I know we're leaving on vacation soon and in the interest of trying not to spring the shocks on the car, it's probably a good thing that this past week added very little to my piles! I did still get a few to add a little weight to the ole minivan though.
How Perfect Is That by Sarah Bird
I discovered Sarah Bird many years ago so I was thrilled to be offered this book for a blog tour. Look for my review soon! From amazon:
In the latest from seasoned Texan social satirist Bird (The Flamenco Academy, etc.), Blythe Young's recent divorce from Trey Dix has left her outside the protective bubble of Austin's high society. As her catering business goes broke and the IRS starts to chase her down, Blythe seeks a haven at Seneca House, the housing co-op where she lived 10 years ago during college. There, she must face Millie Ott, one of many friends Blythe shucked off in a frenzy of social climbing. Once portly Millie is now slender and, as a perfect foil for Blythe, also saintly: she delivers aid to the homeless by way of a tandem recumbent bike (which Blythe names the dorkocycle). At Seneca House, Blythe tries to make amends with people she's stepped on, to avoid the IRS, and to kick both a lingering drug habit and an addiction to scamming people into helping her out. She slowly starts to wins over the affection of her housemates until one of her unthinking decisions brings potential ruin on the co-op's financial well-being. The result is a laugh-out-loud addition to Bird's long line of estrogen-fueled dramedies.
Hollywood Is Like High School With Money by Zoey Dean
As a former nerd in high school myself (anyone from my high school years wanting to comment and disagree is welcome to do so-- ::sound of crickets chirping::--yeah, I expected that), I thought this was an inventive sort of premise. From amazon:
Dean delivers another pop artifact in her latest riff on the Gossip Girl generation, this time dressing up the goings-on with a very Devil Wears Prada vibe. Landing a job as second assistant to Iris Whitaker, a Metronome Studios hotshot, sounds like a dream come true for Ohio native Taylor Henning, who naturally wants to make it big in Hollywood. But this fish out of water needs to learn quickly how to swim with the sharks, as Iris's first assistant, Kylie Arthur, would prefer she drowns. Thankfully, a fairy godmother appears in the fierce form of Quinn, Iris's 16-year-old daughter, who suggests Taylor follow her surefire high school rules: fake it till you make it; speak up in class; make one cool friend; and realize lunch is a battleground. But there are unforeseen consequences for Taylor, who remembers some age-old advice just in time. It's a slick little novel: catty, glitzy and just mean enough.
The Texicans by Nina Vida
This is a bit different than my normal reads but when the author offered it to me, something about it intrigued me. Amazon describes it:
Vida's luminous, dramatic seventh novel finds Joseph Kimmel, a Missouri school teacher, heading to mid-19th-century Texas to claim his recently deceased brother's belongings; he's left for dead when his horse is stolen. Across the plains, after her Texas Ranger husband dies fighting Comanches, Aurelia Ruiz takes refuge at a Comanche camp and adopts their ways. Henry Castro, a Frenchman with dreams of creating an Alsatian-immigrant–populated town in his own name, not only rescues Kimmel but marries him off to Katrin, an unattached white émigré whom a Comanche leader had espied and wanted for his own. The newlyweds head off to create a distinctive ranch, one that welcomes members of the Tonkaway tribe, Mexicans, escaped slaves, free African-Americans and others in distress. Affairs of the heart are never neglected in Vida's novels (Goodbye, Saigon, etc.), and Kimmel soon finds himself enraptured when he meets the beautiful Aurelia, just as a posse of xenophobic ranchers wreak havoc on the ranch. This radiant work of historical fiction—vibrantly atmospheric and emotionally dense—spans 12 years in the lives of many engaging characters, who come to life on every page.
As always, if you'd like to check out the goodies that other people found in their mailboxes, check out The Printed Page where Marcia kindly hosts this meme every week.