Oh! Those on Facebook know that Crown is giving away a copy of DKTBG through their Read It Forward program. I'd be delighted if someone who reads this blog took it home. You can find a little essay from me about the conception of the book--and sign up to win, if you do so by July 4--by visiting the Read it Forward website here. And if you happen to live in Arizona, the Arizona Food Allergy Alliance is doing a giveaway too.
This is the fourth year in a row when I've had an apartment with a great view of Washington's skyscape for fireworks--and ended up nowhere near that apartment on the Fourth of July. (One year I was in McLean, Virginia; another year, Wyoming; and now, Oxford.) I told my folks it would be a crime if they didn't head over to my apartment, enjoy the cold beer in the fridge, and sit on the balcony to watch the show.
I love fireworks no matter where I am, but there is something special--dare I say, downright patriotic--about watching them in DC. One of the best July 4ths of my life was the year my father returned home from his Army deployment for Desert Storm, which had taken him to Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. He took me down to the National Mall, where we watched the technicians debut a brand-new firework: one that mimicked the shape to a yellow ribbon, the loops of the ribbon undulating and loosening as if being untied as the embers fell down the sky. I leaned my head on his should and thought, This is it. This is what awe feels like.