Monday, June 27, 2011

Mailbox Monday: All James Rollins all the time edition

A quick note at the top of this Monday's post to again welcome all the new visitors to the blog.  I have been so excited about this blog hop all weekend!  Seriously, thanks, Judith, for the invite to participate.  This is awesome!

So, I fear this Monday's edition is a bit of a misnomer, as there were no James Rollins books in my mailbox...  Wait!  I did acquire a James Rollins novel this week.  I'm covered.  No, the reason why it's "all James Rollins all the time" is that his novel The Devil Colony was published last week.  In addition to reviewing the novel, I took and posted silly photographs, participated in the Dance with the Devil online release party, and then spent the entire past weekend with him on book tour.  I'll post video from the tour and write about our adventures this week.

Mr. Rollins isn't so solicitous to all bloggers.  Jimbo and I have been good friends for more than a decade now.  Everyone who knows us knows the story of how we met, but I'll have to blog about that some time.  Anyway, this week's theme of monster mailboxes is in your honor, Jimbo.  I'm sure that you will appreciate them, LOL.

Other than that, I'm not aware of any other major literary events on my horizon for the coming week.  No, I'll be working frantically at the job that pays my rent before I head out to New York, again.  This time for Thrillerfest.  I'm looking forward to seeing all my friends (which is what T-fest is about for me) but I have to admit that I'm so tired I could curl up in a ball and cry.

One thing that would make my life less stressful is if my sister would recover from her c-section and not be threatened with more surgery.  Because that would be very, very bad for all concerned.  Especially the young children that would need my care.  Please send any spare healing energy her way.  And with that, let's get to the mailbox!

Map of Bones
by James Rollins
Release date: April 26, 2005
Source: Free download at

Just between you and me, this is my least favorite of the Sigma novels.  (I'm just not a big fan of religious thrillers.)  It's also the first official book in the series.  Listening to Jim and his readers speak of it this weekend, though, it made me want to reread it.  It would be nice to revisit how it all started.  Maybe reread both Sandstorm and Map of Bones.  I said it was my least favorite (I mean, one of them has to be), but I still loved it. 

Go the F**k to Sleep
by Adam Mansbach
Release date: June 14, 2011
Source: Free download at

This book is six minutes long, and I haven't found time to listen to it yet.  But I should totally send a copy to my sister.  Or my mother.

Buried Secrets
by Joseph Finder
Release date: June 21, 2011
Source: credit

This is Joe's follow up to Vanished, the first Nick Heller novel.  I enjoyed that one, and have been looking forward to this one.  I made the best discovery ever last night, BTW.  Listening to Audible books on my new hand-me-down iPhone, I can listen to them at one and a half times speed!  I am sooo happy!  (I'm all about the speed, and many audiobooks move at a glacial pace for me.)

A Bad Day for Scandal
by Sophie Littlefield
Release date: June 21, 2011
Source: credit

Yay!  This is Sophie's third Stella Hardesty mystery.  The only thing I enjoy more than the books themselves are the awesome covers!  How much was I looking forward to reading this book?  I've already finished it.  I LOVED hearing the voices of these indelible characters.  Reader Barbara Rosenblatt did a great job, and I seriously think this series gets better with each book.

by Sophie Littlefield
Release date: July 19, 2011
Source: Galley from the publisher

Speaking of Sophie Littlefield, I believe it's been mentioned on this blog that she has a split personality?  Yes, just a month after her nice mystery comes out, the second book in her zombie apocalypse series (following Aftertime) comes out.  She also writes YA fantasy in her "spare" time.  She's the hardest working woman in show biz!  I wish you could see this crazy manuscript her editor at Luna sent.  I can't wait to read this thing.

The Night Circus
by Erin Morgenstern
Release date: September 13, 2011
Source: Galley from the publisher

Do you recall me kvetching about the impossibility of acquiring this hugely buzzed book at BEA last week?  Well, guess what showed up in the mailbox this week?  I smell a giveaway!  Meanwhile, I can't wait to read this, but probably won't find the time for a while.

Thirteen Fugues
by Jennifer Natalya Fink
Release date: May 3, 2011
Source: Galley from the publisher

This is a very short novel from a very small publisher.  I shall try to read and review it, as their marketing budget has to be non-existent, and I'd hate to have them waste a galley on me.  Have no idea what the book's about.

The Gashlycrumb Tinies
by Edward Gorey
Release date: October 1997?
Source: Gift from David--Thank you!

So, websites say that this book was published in 1997, but there must have been earlier editions.  I had a good friend named Jim Blakely back in high school in the 80's, and I vividly recall the two of us laughing over "J is for James who took lye by mistake" and "S is for Susan who perished of fits."  I picked up a copy in a bookstore this weekend to check how "K is for Kate" died (Because it will be the headline of my review for Killing Kate.  How can I resist?) and my friend David insisted in purchasing it for me.  I was touched.  It is truly a life-long favorite, and it shall have pride of place next to The Curious Sofa on my coffee table.  Edward Gorey is the best!

by Will Lavender
Release date: July 5, 2011
Source: Galley from the publisher

At dinner on Friday night, I was telling Jimbo about this (hopefully) awesome thriller I was looking forward to reading by this writer, Will Lavender, that somehow neither of us had heard of.  The next morning, I go to the post office to pick up a package, and lo and behold, it's an extra galley of the very book I was telling him about.  So, of course, I gifted it to him.  Mr. Lavender, I've got James Rollins reading your novel.  You owe me one, LOL.

The Maid: A Novel of Joan of Arc
by Kimberly Cutter
Release date: October 18, 2011
Source: Electronic galley from publisher

I'm not sure if I want to read this or not.  Part of me is very interested in knowing more about a fascinating historic character.  Part of me wants no part of reading about a hallucinating religious lunatic.  I will start reading the book and see what I think.

We The Animals
by Justin Torres
Release date: September 1, 2011
Source: Electronic galley from publisher

This debut family drama and coming-of-age story was another of the big buzz books at BEA.  I'm looking forward to checking it out!

The Black Stiletto
by Raymond Benson
Release date: September 5, 2011
Source: Electronic galley from publisher

Raymond Benson, who is perhaps best known for writing James Bond novels, has been a friend since the very first Thrillerfest, five or six years ago.  I am looking forward to seeing him again next week, and I am looking forward to finally reading one of his books.  Best. Opening. Ever.  "My mother was the masked vigilante known as the Black Stiletto.  I just found out today, and I've been her son for forty-eight years.  All my life I knew she had some secrets, but needless to say, this is a bit of a shock."

Books finished in the past week:

The Uncertain Places by Lisa Goldstein
Blood of the Reich by William Dietrich
Before I Go to Sleep by S.J Watson
A Bad Day for Scandal by Sophie Littlefield

Currently reading:

The Time Machine by H.G. Wells
A Map of Time by Felix J.Palma

So, what books have you acquired this week?  What are you reading?  What monsters are living in your mailbox?  Let me know in the comments!


  1. Gah! I just lost my comment to stupidity. I hate it when that happens.

    First, I'm sorry to hear that your sister's having trouble recovering from the c-section.

    Now for the bookish stuff.

    What fun you must have had with Jimbo this weekend. I just finished "Skeleton Key" (still reading the "Devil Colony" excerpt included with it). Since it looks like he won't be coming to the DC area, I'll probably get the iBook version of it. I would have purchased the "real" book at the signing. Sigh.

    You absolutely must listen to "Go the F**k to Sleep"! Samuel L. Jackson does an excellent job on the reading. It perfectly captures the way every parent feels at some time or other with a recalcitrant, stubborn baby or small child who just won't give in and go to sleep. Loved it!

    When I was purging my book collection in preparation for moving, I retained my copies of "The Epileptic Bicycle" and "Amphigorey." A long time ago, when my sister Elaine's girls were still tiny, I gave her and her husband a copy of Bicycle for Christmas, which puzzled them a bit. It looked like a children's book, but it definitely wasn't a children's book. Hahahaha. I finally got my own copy a few years ago. I think I've had "Amphigorey" since the '70s. Yikes!

    What am I reading now? "The Translator" by John Crowley. I've had it for a number of years, but just couldn't get into it. I'm giving it another try in anticipation of the years-in-the-making 25th (?) anniversary edition of "Little, Big," my all-time favorite book that I've read several times and will read again in this beautifully illustrated special edition. I got one of the numbered edition (only 300 copies!). It was originally slated for pubication in 2007. Hahahahaha.

    And tonight, I'm going to stitch, the first time since the week you were here, I think. So I never have delivered the books you left with me. Rosie took a couple, so there are fewer; but the rest go with me tonight!

  2. Hey SL,

    That was an epic comment! Makes me wonder what the one you lost was like.

    So, yes, I'm having a full-on nervous breakdown over the Nancy situation. I'm looking at having to take federal family and medical leave. NOT good. Silver lining: I would try to make Tuesday night stitching. Say "hi" to everyone tonight, and tell them how sad I was to miss them. (I'm shocked you haven't been stitching all month!)

    Yes, had so much fun with Jimbo. We always have a good time together. We'll both be at a signing in Manhattan a week from Friday if you want to swing by...

    Guess what I listened to last night as I fell asleep? Yes.

    You and I (and millions) share the love of Gorey. I don't understand people that can't appreciate his work.

    And I had a book like your Crowley. It was John Irving's The Son of the Circus. I would read 200-300 pages and could go no further. I set it aside two or three times. Then one day the time was right, I read the whole novel, and I really loved it. I hope the time is right for you and The Translator. One day it will be.

    Meanwhile, I think I'll know in the next couple of weeks if I have to return to the east coast to be a substitute mommy for a few weeks/months. Can you IMAGINE?

  3. I just had to say that the final picture of the mailbox on this post is both fascinating and creepy. I keep being drawn back to the picture. (Not that your blog post wasn't great, as always; there is just something about that mailbox.)

  4. What do you do with all of these books?!

    I'm reading the book that I won a few weeks ago -- Bone Yard by Jefferson Bass. It's not bad, but I don't think I'll be rushing out to be the rest of the author duo's books.

  5. Jaede,

    Sorry for any nightmares I may have inadvertently caused! God, can you imagine coming home to that every day?


    Yeah, it's not quite as bad as it seems. For instance, of the 12 books listed above:

    1 was a gift to me, and I'm happily keeping it.
    4 are audiobooks that take up no space outside my iPod.
    3 are electronic galleys that take up no space outside my Kindle.
    1 has been earmarked as a future giveaway.
    1 has already been gifted to a friend.

    That leaves a max of two physical books that I MIGHT keep for myself. There's a good chance that one will wind up with the face-to-face book group.

    I give away A LOT of books. Here, to the f2f book group, to friends and family, to Children's Hospital or other literacy groups. I "release them into the wild" through (I just noticed the other day I've got 999 books registered! What to do for the 1000th??)Occasionally I even take bags of books around to San Francisco's homeless citizens. They REALLY appreciate it!

    So, are there too many books in my small apartment? Oh yeah! But I really try hard to share the wealth. Sharing books is the best feeling in the world. :-)

  6. Oh, my gosh! Color me green! What a wonderfully mixed mailbox! Dominance was EXCELLENT .. really ...

    I WISH I had thought of reading The Time Machine either right before or after The Map of Time (also an excellent read, BTW) ... they tie together so well!

    Enjoy your reading week!

  7. Hi Julie,

    Thanks for stopping by. I'm so happy to hear your vote of confidence for Dominance. I guess it's out Tuesday, so hopefully I'll manage to read it over the long weekend.

    And a thumbs up for The Map of Time, too. We must be sympatico in out reading. I'm a little more than halfway through that doorstop, and I'm enjoying it, but not sure I'll be raving about it just yet. The idea to read The Time Machine in conjunction with it was not my own. The galley I recieved came with an adorable little matching mini galley of The Time Machine. So cute! How could I not read it?

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