Mailbox Monday is on tour this month at Passages to the Past. Last week I received six books.
I Wonder Why Penguins Can't Fly by Pat Jacobs
I Wonder Penguins Can’t Fly takes a look at the coldest places on Earth – the Poles. Readers will learn about animals that live at the Poles, such as polar bears, penguins and seals; and also discover how plants survive at the Poles, why the polar ice caps are in danger of melting, and how scientists gather important information about the climate and more in the harshest environment.
The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen
Thirty-year-old Willa Jackson might be returning to her rural North Carolina home to escape her failed marriage, but what awaits her is anything but a smooth, quiet healing period. Instead, Willa tosses herself into a 75-year-old murder mystery and a developing relationship with a local benefactor. The new novel by Sarah Addison Allen (The Girl Who Chased the Moon; Garden Spells; The Sugar Queen) contains a poignant mix of human drama, sibling feuds, and Southern hospitality.
Plain Kate by Erin Bow
After her father's death, the orphaned heroine of Bow's YA debut novel supports herself by carving wooden talismans in a vaguely Russian village ruled by superstition. When strange things start happening, Kate, already considered "halfway to a witch" because of her knife skills, must leave or risk being burned at the stake. She makes a bargain with Linay, a real witch, trading her shadow for things she needs to flee as well as her "heart's wish," which, poignantly, turns out to be someone to talk to: her cat, Taggle, can now speak. Kate connects with a caravan of "Roamers," and it soon becomes clear that Linay took her shadow for evil purposes. Despite the talking animal (who nearly steals the show) and graceful writing (Kate carries Taggle around her neck, "draped bonelessly, like a fur collar with glittering eyes"), this is a dark and complex tale, full of violence--knives cut a lot more than wood. The ending, which reverses nearly every bad thing that has happened along the way, is a bit much, but Kate is undeniably a sympathetic character deserving of happiness.
The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson
Author/documentary filmmaker Jon Ronson has made a career writing about people on the outskirts. His Them: Adventures with Extremists and The Men Who Stare at Goats have both been hits; in fact, the latter book also became a major motion picture. His latest full immersion into craziness begins when he learns of a British prisoner who, in a foolhardy plan for early release, pretends that he is insane. This foxy hoax worked so well that the convict finds himself incarcerated as incurably mad. From that dizzying takeoff, Ronson's book cruises to theories about CEO and politician psychopaths and interviews with neurologists about telltale clues of mental dysfunction. A refreshing take on the grim topic of lunacy.
Hester by Paula Reed
Upon the death of her demonic husband, Hester Prynne is left a widow, and her daughter, Pearl, a wealthy heiress. Hester takes her daughter to live a quiet life in England, only to find herself drawn into the circle of the most powerful Puritan of all time, Oliver Cromwell.
From the moment Hester donned the famous scarlet letter, it instilled in her the power to see the sins and hypocrisy of others, an ability not lost on the Lord Protector of the Commonwealth. To Cromwell, Hester's sight is either a sign of sorcery or a divine gift that Hester must use to assist the divinely chosen, as he deems himself, in his scheming to control England. Since sorcery carries a death sentence, Hester is compelled against her will to use her sight to assist Cromwell. She soon finds herself entangled in a web of political intrigue, espionage, and forbidden love.
Hester will carry readers away to seventeenth-century England with a deeply human story of family, love, history, desire, weakness, and the human ideal.
One Day and One Amazing Morning on Orange Street by Joanne Rocklin
When a mysterious man arrives one day on Orange Street, the children who live on the block try to find out who he is and why he’s there. Little do they know that his story—and the story of a very old orange tree—connects to each of their personal worries in ways they never could have imagined. From impressing friends to dealing with an expanding family to understanding a younger sibling’s illness, the characters’ storylines come together around that orange tree.
Taking place over the course of a day and a half, Joanne Rocklin’s masterful novel deftly builds a story about family, childhood anxieties, and the importance of connection. In the end the fate of the tree (and the kids who care for it) reminds us of the magic of the everyday and of the rich history all around us.
A BIG thank you to all the above authors and publishers for providing the books!!!