Mailbox Monday is a gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week and explore great book blogs.
Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.
This weekend I stopped by my library bookstore and picked up three books:
The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver – I have not read this book, but based on other reviews I’ve seen and heard, I thought it would be a good addition to my library.
“Clear-eyed and spirited, Taylor Greer grew up poor in rural Kentucky with the goals of avoiding pregnancy and getting away. But when she heads west with high hopes and a barely functional car, she meets the human condition head-on. By the time Taylor arrives in Tucson, Arizona, she has acquired a completely unexpected child, a three-year-old American Indian girl named Turtle, and must somehow come to terms with both motherhood and the necessity for putting down roots. Hers is a story about love and friendship, abandonment and belonging, and the discovery of surprising resources in apparently empty places.”
The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke – a book I bought for my daughter – she’s not quite there yet, but I think it will be a great addition to her collection.
“Prosper and Bo are orphans on the run from their cruel aunt and uncle. The brothers decide to hide out in Venice, where they meet a mysterious character who calls himself the “Thief Lord.” Brilliant and charismatic, the Thief Lord leads a ring of street children who dabble in petty crimes. Prosper and Bo relish being part of this colorful new family. But the Thief Lord has secrets of his own. And soon the boys are thrust into circumstances that will lead them, and readers, to a fantastic, spellbinding conclusion.”
Miss Julia’s School of Beauty – Ann B. Ross – This is the sixth book about Miss Julia – and I adore her! (Miss Julia and Ann B. Ross).
“Miss Julia–now Mrs. Sam Murdoch–returns from her elopement only to find that Pigeon Forge, the marriage mill across the state line might not be legitimate. If that’s true, the whole town may find out she and Sam are living in sin.”
In the mail I received Some Assembly Required: A Journal of My Son’s First Son by Anne Lamott with Sam Lamott from Riverhead Books.
From the back of the book: “Stunned to learn that her son, Sam, is about to become a father at nineteen, Anne Lamott begins a journal about the first year of her grandson Jax’s life. In careful and often hilarious detail, Lamott and Sam – about whom she first wrote so movingly in Operating Instructions, struggle to balance their changing roles with the demands of college and work, as they both forge new relationships with Jax’s mother, who has her own ideas about how to raise a child. Lamott writes about the complex feelings that Jax fosters in her, recalling her experiences as a single mother with Sam. and Sam recounts in his own words his own transformation from son to father. Over the course of the year, the rhythms of life, death, family, and friends unfold in surprising and joyful ways.
I also received several ARC e-books:
Wrong Side of Dead by Kelly Meding from Random House Publishing
“Barely recovered from her extended torture at the hands of mad scientist Walter Thackery, Evy can use a break. What she gets instead is a war, as the battered Triads that keep Dreg City safe find themselves under attack by half-Blood vampires who have somehow retained their reason, making them twice as lethal. Worse, the Halfies are joined by a breed of were-creature long believed extinct—back and more dangerous than ever. ”
Sister Queens: The Noble, Tragic Lives of Katherine of Aragon, and Juana, Queen of Castile by Julie Fox, also from Random House Publishing
“The history books have cast Katherine of Aragon, the first queen of King Henry VIII of England, as the ultimate symbol of the Betrayed Woman, cruelly tossed aside in favor of her husband’s seductive mistress, Anne Boleyn. Katherine’s sister, Juana of Castile, wife of Philip of Burgundy and mother of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, is portrayed as “Juana the Mad,” whose erratic behavior included keeping her beloved late husband’s coffin beside her for years. But historian Julia Fox, whose previous work painted an unprecedented portrait of Jane Boleyn, Anne’s sister, offers deeper insight in this first dual biography of Katherine and Juana, the daughters of Spain’s Ferdinand and Isabella, whose family ties remained strong despite their separation.”
The Good Father by Diane Chamberlain from Harlequin
“As the Chief of Rheumatology at Columbia Presbyterian, Dr. Paul Allen’s specialty is diagnosing patients with conflicting symptoms, patients other doctors have given up on. He lives a contented life in Westport with his second wife and their twin sons—hard won after a failed marriage earlier in his career that produced a son named Daniel. In the harrowing opening scene of this provocative and affecting novel, Dr. Allen is home with his family when a televised news report announces that the Democratic candidate for president has been shot at a rally, and Daniel is caught on video as the assassin.
Daniel Allen has always been a good kid—a decent student, popular—but, as a child of divorce, used to shuttling back and forth between parents, he is also something of a drifter. Which may be why, at the age of nineteen, he quietly drops out of Vassar and begins an aimless journey across the United States, during which he sheds his former skin and eventually even changes his name to Carter Allen Cash.”
Dead of Night by Lynn Viehl from Flux Books
“Catlyn Youngblood has a secret life. Despite being a natural-born vampire hunter like her two older brothers, Cat has fallen for Jesse–an ageless boy from a centuries-old vampire clan.
Cat’s job cataloguing rare, mystical texts at a bookstore allows her to meet with Jesse alone every evening. But when girls who look disturbingly similar to Cat start disappearing from town, Cat and Jesse discover frightening clues to their whereabouts within the book collection. Together, they must stop a crazed man from realizing his dark scheme– one that would claim Cat’s life.”
The Great Lenore by J. M. Tohline from Atticus Books
“The Great Lenore” is the tale of a ravishing young Brit whose falsely-reported death provides her with an opportunity to begin a new life. Before she can disappear for good, however, she longs to know the reaction of her two-timing husband and his aristocratic family.”
The Sausage Maker’s Daughters by AGS Johnson from BiblioFile Press
“The sausage maker’s youngest daughter is heading for the fight of her battle-scarred life. It’s the era of the counterculture and Vietnam. But twenty-four-year-old Kip Czermanksi is nowhere near her home in California. She’s in a jail cell in her hometown in Wisconsin awaiting a court appearance in the mysterious death of her ex-lover, who happened to be her brother-in-law.”
The Woman Who Loved Jesse James by Cindi Myers from Bell Bridge Books
“Zee Mimms was just nineteen in 1864—the daughter of a stern Methodist minister in Missouri—when she fell in love with the handsome, dashing, and already notorious Jesse. He was barely more than a teenager himself, yet had ridden with William Quantrill’s raiders during the Civil War.”
What books made their way to you this past week?