Monday, November 09, 2009

Mailbox Monday-- The Socks Made Me Do It

There's a reason why I try to stick to the grocery sections of the Target where I work: anything else seems to lead me right past the book department. Unfortunately, I needed some socks last week, and to get from the hosiery department over to the cooler with the gallons of milk I had to walk. Right. Past. The. Books. Those socks made me pick up two books and put them in my cart. I know they did. Yeah.

The socks did it.

I did some major shuffling with some of my bookcases as well last week, and there are many books to donate and several to list on Paperback Swap. More about that in another post.

So...last week I sent 6 books to new Paperback Swap foster homes and had 9 new foster books arrive. Here's what came into the house:

--Streets of Fire
by Troy Soos (PBS). "It is 1895, and the worst winter in years grips the streets of Brooklyn. As the city prepares to be united with New York City across the river, a strike by trolley workers ignites one of the most contentious labor conflicts in the nation's history. In the face of overwhelming opposition, the mayor--a shareholder in one of the largest transportation companies--vows to keep the trolleys running, and calls in the National Guard. It's a disaster waiting to happen--and the waiting ends pretty quickly when a cop drops dead in a crowd of protesters with two bullet holes in his back. Marshall Webb, reporting on the strike for Harper's Weekly, suspects that the incident somehow stands at the center of the tremors that are tearing Brooklyn apart on the eve of losing its independence. To bring peace to an erupting city, he joins forces with Buck Morehouse, a detective with his own methods of establishing law and order, and Vivian O'Connell, a social reformer with contacts in both extremes of New York society. As the heat continues to rise in the frozen streets, only the truth they seek will expose a tangle of corruption thick enough to strangle a city--and murder again..." This is a series I really enjoyed, and I thought it had come to an end, so you can imagine I was happy when I found that there was another book in the series!

--Prime Time
by Hank Phillippi Ryan (PBS). "In the cutthroat world of television journalism, seasoned reporter Charlotte McNally knows that she'd better pull out all the stops or kiss her job goodbye. But it's her life that might be on the line when she learns that an innocent-looking e-mail offer resulted in murder, mayhem and a multimillion-dollar fraud ring. All too soon her investigation leads her straight to Josh Gelston, who is a little too helpful and a lot too handsome. Charlie might have a nose for news, but men are a whole other matter. Now she has to decide whether she can trust Josh…before she ends up as the next lead story"

--Fifty-Seven Heaven
by Lonnie Cruse (PBS). "The feel-good vibes flourish in this classically cute cozy, the first in a new series to feature feisty grandparents Kitty and Jack Bloodworth of Metropolis, Ill. (home of Superman and Cruse's Metropolis mystery series). When Kitty's cousin Will Ann Lloyd, a meddlesome and widely disliked woman who'd accused Kitty's daughter Sunny of being a tramp, winds up strangled and stuffed in the trunk of Kitty's '57 Chevy, Kitty and Jack are horrified to be among the suspects, as are Sunny and Will Ann's son, Craig. While going through Will Ann's personal effects, Kitty finds a helpful clue, but before she can track down more information, she's run off the road. Her subsequent amnesia dramatically hampers her investigation. Cruse tosses in chatty observations about family and growing older, scanting the unsettling details of death, injury and illness."

--North of Montana
by April Smith (PBS). "Santa Monica, north of Montana Avenue, is 'the land of the newly rich,' a place where FBI agent Ana Grey definitely feels out of place. It is to these households that she must go when she is assigned to investigate a drug case involving a handsome doctor and a has-been film star. And it is to the working-class household of her own childhood, just a few blocks to the south, that she must go to solve a mystery concerning her family. Both stories intersect when a poor, young Hispanic woman who claimed to be a relative of Ana's long-dead father is brutally murdered. In addition, there is the problem of the dead woman's two young children left in the care of a neighbor who cannot afford to keep them for very long. Two other threads enliven this tale: one centers on Ana's career struggles as a female agent proving herself to her male bosses and the guys in the 'bullpen.' The other is her coming to terms with a growing romantic attraction to her partner, Mike Donnato."

--Island of the Blue Dolphins
by Scott O'Dell (PBS). "Scott O'Dell won the Newbery Medal for Island of the Blue Dolphins in 1961, and in 1976 the Children's Literature Association named this riveting story one of the 10 best American children's books of the past 200 years. O'Dell was inspired by the real-life story of a 12-year-old American Indian girl, Karana. The author based his book on the life of this remarkable young woman who, during the evacuation of Ghalas-at (an island off the coast of California), jumped ship to stay with her young brother who had been abandoned on the island. He died shortly thereafter, and Karana fended for herself on the island for 18 years. O'Dell tells the miraculous story of how Karana forages on land and in the ocean, clothes herself (in a green-cormorant skirt and an otter cape on special occasions), and secures shelter. Perhaps even more startlingly, she finds strength and serenity living alone on the island."

--The White Garden, A Novel of Virginia Woolf
by Stephanie Barron (Target). "Stephanie Barron has concocted a delicious exploration of what could have happened to Virginia Woolf in the weeks between her disappearance and the day her body floated to the surface of the river Ouse. Part mystery, part a search for redemption."

--In a Perfect World
by Laura Kasischke (Target). "It was a fairy tale come true when Mark Dorn—handsome pilot, widower, tragic father of three—chose Jiselle to be his wife. The other flight attendants were jealous: She could quit now, leaving behind the million daily irritations of the job. (Since the outbreak of the Phoenix flu, passengers had become even more difficult and nervous, and a life of constant travel had grown harder.) She could move into Mark Dorn's precious log cabin and help him raise his three beautiful children. But fairy tales aren't like marriage. Or motherhood. With Mark almost always gone, Jiselle finds herself alone, and lonely. She suspects that Mark's daughters hate her. And the Phoenix flu, which Jiselle had thought of as a passing hysteria (when she had thought of it at all), well . . . it turns out that the Phoenix flu will change everything for Jiselle, for her new family, and for the life she thought she had chosen."

--The Witch Doctor's Wife
by Tamar Myers (LibraryThing Early Reviewers). "The Congo beckons to young Amanda Brown in 1958, as she follows her missionary calling to the mysterious "dark continent" far from her South Carolina home. But her enthusiasm cannot cushion her from the shock of a very foreign culture—where competing missionaries are as plentiful as flies, and oppressive European overlords are busy stripping the land of its most valuable resource: diamonds. Little by little, Amanda is drawn into the lives of the villagers in tiny Belle Vue—and she is touched by the plight of the local witch doctor, a man known as Their Death, who has been forced to take a second job as a yardman to support his two wives. But when First Wife stumbles upon an impossibly enormous uncut gem, events are set in motion that threaten to devastate the lives of these people Amanda has come to admire and love—events that could lead to nothing less than murder."

--The Map That Changed the World: William Smith and the Birth of Modern Geology
by Simon Winchester (PBS). "Born to humble parents, Smith was also a child of the Industrial Revolution. While working as surveyor in a coal mine, Smith noticed the abrupt changes in the layers of rock as he was lowered into the depths. He came to understand that the different layers--in part as revealed by the fossils they contained--always appeared in the same order, no matter where they were found. He also realized that geology required a three-dimensional approach. Smith spent the next 20 some years traveling throughout Britain, observing the land, gathering data, and chattering away about his theories to those he met along the way, thus acquiring the nickname 'Strata Smith.' In 1815 he published his masterpiece: an 8.5- by 6-foot, hand-tinted map revealing 'A Delineation of the Strata of England and Wales.' Despite this triumph, Smith's road remained more rocky than smooth. Snubbed by the gentlemanly Geological Society, Smith complained that "the theory of geology is in the possession of one class of men, the practice in another." Indeed, some members of the society went further than mere ostracism--they stole Smith's work. These cartographic plagiarists produced their own map, remarkably similar to Smith's, in 1819. Meanwhile the chronically cash-strapped Smith had been forced to sell his prized fossil collection and was eventually consigned to debtor's prison."

A big thank you to Marcia of The Printed Page for hosting this fun meme. If you'd like to join in, or if you just want to see what books other folks received last week, just click on that redhead in the flirty skirt at the top of this post. You'll be taken right to the goods on The Printed Page!


  1. The socks will do you in every time! LOL

    A fun assortment of books. Hope you enjoy them!

  2. Wow--you got some great books this week. The White Garden looks especially good.

  3. Great list of books -- I'm too afraid to do a weekly assessment of books in and out.

  4. Great list! I think one of my kids read the O'Dell book (way back when).

  5. I reread Island Of The Blue Dolphins many times as a girl. It was a favorite! I am going to put In a Perfect World on my wish list. It sounds good.

  6. You always make me laugh! I'm heading to Target in a little while and just might have to pass the books. You had a great book week!

  7. What an interesting bunch!

    And now I know why you own more books than I do: my socks never do anything more interesting than running off - one at the time.

  8. Yeah, one can always blame the socks ;-D

  9. Streets of Fire sounds great! Yet again, my TBR pile grows... I really liked Island of the Blue Dolphins when I read it as a kid--I think it's one I should probably get for our family library. :) Great haul for the week!

  10. DC-- Yes. I've now learned my lesson: never trust the socks!

    Lola-- Yes, I'm really looking forward to that one.

    Beth-- It's helped me because Denis no longer makes comments about the books here!

    Mary-- I remember getting Island of the Blue Dolphin at the library and putting that brand-new book on the shelf, but it was Kidlit, and I was much too "sophisticated" as a teenager to read it. Now I'm older and know better!

    Beth-- For some reason I love well-written "plague" novels.

    Kathy-- I hope you steered clear of the hosiery department! LOL

    Dorte-- My grandmother had that problem with socks disappearing one at a time. Mine grow old and die here. :)

    Louise-- Of course! ;)

    Katy-- I have high hopes for Streets of Fire since I've enjoyed the entire series.

    Sheila-- It really does!


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