Monday, July 19, 2010

Mailbox Monday

It's Mailbox Monday, a fun weekly meme sponsored by Marcia at The Printed Page.  Just as the post office or mailbox is a place to gather to share the news, this gives readers  a chance to share the books that came into their house last week.  This week brought quite an eclectic assortment from four new authors. They should definitely keep me from getting bored.

The War Lovers by Evan Thomas.  This was an audio book I won in a contest held by Gaby at Starting Fresh.  I love audio books, and I'm really looking forward to this one.  I just finished reading James Bradley's The Imperial Cruise and I'm holding off reviewing it, so I can compare the two.  They both cover about the same material but I 'm hoping they offer different perspectives.  Here's the description for this one:

On February 15, 1898, the USS Maine exploded in the Havana Harbor. Although there was no evidence that the Spanish were responsible, yellow newspapers such as William Randolph Hearst's New York Journal whipped Americans into frenzy by claiming that Spain's "secret infernal machine" had destroyed the battleship. Soon after, the blandly handsome and easily influenced President McKinley declared war, sending troops not only to Cuba but also to the Philippines, Spain's sprawling colony on the other side of the world.
As Evan Thomas reveals in his rip-roaring history of those times, the hunger for war had begun years earlier. Depressed by the "closing" of the Western frontier and embracing theories of social Darwinism, a group of warmongers that included a young Teddy Roosevelt and Henry Cabot Lodge agitated loudly and incessantly that the United States exert its influence across the seas. These hawks would transform American foreign policy and, when Teddy ascended to the presidency, commence with a devastating war without reason, concocted within the White House--a bloody conflict that would come at tremendous cost.

Thrillingly written and brilliantly researched, THE WAR LOVERS is the story of six men at the center of a transforming event in U.S. history: Roosevelt, Lodge, Hearst, McKinley, William James, and Thomas Reed, and confirms once more than Evan Thomas is a popular historian of the first rank.

The Secret Lives of Baba Segi's Wives

by Lola Shoneyin. My win from June's Early Review Program at
From the back cover.....
Meet Baba Segi . . .
A plump, vain, and prosperous middle-aged man of robust appetites, Baba Segi is the patriarch of a large household that includes a quartet of wives and seven children. But his desire to possess more just might be his undoing.
And his wives . . .
  - Iya Segi—the bride of Baba Segi's youth, a powerful, vindictive woman who will stop at nothing to protect her favored position as ruler of her husband's home.
  - Iya Tope—Baba Segi's second wife, a shy, timid woman whose decency and lust for life are overshadowed by fear.
 - Iya Femi—the third wife, a scheming woman with crimson lips and expensive tastes who is determined to attain all that she desires, no matter what the cost.
  - Bolanle—Babi Segi's fourth and youngest wife, an educated woman wise to life's misfortunes who inspires jealousy in her fellow wives . . . and who harbors a secret that will expose shocking truths about them all.
I love to read books that describe different cultures and lifestyles so I'm really looking forward to this one set in Nigeria.
All Over the Map
by Laura Fraser. This was an ARC sent by the publisher Harmony Books as part of their "Read It Forward" program.  From the back cover:
The bestselling author of An Italian Affair buys us the plane tickets and takes us in search of adventure and romance as she wonders whether it's possible, in midlife, to have it all.

From Amazon:   Travel writer Fraser enchanted readers with her tale of her post divorce romance with a sophisticated French professor in An Italian Affair (2001). She continues the story here, beginning with the end of the affair after the professor finds someone he wants to settle down with. Fraser wants the same thing, but she still finds herself most drawn to free-spirited men looking for flings, not relationships. An assault in Samoa leaves her shaken—and afraid to travel alone. Fraser turns her focus inward, trying to find peace through meditation and to temper her impulsiveness. Her forty-fifth birthday brings the end of a relationship and the beginning of something new when Fraser travels to the Mexican city of San Miguel de Allende and finds herself contemplating buying a house. The title is an apt description of both Fraser’s travels—which include jaunts to Italy, Provence, and Rwanda described in evocative, lush prose—and her frame of mind over the course of the eight years that her winning coming-of-middle-age memoir spans. 
We may have seen other stories about middle aged women starting over, but I'm betting this one will have a better than average share of emotions, adventures, and interesting scenes.


Stay a Little Longer by Dorothy Garlock.
In Stay a Little Longer, Dorothy Garlock, “the premier writer of Americana romance” (Booklist), takes us back to the country’s heartland at the end of World War I, and the town of Carlson, Minnesota, where many young men were lost. Yet the person Rachel Watkins mourns most is her sister who died giving birth not long after learning her new husband, a soldier, was dead. Rachel has raised her niece Charlotte, now 8 years old, and ekes out a meager living running her family’s boarding house.

But more hardship stands on her threshold. Charlotte’s father, Mason Turner, came from a powerful family at the helm of which sits his odious brother, who covets Rachel’s property for business reasons, and is not above using unscrupulous means to get it.

What distracts Rachel from the encroaching battle is the dangerously ill stranger Charlotte happens upon in the woods. Was he hiding? Unkempt in appearance, his face nearly obscured by a heavy beard, the man looks oddly familiar. But as Rachel nurses the mysterious loner back to health, she recognizes that they both share an implacable will to survive…and something else neither can deny. What will Rachel risk to attain a dream she never imagined possible?
 The only problem with a pile of books this interesting is trying to decide where to put them in the queue.  I want to read them all right away.


  1. Pace thyself, Tutu! Sounds like a wonderful week for your mailbox. Enjoy them all.


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