Monday, May 16, 2011

Mailbox Monday: Countdown to BEA edition

It's becoming abundantly clear to me that I've barely scratched the surface of mailbox creativity!  You home-owners get all the cool accessories.  But I have to admit looking for mailbox photos has become great fun.

So, Thursday night my friend Mike and I went on over to the Booksmith on Haight to hear the incredibly awesome Arthur Phillips read from The Tragedy of Arthur, which as you know I have been reading for the last seven years.  (I've got to finish that book!)  Can I mention again how awesome Arthur Phillips is?  He reads fantastically, and can maintain character at least as well as Steven Colbert--which comes in handy when you're promoting a completely fictitious memoir.  And he's got a wonderfully dry sense of humor.  Mike and I had the best time!  And as if that weren't fun enough, I also got to hang out with bookseller extraordinaire, Cynthia St. John.  She invited me into the back room at the Booksmith.  I felt like an audience member going backstage.  Very cool.

On the subject of Arthur Phillips' awesomeness...  You don't see this every day, but a sales rep from another publishing house (who shall go nameless) showed up at the reading.  That's how awesome Arthur Phillips is.  Anyway, it was really lovely to see my sales rep friend too.  Good literature just brings all the best people together!  And on that note, I picked up some good books this week:

Theodora: Actress, Empress, Whore
by Stella Duffy
Release date: 9/27/2011
Source: Electronic galley from publisher

Nothing like starting the week out with something light, right?  This could be interesting.  With that cover and title, at the very least it's sure to be provocative and titillating.  Don't hold your breath waiting for a review.  I promised not to post one before late September.

Mark T. Sullivan
Release date: 8/6/2002
Source: Hardback purchased from

This is one of those thrillers I've been interested in reading for nearly a decade now.  For some reason, I never acquired a copy when it was newly released, but I never entirely forgot about it either.  Last summer, I saw a nice trade paperback copy on sale for something like $28!  So, I went to see if it was available on Kindle, and it was... For $18.99!  I do not know what the deal with this title is.  Anyway, I've had the sample sitting on my Kindle for the past year, waiting to see if the artificially-elevated price would go down.  It hasn't.  So, I finally purchased a pristine hardback copy through for $3.95, which included shipping.  I would have happily purchased it from Pocket Books, but because of the insane pricing both the publisher and author lost a sale today.  :-(

The Vices
by Lawrence Douglas
Release date: 8/16/2011
Source: Electronic galley from the publisher

Something in the description of this tale of possible murder and excess among the ultra-rich caught my eye.  Also, I believe there may be Jewish themes in the novel, which is enough to make me curious to give it a try.

Killing Kate
by Julie Kramer
Release date: 7/26/2011
Source: Paper galley from the author

I've been enjoying Julie Kramer's light mysteries featuring tele-journalist Riley Spartz since before the first novel was published.  And this despite the fact that the first novel was about a guy who killed women named Susan!  So far, "Kramer the Namer" (as I once dubbed her) has given us Stalking Susan, Missing Mark, Silencing Sam, and now Killing Kate.  I can't wait to dive in!

A Young Wife
by Pam Lewis
Release date: 5/14/2011
Source: Paper galley from the publisher

Hmmm, this could be good.  I enjoy a nice historic drama ever now and again.

Sequins, Secrets, and Silver Linings
by Sophia Bennett
Release date: 1/1/2011
Source: Girls Night Out goody bag

Yes, I really did receive a hardback copy of this novel at a 21+ event called Girls Night Out.  I think the cover tells you everything you need to know about this book.  Into the Children's Hospital pile it goes.

The Vault
by Boyd Morrison
Release date: 7/5/2011
Source: A bookseller friend

That pack of weasels over at Simon and Schuster hasn't gotten around to sending me a galley of The Vault yet.  And, I have to admit, I haven't been too worried about it, as I've already read a slightly earlier version of this novel.  But I happened to be hanging out with a bookseller friend last night and she mentioned that the lovely Mr. Morrison had personally sent her a galley, along with a hand-written note.  She can't wait to dive into the book, and happened to have an extra galley.  She asked me if I had one, I said "No."  And then I did.  Thanks, C!

The Skeleton Key
by James Rollins
Release date: 5/31/2011
Source: The author

It occurs to me that I forgot to add this to my list last week, which is just as well, because apparently it was a secret.  I'll be posting a review in the immediate future.  Oh, and a review of  the amazing The Devil Colony will be forthcoming as well, just as soon as I write it.

Eutopia: A Novel of Terrible Optimism
by David Nickle
Release date: 5/3/2011
Source: Electronic galley from the publisher

 Honestly, the title and cover alone make me want to read this book.  And as a member of a not-so-popular minority, I've always been fascinated/horrified by the history of the eugenics movement, especially here in the U.S.  This novel, set in 1911, sounds seriously creepy!

The Last Unicorn
by Peter Beagle
Release date: 2/8/2011
Source: Electronic galley from publisher

I heard Peter Beagle speak and read a few weeks ago, and he was simply delightful!  It made me sad that I'd never read his most famous book.  I saw this beautifully illustrated graphic novel at the time of the event, but didn't pick it up, preferring to read a non-graphic novel.  But perhaps I'll give it a chance.  I've never actually read a graphic novel, and I may need an infusion of whimsy if I read the book above.

by Sophie Littlefield
Release date: 7/19/2011
Source: Electronic galley from the publisher

And I will definitely need an infusion of whimsy after reading this book, the second in Sophie's zombie apocalypse trilogy.  It's the follow-up to the awesome Aftertime.  I'm looking forward to reading this one!

Oh, and in addition to these books, I ordered like 20 Kindle freebies.  I'm hoarding them in case I'm ever stranded on a deserted island, just me and my Kindle.  But I'm so not listing them here, LOL.

Oh, and it's worth mentioning that I also went out to hear the wonderful Tim Sandlin read on Saturday night.  I recently reread Skipped Parts, and found it even better than I remembered.  I really need to read more of that big stack of novels I had him sign.  Mr. Sandlin doesn't have the stage presence that Arthur Philips does, but I've long admired his work, and it was a pleasure to finally meet him.

Books finished this week:

I'll Never get Out of this World Alive by Steve Earle - OMG, I LOVED this debut novel!  I'm shocked by how much.  I hope to have a review up this week.

The Informationist by Taylor Stevens

Currently reading:

The Cry of the Phoenix by J.G.


  1. I hopped over to NetGalley and requested Theodora. Hopefully they will approve it-Penguin non-fiction likes me, but I've yet to request anything fiction. What a fun and varied list you have this week!

    Loved, loved, loved the mailbox! We own a home, but have those boring group stands of multiple boxes. Your photos make me wistful...sounds silly, but as interesting as your books are, my favorite part of Mailbox Monday are the photos!

  2. Okay, so I'm not the only crazy person who enjoys mailbox photos, LOL.

    I'm sure Penguin would love to have you review Theodora. (Beware, it may be smutty!)

    Did you pick up any good books this week?

  3. Penguin did approve my request! She was rather a racy woman, so we shall see how detailed things get.

    Isabelle, over on PBT, very kindly mailed me Howard Blum's The Floor of Heaven (A true tale of the American West and the Yukon Gold Rush). She just asked me if I would like it, as I commented on her review and live in Alaska. I thought that was very thoughtful of her!

    A friend begged me to read David Bodanis' E=mc2 and go to her book club; I am almost done with it. Next up is Elle Newmark's The Sandalwood Tree, courtesy of you (thank-you much!).

    Did you happen to notice that Amazon featured Spiral in their main mailer this week? They were spotlighting new thrillers, and Spiral was the first on the list. Yay! Good to see a great new author get some press.

  4. Care, you are my very best commenter. Thank you for interacting with me! :-)

    That's a good and diverse line-up of books you've listed there. I have a copy of The Floor of Heaven. You'll get to it before me, so I will look forward to reading your review. I will also look forward to seeing what you think of E-mc2, which is right up my alley. And, nope, I must have missed that Amazon mailing--if I even received it. Yes, it is nice to see a deserving newbie get some attention.

  5. My review for E=mc2 is up...good read. I have added to my blog review since I posted on other sites-I had a few other thoughts.

    Funny, as much as I loved Spiral my review is batting 0-2 on Amazon. I didn't do a run down of the plot-not wanting to give anything away-perhaps people want that angle more than my personal passion for the book.

    I am paying attention to the helpful comments because I would really like to get on as a Vine reviewer. NetGalley is keeping me plenty busy with a ton of great preview books, but I hate that Amazon doesn't allow me to post those reviews, especially for the great ones, as I am not a Vine member. I can only post once the book becomes available for sale, and it is a pain trying to remember to go back on and post the review. It looks like they invite you to join the Vine program based on how well your reviews are received.

  6. Spiffy, I didn't know that The Last Unicorn was made into a Graphic Novel. There's one to add to my list for sure.