Mailbox Monday is my favorite meme. It's hosted by Marcia on her blog, The Printed Page. If you'd like to take a look at all the books others have received, click on that redhead over there on the left. She'll take you right to the heart of the action!
Hopefully all of you are sitting down because I know at least a few of you are going to be in shock. There were no books in my mailbox last week. Zip. Zilch. Nada.
Rats. I knew I should've had some smelling salts handy!
I did, however, send 3 books to new Paperback Swap (PBS) foster homes. Before you think that's all she wrote and that I'm going to pack up my tent and leave, think again. Last week I did mention that I had a week's worth of books that I wasn't going to bother to tell anyone about. Well...since this is a bookless week, I changed my mind. These books were received between Christmas and New Year's Day when I'd begun spending my Christmas loot.
- Canyons by Gary Paulsen (PBS). "Cornered in a canyon during his first coming-of-age horse raid, a young Apache brave, Coyote Runs, is shot execution-style by soldiers from Fort Bliss. One hundred years later, Brennan Cole discovers a skull with a hole through its forehead in a canyon where he's been camping and becomes obsessed by the need to find out the who, what, and why of the skull. With the help of a pathologist, his high-school biology teacher, and someone from the Western Historical Archives in Denver, Brennan pieces the story together. The bond between the two boys, a century apart in time but so close in age and spirit, grows stronger as Brennan now searches for the final answer: why is Coyote Runs' spirit so restless, and what does it want of him?"
- Mission to Sonora by Rebecca Cramer (PBS). "When Linda Bluenight's teenage son, Matty, stumbles across a corpse while hiking in Ventana Canyon, her past experience in forensic anthropology catches up with her. The short-handed Tucson PD asks for her help with the autopsy, and her findings lead her to believe the Tohono O'odham boy arrested for the crime is not guilty. As she investigates a lengthy list of suspects, Linda and her son both become targets for an unknown adversary bent on scaring her off the scent and back to the day job she loves - teaching children at the San Xavier del Bac Mission school."
- The Education of Patience Goodspeed by Heather Vogel Frederick (PBS). "This sequel to The Voyage of Patience Goodspeed finds the Morning Star docked at Lahaina, Maui. While the whaling ship is repaired and provisioned, Captain Goodspeed, 13-year-old Patience, and her younger brother stay with a missionary family. Patience is astonished when bluestocking Aunt Anne arrives unexpectedly from Nantucket, accompanied by their neighbor, the empty-headed Fanny Starbuck. Certain that Fanny has matrimonial designs on her father, Patience resists the woman's attempts to mold her into a proper lady and happily resumes her duties as assistant navigator once they set sail. Her quick thinking saves the crew from cannibals, but this dangerous encounter convinces her father to return his children and the ladies to Maui for their safety."
- The Black Tower by Louis Bayard (PBS). "In 1818, the notorious Vidocq, a master detective who's rumored to work on both sides of the law, pulls 26-year-old Parisian doctor Hector Carpentier into a torture-murder inquiry. The victim, Chrétien Leblanc, died without revealing that he was on his way to visit Carpentier, news that comes as a complete shock to the doctor, as the dead man was a stranger to him. Vidocq soon discovers that Leblanc was actually in search of Carpentier's late father, who bore the same name. The elder Carpentier cared for Louis-Charles, Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette's young son, who died in prison in 1795."
- Cathy's Book by Sean Stewart and Jordan Weisman (PBS). "Part romance, part thriller, part mystery, Cathy's Book stands on its own beyond the interactive angle and the intense marketing campaign that made it a bestseller. Readers identify with Cathy, they read her story, listen to her phone messages, check out the websites she mentions, and they leave her messages on her MySpace.com page and on a special voicemail. Fans have even created their own videos on YouTube, demonstrating their comfort and familiarity with this level of interactivity and technology."
- The Darkest Room by Johan Theorin (Book Depository). "Stockholm schoolteacher Joakim Westin has just joined his wife, Katrine, and their two young children at their new house on Eel Point on the northern island of Öland. When Katrine mysteriously drowns in shallow water near Eel Point's twin lighthouses, Joakim can't shake the feeling that Katrine is still with him. Though the police declare Katrine's death an accident, a new rookie cop in the area, Tilda Davidsson, isn't convinced and quietly pursues her own investigation. Joakim and Tilda's paths intertwine as they both uncover disturbing secrets about Eel Point's past. Theorin crafts a modern ghost story, expertly weaving together the present with glimpses into the lives—and deaths—of Eel Point's previous residents."
- Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin (PBS). "John Howard Griffin's groundbreaking and controversial novel about his experiences as a white man who transforms himself with the aid of medication and dye in order to experience firsthand the life of a black man living in the Deep South in the late 1950s is a mesmerizing tale of the ultimate sociological experiment."
- Last Rituals by Yrsa Sigurdardóttir (Book Depository). "At a university in Reykjavík, the body of a young German student is discovered, his eyes cut out and strange symbols carved into his chest. Police waste no time in making an arrest, but the victim's family isn't convinced that the right man is in custody. They ask Thóra Gudmundsdóttir, an attorney and single mother of two, to investigate. It isn't long before Thóra and her associate, Matthew Reich, uncover the deceased student's obsession with Iceland's grisly history of torture, execution, and witch hunts. But there are very contemporary horrors hidden in the long, cold shadow of dark traditions. And for two suddenly endangered investigators, nothing is quite what it seems . . . and no one can be trusted."
- A Beautiful Place to Die by Malla Nunn (Book Depository). "In a morally complex tale rich with authenticity, Nunn takes readers to Jacob's Rest, a tiny town on the border between South Africa and Mozambique. It is 1952, and new apartheid laws have recently gone into effect, dividing a nation into black and white while supposedly healing the political rifts between the Afrikaners and the English. Tensions simmer as the fault line between the oppressed and the oppressors cuts deeper, but it's not until an Afrikaner police officer is found dead that emotions more dangerous than anyone thought possible boil to the surface."
- The Sleeping and the Dead by Ann Cleeves (Book Depository). "Detective Peter Porteous has been called to Cranwell Lake, where the body of a teenager has been discovered. After trawling through missing persons files, he deduces that the corpse is Michael Grey, an enigmatic and secretive eighteen-year-old reported missing in 1972. Prison librarian Hannah Morton is about to get the shock of her life. For Michael was her boyfriend, and she was with him the night he disappeared. The news report that his body has been found brings back dreaded and long-buried memories from her past and begins a deadly chain of events."