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:
Three new books came my way last week (2) from the publishers and (1) from a paperback swap member.
- Night Flight: Amelia Earhart Crosses the Atlantic; Robert Burleigh and Wendell Minor-
- Gr 2-5-On a May evening in 1932, Amelia Earhart climbed into her single-engine, red Lockheed Vega and flew across the ocean, departing from Newfoundland and landing on a farm in Northern Ireland. Burleigh's suspenseful text and Minor's shifting perspectives work in tandem to pull readers into the drama as they experience the anxiety and exhilaration that accompanied this historic flight. Earhart's skill, stamina, and courage are put to the test when a thunderstorm erupts, her altimeter breaks, and icy wings cause the plane to plummet. She faces the "Hour of white knuckles....Hour of maybe-and maybe not." The third-person narrative is arranged in two-line stanzas of free verse; the language is fresh and evocative, morphing to match the mood-by turns terse, lyrical, relentless. Minor's gouache and watercolor scenes pull back from intense close-ups and cockpit perspectives to sweeping panoramic vistas, his fluid brushwork a perfect match for a tale of sea and sky. This book will encourage children to consider the inner resources required to undertake such a feat when pilots had only themselves to rely on-in this case, traversing 2000 miles without the security of land. Back matter includes a technical note, bibliography, and inspirational quotes from Earhart's writings. Endpapers depict a map of the flight and a rendering of the plane. Pair this with Nikki Grimes's Talkin' About Bessie (Scholastic, 2002) to present another female aviator who experienced the pleasures and perils of being a pioneer.
- Joy for Beginners; Erica Bauermeister -
At an intimate, festive dinner party in Seattle, six women gather to celebrate their friend Kate's recovery from cancer. Wineglass in hand, Kate strikes a bargain with them. To celebrate her new lease on life, she'll do the one thing that's always terrified her: white-water rafting. But if she goes, all of them will also do something they always swore they'd never do-and Kate is going to choose their adventures.
Shimmering with warmth, wit, and insight, Joy for Beginners is a celebration of life: unexpected, lyrical, and deeply satisfying.
- Amazing Disgrace; James Hamilton-Patterson - (Europa Edition)
*Starred Review* Gerald Samper, an irrepressible middle-aged Brit, divides his time between London and a Tuscan villa, where he sips wine, savors his own curious culinary creations (like "Badger Wellington" and "Death Roe"), and pens biographies of sports and media personalities. The subjects of his offerings are often insufferable, such as one-armed fiftysomething yachtswoman Millie Cleat, more concerned with her own notoriety than her nautical achievements. In this sequel to the wonderfully wry Cooking with Fernet Branca, Samper experiments with an herbal potion for penile enlargement and pines for his Tuscan neighbor, Marta, a composer from an Eastern Bloc country who has mysteriously disappeared. Fortuitous circumstances bring Samper into the company of famous German conductor Max Christ. This turn of events is sure to please his nicotine-addicted agent, Frankie, who's forever pestering Samper to find more substantial subjects for his tomes. Amazing Disgrace is written as if Samper is chatting with the reader over a bottle of Prosecco, and it offers endless (often laugh-out-loud) musings from the scatological to the sartorial. Upon the pleasures of a corduroy suit, he opines: "Discretion is the better part of velour." Samper is the consummate conversationalist, though one might think twice about sampling his cuisine.Hope your mailbox was full of nice surprises this week.