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Mailbox Monday #249

Mailbox Monday (click the icon to check out the new blog) has gone on tour since Marcia at To Be Continued, formerly The Printed Page passed the torch.  December’s host is Rose City Reader.

***Here are the results of the Mailbox Monday poll and what we all can expect in 2014 and beyond.***

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. Ripper: A Novel by Isabel Allende for review.

The Jackson women, Indiana and Amanda, have always had each other. Yet, while their bond is strong, mother and daughter are as different as night and day. Indiana, a beautiful holistic healer, is a free-spirited bohemian. Long divorced from Amanda’s father, she’s reluctant to settle down with either of the men who want her—Alan, the wealthy scion of one of San Francisco’s elite families, and Ryan, an enigmatic, scarred former Navy SEAL.

While her mom looks for the good in people, Amanda is fascinated by the dark side of human nature, like her father, the SFPD’s Deputy Chief of Homicide. Brilliant and introverted, the MIT-bound high school senior is a natural-born sleuth addicted to crime novels and Ripper, the online mystery game she plays with her beloved grandfather and friends around the world.

When a string of strange murders occurs across the city, Amanda plunges into her own investigation, discovering, before the police do, that the deaths may be connected. But the case becomes all too personal when Indiana suddenly vanishes. Could her mother’s disappearance be linked to the serial killer? Now, with her mother’s life on the line, the young detective must solve the most complex mystery she’s ever faced before it’s too late.

2.  The Memory of Lost Senses by Judith Kinghorn for review.

Cecily Chadwick is idling away the long, hot summer of 1911 when a mysterious countess moves into the large, deserted country house on the edge of her sleepy English village. Rumors abound about the countess’s many husbands and lovers, her opulent wealth, and the tragedies that have marked her life. As Cecily gets to know her, she becomes fascinated by the remarkable woman—riveted by her tales of life on the Continent, and of the famous people she once knew. But the countess is clearly troubled by her memories, and by ruinous secrets that haunt her…

Staying with the countess is a successful novelist and dear friend who has been summoned to write the countess’s memoirs. For aspiring writer Cecily, the novelist’s presence only adds to the intrigue of the house. But it is the countess’s grandson, Jack, who draws Cecily further into the tangled web of the countess’s past, and sweeps her into an uncertain future…

3.  Tiny Stories tote.

 

 

4.  Mr. Knightley’s Diary by Amanda Grange from the library sale.

Between managing his estate and visiting his brother in London, Mr. Knightley is both exasperated and amused by his irresistibly beautiful, outrageously mischievous neighbor, Emma Woodhouse, whose misguided attempts at matchmaking are wreaking havoc in the village of Highbury.

But when a handsome newcomer arrives and catches Emma’s attention, Mr. Knightley is shocked by his reaction. Amusement gives way to another emotion entirely-for his unreasonable dislike of the handsome newcomer seems suspiciously like jealousy.

5.  Edmund Bertram’s Diary by Amanda Grange from the library sale.

At ten years of age, Fanny Price came to live with Edmund Bertram and his family at Mansfield Park. Far from the brat Edmund expected, Fanny became his closest confidante and dearest friend.

But when the fashionable Crawford siblings? Henry and Mary?come to town, they captivate the Bertram family. Henry embarks on a scandalous flirtation with Edmund?s sister, who is already betrothed to another, while Edmund is enchanted by Mary?s beauty and wit. But when it appears that Mary is not all she seems to be, Edmund will turn to the one woman who has always been at his side to find the happiness he deserves?Fanny.

6.  Captain Wentworth’s Diary by Amanda Grange from the library sale.

During his shore leave from the Navy, Frederick Wentworth falls in love with the elegant and intelligent Miss Anne Elliot?only to see his hopes of marrying her dashed by her godmother.

Eight years later, Wentworth has realized his ambitions. A wealthy captain, he has pushed his memories of Anne to the furthest recesses of his mind?until he sees her again. And though Anne?s bloom has faded, Wentworth is surprised to find that his regard for her wit and warmth has not.

7.  The Archivist by Martha Cooley from the library sale.

A young woman’s impassioned pursuit of a sealed cache of T. S. Eliot’s letters lies at the heart of this emotionally charged novel — a story of marriage and madness, of faith and desire, of jazz-age New York and Europe in the shadow of the Holocaust. The Archivist was a word-of-mouth bestseller and one of the most jubilantly acclaimed first novels of recent years.

8.  The Space Between Us by Thrity Umrigar from the library sale.

Set in modern-day India, it is the story of two compelling and achingly real women: Sera Dubash, an upper-middle-class Parsi housewife whose opulent surroundings hide the shame and disappointment of her abusive marriage, and Bhima, a stoic illiterate hardened by a life of despair and loss, who has worked in the Dubash household for more than twenty years. A powerful and perceptive literary masterwork, author Thrity Umrigar’s extraordinary novel demonstrates how the lives of the rich and poor are intrinsically connected yet vastly removed from each other, and how the strong bonds of womanhood are eternally opposed by the divisions of class and culture.

9. Bicycles: Love Poems by Nikki Giovanni from the library sale.

With Bicycles, she’s collected poems that serve as a companion to her 1997 Love Poems. An instant classic, that book—romantic, bold, and erotic—expressed notions of love in ways that were delightfully unexpected. In the years that followed, Giovanni experienced losses both public and private: a mother’s passing, a sister’s too, and a massacre on the campus where she teaches. Yet just when it seemed life was spinning out of control, Giovanni rediscovered love—what she calls the antidote. Here romantic love—and all its manifestations, the physical touch, the emotional pull, the hungry heart—is distilled as never before by one of our most talented poets.

10.  The Wild Iris by Louise Gluck from the library sale.

This collection of stunningly beautiful poems encompasses the natural, human, and spiritual realms, and is bound together by the universal themes of time and mortality. With clarity and sureness of craft, Gluck’s poetry questions, explores, and finally celebrates the ordeal of being alive.

 

11. Birthday Letters by Ted Hughes from the library sale.

The poems in Birthday Letters are addressed (with just two exceptions) to Plath, and were written over a period of more than twenty-five years, the first a few years after her suicide in 1963. Some are love letters, others haunted recollections and ruminations. In them, Hughes recalls his and Plath’s time together, drawing on the powerful imagery of his work–animal, vegetable, mythological–as well as on Plath’s famous verse.

Countless books have discussed the subject of this intense relationship from a necessary distance, but this volume–at last–offers us Hughes’s own account. Moreover, it is a truly remarkable collection of pems in its own right.

12.  Morality for Beautiful Girls by Alexander McCall Smith from the library sale.

In Morality for Beautiful Girls, Precious Ramotswe, founder and owner of the only detective agency for the concerns of both ladies and others, investigates the alleged poisoning of the brother of an important “Government Man,” and the moral character of the four finalists of the Miss Beauty and Integrity Contest, the winner of which will almost certainly be a contestant for the title of Miss Botswana. Yet her business is having money problems, and when other difficulties arise at her fiancé’s Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors, she discovers the reliable Mr J.L.B. Matekoni is more complicated then he seems.

13.  The Kalahari Typing School for Men by Alexander McCall Smith from the library sale.

Mma Precious Ramotswe is content. Her business is well established with many satisfied customers, and in her mid-thirties (“the finest age to be”) she has a house, two adopted children, a fine fiancé. But, as always, there are troubles. Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni has not set the date for their marriage. Her able assistant, Mma Makutsi, wants a husband. And worse, a rival detective agency has opened in town—an agency that does not have the gentle approach to business that Mma Ramotswe’s does. But, of course, Precious will manage these things, as she always does, with her uncanny insight and her good heart.

14.  The Full Cupboard of Life by Alexander McCall Smith from the library sale.

Still engaged to the estimable Mr J.L.B. Matekoni, Mma Ramotswe understands that she should not put too much pressure on him, as he has other concerns, especially a hair-raising request from the ever persuasive Mma Potokwane, matron of the orphan farm. Besides Mma Ramotswe herself has weighty matters on her mind. She has been approached by a wealthy lady to check up on several suitors. Are these men interested in the lady or just her money? This may be a difficult case, but it’s just the kind of problem Mma Ramotswe likes and she is, as we know, a very intuitive lady.

I did snag some books for gifts for my daughter and some other people, but I won’t post them here, in case they are watching….reading…

What did you receive?

  • Looks like you did great at the library sale! I’m sorry I missed it. I enjoyed Knightley’s and Wentworth’s diaries, but I’ll have to borrow Edmund Bertram’s. 🙂
    Anna´s last blog post ..Review: Pride, Prejudice and Jasmin Field by Melissa Nathan

    • All I need now is Colonel Brandon’s Diary!

  • You picked up so many awesome books! I think the one I’d be most excited about it likely The Memory of Lost Senses. Happy reading!
    Shoshanah´s last blog post ..Silly Little Hobbitses

    • I was surprised by how many good books I found.

  • Ripper seems like such an un-Isabel Allende type of novel. Which really makes me want to read it!

    • Yes, I agree…this is an unusual one.

  • The Memory of Lost Senses looks good. I read The Space Between Us. It was good.

    ENJOY your week.

    Elizabeth
    Silver’s Reviews
    My Mailbox Monday
    Elizabeth´s last blog post ..Mailbox Monday – 12/16/13

    • I’ve read a couple other books by Umrigar, so I was happy to find Space Between Us

  • Beth Hoffman

    Wow … you’ve got some great books! I’m curious about The Archivist by Martha Cooley and will be watching for your review. Happy reading, Serena!

    • The Archivist was a book I found on the way out…I couldn’t believe it was still there.

  • Okay, I’m officially jealous of the Tinies tote bag! Ripper should be really good. Enjoy your new books!
    bermudaonion (Kathy)´s last blog post ..Mailbox Monday

    • I love the tote; it’s bigger than I thought it would be.

  • Nice week and a very productive library sale. I’ve been trying to stay away from them because I’m out of room on my shelves.
    Leslie´s last blog post ..Mailbox Monday ~ December 16th

    • Yeah, I make a point to donate some to the sales as I go to them…and I try to keep in mind how many I donated and how many I can buy to fill those spaces.

  • You got some very good books at the library sale. I would have bought some of yours too!
    Harvee
    Book Dilettante
    Harvee @Book Dilettante´s last blog post ..Sunday Salon: Book Tours

    • yeah, that library sale is killer. And I only spent $7

  • Fun tote – and the books all look good too!
    Mary´s last blog post ..Sunday Post

    • Thanks. i love totes…but I fear I may have too many

  • Thanks for posting the link to the MM poll. You have so many great looking books and tote. Enjoy!
    Pat @ Posting For Now´s last blog post ..Mailbox Monday: December 16, 2013

    • you’re welcome, and thanks for stopping by.