Monday, August 27, 2012

Monday: Mailbox/What am I reading?/Musings

Mailbox Monday was created by Marcia at A Girl and Her Books5 Minutes For Books is hosting MM for the month of August.

I received four books in my mailbox:  

1) Cera's Place by Elizabeth McKenna:

In 1869, San Francisco saloon owner Cera Cassidy offers redemption to any woman looking for honest work. At Cera's Place, men can get a decent hot meal with a whiskey, but if they want anything more, they have to take their desires elsewhere. One summer night, a distraught Chinese girl bursts through the swinging doors with a shocking tale of murder, kidnapping, and prostitution. Outraged, Cera vows to set things right. 

Jake Tanner, a scarred ex-soldier haunted by the horrors of the Civil War, is on a mission to fulfill a friend's dying wish. The trail has brought him to Cera's door. Captivated by her Irish beauty, he wants to join her fight - but will she let him?

2) The Second Empress by Michelle Moran:
After the bloody French Revolution, Emperor Napoleon’s power is absolute. When Marie-Louise, the eighteen year old daughter of the King of Austria, is told that the Emperor has demanded her hand in marriage, her father presents her with a terrible choice: marry the cruel, capricious Napoleon, leaving the man she loves and her home forever, or say no, and plunge her country into war.

 Marie-Louise knows what she must do, and she travels to France, determined to be a good wife despite Napoleon’s reputation. But lavish parties greet her in Paris, and at the extravagant French court, she finds many rivals for her husband’s affection, including Napoleon’s first wife, Jos├ęphine, and his sister Pauline, the only woman as ambitious as the emperor himself. Beloved by some and infamous to many, Pauline is fiercely loyal to her brother. She is also convinced that Napoleon is destined to become the modern Pharaoh of Egypt. Indeed, her greatest hope is to rule alongside him as his queen—a brother-sister marriage just as the ancient Egyptian royals practiced. Determined to see this dream come to pass, Pauline embarks on a campaign to undermine the new empress and convince Napoleon to divorce Marie-Louise.  

3) Aroha by Anaru Bickford:
Tormented daily by the cousin who holds her responsible for ripping their family apart, Maori teenager Aroha has many, many other things to worry about. Though she lives in the US with her aunt and uncle, the dreams that have plagued her since her childhood in New Zealand are starting to recur more and more often. 
The sun felt suddenly cold. ‘You know so many things, Nanny,’ I said.

‘So do you, my Aroha.’ She sat in silence for a while, then said, ‘Well, what was it?’

‘What was what?’

‘The question,’ she said. ‘That the voice asked you.’
So I told her.

How will love survive, when the whole world’s on fire?

Attacked from all sides, Aroha must learn to listen to her heart to discover the truth. AROHA is the story of a journey to find love, and to accept responsibility … at the end of the world.

4) The Headmaster's Wager by Vincent Lam:

Percival Chen is the headmaster of the most respected English school in Saigon. He is also a bon vivant, a compulsive gambler and an incorrigible womanizer. He is well accustomed to bribing a forever-changing list of government officials in order to maintain the elite status of the Chen Academy. He is fiercely proud of his Chinese heritage, and quick to spot the business opportunities rife in a divided country. He devotedly ignores all news of the fighting that swirls around him, choosing instead to read the faces of his opponents at high-stakes mahjong tables. But when his only son gets in trouble with the Vietnamese authorities, Percival faces the limits of his connections and wealth and is forced to send him away. In the loneliness that follows, Percival finds solace in Jacqueline, a beautiful woman of mixed French and Vietnamese heritage, and Laing Jai, a son born to them on the eve of the Tet offensive. Percival's new-found happiness is precarious, and as the complexities of war encroach further and further into his world, he must confront the tragedy of all he has refused to see.

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Sheila of Book Journey

I finished reading:

Violet Fire by Brenda Joyce
Gold Ring Of Revenge by Lilian Peake
Gone by Morning by Lilian Peake
Run For Your Love by Lilian Peake

I am in the midst of reading:

Varied Novels!


What is the weirdest/strangest/craziest book you’ve read?

The Suicide Collectors by David Oppegaard:

There is something like Despair which has plagued the Earth for some years now. This has resulted in mass suicides. And as soon as there is a suicide, a shadowy group arrives from nowhere to collect the bodies.

It is terrifying, very stark, bleak and scary at places. In the sense that it can become a reality. Despair can hit us at any time and giving into it is going to be easy. To fight against it, is hard. This novel has surprises, twists, turns and is powerful. I would call it gloriously creepy. The prose is wonderfully flowing and very gripping. A book to read, to think about and revisit, if possible.

Do click the title to read my full review of the novel,


bermudaonion said...

Oh, I bet The Second Empress is fabulous!

Lydia said...

The Second Empress was quite a fun read, I hope you enjoy it!

Nise' said...

I am looking forward to The Second Empress! Have a great week of reading.

RAnn said...

Enjoy your books

Jennifer said...

I can't wait to read The Second Empress, I'm keeping my eyes open for that one.

I just finished The Headmaster's Wager...I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. I found it to be fantastic!

Marce said...

My current and last review will be right up your alley. Enjoy the week.

Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

Cera's place sounds really interesting!

pussreboots said...

Cera's Place sounds like it has potential.

My favorite book this week was Ottoline at Sea by Chris Riddell. Please come see what I'm reading now.

Mystica said...

The Second Empress is the one I would like to get my hands on.

Jessica ( frellathon ) said...

All look great but Aroha really jumped out at me. Sounds great

CMash said...

All of your books are "new to me". And The Suicide Collectors does sound eerie. Have a great week.

caite said...

The Suicide Collectors...not too shore that is my cuppa tea. It lost me at bleak perhaps..

Li @ said...

The Suicide Collectors by title alone sounds very strange indeed!

Here's my Musing Mondays post =)

Btw, awesome books you've received in your mailbox, been hearing a lot about the new Vincent Lam book and The Second Empress looks intriguing =)

Kristi said...

I hadn't heard of any of your books - but they all sound good! Thanks for sharing! Happy Reading!

Captivated By Books said...

Your Musing book actually sounds interesting to me, but very different for sure.21ur

Serena said...

I hope you enjoy The Second Empress!

Anonymous said...

The Second Empress sounds like it's right up my alley, enjoy! your reads.

Anonymous said...

Great selection! I heard so much good about Michelle Moran, I am sure you will have a great time reading it. Enjoy your new books!

Kwizgiver said...

What an interesting list of books! I haven't heard of them.

Carrie said...

I haven't heard of any of those titles either! Sounds like you'll be enjoying your reading though.

Thanks for linking up at 5M4B!

Beth(bookaholicmom) said...

The Second Empress is a book that interests me. I love Michelle Moran!