Mailbox Monday is a weekly meme started by Marcia at Mailbox Monday in which bloggers can ramble on about the books they received/bought/stole over a given week. Each month a new blogger hosts the meme, and this month it’s Lori’s Reading Corner.
Happy New Year, Folks! It’s the first Mailbox Monday post of 2013. Sorry I couldn’t start things out on a more exciting note, but the book haul at my house this week is comprised of a couple of audio books from the library and the aftermath of my wife’s spending spree at Barnes & Noble (instigated by a gift card from my parents, no less). But a book is a book, and she picked out some nice ones. So let’s do this.
--- The Books ---
Shadows in Flight by Orson Scott Card – Orson Scott Card’s biggest claim to fame (other than selling a jack-ton of books) is a science fiction novel called Ender’s Game. Maybe you’ve heard of it? Anyway, Shadows in Flight is kind of a spin-off of Ender’s Game. Or like, a spin-off of a spin-off. Card took an ancillary character from the origin novel, Bean, and built several series off him. He has a genetic mutation which makes him insanely smart, but also makes his body grow unchecked. It results in a fatal form of gigantism and a lifespan of 20 years. In Shadows in Flight, Bean has taken his three children, also having the fatal gigantism, in a space ship, accelerates to near light speed, and blasts into the deep cosmos, hoping that some day humanity will find a cure for their gigantism. I got it as an audio book from the library, and boy was it a good read.
Eye of the Red Tsar by Sam Eastland – Another audio book from the library, Eye of the Red Tsar was quick to catch my… err, eye? Whatever You know what I mean. I had to get it. It combines two of my favorite genres—historical fiction and mysteries. This one is set in Stalinist Russia (duh) in the 1920s. Pekkala was once called the Eye of the Tsar, the Tsar’s personal investigator, but at the opening of the book he’s a prisoner in a Siberian logging camp. He’s given a “get out of jail free” card in exchange for one last mission. You know, that old song and dance. But the cliché plot hook is fairly easy to overlook, especially considering all the historical detail involved. So far, it’s pretty good.
Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn – Sharp Objects is Gillian Flynn’s first novel, the tale of a deeply disturbed young woman named Camille Preaker who works as a reporter in
. She’s a cutter, and over the years she’s
carved words into her flesh—WICKED, GIRL, BABYDOLL, WHORE. The list goes on. For eight years she’s been gone from her
hometown, avoid her family (her hypochondriac mother and twisted half-sister)
and bad memories like the plague, but then two preteen girls are murdered, and
her editor sends her back into the maelstrom to cover the story. This was actually one of my wife’s
after-Christmas purchases, but after seeing her tear through it in a matter of
days and hearing all about the twisted shit packing its pages, I’m down like
Charlie Brown. This is one I just gotta
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn – Gone Girl is Flynn’s third novel, and of late it has been one of the more “in” titles on the book blog circuit. Guess that means the publishers were pushing it pretty hard. Or it’s a really good book. Maybe both? This one is told from the male perspective, a town “golden boy” whose wife disappears on their fifth wedding anniversary. What follows is the kind of psychological mystery readers have come to expect from Flynn—a narrative that, as it unravels, makes the truth hazier and hazier. My wife is reading this one as we speak, so my evenings recently have been punctuated with Becky suddenly saying, “Hey, listen to this!” and then serenading me with various passages from the book. That’s what I get for marrying a fellow English major.
The New York Times: The Complete Front Pages 1851-2012 – This coffee table book (i.e. huge honkin’ tome) contains reprints of New York Times front pages from some of the most seminal dates in history. Calling it “The Complete Front Pages” is kind of a misnomer, considering that it only contains 300-something front pages. So it’s not really complete, now is it? But regardless, it’s pretty damn cool to look up the front pages from D-Day or the day Kennedy was assassinated. It’s also got essays from current and former NYT columnists, so there’s plenty of stuff to read. Don’t expect to see a review for this puppy, though. This is more of the bathroom reading variety. So maybe instead of a coffee table book, they should call it a commode basket book?
And now that I’ve showed you mine, it’s time to show me yours. What did you get in your mailbox this week?