Monday, June 25, 2012

Mailbox Monday - June 25th

Some wonderful goodies have arrived these past two weeks.  I've been wallowing in a couple of them already.  In real book form I got:

A review copy I requested via Shelf Awareness. I  enjoyed Julia Stuart's The Tower, the Zoo and the Tortoise so I'm looking forward to this murder mystery set in Victorian England.  I think it will be a perfect vacation read.
When Indian Princess Alexandrina is left penniless by the sudden death of her father, the Maharaja of Brindor, Queen Victoria grants her a grace-and-favor home in Hampton Court Palace. Though rumored to be haunted, Alexandrina and her lady's maid, Pooki, have no choice but to take the Queen up on her offer. The princess is soon befriended by three eccentric widows who invite her to a picnic with all the palace's inhabitants, for which Pooki bakes a pigeon pie. But when General-Major Bagshot dies after eating said pie, and the coroner finds traces of arsenic in his body, Pooki becomes the #1 suspect in a murder investigation.
With her trademark wit and charm, Julia Stuart introduces us to an outstanding cast of lovable oddballs, from the palace maze-keeper to the unconventional Lady Beatrice (who likes to dress up as a toucan—don't ask), as she guides us through the many delightful twists and turns in this fun and quirky murder mystery. Everyone is hiding a secret of the heart, and even Alexandrina may not realize when she's caught in a maze of love.
The publisher's blurb got my attention on this one.  I can't remember if I've ever read anything described as a farce (is that a genre?) and it looks like fun, so I think this one may go in the beach bag also.
The great master of farce turns to an exclusive island retreat for a comedy of mislaid identities, unruly passions, and demented, delicious disorder
On the private Greek island of Skios, the high-paying guests of a world-renowned foundation prepare for the annual keynote address, to be given this year by Dr. Norman Wilfred, an eminent authority on the scientific organization of science. He turns out to be surprisingly youthful, handsome, and charming—quite unlike his reputation as dry and intimidating. Everyone is soon eating out of his hands. So, even sooner, is Nikki, the foundation's attractive and efficient organizer.
Meanwhile, in a remote villa at the other end of the island, Nikki's old friend Georgie has rashly agreed to spend a furtive horizontal weekend with a notorious schemer, who has characteristically failed to turn up. Trapped there with her instead is a pompous, balding individual called Dr. Norman Wilfred, who has lost his whereabouts, his luggage, his temper, and increasingly all sense of reality—indeed, everything he possesses other than the text of a well-traveled lecture on the scientific organization of science.
In a spiraling farce about upright academics, gilded captains of industry, ambitious climbers, and dotty philanthropists, Michael Frayn, the farceur "by whom all others must be measured" (CurtainUp), tells a story of personal and professional disintegration, probing his eternal theme of how we know what we know even as he delivers us to the outer limits of hilarity.
This is one I received via the Early Reviewers' Program at LibraryThing.  I've been reading quite a few books set in India lately, and this one caught my eye.  Who says book covers don't sell books?  Several of my fellow LT members have already had great things to say about this one, so into the beach bag it goes.
Meet Jana Bibi, a Scottish woman helping to save the small town in India she has grown to call home and the oddball characters she considers family
Janet Laird's life changed the day she inherited her grandfather's house in a faraway Indian hill station. Ignoring her son's arguments to come grow old in their family castle in Scotland, she moves with her chatty parrot, Mr. Ganguly and her loyal housekeeper, Mary, to Hamara Nagar, where local merchants are philosophers, the chief of police is a tyrant, and a bagpipe-playing Gurkha keeps the wild monkeys at bay. Settling in, Jana Bibi (as she comes to be known) meets her colorful local neighbors—Feroze Ali Khan of Royal Tailors, who struggles with his business and family, V.K. Ramachandran, whose Treasure Emporium is bursting at the seams with objects of unknown provenance, and Rambir, editor of the local newspaper, who burns the midnight oil at his printing press. When word gets out that the town is in danger of being drowned by a government dam, Jana is enlisted to help put it on the map. Hoping to attract tourists with promises of good things to come, she stacks her deck of cards, readies her fine-feathered assistant—and Jana Bibi's Excellent Fortunes is born.
This one arrived as a "special delivery" from my daughter when she visited earlier this month.  I'd had my eye on it for awhile.  Daughter (whose book reading opinions are highly valued) says it's a hoot and a must read.
For fans of Tina Fey and David Sedaris—Internet star Jenny Lawson, aka The Bloggess, makes her literary debut.
 Jenny Lawson realized that the most mortifying moments of our lives—the ones we’d like to pretend never happened—are in fact the ones that define us. In Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, Lawson takes readers on a hilarious journey recalling her bizarre upbringing in rural Texas, her devastatingly awkward high school years, and her relationship with her long-suffering husband, Victor. Chapters include: “Stanley the Magical, Talking Squirrel”; “A Series of Angry Post-It Notes to My Husband”; “My Vagina Is Fine. Thanks for Asking”; “And Then I Snuck a Dead Cuban Alligator on an Airplane.” Pictures with captions (no one would believe these things without proof) accompany the text.
My virtual mailbox contained several goodies I added to my e-readers recently, either as purchases or as review copies from Net Galley.

You'll be hearing about this one soon.  I got this review copy through Net Galley, took a "quick look" last night, and just about haven't been able to put it down.  It's a real page turner, fiction/mystery based on just enough facts to make it a winner.  Review coming within the week. Teaser now:
 A young Jack Kennedy travels to Europe on a secret mission for Franklin Roosevelt as the world braces for war.
It’s the spring of 1939, and the prospect of war in Europe looms large. The United States has no intelligence service. In Washington, D.C., President Franklin Roosevelt may run for an unprecedented third term and needs someone he can trust to find out what the Nazis are up to. His choice: John F. Kennedy.
This is one hubbie and I both wanted, so it went onto our Nooks earlier this month.  It is a slow, steady and fascinating read.  You probably won't see a review until later this year, but if you're looking for a good solidly written book about Islam, I'd recommend you take a look at this one.  Subtitled: The Birth of Islam and the Rise of the Global Arab Empire, Tom Holland's In the Shadow of the Sword, gives us a timely look at a very important subject, and is filling  in many of  gaps in my understanding of present day events.  And so's been eminently readable,

And finally, here's one I finished a few days ago..the review will be up next week.  I don't usually read "movie tie-in" books, but I so enjoyed the movie that I had to take a look at its origins, and ended up buying this one for the Kindle.  Don't let the title throw you: this is simply the book These Foolish Things, by Deborah Moggach, reprinted with the Movie Title "Best EXOTIC Marigold Hotel".   Both the movie and the book are worth your time.  Lovely, gentle, insightful.  More to come. 

Enough to whet your reading whistles.......
Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house recently. Created by Marcia at The Printed Page, Mailbox Monday, now has its own blog. Hosting duties are rotated every month. This month the host blog Burton Book Reivew.  Be sure to drop by to see what everyone else got this week.


  1. I've been politely ignoring the Jack 1939 book.. it really looks awesome.

  2. You got some fabulous books this week, Tina. Pigeon Pie Murder sure caught my eye. Have a great week and happy reading!

  3. Please bring pigeon Pie Mystery with you, next visit if you can mange.
    Sounds good.
    Marigold Hotel was that e-book or ARD?

    Can't wait to see you!

    1. The Marigold Hotel book was an e-book on my Kindle.

  4. Can't wait to hear about the new Julia Stuart! I want to see Marigold Hotel. I noticed it's playing at our local theatre.

    1. Oh don't walk to the theatre to see the movie. It's particularly telling to anyone over the age of 50, or who is helping parents who have reached their "golden years." And if you're a Judi Dench or Maggie Smith fan, it's a must.

  5. Pigeon Pie Mystery looks good!

  6. hmmm...did you read my Skios review? I did not love it, no. But I agree Jana Bibi's Excellent Fortunes looks great.

  7. We almost went to see The Marigold Hotel this weekend, but the hub didn't seem to excited about the suggestion:) enjoy the new books


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