Monday, August 1, 2011

Mailbox Monday: The coldest winter I ever spent edition

If you live in San Francisco, you'll frequently hear visitors and locals quoting something Mark Twain supposedly said, "The coldest winter I ever spent is summer in San Francisco."  God, did he get that right!  Today is August 1st, and I've had it!  I'm sick of high temps in the 50's and wind chill factors!  Today's forecast?  High of 61 degrees, low of 53, partly sunny, windy.  Yes, I know the rest of America is burning up.  Please send us some heat!

Okay, I'll try to pull myself together.  So, a thankfully short list of books today, but definitely some good ones.  I can't think of any lit events on the schedule this week, but I did go out to hear Christopher Moore and Ian Corson speak about their graphic novel, The Griff on Friday night.  It was fun, as my friend Nicole was able to join me.  And it's always nice to see Chris and his wife-like girlfriend, Charlee.  And the best news is that I filmed the entire event!  I'll be posting that hopefully in the next few days.

Speaking of posting video, I still haven't posted the video I shot of Boyd Morrison and April Smith on tour.  It's a really nice conversation between two authors, so I shall endeavor to put that up today, 'kay?  And on that note...

by Matthew Dunn
Release date: August 9, 2011
Source:  Finished hardback from publisher

You know, as many thrillers as I read, I'm not big on the espionage.  Still, this book seems to be written by the real deal, a recently retired MI6 operative.  People are saying good things about it, and I plan to check it out.

Hot, Shot, and Bothered
by Nora McFarland
Release date: August 2, 2011
Source: Finished trade paperback from publisher

Looks cute.  I think there's someone in my face-to-face book group that might enjoy this one.

The Little Women Letters
by Gabrielle Donnelly
Release date:  June 7, 2011
Source:  Paper galley from publisher

Yet another novel that flings the fact that I've never read Little Women back in my face.  I will read it one of these days.  I'm also thinking face-to-face book club for this one, but if anyone's really interested in this (or the novel above) being a Humpday Giveaway, please speak up!

Cold Vengeance
by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child
Release date: August 2, 2011
Source: Electronic galley from publisher

As much as I love Preston and Child, I have to admit that I sometimes get Pendergasted-out.  I hadn't read a book in this series for a few years, until, feeling nostalgic, I picked up the book prior to this one, Fever Dream, a couple of weeks ago, and then read this one over the weekend.  I have to admit that it's been nice to visit with these old friends.  I'll try to write a review this week.

Survivors (An Aftertime Novella)
by Sophie Littlefield
Release date: July 1, 2011
Source: Kindle freebie

Yes, this is a short novella set in the harsh zombie apocalypse world of Littlefield's Aftertime series.  If you've been curious to give them a try, here's an opportunity to get a taste.  For a limited time, it's free on Kindle.  As a big fan of the series, I'm looking forward to reading this as I wait for the final book in the Aftertime Trilogy to be released this winter.

The Griff: A Graphic Novel
by Christopher Moore & Ian Corson
Release date:  July 19, 2011
Source:  Purchased at The Booksmith on Haight

This is the first graphic novel I've ever purchased and the first I've read.  Chris Moore is always fun, but this art form is not for me.  I could never figure out why anyone would want to contaminate words with pictures.  (I'm not a fan of subtitled films either.)  However, Chris and Ian do get bonus points for trashy underwater fiction elements!

Books finished this week:

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern - Believe the hype!  This book is so wonderful that any review I write won't do it justice.
Cold Vengeance by Doug Preston and Lincoln Child
The Winters in Bloom by Lisa Tucker
The Griff by Christopher Moore and Ian Corson

Currently reading:
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline - I'm back to this debut novel after a few distractions last week, and I'm totally loving it!  Plus, I saw this morning that it was named one of the "Best of the Month" of August by  It's not out 'til mid month, but look for it.

So, what are you reading?  What books have you acquired this week?  Can't wait to hear in the comments!


  1. I certainly do not envy your weather out there. If you want, you can have about 20 degrees of ours out here in CO, then we'll both be in the 70s and I can turn off my AC!

    I started FG Cottam's Magdalena Curse yesterday.

  2. I agree with Becky! It was close to 100 today in the STL area. Tomorrow, too. I would love a few days in the 60s. :) I am reading "Hard Spell" by Justin Gustainis. I just bought his other new book "Sympathy for the Devil." Very soon, I'll be purchasing "Second Grave on the Left" by Darynda Jones.

  3. I finally gave up on The Translator. Just couldn't stick with it anymore, and I was more than halfway through. Too many more enjoyable reads to stick with one that's a chore.

    I'm still reading My New American Life and still enjoying it.

    I did get to the library and checked out two books:
    Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison (this is all your fault for sending me Pale Demon), which I've already finished.
    Short Squeeze by Chris Knopf, a spinoff (is that possible for books?) of his Hamptons series with Sam Acquillo. I'm hoping this series is as good; I just started it last night and it seems promising.

    For ebooks, I'm reading the next Harrison, The Good, the Bad, and the Undead, and whipping through it. I also have Hounded by Kevin Hearne, which I just bought today (not in the library in book or ebook form; I was forced to buy).

    I think that's it.

  4. Hi Susan! Great to see you on Friday. Typical of San Francisco is that we live in the same city but experience different weathers. I work in the Mission so the weather was wonderful today - not too cold and not too hot and sunny! Didn't even have to wear my jacket at 3pm...

    This week I'm reading Bossypants by Tina Fey.

  5. Thanks for mentioning my book, Hot, Shot, and Bothered! I appreciate the exposure. April Smith, who you just met at M is for Mystery, gave me a terrific blurb. She's a lovely and talented writer. I was honored by her endorsement.

  6. So good to hear from everyone! Y'all are reading lots of interesting stuff! What I want to know is, how was the latest Jim Butcher novel everyone was reading last week? And audio people, did you notice this is the first one not read by James Marsters? :-(


    I am happy to enable your bad behavior. How nice that the library is so convenient to your new home! Now that my voice is beginning to return, I need to call you to hear about the move and adjustment. I hope all is well.


    It was such a pleasant surprise running into you the other night! Oh, and it did get warmer than 61 degrees yesterday, but hardly summery. I swear, I never know what to wear in this weather. But it's supposed to be hitting 66 degrees today, so--yahoo.

    Oh, I'll be posting the video from the Moore/Corson event on Thursday. I watched it all last night, and I think I enjoyed the evening even more the second time around!


    It was very awesome of you to drop by and say hello! Now I feel guilty for not pledging to read and review Hot, Shot, and Bothered first thing. I did receive a very nice (and effective) follow-up from Ashley at Touchstone this morning. I was mildly reticent to launch into the second novel in a series, but having revisited the matter, I may reconsider. It seems like your novels take place in a similar television news setting as Julie Kramer's Riley Spartz mysteries. I'm quite a fan of them, largely for the insight into that world. Are you familiar with Julie's novels? I may have to read yours to compare and contrast.

    Thank you again for dropping by. Please come by any time, and feel free to shamelessly promote your work. In fact, email me if you'd like to do so in a more prominent manner. For now, best of luck with the release!

  7. It is sounding like you might as well move to Alaska, as your weather about matches ours.

    This week I listened to two more audios: Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer and The Last Stand by Nathaniel Philbrick. Krakauer's book was quite good, Philbrick's was a disappointment. Still putting together next year's curriculum for the kiddos, so print reading time is nil.