Thursday Give Away

For today’s Thursday Give Away, we have Alma Katsu’s The Taker.

Here’s the official blurb:

True love can last an eternity . . . but immortality comes at a price.

On the midnight shift at a hospital in rural St. Andrew, Maine, Dr. Luke Findley is expecting a quiet evening. Until a mysterious woman arrives in his ER, escorted by police—Lanore McIlvrae is a murder suspect—and Luke is inexplicably drawn to her. As Lanny tells him her story, an impassioned account of love and betrayal that transcends time and mortality, she changes his life forever. . . .

At the turn of the nineteenth century, when St. Andrew was a Puritan settlement, Lanny was consumed as a child by her love for the son of the town’s founder, and she will do anything to be with him forever. But the price she pays is steep—an immortal bond that chains her to a terrible fate for eternity.

The Taker is an innovative blend of historical fiction, paranormal, fantasy, and thriller. It reminded me a little bit of a lot of things (Julia Spencer-Fleming’s Miller’s Kill, The Witch of Blackbird Pond, Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire), but wasn’t quite like any of them.

So, for a copy of The Taker, here’s your question:

What books have you picked up recently that have surprised or intrigued you?

Winner to be announced on Sunday….


  1. Manjiri on December 13, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    Wuthering Heights is my book – love transcends time and space. Amazing.

  2. Heather Bond on December 13, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    The “Iron Druid Chronicles,” by Kevin Hearne.

  3. Valerie on December 13, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    The Book Thief. It’s really quite good! It’s interesting having Death be the narrator.

  4. Cyndee on December 13, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    I am finishing up the Fever series by Karen Marie Mooning. The last book had me spitting mad 2 hours into it but right now (after I got over being mad) I am loving it!

  5. Gina on December 13, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    Bartleby and Co. by Enrique Vila-Matas. I haven’t started it yet, but it sounded so fascinating I had to get it.

  6. Nadine Thompson on December 13, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    Cinder, Marissa Meyer. SO much better than I was expecting.

  7. Alexandra on December 13, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    The Thirteenth Tale ended up being one of those books that you just can’t put down, and it had several unexpected twists and turns.

  8. Ashley on December 13, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    I thought “The Rules of Civility” was great! The synopsis on the back didn’t really prepare me for the real story, and I loved that it surprised me as I read.

  9. E on December 13, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    I’ll go with “surprising”…

    In my most recent library haul, I found Jennifer Johnson Is Sick of Being Single by Heather McElhatton the most surprising, b/c it had all the chick-lit trappings, but wasn’t exactly neat and tidy like most chick-lit is.

    And for the most surprising book of the year, I have to go with The Doomsday Book by Connie Willis. I love Connie’s stuff, but I had been sorta dragging my feet on reading it b/c it was mostly set during the bubonic plague-era in England and the setting (and blurb) didn’t really excite me. I was oh so wrong. I totally didn’t want the book to end. (I guess it won a buttload of awards for a very good reason! :D)

  10. Kiley on December 13, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    The Tiger’s Wife by Téa Obreht

  11. Am7 on December 13, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    I am surprised Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor is relatively good. I thought that because the plot is so shmaltzy and done-to-death that I wouldn’t like it. Kleypas’s skill as a writer covers many of the flaws of plot cutesiness and all.

  12. Kayleigh Hines on December 13, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    The Guernsey Literary and Potatoe Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows.

    I read it based on the recommendation of a friend. I wasn’t expecting anything really extraordinary from her summary. I couldn’t put it down once I began. The book was one of the most refreshing reads I’ve had in a long time. Not terribly extraordinary happened that would be considered thriller, but the story woven between all the characters was so compelling that thrill was unnecessary.

  13. jnm on December 13, 2012 at 2:33 pm

    The Historian and The Crimson Petal and White are both fascinating reads. They keep you on your toes and you never know what’s going to happen when you turn the page. I picked up both on a whim and am glad I did.

  14. Rebecca B. on December 13, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    I just finished the House at Riverton by Kate Morton, and was so surprised by the ending. It was a marvelous book!

  15. Rachel Brown on December 13, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    I just recently read The Reservoir by John Milliken Thompson and was surprised by how intricate the storyline was and by the ending. It was a great book!

  16. Kari P. on December 13, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    Lamb by Christopher Moore. It was the my College Room Mate Wive’s book club pick of the month. Yes our husbands have forced us to hang out so often we had to start a book club! I normally read in the historical romance genre… so this was really different type of book, but I loved it!

  17. Stephanie Langer on December 13, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern took me by surprise. To be honest I wanted to read it because it had a cool cover, but I lost a lot of sleep over it. It was one one of the books I got excited about at the end of the work day because it took me “somewhere else” when I got home..(I recommend it to all of my library patrons along with your works Lauren 😉

  18. Erin C on December 13, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    The Widow’s Tale by Margaret Frazer. It was given to me two years ago and sat on the shelf because it didn’t seem up my ally. No swashbucklers. picked it up a week ago read it in a day and the ending completely took me by surprise.

  19. NikkiB on December 13, 2012 at 4:09 pm

    On a serious note… Atlas Shrugged, which is very relevant in todays economic climate.

  20. Ammy Belle on December 13, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    “The Wife’s Tale” by Lori Lansens. I thought it would be like a Lifetime movie – all ends well, HEA, etc. Instead it was this complex web of stories that ended up making the narrator so much stronger, that in the end, I just respected her for who she was instead of what she did.

    You should check it out 🙂

  21. bn100 on December 13, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    Life of Pi

  22. Pam on December 13, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    A Reliable Wife (Robert Goolrick) was a book I read recently that went in directions I wasn’t expecting and stayed with me long after I finished it. Truly haunting.

  23. Alexis on December 13, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    I would have to say “The Night Circus”. I expected it to be good, but the slow start threw me. And then it slowly built, and built, until I couldn’t put it down. I was so surprised by her world, and how she built the story. Absolutely wonderful.

  24. Vanessa on December 13, 2012 at 5:29 pm

    Peony in Love by Lisa See

  25. Paige on December 13, 2012 at 6:06 pm

    Oh! Abe Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith! Surprised? Without a doubt! Intrigued? Absolutely! Read it twice in as many months. 🙂 Chose it as my book club selection and it was it unanimous within our group that it was a “good one”.

  26. Sarah on December 13, 2012 at 6:18 pm

    The Distant Hours by Kate Morton can’t be outdone. It’s gothic and creepy, yet somehow uplifting at the same time.
    Most recently, a Kindle freebie called The Devil’s Grin by A Wendeberg. I would have paid for that one!

  27. Jane on December 13, 2012 at 6:27 pm

    The Rose Garden by Susanna Kearsley – great from start to finish

  28. jamie on December 13, 2012 at 8:24 pm

    Helena Dela’s the Count- you had mentioned it on here, so I had to go find it 🙂 It was different, very British at times, and a very interesting take on a fairy tale.

  29. Bridget Erin on December 13, 2012 at 8:57 pm

    The hunger games surprised me!

  30. Denise on December 13, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    The Time In Between by Maria Duenas is a book that I have read recently and it was very engaging and full of surprises. Loved the twists and turns & that some characters were based on real people.

  31. Whitney H. on December 13, 2012 at 9:19 pm

    Patriot Hearts, a book about Dolley Madison, Martha Washington, Abigail Adams, and Sally Hemings. It was a wonderful book, and even more so because it was not law school related! Hooray Christmas Break!

  32. Jessica C on December 13, 2012 at 10:10 pm

    The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy. I finally got around to reading it a few months ago, and was really surprised. It wasn’t at all what I expected; the use of language was unique (never read anything quite like it) and although it took a while to grab my attention, the story was interesting. Not entirely sure that I LIKED it, but it was certainly a surprising read

  33. PAULINE COSTANTINO on December 13, 2012 at 10:42 pm

    Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. You can’t even talk about this book without giving away a spoiler. Every character turns out to be something different with each chapter. Whatever you are thinking, you’ll turn a page and wonder how you got it so wrong.

  34. Ren on December 13, 2012 at 11:25 pm

    Was going to say Gone Girl too, but Pauline beat me too it. This book is worth the hype. I’ve never liked a book with such unlikeable characters before.

  35. Emily on December 13, 2012 at 11:39 pm

    I really enjoyed Dashiell Hammett’s The Thin Man. I’d loved the movie and didn’t expect to like the book – but it was really good. The Maltese Falcon was interesting too; I’ve heard a lot about it and I had quite a few expectations for it – but what I ended up liking the most was his writing style.

  36. Ashley on December 13, 2012 at 11:39 pm

    Mariana by Susanna Kearsley – I thought I had it all figured out but was surprised by the ending

  37. Amanda V on December 13, 2012 at 11:40 pm

    Lady Sophie’s Christmas Wish by Grace Burrowes.. I was really moved by the heroine’s love for her adopted son.

  38. Jeffrey on December 14, 2012 at 1:11 am

    The Toymaker by Kay Springsteen. She utilizes your own ‘now and then’ historical approach. A mother and her two children happen upon a box of 200 year old wooden toys from England which have been hastily bought in an estate sale. They are transfixed by the craftsmanship and in the bottom of the old box is found a diary. That is the appeal of this story and that is what attracts me to your Pink Carnation series: The warmth and human emotions that connect the past with the present. I’ve only just begun but already I sense a beautiful and heart-felt romance that ties the past to the present. The incurable romantic is helpless in the clutches of such a story!

  39. Laura on December 14, 2012 at 7:21 am

    Overseas by Beatriz Williams. I pre-ordered it based on the strength of the positive reviews here. I was surprised by just how much i loved it and how involved in the story i got. I even think about it now from time to time which cannot be said for a lot of the books I’ve read this year!

  40. Jennifer Bostick on December 14, 2012 at 11:08 am

    Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn . . . all kinds of crazy!

  41. Brittany on December 14, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    I’ve been reading a new YA series, The Agency: A Spy in the House, and it has been really good so far. It’s a mystery set in 19th century London with twists and turns.

  42. Céline on December 14, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    Probably the TimeRiders series, by Alex Scarrow… a page turner, lovable characters, secrets about each of them, time travel… who wouldn’t love it?
    I’m positovely hooked!
    Icing on the cake: the author, Alex Scarrow, has a lovely british accent and stunning blue eyes! 🙂

  43. Theresa J. on December 14, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    The House of Velvet and Glass by Katherine Howe– protagonist discovers she can see glimpses of the future through opium dreams…a bit bizarre but very compelling!

  44. Anna Kozlowski on December 16, 2012 at 2:14 am

    An Abundance of Katherines By John Green. It’s funnier than I expected it to be in a weird way.

  45. patrice aka gaylen marie on December 16, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    i loved reading about great books. thank you so much. i am going to write them all down and start looking for them. this is my most favorite kind of article. i am really enjoying the louise penny series set in 3 pines. i just started the 4th book. i also am reading linda castillo thrillers set in an amish town in pa. so good. my reading is giving me a lot of happy time!!

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