Monday, September 19, 2011

~ Mailbox Monday ~

Welcome to Mailbox Monday, a weekly meme created by Marcia from A Girl and Her Books. Here, Book Lovers share the titles they received for review, purchased, or otherwise obtained over the course of the past week. Mailbox Monday currently is on tour, and this month’s host is Amused by Books  Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists!

Fathermucker by Greg Olear (publisher via TLC Book Tours)
A day in the life of a dad on the brink: Josh Lansky—second-rate screenwriter, fledgling freelancer, and stay-at-home dad of two preschoolers—has held everything together while his wife is away on business . . . until this morning’s playdate, when he finds out through the mommy grapevine that she might be having an affair. What Josh needs is a break. He’s not going to get one.

The Improper Life of Bezellia Grove by Susan Gregg Gilmore (win from Raging Bibliomania)
Bezellia Grove, who is one of a long line of Bezellia Groves in one of Nashville’s oldest families, dreams of someday living up to the name that looms so large in her heritage. But her family is not as stable as everyone thinks. Her mother is strict and proper, when not drinking, and her father is never home, preferring to work long hours. Bezellia and her younger sister are raised by the household servants, Nathaniel and Maizelle, who are more like parents to them than their real ones. When Nathaniel’s smart, good-looking son Samuel appears, Bezellia is completely smitten. But the South in the 1960s is not a welcoming place for Samuel, especially when he falls in love with a white woman. Bezellia must decide whether it’s her heart or her heritage that is most important. Gilmore’s second novel (after Looking for Salvation at the Dairy Queen, 2008) is a highly emotional story that vividly evokes a sense of place, the 1960s era, and the heady feelings of first love. (Hilary Hatton: Booklist)

The Glimpse Traveler by Marrianne Boruch (win from she reads and reads)
When she joins a pair of hitchhikers on a trip to California, a young Midwestern woman embarks on a journey about memory and knowledge, beauty and realization. This true story, set in 1971, recounts a fateful, nine-day trip into the American counterculture that begins on a whim and quickly becomes a mission to unravel a tragic mystery. The narrator's path leads her to Berkeley, San Francisco, Mill Valley, Big Sur, and finally to an abandoned resort motel, now become a down-on-its-luck commune in the desert of southern Colorado. Neither a memoir about private misery, nor a shocking exposé of life in a turbulent era, The Glimpse Traveler describes with wry humor and deep feeling what it was like to witness a peculiar and impossibly rich time.

Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell (sent from a friend)
From David Mitchell, the Booker Prize nominee, award-winning writer and one of the featured authors in Granta’s “Best of Young British Novelists 2003” issue, comes his highly anticipated third novel, a work of mind-bending imagination and scope.

A reluctant voyager crossing the Pacific in 1850; a disinherited composer blagging a precarious livelihood in between-the-wars Belgium; a high-minded journalist in Governor Reagan’s California; a vanity publisher fleeing his gangland creditors; a genetically modified “dinery server” on death-row; and Zachry, a young Pacific Islander witnessing the nightfall of science and civilisation -- the narrators of Cloud Atlas hear each other’s echoes down the corridor of history, and their destinies are changed in ways great and small.

In his captivating third novel, David Mitchell erases the boundaries of language, genre and time to offer a meditation on humanity’s dangerous will to power, and where it may lead us.

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz (sent by a friend)
This is the long-awaited first novel from one of the most original and memorable writers working today.

Things have never been easy for Oscar, a sweet but disastrously overweight, lovesick Dominican ghetto nerd. From his home in New Jersey, where he lives with his old-world mother and rebellious sister, Oscar dreams of becoming the Dominican J. R. R. Tolkien and, most of all, of finding love. But he may never get what he wants, thanks to the Fukœ-the curse that has haunted the Oscar's family for generations, dooming them to prison, torture, tragic accidents, and, above all, ill-starred love. Oscar, still waiting for his first kiss, is just its most recent victim.

Díaz immerses us in the tumultuous life of Oscar and the history of the family at large, rendering with genuine warmth and dazzling energy, humor, and insight the Dominican-American experience, and, ultimately, the endless human capacity to persevere in the face of heartbreak and loss. A true literary triumph, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao confirms Junot Díaz as one of the best and most exciting voices of our time

Still Life with Woodpecker by Tim Robbins (Paper Back Swap)
is a sort of a love story that takes place inside a pack of Camel cigarettes. It reveals the purpose of the moon, explains the difference between criminals and outlaws, examines the conflict between social activism and romantic individualism, and paints a portrait of contemporary society that includes powerful Arabs, exiled royalty, and pregnant cheerleaders. It also deals with the problem of redheads.


  1. I have Bezellia Grove. I have had many people say they really enjoyed it. Congrats on your wins!

  2. The title of that first book cracks me up!

  3. Very interesting mailbox, enjoy!

  4. So glad you got The Glimpse Traveler -- I'm looking forward to your thoughts on it! Enjoy all your new books!

  5. Some great books there! I loved Cloud Atlas, but it wasn't an easy read. One to read when you havea lot of time.

  6. Some great books there! I loved Cloud Atlas, but it wasn't an easy read. One to read when you havea lot of time.

  7. I think I need to look for the first book ;-)

  8. Wow, you certainly had a great week in books! I've heard good things about Cloud Atlas and The Improper Life of Bezellia Grove looks really good. Enjoy your new books!

  9. I have Bezillia too. We should read it together one of these days. Happy reading - you got lots of great books.

  10. OMG! I LOVE LOVE LOVE Still Life With Woodpecker! That was my IT book in college. Even kept a Camel pack on my desk for the longest time because of that book. Can't wait to see what you think of it.

    And that title of the first one just cracks me up!

  11. It's been years since I read Still Life with Woodpecker but loved it. Love Tom Robbins but he's one of those authors that doesn't seem to make it around on the book blogosphere often. Hope you enjoy!