Wednesday, September 09, 2009

A Bookish Motherload!

This morning I stepped outside to take Daisy for her morning romp, and I almost tripped over a huge package of books! Now that's how I like to wake up in the morning!

A while back, I entered Lisa--The Online Publicist's--BIG Giveaway. With all the pregnancy stuff I didn't make it back in a timely manner to follow the drawing, but apparently the first winner never contacted her, so as runner up, I was named the winner. I almost feel like Miss America!

You should've seen me salivate as I opened the winnings this morning:

The Sword of Medina, by Sherry Jones - Blurb: Before dying, Muhammad left his jeweled sword, al-Ma'thur, to A'isha, telling her to use it in the jihad to come. But what if the jihad is against her own people? After 20 years of distrust and anger, can A'isha and Ali come together to preserve the future of their people and their faith--or will their hatred of each other destroy everything Muhammad worked to build? This climactic sequel to the controversial "The Jewel of Medina" returns to 7th century Arabia to discover whether, after fighting a civil war, a people can ever truly heal.

I'd never heard of this particular title, but the first book sounds like something I'd be interested in reading, too. Now I just have to hope my library has a copy!

The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte, by Syrie James - Blurb: I have written about the joys of love. I have, in my secret heart, long dreamt of an intimate connection with a man; every Jane, I believe, deserves her Rochester. -- Though poor, plain, and unconnected, Charlotte Bronte possesses a deeply passionate side which she reveals only in her writings--creating Jane Eyre and other novels that stand among literature's most beloved works. Living a secluded life in the wilds of Yorkshire with her sisters Emily and Anne, their drug-addicted brother, and an eccentric father who is going blind, Charlotte Bronte dreams of a real love story as fiery as the ones she creates. -- From Syrie James, the acclaimed, bestselling author of The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen, comes a powerfully compelling, intensely researched literary feat that blends historical fact and fiction to explore the passionate heart and unquiet soul of Charlotte Bronte. It is Charlotte's story, just as she might have written it herself.

I always like a good fictionalized journal thingy, so this sounds right up my alley, too. The book is beautiful, which is nice. It's more likely to compel me to pluck it off my shelves if it can wave a pretty tail feather here and there.

Gone to Green, by Judy Christie - Blurb: Lois Barker, a successful big-city journalist, never imagined ending up in the tiny town of Green, La. She never guessed that within months she would unexpectedly inherit a smalltown newspaper. She never believed she would leave her rising-star career impulsively after a quiet, inner prompting urged, 'Go... I'll help you.' Yet that improbable route to upheaval is precisely where Christie (Goodbye, Murphy's Law) engagingly guides both readers and the charming yet flummoxed Barker. As the editor and owner of the Green News-Item, the ever uncertain Barker transforms from an overwhelmed and overly self-reliant Jane Doe into a considerable power for reform and revitalization in her depressed Louisiana borough. Refreshingly realistic religious fiction, this novel is unafraid to address the injustices of sexism, racism and corruption as well as the spiritual devastation that often accompanies the loss of loved ones. Yet these darker narrative tones beautifully highlight the novel's message of friendship, community and God's reassuring and transformative love.

Admittedly, religious fiction is not usually my bag, but this book sounds like it blends some interesting elements that I'm interested in across the board. I'll definitely give it a go.

Food, Inc., edited by Karl Weber - Blurb: Food, Inc. is guaranteed to shake up our perceptions of what we eat. This powerful documentary deconstructing the corporate food industry in America was hailed by Entertainment Weekly as “more than a terrific movieits an important movie.” Aided by expert commentators such as Michael Pollan and Eric Schlosser, the film poses questions such as: Where has my food come from, and who has processed it? What are the giant agribusinesses and what stake do they have in maintaining the status quo of food production and consumption? How can I feed my family healthy foods affordably? Expanding on the film's themes, the book Food, Inc. will answer those questions through a series of challenging essays by leading experts and thinkers. This book will encourage those inspired by the film to learn more about the issues, and act to change the world.

I haven't seen the film, though I'm not sure how I missed it. I've read a lot in this area on factory farming and industrialized food, but I'm VERY much looking forward to the essays in this collection. It's nice to have more than one voice chiming in on an issue all between the same covers. Plus, it'll help me whittle away at the Essay Reading Challenge!

Crush, by Alan Jacobson - Blurb: Fresh off the most challenging case of her career, The 7th Victim heroine and renowned FBI profiler Karen Vail returns in an explosive thriller set against the backdrop of California's wine country. Hoping to find solace from the demons that haunt her, Vail makes her first trip to the Napa Valley. But shortly after arriving, a victim is found in the deepest reaches of an exclusive wine cave, the work of an extraordinarily unpredictable serial killer. From the outset, Vail is frustrated by her inability to profile the offender--until she realizes why: the Behavioral Analysis Unit has not previously encountered a killer like him.

This is another book that doesn't really fit into my usual reading, but I have to sounds pretty darn good! I might give it a go. It sounds like a potentially effective slump buster.

Thanks again to Lisa! Now I'm off to rearrange my shelves enough to fit these babies into the mix!

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