Monday, October 20, 2008

Mailbox Monday

Happily this week only two of the books arriving on my doorstep were ARCs and require reviews to be written. The rest are pure pleasure. I put a halt (almost) to requesting ARCs two weeks ago when the pressure to catch up got to me. I've only been doing ARC reviews outside of LibraryThing for two months now and I suspect I've developed a bit of an attitude. I resent having to read dubious quality ARCs when I have several hundred 4 and 5 star unread books in my personal library. Now that that's off my chest, books received this week...

A Stone Boat by Andrew Solomon from the UK via Bookmooch; a novel by the author of The Noonday Demon, an acclaimed non-fiction about depression which I highly recommend.

The Harmony Silk Factory by Tash Aw from the UK via Bookmooch; about which Doris Lessing said "What a storyteller Tash Aw is. Unputdownable." That's good enough for me. It was also a Man Booker prize nominee.

Somewhere South of Midnight by Stepehen Laws from the same UK source via Bookmooch. This is a gift for my son. A thriller I believe.

Pursuit of Light by Sandy Brewer; non-fiction, won at This Book for Free.

The Entropy of Aaron Rosclatt by James Sandham, an ARC from LibraryThing's Early Reviewer program. This is a first novel by a man who grew up in the same rural area that I did. It will count towards my Canadian Book Reading challenge.

Look For Me by Edeet Ravel, a novel via Bookmooch. I also own Ten Thousand Lovers and her writing is wonderful. She's won several writing awards here in Canada. She's Israeli but studied here and spends half her time in Canada.

A Complicated Kindness by Miriam Toews, a novel via Bookmooch. Another very good Canadian writer. Her new book this year is The Flying Troutmanswhich those who know tell me should be an award winning book.

So Long at the Fair by Christina Schwarz; a bound galley, a gift from Marie at The Boston Bibliophile. Thank you Marie. I loved Drowning Ruth so I'm hoping to like this one too.

The Wonder Singer by George Rabasa; a beautiful hardcover from Caitlin at Unbridled Books, which I will be reviewing. Caitlin is the nicest publicist to deal with; she also sent me a lovely copy of In Hovering Flight by Joyce Hinnefeld which was the best ARC I've read in two months. I reviewed it here:

The Collected Short Novels of Tim Winton: An Open Swimmer, That Eye The Sky, In the Winter Dark, from Bookmooch. One of my favourite Australian writers. Dirt Music, Cloudstreet, The Riders, The Turning, Land's Edge, Breath (his latest); I own them all, try one and treat yourself.

The Red and the Green by Iris Murdoch from Bookmooch. I had read several of hers when I discovered that Nancy of Book Lust has listed all her novels as must reads.

My Forbidden Face by Latifa from the UK via Bookmooch.

So, have you read any of these? Which ones interest you and which would you like to see my reviews of? Until next week...


  1. I have tried to become very selective in my ARC requests. So Long at the Fair is in my TBR pile too.

  2. What a great list!

  3. Wow - some of those books sound wonderful! I can't wait to see your review of the Silk Factory one (sorry - late night means short memory today! Plus I did a mystery shop at a makeup store today, and my eyes are burning a bit! Yikes)

    I think I'll have to add a few of those to my wish list!!

    ~ Wendi

  4. Great list! I'd love to hear your thoughts on Iris Murdoch - I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with her, so I always like to get other perspectives.

  5. The two Canadian books you mention are already on my radar; I'll be curious to see what you think of them. I reviewed So Long at the Fair here.

  6. I'm glad So Long at the Fair finally got there! :-)

  7. Haha! I feel your ARC pain. I'm not too picky on genre because I tend to read literally everything, but I am picky about quality and availability. Because I review for a pretty popular site, it's important to me that readers be able to find the books in question. As a former bookseller, I know that there are plenty of books out there that may be great, but you won't find them at your local Borders or BN.

    I'm always afraid of stepping on the powers that be that divvy out the ARCs though so I really do overload myself. It's usually fun.

  8. thank you! that is so kind of you to say. i hope you enjoy the wonder singer, which i thought was marvelous. i would be interested to read your iris murdoch reviews, please.

  9. Holy cats! How did a publicist know I'd mentioned her in a post? And just her first name. I'll have to watch what I say about whom, somebody might actually be reading this stuff. lol

  10. I haven't read any of the books on your list, Sandra. I've always wanted to read Iris Murdoch. Did you see the movie staring Dame Judy Dench?

    I hear ya on the ARCs. It can become a dilema. Luckily, I've read very very few that are dubious quality, but still, I have some books I've purchased on my shelves that I'd really like to have time to read, favorite authors I'd like to read more of, etc.

  11. Wow that is a lot of books! I've been wondering about this whole ARC business lately. A year ago you never heard about bloggers reviewing them or taking books from authors and it definitely seems to be the trend nowadays--and you know, I kind of miss seeing reviews of the old books. Anyway--sorry to ramble. ;) But I've seen some dubious quality as well and am really questioning where this whole bookblogging thing is going...

  12. Thank you for stopping by the 'Mailbox' this week. It is hard to resist books that sound good and then turn to be 'so-so' or not quite we expected. I, too, have started to become much more selective as I've found my 'purely for pleasure' reading is slipping away.

  13. I've been reading ONLY arcs for a couple of months now, but I just slipped in a couple of fun reads to get my sanity back :)

  14. Wow! What a list! Looking forward to your review of The Wonder Singer. I received that from Caitlin as well. She's great!

    Diary of an Eccentric



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