Sunday, December 5, 2010

Monday Mailbox - Dec 6th

Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week.  Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists!
Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia at The Printed Page, is on a blog tour! Last month's host was Julie @ Knitting and Sundries, and she did a fantastic job, and Rose City Reader kicks off 2011.  This month Lady Q at Let Them Read Books is hosting.  Stop on over and see what everyone else got this week (and pick up a yummy sounding recipe to boot!)

This week, I only got two, but they were both great ones.

Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk by David Sedaris

A contest win from Mason Canyon, this delightful little collection of stories from the always entertaining David Sedaris arrived last week.  I have it planned as a birthday gift for someone, but couldn't resist reading it myself.  I haven't read all the stories yet, but am just having so much fun with the ones  I have read.  The publisher says:

Featuring David Sedaris's unique blend of hilarity and heart, this new collection of keen-eyed animal-themed tales is an utter delight. Though the characters may not be human, the situations in these stories bear an uncanny resemblance to the insanity of everyday life.

In "The Toad, the Turtle, and the Duck," three strangers commiserate about animal bureaucracy while waiting in a complaint line. In "Hello Kitty," a cynical feline struggles to sit through his prison-mandated AA meetings. In "The Squirrel and the Chipmunk," a pair of star-crossed lovers is separated by prejudiced family members.

A Widow's Story by Joyce Carol Oates.

An ARC from the publisher, this one is scheduled for publication mid February.  I'm planning to take in on vacation with me in early Feb to have the review ready by publication.  Booklist gave it a starred review. It fits in really well with my memoirs reading which I've decided to extend until I exhaust every memoir on my TBR pile.  It's a genre I'm really enjoying.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Brutal violence and catastrophic loss are often the subjects of Oates’ powerful novels and stories. But as she reveals in this galvanizing memoir, her creative inferno was sequestered from her joyful life with her husband, Raymond Smith. A revered editor and publisher who did not read her fiction, Smith kept their household humming during their 48-year marriage. After his shocking death from a “secondary infection” while hospitalized with pneumonia, Oates found herself in the grip of a relentless waking nightmare. She recounts this horrific “siege” of grief with her signature perception, specificity, and intensity, from epic insomnia and terrifying hallucinations to the torment of “death-duties,” painful recognitions of confidences unshared and secrets harbored, and a chilling evaporation of meaning. But Oates also rallies to offer droll advice on how to be a “good widow” and describes her struggles with mountains of lavish “sympathy gifts” and the attendant trash with a “widow’s slapstick-comedy.” In a stunning extension of the compelling disclosures found in The Journal of Joyce Carol Oates, 1973–1982 (2007), protean and unflinching Oates has created an illuminating portrait of a marriage, a searing confrontation with death, an extraordinarily forthright chronicle of mourning, and a profound “pilgrimage” from chaos to coherence. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: The incomparable, best-selling Oates fascinates readers, and her memoir of sudden widowhood will have an impact similar to Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking (2005). --Donna Seaman
 So what was in your mailbox this week?  


  1. all of these look good. The Sedaris book was a great win; enjoy!

  2. They both look good in different ways! I hope you enjoy them.

  3. I've enjoyed the memoirs I read this year. Hope these are good reads!

  4. Well, you sure won't get bored by these two - so different. Enjoy them, Tina. Have a great week and happy reading!

  5. I have read several Joyce Carol Oates novels, some I loved, and others not so much. It seems that she has an interesting story to tell via her memoir.

    Hope you enjoy your week reading

  6. Nice books. Happy reading! My mailbox is at The Crowded Leaf.

  7. I received for review Out of Touch by Brandon Tietz from the author.

    Twenty-four-year-old Aidin, a wealthy socialite and self-proclaimed "club god," lives a magazine life based on decadence and excess that includes drugs, sex, and gourmet food. It's a life based on surfaces in a place where the surface is all that matters. His therapist later describes him as a materialistic drug addict bent on promiscuity with self-esteem and identity issues.One morning, after a night of heavy partying, Aidin awakes completely vacant of any sensation. He can't feel temperature. He can't feel pressure. He can't feel anything. After a near-fatal stint in denial, he seeks the help of Dr. Paradies, a therapist whose methods are far from conventional. She provides him with a new addiction in the form of a life list--a litany of activities to accomplish. As Aidin completes his list, he discovers talents he never knew he possessed, such as the ability to quickly learn new languages, an IQ off the charts, and amazing physical stamina.With these new discoveries, he questions his doctor's intentions. When Aidin digs for the truth, will he slip back into his addictive habits? Or is there truly a conspiracy underway, as he suspects? The answer forces him to make a life-altering decision.

  8. Great Mailbox! I've yet to read Oates. Sorry it's taken me so long to visit, it's been a busy week!


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