Monday, May 13, 2013

Monday Malarkey - Probably should be "Monday Mailbox"

I don't have all that much to talk about, today, since I've been a little overwhelmed with errands and chores (our renter moved out of the old house -- the next couple of months will be spent preparing it to sell) and haven't read much.  I've been hacking away at Antonia Lively Breaks the Silence all week.  I'm finding it fascinating, love the writing, but my reading time has been so limited that it may take me another week to finish it.  We shall see.

UPDATE:  Just finished Antonia Lively because I woke up way too early.  More about that, another time.

This week's arrivals:

A Certain Summer by Patricia Beard - from Gallery Books for review.  The following summary is an altered version of the cover blurb:

Set in a small island colony off the coast of Long Island after WWII,  A Certain Summer tells the story of Helen Wadsworth, whose husband was declared MIA during an OSS operation in France.  Her teenage son wants to know what happened to his father, so Helen turns to her husband's best friend and partner on the mission, Frank, who is more interested in filling the void left by her husband. As her affection for Frank grows, so does her guilt when desire is stirred for Peter, a man who was tortured by the Japanese.

With her heart pulled in multiple directions, Helen doesn't know whom to trust -- especially when a shocking discovery forever alters her perception of both love and war.  Part mystery, part love story, and part insider's view of a very private world, A Certain Summer resonates in the heart long after the last page is turned.

The Weight of a Human Heart by Ryan O'Neill - from St. Martin's Press via Shelf Awareness for review.  I usually just delete SA newsletters, these days, to avoid temptation.  But, I do love short stories and this book caught my eye before I managed to hit the delete button.  

Ranging from Australia and Africa to Europe and Asia and back again, The Weight of a Human Heart heralds a fresh and important new voice in fiction.  Ryan O'Neill takes us on a journey that is sometimes comic, sometimes tragic and wholly original.

A young Tutsi girl flees her village on the brink of the Rwandan genocide.  A literary stoush--and an affair--play out in the book review section of a national newspaper. A young girl learns her mother's disturbing secrets through the broken key on a typewriter.

With imagination, wit and a keen eye, Ryan O'Neill draws the essence of the human experience with a cast of characters who stick with you long after you turn the last page of this brilliant short story collection.

The Measure of Katie Calloway by Serena Miller - received via Paperback Swap.  I think this acquisition may be Holly's fault.

The Civil War has ended, but in Katie Calloway's Georgia home, conflict still rages.  To protect herself and her younger brother from her violent and unstable husband, she flees north, finding anonymity and sanctuary as the cook in a north woods lumber camp.  The camp owner, Robert Foster, wonders if the lovely woman he's hired has the grit so survive the never-ending work and harsh conditions of a remote pine forest in winter.  Katie wonders if she can keep her past a secret from a man she is slowly growing to love.

With grace and skill, Serena Miller brings to life a bygone era.  From the ethereal, snowy forest and the rowdy shanty boys to the warm cookstove and mouth-watering apple pie, every detail is perfectly rendered, transporting you to a time of danger and romance.

I also purchased that copy of Henri, Le Chat Noir that I talked about on Friday . . . on a whim.  It was a good sort of whim.  

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  1. The Weight of a Human Heart looks great. You know I'm a sucker for a good short story collection. :)

    1. Yep, Andiloo, and I love you for that. There are way too many people who dismiss short story collections, in general, simply because they haven't read enough variety to understand that something so small can be packed with meaning. Oooh, Monday morning diatribe. Shouldn't have gotten up so early. LOL

  2. I received a copy of The Weight of a Human Heart as well :) I'm looking forward to it. I never used to get too excited about short story collections. That has totally changed since I started blogging and hearing about fab collections. I hope this is a good one!

    1. I don't know how I managed to discover a love for short stories (although I used to write them almost exclusively -- I'm not so great at novel length) but I love 'em. Some of my favorites are Simon Van Booy's The Secret Lives of People in Love and Love Begins in Winter, Anna Gavalda's I Wish Someone Were Waiting for Me Somewhere and Kevin Moffett's Further Interpretations of Real-Life Events. Oh, and Moses Supposes by Ellen Currie. I could go on . . . :)


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