Monday, August 15, 2011

Mailbox Monday: The geeking out edition

So, I'm geeking out a little.  The past few weeks you guys have seen references to a book I was reading called Ready Player One, a debut novel by Ernest Cline.  (My rave review may be read here, or simply by scrolling down.)  So, I don't know Ernie Cline, never met him, but in honor of his book going on sale tomorrow, the theme of this week's mailbox photos is geeking out, LOL.  Yes, these are all mailboxes.  Finding these photos was so much fun!  Say what you will, but the geeks have a great sense of humor.

Incidentally, even though I don't know uber-geek Cline, I did have some minor correspondence with him last week.  He signed his email, "MTFBWYA."  You do not want to know how long it took me to figure that out.  Yeah, I'm totally a geek, but a different flavor geek than Mr. Cline.  I'm a book geek, and I show my true colors each week on this blog, LOL.

Case in point:  I totally geeked out last week because I got a personal letter (snail mail to me specifically, not a form letter) from Random House editor extraordinaire (and an awesome novelist in his own right), David Ebershoff!  It was nothing important, and I rather doubt most of his correspondents are as excited as I was, but I take my thrills where I get them, okay?
I have to say that this was an awesome week for books, too!  I mean, they're all pretty awesome, really.  Are you ever astounded by just how many great books are out there?  I am, all the time.  On that note...

Ragnarok: The End of the Gods
by A.S. Byatt
Release date: February 7, 2012
Source: Electronic galley from publisher

This fall seems to be the season to face down all my literary fears.  I've always been intimidated to read Byatt.  But this one is small, and seems... Well not accessible, but, uh, shorter.  Don't judge me.

by David Whitehouse
Release date: August 2, 2011
Source: Finished hardback from publisher

This British debut novel has been on my radar since it got a rave (starred) review in PW.  I finally got around to requesting a review copy, and I'm so grateful to Simon & Schuster for accomodating my request in record time.  This is a fascinating character study and a great story!  Look for my review later this week.

Too Much Stuff
by Don Bruns
Release date: December 12, 2011
Source: Electronic galley from publisher

Three little words:  Trashy Underwater Fiction!  A comic mystery featuring missing gold and scuba diving in the Florida Keys.  And it's releasing the week of my birthday.  What a lovely gift!

The Twelfth Enchantment
by David Liss
Release date: August 9, 2011
Source: Purchased at M is for Mystery (Because I love my local indies!)

This book is such old news already.  Noneless, I did actually purchase it, read it in record time, love it, and agonize over a review last week.  You can see it here

The Orphan Master's Son
by Adam Johnson
Release date: January 10, 2012
Source: Paper galley from publisher

Now, this is something very interesting, and I hadn't heard about it until it showed in the mailbox last week.  For starters, Adam Johnson is local, and I see him around the San Francisco literary scene.  Nice guy.  The novel has an enthusiastic blurb from David Mitchell on the cover, thus assuring that I will read it.  But it sounds fascinating, "Part breathless thriller, part story of innocence lost, part story of romantic love, The Orphan Master’s Son is also a riveting portrait of a world heretofore hidden from view: a North Korea rife with hunger..."

Girls in White Dresses
by Jennifer Close
Release date: August 9, 2011
Source: Electronic galley from publisher

I picked up a couple of signed galleys of this novel at BEA, but I'm so much more likely to review if I can read it on my Kindle.  To date, Knopf--who are very kind in supplying whatever books I request--have been very difficult about electronic galleys.  Hopefully that is changing.  See, Knopf, I finally read it.  Review TK.  In fact, should this be this week's Humpday Giveaway?  Maybe...

Sacre Bleu: A Comedy d'Art
by Christopher Moore
Release date: April 3, 2012
Source: Unbound MS from publisher

Okay, I don't want to hear about the 14 typos that you found in the last Chris Moore novel, because I'm one of the very last pairs on eyes that checks for such things.  All I can say is that there would be even more errors if I were not doing so.  Proofreading for Chris can be interesting, as recent novels have ranged from pseudo-Shakespearian English to... Abby Normal.  'Nuff said.  And this one's full of fucking French (his words, not mine), with the accents.  I have been looking forward to reading this for the past couple of years, because I kept hearing these tantalizing tidbits from Chris's girlfriend.  She told me that this was his best novel since Lamb, and she may be right.

Eyes Wide Open
by Andrew Gross
Release date: July 12, 2011
Source: 2 Finished hardbacks from publisher

I'd been sort of interested in reading this novel, but it was easier to just read the millions of books already in my apartment.  Now this book is in my apartment, and I will look forward to reading it in the near future.  And di you notice that the nice folks at HarperCollins sent two copies?  One is for you guys!  Another contender for this week's giveway.  (Let me know in the comments if you have a preference.)

Shades of Milk and Honey
by Mary Robinette Kowal
Release date: August 3, 2011
Source: Trade paperback purchased at Borderlands Books

I was over by Borderlands Books this weekend and allowed myself to be hand-sold this novel I had not heard of before.  Apparently, if I liked David Liss's latest, I will definitely like this one as well.  Mostly, I just like supporting my local independent bookseller, so that I always have a lovely shop to shoot the breeze in.

Ready Player One t-shirt!

Yes, I got an extra bonus gift in the mail last week, a cool and stylish Ready Player One t-shirt from my friends at Random House.  It is so very cool and awesome!

Books finished this week:

The Twelfth Enchantment by David Liss
One Day by David Nicholls
Bed by David Whitehouse
Girls in White Dresses by Jennifer Close

Currently reading:

Sacre Bleu by Christopher Moore
The Accident by Linwood Barclay

So, what awesome books have you guys been reading this week?  What have you brought into the house?  What do you want me to give away on Wednesday?  Let me know!


  1. I love this week's mailbox theme.

    I'm reading our friend Bob's latest, Key Dali, and listening to Ghost Story by Jim Butcher.

    I didn't pick up too many new books this week -- well, no NEW ones at all. I picked up the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark books from a yard sale on Saturday, but other than that, no book shopping for me.

  2. I want the mailbox at the top!

    I finished the Last Werewolf and thoroughly enjoyed it. There was a nice twist in the middle, with another twist toward the end. The only complaint I have is about the author's reluctance to use a frickin' comma. Now this may be the voice of the werewolf character, but I think not. I'll have to investigate more by Duncan.

    I'm reading A Fistful of Charms in paper and Jim Butcher's Side Jobs, short stories, on the iPad. Next up after Charms will be Broken, which I'm looking forward to.

    I'm extremely green with envy over Sacre Bleu.

  3. Hey SL,

    Don't be too jealous. I giggled all the way through the novel, but I was working really hard. I haven't been able to just sit back and enjoy reading one of Chris's novels for years. It's always deadlines and micro-analysis of the grammar and formatting. You're better off just reading them for pleasure.

    Happily, I turned in the MS this morning, on deadline. It's a relief to be done with all those French accents! (Literal accents, all those annoying marks over the words. Thought I was going to go crazy!) I think/hope I did a good job for him.

  4. Hi Susan,

    Glad you got THE ORPHAN MASTER'S SON. It's super duper. I've been obsessed with this book for almost a year. After reading it, I swear you'll never again look at a map of the Korean peninsula without thinking of the hero, Jun Do.

    Abrahama Verghese says:

    "Adam Johnson has pulled off literary alchemy, first by setting his novel in North Korea, a country that few of us can imagine, then by producing such compelling characters whose lives unfold at breakneck speed. I was engrossed right to the amazing conclusion. The result is pure gold, a terrific novel.”