« Happiness Update | Main | Winner! »

Giveaway! You Will Love This BookSeptember 25, 2013

Many (many!) years ago, there was blog called Dogs Steal Yarn. The writer, Cari Luna, was a knitter. She was smart and funny, and she liked me, too. We fell in, you know, as you do. I had a permanent room at their Brooklyn brownstone (until they had kids, WHATEVER) and even now, if I showed up on their doorstep on the other side of the nation, bedraggled from the Portland rain, Cari would hug me till she was as damp as I was, then she'd wrap me in handknits from the top of my head to the tip of my toes while she dried my clothes. She'd put tea in my hands, and she'd talk with that incredible voice of hers, and she would listen, and everything would be okay even if nothing was okay. 

I learn from her. All the time. She's my best friend. (Who has a best friend at 41? Me! Lucky me!) 


Cari is one of the most gorgeous writers I've ever had the luck to read. Me, I'm a good writer (I'm not putting myself down or pumping myself up -- this is just true. I'm solidly, pretty reliably good at writing). Cari is one of those Great Writers. In terms of greatness, I admire Andre Dubus (Sr.) and Alice Munro and her. 

I read almost every draft of her debut novel, which just came out from the prestigious Tin House Press. Every time I read it, the book touched me more deeply. It's one of the two books in my life that, at times while reading, I HEARD out loud. I heard that incredible last chapter.

The book is about squatters in New York City in the 90s, when the city came to evict people who were both living their lives and making a difference. The book, however, is even bigger than this ambitious plot. Sitting here in the cafe, thinking about Amelia and Gerrit and Steve and Anne, I miss them.  

I love this book. Obviously, I love Cari, but I would love this book if I didn't know her and then I'd be all fan-girl when I met her and I would freak out when I found out she was a knitter, and it would be ugly. (She's getting great reviews all over the publishing world, from BUST to Kirkus.) 


Cari will send a personally inscribed copy to a randomly drawn commenter on this post. Personally, I think you should just buy it. You'll love it. 

And please enjoy this excerpt, and the book trailer at the end. 

Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Powell's / Indiebound

Back at the house, Gerrit hefts his bike up onto his shoulder, thumbs his key in the lock, and slips inside. He’s greeted by that good honest smell of fresh lumber and plaster, and also the more worrisome smell of must and wood rot. Over the years they’ve rebuilt most of the joists, replaced crumbling plaster ceilings with drywall, fixed the roof. But there’s still so much they haven’t had time or money to do, like the rear facade. It’s not watertight; it needs repointing. Until they can get that done, water will keep finding its way in, softening the wood around the windows, compromising the building’s structure. Already the weather is too cold to work with mortar. If they can hold on until spring, they’ll do it then.
            Suzie is on the folding chair by the front door, dog-eared paperback in hand. “Nothing?” she says.
            “Quiet. Here, too?”
            She nods.
            Footsteps on the stairs, Ben headed down to relieve Suzie. He has a deck of cards in hand, and a thermos tucked under his arm. “Hey, man. Want to play?”
            “No, I’m headed up to bed.”
            Marlowe emerges from his first-floor apartment, coat on, ready for his shift. He’s wearing the green scarf Amelia made for him a while back. Amelia said he cried when she gave it to him.
            Her knitting is like magic. She’ll take a huge old sweater bought for a dollar at the Salvation Army, unravel it, wash the wool, and knit two smaller sweaters, a hat, and maybe some mittens from it. Gerrit’s got a drawer full of warm socks she’s knitted for him from recycled yarn, a scarf, two watch caps, three sweaters. She has no idea that when you slip on that hat or scarf or sweater she’s made for you, you feel the work of her hands in it. You feel her love for you. That was why Marlowe cried. Gerrit gets it. He feels the same way every time he pulls one of those hand-knit sweaters over his head. The girl thinks she’s invisible. She has no idea, the impact she has on people. Seven years he’s been trying to get her to see it. Maybe she never will.



OH MY GOD I LOVE THIS BOOK. Leave a comment for a chance to win. 

Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Powell's / Indiebound


I like the excerpt. Makes me want to read the book. Which is the point!

Isn't it wonderful to have a best friend? I love my darling Brenda to death, she lives a 3 hour drive away across a treacherous N. Cali mountain pass, but I make the trip over and over again just to have that feeling. The one where I feel like I belong. I would love to read your best friend's book!

Lovely, lovely, lovely!

Great excerpt = pulls you into, as the other poster said, wanting to keep on reading!
(BTW, one hot water bottle cover down, another on the needles!!!)

Sounds like a great book. I'd love to win!

This sounds like an incredible book and I can't wait to read it! I am just in need of a new read - thank you for the recommendation = )

What a fantastic excerpt for this blog! Also, sounds amazing!

Well, of course, I'm going to buy this anyway. BUT I'd love to have a signed copy. Or I could donate the signed copy to my library. Hmmm. Either way - pick me!

Can't wait to read the rest!

I've been creeping on Cari's blogs for years too shy to say anything, but I've been watching the build up to the publication of this book. It looks incredible. Although that's much too weak a word. Congrats to the future award-winning author!

I've been a long time reader of Cari's blog (and yours too), from back in the knitting days and I love her recent series on writers with kids. I have already bought the book so don't enter me in the raffle. I really hope that you will convince Cari to come to Oakland for a reading so I can get mine signed in person!

It sounds like a great book. (I'd love to win a copy, but I've suggested that my library buy a copy so I can read it that way. We'll see.)

I wish I had a friend like that; I moved in my mid-forties, and 5 years later I am realizing that forging those sorts of friendships at this stage in life is hard. I love that your blog is about so many things, but in the end about how knitting binds us to people past and present.

WOW!! I want to know these characters better...

Recommended reading is always appreciated. Adding this to my queue. Thanks :)

ewewhojane @ 10.07, you need a knitting group, all ages, all stages. or maybe a writing group, ditto. find something to be passionate about with others passionate about it and friendships like that will grow.

great characterization in so few words! I could keep reading...

Makes me want to go out and buy an old sweater to unravel and knit magical new things. I want to hang out with these characters!

This makes me happy. I loved her blog and have enjoyed watching her journey and her success. This makes me very happy.

I am not ashamed to say that that passage about the ways that knitting can touch others made me a bit verklempt in my cubicle. What a lovely passage and thanks for the giveaway!

can't wait to read it!

Wow! Just that small piece had me hooked. Now I NEED to know more about these people! This book is going on my book list (that is, the list I keep of books I want to get) & it may be mine next payday.

I love that you always give us names of good books. I'm always looking to expand my favorite author list (because, you know, I read books way faster than authors write them). Thank you!

You always choose the best books for us! Even if I don't win I usually end up reading the book anyhow!

Just read the excerpt. I felt drawn in right away. The language is so lovely.

Oh, I loved Cari's blog...I miss her voice. Thanks for this opportunity.

Excerpt pulls you in - like it should!

always looking for great new books!

Sometimes talking or thinking about old blogs makes it feel like that was a million and four years ago. And then I feel silly and nostalgic.

sounds like a great book!

This sounds like a great read. I'm happy to add it to my list.

I used to read Dogs Steal Yarn whenever Cari posted! Boy, we all go back a long way! It is amazing - all the blogs we used to read that are gone now - :-( People's lives change! I would love a chance to win Cari's book and hope that I will be lucky. Hope you are fully recovered and feeling well. Getting close to November and NaNoWriMo. Have to be much more serious this year! BTW, I bought a FitBit One recently and it is/will be a great incentive to get more activity and lose weight!!! Wish me luck! Hugs!

Pike me, I'm random!

Or pick, you could randomly pick me.

I will ask my library to order a copy but would love one for my own!

What a great recommendation! Would love to win, but if not will have to find a copy somehow...

Yes! I have this on my short list- I'll buy it either way, but this way I can send a random gift book. I love random gift books.

Would love to win the copy! I read Cari's blog, too, and have been anticipating this publication.

Best friends are just as important in our 40s as they were in our elementary school days, teen years, college struggles and beyond. I am very fortunate to have BFFs from various stages of my life.

Love that last paragraph. Looking forward to seeing what happens

Loved the excerpt and the trailer. It's on my Goodreads list now. I will read it no matter what, but I sure would love to have my own inscribed copy!

A- You love her & her writing.
B- You & I love so many of the same things; tangible, tactile, human, & ethereal.
This single passion tells so many stories of survival, community, & love using basic everyday activites. I can't wait to experience the whole story. I am deeply moved by depths of the humanity this passage promises. Having a signed copy would be an added blessing to the read.

. . . Should read "single passage", not passion.

Yay, another knitting novel :)

What a perfectly lovely recommendation!

Yes please!!

I used to read Dogs Steal Yarn a LONG time ago. . . can't wait to read this book.

Ok. If I don't win it, I'll buy it. I want to read more!

I'm really looking forward to reading this book. I've followed her blog since the old days.

Your glowing description hooked me all by itself!

Based on the preview, the book *does* sound pretty amazing.

Adding it to the never ending list of books I need to read!

Another Dogs Steal Yarn reader here! I loved that blog and can't wait to read Cari's book. Wonderful, magical book trailer. Thank you for the opportunity!

Love it so far! Your enthusiasm is contagious too, so looks like another must read for me. But wouldn't a signed copy be oh so much nicer? Pick me, pick me!

I love her blog, and would love to read her book.

I bought it and Tin House says it has been shipped! But what a sweet thing to do, Rachael. Can.not.wait to get my hands on this book.
Yay, Cari! Yay, you!

p.s. coffee sometime in Portopia? in the rain? with Cari?

Looks like a great book. And I love NYC!

Omg, that excerpt was great. I forgot I was just reading a tiny piece and thought it was so abrupt at the end I was shocked out of it. Hah. Great writing is correct.

I'd be buying this on your amazing recommendation alone, but the excerpt sucked me right in. I'm definitely buying it and can't wait to read it. Thank you!!!!

I have a best friend who made me knit...I will love her for that! Now I will look at sweaters at thrift stores in a different way...YARN, Can't wait to read his book!

This looks so good! Bookmarked on Goodreads.

What a lovely excerpt! I'd love to win, but may have to go get a copy just in case.

I'm way older than you, and I am blessed to have several wonderful friends. Not a BFF, but I never had just one best friend.

Whoa. A book TRAILER?!
Truly cool. Like ROCK STAR cool.
And she knits, and she's the best kind of best friend (whether you met her at 4 or 40) and then she writes? Like this?
It's more like she lets her favorite thoughts live on pages so they can get out in the world to meet us.
This will be a cherished well shared book.
Congratulations Cari (and Rachael for having a very cool best kind of bestie)

The book sounds great!

have been following Cari's blog for a long time. Wishing her much success with her book - and it would be awesome to win a ocpy!

I will read this book! Winning a copy would add to the sweetness :) Thanks for the opportunity!

Well now who wouldn't love a new book?

Such a good review you wrote for this book, of course I have to read it!

Don't pick me, I will order it from Amazon so a bit of money goes back into her pocket. I just wanted to say that was a great book trailer!

Oh, and I have a best friend and I'm 55 :) I am also very lucky that she lives about 15 minutes away from me. I got her when my ex's best friend married her. When I got divorced she told her husband that she was "keeping" me. I adore her.

I do love signed copies of books--they seem so special. The excerpt was fabulous! Are you coming to SLO town anytime soon? I'd love to see you and chat! This is Joy--your old college buddy's (Cade) wife. :)

I have no time to read for pleasure (or knit much) right now; the student life... sigh. BUT, that excerpt just grabbed me. If I don't win, then it's going on my list of books to buy. :)

it's not out over here yet but I have added it to my wishlist for when it does if I don't win! Thanks for the give away!

Sounds like an incredible book. Thanks for the introduction to a great writer.

I started reading her blog a million years ago, right after I started reading yours!

I would love to win a book from a "great writer". I read everyday and always have a stack of options to read next, but lately I have been disappointed by my choices. Time for me to search out some new authors.

Ohhhhh, that is the exact thing I want my loved ones to feel when they wear the things I've made. ~weepy~

Oh, man, I used to read her blog! I didn't realise she had a new one, have now added her to my reader. :)

I'm so excited that she's written a book, it sounds like a really good read.

I used to read her blog too, and am going to add the new. I have that book on my short list to take with me when I go to Michigan in October. It would be wonderful to win it.
I have a best friend at 54. It is a wonderful feeling. We met as adults, through the boy scout troop that our sons were in and clicked immediately. We are so different and so alike and it never ceases to amaze me that we can communicate without having to speak sometimes. The only other person that I have that sort of relationship with is my husband, my other best friend.

Adding this to my to-read list!

Looks wonderful! If you don't pick me, I'm definitely picking up a copy :-)

Oh MAN I am so in love with that excerpt. I'm going to by it right now -- I want to read it tonight!!

I remember that blog. Nice to see a new book to read.

Read the excerpt and can't wait to read the whole book! Thanks for sharing!

Definitely a must-read.

You're right -- her writing is gorgeous -- but then so is yours!

I have a best friend and we are 54! You are never too old for a best friend!

omg I can't wait to read this book.

Thanks, Rachael,

Mmmm. Yes, my kind of book. None of us really know the impact we have on others, even through the smallness of an act of kindness that we have to offer. Love the concept!

Thanks for the introduction!

Sounds a lovely book.

Great excerpt. Thanks!

Always enjoy great writing! Thanks for the chance....

Yep, I'm another who read Dogs Steal Yarn regularly. I remember when she moved across country, trying to find a vegatarian restaurant in the middle of nowhere. I'm really happy her book is out. If I don't win (which I would love to do) I'll but it when it's available on Kindle.

The little taste of the book has me wanting more. Someone gets the knitting for those we love thing.

Would love to win, sounds like a good book!

Best friends are the web that carries you through the roller coaster of life.

I've been looking for a new read. This sounds amazing and is totally up my ally! :) Also, yay for best friends!

That is a great sounding book - and I'd love to read it.

Sounds great! I love to discover new books and authors, then I make all my friends read them too ;)

I just ordered my copy this morning (Powell's takes paypal! yay!) so don't put me into the draw, my dear. I just wanted to say I think you are BOTH amazing. And that Thumper DogsStealYarn is still the best baby name out there ;)

Sounds like a great book!

This book sounds amazing - although I bet it's not a laugh a minute! I'm currently getting a vague outline and characters into shape for NaNo, dealing with similar things, although set further back in the past.

I'd be very interested to read this book. Not just as a story but as a vindication of my own ideas that the underclasses of NY society were still way down there just a few years ago.

Yeah, you made a sale for your friend here - and concerning *that* if you have a friend that good, never, ever, ever let go :)

Ooh, ooh! Free book! New author! Me, me!

It's in my Amazon cart waiting for another book to accompany it on the free shipping ride. Oh wait, I just thought of another book I want. Bingo.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Rachael loves it when book clubs read her work! She's happy to attend book clubs that read her books either in person or via Skype. Contact her at rachael@rachaelherron.com to make arrangements.


Subscribe to Rachael's mailing list

knitting projects

DSCN13632.jpg Email me