Marcia at The Printed Page is no longer hosting this meme at her blog, she’s now hosting the Mailbox Monday Blog Tour. This month’s home is Chick Loves Lit. Come over and check out what other bookish people had appear in their to-be-read piles, and share your new acquisitions.
My mailbox was empty of bookish goodness this week.
Luckily for me, my friend Ruth can’t say the same. And she’s sharing.
Backing up my story a bit: A little while back, author Leah Stewart coordinated a fantastic giveaway. Four people would win a year of books for their book club– 12 books, 10 copies of each. There were some other single book prizes as well.
It was a fantastic giveaway, and I entered. And, as suggested, I told my book clubs about it. And some other members entered as well.
I didn’t win. But my friend Ruth did! And the books have been trickling in– 5 so far. Or rather, 5 boxes so far.
She distributed these at our book club meeting on Thursday, and I came home with:
Teenage Joon is a Korean immigrant living in the Bronx of the 1980s. Her parents have crumbled under the weight of her father’s infidelity; he has left the family, and mental illness has rendered her mother nearly catatonic. So Joon, at the age of thirteen, decides she would be better off on her own, a choice that commences a harrowing and often tragic journey that exposes the painful difficulties of a life lived on the margins. Joon’s adolescent years take her from a homeless shelter to an escort club, through struggles with addiction, to jobs selling newspapers and cosmetics, committing petty crimes, and, finally, toward something resembling hope.
As a wilted flower child, Mira Zielinski has never been one to follow orders. Not from her husband, not from her boss – not even from her oncologist. Mira has her own idea about handling her newly diagnosed breast cancer, and it does not involve hopping up on the operating table. Her grown children will no doubt object — when she gets around to telling them.
As they come home for the weekend of Mira and Max’s thirty-fifth wedding anniversary party, her kids harbor some secret trials. Middle child Ivan’s lifelong desire to be a songwriter is withering on the vine after years of futility and his dating haplessness is so familiar, it’s almost a family joke. The impulsive and very young youngest child Irina will walk in the door with a surprise groom, though she’s already looking for the escape hatch in her shiny new marriage. As for the oldest, Katya, let’s just say that it would be a relief if her husband’s big secret were just the affair she suspects he’s having. As these trials unfold, certain family truths come to light but will they shake Mira’s resolve?
“Going missing was the only interesting thing my brother had ever done.”
Even a decade later, the memories of the year Lydia Pasternak turned sixteen continue to haunt her. As a teenager, Lydia lived in her older brother’s shadow. While Danny’s athletic skills and good looks established his place with the popular set at school, Lydia’s smarts relegated her to the sidelines, where she rolled her eyes at her brother and his meathead friends and suffered his casual cruelty with resigned bewilderment. Though a part of her secretly wished for a return of the easy friendship she and Danny shared as children, another part of her wished Danny would just vanish. And then, one night, he did.
In the year following Danny Pasternak’s disappearance, his parents go off the rails, his town buzzes with self-indulgent mourning, and his little sister Lydia finds herself thrust into unwanted celebrity, forced to negotiate her ambivalent–often grudging–grief for a brother she did not particularly like. Suddenly embraced by Danny’s old crowd, forgotten by her parents, and drawn into the missing person investigation by her family’s intriguing private eye, Lydia both blossoms and struggles to find herself during Danny’s absence. But when a trail of clues leads to a shocking outcome in her brother’s case, the teenaged Lydia and the adult she will become are irrevocably changed, even now as she reluctantly prepares to return to her hometown.
How to Sleep Alone in a King-Size Bedchronicles the journey of a woman leaving a long marriage and venturing into a new life as a single mother. With two young daughters to support and her life as a stay-at-home mother at an abrupt end, Nestor finds herself slipping from “middle-class grace” as she attends a court-ordered custody class, stumbles through job interviews, and –much to her surprise– falls in love once again. As Theo rebuilds her life and recovers her sense of self, she’s forced to confront her own family’s legacy of divorce, an act that ultimately brings her closer to understanding her own divorce and its impact on her two daughters.
Event planner and famous blogger Clare Finnegan expected to go back to work after her daughter was born. After all, she worked hard for her success…and it’s not like now that she has a child she has to buy a minivan, wear Mom Jeans, and give up her career! Right?
Despite more than a few pounds of baby weight still left to lose, Clare dons her Miss Piggy Pants and returns to work. She plans a swanky Sweet Sixteen party, pulls off a million-dollar golf outing, has to come to terms with her mother’s breast cancer, and is left so exhausted that she can’t remember her ATM card’s pin number. Then, after another meeting runs late, and she misses another one of her daughter’s milestones, Clare allows herself to examine an alternate choice: staying home.
We’re still figuring out what we’ll do about fitting all these books into our schedule (we may or may not discuss them all), but everyone at the meeting was excited about getting them!
What books did you pick up this week?