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Mailbox Monday #189

Mailbox Mondays (click the icon to check out the new blog) has gone on tour since Marcia at A Girl and Her Books, formerly The Printed Page passed the torch. This month’s host is 5 Minutes for Books.

The meme allows bloggers to share what books they receive in the mail or through other means over the past week.

Just be warned that these posts can increase your TBR piles and wish lists.

Here’s what I received:

1.  The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh, which I won ages ago and can’t seem to remember from where….forgive me.

The Victorian language of flowers was used to convey romantic expressions: honeysuckle for devotion, asters for patience, and red roses for love. But for Victoria Jones, it’s been more useful in communicating mistrust and solitude. After a childhood spent in the foster-care system, she is unable to get close to anybody, and her only connection to the world is through flowers and their meanings. Now eighteen and emancipated from the system with nowhere to go, Victoria realizes she has a gift for helping others through the flowers she chooses for them. But an unexpected encounter with a mysterious stranger has her questioning what’s been missing in her life. And when she’s forced to confront a painful secret from her past, she must decide whether it’s worth risking everything for a second chance at happiness.

2.  All the Truth by Laura Brodie for review from the author.

One night can alter a life forever…

Emma Greene enjoys living in rural solitude with her husband and five-year-old daughter, Maggie, far away from her college students in Jackson, Virginia. But late one night, with her husband away and her daughter upstairs in bed, some of Emma’s students trespass on her property. The ensuing confrontation changes Emma and Maggie’s life forever.

Nine years later, still plagued by nightmares from that evening, Maggie is living with her father in the same small town, and entering her first year of high school. She develops problems in class when her math teacher, a strange and lonely woman, begins to exhibit an odd interest in her.

In order to let go of the past, Maggie begins to piece together all the truth of what happened that night—and discovers a story of anger, guilt, and redemption.

3. The Pigeon Pie Mystery by Julia Stuart unsolicited from Doubleday.

When Indian Princess Alexandrina is left penniless by the sudden death of her father, the Maharaja of Brindor, Queen Victoria grants her a grace-and-favor home in Hampton Court Palace. Though rumored to be haunted, Alexandrina and her lady’s maid, Pooki, have no choice but to take the Queen up on her offer.
Aside from the ghost sightings, Hampton Court doesn’t seem so bad. The princess is soon befriended by three eccentric widows who invite her to a picnic with all the palace’s inhabitants, for which Pooki bakes a pigeon pie. But when General-Major Bagshot dies after eating said pie, and the coroner finds traces of arsenic in his body, Pooki becomes the #1 suspect in a murder investigation.
Princess Alexandrina isn’t about to let her faithful servant hang. She begins an investigation of her own, and discovers that Hampton Court isn’t such a safe place to live after all.
With her trademark wit and charm, Julia Stuart introduces us to an outstanding cast of lovable oddballs, from the palace maze-keeper to the unconventional Lady Beatrice (who likes to dress up as a toucan—don’t ask), as she guides us through the many delightful twists and turns in this fun and quirky murder mystery. Everyone is hiding a secret of the heart, and even Alexandrina may not realize when she’s caught in a maze of love.

4. Fireproof by Alex Kava unsolicited from Doubleday.

When a building bursts into flames on a cold winter night in D.C., investigators see a resemblance to a string of recent fires in the area. There is one difference, however: This one has a human casualty. The local team insists they’re looking for a young white male, suffering from an uncontrollable impulse to act out his anger or sexual aggression. But when special agent Maggie O’Dell is called in, everything she sees leads her to believe that this is the work of a calculating and controlled criminal.

Jeffery Cole, a reporter looking for his big break, is also at the scene of the crime and decides to make Maggie part of his news piece, digging up aspects of her past that she would rather forget. Maggie’s brother Patrick is also back in DC where he is working for a private firefighting company and is frequently called in as these fires continue to light up around the city.

As the acts of arson become more brazen, Maggie’s professional and personal worlds begin to collide dangerously. The killer may be closer than she imagines.

5. The Roots of the Olive Tree by Courtney Miller Santo unrequested from the publisher.

Meet the Keller family, five generations of firstborn women—an unbroken line of daughters—living together in the same house on a secluded olive grove in the Sacramento Valley of Northern California.

Anna, the family matriarch, is 112 and determined to become the oldest person in the world. An indomitable force, strong in mind and firm in body, she rules Hill House, the family home she shares with her daughter Bets, granddaughter Callie, great-granddaughter Deb, and great-great-granddaughter Erin. Though they lead ordinary lives, there is an element of the extraordinary to these women: the eldest two are defying longevity norms. Their unusual lifespans have caught the attention of a geneticist who believes they hold the key to breakthroughs that will revolutionize the aging process for everyone.

But Anna is not interested in unlocking secrets the Keller blood holds. She believes there are some truths that must stay hidden, including certain knowledge about her origins that she has carried for more than a century. Like Anna, each of the Keller women conceals her true self from the others. While they are bound by blood and the house they share, living together has not always been easy. And it is about to become more complicated now that Erin, the youngest, is back, alone and pregnant, after two years abroad with an opera company. Her return and the arrival of the geneticist who has come to study the Keller family ignites explosive emotions that these women have kept buried and uncovers revelations that will shake them all to their roots.

6. LBJ’s Hired Gun by John J. Gebhart, which Anna got me for my birthday!

Many Vietnam memoirs have appeared in recent years, but not a single one has the humor, pathos, poignancy, and often sheer hilarity of John J. Gebhart’s riveting LBJ’S Hired Gun. As Gebhart tells it, he was a “smart-mouthed college boy” who joined the Marines to see the world and “dust a few black pajamas for Uncle Sam.” Two grueling tours of duty later (1965-1967) he returned home as a sergeant after surviving 240 combat missions (12 air medals) and being shot down twice. On his chest was the Navy Commendation Award (with the combat V).

LBJ’s Hired Gun launches with Gebhart’s grim recollection of the intense old-school brutality that was Marine Corps training on Parris Island before transitioning to his difficult journey for Southeast Asia aboard a troop transport with 2,000 other nameless grunts. These hardships offered but a glimpse of the suffering he and his comrades were about to endure. PARA His candid account of life and death in Vietnam is written with a lively, infectious flair. But be forewarned: no attempt has been made to sanitize this memoir with politically-correct language. Gebhart tells his story exactly as he and his comrades spoke in the 1960s. The result is a gripping, no-holds-barred memoir of his “misadventures in-country.” He spares no detail and no one in his effort to convey exactly what he and his comrades experienced in Vietnam.

What did you receive?

Comments

  1. Great mailbox! I’ve read a few and enjoyed them and see a cozy that I hope you like!!

  2. Nice mix of books! I have a couple of these on my wishlist. Enjoy!
    Diana Leigh´s last blog post ..Sunday Post (2) Mailbox Monday (19)

  3. The Language of Flowers has been sitting on my bookself for a long time. It sounds so good. I hope you enjoy all of your books!

  4. I’ll bet the Julia Stuart book is a fun read!

  5. Looks like a fun week in books! I’ve heard really good things about The Language of Flowers.
    Alyce´s last blog post ..Mailbox Monday – August 13

  6. I just read ALL THE TRUTH on vacation and really enjoyed it, and I just requested THE OLIVE TREE. I wasn’t 100% sure about it, but I think I’ll like it.

    Thanks for linking up at 5 Minutes for Books this month!

  7. All the Truth sounds sad, but wonderful. I will look forward to your review!

  8. I just finished THE ROOTS OF THE OLIVE TREE and am getting ready to start Laura Brodie’s book!

  9. You will love both THE LANGUAGE OF FLOWERS and THE ROOTS OF THE OLIVE TREE. I loved both of them. They are reviewed on my blog.

    Enjoy those books and the others you received too.

    NEW E-mail Subscriber.

    Elizabeth
    Silver’s Reviews
    http://silversolara.blogspot.com/2012/08/mailbox-monday-813.html
    Elizabeth´s last blog post ..Abdication by Juliet Nicolson

  10. I saw a few that I have to put on my tbr list, hope you had a great birthday.

    http://tributebooksmama.blogspot.com/2012/08/mailbox-monday_13.html
    Tribute Books Mama´s last blog post ..Mailbox Monday

  11. You had a nice week. The Language of Flowers is one of my favorites. (And a Happy Birthday, too)
    Leslie´s last blog post ..Mailbox Monday and It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

  12. I hope you enjoy your b-day book, plus all the others of course! 🙂

  13. Interesting books! I enjoyed The Language of Flowers and The Roots of the Olive Tree…I like the look of All the Truth. Enjoy!

    Here’s MY MONDAY MEMES POST

  14. Love your mail this Monday. I would love to read The Language of Flowers.
    Hattie Norman´s last blog post ..MOONLIGHT ON LINOLEUM by TERRY HELWIG

  15. Interesting mailbox. Enjoy them all. The Laura Brodie one is the book I would particularly like to read.
    Mystica´s last blog post ..MAILBOX MONDAY/IT’S MONDAY! WHAT ARE YOU READING?

  16. Happy birthday a few days late! Your books all look good! I adored The Language of Flowers!

  17. All your books have interesting premises. I am bookmarking your post to add a few from those to my TBR pile! Thanks!

    Here is my post.
    gautami tripathy´s last blog post ..Crime Fiction Alphabet: M is for Michael Robotham