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


Sunday, September 23, 2012

Mailbox Monday (Sept 24, 2012)

Welcome to Mailbox Monday, the weekly meme created by Marcia from A girl and her books.  This is where I share the titles I have received for review or purchased during the past week.  Mailbox Monday will be hosted in September by Kristen at BookNAround.

I won these first two books: 

Living in Harmony
by Mary Ellis

(won from FaithfulReader.com)

Amy King -- young, engaged, and Amish -- faces life-altering challenges when she loses both parents in unexpected tragedy.  Amy's fiance, John Detweiler, persuades her to leave Lancaster County and make a new beginning with him in Harmony, Maine, where he has relatives who will help them.

John's brother Thomas and sister-in-law, Sally, readily open their home to the newcomers.  Wise beyond his years, Thomas, a minister in the district, refuses to marry Amy and John upon their arrival, suggesting instead a period of adjustment.  While trying to assimilate into the ultraconservative district, Amy discovers an aunt who was shunned.  Amy wants to reconnect with her, but John worries that the woman's tarnished reputation will reflect badly on his beloved bride-to-be.

Can John and Amy find a way to overcome problems in their relationship and live happily in Harmony before making a lifetime commitment to each other?

It's Fine By Me
by Per Petterson

(won from GrayWolfPress.org)

Fans of Per Petterson's other books in English will be delighted by this opportunity to observe Arvid Jansen in his youth from a fresh perspective.  In It's Fine By Me, Arvid befriends a boy named Audun.  On Audun's first day of school, he refuses to talk or take off his sunglasses; there are stories he would prefer to keep to himself.  Audun lives with his mother in a working-class district of Oslo.  He delivers newspapers and talks for hours about Jack London and Ernest Hemingway with Arvid.  But he's not sure that school is the right path for him and feels that life holds other possibilities.  Sometimes tender, sometimes brutal, It's Fine by Me is a brilliant novel from the acclaimed author of Out Stealing Horses and I Curse the River of Time.

These next books are for review:

One Last Strike
by Tony La Russa

After thirty-three seasons managing in Major League Baseball, Tony La Russa thought he had seen it all -- that is, until the 2011 Cardinals.  Down ten and a half games with little more than a month to play, the Cardinals had long been ruled out as serious postseason contenders.  Yet in the face of those steep odds, this team mounted one of the most dramatic and impressive comebacks in baseball history, making the playoffs on the night of the final game of the season and going on to win the World Series despite being down to their last strike -- twice.

Now La Russa gives the inside story behind this astonishing comeback and his remarkable career, explaining how a team with so much against it was able to succeed on baseball's biggest stage.  Opening up about the devastating injuries, the bullpen struggles, the crucial games, and the players who made it all possible, he reveals how the team's character shaped its accomplishments, demonstrating how this group came together in good times and in bad to become that rarest of things:  a team that actually enjoyed it when the odds were against them.

But this story is much more than that of a single season.  As La Russa, the third-winningest manager in baseball history, explains, their season was the culmination of a lifetime spent studying the game.  laying bare his often scrutinized and frequently misunderstood approach to managing, he explains his counterintuitive belief in process over result, present moments over statistics, and team unity over individual talent.  Along the way he shares the stories from throughout his career that shaped his outlook -- from his first days managing the Chicago White Sox to his championship years with the Oakland A's, to his triumphant tenure as St. Louis's longest-serving manager.  Setting the record straight on his famously intense style, he explores the vital yet overlooked role that his personal relationships with his players have contributed to his victories, ultimately showing how, in a sport often governed by cold, hard numbers, the secret to his success has been surprisingly human.

Speaking candidly about his decision to retire, La Russa discusses the changes that he'd observed both in the game an din himself that told him, despite his success, it was time to hang up his spikes.  the end result is a passionate, insightful, and remarkable look at our national pastime that takes you behind the scenes of the comeback that no one thought possible and inside the mind of one of the game's greatest managers. 

Ghost Town
by Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson

Welcome to Exeter, the "most haunted town in America," thanks to a deadly flood that unleashed an army of ghosts decades ago.  And when ghost trackers Amber, Drew, and Trevor attend a conference during Exeter's spookiest week of the year, the ghouls grow restless.  First, an innocent bookstore worker is mysteriously killed, setting off a string of strange deaths that point to a shadowy spirit known as the Dark Lady.

With a paranormal revolution ensuing, the team must stop the twisted bloodbath.  But a past horror involving the death of a former teammate has them spinning faster than a specter in a storm, especially when they learn that it's his ghost who awakened the Dark Lady.  Now, with their lives on the line and the entire town at stake, the three must decide whether to trust the spirit of their old friend or to finally put a stake through his heart. 

Buddy: How a Rooster Made Me a Family Man
by Brian McGrory

At least on the surface, Brian McGrory had it all figured out -- a plum gig at the Boston Globe, season tickets to Fenway, and a classic town house in Back Bay.  Best of all, he had the coolest companion to enjoy it with, his wise and wonderful golden retriever, Harry.  But a dog's life can only go so long, and when Harry dies, everything changes.  Brian begins to realize what's missing, and it's someone he's known all along: Pam, Harry's veterinarian.  Pam, though, comes with accessories exotic to the city-loving bachelor:  a home in suburbia, a yard with grass, two young daughters, and a long list of animals that includes a portly, snow white rooster named Buddy.  Buddy loves the women of the house and fiercely delights in protecting them, so Brian quickly becomes public enemy number one.

For Brian, it's all deeply unsettling -- the long commutes, the absence of his treasured morning walks, and, of course, the lurking, diabolical rooster.  But as much as he'd like to condemn the bird, Brian admires Buddy's extraordinary relationship with Pam and the girls.  Strong and content, devoted to what he has rather than what might be missing, Buddy has it all figured out.  Will Brian learn the secret to family harmony or find himself packing?  With luminous writing and expert comic timing, McGrory brings to life a classic story of love, acceptance, and change as one man's nemesis becomes his madcap mentor.

In the tradition of bestsellers like Marley and Me and Let's Take the Long Way Home, Buddy is a wise and poignant tale of finding your way in life -- and how wonderful that can be when you have to fight for it. 

Life with Lily
by Mary Ann Kinsinger and Suzanne Woods Fisher

On a small Amish farm in upstate New York, young Lily Lapp has plenty to do and plenty of people to love.  But changes are coming -- including a new baby brother, a new teacher at school, and new ways of looking at the world.  Lily's growing up Amish, and there's always a lot to learn -- if only Lily can stay out of trouble!

Tears Water the Seeds of Hope
by Kim Tews

Tears Water the Seeds of Hope is the inspiring true story of a Midwest husband and wife that become disenchanted with the relentless pursuit of the American Dream and embark on a journey that spans six countries and redefines their values and lives.  The story begins in a small town in Wisconsin and weaves its way through South and Central America as the couple gathers an army of supporters and establishes an organization to save the lives of children in the end stages of starvation in eastern Guatemala.  The narrative is filled with action-packed adventure and heartwarming victories a the characters face incredible odds and seemingly hopeless situations, while hundreds of volunteers join mission teams to offer help and hope through the programs of the ministry.  Readers of all ages will enjoy the roller-coaster ride of emotions -- from laughter to tears to sheer joy -- as they realize that ordinary people can make a difference one life at a time.

Man in the Blue Moon
by Michael Morris

"He's a gambler at best. A con artist at worst," her aunt had said of the handlebar-mustached man who snatched Ella Wallace from her dreams of studying art in France.  Eighteen years later, he has disappeared, leaving Ella saddled with debt and struggling to support three sons.

While World War I rages through Europe, Ella begins her own battle to keep the mystical Florida land that has been in her family for generations from the hands of an unscrupulous banker.  A mysterious man who arrives at Ella's door in an unconventional way convinces her he can help, and a tenuous trust begins.

But when the battle for Ella's land intensifies, the town's suspicion of her visitor surges, and it's soon apparent he is as haunted by his past as Ella is terrified for her future.  As the two realities collide, hypocrisy and murder shake the coastal town of Apalachicola, jeopardizing everything Ella has fought so desperately to save.

In a riveting portrait of turn-of-the-century Florida, acclaimed author Michael Morris weaves an unforgettable drama of love and loyalty, betrayal and redemption.

And I got this great set of children's books from Sylvan Dell for review: 

And then I purchased these books this week:

by Chevy Stevens

From the acclaimed author of STILL MISSING comes a psychological thriller about one woman’s search into her past and the deadly truth she uncovers. 

All her life, Sara Gallagher has wondered about her birth parents. As an adopted child with two sisters who were born naturally to her parents, Sara’s home life was not ideal. The question of why she was given up for adoption has always haunted her. Finally, she is ready to take steps and find closure. 

But some questions are better left unanswered. 

After months of research, Sara locates her birth mother—only to be met with horror and rejection. Then she discovers the devastating truth: her mother was the only victim ever to escape a killer who has been hunting women every summer for decades. But Sara soon realizes the only thing worse than finding out about her father is him finding out about her. 

What if murder is in your blood? 

Never Knowing is a complex and compelling portrayal of one woman’s quest to understand herself, her origins, and her family. That is, if she can survive…

by Maggie Stiefvater

Grace and Sam share a kinship so close they could be lovers or siblings. But they also share a problem. When the temperature slips towards freezing, Sam reverts to his wolf identity and must retreat into the woods to protect his pack. He worries that eventually his human side will fade away and he will be left howling alone at the lonely moon. A stirring supernatural teen romance.

Easy Quilt Projects

Halloween Party Favorites

What books came home with you this week?


bermudaonion said...

Wow! We did get a couple of the same titles. Buddy looks so good to me.

Jessica ( frellathon ) said...

I'm totally willing to go out on a limb here and say that Chevy Stevens can do no wrong.

Mystica said...

What a nice mixed pile of reads and you can never fail with a Chevy Stevens. This book was so good

Creations by Laurel-Rain Snow said...

I've been seeing Buddy and Man in the Blue Moon. Hope you enjoy all of your books.

I loved Never Knowing, too. Hope you can't put it down...lol


CMash said...

Great mailbox. I read Never Knowing and thought it was a good, page turning read. Have a great week.

Leslie (Under My Apple Tree) said...

As a baseball fan I'd probably enjoy Tony La Russa's book. I received a copy of Buddy last week too.

Diana Leigh said...

GHOST TOWN sounds awesome! I love spooky tales.

Tea norman said...

Love, love your mailbox. I'll bet you gave the mailman a happy smile every time.:)

Tribute Books Mama said...

Never Knowing and Ghost Town sound good to me.


Elizabeth said...

I like the looks of GHOST TOWN and IT'S FINE BY ME.


Silver's Reviews

Teddy Rose said...

Wow, that's quite the list of books! I hope you enjoy them all!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...