing a list of adventures. Challenge number one is to go on five dates within two weeks. After a few disastrous attempts, Quinn’s ready to give up-until sexy bartender Ryan O’Leary offers his assistance.

Ryan has always been the dependable one in his family, often at his expense. But lately, he’s been longing for a life-and a woman-of his own. The woman he has in mind is Quinn. Though it seems all she wants is friendship, Ryan can’t ignore the explosive chemistry he feels between them. In the hopes of becoming closer, Ryan offers to help out with Quinn’s list. But when she asks him for a serious favor, he’s afraid it will jeopardize his chance to become more than friends.

102,100 Words

Friends to lovers? Working class characters? Sounds like the perfect thing to read while waiting for the next Shannon Stacey book.

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How the States Got Their Shapes Mark Stein  -How the States Got Their Shapes by Mark Stein. $ 2.99.

From the Jacket Copy:

Why does Oklahoma have that panhandle? Did someone make a mistake?

We are so familiar with the map of the United States that our state borders seem as much a part of nature as mountains and rivers. Even the oddities—the entire state of Maryland(!)—have become so engrained that our map might as well be a giant jigsaw puzzle designed by Divine Providence. But that’s where the real mystery begins. Every edge of the familiar wooden jigsaw pieces of our childhood represents a revealing moment of history and of, well, humans drawing lines in the sand.

How the States Got Their Shapes is the first book to tackle why our state lines are where they are. Here are the stories behind the stories, right down to the tiny northward jog at the eastern end of Tennessee and the teeny-tiny (and little known) parts of Delaware that are not attached to Delaware but to New Jersey.

How the States Got Their Shapes examines:

Why West Virginia has a finger creeping up the side of Pennsylvania

Why Michigan has an upper peninsula that isn’t attached to Michigan

Why some Hawaiian islands are not Hawaii

Why Texas and California are so outsized, especially when so many Midwestern states are nearly identical in size

Packed with fun oddities and trivia, this entertaining guide also reveals the major fault lines of American history, from ideological intrigues and religious intolerance to major territorial acquisitions. Adding the fresh lens of local geographic disputes, military skirmishes, and land grabs, Mark Stein shows how the seemingly haphazard puzzle pieces of our nation fit together perfectly.

I’ve been looking for another book to read with tot and we usually read fiction but this might be a great educational book for both of us.

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Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. cleo
    Aug 11, 2013 @ 12:37:35

    I read A Prayer for Owen Meany a long time ago – it was my first and last John Irving. I remember being swept away by it at the time, but I’m not sure how well it stands up now. I don’t remember anything about the Christian references – I remember it as a coming of age story set during the Kennedy years and Vietnam war with misc ranty asides about random stuff. And it has a tragic ending, although ircc you know a tragedy is coming pretty early on, you just don’t know wat it is.

  2. Lammie
    Aug 11, 2013 @ 13:09:29

    John Irving is my favorite author, and A Prayer for Owen Meany is one of his better books. It is definitely a good deal at this price.

  3. Divya S
    Aug 11, 2013 @ 13:17:53

    I just bought A Marquess of Cake and am 30% through. I’m definitely enjoying it. Not much angst so far, but I like the way the teashop and the Victorian Era is portrayed. You can definitely tell the author put in effort to make sure it didn’t feel like a regency. Hero isn’t a dick and the heroine isn’t TSTL, which is a nice change from my most recent reads! I especially like Alys working on her cakes (I’m a huge fan of Cake Boss). If all goes well, this will be a B read.

    Thanks for posting the deal. :D

  4. Regina
    Aug 11, 2013 @ 16:16:02

    I am a history minor/teacher.

    How States Got Their Shape was a slow read even for me. Not sure that a kid would like it.

  5. RebeccaJ
    Aug 11, 2013 @ 16:32:12

    The Marquess of Cake is not my favorite genre so I won’t be reading it, but the book catches my eye every time I see it because the cover is gorgeous:)

  6. EGS
    Aug 11, 2013 @ 17:59:08

    I remember hating A Prayer for Owen Meany when we had to read it in high school. But then again, I hated everything in high school.

  7. Laura
    Aug 11, 2013 @ 18:32:49

    More Than This is showing a Kindle price of $4.61 at Amazon. Rats.

  8. Sabrina P
    Aug 12, 2013 @ 12:06:16

    Thanks Regina, I was about to get the book for my 11 year old till I read your comment!

  9. Shannyn Schroeder
    Aug 12, 2013 @ 14:52:10

    @Laura: Hi. Just wanted to let you know that Amazon did a price match and More Than This is $1.99 there too.

  10. Caro
    Aug 12, 2013 @ 17:36:57

    A Prayer for Owen Meany is a book I read after my younger brother died at 28. I cried all the time, I hated it and loved it and it’s the only Irving book I have… adored. Cursed at. Thrown against the wall. And ultimately… the best book I’ve ever read.

    Isn’t reading amazing?

  11. Marguerite Kaye
    Aug 13, 2013 @ 04:51:43

    I loved A Prayer for Owen Meannie. It was the first John Irving book I read, and I went on to read them all – loved The Cider House Rules, and even thought the film was good. I don’t know how it will hold up, been about 15 years since I read it, but this has made me want to go back and read it again.

  12. A Prayer for Owen Meany: A Novel Reviews |
    Sep 07, 2013 @ 08:58:52

    […] Daily Deals: A John Irving <b>novel</b>; two romances; and a non fiction <b>&#8230… […]

  13. elizabeth brown
    Oct 03, 2013 @ 14:10:25

    i have almost all of john irving novelsand enjoyed them , some more than others. my favorite is a prayer for owen meany. he is a very good writer.

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