Welcome

A Bookaholic, Pro-life, Pro-Family, Pro-Oxford Comma, Catholic (with Asperger's) who reads and writes as her obsession. I've been reading over 400 books a year lately. These are my ramblings on some of the books I read. To read about all the books I read and comment on, visit me at LibraryThing or Goodreads.

I've been blogging since 2007 and at this point (July 2015) am trying my hand at turning the theme of this blog towards mystery, thriller, and crime, fiction and nonfiction. I have some special interest topics and categories within this broad genre which include (but are not limited to) serial killers, scandi-crime, Victorian history and historicals, history of the criminally insane and asylums, psychopathology, death, funerary practices and burial, corpses, true crime and anything dealing with the real life macabre, or that portrayed in fiction.

I also read a short story a day from various collections, sometimes anthologies othertimes collections of a single author's work. These reviews are also posted here and while they are of mixed genre the mystery, thriller, horror, gothic and macabre often appear within their pages as well.


I also blog about
graphic novels and manga on a separate BLOG.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Monday: Books in the Mail

My mailbox turned into a treasure trove last week, which was very welcome after the little break of two books the week before. So take a look at all the great reading I have ahead of me!

From the book's publicist (for a Book Tour):

After the unexpected death of her parents, painfully shy and sheltered 26-year-old Ginny Selvaggio seeks comfort in cooking from family recipes. But the rich, peppery scent of her Nonna’s soup draws an unexpected visitor into the kitchen: the ghost of Nonna herself, dead for twenty years, who appears with a cryptic warning (“do no let her…”) before vanishing like steam from a cooling dish.
A haunted kitchen isn’t Ginny’s only challenge. Her domineering sister, Amanda, (aka “Demanda”) insists on selling their parents’ house, the only home Ginny has ever known. As she packs up her parents’ belongings, Ginny finds evidence of family secrets she isn’t sure how to unravel. She knows how to turn milk into cheese and cream into butter, but she doesn’t know why her mother hid a letter in the bedroom chimney, or the identity of the woman in her father’s photographs. The more she learns, the more she realizes the keys to these riddles lie with the dead, and there’s only one way to get answers: cook from dead people’s recipes, raise their ghosts, and ask them.

From Tundra Books:

The Boer War was disastrous for the British: 22,000 of them died. Close to 7,000 Boers died. Nobody knows how many Africans lost their lives, but the number is estimated to be around 20,000. This tragic, and little remembered, chapter in history is the backdrop for Trilby Kent’s powerful novel.

Corlie Roux’s father has always told her that God gave Africa to the Boers. Her life growing up on a farm in South Africa is not easy: it is beautiful, but it is also a harsh place where the heat can be so intense that the very raindrops sizzle. When her beloved father dies, she is left in the care of a cold, stern mother who clearly favors her two younger brothers. But she finds solace with her African maitie, Sipho, and in Africa itself.

Corlie’s world is about to vanish: the British are invading and driving Boers from their farms. The families who do not surrender escape to hidden laagers in the bush to help fight off the British. When Corlie’s laager is discovered, she and the others are sent to an internment camp.

Corlie is strong and can draw on her knowledge of the land she loves, but is that enough to help her survive the starvation, disease, and loss that befalls her in the camp?



Nasrudin Hoja was a mullah (teacher) in Turkey. He was a busy man – he worked in a vineyard, gave sermons at the mosque, and was sometimes even a judge. He did all of this with a nagging wife, a constant stream of uninvited visitors, and many animals. Although Hoja’s life wasn’t easy, his heart was always light and his observations about life held a witty twist. For instance, when his donkey got lost, his neighbors offered sympathy, but Hoja found the bright side: “Imagine if I were riding the donkey at the time. I’d be lost too!”

Though the ten Hoja stories presented by Rina Singh and richly illustrated by Farida Zaman are funny, each one contains such insight into human nature that Sufi teachers use them to illustrate their teachings. Traditional Turkish Hoja stories are much-loved throughout Asia, and Nearly Nonsense brings them to a North American readership sure to enjoy them and, through laughter, to learn from them.



For centuries, readers have been fascinated by the stories of the Arabian Nights. Perhaps the best-known is Sindbad the Sailor. He discovers an island paradise, but it is actually a giant whale. He sees a huge mountain. It is, in fact, the egg of the famous Roc, a bird so huge that she can carry an elephant in her talons. Sindbad manages to escape from Roc's nest by tying his turban to the bird's leg and is transported to the final adventure in this volume: the Valley of Diamonds. It is a story of high adventure and wit overcoming any obstacle.







In this stunning sequel to Sindbad: From the Tales of The Thousand and One Nights, Sindbad, now a rich sultan, recounts more of his adventures. On this voyage, Sindbad and his hapless crewmates are driven off course, and their ship is overrun by monkeys. They abandon the ship but row into more trouble, landing on an island inhabited by a man-eating giant. They are captured but devise a daring escape, and think they are almost away, when they encounter even greater obstacles. With his ingenuity and quick wits, Sindbad prevails, but there are yet more seafaring adventures in store.





Sindbad the Sailor has escaped death many times and is planning to live the rest of his life on dry land. But the sea beckons, and he sets out for one final adventure. As he sails from a beautiful far-off land where people drink scented tea, a storm destroys the ship. Sindbad finds refuge on an island, but it holds little safety for him. Ivory traders make him their slave. It seems that he will live out his days in servitude. But the power of love, and his compassion for a baby elephant, give him the strength he needs for survival. His voyage offers him the answer to life’s greatest secret, and finally he can rest.

Ludmila Zeman has retold these beloved adventures from the Thousand and One Nights in her gorgeous trilogy, Sindbad, Sindbad in the Land of the Giants, and Sindbad’s Secret, incorporating design details and maps that place the stories into their historical context

From Librarything's ER Program:

Sixteen-year-old Ani lives in the tiny Quebec town of Ste-Anne-de-Beaupre, where her family runs Saintly Souvenirs, a tourist shop catering to the many pilgrims who come to the town seeking a miracle. The bane of Ani's existence is her hyperactive, over-sexed younger sister, Colette. Ani and her mother, Therese, are devout Catholics; Colette and her father are not. When Therese is paralyzed after a freak accident, Ani's faith is tested, but when she is confronted with something shocking in her mother's past, she has to rethink her whole existence.











Jenna and Andi Tikaani-Gray are hoping for a fresh start. Though twelve year-old Andi has long struggled with a rare medical disorder, she and her mother have finally received good news from out-of-town specialists. It's news they desperately needed, especially after the recent death of Jenna's husband (Andi's dad) in a car accident.

But as they are flying home to Alaska, ready to begin again, the unthinkable happens. The pilot sabotages their small plane and crashes into Sultana, one of the most remote and dangerous mountains in the Land of the Midnight Sun. Even worse, a winter storm is headed their way along with someone who doesn't want to save them, but to kill them.

Only one man can keep them alive: Cole Maddox, the mysterious last-minute passenger who joined them on their flight. But trust doesn't come easy to Jenna or Andi and they both sense Cole is hiding something.

A relentless tale of survival and suspense unfolds, involving military technology designed by Jenna's late husband that some would do anything to possess.


From Eureka Productions:

Where the West Began - Seven Classic Tales! Western Classics features an adaptation of Zane Grey's grand western prototype, "Riders of the Purple Sage", illustrated by Cynthia Martin. Plus stories by Bret Harte, Willa Cather, Gertrude Atherton, and John G. Neihardt, with art and adaptations by Trina Robbins, John Findley, Mark A. Nelson, George Sellas, Reno Maniquis, and Ryan Huna Smith. Also included is an early Hopalong Cassidy story illustrated by original "Hoppy" newspaper strip artist Dan Spiegle, and a comic western by Conan creator Robert E. Howard.









From Candlewick Press:

In a rainy town in the north of England, there are strange goings-on. Dad is building a pair of wings, eating flies, and feathering his nest. Auntie Doreen is getting cross and making dumplings. Contest barker Mr. Poop is parading the streets shouting louder and louder, and even Mr. Mint, the headmaster, is not quite himself. And watching it all is Lizzie, missing her mam and looking after Dad by letting him follow his newfound whimsy. From an inspired creative pairing comes a story of the Great Human Bird Competition - an exuberant tale of the healing power of flights of fancy, and a very special father-daughter bond.









From Harper Collins Canada:

On May 13, 1945, twenty-four American servicemen and WACs boarded a transport plane for a sightseeing trip over “Shangri-La,” a beautiful and mysterious valley deep within the jungle-covered mountains of Dutch New Guinea. Unlike the peaceful Tibetan monks of James Hilton’s bestselling novel Lost Horizon, this Shangri-La was home to spear-carrying tribesmen, warriors rumored to be cannibals.

But the pleasure tour became an unforgettable battle for survival when the plane crashed. Miraculously, three passengers pulled through. Margaret Hastings, barefoot and burned, had no choice but to wear her dead best friend’s shoes. John McCollom, grieving the death of his twin brother also aboard the plane, masked his grief with stoicism. Kenneth Decker, too, was severely burned and suffered a gaping head wound.

Emotionally devastated, badly injured, and vulnerable to the hidden dangers of the jungle, the trio faced certain death unless they left the crash site. Caught between man-eating headhunters and enemy Japanese, the wounded passengers endured a harrowing hike down the mountainside—a journey into the unknown that would lead them straight into a primitive tribe of superstitious natives who had never before seen a white man—or woman.

Drawn from interviews, declassified U.S. Army documents, personal photos and mementos, a survivor’s diary, a rescuer’s journal, and original film footage, Lost in Shangri-La recounts this incredible true-life adventure for the first time. Mitchell Zuckoff reveals how the determined trio—dehydrated, sick, and in pain—traversed the dense jungle to find help; how a brave band of paratroopers risked their own lives to save the survivors; and how a cowboy colonel attempted a previously untested rescue mission to get them out.

By trekking into the New Guinea jungle, visiting remote villages, and rediscovering the crash site, Zuckoff also captures the contemporary natives’ remembrances of the long-ago day when strange creatures fell from the sky. A riveting work of narrative nonfiction that vividly brings to life an odyssey at times terrifying, enlightening, and comic, Lost in Shangri-La is a thrill ride from beginning to end.



From Random House Canada:

Harry Hole is back and this time he's back from very, very far away. Another gripping instalment in this prize-winning and acclaimed series by the internationally #1 bestselling crime writer in Norway.

Two women are found murdered in Oslo — both of them have drowned in their own blood. What mystifies the police is that the puncture wounds in the victims' faces have been caused from the inside of their mouths. Kaja Solness from Homicide is sent to Hong Kong to track down a man who is the Oslo Police Department's only specialist on serial killings. The severely addicted detective has tried to disappear in the vast, anonymous city. He is on the run and haunted by his last case, the woman he loves, and creditors alike. His name is Harry Hole.

5 comments:

  1. You have some fascinating reads here!

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  2. I love the cover of The Kitchen Daughter!

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  3. You got some great books! Look forward to read your reviews! AS usual, for the three weeks, I got none!

    Here is my Monday: Mailbox/What Are You Reading?/Musings post!

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  4. I love the synopsis of your first two books. Both are intriguing. The one re the Boer war is particularly so since I know almost next to nothing on this. Would really like to get my hands on that one.

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