Sunday, September 6, 2015

*Mail Call* August 31-September 3

I'm a little late posting my weekly mail call post. I could have even posted it on Thursday this week because our mail room was closed on Friday for "Post Organizational Day." But on Thursday and Friday I was busy working on a proofreading job that took precedence over this (especially since this can be posted any time I really want.) Without further ado, here is this weeks new book mail.

Two Become One by Lisa Marbly-Warir

Photo Credit: Goodreads

Destinee used to be that fiercely independent, shy and unworldly young woman; once on the outside looking in on the perfect charmed lives of the inhabitants of Langston. Never could the women of Langston imagine she would end up marrying their most eligible bachelor; Attorney Edward Johnson.

After years of loving Edward from afar, she is now living the reality of being his wife and mother to his children. Nothing could have prepared her for the ups and downs of marriage as people from her past that she thought were long gone resurface and an unexpected twist from a stranger comes to disrupt the peace and serenity she has with Edward.

Is the love they have for one another strong enough to weather the storm that is coming their way?

Or do they throw caution to the wind and let the chips fall where they may?

Hidden in Shadow Pines by Nancy Roe

Photo Credit: Goodreads

Isabella Retsul leads a happy life in Darden, Iowa. She has two loving parents and the quarterback boyfriend, and she’s on her way to Princeton in the fall. All that changes on her eighteenth birthday when she kills her parents and spirals into a deep depression.

Sixteen years after the accident, she’s content in her single life as a ghostwriter and blue-ribbon pie baker until one morning when she wakes up in a bedroom she’s never seen before.

First impressions are deceiving. Hidden away on a small patch of land in southern Iowa, Shadow Pines seems like a quiet, religious town. But underneath the peaceful façade is a web of deceit. She learns the town is bordered by a tall stone wall and the sole exit is an iron gate guarded by armed men. The residents of Shadow Pines believe Isabella, the only living relative of one of the founding members, is here of her own volition.

Isabella is determined to find a way out of Shadow Pines and return to her life in Darden. In her quest, she must decide who can be trusted while uncovering the truth of a family history she never knew.

Family Grandstand by Carol Ryrie Brink

Photo Credit: Goodreads

From Newbery Medal winner Carol Ryrie Brink comes a story about one unforgettable family.

Susan, George, and Dumpling have a special life in Midwest City, where they live with their college-professor dad and mystery-writer mom. Not only can they watch the university’s football games from the tower of their house on College Avenue, but now Tommy Tokarynski, who mows their lawn, is famous. He’s Midwest University’s star quarterback. There’s only one problem: Tommy’s grades are dreadful, and he might get kicked off the team before the homecoming game. With a little ingenuity, Susan, George, and Dumpling team up for a season of fun as they set out to save their beloved quarterback, outsmart their naughty neighbors, rescue animals, and start a new business that just might help out the whole family. It’s never a dull moment when the Ridgeway kids are involved!

The adventures of the Ridgeway family in Family Grandstand and its sequel, Family Sabbatical, were inspired by Carol Ryrie Brink’s own family and their life together in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

Bitter Melon by Elvis Alves

Photo Credit: Goodreads

In this debut poetry collection, Elvis Alves uses bitter melon as a metaphor for life's experiences. He does more than ruminate about the bitterness of life and seeks to locate the truth in the adage "life is what you make of it." He plays with the notion that modes of relating (i.e. to self, God, nature, other human beings) are at the core of what it means to take ownership of life

Fling by Lily Iona Mackenzie

Photo Credit: Goodreads

According to Lewis Buzbee, author and professor of creative writing at the University of San Francisco, “Fling! is both hilarious and touching, the madcap journey of an aging mother and her adult daughter from cold Protestant Canada into the hallucinogenic heart of Mexico's magic, where the past literally comes to life. Every page is a surprise… A scintillating read.” 

The San Francisco Weekly recommended Fling! as one of the eight summer reads along with Judy Blume, Bruce Bochy, and other more well-known authors. It reads, "A 90-year-old woman goes on a trip to Mexico City with her hippie daughter — and runs into several very dead, very funny relatives on the way — in the freewheeling new novel from the Bay Area author, who teaches writing at the University of San Francisco."

More About Fling: 

When ninety-year-old Bubbles receives a letter from Mexico City asking her to pick up her mother’s ashes, lost there seventy years earlier and only now surfacing, she hatches a plan. A woman with a mission, Bubbles convinces her hippie daughter Feather to accompany her on the quest. Both women have recently shed husbands and have a secondary agenda: they’d like a little action. And they get it.  

Alternating narratives weave together Feather and Bubbles’ odyssey. The two women travel south from Canada to Mexico where Bubbles’ long-dead mother, grandmother, and grandfather turn up, enlivening the narrative with their hilarious antics. 

In Mexico, where reality and magic co-exist, Feather gets a new sense of her mother, and Bubbles’ quest for her mother’s ashes—and a new man—increases her zest for life. Unlike most women her age, fun-loving Bubbles takes risks, believing she’s immortal. She doesn’t hold back in any way, eating heartily and lusting after strangers, exulting in her youthful spirit.

Readers will believe they’ve found the fountain of youth themselves in this character. At ninety, Bubbles comes into her own, coming to age, proving it’s never too late to fulfill one’s dreams.

Consequence by Steve Masover

Photo Credit: Goodreads

San Francisco activist Christopher Kalman has little to show for years spent organizing non-violent marches, speak-outs, blockades, and shutdowns for social and environmental justice. When a shadowy eco-saboteur proposes an attack on genetically engineered agriculture, Christopher is ripe to be drawn into a more dangerous game. His certainty that humankind stands on the brink of ecological ruin drives Christopher to reckless acts and rash alliances, pitting grave personal risk against conscientious passion.

No buy link currently available.

Kill the Silence by Monika Korra

Photo Credit: Goodreads

In 2009, college sophomore and track star Monika Kørra was grabbed by three men on her way home from a party and brutally raped. Within hours of being released, Monika resolved that she would not be a victim – she was going to be a survivor. 
Monika had traveled from her home in Norway to Southern Methodist University in Dallas, determined to acclimate to life in the States and excited for the opportunity of a full scholarship to do what she loved. As an athlete and Olympic hopeful, Monika already knew how to train against extreme fatigue, soreness, and distraction. She was used to overcoming adversity, using obstacles like stepping stones to achieve her goals. Persistence and patience had always been her greatest tools.  She would now have to use these same qualities to regain her self-identity and find a “new normal”. 
Stripped of her sense of security, she slowly rebuilds her life with the help of her friends, family, and her own unflappable spirit. Monika shares the inspiring combination of mental and physical work that gave her the strength to win her greatest fight yet: the court case against the three men who had attacked her. She testifies against them with confidence and a fierce determination that these men would never be able to hurt anyone else, securing a life sentence. Two of them received life, one with parole and one without parole for the worst of the three. 
A large percentage of sexual assaults – upwards of 80% for female college students, like Monika was – go unreported, and 15 of every 16 rapists go free. By sharing her story, Monika hopes to inspire others to come forward and tell their own stories without shame or fear. Kill the Silenceis about one woman's journey to recover from trauma and a call to arms to break the stigma that surrounds violence against women.

So that's this weeks book mail. I'm actually really looking forward to reading almost all of them equally, for very different reasons. Which of these books are you most interested in seeing me review? - Katie 

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