Monday, May 3, 2010
Mailbox Monday -- May 3rd
Thanks to host Marcia at The Printed Page I'm participating in the Mailbox Monday round up. This week I received the following advance review copies:
1) Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith. Publisher's Summary. Indiana, 1818. Moonlight falls through the dense woods that surround a one-room cabin, where a nine-year-old Abraham Lincoln kneels at his suffering mother's bedside. She's been stricken with something the old-timers call "Milk Sickness."
"My baby boy..." she whispers before dying.
Only later will the grieving Abe learn that his mother's fatal affliction was actually the work of a vampire.
When the truth becomes known to young Lincoln, he writes in his journal, "henceforth my life shall be one of rigorous study and devotion. I shall become a master of mind and body. And this mastery shall have but one purpose..." Gifted with his legendary height, strength, and skill with an ax, Abe sets out on a path of vengeance that will lead him all the way to the White House.
While Abraham Lincoln is widely lauded for saving a Union and freeing millions of slaves, his valiant fight against the forces of the undead has remained in the shadows for hundreds of years. That is, until Seth Grahame-Smith stumbled upon The Secret Journal of Abraham Lincoln, and became the first living person to lay eyes on it in more than 140 years.
Using the journal as his guide and writing in the grand biographical style of Doris Kearns Goodwin and David McCullough, Seth has reconstructed the true life story of our greatest president for the first time-all while revealing the hidden history behind the Civil War and uncovering the role vampires played in the birth, growth, and near-death of our nation.
2) The Language God Talks by Herman Wouk. Publisher's Summary. More years ago than I care to reckon up, I met Richard Feynman." So begins THE LANGUAGE GOD TALKS, Herman Wouk's gem on navigating the divide between science and religion. In one rich, compact volume, Wouk draws on stories from his life as well as on key events from the 20th century to address the eternal questions of why we are here, what purpose faith serves, and how scientific fact fits into the picture. He relates wonderful conversations he's had with scientists such as Feynman, Murray Gell-Mann, Freeman Dyson, and Steven Weinberg, and brings to life such pivotal moments as the 1969 moon landing and the Challenger disaster.
3) Foxy by Pam Grier. Publisher's Summary. Beautiful, bold, and bad, Pam Grier burst onto the movie scene in the 1970s, setting the screen on fire and forever changing the country's view of African American actresses. With a killer attitude and body to match, Grier became the ultimate fantasy of men everywhere. But she quickly proved that she was more than just a desirable film goddess. She had the brains, courage, and tenacity to sustain a career that would span more than 30 years. In FOXY, she chronicles the good, bad, and steamy highlights in her life and career.
4) This is Why You're Fat by Jackie Warner. Publisher's Summary. Being fat isn't your fault; staying fat is." That's what Jackie Warner, America's favorite no-nonsense celebrity fitness trainer tells her own clients, and that's why no one delivers better results than Jackie does. Now for the first time, Jackie shares her revolutionary program, showing readers the best ways to drop pounds and inches fast, without grueling workouts or deprivation, and keep them off for good! Her two-tiered approach provides a complete nutritional makeover and a failure-proof condensed workout routine PLUS all the emotional support and encouragement you need to get to the finish line and beyond.
5) What to Wear for the Rest of Your Life by Kim Johnson Gross. Publisher's Summary. Every woman's closet-no matter the size-is a room of her own. In that space hang side by side the special occasions and the everyday, the triumphs and the disasters, the memories we want to keep and those we should jettison. Gross helps us to reconsider our closet identity and discover who we want to be. She shares her personal journey and the intimate, poignant and often humorous stories of the dozens of women she interviewed across the country. Along with calming fashion advice about how to choose flattering clothes that will fit any woman's shape and style, Gross's engaging stories will help every woman evolve gracefully from wife to mother, from empty-nester to globe-trotting adventurer--whatever role she chooses--while letting her style express her inner beauty.
All of these great books are thanks to Hachette Book Group!
6) Waiting for Jack by Kristen Moeller. Amazon Product Description. Robin Spizman says: “Refreshingly vulnerable, witty and wise. Waiting for Jack feels like a conversation with your best friend over coffee. With an honest approach and take action message, Kristen Moeller motivates readers to make it happen. This book is a special gift!”
Waiting for Jack is Eat, Pray, Love meets the Success Principles. Its memoir meets “how to.” It’s an inquiry into why we keep waiting for our lives to start, why we look outside ourselves for the answers and why we hide the magnificence that we really are. After so many years of being a seeker and not a finder, I declared an end to the “waiting for Jack.” Through the sharing of intimate and authentic stories (both mine and others), the reader takes the journey to break free from the “self-help treadmill” and to find their own “inner Jack.”
It is the permission we have been waiting for to end the cycle of searching and never finding. It’s an inquiry not an answer—the reader is provided with tools and challenged to find her own unique answers. It is the call to stop “jacking around.” It’s the access to being set free to create our lives and to stop waiting to live.
We are all Waiting for Jack—whatever or whoever “Jack” is. We falsely believe the gifts of life are just around the corner, that anywhere is better than here, that one day we will arrive and everything will be okay. So we don’t try; we give up. We sell out and we forget who we are. We are afraid to succeed, afraid to fail, and afraid to say we are afraid. But as Wayne Gretzky said, “You'll always miss one-hundred percent of the shots you don't take!”
So take the shot, get on the path, and move forward. Authentically give your word to something that matters to you. And remember, you don’t have to wait for Jack.
Thanks to the publicist!
7) The Third Rail by Michael Harvey. Booklist Product Description. Harvey’s third Michael Kelly novel finds the tough Chicago PI eyeball deep in a burgeoning reign of terror focused on the transit system, the venerable CTA. Kelly witnesses the first murder on an L platform and sets off in hot but futile pursuit. After the second murder, he receives a taunting phone call from the killer, who alludes to Kelly’s knowledge of ancient Greece. As Kelly dredges his memory for a suspect—and recalls painful moments from his youth—the FBI barges in, citing terrorism; spooky suits from Homeland Security lurk on the periphery; and the body count rises. Hizzoner, the Daleyesque John J. Wilson, summons Kelly to make him an offer he can’t refuse. The expert use of Chicago politics that distinguished Harvey’s previous novel, The Fifth Floor (2008), is much in evidence here as well. Hizzoner is still practicing realpolitik, Chicago style, and the main plot is based on a real-life CTA accident in the 1970s. But the edginess and noir sensibility that were central to the earlier book’s appeal are lessened a bit this time by Kelly’s becoming an insider; the mayor seems to admire and trust him. That said, the action is nonstop, Harvey once again captures the unique zeitgeist of the city, and Kelly, tough smart, and a bit rough around the edges, is a true native son. --Thomas Gaughan.
Thanks to FSB Associates!
8) House Rules by Jodi Picoult. Amazon Review. They tell me I'm lucky to have a son who's so verbal, who is blisteringly intelligent, who can take apart the broken microwave and have it working again an hour later. They think there is no greater hell than having a son who is locked in his own world, unaware that there's a wider one to explore. But try having a son who is locked in his own world, and still wants to make a connection. A son who tries to be like everyone else, but truly doesn't know how.
Jacob Hunt is a teenage boy with Asperger's syndrome. He's hopeless at reading social cues or expressing himself well to others, and like many kids with AS, Jacob has a special focus on one subject--in his case, forensic analysis. He's always showing up at crime scenes, thanks to the police scanner he keeps in his room, and telling the cops what they need to do...and he's usually right. But then his town is rocked by a terrible murder and, for a change, the police come to Jacob with questions. All of the hallmark behaviors of Asperger's--not looking someone in the eye, stimulatory tics and twitches, flat affect--can look a lot like guilt to law enforcement personnel. Suddenly, Jacob and his family, who only want to fit in, feel the spotlight shining directly on them. For his mother, Emma, it's a brutal reminder of the intolerance and misunderstanding that always threaten her family. For his brother, Theo, it's another indication of why nothing is normal because of Jacob. And over this small family the soul-searing question looms: Did Jacob commit murder?
Emotionally powerful from beginning to end, House Rules looks at what it means to be different in our society, how autism affects a family, and how our legal system works well for people who communicate a certain way--and fails those who don't.
9) Handle with Care by Jodi Picoult. Publishers Weekly Review Perennial bestseller Picoult (Change of Heart) delivers another engrossing family drama, spiced with her trademark blend of medicine, law and love. Charlotte and Sean O'Keefe's daughter, Willow, was born with brittle bone disease, a condition that requires Charlotte to act as full-time caregiver and has strained their emotional and financial limits. Willow's teenaged half-sister, Amelia, suffers as well, overshadowed by Willow's needs and lost in her own adolescent turmoil. When Charlotte decides to sue for wrongful birth in order to obtain a settlement to ensure Willow's future, the already strained family begins to implode. Not only is the defendant Charlotte's longtime friend, but the case requires Charlotte and Sean to claim that had they known of Willow's condition, they would have terminated the pregnancy, a statement that strikes at the core of their faith and family. Picoult individualizes the alternating voices of the narrators more believably than she has previously, and weaves in subplots to underscore the themes of hope, regret, identity and family, leading up to her signature closing twists. (Mar.)
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Thanks to Partique!