Monday, February 14, 2011

Mailbox Monday ~ February 14th



Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that that arrived during the previous week.  Created by Marcia @ The Printed Page, this month's host is:  Laura @ Library of Clean Reads
Here is what arrived last week:
Okay, after the terrible winter, I needed something to make me feel like spring and summer were very close by. I fell in love with these the moment I saw them, and food tastes better on them as well:)



Harper Collins was very good to me last week:
 From Penguin/Riverhead/ Putnam:
  • Lost Dogs and Lonely Hearts; Lucy Dillion -
    An irresistible novel about women, men, and the dogs that own them.

    Thirty-nine year old Rachel is having a really bad year. After losing her job and breaking up with her boyfriend, Rachel has inherited her late aunt's house, her beloved border collie, and a crowded rescue kennel, despite the fact that she knows almost nothing about dogs. Still, considering her limited options, she gamely takes up the challenge of running the kennel. And as Rachel starts finding new homes for the abandoned strays, it turns out that it might not just be the dogs that need rescuing.
    • The Long Goodbye; Meghan O'Rourke - What does it mean to mourn today, in a culture that has largely set aside rituals that acknowledge grief? After her mother died of cancer at the age of fifty-five, Meghan O'Rourke found that nothing had prepared her for the intensity of her sorrow. In the first anguished days, she began to create a record of her interior life as a mourner, trying to capture the paradox of grief-its monumental agony and microscopic intimacies-an endeavor that ultimately bloomed into a profound look at how caring for her mother during her illness changed and strengthened their bond.

      O'Rourke's story is one of a life gone off the rails, of how watching her mother's illness-and separating from her husband-left her fundamentally altered. But it is also one of resilience, as she observes her family persevere even in the face of immeasurable loss.

      With lyricism and unswerving candor, The Long Goodbye conveys the fleeting moments of joy that make up a life, and the way memory can lead us out of the jagged darkness of loss. Effortlessly blending research and reflection, the personal and the universal, it is not only an exceptional memoir, but a necessary one.

  • Planting Dandelions; Kyran Pittman - In the family of Jen Lancaster and Elizabeth Gilbert, Kyran Pittman is the laid-back middle sister: warm and witty and confiding, with an addictively smart and genuine voice-but married with three kids and living in the heartland. Relatable and real, she writes about family in a way that highlights all its humor, while at the same time honoring its depth.

    A regular contributor to Good Housekeeping, Pittman is well loved because she is funny and honest and self-deprecating, because her own household is in chaos ("semi-domesticated"), and because she inspires readers in their own domestic lives. In these eighteen linked, chronological essays, Pittman covers the first twelve years of becoming a family, writing candidly and hilariously about things like learning to maintain a marriage over time; dealing with the challenges of sex after childbirth; saying good-bye to her younger self and embracing the still attractive, forty-year-old version; and trying to "recession- proof" her family (i.e., downsize to avoid foreclosure).

    From a fresh new talent, celebrating the joys and trials of a new generation of parents, Planting Dandelions is an entertaining tribute to choosing the white-picket fence over the other options available, even if you don't manage to live up to its ideals every day. 
From Simon and Schuster:
  • A Mountain of Crumbs; Elena Gorokhova - Growing up during the cold war in Leningrad, Ellen gets in trouble for not following the rules, and her wry, present-tense narrative, both comic and anguished, is not about political intrigues but about the daily detail of her struggle at home and at school. Of course, the government parallels are always there. As her overbearing, protective mother explains, the official rules are simple: “they lie to us, we know they’re lying, they know we know . . .” Within the very specific context of the cold war Soviet Union, Gorokhova effectively dramatizes universal teen conflicts. Are duty and personal happiness always mutually exclusive? Or can it be true what Ellen’s aunt says: you can be useful and still care for the beauty of your nails. Eventually Ellen marries an American to get out, and looking back now from her home in New Jersey, her dual perspective is at the heart of the drama, ironic but never cold or simple. There is no word for privacy in Russian, but there is one for isolation.
From Atlantic Monthly Press:
  • The Summer of the Bear ; Bella Pollen - In 1980 Germany, under Cold War tension, a mole is suspected in the British Embassy. When the clever diplomat Nicky Fleming dies suddenly and suspiciously, it’s convenient to brand him the traitor. But was his death an accident, murder, or suicide? As the government digs into Nicky’s history, his wife, Letty, relocates with her three children to a remote Scottish island hoping to salvage their family. But the isolated shores of her childhood retreat only intensify their distance, and it is Letty’s brilliant and peculiar youngest child, Jamie, who alone holds on to the one thing he’s sure of: his father has promised to return and he was a man who never broke a promise.

    Exploring the island, Jamie and his teenaged sisters discover that a domesticated brown bear has been marooned on shore, hiding somewhere among the seaside caves. Jamie feels that the bear may have a strange connection to his father, and as he seeks the truth, his father’s story surfaces unexpected ways. Bella Pollen has an uncanny ability to capture the unnoticeable moments in which families grow quiet. A novel about the corrosive effects of secrets and the extraordinary imagination of youth, The Summer of the Bear is Pollen’s most ambitious and affecting book yet.
Win fromhttp://www.peekingbetweenthepages.com/2010/12/giveaway-2-audio-book-copies-of.html:
  • Cleopatra; Stacy Schiff (audiobook) - Hachette
    This biography of Cleopatra goes well beyond the details of her life, of which little is known beyond what has been passed down from classical writers, painting a picture of life in Egypt at the end of the Hellenistic period. Robin Miles gives an expressive yet understated delivery of Cleopatra's story--one that is far more complex than the more infamous incidents she is best remembered for. Miles reads the copious footnotes in their proper place in the text, increasing her pace and softening her tone, which clearly delineates the additional information from the main text. Her measured reading, with long pauses that separate ideas, gives listeners time to take in all the details as well as draw their own conclusions about Schiff's biographical hypotheses.
     Happy Valentine's Day Everyone!

39 comments:

  1. That china is glorious! and the books are wonderful as well..

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  2. I love the title 'The Summer of the Bear' sounds so romantic. Lovely selection as always. Enjoy your books.

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  3. Everything looks good in your mailbox, but especially "Planting Dandelions". Enjoy them all!

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  4. The china is beautiful. I do love square shaped plates.
    I have nearly destroyed the whole of my last set of crockery, so will replace with square.
    I am not joking....I break something in the kitchen almost weekly.

    carol

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  5. So many good books, congrats! I love your blog as I've said many times.:) I adore those dishes. So pretty. I have a question. Is that a white peacock? She's gorgeous.

    http://readwithtea.blogspot.com

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  6. I know what you mean about needing something pretty and spring-like. Even though our winters are mild, the thought of anything in floral can be inspirational. I bought my Country Floral china during a winter....

    Your books all look fascinating. It's hard to pick a favorite, but The Long Goodbye really grabbed me.

    Thanks for visiting my blog.

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  7. You definitely had an awesome week - that's a lot of wonderful books! I love your mailbox logo! :) Love the set you got too!

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  8. What gorgeous plates! A definite reminder that spring will surely come.

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  9. Great mailbox!! Happy Reading!

    And Happy Valentine's Day to you!

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  10. oooh, that china is just gorgeous! So many wonderful books! Where will you start? Tough choice, they all look so good. Have a great week, Diane, and happy Valentine's Day!

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  11. Lovely china dishes and good selection of books sounds like the makings of a fabulous week. Happy Valentines Day!

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  12. I hope the books are as good as the china is pretty. Enjoy, Diane :-)

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  13. The china is just beautiful, and definitely a spirit lifter during this snowy winter :)
    The Long Goodbye sounds heart-wrenching, but very good...hope you enjoy them all.

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  14. Thanks for all of he comments.

    As for the dishes, they are actually everyday dishes not china but they do certainly dress up the table.

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  15. Wow,you had a great week! I hadn't heard about most of these titles, now I have to go do some research!

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  16. Those dishes are absolutely beautiful, and I would love to know where you found them, as I think I would love a set too!

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  17. I love those dishes! You got a nice pile of books, congrats!

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  18. I love china and have way too much of it, so I understand the need for more.

    You got tons of fabulous books last week!

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  19. Enjoy your goodies, Diane! :)

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  20. here's mine http://tributebooksmama.blogspot.com/2011/02/mailbox-monday-human-bobby.html

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  21. I have to admit that I thought the square dishes were napkins at first. As dishes though they are gorgeous! :) Nice mailbox!

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  22. What pretty dishes. I wouldn't mind eating some cookies off of those plates.

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  23. Love those china dishes! So beautiful!

    Enjoy your books!

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  24. I love the variation of reads.

    Girl your diversity is amazing!

    Enjoy all these goodies and Happy Valentine Day :)

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  25. Yes, they were very good to you. Those plates are so pretty!!! I just have heavy duty use plates...maybe one of these days I'll just eat on China!!

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  26. The Long Goodbye is a book I want to check out as it sounds amazing!

    Love the china & the Valentine's Day pics! Hope you're having a great day!

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  27. You got some great-sounding books! I've never heard of The Summer of the Bear or the author, but I'm very intrigued. Hope you enjoy them all!

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  28. Such a great mailbox. I want to read Cleopatra. I hope you enjoy all your books. And I love your happy floral china!

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  29. What a great present for yourself - such beautiful dishes!

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  30. Fantastic week and a nice variety of books. The china is lovely... and it matches my sofa!

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  31. These books look absolutely fantastic to distract yourself from the weather! And the china is beautiful! For some reason, I always feel that food and drinks taste so much better when they're displayed in a pretty way :)

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  32. Isn't it amazing how dishes can make food taste better? I love my M&M plates (a big step down but they work for me).

    And I'm going to be reading The Long Goodbye too for a TLC Book Tour. I'm interested to see what she has to say as this is a topic that I (unfortunately) have experience with.

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  33. The china is beautiful! Enjoy all your new books!

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  34. Wow, those dishes are divine! And you got some great books. I'm just finishing up Cleopatra. It's been slow going...been awhile since I've read non-fiction!

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  35. You got some great reads in your mailbox! And the dishes are really lovely too.

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  36. Great loot!! I got Mountain of Crumbs too. I was curious about Planting Dandelions,

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  37. You're one lucky woman! Look at all the books you received. Happy reading!

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