Where I share my love of books with reviews, features, giveaways and memes. Family and needlepoint are thrown in from time to time.


Monday, December 19, 2011

Mailbox Monday

 Mailbox Monday will be hosted in December by Lady Q at Let Them Read Books.  In My Mailbox is hosted Sundays at The Story Siren. Please visit these posts and take a look at what packages everybody else got this week! 

by Marissa Meyer

Even in the future, the story begins with once upon a time. . .

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing.  A deadly plague ravages the population.  From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move.  No one knows that Earth's fate hinges on one girl . . .

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg.  She's a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister's illness.  But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai's, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction.  Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world's future.

In this thrilling young adult debut novel, the first of a quartet, Marissa Meyer's rebooted fairy tale introduces readers to a heroine and a masterfully crafted world that isn't the Cinderella you remember -- but it's the one you won't forget. 

A Partial History of Lost Causes
by Jennifer duBois

In St. Petersburg, Russia, world chess champion Aleksandr Bezetov begins a quixotic quest: launching a dissident presidential campaign against Vladimir Putin.  He knows he will not win, but a deeper conviction propels him forward.  And in the same way that he cannot abandon his aims, he cannot erase the memory of a mysterious woman he loved in his youth.

In Cambridge, Massachusetts, thirty-year-old English lecturer Irina Ellison is on an improbable quest of her own.  Certain she has inherited Huntington's disease -- the same cruel illness that ended her father's life -- she struggles to find a sense of purpose.  Then Irina finds an old, photocopied letter her father had written to the young Aleksandr Bezetov, in which he asked the Soviet chess prodigy a profound question: How does one proceed in a lost cause?  Since he had never received an adequate reply, Irina travels to Russia to find Bezetov and get an answer for her father, and for herself.

With uncommon perception and wit, Jennifer duBois explores the power of memory, the depths of human courage, and the endurance of love.

The Night Sky: A Journey From Dachau to Denver and Back
A Memoir
by Maria Sutton

This extraordinary and unflinchingly honest memoir takes us on a riveting journey into the hearts and souls of three enigmatic people whose destinies are forever changed by the events of World War II.  The secrets of misguided love and passions are revealed as the author journeys between the past and the present to solve the mystery of a handsome Polish officer with piercing blue eyes and sun-colored hair.  Maria Sutton takes us to the dark green hills and valleys of the ancient Carpathian Mountains in Ukraine, where the woody fragrance of birch trees and new-mown hay fills the fresh, crisp air after a heavy rain.  Vicariously, we see a sunrise over Poland obscured by brightly colored swastikas on warplanes and then we will be taken into suffocating cattle cars, lice-infested stallags, and to the Dachau death camp.  Further down a country road, the hearty laughter and beer steins clinking with each salute to the Fuhrer's astonishing victories can be heard.

As Maria takes us on this odyssey to solve a decades-long mystery, she learns the family secrets of untold heroism, quiet courage, and a mother's love -- and of tragedy, disillusionment, and heartbreak.  At the end of her long journey, Maria uncovers a shattering and painful truth.  But the secret, however heartbreaking, would also become the greatest gift she would receive.

Gathering of Waters
by Bernice L. McFadden

Gathering of Waters is a deeply engrossing tale narrated by the town of Money, Mississippi -- a site both significant and infamous in our collective story as a nation.  Money is personified in this haunting novel, which chronicles its troubled history following the arrival of the Hilson and Bryant families.

Tass Hilson and Emmett Till were young and in love when Emmett was brutally murdered in 1955.  Anxious to escape the town, Tass marries Maximillian May and relocates to Detroit.

Forty years later, after the death of her husband, Tass returns to Money and fantasy takes flesh when Emmett Till's spirit is finally released from the dank, dark waters of the Tallahatchie River.  The two lovers are reunited, bringing the story to an enchanting and profound conclusion.

Gathering of Waters mines the truth about Money, Mississippi, as well as the town's families, and threads their history over decades.  The bare-bones realism -- both disturbing and riveting -- combined with a magical realm in which ghosts have the final say, is reminiscent of Toni Morrison's Beloved. 

What books came home to you last week?


bermudaonion said...

Lots of great books! I bet Cinder is a good one!

Peggy said...

Cinder seems to be a popular book right now. Gathering of Waters sounds good! Merry Christmas! I have a giveaway on my blog hop over and enter!

Anonymous said...

wow great set of books i never heard of most of them but i will research them !!! happy reading!!!!

Giselle said...

Eeek excellent haul I really want to read Cinder!!

Xpresso Reads

Ria said...

I really want to read Cinder. Don't have a copy of it yet, though, so alas, I'll have to be patient. Hope you enjoy it, though. I can't wait to see your review of it.


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