Monday, April 19, 2010

In My Mailbox

This weekly meme is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren! Check out her blog to see what others are reading.

Received these books in my mailbox this week:

The Missing Element by John L. Betcher

Sent For Review by Reader's Choice Reviews

After decades of clandestine government operations, James "Beck" Becker and his wife Elizabeth return to Beck's childhood hometown to enjoy a settled retirement in the small Mississippi river community of Red Wing, Minnesota. But "settled" is a relative term and no matter where Beck goes, intrigue follows.

When Minneapolis computer genius, Katherine Whitson, disappears under peculiar circumstances, her husband exploits a sympathetic Red Wing acquaintance to enlist Beck's aid in finding her.

As Beck searches for Katherine, the tangled trail leads from her luxury apartment in the Minneapolis Warehouse District, through her husband's in-the-closet personal escapades, past the entrenched hierarchy of elite computer professionals, and into the mind-bending world inside computer microprocessors.

Katherine's kidnapping is clearly more complicated than a typical abduction.

As it turns out, the Becker's must use all of their considerable experience--his, as a military intelligence operative; hers, as a CIA code-cracker--to save Katherine and bring her abductors to justicve.

Breakup: Enduring Divorce by Leo Averbach

Sent For Review by Reader's Choice Review

Forged in divorce hell.

In this compelling and brutally honest memoir Leo Averbach draws you into the cauldron of marital disintegration. Written as a journal in real time, Breakup interweaves the writer's daily ordeal and the couple's ongoing travails with the insights and experience of psychotherapy.

The book chronicles Averbach's struggle to cope with his wife's betrayal and its implications for their family. His first-person narrative, which is confessional and deeply reflective, reveals everything in describing the acrimony and emotions as the marriage falls apart. But what begins as a tale of anguish and despair becomes a story of transformation and regeneration, leading Averbach to a new life.

Breakup is an unusual divorce memoir. Divorce is Breakup's prime concern but what elevates this from a personal account of a common occurrence into a story with wider significance is the upheaval surrounding the breakup. The tragedy of marital disintegration triggers Averbach's soul-searching, forcing him into a process of change, and driving him to seek a resolution. As a series of entries taken directly from the author's diary, Breakup is doubly unusual.

I picked these up at Barnes and Noble last week:

Fool's Puzzle by Earlene Fowler

Synopsis from Barnes and Noble:
Meet Benni Harper... a spirited ex-cowgirl, quilter, and folk-art expert who's staking out her own corner of the contemporary American West. She's got an eye for murderous designs - and a talent for piecing together the most complex and cold-blooded crimes...

Leaving behind memories of her late husband, Benni's making a fresh start... Moving to the trendy California town of San Celina, she takes an exciting new job as director of a folk-art museum. While setting up an exhibit of handmade quilts, she stumbles upon the body of a brutally stabbed artist - and hopes to conduct an investigation of her own. She crosses paths with the local police chief, who thinks this short and sassy cowgirl should leave detecting to the cops and join him for dinner. But it's hard to keep a country girl down, and soon Benni uncovers an alarming pattern of family secrets, small-town lies - and the shocking truth about the night her husband died...

Introducing a delightful new mystery series featuring Benni Harper--ex-cowgirl, quilter, folk-art expert, and crackerjack sleuth. When an artist is found dead on the eve of a quilt exhibition, Benni must piece together the clues to clear her cousin of murder.

The Lady and the Poet by Maeve Haran

Synopsis from Barnes and Noble:
Set against the sumptuousness and intrigues of Queen Elizabeth I’s court, this powerful novel reveals the untold love affair between the famous poet John Donne and Ann More, the passionate woman who, against all odds, became his wife.

Ann More, fiery and spirited daughter of the Mores of Loseley House in Surrey, came to London destined for a life at the court of Queen Elizabeth and an advantageous marriage. There she encountered John Donne, the darkly attractive young poet who was secretary to her uncle, the Lord Keeper of the Great Seal. He was unlike any man she had ever met—angry, clever, witty, and in her eyes, insufferably arrogant and careless of women. Yet as they were thrown together, Donne opened Ann’s eyes to a new world of passion and sensuality.

But John Donne—Catholic by background in an age when it was deadly dangerous, tainted by an alluring hint of scandal—was the kind of man her status-conscious father distrusted and despised.

The Lady and the Poet tells the story of the forbidden love between one of our most admired poets and a girl who dared to rebel against her family and the conventions of her time. They gave up everything to be together and their love knew no bounds.

I ordered this last month after reading about the book listed on a book tour:

Watermark by Vanitha Sankaran

Synopsis from Barnes and Noble
Publisher's Weekly
Medieval France is no place to be born albino: when Auda emerges from the womb “undercooked” and “white as bone,” an ignorant healer's apprentice tears out the child's tongue to keep her from “spread[ing] the devil's lies.” Though her mother dies in childbirth, a small stroke of luck graces Auda's childhood: her father makes his living as a scribe and a papermaker, so she learns reading and writing to compensate for her inability to speak. Together, father and daughter work to make his experimental paper the new standard for France's writing stock (replacing parchment); against the odds, they field an order from the local vicomtesse, who then takes on Auda as her personal scribe. At the palace, Auda grows more independent and finds romance with an artist who saves her from a witch-hunting mob. When Auda begins writing potentially heretical verse about women's empowerment, however, she tempts fate and the inquisition, setting off a chain of unlikely events. Though improbable plot twists detract, Sankaran has created a likable, easy-to-root-for protagonist in Auda. (Apr.)


fredamans said...

Some great reads this week!

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