Monday, August 2, 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.

Ape House by Sara Gruen
 An ARC from Random House.  I loved Water for Elephants, and cannot wait to dive into this one.  The Great Ape Trust blogs about this one..
Truth and fiction are closely aligned in Gruen’s Ape House, a story centered on a fictitious family of language-competent bonobos living in a fictitious language laboratory. The similarities to the language research program at Great Ape Trust – based on the 40-year research corpus of Dr. Duane Rumbaugh, Dr. Sue Savage-Rumbaugh and William M. Fields and seeking to understand the effects of rearing culture on bonobos' cognitive abilities – are no coincidence.
Gruen’s book addresses head-on the idea that bonobos reared in a culture where spoken language and symbolic representation are the norm acquire language the same way human children do: by being exposed to it.
To be published in September 2010
Language God Talks by Herman Wouk
I won this one in a contest on Metroreader: Reading one Mile at a Time
"More years ago than I care to reckon up, I met Richard Feynman." So begins THE LANGUAGE GOD TALKS, Herman Wouk's gem on navigating the divide between science and religion. In one rich, compact volume, Wouk draws on stories from his life as well as on key events from the 20th century to address the eternal questions of why we are here, what purpose faith serves, and how scientific fact fits into the picture. He relates wonderful conversations he's had with scientists such as Feynman, Murray Gell-Mann, Freeman Dyson, and Steven Weinberg, and brings to life such pivotal moments as the 1969 moon landing and the Challenger disaster. Brilliantly written, THE LANGUAGE GOD TALKS is a scintillating and lively investigation and a worthy addition to the literature.
Small Death in the Great Glen by A.D. Scott
A volume I got from the Atrium Galley Grab earlier this year in my capacity as librarian for our small town.   I'm going to have a quick look before I pass it on though because the BOOKLIST *Starred Review* says:
This splendid debut mystery has everything going for it—and a bit more, if you count sly Scottish charm. Scott’s writing is engaging, and her plotting Macbethian. The setting is a village in the Great Glen (roughly encompassing what the author describes as the “fierce and stunning landscape” between Fort William and Inverness) in the Highlands of Scotland. The time, 1956, is fairly calm but close enough to WWII to have residents still recovering from its devastating effects. The main characters cluster in the tiny newspaper offices of the Highland Gazette, a local weekly that is supposed to concentrate on livestock prices, auctions, and obits. Scott brings back the sounds of a precomputerized newsroom, the smells of ink and acid, and the feel of banging out stories (with copy paper!) on an old Underwood. When a little boy is found murdered in the canal just outside the village, the newspaper’s new editor in chief recruits the part-time typist, whose daughters know the murdered child, to help him investigate the case. They uncover a host of secrets and a number of people with a vested interest in keeping the mystery of the boy’s death unsolved. The characters of the crusading small-town newspaperman and the part-time typist (a battered wife at home) are skillfully drawn and will have readers rooting for them unequivocally. This is the first entry in a projected series, and it is captivating on every level. --Connie Fletcher
And finally, sometimes when you wish upon a star, the dream comes true.  In one of my Wednesday Wishlist posts, I said this one looked like a winner.  I was thrilled when a review copy  of  The Doctor and the Diva by Adrienne McDonnell arrived from Pamela Dornan books, a member of the Penguin Group.  It is at the top of the TBR pile and I hope to get to it by the end of the week.
It is 1903. Dr. Ravell is a young Harvard-educated obstetrician with a growing reputation for helping couples conceive. He has treated women from all walks of Boston society, but when Ravell meets Erika-an opera singer whose beauty is surpassed only by her spellbinding voice-he knows their doctor-patient relationship will be like none he has ever had.

After struggling for years to become pregnant, Erika believes there is no hope. Her mind is made up: she will leave her prominent Bostonian husband to pursue her career in Italy, a plan both unconventional and risky. But becoming Ravell's patient will change her life in ways she never could have imagined.

Lush and stunningly realized, The Doctor and the Diva moves from snowy Boston to the jungles of Trinidad to the gilded balconies of Florence. This magnificent debut is a tale of passionate love affairs, dangerous decisions, and a woman's irreconcilable desires as she is forced to choose between the child she has always longed for and the opera career she cannot live without. Inspired by the author's family history, the novel is sensual, sexy, and heart-stopping in its bittersweet beauty.
It was a great mailbox about you?  Did you get anything interesting from the postman this week.


  1. Wow, you did have a good week. So glad you got the Dr & Diva. Enjoy it!

  2. Great books! I am already on the list at the libe for Ape House and The Doctor and Diva is new-to-me and looks good.

  3. the doctor and the diva sounds good...happy reading

  4. I'm looking forward to hearing about Sara Gruen's new book. Have a great week!

  5. We were just talking about The Doctor and the Diva at my book club meeting last night-- one of our members used to take writing classes from the author.

    I'm looking forward to hearing what you and others have to say about it and Ape House.

    Have a great reading week!

  6. Yes, you certainly got some great books this week...I've heard such good things about Ape House, I'll be interested in reading your review.
    I'm probably one of the few people that still hasn't read Like Water for's on that ever growing TBR pile :)

  7. I'm coveting The Ape House!!!!!!! Enjoy them all!

  8. Wow, all your books look great! I look forward to reading your reviews of these books!

    My mailbox is here.

    Happy Reading! :)


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