Monday, March 25, 2013

Mailbox Monday – March 25, 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 Caitlin at Chaotic Compendiums.

--- The Books ---

A Spoonful of Sugar by Brenda Ashford  - Who doesn’t know that lyric from Mary Poppins, “a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down”?  Of course, there are certain types of medicine that can’t be helped by a spoonful of sugar… like the medicine the federal government needs in order to get its head out of its head.  At any rate, it’s an appropriate title for this book, a memoir from an English nanny who nursed babies and changed diapers during the Blitz of World War II.  In this novel the author tells the story of her life and drops pearls of wisdom gleaned from years of raising other people’s children.  Amanda Amaya has taken on this book as part of the blog tour being put on by Providence Book Promotions.

The Magic Circle by Jenny Davidson - Three young women are obsessed with games of all kinds, devoting themselves to both the academic study of play and the design of games based on the secret history of the neighborhood around Columbia University. When live-action role-playing based on classic Greek tragedy is introduced, the games get dangerous.  I myself have never LARPed (Live Action Role Play), but I’ve played just about every other kind of role playing game out there (don’t let your mind run away with you there, kay?), and it sounds interesting as hell.  Evidently Ryan St. Onge thought so too, ‘cos he’s taken it on for review as part of the blog tour with TLC Book Tours.  Expect to hear more sometime in May.

Lost and Found in Russia by Olga Godim – Congratulations of the most verbose order are to our own Olga Godim, who has recently had her first published novel.  It’s through Eternal Press and is about a mother who learns her daughter was switched at birth thirty-four years ago and travels to Russia to find her.  That lost daughter is dealing with her own rebellious daughter, and once through the events of the novel both women search to find their daughters and themselves.  Of course, we’ll still maintain the utmost critical integrity in our review of the work, but it’s too cool that one of our own got her name up in lines.  And really—if you get your book published, you deserve a little love.  Go Olga! 
Mistrial by Mark Geragos & Pat Harris - Who hasn’t seen the media circus that is the Jodi Arias trial these days?  It seems like I can’t turn on the TV without hearing something about that crap.  And while you’d think that such “hyperized” public coverage of the justice system would enhance the public’s knowledge of the legal process.  But it doesn’t.  At least, according to authors Mark Geragos and Pat Harris.  They argue that the media sensationalism shows only a small part of the justice system, and that the reality is much darker and far from “blind.”  Ultimately, the authors question whether a justice system formulated 200 years before the internet, blogs, and the 24 hour news cycle can be viable in today’s world.  Amanda Amaya has taken this one on for review, which promises to be an enlightening read.  Find out more at

The Jeweler by Kenneth S. Murray– Cole Hanson, an emerald dealer in Columbia, is kidnapped and taken to the mountain jungle lair of the Black Jaguar, a cocaine drug lord. He witnesses a horrible triple murder, executes the killer, and escapes.  Hanson is later recruited to become an assassin for the CIA who learns of his strange predilection for death and uses this alter ego to press The Jeweler ever deeper into espionage and assassinations around the world. After twenty years of service, The Jeweler attempts his toughest sanction—an assassination of an impossible target known as “Hussein.”  On April 10, the author will be stopping by for a guest post to talk about his new novel and the real life personalities that inspired it.

The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson – I guess I’m on something of a Scandinavian crime fiction kick these days—at least, when it comes to my library books.  I got this one as an audio book.  I’m not really big on the Swedish crime fiction, but I did enjoy The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo (see the review here), so I thought I’d give the second book in the series a whirl.  So far, so good.  I do have to say, though, the Scandinavian writers seem to be a bit more verbose than their American counterparts.  Or maybe I’m just used to the succinctness of vintage crime fiction.  It’s amazing the amount of inane information Larsson throws into his narrative in order to build up the characters, if not the story.  It works, it’s just that impatient readers might have a few “I don’t give a damn” moments while reading it.

Vanguard of Hope by Kathy Steinmann – This historical fiction novel is set in Lisetville, (England?) in the year 1890, a time when chauvinism and racial prejudice were an accepted part of life.  This is the first in a series of novels about the Sapphire Brigade, an organization dedicated to the protection of children. Set against a backdrop of mystery, murder, and romance, it is the struggle of a woman who copes as well as she can with secrets and personal demons.  Check out more about the book and its author at

And now that we’ve shown you ours, it’s time to show us yours.  What did you get in your mailbox this week?


  1. Nice mailbox pic. I never got into those Stieg Larsson books, but maybe one day I'll read them. Happy reading :)


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