Much Ado About a Contest


“My Aunt Jenny is the BEST!”

This is going to be short and sweet today. I’m at the Tulsa zoo with some friends, my sister-in-law, and my sweet niece and nephew. My three-and-a-half year old niece has a strange fascination with reptiles (and not the looking from a distance type of obsession), and so the day should be interesting.


“She seriously is. She never makes us eat our vegetables!”

My friend and fellow author Natalie Lloyd has a new blog up that I love. You can check it out HERE. I’m super excited for her new nonfiction book Paperdoll. Natalie is one funny girl and is a former Brio staff writer.

So in lieu of anything intelligent to say today (I am, after all on Spring Break, so no thinking allowed, I say), let’s do a contest. Um…winner gets their choice of the new Martina McBride CD, the new Keith Urban CD (out next week, and I’m so excited, and I just can’t hide it (name that song reference)), Relentless by Natalie Grant, which released in February OR…the new Twilight DVD. (gag) (Oops! Did I say that out loud?)

Okay, so to enter, here is what you need to do. Please tell me your all-time favorite book (cannot say any author whose last name starts with a J and rhymes with scones. That’s just suck-upage). And give me one sentence or two why you love it. I’ll randomly draw TWO WINNERS on Friday. So get those lists in by Thursday evening!!

I’ll go first. My favorite book–oh, wait, let’s not say the Bible either (sorry, Jesus). That’s a given for many of you, and once one person says it everyone will feel this pressure to mention it. Like, “Oh, I won’t look holy if now I say Are you There God It’s Me Margaret. What compares with the Bible? Probably not a story about a girl who figures out the ways and means of girl business.”

My favorite books are Where the Heart Is by Billie Letts because it’s so funny and real and yet touching.  GREAT characters. Great names.  A Year Down Yonder by Richard Peck because it’s funny (see a pattern?) and it has SUCH great characters. My favorite character of all time is in there. Oh, and I love Much Ado About Nothing by Billy S. I’m honestly not a Shakespeare fan (says the former English teacher who somehow knew she never quite belonged…), but Much Ado has to be one of my favorite all time stories EVER. Sassy dialogue, amazing put-downs (always the mark of a stellar piece of literature), ideal foil characters in Benedict and Beatrice, and tons of humor and romantic tension. And the movie version by Kenneth B. is FABULOUS. When I taught ninth grade English, we would quietly boycott Romeo and Juliet , something you’re forced by gunpoint to teach if you live in Arkansas, and I would teach Much Ado instead. Then of course, show the movie. OMG, loved it. I also love a book called Natural Born Charmer by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. It’s a romance, but it’s so smart and brilliantly funny. I’ve made all my friends read it. I think I’ve read it three times just this year. But I don’t recommend that to anyone under 21. Okay, 18.

I better stop. I could go on all day. Oh, wait, I loved A Girl Named Zippy, which amazing agent Chip MacGregor introduced me to. It’s nonfiction, but I liked it anyway! It’s laugh out loud funny, and written so well, I just wanted to die. Well, not die. But maybe have a small coronary. Or one of those mini-strokes. Or at least go work at Burger King the rest of my life because I was so unworthy.

Seriously, I’m going to shut up now. So yeah, tell me the book and why you love it to the point of wanting to marry it.

See you Friday!

JEN

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23 comments

23 Comments so far

  1. Bethany Ellis March 25th, 2009 8:49 am

    My favorite book is “The Rivers of Judah” by Catherine Farnes. I love it soooooo much. For several reasons…It’s a story from the perspective of an assistant pastor’s daughter, and the other main character is a pastor’s son. (I’m a PK). It’s got this awesome mystery element to it, that’s not all scary and stuff, but real and honest, about the Judah’s past. It’s also got such straight Biblical truth through the entire book, which quite frankly is hard to find nowadays, especially in a YA book. Lastly, even though its a fiction book and not very big, every time I read it God uses it to teach me something. I’ll never forget how impacted I was when I read the part where Judah basically says he’s not willing to *offend God* over this other kid. I was like woah.. I never thought of it that way. Anyway, enough rambling. I just love the book ;)

  2. Sarah March 25th, 2009 9:48 am

    Haha, this is the same question my fiance asked me last night and when I asked him I told him he couldn’t say Bible because that was cheating!:)

    You don’t ask this to a person who works in a library and has a book blog-it’s just too hard! I love From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E Frankweiler-one of my favs from childhood. Saving Zoe by Alyson Noel is great. P.S. I Love You by Cecelia Ahern made me cry. And I recently read Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev, which I adored! Oh, and Anne of Green Gables totally rocks-that girl is awesome.

    Oh and I always relate that song the Jessie on caffeine pills on Saved by the Bell “I’m so…scared!” Ahh, the things I learned from watching TV.

  3. Sarah March 25th, 2009 9:48 am

    Oh-and I totally have to check out Susan Elizabeth Phillips-her books sound fun. Thanks for the recommendation.

  4. Melodie March 25th, 2009 9:50 am

    Oh it’s so so hard to choose!
    …But I’ll have to go with Inkheart (actually, the Inkworld trilogy) by Cornelia Funke. It’s a children’s book, but it’s an absolutely *incredible* fantasy, about this girl whose father reads aloud so well that characters come out of the book…honestly, who wouldn’t want to do that? Unfortunately, when he reads characters from this one book, Inkheart, including a fire-dancer, an evil mastermind, and his henchman, his wife disappears into the book, and so he has to find a way to get her back, and get the imposters back into the book. It’s so magical, and almost everyone in the novel loooooves books, so I feel right at home. :)

    Oh, and I know I’ve already written scads, but my runner up is Stargirl, my Jerry Spinelli, about a true-noncomformist who is embraced, and then rejected, by her high school for being so unique.

  5. Ruth March 25th, 2009 10:49 am

    I seriously debated long and hard about which website link to enter. The above mentioned Natalie Lloyd inspired me to set up a blog on Blogger, but since nothing but a welcome message is up, I guess I’ll stick with Xanga. :)

    My favorite book…that’s a really, really tough call. I read it when it first came out (I think I was 13??), and it absolutely blew me away. The historical detail is incredible, the romance is swoon-worthy, and Hadassah’s faith inspires and challenges me to this day.

  6. Ruth March 25th, 2009 10:50 am

    I AM AN IDIOT! The book is A Voice in the Wind by Francine Rivers. I don’t even know how I included the name in my head as I was composing the comment, but somehow I didn’t type it out. Is it Friday yet?!

  7. Debbie March 25th, 2009 10:58 am

    I can’t pick a favorite (that’s like asking me to go without sleep – not a good idea). That said, I loved Brad Barkely and Heather Hepler’s Scrambled Eggs at Midnight. It was a funny teen romance that was unique and memorable. The cover art alone is intriguing. I loved that book.

    Also, great but kind of sad was Jay Asher’s Thirteen Reasons Why about a girl who commits suicides and the tapes she leaves behind. But that’s all I can say without giving everything a way. But it was an awesome read. Very deep and powerful.

    I also like Sonya Sones’ One of Those Hideous Where the Mother Dies. The entire novel is written in poems and the rhythm of it is so great. This book is an awesome read for anyone who loves the English language…just the flow and the feel of it.

    I have tons more favorites but those were the first three that came to mind, lol! I love to read. :)

    Debbie

  8. Amy March 25th, 2009 11:43 am

    Favorite book, that is probably the hardest question ever to answer! But I’ll try by putting in some categories.

    Fave nonfiction – Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller because it’s funny and simple, yet deep
    Classic – Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck because it is an easy read, and his style is manly and poetic at the same time which is super hard to come by
    Memoir – Here’s to Hindsight by Tara Leigh Cobble because most people haven’t heard of it but it’s amazing!
    Fiction – Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares because it’s entertaining and has well-developed characters that stick with you

    Okay, so that’s my list. I could seriously go on like this for a lot longer, but I’ll spare you.

  9. Natalie March 25th, 2009 12:26 pm

    This cracks me up! I’ve always said Beatrice and Benedict are one of the best, and most overlooked, romantic couple ever. Everybody blabs about R&J (what is so romantic about suicide?). Viola dresses up like a boy and pines over Duke Whatshisface for a whole play. From midsummer, I mostly remember Puck and donkey butts (or am I thinking of something else? Regardless, I want to be in a band called Puck and Donkeybutts). Much Ado is exceptional. Beatrice is the one who says, “I would rather hear a rooster crow than a man swear he loves me.” Right? She rocks my world.

  10. Ruth March 25th, 2009 12:55 pm

    Natalie & Jenny – have either of you seen SHAKESPEARE RETOLD? The first film is a modern version of Much Ado, set in a fictional newsroom. HILARIOUS. I want to go watch it now! Unfortunately today’s a little packed…

    http://www.amazon.com/Shakespeare-Retold-Bill-Paterson/dp/B000OY9VFW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=dvd&qid=1238003683&sr=1-1

  11. Sarah March 25th, 2009 4:21 pm

    My absolute favorite book has to be Redeeming Love by Fracine Rivers. It still makes me cry when I read it!
    I also love The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen. And the dictionary…okay, not really. But since you mentioned you were a former English teacher…
    I once had to play Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing. Sadly, when I watched the video back, I realized I had my back turned to the audience about 90% of the time. So it was more like Much Ado about the backside. So sad.

  12. Hannah March 25th, 2009 5:17 pm

    Um…I’ll play the geek here and name Lord of the Rings as my favorite book (ever since my Dad bought me The Hobbit when I was eight). Every time I read it, I think, “How did Tolkien keep all these plot lines straight?” His imagery and imagination astound me and, quite frankly, scare me when I sit down to write. (I know I should say it inspires me, but I know I could never write to Tolkien’s level.) :)

    And I agree on your sentiments for the new Twilight DVD. ;)

  13. Julia March 25th, 2009 8:47 pm

    Kay, hi. Not gunna enter the contest here, ’cause that would be weird after being AWOL for about 2 months, and that’s just how I roll. I just said to myself today, “Holy crap, Jenny B Jones’ new book is coming out soon. I want some cheese.” I did get the cheese. Not your book, though. But I will. By golly, I WILL! I’ve had to wait about 50 years for it, so, yeah, first day it comes out…
    And just because I can, I will tell you my fave books. I have some ties here. And (tehehehe) because I’m not in the contest, yours is on the list.
    1) The Big Picture 2) Match Point- Erynn Mangum 4) Suite Scarlet- Maureen Johnson (She is SO FUNNY!) 5) Ella Enchanted- Gail Carson Levine 6) The Order of Odd Fish- Forgot the author and yes the book is as weird as it sounds. So many more, but, you know…

  14. Rhonda March 25th, 2009 10:32 pm

    There are many, many books I love, but I have to choose _Where the Wild Things Are_. It just makes my heart feel good. The main thing I get from it is that we can always go home. I just love it. And just a little while ago I found out there will be a movie– http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g84nC5UXbXo&feature=player_embedded
    I can’t wait!!

    ps don’t enter me in the contest–just wanted to share.

  15. Camy Tang March 26th, 2009 4:55 am

    You are so cute! My tiara is on my desk right now b/c some of the pink feathers were tickling my head, but it will go back on when I start writing again in a little bit.

    When I’m really inspired, I throw on my pink feather boa! :)

    Favorite book: PERSUASION by Jane Austen. That letter at the end is the MOST ROMANTIC THING I HAVE EVER READ!

    Okay, since poor Jane is dead, I’ll list another: THE RESTITUTION by M.L. Tyndall. PIRATES! Need I say more?

    Camy

  16. Jenny B. Jones March 26th, 2009 9:16 am

    Bethany, I’ll have to check out book. I’ve never heard of that author.

    Sarah B, The Mixed Up Files is an awesome book. There were few YA books around when I was a kid, but that’s one of them!!! LOVE IT!! The kids lived in a museum, right? I loved that concept. They’d pull up their legs during the night check? Am I getting my books mixed up?

    Melodie, Stargirl is SO awesome. It has such a great message. I love Jerry Spinelli. And I need to read Inkheart. I’ve heard it’s fabulous.

    Ruth, I’ve never even read a anything of Rivers but Redeeming Love, but I knew whose book that was. That’s a power author! Where I’ve heard about the books even though I haven’t read them. And Ruth, get that blog going!!

    Debbie, I have got to read 13 Reasons Why. It sounds a little sad though. But I’ve read such great reviews on it.

    Amy, I’ve owned Blue Like Jazz for at least five years…still have yet to read it. I’m so nonfiction resistant.

    Natalie, B and B are without a doubt the best romantic couple ever. Look how many movies and books throughout the ages duplicate them? Moonlighting, Castle, Sweet Home Alabama, and on and on and on.

    Sarah, that’s cool you were in Much Ado! You could’ve just told people you wanted them to see your best side.

    Hannah, I had to read The Hobbit in the eighth grade by force…and ended up liking it a lot!! Tolkien is great. And definitely smart with all the plot business.

    Julia, welcome back!!! I need to get Suite Scarlett. It is also such a great concept. A girl living in a hotel with her family? Brilliant. Okay, a little bit “suite life of zach and cody”ish, but still. I like it.

    Camy, you and Danica and your tiaras!!! So funny!

  17. Camille March 26th, 2009 10:07 am

    Hi there Jenny –

    Your line about Natural Born Charmer, “It’s a romance, but it’s so smart and brilliantly funny” seems to be saying something. I’m not sure what. I’m trying to read between the lines. But I write romance, so it’s difficult to understand what people are getting at sometimes. By the way, I’m locked inside my own car. I hope somebody will come soon and let me out. I’ll roll down the window a little and hand you the keys, then you can unlock the door. Please hurry!

    One book that springs to mind among many favorites is W. Dale Cramer’s Summer of Light. I just love his voice. So many teeny little, genius motifs—to the trained eye. To the rest of us dopes, it’s just real real entertaining. :)

    And Lisa Samson’s Embrace Me sticks in my wee, soft little mind as a colorful twist of a love story (Lisa, did you know it was a romance? Ooops! I won’t tell!)

    My all time favorite book…No, I can’t pick just one. I’m an Austen fan. It takes quite a bit of brain power to read those, but I’m sure that’s only because of the period language barrier. I bet the intellects of her day would have prefered dunking their heads in the w.c. over reading her novels.

    I’ll never forget Stephen King’s The Stand or White’s Charlotte’s Web as much needed escapes in my childhood reading days.

    I’ve also read a number of romances, but I can’t seem to remember any of them.

    :-) Peace.

  18. yolanda salas March 26th, 2009 10:33 am

    Hi Jenny!! I am a student from Mr. MCclung’s class
    in Noel,Missouri. I have just started reading your first book: In Between. The book seems really interesting because it expresses what a teenager would say and do. You are a great author. Obviously, you like to write like me. Sometimes I express my own feelings and thoughts by writing. I also like to read. I like your blog and your books. I hope you can come down here at Noel, Missouri School to talk to all of us about you and your books.

  19. Micah March 26th, 2009 11:03 am

    I’d have to say that Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers is my favorite, although it’s really hard to narrow it to just one. Any book that can make me cry like that has to be good. Plus, I love how it makes me think about the unfathomable love of God.

  20. Sarah March 26th, 2009 11:59 am

    Yep, that’s the Mixed Up Files. And I second whoever mentioned the Sonya Sones books, although I love What My Mother Doesn’t Know the best-so good!

  21. Shelby March 26th, 2009 7:52 pm

    My favorite book is Catch-22. I liked it because it was logically irrational. The whole book was an oxymoron, or should I say a Catch-22? Ha.

  22. Jenny March 26th, 2009 8:38 pm

    Yolanda! Any friend of Mr. McClung’s is a friend of mine! Glad you check the blog. I hear he’s a great teacher. He’d have to be to be willing to have a video camera on the class all day, every day!

    Shelby, I want to be you when I grow up. Catch-22. Very interesting and intellectual choice!

    Micah, Francine Rivers has the biggest fan club ever for that book. That’s so cool.

    Sarah, I forgot to mention, sometimes I like to pull up that episode of Saved By the Bell on YouTube just for fun. I do it at least a few times a year. There’s never…enough…time…Zach…I’m so scared!!! Kept me off of no-doze though!

    Camille, S. E. Phillips is just different. It’s not standard issue romance. Any time I read one of her books, I’m like, oh to just have lunch with this woman and listen to her quick-witted, razor-sharp comeback self. And Charlotte’s Web is a fabulous book. But it pretty much scarred me for life.

  23. Melvin P. Hickenlooper March 29th, 2009 2:23 pm

    My favorite book would have to be “1973 Star Wide Receivers of the NFL” which was produced by Scholastic. Hard to believe that company is now having financial problems. I also really liked “The Homeopathic Treatment of Hemroids.” Can’t tell you why.

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