Sunday, November 29, 2009

Mailbox Mondays

Monday Mailbox is hosted by Marcia.

Here is what I got in my mailbox:

1) White Picket Fences by Susan Meissner from the author

When her black sheep brother disappears, Amanda Janvier eagerly takes in her sixteen year-old niece Tally. The girl is practically an orphan: motherless, and living with a father who raises Tally wherever he lands– in a Buick, a pizza joint, a horse farm–and regularly takes off on wild schemes. Amanda envisions that she, her husband Neil, and their two teenagers can offer the girl stability and a shot at a “normal” life, even though their own storybook lives are about to crumble.

2) Deep Floating Lovers by Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli from the author

Springtime in northern Michigan: a picture-perfect scene. Until struggling mystery writer Emily Kincaid gets a visit from her foul-weather friend Deputy Dolly, who frantically demands Emily's help. Sandy Lake's receding waters have revealed a bullet-pierced skull, along with a keepsake that could mean serious trouble for a man Dolly once loved.

3) A Friend of the Family by Lauren Grodstein from the author

It's about a devoted dad whose parental concerns fester into a toxin that eventually poisons his life. There's nothing polemic or didactic about Grodstein's story, but she's written such an incisive diagnosis of aspirational America that someone should hand out copies at Little League games and ballet recitals…What Grodstein captures so strikingly is the anxiety of a father's love, that aching affection that can flip in a moment of panicked disappointment to full-blown disgust.

4) The MJ Tapes by
Rabbi Shmuley Boteach from Serena of Savvy Verse & Wit

In 2000-2001, Michael Jackson sat down with his close friend and spiritual guide, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, to record what turned out to be the most intimate and revealing conversations of his life. It was Michael's wish to bare his soul and unburden himself to a public that he knew was deeply suspicious of him. The resulting thirty hours are the basis of The Michael Jackson Tapes.

5) Grotesque by Natsuo Kirino by bookmooch

Tokyo prostitutes Yuriko and Kazue have been brutally murdered, their deaths leaving a wake of unanswered questions about who they were, who their murderer is, and how their lives came to this end. As their stories unfurl in an ingeniously layered narrative, coolly mediated by Yuriko's older sister, we are taken back to their time in a prestigious girls' high school-where a strict social hierarchy decided their fates-and follow them through the years as they struggle against rigid societal conventions.

6) Cold Skin by Steven Herrick from the author

This is a compelling story of Australian teenager Eddie Holding's struggle to make his war-scarred dad understand his need to work in the mines after graduating from high school. Told from the perspective of nine characters in the small town of Burrga, we soon learn that, despite the mayor's optimistic hope for the town's future, nothing will be the same after a young girl's body is found along the nearby river's edge.

7) In an Uncharted Country by Clifford Garstang from the publicist

The award-winning stories that make up this linked collection showcase ordinary men and women in and around Rugglesville, Virginia, as they struggle to find places and identities in their families and the community. They experience natural disasters, a sun-worshipping cult, Vietnam flashbacks, kidnapping, addiction, and loss. The book's opening story, "Flood, 1978," follows Hank, who comes to understand his father's deep sense of grief over the death of his wife. Later, in "Hand-painted Angel," Hank's sons see the family spinning apart as their father ages and family secrets are disclosed. In "The Clattering of Bones," Walt mourns the collapse of his marriage after the loss of a child, but in the collection's title story he recognizes his emotional need for family. The concluding story, "Red Peony," unifies the collection, as many of the book's characters come together for a tumultuous 4th of July Celebration.

9 comments:

bermudaonion said...

You had a great week! White Picket Fences and A Friend of the Family both look good.

Staci said...

Your mailbox was really good to you this past week. They all sound great...enjoy!!

Bluestocking said...

You got a nice haul. Here is mine

reviewsbylola said...

Looks like you got some great books!

Kristen said...

I really liked A Friend of the Family. Hope you do too.

Beth(bookaholicmom) said...

White Picket Fences sounds like a good book. I hope you enjoy all your books!

Serena said...

Can't wait to see what you think about the MJ Tapes.

Marissa said...

So glad you got Cliff's book in - I really hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Anna said...

Enjoy your new books. I'm curious to see if your thoughts on the MJ tapes are different from Serena's, as she spent a lot of time discussing the book with me while she read it.

--Anna
Diary of an Eccentric