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  • Oooo! I want to be a test reader! I love the title.

  • Would absolutely LOVE to read it!! We share growing up in the south. I grew up in Mobile,then lived in Houston for 5 years during my husbands grad school days, then we moved to Boston. Thirty years later we are still here… I still have my grits,tell stories of Mardi Gras and rattlesnakes. I understand Guns and Gardens, it’s a southern thing…

  • I would love to be a tester for your book. While I may not have an exactly “exotic” life, if it holds up under the demands of my days, then I think it will be perfect :). I’d love to read it.

  • Sure! I’d love to be a test reader.

  • I’ll do some test reading for you! I’ll read anything, it’s well known.

  • I’m a “read-a-holic” and would love the chance to field test read your book.

  • I’m going to a beach on the 11th, so probably I’d have to read it when I get back. But my usual reading conditions involve … lying in bed. Hmm, not very exotic. But you should still pick me me me because March 9 is my birthday!

  • I’d love to be a test reader. I grew up in a Southern-like area, and now hail from the Pacific NorthWest-does that count as exotic?

  • I’d be honored to have that chance!

  • Oh my goodness I love ARCs… which, not being a reviewer, I prefer to think stands for “Advance Reader Copies.”

  • I’m an exotic Canadian!

  • I’ll be a test reader – and I know you said random drawing – which is cool – but if it makes any difference at all, I am editor with 30-plus years of experience.

  • Of course I want to read that proof!
    And I feel ya on the Southern thing. I’ve never felt comfortable buying or subscribing to G&G, so I just follow on Twitter, but I have intermittently subscribed to (and LOVED) The OA.

  • Me, me, me! Pick me!

  • Pick me! Pick me! I can’t wait to read it!

  • I could be an exotic Cheesehead. I could. (I once bought a cheese-butt for my mom.) I live in Wisconsin, home of herds of Cheeseheads, I love to read, I play Wii Bowling with the Mister, and I write my own novels (that so far no one other than my writing critique group has read), so I’d love to be an advance reader. Pick me!!!!!

  • Put my name in the hat, Ann, if you consider Texas an exotic enough place for your book to be read. I suppose the book is well beyond the proofreading stage, darn it, but I’m a great proofreader. Typos just jump off the page at me!

  • Not sure what level of exotic-ness I can provide (though I suppose I could represent the cold white north), but I’d love to read!

  • If you want to randomly pick a translator, I could see how it reads here in Paris. I’ll make sure it gets a full tour of the city and write a report on locations+passages read.

  • I’d love to test read a book. I’ve never done that before!

  • March 9 is my birday, too, and I would love to read your book. Way back in the olden days I owned a little bookstore, and I so miss the advance copies I sometimes got. It will be just a little slice of heaven for me!
    I so love your blog….thanks

  • I’d love to read it!

  • Would love to test read the book. (I have a master’s in English and have taught writing classes.)

  • Ann, I’ve wanted to read your novel even before you’d written it–I was certain you had (at least) one in you! I can test read it on the NYC subway! Congratulations!

  • i’m home with a broken arm so i could get right on reading and have something to good to come out of this. other than knowing i can type with one hand and survive without knitting for 3.78 weeks.

  • heck yeah I’ll give it a read!

  • I would love to be a reader!

  • OMG me me me! I used to live in Nashville and I don’t get to anymore! I actually know where Bowling Avenue IS! (And I am a librarian.) Exclamation points!!!

  • Would love to test read! Just laying around under my awesome mitered crosses blanket knitted lovingly for me by my knitting group! Undergoing chemo and over halfway through!!! Yeah!

  • If the snow holds up I would volunteer to see how it reads in a ski lodge.

  • I would love to read the new book. I am an avid reader, so bring it on.

  • Oooh, Test reading while test knitting!!! And I read kinda fast too if that helps!!!
    Thanks for the mag reviews…..

  • Oooh! Oooh! Pick Me!! (Sorry, obviously Welcome Back Kotter was cutting edge TV viewing during what must have been formative years.)
    I do volunteer. I read. A lot. I have opinions. A lot.

  • If, by exotic reading conditions, you mean lounging on the couch with the dog and a cup of coffee/glass of wine nearby (depending on the hour), I’d love to read Bowling Avenue. Pick me!

  • I would love to read your book! My exotic reading conditions will involve cold and snow.

  • Exotic reading conditions for me include a suburban house in western Kentucky with reams of loose pages coming in via backpacks every day. Would love to add your proof to the mix.

  • I would love to test read from the exotic locale of New England. I promise to give you an honest Yankee report.

  • Well, I live in the Pacific NW and am going to Hawaii in April – is that exotic enough? Pick me! And I thought Gardens & Guns was a made up magazine…it made an appearance on that new show “GCB” Sunday night and I thought it was just a prop!

  • Ann, I would be honored to read Bowling Avenue. And, as a fellow Southerner, I am completely in sync with your discussion about our region and about G&G & OA. I love and hate, and am proud and embarrassed, by it all. But the same can be said of so many countries or regions. There are no people who do not have something to brag about and something they wish they could bury in the deepest hole. Hang in there!

  • I would love, love, love to be a reader. It would be such an honour.

  • I’d love to read your new book, but my reading conditions don’t become exotic until warmer weather, I’m afraid…if “exotic” can describe a lawn chair somewhere between the goat paddock and the Poultry Palace, with a fan blowing to baffle the bugs.
    What I’d LOVE to do is shoot the cover for you. But I’ll bet that gig is taken!
    Looking forward to reading your book, whenever it becomes possible πŸ™‚

  • I would read this in a heartbeat in my exotic reading conditions, which happens to be a house in South Dakota with a needy dog and piles of knitting and masses of yarn. It’s a place – not the house, the state – where it often feels awful to live. Again, pick me! Pick me!!

  • A field test from a highly selective independent liberal arts college campus located across the street from the most perfect LYS and Soda Shop might not be exotic, but would hold some sentimental value. DEAR: drop everything and read!

  • Me, me, me! I would love to test read. I’m a much faster reader than I am a knitter.

  • I think it should be tested in the Netherlands, just to see if it holds up to European conditions read by a French girls.

  • If you need to know how it stands up to airport lounge conditions, I’m your girl. I have several trips coming up in the next month or so. I’ll be happy to report back on whether droning CNN TV and oddly tasteless food enhances the reading experience. I’ll even provide a blurb you can use to market the book to Hudson News.

  • Ooooh, yes, indeed! I’d love to read this book and let you know how it holds up to exotic reading conditions! I could read it in the hospital or (soon) in rehab while I sit with my mother in law. Or I could read it on my lunch breaks at work, where it is the busiest time of the year and my boss is on a mission trip in Africa! Or I could just snag a glass of wine and read it for fun in my own private knitting chair!

  • Count me in as a potential test-reader!

  • Pick me and I’ll let you know how it holds up on a cruise to the Bahamas.

  • I’ll be yer huckleberry.
    Also, I’m pondering what it means that I noticed you used G&G to fix the window and didn’t find that at all remarkable as a sister Middle Tennessean.

  • I’d love a chance to read it!

  • I would be honored to give it a test-read on both the east and west coasts of Florida [at home with my yarn stash nearby or while lunching at work(east) and in between shelling excursions on the beach (west)].

  • I will totally help you out, I love reading!

  • me! me! ooh pick me! May I add that I taught myself how to read at age 4, so I’ve been reading for a very long time and am very good at it. you know, if that helps. πŸ™‚

  • I think “Uncorrected Proof” would be a fabulous name for a novel, actually!
    My exotic reading conditions… err, well, I’m a grown woman who, on the rare occasions that I get concentrated reading time, sometimes still makes blanket forts to read and knit in! πŸ™‚ Pretty sure “Fabulous blanket fort book!” is not an established genre though.

  • I would love to test read! Is a couch with a view on the Bendiktenwand (Bavarian Alps) exotic enough?
    Gruesse aus Bayern!

  • I’d love to read a new book…

  • ooh! ooh! ooh! i wanna read it!

  • I would like to read your book at my cottage in Rhinebeck, close to some sheep and wool.

  • I would be happy to be an early reader during my crack o’ dawn commutes into NYC. Especially if you don’t mind someone red-pencilling any stray commas….

  • Retired chemistry teacher here who reads the backs of cereal boxes, the ingredients labels on EVERYHING (dietary necessity), and even those long things from the pharmacy… I’d love to be an early reader of something literate and which is not in microscopic font size.

  • Love to help out. I kinda sorta have bona fides to do so: longtime newspaper writer and editor plus a member of a book club that actually reads and discusses its monthly selection….most of the time….

  • I would love to read it!!
    soooooooooooo exciting πŸ™‚

  • OH MY GAWD!! (I’ve said that a lot lately, I can only imagine how you feel.) I WOULD LOVE TO READ IT!!! I CAN”T USE ENOUGH CAPITALS!! My exotic reading conditions are living in a high stress house with unmarried pregancies and starting new jobs . . . You want to see how the book will hold up when you’re not lying in the sun on the beach –I’d be prefect for that.
    I feel the same way about living in Small Town Ohio. I love it and hate it at the same time.

  • I’d love to read it!

  • If you are going to do an ereader version, I would love to read it. Haven’t picked up a paper book since getting an ipad. Promise to read it out in the pacific northwest rain forest.

  • My reading conditions are ideally suited to rigorous readability testing, and my cat also reads everything I do. So you would also get the feline response…

  • I want to be truthful here, and I’m also trusting that the comment itself will be adequate to be included in the drawing, even if the content isn’t worthy. Normally (the truthful part) I’d rather knit than read, but I’m super intrigued about your novel, and would love to “read and report.” I’m also trying to improve my ability to knit and read at the same time, and am always looking for the right sort of project. Obviously, some work better than others! Would this book work for an experimental knit-read? By the way – my heartiest congratulations on your novel – a huge achievement!

  • My exotic reading conditions involve vying for bed real estate with my cats. But reading in bed is my most favorite activity after knitting, and I’m always happy to find new authors!

  • Don’t put me in the drawing, I am terrible with deadlines; I’ll wait to buy a copy. Regarding your magazines; I had never heard of Guns & Garden, but I have subscribed to Oxford American off and on and love it. I live in Kansas City; on the edge of the Great Plains, the upper limits of the south and the beginnings of the west; we are mongrels here. But I know what you mean about loving a place and having conflicting feelings about its history. We all have a lot to answer to. Oxford American is great, I think I will re-up.

  • I’d be honored to read your book and grateful to be given the chance.

  • I’d love to read Bowling Avenue!

  • I would love to read the book out here on the Left Coast of California. I live close enough to Berkeley for it to rub off a bit; work in San Francisco, but for what is probably considered corporate America; and hail (pun intended regarding the earlier post) from Ohio, with a detour to Germany and D.C. for the U.S. Army. I’d probably read it on the bus adding an element of public transportation to it.

  • i’d be happy to give it a whirl in my exotic reading locale….which translates to hiding in the bathroom while the kids are temporarily entertained with 20 year old cartoons on netflix while the dog lies outside the door, on guard duty.

  • Oh, yes, I’d love to read your book. I’m not sure the capital of Florida qualifies as exotic; more likely it is just weird but it is definitely southern. I understand your conflicted feelings about our mutual region but haven’t been tempted by Guns and Gardens.

  • I lived in the south (and in the Bible Belt) for 40 years and was called a rude Yankee in nearly every one of them. Still, now that I am on Cape Cod, nearly as far north as I can get there are things about the south I will always miss. Not the matter of fact racism (not that it does not exist here) or the determined ignorance of some people (including My Elected Representatives), but the standard of neighborliness as exhibited at the Murrah Building bombing site and after tornadoes and floods, BBQ, Biscuits and gravy, and the sunny weather. I was glad to live there, and I am glad I left.

  • Paraphrasing Mark Twain – Race and Space are the defining elements of the American experience.

  • I’d be happy to be a test reader.

  • I would love too! Sorry about broken windows!

  • I’m a nice Texas girl (woman) living in Western Massachusetts and I would love to read your book!

  • I think living in Texas, NYC, SoCal, and now DC ‘burbs all have the “sounds romantic/hot mess” conundrum you mention.
    Also, if a spring break road trip to Charlottesville (VA) and Gatlinburg sounds sufficiently exotic, count me in as a test reader.

  • I would love to be your test reader. I just received “Mason – Dixon Knitting outside the Lines” I am loving the Fair Isle chapter!
    In exotic Camden, Maine, USA

  • OOOH OOH PICK ME!!!!!!!!

  • I am game to read and report.

  • I’m up for a field test on the wilds of BART, the light-rail line that serves the exotic suburbs of the SF Bay area.

  • Would love to be a book tester!! I know how to turn pages and everything!!

  • Have glasses, will volunteer to be a test reader in the heartland of windy Omaha.

  • As a life-long Southerner, I think Bowling Avenue sounds like an interesting read; please consider me in the running for a proof.

  • OH! OH! ME! Pick ME!
    (calmly) Yes, I’d love to read your book and write a review for you.

  • Oh, if only there were a beach in my immediate future! Regardless, I will devote every waking minute to reading and reviewing Bowling Avenue!

  • I would love to read and report. I’m a soon-to-be 60 year old (OMG, how did THAT happen!!) who has been 28 years at the same job (things do change over the yers so technically it’s not the ‘same’ job I started with 28 years ago) and will be transitioning into my next brilliant career in 2 years (if I’m lucky and the market doesn’t crash too many times before then!). I’m ready for something wild and crazy…like reading this manuscript and giving a report on it!

  • Okay….I raise my hand! If I’m chosen by the random number generator thingy, I don’t think my location would be too exotic…..I’ve already taken my winter vacay. However, I would love to read the book in the peace and quiet of my home!

  • Exotic? Is the Chicago elevated train exotic? Always challenging, sometimes exasperating, never disappointing.

  • I love your blog so much that I would love to try the book.

  • I’d like to read it…..I’d prefer to read it on my iPad, but if what is available is paper, I’ll can do that, too…my exotic reading conditions are sitting at the kitchen table, while supervising homework for a recalcitrant 13 yr old who needs a bit of occasional assistance and a fair amount of prodding to keep going.

  • Ooh! I want to read Bowling Avenue!! Pick me!!!
    As for Garden & Guns…the first time I saw that on a newsstand, I laughed out loud! Thought it was a joke, but it IS a pretty magazine. I subscribed to Oxford American for years, and still love it. The two are worlds apart, but both totally relevant. I like your concept of triangulating with both…makes perfect sense.

  • I can do a snow-conditions test… well, if you hurry. Our snow is, thankfully, quickly melting.

  • Finally a test I can handle. Test knitting – I’m too slow but test reading right up my alley.

  • I would love to test your book!

  • It would be so much fun to be an early reader!

  • I’d love to be a test reader. Bonus points for being a humanities librarian? πŸ™‚

  • Oo! Oo! Oo! Pick me! Pick me!

  • I would love to test read your book!

  • I’d be a dandy test-reader!

  • Choisis moi, je suis tres exotique et . . . French stuff. . . cough, cough.

  • I’d love to read your book. I’m qualified too, a retired librarian and long time book club member. And the book club is always on the lookout for a good read!

  • That box is full of exciting. Congratulations! Can’t wait to read it. Can’t wait to see you interviewed on Colbert.

  • I would really love to read your book.
    I am a southerner who happens to live in Chicago now, but will move back south the moment I can. I love the south, and love to hate the south.

  • I’ll read it and get my book club to read it if you’d like

  • I volunteer!

  • Hi Ann! Exciting news about the book. I’d love to be a test reader. Cheers!

  • Exotic? Don’t know about that. But I’m in a book club that does our discussion on-air on the local radio station, and we cover southern Colorado and Northern New Mexico. Send us a copy – we’ll share!

  • Don’t know if I can offer exotic reading conditions – but I would love to offer the perfectly normal, boring reading conditions of my living room reading chair. I’ve loved your writing on the blog for years and am very excited to see what you do with fiction!

  • Shoot, I love to read, too.
    Am in the market for a good read.

  • Would love to read the book!
    Also, very interesting analysis of Southernness. Keep on keepin on!

  • Would love to do the test read.

  • Would love to do the test read.

  • i’d love to have a chance to test-read your book in the very exotic locale of west l.a.!

  • I’d be happy to read!
    And I am SO with you on the whole conflicted Southernness thing. I love the South. I hate the South. Sometimes both at the same time.

  • My spring break is week after next, so I could even take it to the beach to read!

  • Pick me…..Pick me!!

  • Would love to give your book a go . . . (don’t want to jinx my chances but you could put it on Library Thing for a few reviews). I love to read and I feel the same way about the South but I simply can not live North of the Mason Dixon Line!!

  • Would love to proof you book!

  • Turns out my fingers type faster than I thought. I would love to proof your book!

  • Would love to give your book a go . . . (don’t want to jinx my chances but you could put it on Library Thing for a few reviews). I love to read and I feel the same way about the South but I simply can not live North of the Mason Dixon Line!!

  • I’m a great reader!! And, I’ll even go to the beach to read this!

  • I love test reading (I’ve done it twice before) and will soon be doing a test read that also involves test knitting! I can’t go to the beach but if you need a mountain read or a snow read (up to 4in predicted for tonight into tomorrow), I’m your gal.
    My daughter just completed her first test read for a friend’s pre-teen manuscript. My 11yo was never more proud (or importantly intent) to write a book report and do little edits with her pink pen (because red ink is so harsh and she didn’t want to hurt Miss Deb’s feelings with red marks on her book!). Happily for all, she loved the book.

  • I grew up in NYC, went to high school in New Mexico, then college in Abilene TX, lived north of Dallas, then in Austin now in Iowa. I love Flannery O’Connnor, have read just about everything she wrote including her letters. Eudora Welty is not far behind (“Why I Live at the PO” is one of my favorites). I love “Greater Tuna” (yes I’ve met people like that). Don’t always like the South, but I get it. Send Bowling Alley up here!

  • Having just finished & adored “the Snow Child”- I am more than ready for another wonderful read.

  • I would love to read it! And I do read fast.

  • I’d love to read your book while soaking in the bathtub!

  • If I turn out to be the randomly chosen test reader, doing so will keep me nice and busy for a spell so I don’t get fooled by the weather into moving my garden seedlings too early. Also, I am a thorough, speedy and honest reader. As an added bonus, I’m currently on long-term disability so I gots me some time.

  • pick me! I simple love books and I’ll put my heart into it. πŸ™‚

  • What an exciting prospect. I love to read, and giving feedback on something other than a letter to school parents feels like a wonderful challenge.

  • Does the capital of Texas count as exotic? (Being from the North, I assure you it feels fairly exotic to me!) I’d love to be a test reader!

  • I would love to be a test reader – I love reading as much as I do knitting. I can report on the exotic reading condition of being swarmed by cats while reading. And if you send me a copy you can say for the rest of your life you had a test reader from Soddy-Daisy, TN. πŸ˜‰

  • I can knit and read at the same time, plus I have enough dinner frozen that my family will leave me alone. Happy to read it!

  • my exotic conditions — reading while knitting and procrastinationg… I multitask. πŸ™‚

  • I live on an island somewhere in the Pacific…surely that should be an exotic test location. (okay, so it is Vancouver Island in Canada. But is still in the Pacific!) I also must confess…I stole that description from a friend of mine years ago. Hopefully you’ll reward my larceny anyway.

  • I grew up in New England, live in Ohio, and have visited friends who live in the South many times. This alone should qualify me as a potential reader, but when you toss in the fact that I am also an old English major/Language Arts teacher with aspirations of writing her own great American novel….well, I think that makes me the standout in the crowd of wannabees!

  • Wow! That would be so awesome! I live in the mountains of California, but we have a beach trip coming up and I’d love to take it with me! or I might it even read it before we go if I get it soon!

  • Ooh, ooh, pick me! Pick me!!! (done in my best imitation of that kid in 3rd grade who was such a know-it-all)
    That said, I should probably warn you… I’m the annoying girl who always picks up on spelling and grammar mistakes everywhere I go so you might not want to pick me. I suppose it all depends on the level of thoroughness you desire πŸ™‚

  • I would be thrilled to sacrifice my reading time to test your novel in the cool spring of a NC barrier island. I can even commit to reading some of it outside, some on the beach and some of it in the local coffee shop. I would be honored to lay down a few hours of my life for the good of readers everywhere…pick me, pick me, pick me!

  • I would love to read as well ..
    but, totally OT, I sent you an email the other day and perhaps you don’t check that address? Anyway, there was an article in the Asian Wall Street Journal about women affected by the tsunami and how knitting has become their lifeline. If it hasn’t been archived yet, here is the link:
    I thought you might be interested. I did write to the person who wrote the article about donating yarn and she gave me an address: [email protected]
    … just thought someone may be interested since MD helped so much through the blanket sales …

  • You want exotic? I live in Delaware. You can’t get more exotic than Delaware! We have Punkin’ Chunkin and the Apple Scrapple Festival; a woman who is most emphatically not a witch and a lovable (if not always well-spoken) Vice President; and our crowning glory: no sales tax.

  • Wooooo me me me!
    I’m headed off to the island of Bonaire (Caribbean, part of the Netherland Antilles) in just under two weeks, and have not yet figured out my reading supplies. There is airplane reading, there is beach reading, there is sitting on our patio with an adult beverage reading, and of course the classic lying in an under-airconditioned bedroom scratching at mosquito bites reading. I promise to test in all circumstances.

  • I would be glad to read your book in the exotic locale of my workplace during lunch-hour! Please please pick me!

  • I would love to see if those pages look as good up here in Canada as they do where you are in the US. March is a fickle, nasty beast of a month in Manitoba and anything to help distract me and help entertain me until we are a wee bit closer to Spring would be a real blessing.

  • Oohh, oohh, pick me!! I love books. And I always need new ones. I’d read it at home or depending on when it would arrive, I’d read it on the crazy road trip to Jazz Fest in New Orleans where I once lived (NOLA, I never lived at Fest) and return to work every year. From Massachusetts

  • Are you kidding? I would be thrilled, just thrilled to read it!

  • Promise to read it in my garden.

  • oh! oh! oh!
    me! me! me! me! me!

  • I always love a good read! this would be great!

  • I am from what that other southern magazine calls the upper south. I have all the same conflicts about G&G without reading those other publications (which I’ll have to check out). After leaving “the south” for many years, it was interesting to return and see the same old same old still going on. I love a lot about this whole region of the country but there’s an awful lot that makes me want to bang my head against the wall. You are right. I have lived in other parts of the U.S. and each region has it’s problems. I would love a beach read. Right now in my life I’d love a beach trip, too! If you supply the read, I’ll supply the beach (even if it’s a kiddie pool or bath tub).

  • I would love to be a test reader for you. My life is not very ‘exotic’ unless a small town perched on the cusp of Puget Sound seems exotic to you. I am not from the South, the Pacific NW is about as “North” as you can get. But I do live south of the Canadian border.

  • Like test knitting, only wordier!! Fun.

  • I am a Minnesota Norwegian who seems to have a recessive Zelda Fitzgerald gene. I would love to read it.

  • Oh pick me…Pick me. I love a good read. I shall read it in a hammock. Pinkie promise

  • I would love to read your book! I’ve done the same thing for a couple of college friends and have always had fun doing it.
    As for exotic locale, spring in Utah. It was recently described on the radio as ‘more moody than a teenage girl’. SO true.

  • I would love to read it!

  • How exciting. I’d love to field test your new book. My friends and family would be so jealous!

  • Pick me!! Please!!

  • Count me in! I’m always looking for a new read.

  • I would love to read this!

  • Me, please! I’m a speed reader and would get you a report pronto!

  • I would love to be a tester! I live near a beach…but it’s in New England and not so exotic. I typically read in bed with my heated mattress pad these days-haha! I can take it to a place called World’s End, which looks over the Boston harbor. Many happy best wishes!

  • I would love to read your manuscript under some of the most extreme conditions imaginable – i.e., in the company of two large Bernese Mountain dogs and one goofy adolescent Golden Retriever, in addition to two highly aloof (except when I’m knitting!) shelter cats. Guaranteed to be returned with random pages embellished with hair.
    I, too, am a Southerner who is fascinated with the complexities of life in the south. I believe that neither of us possesses a representative view, however, because we both live in university towns (I live between Durham and Chapel Hill, NC) – which can skew one’s sense of “normal.”
    Thanks for the blog!

  • I’d so love to read the book and write a review. My new house is being remodeled, so I can sit in my lawn chair amongst chaos and read. In case that is not enough of an exotic location, I came in yesterday only to see the wrong paint color being applied to my bedroom. A book might be the best thing to help me get over that.

  • Pick me! Pick me! I’m really fast and give good feedback.

  • I would love to read your book!

  • I’m in desperate need of a good book. Really.

  • The publishers of Southern Living put out a magazine similar to Garden and Gun some years ago. It was wonderful–writings by Reynolds Price, Jimmy Carter, and an astonishing number of famous Southern writers. It only lasted a couple of years, however. I saved all my copies. It seemed much more authentic than G&G.
    The Oxford American is in a class all by itself, I think.
    I’m heading for the beach soon. I can read your book on North Carolina sand.

  • Pick me please!

  • I’d love to be a test reader! I’ll read it in a high rise building in downtown Atlanta. That’s got to be an exotic enough locale for someone.
    I hear you on being conflicted about being a Southerner. The biggest brouhaha in my life has been about how to talk about the Brer Rabbit and Uncle Remus stories and how those stories were told by black slaves in Georgia. Yet are an example of trickster stories told all over the world…
    Anyhoo, I’ve lived most my life south of the Mason Dixon line. Sometimes I love it, sometimes it drives me nuts. Add to all this that I’m not black nor white nor brown so I don’t fit the way people have been thinking about race and people in the South, even now.

  • Totally game! Please pick me!

  • I will read it while four small children hang off my body, demanding crackers and attention. I will appreciate the distraction!

  • Ohh, I’m a real fast reader. Love reading proofs.

  • I’d love to test drive it. I’m traveling all over during March and April for work, (even gonna be in Nashville) and can give it the airport/hotel test!

  • omg on the confliction.
    yes. born in nashville, raised in georgia and alabama, and y’all know the phrasing of that.
    living now in wyoming – you know, we wanted the aircraft carrier and navy, even though our major body of water is frozen solid 9 months of the year.
    so, yeah, every place has it’s own wierd-ness, and i miss terribly some parts of the south, and visit family regularly, but am happy to be away from other parts. not that my new state is any less wierd – sometimes the african americans are native americans, but the discrimination issue is not any better.
    but, the south has spring.
    my dad says ‘bubba is the same no matter what his accent is’.

  • are those goosebumps on your knees?

  • I’d love to read it. I’m just a hop skip and a jump away in GA.

  • Please choose me, for I am the most sincere.

  • Best. Contest. Ever.

  • Well, I’m not sure if Edmonton, Alberta Canada qualifies as exotic….but I’d love to read it. Hope I win!

  • Would love to read for you. We aren’t so exotic in a small town, but in my heart, there is much that qualifies as exotic.

  • Would love to read for you. We aren’t so exotic in a small town, but in my heart, there is much that qualifies as exotic.

  • I’m just down the road from you in West Tennessee. I can find out pretty quick how well it works to read while knitting. Looking forward to reading it, ARC or otherwise!

  • I could use something to distract me from all the paper writing I have to do.

  • Randomly commenting

  • Pick me… Can walk to a beach to read..
    Thanks for the opportunity..

  • I would consider it an honour to read the book, but I will read it sooner or later. Sooner would be nice, but it is on the ‘to read’ list winner or not.

  • Could I read it here in the desert (actually shrub steppe) of Eastern Washington, and then take it along on vacation to British Columbia (exotic foreign locales!)? Would love to!

  • OOOHHH a chance to read a free book!!! Oh I am sooo game!

  • I really hope it’s OK to post this here, it’s in connection with Ann’s last post about the tornado. The Revd. Peyton’s Big Damn Band came to my attention about 2 years ago with a song called ‘Clap Your Hands’ (Wonderful video here)
    Because it raged through their home counties they are donating ALL profits from sales of their merchandise to tornado relief – follow this link http://www.bigdamnband.com/help-with-southern-indiana-tornado-relief-and-get-stuff and you’ll also come across a further link for Red Cross donations should the band’s music not be to your taste.
    There’s a lot of traffic on the comments section here this week because of Ann’s generous giveaway; I’m hoping a load of us will also help out with tornado relief!

  • South hating, Ann, really? Some people want to live in past guilt instead of celebrating new realities. If you are that conflicted, you can leave. It really is just a subset of self hating Americans. So just keep on clinging to the ghettoes and the balkanization and realize you are acting as a force of division by cherishing it. Yeah, I went there. Because we must all be raaaaacist. Please. That ammo has been used up. Quit falling for the race hustling.

  • I am so very, very sorry that someone called Dawn felt it appropriate to post those words and in that tone. It’s part of being alive to feel conflicted about the place you grew up (childhood vs. independence and a whole lot more besides). I can find NOTHING in Ann’s text to provoke that nasty reaction and I hope I won’t be the only person round here to say so.

  • is germany exotic enough for ya? not necessarily your target audience, i know, but i’m a native speaker, so i would ‘get it’.

  • Yup, like the rest of the knitterati above, I would love to test read Bowling Avenue for you. I offer a British slant, complete yarn-nuttyness and a more than willingness to drop everything in an effort to support your sterling work (grovel, grovel!) Should I not be blessed in the randomness, I’ll just await publication as I can’t wait to read it.
    Thanks as always for the best blog out there.
    Dawn in the Lake District, England

  • By the way, not the same Dawn as those inappropriate comments – doesn’t she know that our name means Light????
    Dawn in the Lake District, England

  • I can test to see how well it reads in the big rainy city of London, UK……ex patriot slant instead of British slant, still important.

  • I will happily test-read in the exotic location of the East Yorkshire Coast, with a 3 year old and a 3 month old thrown into the mix!

  • With a name like mine ~I could ONLY be from the SOUTH! Love to test read your book!

  • Dearest Ann,
    I wish I could tell you I will be reading Bowling Avenue at McMurdo Station. THAT would be exotic!
    The truth is I will be reading it in boring old New Blighty. Nothing weather-wise will imperil the book.
    Also true: I don’t care where I read it or how long it takes to get my copy. I am just *thrilled* to know we will be united one day.
    xoxox to you, and many thanks!

  • How could I NOT want to read it??!!

  • I would love to read your book. I would also promise to give you my honest opinion of the book because that is what I would truly want if it were my book.

  • I would love to read your book. I would also promise to give you my honest opinion of the book because that is what I would truly want if it were my book.

  • I would LOVE to read your book! I was ready to order it on Amazon!!

  • I would love to read your book. I will likely be reading it while knitting at the dining room table, while the kids are doing their schoolwork. Not very exotic, but realistic.

  • Hey!!! Send me a copy and I’lll drive over to Bowling Ave., park, and read it right there. (-‘


  • Would love to read your book! Will be read with the assistance of two cats on the eastern shore of Maryland. They will join me in offering feedback!

  • Ooh pick me! Reading on a 26 hour train trip to visit my parents on the Wild Canadian East Coast!

  • I would love love love to read your book! I promise to read it (1) over breakfast on saturday; (2)in the sun on one of the decks any afternoon or on the weekend; (3) in bed at night while my husband snores; (4) while I’m waiting for the doctor/dentist/service repairman to make an appearance. (I recently bought a Kindle Fire and I carry it with me everywhere. Never get caught without a book again!) Even though I was born in St. Louis, I am southern by the grace of God. My parents were born in Birmingham and as we all know, if a cat has kittens in the oven, that doesn’t make them muffins! Besides, I call Charlotte NC my hometown. Right now I’m stuck in Pennsylvania…but only until vacation time when I’m off for Pawley’s!

  • I am an avid reader who has been nashing at the teeth for the book to come out.
    I would love to take a sneak peak and be a test reader.

  • I could read it while surrounded with the dogs and cats in the clinic, or in the backyard with the first warm rays of spring shining on me (well – I can hope the clouds and rain eventually go away). Would LOVE to read it, as the Canadian connection.

  • I live at a campground. Not exactly exotic, but different. Besides, “Long, spindly Angus” has me intrigues.

  • Come on random number generator, pick me! πŸ™‚ As the wife of a self-published author, I know the benefits of having a different set of eyes reading your work. πŸ™‚

  • pick me, pick me!

  • I would be delighted to read your new novel. Excited to be given the chance.
    From an avid reader, knitter and MDK fan.

  • Ann, I would love to read your book. I would do it during March Madness.

  • Would love to read something like this. I am currently swamped with ENG 101 essays, and this would likely be much more appealing.

  • I’m game – pick me and I’ll read that book for sure! (OK – I’ll read the book anyway when it comes out, but I do love being “one of the first”).

  • Love to! I’m still on the sofa with a broken ankle, so I’ll see how it holds up in these difficult conditions.

  • I’d love to be a test reader for you! My exotic conditions include an exuberant 18-month old kiddo and a looming knitting project deadline. Also I love to copy edit if that’s needed. So looking forward to the book as a test reader or later!

  • I can read while I knit. I have an acre of stockinette going, and I used to be a newspaper proof-reader! I would love to read your book!

  • Leaving for Tortola on the 16th, can I get it by then? I love both the Oxford American and G&G. The OA music CD is in my car player right now. It is my favorite magazine of the year!

  • What fun, I’d love to give that a go!

  • Exotic conditions here: Central Appalachia. Coal trucks whizzing by, threatening to blow the pages of a book away, throw coal dust everywhere, or splatter mud in the reader’s face…

  • Would love to do the test reading for you!!

  • I would LOVE to read your manuscript!! Pick me!!! Pick Me!!!

  • I’ll be a tester. Pick me!

  • Yes, please, I am a devoted and discerning reader and proofer. If you like I can also recommend an edgy hipster-grrl Nashville photographer for your cover.

  • Pretty please? I’d love to test drive it.

  • any mason dixon reading has to be wonderful! cant wait!!

  • I’d love to read it. Exotic Location: Mathematics department at a smallish university in the Pacific Northwest. No margins of your book will be tortured with calculus problems.

  • ooooo I wanna read it!!! I’m in blustery and snowy west central Minnesota – extremely exotic conditions.

  • Would love to read your book! Does 2nd story backyard deck looking into small urban forest count as exotic? It’s windy, and there are bird feeders (!) and accompanying bird poop (less !) – tempting, eh? Thanks for the opportunity to support you. πŸ™‚

  • I am leaving for China on the 28th. I could start it on the plane and hopefully finish it in China. If not, I go straight from China to London and I could definately finish it there!

  • I’d love to read your book!

  • I’d love to be a reader….that is, if you consider the west coast of FL to be exotic. I’ll take it to the beach

  • would love to read your book, sadly it wouldn’t be on a beach!

  • Add my name to the many who have offered to read your novel. I’ve been eagerly anticipating its arrival & have even taken to pestering you on twitter with questions about its progress.

  • I love to read anywhere and have a great assortment of lovely reading places here in Washington State.

  • Pick me! Pick me! I will heroically volunteer to read your book while waiting for carpool pickup in Washington, DC. You can be sure of a positive result, for what book does not shine when read under the most boring conditions on earth?
    Of course, I’m sure I would love your book just as much if I were reading it with competition from interesting surroundings. Say, as a passenger on a moon shot.

  • Oh, I wish I could volunteer to read this. Seems like I’ve been wanting to for a long time. But we’re in the midst of a major move (Houston to LA) and all else has to be put aside. Darn…

  • I need a new book to read. It’s not quite beach weather here in OH but the kitties and I will snuggle up in a sunspot.

  • Oh! Me! Me me me me me! I don’t know what exotic reading conditions I’ll come up with, but I’m sure I can figure something out.

  • I would love to test drive your new creation in the exotic weather conditions of the San Francisco Bay Area – where one minute it’s 50 degrees and foggy, and the next 75 degrees with clear blue skies.

  • I would love to read your book! Not only do I love to read but I am an ace proofreader due to many years as a legal secretary proofing every single document, including property descriptions such as “…the NW 1/4 of the SE 1/4 of the NE 1/4…to a point in the road.” Really. And that went on for pages at times. I am in the middle of packing up our house to make a move to sunny Jacksonville, FL so the manuscript would probably get misplaced, found, packed up a few times, unpacked and get lots of East Coast travel. Not very exotic but different!

  • I’ll read yours if you’ll read mine! I look forward to seeing how the eBook adventure goes, as I am thinking in that direction for my novel, too.

  • You mean I might not have to wait until it’s published? pick me! I’m in beautiful Lancaster, PA.

  • I like reading! I can tell you how it works under the exotic conditions of trying to find time to read when you’re a stay at home mom with a toddler. πŸ˜‰

  • I’m willing for a test read.

  • PLEASE can I read it? Pretty please with yarny goodness on top? PLEASE!

  • i would love to give it a spin in this schizo canadian spring.

  • How about a test read Down Under – yes, I’ll test read it for you here in New Zealand, possibly with some hobbits present.

  • Oh, please pick me! I promise to buy the book when available, but I’d love to read it now.

  • I’m an editor, proofreader, and grant writer by profession. (But that has nothing to do with my qualifications to read your book.) Having grown up in Ala-damn-bama, your comment “But in a place like the South, it’s crucial to think hard about why it sometimes feels terrible to live here,” was a verbal arrow to the mark. Thanks for your gift of expressing things so eloquently that are hard to articulate.

  • Now you need it read by someone who recently visited Nashville for the first time and cannot stop thinking about the “tricky Ricardo” at Nuvo Burrito.

  • Is MO an exotic reading locale? I know we have a lot of that same mix of love/hate stuff you have, plus the whole identity crisis where we don’t know if we are southern or not. Count me ready to read!

  • I’m game.

  • I’m in! I can test read with almost two year old twin boys underfoot. Now that’s exotic.

  • While I live in Columbus, Ohio (which is not nearly as exotic as it sounds), I spent a lot of my youth in rural Kentucky and grew up with great aunts who weeded their gardens while shading themselves with their parasols. I was also brought up to believe that the Moon Pie – RC Cola combo is the ultimate in summer afternoon treats. I’m in as a test reader if you’ll have me.

  • Surely I’m not the first one to suggest it, but I’m happy to read it on my NYC subway commute and in the cafeteria of FIT, the Fashion Institute of Technology. I’ve been known to be a pretty picky punctuator and was also the spelling champion of Humboldt County, Nevada. About which I have not had occasion to brag in a considerable number of years.

  • This book-loving Texan would just love to be a test reader!

  • Send a copy to me in England (I know that might be a teensy bit of a stretch in terms of being exotic). I’ll read it on my daily commute on the tube between the vaguely rural Buckinghamshire and the definitely urban City of London. Go on, you know you want to!

  • As usual, you hit the nail on the head – I think “tortured” best describes my relationship with the South. It’ll always be home, even if I can’t ever see myself living there again.
    And of course I’d be a test reader.

  • Oh my gosh, please OH please. I promise I’ll be quick.
    Is there a task involved? I’m pretty god at spoting typoz, if their are any.

  • I buy and volunteer copyedit The Contributor! It’s amazing how it changes vendors’ lives.
    In Faulkner’s Absalom, Absalom, doesn’t one of the characters, a college student of priviledged Southern background, angrily exclaim about the South “I love it! I love it!” in a tortured way that belies real **mixed** feelings about the South?
    I think we Southerners want to disown much of our ugly past. I know I do.

  • My reading conditions can’t be classified as exotic! I am a New Jersey girl transplanted to the mid-west who reads every word you and Kay write!!! I can promise a thorough read in between the obsessive knitting of infinity cowls!!!

  • Heading to Phoenix right after Easter. Staying with my parents for 10 days. That counts as exotic in my book! Also, they have a pool, along side of same I shall sit with a cooling beverage. Please, let me test drive that book.
    Ex high school English teacher if that helps. Who’s gonna be a bigger pain in the ass about typos and split infinitives and all??? Please, let me proof your book.

  • Re: your comments about the South. Interestingly enough, as soon as I read “I love the South! I despise it!” I immediately thought of that Lincoln-loving Northern poet, Walt Whitman’s words:
    “Do I contradict myself? Very well then I contradict myself, (I am large, I contain multitudes.” Walt Whitman, “Song of Myself”
    And of course, I would also love to read your novel, whether as a test reader or regular reader!

  • I’d LOVE to be a test reader…..I think I should have been a book or movie editor – maybe in my next life!

  • I am a compulsive reader (who reads toothpaste tubes if there’s nothing else handy) so I’d love to have an actual PROOF to read. What a hoot!
    BTW, I’m a 210 bowler. If that makes a difference.

  • If NZ’s not too far to send it, I’d be happy to proof read for you (with a glass of red wine by my right hand!)

  • How about deepest, darkest Southern Utah? (waving hands wildly). Would love to read your book!

  • Pick me pick me pick me! I can even read it ON Bowling Avenue! The neighbors might wonder what I am up to, but I am game to set up a rocker or a hammock and test it out there.

  • I don’t know which beach it was already tested on, but I can offer a test read on the balmy beaches of San Diego–or perhaps in the sunny reaches of my back yard.

  • ok – I am a fair way from a beach – actually in the very chilly Kitchener-Waterloo area on Ontario in Canada – we had both sun, rain and snow today!…need a non-beach reviewer? that would be me! I won’t be on a beach for several months – though I do appreciate a good beach read!

  • Me me me me me me!!! I’d love to read it. Thanks for the opportunity.

  • Dear Ann,
    I know where Bowling Avenue is in the real world, I am a good editor and a voracious reader. I would love to read your book and check for typos, and enjoy your fiction!
    And, I keep trying to remember to email you about the following: If your son is still into lacrosse and wants to talk to my son who plays at Middlebury, I know my son Patrick (Number 0 for “Zero to Hero” would be happy to talk with him.)
    All the best,
    Mary Dwyer Pembroke

  • Throw me in the hat and I’ll see how your book reads on the #65 and in cafes that serve only local produce!

  • Does growing up in and living in North Carolina count?
    Can wait to read the knitterly content.

  • I’d love to test your book. I promise to take it interesting places!

  • Oooh – I have no exotic locale to offer (unless the Snack Food Capital of the USA is exotic – I live 15 miles from Hershey and work in a town with a Dove chocolate factory in it), but as a past elementary school librarian who now teaches 7 and 8 year olds I need an escape with complete sentences. I can see how you have a tangled relationship with the South. I think that feeling is felt by many no matter where they grow up. How exciting to unpack those ARCs!!

  • I would LOVE to test read for you! ANd if you need a cover artist, I might be able to help you there. My niece is a student at Cornish School for the arts and is amazing!

  • I’d love to be a test reader!

  • I would be honored and privileged to have a read (and to “edit” something not academic!!! and fun.)
    Good for you – you did it!

  • I have all your “other books” it seems only right that I should have this one too, and quickly!
    Good luck! One way or another, I will have this book!

  • I have all your “other books” it seems only right that I should have this one too, and quickly!
    Good luck! One way or another, I will have this book!

  • I would LOVE to be a test reader! My exotic local is in landlocked NE. I am a kindergarten teacher by day & recently finished my Master’s. WHOOT! As a reward to myself, I vowed to read only ‘candy for my brain’ for the next year (unless vital to my job).
    I feel that I would be PERFECT for this! (Come on random number generator!!!)

  • When I am not reading, I am knitting. And when I am not knitting, I am reading. I would love to put down the needles long enough to read it!

  • When I am not reading, I am knitting. And when I am not knitting, I am reading. I would love to put down the needles long enough to read it!

  • Pick me! Former Southerner, inveterate bookworm, longtime Californian…

  • I’m with you on the Deep South. So much to appreciate: the strong family ties, the love and loyalty Southerners have for their region, the live oaks, the craziness of Mardi Gras, the gorgeous wetlands, good manners, the amazing food. So much to hate: the provincial attitudes, the entrenched, yet undiscussed racism (on both sides), the prideful ignorance of the rest of the country/world, the heavy-handed conservatism, the general heedlessness of the environment. No place is perfect, but the Deep South encompasses the extremes to an exhausting degree.

  • What an exciting thing it must be to peer into a box of your book in proof form. Kind of like licking the beaters of a special cake batter. Choose me!

  • I would LOVE to read your book. Just sayin’

  • Spied the G&G right off with a little smile.Came back tonight to see if it would be “addressed”. Yup. Pointed to the window as my lovely husband hovered, trying to get the keyboard for himself, and was surprised he hadn’t heard of G&G – he peered at it and said ‘what? there’s a magazine about plinking rats in the garden?’ From a man who would never even do that! Such a s— eatin’ grin on his face.omg.don’t tell those editors what he said. So. Being expats out West who will always feel that conundrum…the accent, the politics, the cultureal stuff…my Mom,disappointed, says I lost my accent (I told her I sold it to a desparate Hollywood speech coach), yet someone on the plane aloft three hours prior had amused themselves guessing English or Kiwi, and not the first time that’s happened. I get so embarrassed for these folks.
    The conundrum aspect can lead to “interesting” conversation from people who make certain assumptions *sigh* but it does give us a great bullshit filter regarding South-pandering politicians. Besides all that, what in THE hell has happened to my speech out here in the western reaches of the Heartland? You can take the girl out of the conundrum… .
    SO: many congratulations on getting your book out of your head and onto a beach.Coming from a long line of creative types who turned pro makes me a great Appreciator. It’s a travelin’ book now: it can go with us on a chilly hike up Sheep Mountain to the bare rocks,where it’s warm. Well, gotta go…the aurora borealis is supposed to stream overhead tonight and this time I have a camera. (Obviously, you’ll have to edit this long-ass comment)(I have quite the rep for not bringing the camera…O, the pictures I could…tell you about…)

  • Would a leafy north London (England, of course) suburb with occasional jaunts on the bus or the tube and the bus to Oxford be exotic enough?

  • Wow! Would like the chance. Have to do without knitting for awhile if I win.

  • Aren’t all places where human beings live seriously messed up? I am southern born and bred, but I have lived other places, and they seem just as messed up to me.

  • I would love to test read your book.

  • I would love to read your book! I have test read books in the past and I find it so exciting.

  • I know I’m five minutes too late, but I was so busy walking on the beach that I didn’t get to blogs until now. Please forgive the lapse of time for a fellow Southerner and put me in the mix for your drawing. I promise an unvarnished view, and I have lots of time on my hands for reading at the moment.

  • My exotic location includes my apartment in Seattle πŸ™‚
    But no! I am a pretty serious reader, and keep a blog about all the books I read. Would love to include yours.

  • too late, I fear, but I would read it in a snowstorm while hiking up a mountain and knitting myself a scarf. Or perhaps a toque.

  • darn it. the one week I don’t read any blogs, I miss out on the chance to be a reader. ah well.

  • I would LOVE to read this book.
    Love the G&G bit. Never knew such a mag existed.

  • Pick me pleeze!

  • Well, DAMN! I missed the deadline!! Sob, whine, moan….
    But I know you really really want this to be read in Qatar. How can you resist having this read in Doha, Qatar??? On a beach, on a camel, on a dhow on the Arabian Sea…… you know you want it.
    I know I want it!!
    And I feel the same way about India that you feel about the South. How can someplace so maddening and absurd be so endearing at the same time?

  • I came across G&G in the hair salon a few months ago (I live in Virginia) and laughed my head off at the title. I thought it was a joke! All I could think of was Horse & Hound Magazine that Hugh Grant pretends to be a reporter for in the movie Notting Hill. Once I realized that this was a real magazine I flipped through it and actually found several very interesting articles. I was born north of the Mason-Dixon line (in NY no less) but love the south.

  • I’d love to read on my porch in the Black Mountains of the Blue Ridge in Montreat.
    My Mother read for JD Salinger, so it’s in my blood.
    Not sure if he was a knitter.