Thursday, November 13, 2008

They Holler (Yes, Holler) at Me Constantly

So y'all know I have a ridonkulous review pile. I'm working my way through them slowly but surely. Some are sent straight to me, some are old books that piled up when I was in NC and some publishers couldn't seem to get my address just right, and some are rejects that don't get picked up by Estella's Revenge reviewers. They've taken over the top shelf of my closet and a shelf in the big 'to be read' bookcase in my bedroom. There's a significant pile on the floor. They call to me. They sit and look at me. They waggle their bookish eyebrows.

They tempt me.

Here are some of the latest temptresses...

After the Train, by Gloria Whelan - The National Book Award-winning author of "Homeless Bird" weaves an important, atmospheric story about a young German boy who discovers a troubling mystery that sheds light on his town's dark nature, and casts doubts on his parents stories about the war.

This one doesn't come out until February. I couldn't find a cover image, but the copy I have (and it's not one of the cheap paper ARCs) is simply a white expanse with "After the Train" printed in the middle. You're not missing much, but it does sound like a great book. It's a skinny volume, too, only 160 pages, so I expect I'll bust through it quickly when I get the chance.

This One is Mine, by Maria Semple - Violet Parry is living the quintessential life of luxury in the Hollywood Hills with David, her rock-and-roll manager husband, and her darling toddler, Dot. She has the perfect life--except that she's deeply unhappy. David expects the world of Violet but gives little of himself in return. When she meets Teddy, a roguish small-time bass player, Violet comes alive, and soon she's risking everything for the chance to find herself again. Also in the picture are David's hilariously high-strung sister, Sally, on the prowl for a successful husband, and Jeremy, the ESPN sportscaster savant who falls into her trap. For all their recklessness, Violet and Sally will discover that David and Jeremy have a few surprises of their own. THIS ONE IS MINE is a compassionate and wickedly funny satire about our need for more--and the often disastrous choices we make in the name of happiness.

Semple has written for shows like Arrested Development, Mad About You, and Ellen. I'm sold! The blurb on this one might not normally grab me, but I have high hopes for it. The actual cover is far more striking than the image above. I just wanna eat it up. Actually, I want to swim in that pool.

Dear Julia, by Amy Bronwen Zemser - Elaine Hamilton has never wanted to be the center of attention. She'd like nothing more than to cook quietly in her kitchen, mastering French cooking with the recipes of the great Julia Child.
So how did she end up with cameras zooming in on her and a crowd cheering her on?

Well, it involves . . .
-an eccentric best friend named after a font,
-five lively brothers constantly asking, "What's for dinner?",
-a rotten fig and a weakness,
-feminist congresswoman mother,
-a yoga-practicing father,
-a chest full of unsent letters,
-and many, many roast ducks.

I actually started Dear Julia a couple of books ago, but when Living Dead Girl and The Graveyard Book came into my life, I had to put this one aside. That's not a judgement, it's just the nature of borrowing books and getting them back to the owner (Susan) quickly. Once I finish Graveyard and the Obama book I'm working on, I'm diving right back into Dear Julia. Something about fall always puts me in a frame of mind for children's and young adult literature, so you've been given fair warning.

What's calling to you from your review shelf or your unread stack?

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to make a big pot of loaded baked potato soup. My hips cringe at the thought. Mom is having a bit of oral surgery tomorrow (to fix a botched root canal), so I expect I'll be a wee bit occupied tomorrow. We're stocking up on soft food. Wish her luck!


  1. O yum! Potato soup. It's a rainy day here and that would be perfect! Great books coming up for you!

  2. Amanda, the only downside of the potato soup...I have to go to the store. Bummer! I hate shopping sometimes. Urrg!

  3. Thanks for visiting my blog. Your blog is great! I just received This One is Mine today and it looks wonderful.

  4. oh I looooove potato soup! Great, now I want some!

    I should have This One is Mine soon. I'm looking forward to it. I loved Mad About You and Arrested Development!

    Good luck Mom! Hope it all goes smooth and painlessly!

  5. I had a laugh when the first thing I looked at was George Washington's book. Yes I guess they where human elevated to sainthood :}

    I am hurring through THE HERETIC'S DAUGHTER so I can read GARGOYLE, the darn library

  6. I have WAY too many calling to me...but yeah, slowly and surely...

  7. Luck to your mother. Oh, mmm, the soup sounds fabulous. I cannot warm up my darned toes, so it's definitely soup season. Your ARCs are beautiful.

  8. After the Train sounds intriguing so I'll be looking forward to your review.

    I'm glad to know I'm not the only one with a ridonkulous review pile :)

  9. Good luck to your mom's surgery. And yum, your soup sounds good. I hear ya on shopping, I hate the grocery store too!

  10. I had a look around, and it turns out I don't actually have any to be read stacks at the moment, just a couple of books I got out from the library on Thomas Beckitt and Queen Mathilda.


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