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.
Here are the books I got in the mail this week:
Horten’s Miraculous Mechanisms by Lissa Evans from Sterling Children’s Books
“When ten-year-old Stuart stumbles upon a note daring him to find his great-uncle’s hidden workshop full of wonderful mechanisms, trickery and magic, he sets out on a Willy Wonka-like adventure of a life-time. In order to find the place, Stuart must believe the unbelievable – while dodging the annoying prying eyes of his triplet neighbors, April, May and June. With clues to follow, puzzles to solve, and the quirkiest of characters, this uniquely charming fiction debut by comedienne Lissa Evans is sure to enchant middle-grade readers – and believers – everywhere.”
Chomp by Carl Hiaasen from Random House Children’s Books
“Wahoo Cray’s life is a zoo – literally.
His father, Mickey, is a professional animal wrangler, so Wahoo’s backyard is crawling with gators, snakes, raccoons, monkeys and turtles. The critters, he can handle. His dad is the unpredictable one.
When Mickey Cray takes a job with a reality-TV show called Expedition Survival!, Wahoo knows he’ll be doing some wrangling himself – to keep his father from strangling Derek Badger, the show’s outrageously inept and egotistical star. The job gets off to a harrowing start when Derek stages a near-disasterous scene with Alice, the Cray’s gigantic gator.
Then things get even hairier after Derek, who foolishly believes his own PR, insists on using only wild animals in his stunts.
Meanwhile, Wahoo has acquired a shadow named Tuna – a girl who’s sporting a shiner courtesy of her father and needs a place to hid out. Wahoo doesn’t know what else to do but bring her along on their Everglades adventure.
The TV crew is on location for barely a day before Derek gets chomped by a bat and goes missing in a storm. Then, as search parties gather at the edge of the swamp, Tuna’s dad shows up waving a gun…
Will anyone survived Expedition Survival!?”
The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen from Scholastic.
“A bold plt leads an orphan on a terrible journey…to the brink of treason.” (Yes, that’s all there is!)
The Blind Spy by Alex Dryden from Ecco Books by Harper Collins
“Ukraine’s independence is a wound that won’t heal for the seasoned elder statesmen who now control Russia. Under Vladimir Putin’s leadership, they will stop at nothing to return the crown jealous of the USSR to it’s rightful place: under the boot heel of Russian power. Operatives from the controversial and clandestine forces of the dark heart of the KGB, Department S, are engaged to destabilize the young nation and dominate it.
But not before Anna Resnikov can unravel their plans. With the help of Cougar, the powerful private intelligence company that overshadows even the CIA in its reach, she races against time to stop the KGB before hundreds of innocent lives are lost. But it seems she has an unlikely ally from the enemy country she once fled, whose gifts for espionage are as extraordinary as her own.”
Yes, Chef by Marcus Samuelsson from Random House
“It begins with a ritual: Every Saturday afternoon, a boy who loves to cook walks to his grandmother’s house and helps her roast a chicken for dinner. The grandmother is Swedish, and a retired domestic. The boy is Ethiopian and adopted, and he will grow up to become the chef Marcus Samuelsson. This book is his love letter to food and family in all its manifestations.
Yes, Chef chronicles Samuelsson’s remarkable journey from his grandmother’s kitchen to his arrival in New York City, where his outsize talent and ambition finally come together at Aquavit, earning him a New York Times three-star rating at the age of twenty-four. But Samuelsson’s career of chasing flavors had only just begun – in the intervening years, there have been White House state dinners, career crises, reality show triumphs, and, most important, the opening of Red Rooster in Harlem. At Red Rooster, Samuelsson has fulfilled his dream of creating a truly diverse, multiracial dining room – a place where presidents rub elbows with jazz musicians, aspiring artists, and bus drivers. it is a place where an orphan from Ethiopia, raised in Sweden, living in American, can feel at home.
Here are the ARC e-books I received this week:
Innocent Darkness by Suzanne Lazear from Flux Books
“A steampunk faerie tale with romance, danger, and a strong-willed heroine.
When spirited sixteen-year-old Noli Braddock and her best friend Steven “V” Darrow take a flying car out for a joyride, neither expects Noli to be sent to reform school to mend her hoyden ways. While at the dreadful school, Noli’s innocent mid-summer’s eve wish summons Kevighn, a mysterious man who takes Noli with him to the Realm of Faerie. At first Noli believes she has been rescued. But the sinister reason behind the handsome huntsman’s appearance quickly become clear—he wants to use Noli as a blood sacrifice to restore his dying world. V, who has secrets of his own, shows up to help Noli escape and return to the mortal realm—but first, they must navigate the dangerous intrigues of the Otherworld.
If they are successful, Noli will live. But if Noli lives, the entire Otherworld civilization will die.”
The Vanishers by Heidi Julavits from Knopf Doubleday
“Is the bond between mother and daughter unbreakable, even by death?
Julia Severn is a student at an elite institute for psychics. Her mentor, the legendary Madame Ackermann, afflicted by jealousy, refuses to pass the torch to her young disciple. Instead, she subjects Julia to the humiliation of reliving her mother’s suicide when Julia was an infant. As the two lock horns, and Julia gains power, Madame Ackermann launches a desperate psychic attack that leaves Julia the victim of a crippling ailment.
Julia retreats to a faceless job in Manhattan. But others have noted Julia’s emerging gifts, and soon she’s recruited to track down an elusive missing person—a controversial artist who might have a connection to her mother. As Julia sifts through ghosts and astral clues, everything she thought she knew of her mother is called into question, and she discovers that her ability to know the minds of others—including her own—goes far deeper than she ever imagined.
As powerful and gripping as all of Julavits’s acclaimed novels, The Vanishers is a stunning meditation on grief, female rivalry, and the furious power of a daughter’s love.”
The God Box by Mary Lou Quinlan from Greenleaf Book Group
“The transformational story of one woman’s care and compassion: When Mary Lou Quinlan’s beloved mother, Mary Finlayson, dies, her family is bereft—until Mary Lou finds her mother’s “God Box,” or rather, boxes. These simple containers are stuffed with tiny notes written by Mary, praying for everything from the right flooring for her daughter’s new home to a cure for her own blood cancer. Mary’s petitions for friends, family, and even strangers are presented with love and without expectation—the ultimate expressions of letting go. Note by note, Mary Lou unearths insights into her mother’s compassion, faith, and perseverance. And through the journey, she discovers her own more empathetic, more engaged self—the woman her mother had believed in all along.”
What books made it into your house this week?