Sunday, September 19, 2010

Mailbox Monday-- Autumn Is On Hold


Mailbox Monday is on tour! That's right-- my favorite weekly meme is out and about. For the entire month of September you'll be able to find Mailbox Monday on Bermudaonion's Weblog. If taking a look at the books other people discovered in their mailboxes intrigues you, and if you'd like to participate, this just might be the meme for you. Thanks for hosting, Kathy!

I know many of you are familiar with putting books on hold at your local libraries, but here in the Sonoran Desert, it seems that someone put a season on hold. Although it's supposed to be autumn in a couple of days, we're breaking records. We'll break another one today if Mother Nature has her way-- 108°F. (42°C.). Stay in the pool with a good book and a cold drink, eh?

This week I started hauling myself back up on the restraint-in-book-buying wagon. I sent 12 books to new Paperback Swap (PBS) foster homes and received 4. Here's the scoop on the four that I pulled out of my mailbox:
  1. Slipknot by Linda Greenlaw (PBS). "Jane Bunker gave up her law-enforcement job in Florida to become a marine consultant in Green Haven, Maine. She was hoping for a little quiet time, inspecting businesses for insurance-code violations, but what she found instead was a dead body, a murderous conspiracy, and a town where everybody seems to have a secret. The author, who lives in Maine (where she operates a lobster boat), does an excellent job of portraying a small town and its citizens. Her handling of the mystery elements of the story is less solid—she's guilty of a few rookie mistakes, such as making key plot points just a little too obvious—but she's a smooth writer, and Jane is a likable protagonist. Given room to grow, this series could enjoy a long life."
  2. Buck Fever by Ben Rehder (PBS). "County game warden John Marlin and Sheriff Herbert Mackey lock horns when two dumb-and-dumber poachers accidentally shoot another idiotic guy wearing a deer costume. The poachers also wound a particularly rambunctious big-antlered buck, which just happens to be Marlin's former pet. Elsewhere in the county, a body is discovered beneath a shoddily repaired bridge, and a slick, drug-dealing Colombian comes looking for a game, ranch-owning, crooked lobbyist. This is a wild and crazy first novel, crowded with weird people, unusual relationships (both animal and human), and frequent humor that will appeal to fans of Carl Hiaasen, Tim Dorsey, and other comic mystery writers."
  3. A Small Death in Lisbon by Robert Wilson (PBS). "The real star of this gripping and beautifully written mystery (which won the British Crime Writers' Golden Dagger Award for Best Crime Novel last year) is Portugal, whose history and people come to life on every page. Wilson tells two stories: the investigation into the brutal sex murder of a 15-year-girl in 1998, and the tangled, bloody saga of a financial enterprise that begins with the Nazis in 1941. Although the two stories seem unrelated, both are so strong and full of fascinating characters that readers' attention (and their faith that they will eventually be connected) should never waver. The author creates three compelling protagonists: middle-aged detective Jose Coelho, better known as Ze; Ze's late British wife, whom he met while exiled in London with his military officer father during the anti-Salazar political uprisings of the 1970s; and Ze's wise, talented and sexually active 16-year-old daughter. The first part of the WWII story focuses on an ambitious, rough-edged but likeable Swabian businessman, Klaus Felsen, convinced by the Gestapo to go to Portugal and seize the lion's share of that country's supply of tungsten, vital to the Nazi war effort. Later, we meet Manuel Abrantes, a much darker and more dangerous character, who turns out to be the main link between the past and the present. As Ze sifts through the sordid circumstances surrounding the murder of the promiscuous daughter of a powerful, vindictive lawyer, Wilson shines a harsh light on contemporary Portuguese society. Then, in alternating chapters, he shows how and why that society developed. All this and a suspenseful mystery-- who could ask for more?"
  4. Waking the Ancients: A Novel of the Mogollon Rim by Gail Wanman Holstein (PBS). "Leah Ellis has been disturbed by her husband's behavior ever since they moved to Phoenix. Heir to a fortune back east, Branson now denounces his Philadelphia family. He is captivated by the ruins of ancient people who disappeared centuries ago and speaks of the Anasazi as if he knows them personally. His only possession is his medicine bundle, a spooky heap of fetishes, feathers, and bones. Branson's new mentor, a charismatic renegade archaeologist, does little to calm Leah's jitters. She remains devoted and supportive, however, until a camping trip to the massive Mogollon Rim with their children and her best friend turns into an outrageous experiment. Suddenly Leah must learn new skills: how to hunt with stone-age tools, how to live with ghosts. Most of all, she must control her fear and resentment. As nights turn frigid and the ponderosa forest grows lonelier, the little tribe's existence becomes a desperate struggle for survival. But Leah has her 'magic' from a cave, which might be powerful enough to summon the ancients to her rescue—if she lives long enough to use it." 

Have any of you read any of these four books? Would you recommend them? If they're new to you, did you add any of them to your own wish lists? Which ones? You know I'm nosy!

Now comes the best part: visiting all the participants to see what goodies they discovered in their mailboxes!

See you next Monday with another batch of lovelies from my mailbox!

36 comments:

  1. Slipknot looks really good, will be putting it on my reminder list. You received some great looking books :) Enjoy them!!

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  2. Bookaddict-- Thanks, I will! :)

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  3. I'm so impressed when you manage to reduce the number of books in your home. I did take a bag full to the library last week, so I think I came out negative as well, now that I think of it! I haven't read any of your new books - I hope you enjoy them.

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  4. Cathy - OK, I want your secret for focusing your TBR list and your book collection as you have! All of your new books look terrific, too; I hope you'll enjoy them all. And I think I'm putting Slipknot on my own TBR list.

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  5. Kathy-- I've got a whole stack of books sitting on my desk waiting to be listed at PBS. I only list them 2 or 3 at a time so I won't have to bust a gut hauling a ton of books to the post office! LOL

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  6. A Small Death in Lisbon looks really good. Happy reading!

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  7. A Small Death in Lisbon seems like my type of read. Intense suspense in the guise of a mystery... you can't go wrong with that!

    Great Mailbox AGAIN!

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  8. I haven't heard or read any of these books. Hope you enjoy them. I had to restrain myself and walk past the book section at WalMart when I went shopping with my daughter today!

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  9. Great haul. I haven't read them. I was able to have 6 books leave my house this week. One to PBS. Enjoy!

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  10. We've had temps in the low 60s the past week but I just heard we'll be back in the 80s on Tuesday. Fall going out like a lion? Soon enough I'll be complaining about shoveling snow so I'll put up with warm weather as long as it's around. I do hope you cool off a bit though!

    I haven't read any of the books but the first one got my attention. Have a great week, Cathy.

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  11. These all sound good, but Slipknot really has me intrigued.

    Hope you enjoy your books.

    Here's mine:

    Click my name

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  12. These are all new books to me, I hope you enjoy them all. Happy reading!

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  13. I'm not familiar with any of those. Hope you enjoy them. I wouldn't mind it if you sent some of that heat to Michigan though!! The leaves are turning...egads!

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  14. I haven't read any of these. They sound great. Enjoy!!

    We're starting to see signs of fall, which makes me very, very happy. I'm ready for summer to be done!

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  15. Great books this week though I'[m not familiar with any of them, they do sound good.

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  16. I havent read any of them but will wait to see your reviews. Here we are having heavy rains which are very welcome after the heat.

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  17. Those are new to me but A Small Death in Lisbon and Waking the Ancients: A Novel of the Mogollon Rim sounds good! Enjoy!
    I don't think it's ever been that hot in here, thankfully!

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  18. I've not read any of these, but I hope you enjoy them! Thanks for visiting The Crowded Leaf.

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  19. I sent some books to a friend this last week. It feels good to get a few books out of the way for new books! Your new books look very suspenseful!

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  20. A Small Death in Lisbon caught my eye. Enjoy your new books and stay cool!

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  21. How good you have been this week!

    As I very rarely part with a book, I suppose my conscience should be tar black. I ordered no less than six cosy mysteries yesterday, enjoying that I have the very good excuse of having to learn the ropes :D

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  22. I'm addicted to swapping books at PBS too! Enjoy all of your new finds!

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  23. I haven't read any of your new boos, but they all sound good. Enjoy!

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  24. I haven't heard of any of these, but I hope you enjoy them!

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  25. I haven't read any of these, but "Waking the Ancients" definitely sounds like one for me!

    Julie @ Knitting and Sundries

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  26. Great stack of books!

    I can't even IMAGINE a heat wave. We've been in freeze mode in Alberta Canada for a couple of weeks now. I think our high today was plus 7 degrees celsius! AND rain.. and tomorrow it's actually going to SNOW! Global warming my butt!
    LOL!!

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  27. Great stack of books!

    I can't even IMAGINE a heat wave. We've been in freeze mode in Alberta Canada for a couple of weeks now. I think our high today was plus 7 degrees celsius! AND rain.. and tomorrow it's actually going to SNOW! Global warming my butt!
    LOL!!

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  28. Haven't read any of them. The paperback swap sounds interesting,

    Wow, that's quite a heat wave. We're still having summer here in the midwest too.

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  29. The number of books that pass through your hands never ceases to amaze me.

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  30. I've been very curious about Linda Greenlaw's nonfiction.

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  31. I'm especially curious about your view on A Small Death in Lisbon. My grandparents always had stories about mining volfram up in the Portuguese mountains and that's a big part of the book. And my father also has his own stories about fighting Salazar.

    I read it a few years ago and remember that I found it entertaining, but had problems with some assumptions. Let's discuss once you finished it :)

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  32. Margot-- It's the librarian in me?

    Kate-- Thanks for stopping by!

    Aisle-- Slipknot and A Small Death in Lisbon seem to be this week's winners. ;)

    Laura-- When I went to the malls a lot, I had friends who would purposely position themselves between me and the bookstores in an effort to keep me out of them. It worked. Sometimes.

    Toni-- I know some folks think it's sacrilege to part with books, but I was running out of room. At least this way, I have places to put my new acquisitions!

    Mary-- It was soooooo nice to move to Phoenix and leave my snow shovel behind!

    Laurel-- Thanks for stopping by!

    Jennifer-- Thanks!

    Staci-- If I could share... I would! By the time mid-September rolls around, it should be cooling down!

    Holly-- Enjoy fall!

    Ryan-- Thanks for stopping by!

    Mystica-- Heavy rains bother me here. The ground is so hard there's nowhere for the water to go. If there's flooding, it usually turns my swimming pool into a mud pit. :(

    Elysium-- I tend to like the heat, but I still think there are times that it should go elsewhere! LOL

    Alayne-- You're welcome!

    Gautami-- Thanks for stopping by!

    Beth-- That's it: gotta turn loose of some so there's always room for new batches!

    Anna-- I'm trying!

    Dorte-- Enjoy those books you ordered!

    Amused-- It's always nice to meet another PBS member!

    Carol-- Thanks!

    DC-- Thanks!

    Julie-- Since I know the area the book is set in, I'm interested in that one, too!

    Lisa-- Keep warm!!

    Leslie-- Paperback Swap has been a wonderful addition to my career as a bookaholic.

    RAnn-- I'm an addict!

    Beth-- It does me, too.

    Alexandra-- I'd love to, but heaven only knows when I'll get around to reading it!

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  33. I have read A SMALL DEATH IN LISBON twice, the second time after reading Wilson's Javier Falcon series set in Seville. Falcon is a detective inspector drive by his own demons, chasing him out of his family's past.

    The Falcon series is well-worth reading, but is not quite as compelling as A SMALL DEATH IN LISBON. Ze Coelho deserves a long life.

    Beth

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  34. Wow you sent out a ton of books through PBS! You should check out Swap.com as well! I love them so much...I think I've done 130 + trades in the last 8 months!

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  35. Beth-- Thanks so much for the info!

    Tara-- I've done about 800 in less than 18 months. I'd hate to see what I'd do by joining another swap site. Probably have to sell my soul to the USPS! LOL

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