I have been MIA for about a week – we went on Spring Break, and I had the best of intentions to blog while we vacationed, but it didn’t work out as I planned – but I’m back and will hopefully back on schedule!
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:
Wife 22 by Melanie Gideon from Ballentine Books
“Maybe it was my droopy eyelids.
Maybe it was because I was about to turn the same age my mother was when I lost her.
Maybe it was because after almost twenty years of marriage my husband and I seemed to be running out of things to say to each other.
But when an anonymous online study called “Marriage in the 21st Century” showed up in my inbox, I had no idea how profoundly it would change my life. It wasn’t long before I was assigned both a pseudonym (Wife 22) and a caseworker (Researcher 101). And, just like that, i found myself answering questions…
7. Sometimes I tell him he’s snoring when he’s not snoring so he’ll sleep in the guest room and I can have the bed all to myself.
61. He was cutting peppers for the salad. I looked at those hands and thought, I am going to have that man’s children.
32. That if we weren’t careful, it was possible to forget one another.
Before the study, my life was an endless blur of school lunches and doctor’s appointments, family dinners and budgets. I was Alice Buckle; spouse of William and mother to Zoe and Peter, drama teacher and Facebook chatter, downloader of memories and Googler of solutions.
But these days, I’m also Wife 22. And somehow, my anonymous correspondence with Researcher 101 has taken an unexpected turn. Soon, I’ll have to make a decision – one that will affect my family, my marriage, my whole life. But at that moment, I’m too busy answering questions.
As it turns out, confession can be a very powerful aphrodisiac.”
The Red House by Mark Haddon from Doubleday
“The setup of Mark Haddon’s brilliant new novel is simple: Richard, a wealthy doctor, invites his estranged sister, Angela, and her family to join his family for a week at a vacation home in the English countryside. Richard has just remarried and acquired a willful step-daugther in the process; Angela has a feckless husband and three children who sometimes seem alien to her. The stage is set for seven days of resentment and guilt, staples of family gatherings the world over.”
Full Body Burden: Growing Up in the Nuclear Shadows of Rocky Flats by Kristen Iversen from The Crown Publishing Group
“Full Body Burden is a haunting work of narrative nonfiction about a young woman growing up in a small Colorado town close to Rocky Flats, a secret nuclear-weapons plant once designated “the most contaminated site in America.” It’s the story of growing up in the shadow of the Cold War, in a landscape at once startlingly beautiful and – unknown to those who lived there – tainted with invisible yet deadly particles of plutonium.
It’s also a book about the destructive power of secrets – both family secrets and government secrets. Her father’s hidden liquor bottles, the strange cancers in children in the neighborhood, the truth about what they made at Rocky Flats (cleaning supplies, her mother guessed) – best not to inquire too deeply into any of it. But as Iversen grew older, she began to ask questions. And as this memoir unfolds, it reveals itself as a brilliant work of investigative journalism – a shocking account of the government’s sustained attempt to conceal the effects of the toxic and radioactive waste released by Rocky Flats, and of local residents’ vain attempts to seek justice in court. Based on extensive interviews, FBI and EPA documents, and class-action testimony, this taut, beautiful fully written book promises to have a very long half-life.”
I also received some ARC E-books, and, as a wonderful present from my sweet hubby, a Kindle Fire. I read four books on it last week while we were on vacation.
Here is what I received:
The Stone Girl by Alyssa B. Sheinmel from Random House Publishing House
“She feels like a creature out of a fairy tale; a girl who discovers that her bones are really made out of stone, that her skin is really as thin as glass, that her hair is brittle as straw, that her tears have dried up so that she cries only salt. Maybe that’s why it doesn’t hurt when she presses hard enough to begin bleeding: it doesn’t hurt, because she’s not real anymore.
Sethie Weiss is hungry, a mean, angry kind of hunger that feels like a piece of glass in her belly. She’s managed to get down to 111 pounds and knows that with a little more hard work—a few more meals skipped, a few more snacks vomited away—she can force the number on the scale even lower. She will work on her body the same way she worked to get her perfect grades, to finish her college applications early, to get her first kiss from Shaw, the boy she loves, the boy who isn’t quite her boyfriend.
Sethie will not allow herself one slip, not one bad day, not one break in concentration. Her body is there for her to work on when everything and everyone else—her best friend, her schoolwork, and Shaw—are gone.”
The Last Titanic Story by Chris Angus from Iguana Books
“What could possibly connect the famous sinking of the Titanic in 1912 with a WW II German U-boat loaded with a mysterious cargo? One of the mysteries has to do with the fabulous lost contents of the Titanic‘s safe, belonging to the great ship’s most famous passenger, John Jacob Astor.
The connection is discovered by Laura Engalls, an anthropologist working with the Inuit in current day Greenland. She is shown a diary kept by sixteen-year-old Samuel Meade. The small, aging leather booklet describes an almost unimaginable ordeal endured by Samuel and his companions, the last unaccounted for passengers of the ill-fated Titanic.
Engalls enlists the help of reporter Matt Mosher, author of a book on the Titanic. Together, they begin an adventure that takes them back to the ice fields of Greenland, where they soon discover they are not the only ones trying to unravel the mystery.
What ensues is a tale of intrigue, international thievery and murder that ranges across the century from the sinking of the famous ship to the machinations of modern day neo-Nazis to the involvement of Adolf Hitler himself, who inexplicably makes a journey to Greenland during the depths of WW II. The final confrontation between the Nazis and the Inuit may be the only such encounter in modern fiction.”
The Mapmaker and the Ghost by Sarvenaz Tash from Bloomsbury Children’s Books
“Goldenrod Moram loves adventure, especially when it comes in the form of mapmaking. An avid fan of the legendary explorers Lewis and Clark, she decides to start her own exploring team, the Legendary Adventurers, and to spend her summer vacation discovering the unmapped forest right behind her home. This simple task is complicated by a series of unique events-a chance encounter with a mysterious old lady has her searching for a legendary blue rose. Another, more unfortunate, encounter lands her in the middle of a ragtag bunch of nicknamed ruffians. Throw in the trapped spirit of Meriwether Lewis himself and her well-meaning but nuisance of a little brother, and Goldenrod Moram is in for the quest of a lifetime . . .”
The Orphanmaster by Jean Zimmerman from Penguin Group
“It’s 1663 in the tiny, hardscrabble Dutch colony of New Amsterdam, now present-day southern Manhattan. Orphan children are going missing, and among those looking into the mysterious state of affairs are a quick-witted twenty-two-year-old trader, Blandine von Couvering, herself an orphan, and a dashing British spy named Edward Drummond.
Suspects abound, including the governor’s wealthy nephew, a green-eyed aristocrat with decadent tastes; an Algonquin trapper who may be possessed by a demon that turns people into cannibals; and the colony’s own corrupt and conflicted orphanmaster. Both the search for the killer and Edward and Blandine’s newfound romance are endangered, however, when Blandine is accused of being a witch and Edward is sentenced to hang for espionage. Meanwhile, war looms as the English king plans to wrest control of the colony.”
And because of my sweet husband’s gift of a Kindle, I also purchased some E-Books:
Sundered by Shannon Mayer
Bound by Shannon Mayer
Dauntless by Shannon Mayer
Hollowland by Amanda Hocking
Hollowmen by Amanda Hocking
Grave New World by S. P. Blackmore.
What new books made their way to your house this week?