Monday, October 5, 2009

Monday Mailbox

It's officially my unbirthday month at one of my online groups affiliated with On the Porch Swing, a great group if you are looking for more booktalk delivered directly to your mailbox. This means that despite the fact that I have been a really good girl about not requesting much of anything, I am going to have books coming in in force. Not a bad thing, as it turns out. And especially gratifying given the complete lack of goodies in my mailbox last week. This past week's mailbox arrivals include:

The Ladies' Lending Library by Janice Kulyk Keefer came from Deb from Readerbuzz for my unbirthday month.
What's not to like about a premise that has women meeting and trading racy books to each other?!

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly came from Deb from Readerbuzz for my unbirthday month.
Calpurnia is just such an appealing-sounding character. And superficial me absolutely loves the cover.

When We Were Romans by Matthew Kneale came from Deb from Readerbuzz for my unbirthday month.
I have (and have yet to read) Kneale's English Passengers but this one with a childish protagonist who must hold things together as his mother is increasingly unstable captured my imagination. And on a lighter note, the exotic locale of Rome certainly didn't dissuade me from wanting this book!

Bridge of Sighs by Richard Russo came from Deb from Readerbuzz for my unbirthday month.
I thoroughly enjoy Russo's works and hadn't gotten around to buying this one for myself. He does dying small towns and the characters who cling to them so very, very well. I expect to find this one beautifully rendered too.

Whistlin' Dixie in a Nor'Easter by Lisa Patton came from Lonny for my unbirthday month.
A Southerner who moves to Vermont to open an inn with her husband is appealing enough as a premise but I can just imagine the culture shock and feelings of displacement that must have hit and can't wait to read the hilarity that must ensue as a result.

Crossing Washington Square by Joanne Rendell was a contest win from author Brenda Janowitz's blog at Brenda's Blog.
Who doesn't love winning books? Better yet, this is an autographed copy. Yippee skippy me! But the reason I entered the contest was because I am intrigued by the idea of two professors who specialize in such different areas of English literature (pop culture versus the canon) having to cooperate. And since I took classes from professors that might easily be slotted into these two differing positions when I was in college, I feel like I'll have a better understanding of the academic angle here.

Dracula Is Dead by Sheilah Kast and Jim Rosapepe came from Bruce at Bancroft Press.
I don't know a whole lot about Romania beyond the Dracula myth but pictures of the country have always shown it to be a beautiful place and so this book about Romania, its past and its present, was a chance to remedy that missing bit of info.

The Patron Saint of Used Cars and Second Chances by Mark Milhone came from Tammy for my unbirthday month.
Does anyone else love quirky titles? I definitely do and this memoir definitely fits that bill. And really, a book about a man who buys a car without consulting his wife in the midst of a dreadful year that was tearing at the very fabric of his family life has got to be good or we should all buy it anyway so he can afford to pay alimony (I don't think he ended up divorced though).

The Various Flavors of Coffee by Anthony Capella came from Lonny for my unbirthday month.
I liked Capella's The Food of Love when I read it several years ago and while I'm not a coffee drinker myself, I did want to read more of his work. And a sweeping historical novel seemed a good place to start back with him.

Hyper-Chondriac by Brian Frazer came from Kari from Another Book on the Stack for my unbirthday month.
A screwball joyride with the author in search of perfect wellness? Sounds like it might be pretty entertaining, doesn't it? As long as I don't have to follow it as prescriptive, we'll be good.

The Camel Bookmobile by Masha Hamilton came from Kari from Another Book on the Stack for my unbirthday month.
I freely admit I am a complete sucker for books that center around anything to do with books. A traveling library? I am totally in. A traveling library in the African bush. I am doubly in!

Black Olives by Martha Tod Dudman came from Kari from Another Book on the Stack for my unbirthday month.
Don't we all have a bit of the voyeur in us? Well, maybe not you, but I do. The good news is that my sheer laziness keeps me from acting on it at all. But I can indulge with books like this one where the main character spies on her ex-boyfriend's life all day long from the back of his Jeep. Ok, so that more than counts as stalking, but since I'll only be reading about it, I can say that the concept of the novel fascinates me.

As always, if you'd like to see the marvelous goodies in other people's mailboxes, make sure to visit Marcia at The Printed Page and enjoy seeing how we are all doing our part to keep the USPS and delivery services viable.


  1. Oh my! so many books! I'm quite jealous really... Mine seem a bit puny by comparison...

    Here's my Mailbox Monday

  2. Wow! I need to know more about this unbirthday month thing because all of those books look great! Happy unbirthday!

  3. I got Bridge of Sighs this week as well. Looks like you got a lot of good books!

  4. lol, what bermudaonion said!!!

    And yes that cover of The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly is stunning!

  5. Your "unbirthday"?? Great variety there. I enjoyed Black Olives when I read it some time ago. There are a few more that I have added to my wish list too :)

  6. I was going to comment about books I've read or want to but that would take so much room!!! Hope you enjoy them all.(Russo is one of my top 5 favorite authors).

  7. You got so many awesome books! I think the Ladies Lending Library looks cute, but you got about 4 other ones that I'm dying to read as well!

  8. How fun! I love the Ladies Lending Library - can't wait to hear how you like it!!!

    Hmmm - wonder when my unbirthday is ;)

    Happy Unbirthday month!

    Here's my Mailbox! ~ Wendi

  9. Lots of good books!! I especially love the cover of The Ladies Lending Library....can't wait for your review.

  10. These all look fabulous! I read When We Were Romans last winter and I really liked it.

  11. Wow, that's a lot of books! And so many that look really good.

    Dracula is Dead looks interesting. Romania is a beautiful country, I hope you enjoy learning more about it!

  12. Ack! I want to read just about every single book you listed. Such great titles! I'm adding them to my TBR list ;-)

  13. I'm with Kathy, what is the unbirthday month thing? You got such a great bunch of books. I hope you enjoy every page. Happy reading!

  14. ::grin:: The unbirthday thing is a group of readers who all got together to send each other birthday gifts. But we ran into problems where sometimes family or other friends would buy the same book for the birthday girl that we'd gotten her and so it evolved into an "unbirthday" instead. Now each of us can count on getting goodies during a month we wouldn't normally get gifties. It's good fun. :-)

  15. Wow, that unbirthday thing is awesome!

    The Ladies Library one, Whistling Dixie, and the coffee one all intrigue me.

  16. Happy unbirthday! Enjoy all these great-sounding books.

    Diary of an Eccentric

  17. Wow, Kristen, you got a lot of books! I'm adding Whistlin' Dixie in a Nor'Easter to my wishlist ~ I'm a southerner, so I should be able to sympathize. LOL

    I'm dropping by to let you know that I have an award for you ~ you can pick it up here:

    ~ Lori


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