The-NeighborhoodI happen to have an extra, brand-new copy of one of my favorite books of the year: Gonçalo M. Tavares’s The Neighborhood (my review here; my books of the year post here). What a fantastic book. I’d like to give it to one of you.

Here’s how we’re going to do this:

1. Leave a comment below explicitly stating your interest in the book.

2. In your comment, please tell me what  your favorite book of the year was (it doesn’t have to have been published this year, just something you read this year).

3. Only one official entry per person, please.

4. Entry is open to anyone, anywhere.

5. I will use a random number generator to help pick the winner on December 25. I don’t know what time of day I will get to this, but since I live in the western U.S. now, it might be quite late (or no longer even Christmas) where you’re at. Please feel free enter up until I leave a comment saying that the game is closed.

I know it will dilute your chances of winning, but please spread the word.

Happy holidays to all, and good luck!

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By | 2016-08-18T12:16:55+00:00 December 19th, 2012|Categories: Giveaway|19 Comments


  1. Debbie Rodgers @Exurbanis December 19, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    This sounds wonderful – I had added it to my wish list after your “best of 2012” post on Monday.

    I’ve never read Tavares although I’ve heard of him and been intrigued. In this particular book, I’m interested in getting to know not only Tavares but also the six ‘Misters’ of his stories.

    I laughed out loud at Valery’s jumping episode while also sensing the pathos of that situation. A writer who can convey that in just a few sentences (or even just a few words here) is special. If I don’t win this copy, I shall just have to spring for one for myself in the new year ;-)

    Thanks for the chance to win!

  2. Nick December 19, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    Of the misters in The Neighborhood I’m only familiar with Walser. I think this would make a good starting off point for me to discover the other neighbors.

    That said my favorite 2012 read was Contempt by Alberto Moravia. Followed shortly by Rilke’s The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge.

    Two books, two entries?? ;)

  3. Trevor December 19, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    Oh, tempting Nick, but perhaps we’ll just use your second to cover Debbie’s :).

    Though I am tempted even more since you list as one an NYRB Classic I’m anxious to read (and which has been bandied about as a subject for a future episode of our podcast). Glad to hear it was a favorite this year.

  4. Kerry December 20, 2012 at 10:55 am


    I will happily throw my hat in the ring. Any book with your imprimatur automatically makes the TBR. I think Santa has this in store for me whether I win the contest or not. And it has the bonus (optimist here) of, itself, being a sort of TBR to fill in holes in my reading. To appreciate this one, I will simply have to go read all of the authors he riffs on. I need more time.

    Of the books I read this year, my favorite was easily Pale Fire by Nabokov. However, it was a re-read of my all-time favorite novel, ever, so I am not counting it.

    Of the books that I read for the first time this year, my favorite was Open City by Teju Cole. I think Julian Barnes’ The Sense of an Ending was better, but I have more affection for Cole’s work for some reason. The two have quite a lot in common, and something in common with Pale Fire now that I think of it. All cloak the truth of their story in mystery, part of the fun is determining what “really” happened in these novels.

    Thank you again, for the contest and bringing this work to my attention. I specifically came here today to look for ideas from your best of 2012 list. (Stone Upon Stone looks like a must. Walser, Zweig, Munro… serve a feast. Where to start?)

  5. Wan Nor Azriq December 20, 2012 at 11:54 am

    Hello Trevor,

    So far,I have never seen this book anywhere at bookstores in Malaysia,which makes it more rare and interesting to have as a collection.I’ve been reading a lot of Walser this year, so I would really like to hear what Tavares has to say about his passion for walking. And of course I’ll read anything about Calvino and Valery:the two great intellectuals of literature.

    The book that I consider the best on my list – for the reason that it has a simple and unique form – this year would be The Bathroom by Jean Philippe-Toussaint. Have u read it Trevor? It reminds me of Camus, but more light and funny.

    Speaking of best books, I do have other books in my favorite list this year, The Walk being one of them, and I’m very happy to see that you have included it in your list as well.

    Thanks for opening this competition Trevor. Will continue to visit this house, despite being separated by different continents.

  6. kevin December 20, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    Trevor, I thank you for the book in advance. Can’t wait for you to “randomly” select me. My favorite book of the year was Middlemarch.

  7. Pykk December 20, 2012 at 8:49 pm

    I’ve just re-read your review and the Tavares sounds madly interesting. My book of the year is probably Gertrude Stein’s The Making of Americans, ignored for a very long time and resuscitated by Dalkey Archive. It does a strange thing, it changes, the prose changes, the language of the book gives you some idea of the author writing the book over time, and changing her ideas about the story, and what it should do, the prose shifting from a sort of concisely-worded and conventional examination of a family, to a hermetic lunatic mathematics. Every time I think of it I feel impressed.

  8. Radhika P December 21, 2012 at 12:44 am

    Hi Trevor,

    I would love to have a copy of The Neighborhood as your review piqued my interest and the fact that it made it to your top eleven list also helped.

    My best book of the year was The Doctor’s Wife by Brian Moore. I had already read and loved Judith Hearne but the Doctor’s Wife takes the cake in my view.

  9. Nirmala December 21, 2012 at 9:39 pm

    I’m tempted to read this book!

    I have three favourite reads this year. They are The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, Frenchman’s Creek by Daphne du Maurier and Bel Canto by Ann Patchett.

    Thanks for the giveaway! :)

  10. Joe December 21, 2012 at 9:47 pm

    Thanks for this contest.

    My favorite reading experience of the year was Murakami’s “1Q84.” There were many aspects of the book that drove me crazy, and yet much of it really stayed with me (which is why I think of it as my favorite reading experience, not necessarily the best book).

    Happy holidays!

  11. Nicole December 21, 2012 at 11:33 pm

    I would very much like to win The Neighborhood. From your review and others it sounds like the kind of book I would love: whimsical but not too twee, and the fact that it features Messrs Walser and Calvino is a bonus. So it is high on the TBR list.

    I struggle to nominate just one favourite book from this year’s reading, but will go with Mrs Bridge by Evan S Connell, which was beautiful and just the right mix of funny and sad. There are a number of others I could have picked though, including some which I know are among your favourites from this year and last (A Life on Paper, Demolishing Nisard and The Puttermesser Papers), and so I should take this opportunity to thank you for helping to steer me towards them!

  12. Isabella December 22, 2012 at 2:42 am

    I’m explicitly interested in this book! mostly because I love Calvino, but all these stories sound very promising.

    My favourite book this year: The Sparrow, by Mary Doria Russell.

  13. kevin December 22, 2012 at 5:34 pm

    Have I won yet?

  14. TJ McAvoy December 23, 2012 at 1:37 am

    I’ve been interested in Tavares for about a year now without having read either The Neighbrhood or Jerusalem, which is in the mail from Dalkey to me as we speak. I love the Portugese works; I’ve read Antonio Lobo Antunes quite heavily and nearly all of Saramago’s work. By giving The Neighborhood to me, you’d be doing literature a service, and me a great favor.

    The favorite book of the year was Infinite Jest, which I read in 24 days, all of which I spent in a daze.

  15. Ceri Kay December 23, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    I have never read anything like The Neighbourhood. Since I am currently stuck in reading gloom brought on by too many murder mysteries, an infusion of something interesting, less formulaic and as you describe, ‘charming, witty and funny’ is much needed.
    My favourite books so far of 2012 have been The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman and The Hottest Dishes of the Tartar Cuisine by Alina Bronsky.

  16. stujallen December 24, 2012 at 9:25 am

    I ve read Jerusalem by him and would love to try more and the idea of this book with it sketches of writers appeals ,my favourite book is the french epic where the tigers are at home ,all the best stu merry christmas

  17. Kevin December 24, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    In case you’re curious, the first seven volumes in the Neighborhood series were also published as individual booklets a few years ago by Transbooks, a tiny overseas press that specializes in translating from the Portuguese into the English for the continental Indian market: the six Misters from the Texas Tech edition, plus one more, Mister Brecht, which along with Mister Henri might be my favorite of the bunch. It can be reliably ordered from the publisher, whose translations were licensed for the American edition.

    Anyway, I love these books. They give you the rare and wonderful feeling that fiction can do absolutely anything, as if you’re watching a gymnast spin and leap his way through a world of walkers. They certainly would have been my favorite read of the year if I hadn’t discovered them in this earlier guise.

    Instead, then, I’ll name The Dragon Griaule by Lucius Shepard.

  18. Herb Levy December 25, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    I would love to receive a copy of the Neighborhood; I’m just starting Jerusalem and am very interested in seeing a different line of work from Tavares.

    My favorite book this year was probably either Andres Neuman’s Traveler of the Century or Bhob Rainey’s BSC Manual.

  19. Trevor December 25, 2012 at 8:55 pm

    The random number generator has gone and picked number 5. Counting down the entry comments above and — I’m almost embarrassed to say, since it might not seem “random” — Kevin from California has won!

    That’s what a lot of confidence will get you :). Of course, some good karma may also be involved: going against his own interest, Kevin tweeted about this contest a number of times.

    Thanks to all for your interest, and I hope you’ll still check out Tavares.

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