Monday, August 16, 2010

Mailbox Monday (08-16-10 edition)

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    Mailbox Monday is brought to us by The Printed Page. Here are just some of the books I've received over the last few weeks:

    Wrong: Why Experts Keep Failing Us and How to Know When Not to Trust Them by David H. Freedman
    Won from
    Just Jennifer Reading

    Our investments are devastated, obesity is epidemic, test scores are in decline, blue-chip companies circle the drain, and popular medications turn out to be ineffective and even dangerous. What happened? Didn't we listen to the scientists, economists and other experts who promised us that if we followed their advice all would be well?

    Actually, those experts are a big reason we're in this mess. And, according to acclaimed business and science writer David H. Freedman, such expert counsel usually turns out to be wrong--often wildly so. Wrong reveals the dangerously distorted ways experts come up with their advice, and why the most heavily flawed conclusions end up getting the most attention-all the more so in the online era. But there's hope: Wrong spells out the means by which every individual and organization can do a better job of unearthing the crucial bits of right within a vast avalanche of misleading pronouncements.


    Mr. Rosenblum Dreams in English by Natasha Solomons
    Won from A Mom After God's Own Heart

    Screenwriter Solomons's debut novel is the pleasant, ripped-from-the-family-archives story of German exile Jack Rosenblum and his unlikely postwar quest to build a golf course in the Dorset countryside. Fresh off the boat and with a “Helpful Information and Friendly Guidance for Every Refugee” pamphlet in hand, Jack dives passionately into assimilation, starting a booming carpet business, buying his suits at Henry Poole and his hats at Lock of St. James, and avoiding his native tongue at all costs. And while he can afford golf clubs at Harrod's, he can't check off the last item on his list: join a golf club. On impulse, he buys a damp acreage and embarks on the final leg of his assimilation. Meanwhile, his wife, Sadie, obsesses over the past, churning out Baumtortes and other confections. It's undeniably winsome, and while the pace is lackadaisical at best, the details of postwar Britain are nicely observed, and the narrative offers a sweet perspective on some very heavily traveled turf.


    Innocent by Scott Tudrow
    Won from A Mom After God's Own Heart

    The sequel to the genre-defining, landmark bestseller Presumed Innocent, INNOCENT continues the story of Rusty Sabich and Tommy Molto who are, once again, twenty years later, pitted against each other in a riveting psychological match after the mysterious death of Rusty's wife.




    Private by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro
    Won from
    Jo-Jo Loves to Read

    Former Marine and CIA agent Jack Morgan inherits his father's renowned security and detective business—along with a case load that tests him to the breaking point. Getting to the bottom of an NFL gambling scandal and an unsolved LAPD investigation into 18 school girl slayings would be enough. On top of all that, Morgan takes on solving the horrific murder of his best friend's wife.

    As Morgan fights the urge to exact brutal revenge on that killer, he has to navigate a workplace imbroglio that could blow the roof off his elite agency. And it's an especially explosive situation . . . because the love affair is his own.


    The Complete Idiot's Guide to Beekeeping by Dean Stiglitz and Laurie Herbodsheimer
    Won from Ecolibris


    The Complete Idiot's Guide(r) to Beekeeping has all the information a begin­ning beekeeper needs to know to start a hive and keep it buzzing. Expert beekeepers Dean Stiglitz and Laurie Herboldsheimer, owners of Golden Rule Honey, take readers step by step through the entire process-from information on the inhabitants of a hive and how it works to collecting bees, keeping them healthy, raising a queen, harvesting honey and wax, and stor­ing hives for the off- season.


    Books that I ordered from Barnes and Noble. Most of the books, other than Leviathan, were only $1.99 or $2.99 with free shipping. Can't beat that!:


    Deja Dead (Temperance Brennan Series #1) by Kathy Reichs

    "I'm on a first-name basis with the odor of death," remarks Temperance Brennan, forensic anthropologist for the province of Quebec. Tempe thought she had seen it all until she was called upon to examine a brutally butchered body on the grounds of an abandoned Catholic seminary in Montreal. This macabre scene begins her gripping and unforgettable manhunt in Déjà Dead, a riveting debut novel by real-life forensic anthropologist Kathy Reichs.

    Déjà Dead's suspense takes off when Tempe connects the mutilated, headless body to another case, one the police were never able to solve. The deeper she digs for clues, the more it appears as if Montreal has a serial killer on the loose, one with a penchant for carving flesh and rearranging bones. However, Tempe's attempts to warn the police are met with icy resistance, and the head of the investigation cuts her out of the loop. When another woman turns up dead, Tempe decides to investigate the murder alone, unwittingly putting her best friend, her daughter, and even herself at risk.

    In her search for the "blade cowboy," Tempe Brennan proves herself a keen hunter. But so is her prey. The only question is: Who will get to the other first? With its grisly detail, adrenaline-inducing story line, and spirited heroine, Déjà Dead is sure to catapult Kathy Reichs into the top ranks of crime-fiction writers.


    Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

    Westerfeld paints his picture on a realpolitik canvas absent from Priest's domestic frame. The year is 1914, and war is imminent, upon the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife. But aside from that, all is different in this alternate continuum. The Germans and their allies, known as "Clankers," have perfected super-mechanized craft of war. The British, or "Darwinists," rely on bioengineering: aerial whales, souped-up tiger draft beasts, and so forth. Garnering our attention among the Clankers is Prince Alek, only child of Franz and commoner Sophie, on the run from the Austrian Emperor. Among the Brits, Deryn, a young girl masquerading as a male midshipman in the imperial airforce. Their personalities are fierce and real, their inevitable meeting staged nicely and with zest.


    Sanctuary by Beverly Lewis and David Lewis

    Best-selling author's story of a woman in danger fleeing for her safety. Will the Amish community where she chooses to hide keep her safe?









    The Island by Victoria Hislop

    The Petrakis family lives in the small Greek seaside village of Plaka. Just off the coast is the tiny island of Spinalonga, where the nation's leper colony once was located—a place that has haunted four generations of Petrakis women. There's Eleni, ripped from her husband and two young daughters and sent to Spinalonga in 1939, and her daughters Maria, finding joy in the everyday as she dutifully cares for her father, and Anna, a wild child hungry for passion and a life anywhere but Plaka. And finally there's Alexis, Eleni's great-granddaughter, visiting modern-day Greece to unlock her family's past.

    A richly enchanting novel of lives and loves unfolding against the backdrop of the Mediterranean during World War II, The Island is an enthralling story of dreams and desires, of secrets desperately hidden, and of leprosy's touch on an unforgettable family.


    Wish You Well by David Baldacci

    Precocious twelve-year-old Louisa Mae Cardinal lives in the hectic New York City of 1940 with her family. Then tragedy strikes–and Lou and her younger brother, Oz, must go with their invalid mother to live on their great-grandmother’s farm in the Virginia mountains. Suddenly Lou finds herself coming of age in a new landscape, making her first true friend, and experiencing adventures tragic, comic, and audacious. But the forces of greed and justice are about to clash over her new home…and as their struggle is played out in a crowded Virginia courtroom, it will determine the future of two children, an entire town, and the mountains they love.


    Blood Ties (The Castings Series #1) by Pamela Freeman

    A thousand years ago, the Eleven Domains were invaded and the original inhabitants forced on the road as Travelers, belonging nowhere, welcomed by no-one.

    Now the Domains are governed with an iron fist by the Warlords, but there are wilder elements to the landscape which cannot be controlled and which may prove their undoing. Some are spirits of place, of water and air and fire and earth. Some are greater than these. And some are human.

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Mailbox Monday (08-16-10 edition)


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