Monday, September 21, 2009

Mailbox Monday-- The Tide Is Beginning to Turn

The tide is beginning to shift a bit. I haven't done anything (until today) about posting more books to my Paperback Swap shelf, so only 3 books went out last week to new foster homes. On the other hand, books started coming through on my PBS wish list, and...ahem...I kinda fell off the wagon. Five books arrived at the Barlow B&B last week. Let me introduce you to my new friends:

--The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan (PBS). "The book begins seven generations after the Return, an undead plague that has ended civilization as we know it. Of course, a zombie outbreak usually means shotguns and mall looting--the very essence of freedom. But more than a century on from the Return, the malls have already been looted, and shotguns are a distant memory. The novel's heroine, Mary, lives in a village surrounded by one last vestige of industrial technology: a chain-link fence, beyond which is a vast forest full of shambling, eternally ravenous undead--the forest of hands and teeth. No villager ever goes outside this fence, unless they want to die. Mary's world is bounded not only by the fence but by the archaic traditions of her people, which are enforced by a religious order called the Sisterhood. Marriages, childbirth, death, every stage of life must be controlled to sustain the village's precarious existence. Even the houses are circumscribed--literally--with passages of scripture carved into every entrance to remind the inhabitants of the rules that sustain human life amid the horrors of the forest. After so long an isolation, the village is beginning to forget. Some doubt that there really was a time before the Return, with giant cities and wondrous technologies. Others believe that nothing at all exists beyond the forest of hands and teeth. And nobody but Mary and her slightly mad mother believes in something called 'the ocean,' a huge and unbounded space beyond the reach of the undead." I have to admit that I do enjoy a good dystopian novel now and then.

--The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne (PBS). "Through the eyes of Bruno, a naive nine-year-old raised in a privileged household by strict parents whose expectations included good manners and unquestioning respect for parental authority, the author describes a visit from the Fury and the family's sudden move from Berlin to a place called Out-With in Poland. There, not 50 feet away, a high wire fence surrounds a huge dirt area of low huts and large square buildings. From his bedroom window, Bruno can see hundreds (maybe thousands) of people wearing striped pajamas and caps, and something made him feel very cold and unsafe. Uncertain of what his father actually does for a living, the boy is eager to discover the secret of the people on the other side. He follows the fence into the distance, where he meets Shmuel, a skinny, sad-looking Jewish resident who, amazingly, has his same birth date. Bruno shares his thoughts and feelings with Shmuel, some of his food, and his final day at Out-With, knowing instinctively that his father must never learn about this friendship."

--The Unquiet Bones, The First Chronicle of Hugh de Singleton Surgeon by Melvin R. Starr (PBS). "A young woman's remains are found in the castle, and a surgeon is challenged to dissect the mystery and uncover the truth." This is the first in a series of medieval mysteries.

--My Life in France by Julia Child with Alex Prud'homme (Target). I keep saying that I'm going to see Julie & Julia, and it better happen this coming Wednesday! I told myself that I didn't need to read either of the books the movie is based on, but-- witness the power of book bloggers! -- someone's review of this book gave me no choice but to get my hands on a copy. I just wish I remembered the name of the blogger so I could give her credit for overcoming my mule-headedness!

--Julie & Julia by Julie Powell (Target). And I thought, since I'd already succumbed to Julia, I might as well give way to Julie!

A big Thank You to Marcia of The Printed Page for hosting this fun meme. If you'd like to see the new books others obtained over the past week, click on that redhead in the flirty skirt at the top of this post to be taken to Marcia's blog. See you next week!


  1. I do want to read the zombie book, sounds so cool

  2. Three of these entered my house too recently. The Forest of Hands and Feet, The Boy in Striped Pyjamas and Julie and Julia. They are just so tempting.

  3. The Unquiet Bones sounds fascinating! I'm going to have to try it. Your description reminds me a bit of the Cadfael novels...

  4. I still haven't seen Julie & Julia yet either (and really want to, but so far there hasn't been time). The Julie & Julia & My Life in France sound

    Here is my Monday post

  5. I plan to read My Life in France but not Julie & Julia.
    Have a great week!

  6. I enjoyed the Forest of Hands and Teeth and you got quite a few others that I would enjoy reading also.

  7. I've seen the movie "Julie/Julia". I absolutely loved it. My kids bought the book for me and I'll probably start reading it this week. If you want to wander down my road I’m home.

  8. I can't wait to hear what you think of The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas. I've been wanting to read that one for ages.

    My mailbox post is here.

    Diary of an Eccentric

  9. Holy moly you have a fabulous list of books. I want to or have read every one -- but I don't know the Starr book. Enjoy your fun reading ahead.

  10. Oh Cathy! I'm jealous - The Boy in the Striped Pajamas and Julie and Julia!! Yeah :)

    I always find you as a source of inspiration for trying to balance the books coming in and going out. . . I was so proud - two weeks ago, I took 9 HUGE paper bags of old books I collected while in Junior High and High School (regency romances, mysteries, historicals, etc) to the used book store down the hill. It felt so good to open up some space in the garage. :) And I know there will be a lot of happy people out there who get to browse all the great "new to them" books.

    ~ Wendi

  11. Hey, it was too good to last too long. It looks like you got some great books last week!

  12. I'm glad you got the Julia/Julie book. It was a surprisingly good read for me. I'm curious how you'll like it. I truly loved the movie - better than the book.

  13. Blodeuedd-- I've been studiously avoiding zombie books, so I'm interested in seeing how well I do with this one.

    Vivienne-- And we need no one to lead us into temptation, do we? :)

    Margot-- I tend to enjoy medieval mysteries, so I was happy to get my hands on a copy of this.

    DC-- If someone prevents me from seeing Julie & Julia again this week, I'm going to be seriously narked!

    Mary-- That was my original plan, too.

    Zia-- I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed The Forest of Hands and Teeth.

    Kaye-- I've heard so much good about that movie!

    Anna-- I have, too!

    Beth-- I intend to! ;)

    Wendi-- NINE bags of books??? I'm proud of you!!!!

    Kathy-- I think I'll be back on the straight and narrow next week because I posted more books to PBS and the fishies are already nibbling at them!

    Margot-- I've heard that, in this case, the movie is better than the book. We shall see! :)

  14. i'm eager to read julie&julia--and as soon as my copy shows up at the library, i'm picking it up!

    looks like a bonanza of a week for you!

  15. I had grand plans to read "Julie and Julia" and see the movie but I suspect I'll be seeing it on DVD rather than in the theater. : )

  16. I am reading Julie & Julia now and it is inspiring me to read My Life in France and another biography of Julia CHild that are both sitting on my TBR shelf.

  17. I haven't started Julie & Julia yet but I my copy has been sitting on my nightstand table for awhile now. Gotta read it before the movie comes to DVD!


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