Monday, February 01, 2010

Home Is Where The Wine Is: A Review, Actually! And Even A Giveaway!

Leave a comment to enter to win a copy!

I realize that with a title like, "Home Is Where The Wine Is," you would be all, "Yes, Kristy, we know. With the wine." But no! Well, I mean, yes, but no!

Crazy Aunt Purl went and wrote another book and that's what it's called and that's why this is a review and giveaway and not me talking about a day of the week that ends in -day.

ALSO! Ms. Purl/Laurie/Raurie will be doing a guest-post/interview thingy here on this blog, too, I'm just not 100% sure when because probably it would help if I would send her questions instead of just saying things like, "YOU TYPE GOOD ON MY BLOG!"

(Not that I actually said that to her, but that's basically the message I've sent by my being all stammery and self-conscious about how to go about having one of my favoritest bloggers ever come for a visit.)

So, then. Let's get down to business.


Who Is Crazy Aunt Purl?
I would be very surprised if anyone who reads this blog hasn't also read Laurie's blog, seeing as she's a 30-something living in California, who's found her quirky way post-divorce. She lives with yarn and cats, and she blogs and writes and wines and is very, very funny. (She is also blond and a Cancer and not a size 4 and I'm just saying we may share some common ground.)

It should be noted, though, that unlike yours truly, Laurie is a both a good knitter and still, you know, knits. She uses the f-word far less than I do and has not, to my knowledge, ever posted a picture of her bare behind on her blog. She has described herself as a little self-helpy, but she's the ONLY PERSON whose self-helpery I read regularly and love and appreciate.

Laurie is real, and she is nice, and she is kind, and she is honest. She offers no platitudes or buzzwords or obnoxious quotes, but I have never laughed so hard while reading a blog post -- let alone being taught a lesson in humanity -- as I did when I read this post of hers about her bus catching on fire in the middle of rush-hour traffic IN LOS ANGELES.

Mostly, I just really like her, and have since I wrote about discovering her waaaaaaay back in March of '05. Because until I read her blog, it had never occurred to me that I could just write the way I talk, write the way I write emails to friends, sound conversational and not worry about posts Making A Point. (This was before everyone had a conversational blog, and the only "popular" blogs I knew about were political.)

So, Purl will always have a special place in my heart for being the first person to not only make me feel like it's totally okay to blog the real me, but to show me how it was possible.


What Is This Book She Wrote And Why Should I Read It?
Going from blog to book is a giant feat and one that impresses the bejeezus out of me for what I will say are OBVIOUS REASONS. I can't get out of my own way long enough to even know where to begin with this whole book business (and believe me, I have tried AND will be asking Ms. Crazy Aunt Purl about this very thing).

Yet not only has she done it once (see: Drunk, Divorced and Covered in Cat Hair), but she has done it twice. And well. And with purpose.

Yep, impressive.

But now I am supposed to do an actual "review" of the book, which is funny because how do you review a non-fiction helpy book? The character development was great, but the plot was a little unrealistic. How am I supposed to believe a heroine who lives in LA and doesn't know you always schedule a bikini wax before a sunless tanning appointment?

So instead, I will take a page out of Laurie's book (but not like, her BOOK book, I mean her operation manual of sorts) and give you...

Reasons Why You Should Read "Home Is Where The Wine Is" in bullet form but in no real order!

  • If you love her blog already, this is like feeding an addiction: it's more of the stuff you crave. More details, more stories, and more connective tissue. I'll admit to being super-curious about Laurie's dating life, for example, and this fills in some big holes. Big, awful, relatable holes. I also really like the structure it gives all these somewhat-random and somewhat context-free blog entries she's posted over the years. She's put it into context for us, and it's satisfying to read it in a linear, start-to-finish kind of way.


  • If you have never read her blog, good lord is this woman ever funny. I almost wish I had never read her before, so that I could enjoy her turns of phrase for the first time. (Although when you read things like, "Wall Of Bangs" -- not to mention references of boyfriends past -- you will rush to her blog to dig up pictures. Or at least, you should.) Her self-helpy message is really secondary to her bouncing from one hilarious and self-deprecating anecdote to the next.

    Also: square watermelons.


  • The "message" doesn't suck and isn't condescending -- hell, it isn't even trite! I won't tell you the number of ridiculous PR pitches I get to read and review relationship books that promise to explain how I can land a guy. Even if I weren't married, I'd still find this infuriating. Purl's is the only story, book, blog out there that I know of that doesn't just illustrate life-beyond-slash-instead-of-married-with-children, but portrays a (real) single woman in her over-35s who...

    ...isn't married and doesn't necessarily care to be

    ...doesn't define her "completeness" by her partner status

    ...is ambivalent-at-best about having kids and doesn't take some Grand Stance on the issue

    ...can redefine and reclaim "selfish" in such a way that it makes you want everyone in the world to be just like her

    ...has an actual sense of humor

    ...may or may not sleep with her 24-year-old grocer

    Among other things.


  • Knitting recipes that are cute and not only easy to follow but FUN to follow, INCLUDING a personal massager cozy. And while I realize this isn't super relevant to anything, I just want you all to know that when I first met Ish and we were brainstorming stand-up material all the time, I once came up with a bit about knitting a battery-operated cover of sorts, and he looked at me wide-eyed. NOT because he was dating a wackadoo (although sure, he was), but because he then opened his notebook from a year prior and showed me where he'd written, "crocheted vibrator cozy." And, well, here we are.
Mostly, it's a warm, enjoyable read written by a warm, enjoyable woman about living a warm, enjoyable life. As defined by her (good-) crazy self, set against wacky neighbors and bad dates and the insanity that is LA and a dysfunctional relationship with her gardener and codependentish relationship with her cats and punctuated by yarn, wine, work, and solo travel.

Personally (and I hardly EVER get sentimental, so bear with me), as with the first Purl book, having Home Is Where The Wine Is on my bookshelf is like having a friend around; I'm comforted knowing it's there, because I'm comforted knowing that Laurie's there, out there, out in the world.


How Can I Get (Or Win) A Copy Of The Book?
Of course, you can order your copy from Amazon here, for a very reasonable price of $10.17 (at the time of writing this post).

Or, simply leave a comment and be eligible to win one of the FIVE kick-ass copies Laurie's publisher is giving me to give to you (if you're in the US OR Canada! That almost never happens!). So, that's kind of awesome, too.

Contest ends/comments close on Friday, February 5.







89 comments:

  1. I'm not able to order from Amazon.com, and the -.ca version is miserable and behind-the-times.

    So, this is me leaving a comment and typing with crossed fingers. I love Aunt Purl.

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  2. She's a great writer! Would love a copy of her new book.

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  3. Aunt Purl sounds like my kind of girl!! ( as do you! ) If she's anything like you, I will be laughing until I cry!

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  4. Yes PLEASE! Her first book was hilarious and I have been counting the days til the second one hits the shelves, but this would be better. Thanks for the chance to win!

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  5. I would love a copy of Laurie's book! Thanks for this contest.

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  6. I have been an avid fan of Laurie since discovering her blog through Kristy's blogroll. A copy of her new book would be fabulous (as was her first one!) Thanks Kristy!!!

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  7. Great contest! She sounds like my kind of gal.

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  8. Wow...2005...I've been blog-stalking an awful long time...

    I loved Laurie's first book, it's actually right next to me on my desk. I'd love a chance at one of the five you have to give away and am waiting eagerly for your interview with her :).

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  9. Like Lisa above, I found CAP's blog through yours. But, I always read yours first in my blog reader : )

    I would love a copy of Laurie's book. I devoured the first one in one weekend!

    Looking forward to your book (maybe?) complete with drawings. That's what first lead me to YOUR blog...a forwarded email of your drawing of "The Sundress". HA HA LOVE IT!

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  10. Oh, oh, oh! I would love to win a copy of Crazy Aunt Purl's new book. I dearly love her blog and have since the first time I read it a few years ago.

    Crossing my fingers and hoping I'm a lucky winner!

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  11. Me too, me too. I love Crazy Aunt Purl and you! In fact, I start every work day by happily skipping to both of your blogs, and am usually very very sad when there hasn't been an update! Fingers and toes are crossed!

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  12. Oh good! Another great blog to help me pass the time of day at work. Thanks for all the funny, both of you!

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  13. I love CAP, who I think I also found through your blogroll.

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  14. This was a fun post. I really enjoy Laurie's blog so would love to read her books.
    Thanks for the chance, hope I win!

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  15. Would love a copy of the book! Thanks for the contest.

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  16. I love Laurie's blog but haven't gotten around to buying her latest book! I think this is partly because I'm taking classes and reading anything other than a textbook or GRE prep manual just makes me feel guilty. Clearly, I need your help!

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  17. I love Laurie's blog and have been reading it for several years. I would love to win her latest book!

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  18. Kristy! Thanks for a great review of Home Is Where the Wine Is. I'm so glad you enjoyed it. Thanks so much for the time you put into reading and reviewing the book. We really appreciate it. Can't wait for the interview!

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  19. I love CAP ... even stalked her once when I was in LA. (err, a Non-Crazy kinda Stalk that she knows about (which makes it okay. Right??!! :))

    Would love a copy of the new book! Thanks Kristy!

    Linda

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  20. I found Purl/Laurie through your blog, and she is absolutely one of my favorite bloggers (as are you!). One of the few blogs I've continued to read for oh, years, now. Thanks for the review, I'm looking forward to reading her book! :)

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  21. I would love a copy of her book, I'm a big fan of hers and of yours!

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  22. I'd love a copy of the book for free! I have her first book already. Maybe some day I'll even learn how to knit so I can figure out the knitting stuff in the book.

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  23. So need to have this book! Thanks for the giveaway!

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  24. Ok so I haven't gotten around to reading the first one, but I must learn the story of the grocer!

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  25. Oh, I love her blog and her first book. I would love to win this one!

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  26. Winning a book? oh, yes please!

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  27. Oh, I love Laurie's blog, and would definitely love her book (I should add it to my Amazon wish list so that if I don't win, I might at least have a chance that someone might buy it for me in the future).

    I think I started reading both of your blogs around the same time. They were both recommended as favorites by another blogger (who sadly doesn't blog anymore -- or if she does, she changed urls without leaving a forwarding message).

    So yes, please!

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  28. I've been reading Laurie for years too - in fact one of the first blogs I got into a few years ago. I would LOVE to win her book! Plus, I'm in Canada, none of these contests ever apply to me!

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  29. Oh crap. FINALLY Canada can participate and I had to up and move to Scotland.

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  30. You guys are both awesome. I can't wait for your book too ;)

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  31. Kristy -

    Love your blog and definitely think you should publish a book!! Stick with it, girl!

    Will definitely read Crazy Aunt Purl's book too!

    Go single, 30-somethings in CA!

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  32. Love her blog and yours, and would greatly enjoy a copy of the book!

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  33. I love Laurie, and read her blog faithfully. She is one kick ass woman. And Sobakawa is one kick ass cat.

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  34. I think I started reading your blog after Crazy Aunt Purl linked to you - or maybe it was the other way around. Regardless, it's been a few years and I enjoy you both.

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  35. I actually never read her blog -- I just read yours. Would it be cheating if I win her book and like it?

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  36. Canada is included ???? I swear I haven't been able to shop online since I moved here. I loved her first book, and would love her second. And I agree with you - I too felt like I was buying a friend's book!

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  37. I love Crazy Aunt Purl! Good for her on completing her second book. Wow! Can't wait to read it.

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  38. I love you both and keeping my fingers crossed I win a copy of her book:)

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  39. Yay! Can't wait to read her book and your interview with her!

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  40. I want to weeeeeen!!!!! I love her too and I discovered her through your blog

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  41. I gave my copy of her first book to my recently divorced best friend, who loaned me her "So That's What They're For" copy when I got pregnant. It worked out well.

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  42. Loved her first book. LOVED it. And know I will love this next one also.

    I got to meet Laurie and spend quite a nice time with her when she was on her first book tour. She is just a sweet, funny, down-home and REAL as she sounds on her blog and in her book. I feel I made a real friend that day!

    Hope I'm one of the lucky five to win a copy, but if not, I definitely intend to buy one or more copies for me and a couple of friends! :)

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  43. please don't enter me in the contest as i have a copy of the book to review myself and five copies to give away but i'm just here saying your blog is hilarious & i can't stop reading it!

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  44. I adore Laurie...being a "somewhat" southern girl myself, I always get a kick out of all of the transplanted southerner stories she shares, sometimes without even realizing it. I must say, my favorite blog post of hers to date was The Story of Roy. What a beautiful and sweet homage to her cat, although the first read through it actually had me doing the ugly cry.

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  45. I've been reading Laurie's blog almost as long as I've been reading yours ... and I started reading yours sometime around the Firemen-and-Curves post that got you Best of Craigslist way back when. ;) The fact that I don't have her book yet is ... well, probably disappointing, so here's me also crossing my fingers for a win!

    Both of your blogs have helped me through a lot of emotional times the last five years. Thank you thank you and, also, thank you.

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  46. I'm a little behind the times and just finished "Drunk, Divorced and Covered in Cat Hair" a few weeks ago. I can't wait to read book #2!

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  47. Would love to win a Purl book -- toss my name in the hat!

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  48. Ah, she is hilarious! Awesome contest!

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  49. Can't wait to read it! I think your blog mentioned her and I started reading years ago...

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  50. Her book sounds hilarious. Looking forward to reading it.

    I have been reading your blog, in my free time. Yeah right, what free time. I actually was so engrossed in your blog one day that I let poor Luke fuss in his swing, not intentially but you know how you get so wrapped up in reading that you tune everything else out.

    Your writing is fantastic. It has so much Voice, yup fancy writing word. Hey I taught writing to 5th graders I know these things. LOL

    I'd certainly buy your book should you some day publish.

    Dena

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  51. Oh, that sounds good! Another blog to catch up on is never a bad thing, and I have a feeling I'll be wasting many otherwise productive hours in her archives ... Would love to be entered in the giveaway!

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  52. I have been following your blog for about 9 months now...and I have to say as a fellow new-mom, I am going through all the same things you are! In fact, I showed my DH your post about Eve months 4-5-6 just to prove to him that our kid is not some strange alien child but pretty darn normal. :) I think Eve is the female counterpart to our Alex. I BF at night and in the morning still (he's 4.5 mos) and his hair is falling out and I have GOT to get one of those Jumperoos just so I can sing the song. Remind me to teach you the BED song. Ha ha.

    Anyway, I have Aunt Purl's first book and read her religiously as well....would love to win her second one!

    Keep up the good work, Mom!

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  53. I'm entering to win too!! I love both of your blogs and look forward to your book too :)

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  54. I started reading Crazy Aunt Purl because you recommended her and you are so right. She's great! But I would like to mention something appreciative to you too. I LOVE your blog. This blog brightens my day and makes me laugh out loud and I can't remember how I stumbled across it but I am so happy that I did! Also, when will we hear more about the old swimmer guy again?

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  55. When I lived in LA I was single, and I drank alot of wine, and my CAR caught on fire on the 5 freeway in rush hour traffic and when I finally managed to pull off into a residential area, the older woman with a heart condition that was my passenger was running up and down the street trying to get help. (And someone helped us.)
    So, I'd really like to win the Crazy Aunt Purl book.
    Thank you.

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  56. We are so world's apart, me being old enough to be her mama and living in the midwest, but somehow I get the feeling she's my friend. to steal a Purlism, that's just crazypants but it's the truth! Hope I get the book! (although I really don't want the knitting pattern for..you know..that battery thing...)

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  57. I really liked her last book - and if her latest book is all that you suggest in your review (which incidentally also made for very enjoyable reading!) I am sure it will be thoroughly satisfying!

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  58. Love Laurie! Glad she is writing another book. Thanks for the contest!!

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  59. Looking forward to seeing the interview and the book!

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  60. Great review of the blog and book. I LOVE the blog and am really looking forward to reading the book. Fingers crossed!

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  61. Yay, thank you for doing such an awesome giveaway; you and Laurie are both great!

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  62. Hm, I am awfully glad for this online book tour because Crazy Aunt Purl's blog led me to your blog, which I can tell already I'm going to get hooked on. And I'm dying to read the new book, so enter me up, please. Or enter me in? Or...ok.

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  63. YOur blog looks cool---hope I win a book..

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  64. I just re-read her first book, and can't wait to see what this one brings. Aunt Purl's blog is the highlight of my day!

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  65. I am a HUGE fan of Crazy Aunt Purl (she is the person who told me how to make my first hat via her blog) and I would love copy of her latest book...

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  66. I love your blog, and I've been reading Aunt Purl's blog for years! I'd love to enter.....

    teabird17 AT yahoo DOT com

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  67. Comment! Tristen, in Canada, and I'd love a copy :)

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  68. I'm a cancer, not a size 4 and not a blonde! Pick me!

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  69. I love Laurie's blog, and was really happy when I found out she was writing another book. And now I've found your blog through Laurie's - extra goodness!

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  70. Just found your blog thru Laurie's and I am going to start ant the beginning and read it all. I haven't bought the book yet cause it is not on Kindle! Thanks a lot. Amazon. Hopefully I will win this copy.

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  71. Karen - actually, I think it is! (I checked myself but don't know how to link to it here!)

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  72. Thank you for introducing me to Crazy Aunt Purl! I found her first book at my library and am in love- laugh out loud funny. I would love to win the new book!

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  73. Loved her first book, can't wait to read her second!

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  74. I love everything about Laurie - her blog, her cats, her Southernness, her looks. Please hook me up! With the book I mean...

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  75. I would love to win the book too! I found your blog and Laurie's when you were both starting out and have been loyal readers of you both ever since.

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  76. I'm apparently backwards from most posters here, as I discovered this blog from CAP's virtual book tour. I've already ordered one copy, but if I won one I have a friend for whom it would make the perfect present!

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  77. 79 comments! Is it a random draw or are you choosing based on how interesting the comment is? I'm hoping for the former, cause even though I don't knit I would like to read her book. Especially for FREE!

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  78. I may have read part of her blog way back whenever you used to reference her, but I never really READ her blog... so I would love a free book because I do believe you about how great and funny she is... plus I knit!

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  79. love her, and am thankful to you for turning me on to her years ago! her tales of solo travel have helped inspire me to do more of that.

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  80. Thanks to you, I have been enjoying CAP's blog for a while, but I had never read the burning bus post. I laughed until I almost choked. That was FUN-NY!!

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  81. Sounds like a great read. Please include me.

    dlodden at frontiernet dot net

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  82. I hadn't heard of her or either of her books before, but now I'm interested. Thanks!

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  83. Loved her first book and read her blog. Would love to win the new book.

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  84. Would love to read this book! Hope I'm not too late :-)

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  85. #23 because it reminds me Footloose.

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