Monday, January 7, 2013

Mailbox Monday – January 7, 2013


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 FlynnSharp Objects is Gillian Flynn’s first novel, the tale of a deeply disturbed young woman named Camille Preaker who works as a reporter in Chicago.  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 read.

Gone Girl by Gillian FlynnGone 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?

20 comments:

  1. My book club has chosen Gone Girl for sometime this year so hopefully I'll be getting to it sooner rather than later. I'm never current on the hot books these days.

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    1. Me neither! If it wasn't for.my wife I'd be permanently stuck about 5 years behind everyone else!

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  2. I'm hoping to read Gone Girl this year - I'm so behind in the "popular books".

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  3. Enjoy all your books...haven't read Gone Girl, but friend has. She liked it.

    Elizabeth
    Silver's Reviews
    My Mailbox Monday

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    1. Yeah, I hear it's pretty fantabulous. Thanks for stopping by!

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  4. I've seen lots of things about Gone Girl, but haven't read it yet. Enjoy!
    2 Kids and Tired Books MM

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    1. That in itself.should say a lot. But then we're reminded of 50 Shades of Grey and... *shudder*

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  5. Gone Girl sounds good.

    http://tributebooksmama.blogspot.com/2013/01/mailbox-monday.html

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  6. I read Gone Girl, it was messed up. I have her other two on the TBR - saving for when I want to read about gnarly people. Enjoy your books, they sound really good! I read Ender's Game just last year and want to check out at least the first Bean book - I hear it is super fun.

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    1. I think just about anything written by Gillian Flynn is going to be f***ed up. And yes, the Ender series is wonderful. Ima have to read more.

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  7. An excellent list there. You got a ton of great reads. I adored Ender's Game and don't read the others for fear it'll ruin Ender's for me. Gone Girl I won ages ago I plan on reading that one this year myself.

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    1. I still need to read ender's game at some point. Maybe my library will have an audiobook copy?

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  8. Hmmm... a comparatively slow week for my 'mailbox'. "Everything Was Goodbye" by Gurjinder Basran, about a young woman of Indian heritage growing up in suburban Vancouver; "Vacuum Diagrams", a collection of short stories by Stephen Baxter; Michael Ondaatje's "The Cat's Table" for next month's book club, and, joy of joys, "Classics of Western Literature: Bloom County 1986-1989" by the inestimable Berke Breathed ($2 from Value Village... *swoons*).

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  9. I'm very curious about "Gone Girl"... looks like it's right up my alley.

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  10. I'm curious about the new york times front pages book. i have first revised edition from 2009, which very clearly states on the cover that it has Cd's that contain all the front pages from 1851 to the summer of 2009.

    I'm considering getting it as a birthday present, but would like to know if the 2012 edition does contain the Cd's with all the front pages ( updated to 2012 of course) on them and the cover redesign simply didn't leave time to say that, or if they the got rid of the Cd's for this edition.

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    1. Hey there,

      Yeah, I noticed what you were talking about on the back page. There's a quote from some person talking about the book who mentions "DVDs" containing all the front pages not reproduced in the book. But my copy didn't come with that. All it came with was a shoddy plastic bookmark. Maybe I didn't get it because I bought mine off the bargain shelf at Barnes & Noble? Not sure.

      Anyway, looks like I have the same problem as you. Sorry I couldn't help more. :/

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    2. that's all right. even if they don't have the Cd's ill probably just keep the ones that came with my old edition and get the new edition anyways.

      but thanks for the help all the same.

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