Monday, June 21, 2010

Monday Mailbox

I seem to be deep in the depths of a reading and reviewing slump and so I was a little worried each day opening the mailbox this week. But who could be unhappy with such great looking books? Of course, I am kissing goodbye all hopes of ever getting caught up again! This past week's mailbox arrivals:

The Embers by Hyatt Bass came from LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
A family torn apart by blame and grief and secrets as they try to come together again on the eve of a wedding ten years after the death of a son and brother. This has all kinds of enthralling reading written all over it.

Proust's Overcoat by Lorenza Foschini came from Shelf Awareness.
An avid collector of Proust's possessions, helped to save works, letters, and possessions from destruction by Proust's embarrassed family and this is the story of both Proust's things and Guerin and his passion to protect these things. Hoarding to benefit literary history, sounds cool, eh?

My Little Red Book by Rachel Kauder Nalebuff was a contest win from She Reads and Reads.
I have a pre-teen daughter and therefore first period territory is not far away (and I still vividly remember my own). How better to prepare for it than by reading other women's experiences too?

Into the Beautiful North by Luis Alberto Urrea came from Hachette Books.
I love the premise of this novel: a young Mexican woman heads north the the US to smuggle Mexican men back into her small village since it is almost devoid of men and at the mercy of drug-lords. Unlike anything else I've read, I have been waiting (im)patiently for it to arrive on my doorstep.

April & Oliver by Tess Callahan came from Hachette Books.
I have long wanted to read this story of a love story between life-long friends even if it has all the hallmarks of an incredibly melancholic read, starting with the atmospheric cover.

Hector and the Search for Happiness by Francois Lelord came from Penguin.
Compared to Le Petit Prince, one of the few books to which I give shelf space for multiple copies, I was immediately attracted to this slight book about exactly what it's title suggests.

Adam & Eve by Sena Jeter Naslund came from Shelf Awareness.
Naslund's Ahab's wife was pretty darn amazing and inventive. This tale of the suddenly-widowed Lucy, whose late husband claims to have proof of extra-terrestrial life, and the injured and delusional Adam, with whom she has a relationship sounds like a crazy mix of genre and I'm glad to be signing on for the ride.

Miss You Most of All by Elizabeth Bass came from Kensington.
Sisters, a farm, and a wayward stepsister returning to the family. What more could one want in a book? Having a sister myself always makes me draw toward stories of the complicated ties between fictional sisters.

The Girl Who Fell From the Sky by Heidi Durrow came from Algonquin Books.
I have seen nothing but wonderful things about this book about a mixed race girl who survives falling from a building. Issues of race surely abound in this much lauded novel about which I am very curious.

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender came from Doubleday.
Aside from the fact that I want to eat the cover, a book about a girl who can taste people's emotions in the food that they make is incredibly appealing.

Room by Emma Donoghue came from Little, Brown.
Five year old Jack has only ever lived in one room all his life and it is his whole world. It is also where he and his mother are held captive. I don't often gravitate towards books that seem ripped from the headlines but I have read Donoghue's work before and enjoyed it so I'm curious to see what she does with this one.

The Transformation of Bartholomew Fortuno by Ellen Bryson came from Henry Holt.
Given the beard I seem to growing as I age, I am drawn to this book about a circus' bearded lady. OK, that's not really what draws me but everything else does: circus, Gilded Age New York, and uncovered secret, love, you name it. I've only been to the circus once that I remember but it totally fascinates me and this book should help feed that fascination.

This Must Be the Place by Kate Racculia came from Henry Holt.
This novel about a widower who goes home to his late wife's hometown to try and understand her better is immensely enticing. Do other people always hold the key to identity? I look forward to finding out.

Everything Lovely, Effortless, Safe by Jenny Hollowell came from Henry Holt.
A pastor's wife who walks out on her life to have a go at stardom in Hollywood, this has a great premise and I can't wait to meet main character Birdie Baker.

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. Kristen, Now if all those new books aren't enough to slap you silly out of your slump, nothing will...LOL

    Seriously, I've been there and actually did not even finish one book last week.

  2. Great books! I loved April & Oliver. Not a "happy" book but I thought it was a satisfying read.
    Reading slumps happen. Hope you can find some in this group to life you from your slump :)

  3. I have a couple of those on their way to me....I can see what you mean by not being able to catch up, though, LOL!!! I didn't get any books last week, which was a little sad, but at least I did begin to make some progress on the TBR!!! Enjoy them all!!!

  4. Oh my gosh, Kristen, could you pass all those books on to me when you're finished?! Just kiddin'

    Those should definitely get you out of your reading slump.

    You and I read such similar books. So yeah, can you hurry up and read those and put up your reviews. Ha! No pressure or anything...

  5. Wow, what a week! Happy reading!

  6. All I can say is WOW! What an amazing stack of books you got :)

  7. Kristen, I am with you! Don't think about catching up. It might eventually make things worse (I've been there myself.)
    I hope you'll soon be out of your reading & reviewing slump! Maybe an all-time favorite can help? Or you could review a book you had really, really strong feelings about?
    And enjoy those great books you got this week!

    Kathrin @ Secret Dreamworld of a Bookaholic


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