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Sunday, March 21, 2010

Mailbox Monday 3/22/2010

Welcome to Mailbox Monday.
It is hosted by Marcia at the Printed Page.  It is a fun weekly book activity where we get to share what books we got this week.  If you don't have a blog, I still would love to hear what you are reading and what came in the mail.

From Harper Perennial:  I got a galley (uncorrected proof) of:

The Queen of Palmyra by Minrose Gwin.

Here are some reviews of this one. I can't wait to read this one.  (my cover is very different from this one...I will have to post a photo of it soon!)

“The most powerful and also the most lyrical novel about race, racism, and denial in the American South since To Kill a Mockingbird.”
— Lee Smith, author of On Agate Hill
“Exquisitely beautiful… The novel grips the reader from its first page and relentlessly drives us to its conclusion.”
— William Ferris, author of Give My Poor Heart Ease: Voices of the Mississippi Blues 
An atmospheric debut novel about growing up in the changing South in 1960s Mississippi in the tradition of Sue Monk Kidd’s The Secret Life of Bees and Kathryn Stockett’s The Help. In the words of Jill McCorkle (Going Away Shoes), “Minrose Gwin is an extremely gifted writer and The Queen of Palmyra is a brilliant and compelling novel.”

Book Description
"I need you to understand how ordinary it all was. . . ."
In the turbulent southern summer of 1963, Millwood's white population steers clear of "Shake Rag," the black section of town. Young Florence Forrest is one of the few who crosses the line. The daughter of a burial insurance salesman with dark secrets and the town's "cake lady," whose back country bootleg runs lead further and further away from a brutal marriage, Florence attaches herself to her grandparents' longtime maid, Zenie Johnson. Named for Zenobia, Queen of Palmyra, Zenie treats the unwanted girl as just another chore, while telling her stories of the legendary queen's courage and cunning.
The more time Florence spends in Shake Rag, the more she recognizes how completely race divides her town, and her story, far from ordinary, bears witness to the truth and brutality of her times—a truth brought to a shattering conclusion when Zenie's vibrant college-student niece, Eva Greene, arrives that fateful Mississippi summer.
Minrose Gwin's The Queen of Palmyra is an unforgettable evocation of a time and a place in America—a nuanced, gripping story of race and identity.

I also received:
Broken Birds, by Jeannette Katzir.  (Thank you Jeannette)
For more about this book visit this awesome web-site.

Broken Birds, The Story of My Momila, is Jeannette Katzir's achingly honest memoir of the enduring effects of war.  From her parents' harrowing experience during the Holocaust to her own personal battles, Katzir exposes the maladies of heart and mind that those broken by war inevitably and unintentionally pass down to the generations that follow.
From Algonquin: (Thank you) I received:

I Thought You Were Dead, by Pete Nelson.

About I Thought You Were Dead

For Paul Gustavson, a hack writer for the wildly popular For Morons series, life is a succession of obstacles. His wife has left him, his father has suffered a debilitating stroke, his girlfriend is dating another man, he has impotency issues, and his overachieving brother invested his parents' money in stocks that tanked. Still, Paul has his friends at Bay State bar, a steady line of cocktails, and a new pair of running shoes (he’s promised himself to get in shape). And then there’s Stella, the one constant in his life, who gives him sage advice, doesn’t judge him, and gives him unconditional love. However, Stella won’t accompany Paul into his favorite dive bar. "I'll roll on dead carp, I'll even eat cat turds, but that place grosses me out." Stella, you see, is Paul's aging Lab-shepherd mix, and she knows Paul better than he knows himself.

In I Thought You Were Dead, author Pete Nelson delivers a novel that is all at once heartwarming, heartbreaking, and heart-wrenchingly funny. Most of all, it’s a story that proves that when a good dog is by your side—especially one with whom you can have an engaging conversation—life can be full of surprises.

From Jenna from Mariner Books:  (Thank you!!) I received:

The Russian Dreambook of Color and Flight, by Gina Ochsner.
The Russian Dreambook of Color and Flight is a bewitching novel of post-Soviet lives. It moves between the magical, the comical and the transcendent to portray a people who rely on dreams to defy the coming of dereliction and decay. Tanya tries to persuade American benefactors to revitalize her very dusty provincial museum, where fake exhibits have been lovingly crafted from cardboard, wire and glue. Meanwhile, in the courtyard of Tanya's apartment complex, a corpse refuses to decompose, taking flight, and dispensing more advice than anyone desires. "A heartbreaking comic masterpiece that already has a place in the literature of protest," says The Guardian.

Have a great week!   I owe a few email replies, please bear with me.  All the giveaways have been finished..but tune in later this week for a great giveaway!  I will have some more giveaways and reviews coming this month.

Disclosure:  I received all of the above books free of charge from the publishers.


bermudaonion said...

I got The Queen of Palmyra too and I'm so excited about it I can hardly stand it. Happy reading!

Diane said...

Toni...great week. Queen of Palmyra and Broken Birds really appeal to me. enjoy them all.

Kathy (mommysreading) said...

Ooooh, The Queen of Palmyra looks so good. I heard about it last week and put it at the top of my wish list. I have learned so much about our country's history of racial descrimination through fiction. A good story can deliver that message better than any text book I ever read.

Jennifer @ Mrs. Q: Book Addict said...

I received The Queen of Palmyra too! Broken Birds looks like something I would really enjoy. Enjoy your new books!

Ti said...

I received Queen of Palmyra too!! It will be like a mini book club with all of us reading it at the same time.

Anonymous said...

Looks like some great reads! Enjoy!

pussreboots said...

I Thought You Were Dead looks like my kind of book. My post is here.

Mary said...

Great mailbox list. I'll watch for your reviews!

Kaye said...

Hi Toni - hope all is well with you and your family.

That Queen of Palmyra looks very interesting and of course The Russian Dream Book looks very good.

Have a great week and happy reading!

Beth(bookaholicmom) said...

The Queen of Palmyra and Broken Birds have both caught my eye. I love your little Jack figure. He's cute! Have a great week!

Alayne said...

Great books. Happy reading. My mailbox is at The Crowded Leaf.

Jenn's Bookshelves said...

I received The Queen of Palmyra and I Thought You Were Dead as well. Both sound like fantastic reads!

tweezle said...

You've got a lot of great looking books this week! I'm also drooling over your Dekker books! :)

Here's mine for this week.

Bookventures said...

I would love to hear your reviews on Broken Birds. It sounds really interesting. You can check out my loot here:


Crystal said...

Great set of books - I haven't heard of any of these and they look great.

Darlene said...

The Queen of Palyrma looks good Toni. Enjoy!

Erica said...

Hi Toni! Glad you're excited about Queen! The cover you posted here is the final cover--the cover on the galley was an earlier draft that got changed after we did the printing.

Callista said...

The cover of Broken Birds is kind of creepy! Some interesting looking books. My MM is up.

fredamans said...

They all look good.


Anna said...

What a great assortment of books! I also received an updated version of Broken Birds, but I forgot to put it in my mailbox. My mailbox post is here.

Diary of an Eccentric

Serena said...

What a great list of books...the only one I've heard of is Broken Birds because Anna has mentioned it.

Happy reading.

did you want to participate in my National Poetry Month blog tour? Nothing too strenuous I promise.

Here's the info: http://www.savvyverseandwit.com/2010/03/call-for-bloggers-to-celebrate-national.html

Amy @ Passages to the Past said...

Those sound really good! I hope you enjoy your new additions!

Amy @ Passages to the Past said...

Those sound really good! I hope you enjoy your new additions!

Jenny Girl said...

I thought you were dead is right up my alley. I love dogs!