Monday, August 8, 2011

Mailbox Monday: Dead tree edition

If you guys even suspected how much time I spend looking at photographs of mailboxes, you'd be rightly appalled.  Still, the photo above is a striking, huh?  It was shot in Santa Fe, NM by a guy named Randy.  Technically, I don't think that tree is dead, but I was being clever.  The Mailbox Monday photos have been pretty stunning lately, but next Monday I'll have a fun theme post.  Come back, you'll like it.

So, remember my tantrum last week about the weather?  It went downhill from there.  Today is cold, damp, foggy, cloudy and in the 50's.  I'm freezing and don't know what to wear.  UGH!  Jimbo and/or Nicole, I'm coming to visit very soon.  What are you doing this weekend?

Also, I forgot something very bookish from last week--after having attended the very first preview of the stage musical of Armisted Maupin's Tales of the City, Jon and I and our friend Mike attended the closing night performance ten weeks later, last Sunday.  What a difference!  Everything had pulled together so terrifically during the course of the run!  And, Armisted and Christopher were there, of course, so I got to say hello to them.  They're always lovely.  I swear, I will blog about the show some day.  Last night, Jon and I caught the Turtle Island String Quartet at Yoshi's.  Not bookish, but very entertaining!

This week I'm looking forward to seeing my friend David Liss come through San Francisco on tour for his new novel, The Twelfth Enchantment, which goes on sale tomorrow.  I haven't read it yet, so no review, I'm afraid.  But once I've purchased a copy, I'll try to get to it fast.  I've been looking forward to this one for a while!  And I had the pleasure of chatting with David about the novel while we were both in New York last month.  I'll be posting that interview tomorrow.  For local readers, David will be at Book Passage on Wednesday, August 10th and M is for Mystery on Thursday, August 11th.  I haven't decided which to attend.  Anyone want to come with? 

Did you see the video I posted of Chris Moore and Ian Corson last week?  Chris posted a link on Facebook and suddenly hundreds and hundreds of people swung by the blog.  Thousands of page views.  Oh, so that's what it's like to have readers, LOL.  David Liss, please send your rabid fan base over here tomorrow.  I'll be waiting.

And, I don't want to get you guys too excited, but I'm posting a review of an AWESOME debut novel on Wednesday.  It's something completely different.  Should I tell you?  Okay I will.  It's Ready Player One by Ernest Cline.

On a personal note, so many of you have kindly inquired about my sister.  She finally seems to be recovering from her surgery, and there will be no follow-up operations.  This is excellent news!  Thanks to all for your very kind concern.  And on that note...

The Leftovers
by Tom Perotta
Release date: August 30, 2011
Source: Paper galley, gift from Nicole

Talk about leftovers--this book is a leftover I forgot to include on last week's list.  It's one of the buzzier books of the fall, and I'm quite curious to read it.  I'm just not sure what I'm going to think of it.  We shall see.

Zone One
by Colson Whitehead
Release date: October 18, 2011
Source: Paper galley via Amazon Vine program

For a girl who "doesn't like zombies," this will be the fourth zombie novel I'll have read in the past year.  But I'm quite excited to read this one!  I love the current trend of major literary novelists taking on plot-driven genre literature.  This is another buzzy fall title--and it will be out just in time for Halloween.

The Accident
by Linwood Barclay
Release date: August 9, 2011
Source: Paper galley via Amazon Vine program

I've been wanting to read a Barclay novel for a while now.  This one seems to have had a "ripped from the headlines" inspiration.  From what I've read, the plot seems reminiscent of that tragic accident when a woman killed herself and several children in the car while drunk driving, but her husband and people in her life were unaware of a drinking problem.  Of course, in a thriller writer's hands, I'm sure there's more to the story than a domestic tragedy.

Pigeon English
by Stephen Kelman
Release date: July 19, 2011
Source: Electronic galley from publisher

So, did anyone notice that the Man Booker longlist was announced a couple of weeks ago?  So I thought I'd read a couple books off the longlist, starting with this one.  God, I hate written dialect.  Seriously, if you choose to read a novel called Pigeon English, you just have no room to complain.  Full review soon.

LA Mental
by Neil McMahon
Release date: September 27, 2011
Source: Electronic galley from publisher

James Rollins sez: “As much a mind game as it is thriller, a scientific puzzle buried in a murder mystery, all set against the surreal world of Hollywood filmmaking. . . . I can’t wait for the next book!”  Well, that's enough for me!  (No it isn't.  But I got the straight dope from that well known blurb 'ho Rollins, and he said read it.)

by Abigail Pogrebin
Release date: May 31, 2011
Source:  Kindle purchase

This isn't a book, it's what's called a "Kindle Single."  It's basically a really long magazine article and it generally costs about $2.  This was an example of Amazon doing brilliant targeting on me.  Once I saw the cover, I couldn't resist.  Today, Abigail Pogrebin is a respected journalist, but 30 years ago when she was 16, she was one of the teenagers in the original Broadway cast of the much maligned Sondheim flop Merrily We Roll Along, which closed after 16 performances.  This is not only her recollections of the show, but how the experience effected her, and much more.  Very interesting!

Books finished this past week:

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Pigeon English by Stephen Kelman
LA Mental by Neil McMahon

Currently Reading:

As yet undecided...

So, what have you guys been reading?  What books have you acquired this week?  I'd love to hear in the comments!


  1. I'm still reading Dance with Dragons -- Full time job really cuts into my reading time! Anyhoo, I did pick up a few titles though. From a thrift store (one of my most favorite places to shop) I got Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides, Lucky You by Carl Hiaasen, and The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri. From Amazon, I picked up The Griff, Welcome to the Jungle (Dresden files graphic novel), The audiobook for Ghost Story (Dresden Files #13), Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell, and Every Which Way But Dead (The Hollows, Book 3) by Kim Harrison.

    I'm glad that Ready Player One is this weeks Give-away. I'll definitely be putting in for that one.

  2. I just finished the audio of Tracy Chevalier's Remarkable Creatures. Five stars all the way for me! Fantastic audio as well.

    Also, I finally finished Ovid's Metamorphoses. Very accessible translation by David Raeburn for Penguin. It was surprisingly easy to read and I truly did enjoy it. Four stars.

    I should have Susan Freinkel's highly enlightening non-fiction, Plastic, finished in a day or two. Another five star book for me.

    My current audio is Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five, current print read is Elizabeth Gaskell's Cranford, and ebook to follow Plastic is Amor Towles' Rules of Civility.

  3. April and I must be on the same wavelength. I just finished Ghost Story and just started Every Which Way But Dead. Hahahaha. I'm also reading The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan about, literally, the last werewolf alive, written as a memoir of sorts while he awaits his inevitable murder. I like this writer's style. Just finished Hounded by Kevin Hearne. My latest library books are A Fistful of Charms, the next Hollows book, and Broken by Karin Fossum, which intrigued me with this on the flap: "A woman wakes up in the middle of the night. A strange man is in her bedroom. She lies there in silence, paralyzed with fear. The woman is an author and the man one of her characters, one in a long line who wait in her driveway for the time when she'll tell their stories. He is so desperately eager for his story to be told that he has resorted to breaking into her house and demanding that she begin."

  4. Oh my god, you guys are all reading awesome books this week! I would be jealous, but I'm reading some awesome books, too! (Though I think you've sold me on Broken, SL. Do let us know how it is.)

    One bit of bad news, April. I just mentioned that I was posting a review of READY PLAYER ONE on Wednesday--which I've just done. I'm afraid that I don't have a spare copy to give away. My own galley is looking rather "well-loved" right now. To be honest, when I mentioned that I would post it Wednesday, I'd forgotten that that is traditionally giveaway day. D'uh. Let's take a week off, as we sometimes do, and I'll give away something nice next Wednesday. In fact, sometime in the near future, I'll be giving away a copy of the best book I've read all year...

  5. Susan,

    I usually read your blog really early in the morning, which apparently went against me this time, hehe. Not the most coherent then :) I'll look forward to future give-aways