Monday, May 25, 2009

Mailbox Monday-- Almost a Trade-Off

It almost came out even by the end of the week. Almost. I finally got off my duff and posted a few books on PBS. A feeding frenzy snapped up practically every single one--which is good because my Book Depository order arrived. Ten books sent to new PBS foster homes, and eleven arrived. Missed it by this much! I've just got done posting some more books on PBS, so we'll see what happens in next Monday's post!

Here's what came in the mail during the past week:

--AA Leisure Guides: Yorkshire Dales (BD).
"This new activity guide from the AA tells you the best places to visit in the Yorkshire Dales and includes mapped walks, cycle rides and car tours. Inside you'll find easy-to-use and modern layouts with newly commissioned colour photographs to inspire you and area maps which show the area in detail."

--The Mind's Eye
by Hakan Nesser (BD). "
When foreign crime novelists break through in the U.S., it’s often not with the first book in a series; then, riding on success, the earlier volumes are issued. So it was with Henning Mankell’s Kurt Wallander series, and so it is now with Wallander’s fellow Swede Hakan Nesser. This third Inspector Van Veeteren novel to appear here is actually the first in the series. Van Veeteren’s sense that Janek Mitter didn’t kill his wife doesn’t keep the man out of prison; the inspector only knows he was right when Mitter is murdered on the day he is released. Effectively combining police procedural and psychological thriller, Nesser lets us into the heads of both his hero and the people he investigates." (Sometimes it pays to come to a series late!)

--The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson (BD).
The Girl Who Played with Fire is that rare thing–a sequel that is even better than the book that went before . . . A combination of urgent, multilayered thriller, traditional police procedural and articulate examination of the way a supposedly open-minded country like Sweden treats its vulnerable women and children.”

--The Broken Shore by Peter Temple (BD).
"Joe Cashin, a city homicide cop recovering from an injury, returns to the quiet coastal area of South Australia where he grew up. There he investigates the beating death of elderly millionaire Charles Bourgoyne. After three aboriginal teens try to sell Bourgoyne's missing watch, the cops ambush the boys, killing two. When the department closes the case, Joe, a melancholy, combative cynic sympathetic to underdogs, decides to find the truth on his own. His unauthorized inquiry, which takes him both back in time and sideways into a netherworld of child pornography and sexual abuse, leads to a shocking conclusion.

--The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett (BD). "
Briskly original and subversively funny, this novella from popular British writer Bennett sends Queen Elizabeth II into a mobile library van in pursuit of her runaway corgis and into the reflective, observant life of an avid reader."

--Mariana by Susanna Kearsley (BD). "
The first time Julia Beckett saw Greywethers she was only five, but she knew that it was her house. And now that she's at last become its owner, she suspects that she was drawn there for a reason. As if Greywethers were a portal between worlds, she finds herself transported into seventeenth-century England, becoming Mariana, a young woman struggling against danger and treachery, and battling a forbidden love. Each time Julia travels back, she becomes more enthralled with the past...until she realizes Mariana's life is threatening to eclipse her own, and she must find a way to lay the past to rest or lose the chance for happiness in her own time."

--The Merchant's Mark by Pat McIntosh (BD). "
In McIntosh's gripping third 15th-century historical featuring Scotsman Gil Cunningham, the young lawyer-to-be finds himself in the middle of a murder inquiry when a Glasgow merchant friend, Augie Morison, discovers a severed head in a barrel that should have contained books. When Morison is accused of the murder, the amateur sleuth, aided by his future father-in-law, Master Pierre, seeks to identify the victim, as well as the source of the valuable jewels that were also concealed in the barrel.

--The Lost Gardens of Heligan by Tim Smit (BD). "
A lavish record of the discovery and revival of a magnificent Victorian estate, hailed by The Times as 'the garden restoration of the century.'"

--The Keeper of Secrets by Judith Cutler (BD).
"England 1810. Young Parson Tobias Campion is excited and nervous to be starting at the small parish of Moreton Priory. But his first night in the village brings excitement of the wrong kind when he has to intervene in the attempted rape of housemaid Lizzie Woodman. Even in the normal course of events life in the village is far from quiet, as soon Tobias has to deal with both violent and suspicious deaths that put his character and ministry to the test. But matters come to a head when Lizzie disappears from her employers. What has become of the girl and who is responsible? As Tobias searches for answers they find themselves delving into the dark secrets that haunt Lizzie's past."

--Sea Room, An Island Life in the Hebrides by Adam Nicolson (BD).
"For his 21st birthday, Nicolson's father gave him some islands among the Scottish Outer Hebrides, 600 acres worth of land that the elder Nicolson had purchased on a whim in 1937. At various times, the Sussex-based writer recalls, the Shiant islands "have been the most important thing in my life," and he has produced a vivid, meticulously researched paean to his "heartland," examining its geology, its flora and fauna, and its history as he reminisces about his own idylls there. The islands, now uninhabited except by the Nicolsons, are outcroppings of grass and rock and stark black cliffs, surrounded by churning waters that are notoriously difficult to negotiate. Until 1901, they were continuously inhabited for thousands of years by an eighth-century hermit, medieval farmers, Irish Jacobite rebels and others documented by Nicolson. The islands are also an important breeding station for birds, and Nicolson observes the comings and goings of geese, puffins and razorbills.

--Hand-Feeding Backyard Birds by Hugh Wiberg (PBS).
"Hugh Wiberg has been hand feeding birds for more than 20 years. He has enjoyed it so much, he decided to help others do it. It takes patience and persistence. Then again, people who like birds, but have no intention of standing out in the cold to feed them, can stay snugly inside and cozy up to the warmth of Wiberg's bird tales. Hand-feeding Backyard Birds makes fascinating reading."

A big Thank You to Marcia of The Printed Page for hosting this meme! If you'd like to join in or see more responses, just click on that hungry-looking gator mailbox at the top of this post!


  1. You're keeping close to equilibrium with the number of books :)

    THE UNCOMMON READER has been on my list for a while; I'll look for your review.

  2. What a haul you have there Cathy - and how lucky you are to still have The Girl Who Played with Fire and The Broken Shore to read - very different books but both among my favourites

  3. You got some really good ones there. That Lost Gardens of heligan sounds particularly interesting. Enjoy your books and have a great week. My mailbox is here

  4. That Hebrides book sounds interesting. I'm hoping to get there next year.

  5. You certainly gave your mailperson a workout this week! The handfeeding bird book sounds most interesting. Our birds and lizards are so skittish, but I understand they can be tamed a bit, so I'd like to try a book like that!

  6. The Girl Who Played with Fire is on my wish list, too.

  7. Reading Swedish books I see :)
    yes they are sure popular here

  8. You had a great week! Are you going to try to hand feed birds? I'll be interested to see how that goes.

  9. The Uncommon Reader was a delightful read. I hope you enjoy it as well.

    I have Sea Room here but have yet to crack the cover (story of my life!). I'll look forward to seeing what you think of it if you get to it first.

    My mailbox is here:

  10. Dawn--I'm trying! LOL The more tidbits I read about The Uncommon Reader, the more I think I'll be picking it up very soon.

    Bernadette--I read your reviews of both books and was very glad to see that you liked them!

    Kaye--As far as I'm concerned, you can't beat an English garden, and I'm looking forward to reading about Heligan being brought back to life.

    Beth--I hope you get there. I intend to take the ferry to the Outer Hebrides next time and visit the standing stones of Calanais. (Think Stonehenge with a lot less tourists!)

    Rhapsody--It's not as bad as it looks. I took most of the books I sent out to the PO myself. The wildlife in my backyard is very used to me, so I'd like to see if I can hand feed them.

    Wordlily--I can't wait to get to that one!

    Blodeuedd--Swedish mystery writers seem to be taking over the world at the moment!

    Kathy--Yes, I am going to give hand-feeding a try. If it works, I'll be blogging about it.

    Kristen--I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed it! Hopefully Sea Room won't turn out to be one of my "retirement books"!

  11. THREE books I have read before you - I feel quite well read today :D

    Hakan Nesser and Stieg Larsson of course, and Australian Peter Temple. Three fine crime novels - enjoy!

  12. Wow! What a great bunch of books! Especially the new Steig Larsson book! I've been patiently waiting for it to get published in the U.S.! Enjoy!

  13. What a wonderful haul this week! After reading your posts, I always wish I could join PBS. But with Canada's lack of a media rate, maybe it's a good thing after all!

  14. That's quite the pile! Enjoy your books!

  15. What a great batch of books you got there. I read The Girl Who Played With Fire, and am very curious to hear your opinion once you get to that book. I can tell you mine afterwards ;o)

    And yes, Swedish crime writers are REALLY taking over the world these days. Can't shake off that nasty jealous feeling that it aint the Danish crime writers, LOL. But that is the way it goes. We (Denmark and Sweden) are forever "fighting" each other in a sort of a good humoured arch enemy fight. On the other hand, the Swedish writers are LEAGUES better than most of the Danish ones, so I guess there is a reason its the Swedish ones being popular and not the Danish ones....

    Happy reading!


  16. What a wonderful collection of books Cathy! The Girl Who Played With Fire sounds interesting, as well as the hand-feeding birds - that would be a hit in my family. :)

    ~ Wendi

  17. Dorte--I'm glad to hear that I have at least three winners in that stack of books!

    Suzanne--I couldn't wait any more! LOL

    Belle--I've found PBS to be wonderful. I've been able to sample lots of books that have camped out on my wish list, and I haven't broken the bank in the process. It's a shame that you can't join it, too! :(

    Thanks, Avis and Mary!

    Louise--Denis and I will be heading down to a cottage in the mountains of southeastern Arizona in a couple of weeks. I have a feeling that The Girl Who Played With Fire is coming along with us!

    Wendi--I may have some success with hand-feeding the birds around here. We shall see!


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