Banned Books Week - September 24 - 30

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Mailbox Monday

Mailbox Monday is a weekly event hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page.

My life is just one long line of tardies...I can't even be on time for Mailbox Monday! If you notice some sporadic blogging from my neck of the woods, just know that it's due to some personal issues going on in my life, a hectic school schedule, and my attempt to get some reading done by participating in some read-a-thons this week.  Kate's (The Neverending Shelf) read-a-thon started today (Monday) and I haven't even signed up yet.  Another tardy to add to my repertoire! So please forgive me and know that I'm only human as I slog through this current life of mine.  =O)

Now...on to the few goodies I obtained at Goodwill on Saturday (all for under $5.00!):

The Yearling--Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

Fighting off a pack of starving wolves, wrestling alligators in the swamp, romping with bear cubs, drawing off the venom of a giant rattlesnake bite with the heart of a fresh-killed deer--it's all in a day's work for the Baxter family of the Florida scrublands. But young Jody Baxter is not content with these electrifying escapades, or even with the cozy comfort of home with Pa and Ma. He wants a pet, a friend with whom he can share his quiet cogitations and his corn pone. Jody gets his pet, a frisky fawn he calls Flag, but that's not all. With Flag comes a year of life lessons, frolicking times, and achingly hard decisions. This powerful book is as compelling now as when it was written over 60 years ago. Read simply as a naturalist study of the Florida interior, it fascinates and entices. Add the heart-stopping adventure and heart-wrenching human elements, and this is a classic well worth its Pulitzer Prize. Earthy dialect and homespun wisdom season the story, giving it a unique and unforgettable flavor, and N.C. Wyeth's warm, soft illustrations capture an era of rough subsistence and sweet survival. (Ages 12 and older) --Emilie Coulter (Amazon via LibraryThing)

Relics--Mary Anna Evans

From Publishers Weekly--

Evans' second archeological mystery is every bit as good as her debut, Artifacts (2003). Soon after archeologist Faye Longchamp joins a team in rural Alabama researching the "Sujosa," an isolated dark-skinned people with Caucasian features and an unusual resistance to AIDS, she discovers that the man in charge of the project has made a hash of the preliminary dig. Faye determines to prove her own worth by planning the excavation of a more likely site, but she gets sidetracked when an act of arson kills Dr. Carmen Martinez, an oral historian who was gathering old tales and songs to learn about the group's mysterious origins. The apparent suicide of an 18-year-old Sujosa boy deepens the puzzle. Faye makes a compelling heroine, and she's supported by an interesting array of suspects, though her making use of some conclusions she's jumped to about the Sujosa to unmask the murderer may strike some readers as a stretch. Transcripts of Dr. Martinez's interviews scattered throughout the narrative provide important clues for the discerning reader.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition. (obtained from Amazon)

Blonde: A Novel--Joyce Carol Oates

"A lush-bodied girl in the prime of her physical beauty. In an ivory georgette crepe sundress with a halter top that gathers her breasts up in soft undulating folds of the fabric. She's standing with bare legs apart on a New York subway grating. Her blond head is thrown rapturously back as an updraft lifts her full, flaring skirt, exposing white cotton panties. White cotton! The ivory-crepe sundress is floating and filmy as magic. The dress is magic. Without the dress the girl would be female meat, raw and exposed. "

She was an all-American girl who became a legend of unparalleled stature. She inspired the adoration of millions, and her life has beguiled generations of fans and fellow artists. The story of Norma Jeane Baker better known by her studio name "Marilyn Monroe"--has been dissected for more than three decades, but never has it been captured in a narrative as breathtaking and transforming as Blonde.

In her most ambitious work to date, Joyce Carol Oates, one of America's most distinguished, writers, reimagines the inner, poetic, and spiritual life of Norma Jeane Baker--the child, the woman, the fated celebrity--and tells the story in Norma Jeane's own voice: startling, rich, and shattering. This most intimate portrait of Norma Jeane reveals a fragile, idiosyncratically gifted young woman who makes and remakes her identity, ever managing to survive against crushing odds to become the definition of stardom. Bit by bit, she tells her own epic story of how an emblematic American artist--perpetually conflicted and intensely driven--lost her way.

Drawing on biographical and historical sources, Joyce Carol Oates evokes the distinct consciousness of the woman and the unsparing reflection of the myth, writing as she has never written before ecstatic, completely absorbed, inhabited as if by the spirit of her extraordinary subject. Rich with psychological insight and disturbing irony, this mesmerizing narrative illumines Norma Jeane's lonely childhood, wrenching adolescence, and the creation of "Marilyn Monroe."

Distorted and misunderstood, the muted voice of Norma Jeane and the grand legacy of Marilyn Monroe are also a looking glass into the shadow-world of Hollywood. While paying tribute to the elusive art of acting and moviemaking, Joyce Carol Oates depicts the chilling panorama of an industry that nourishes and devours the "pure products" of America.

Blonde offers astonishing-and often disturbing--portraits of the powerful men in Norma Jeane's life: the Ex-Athlete, the Playwright, the President, the Dark Prince.

With fresh insights into the heart of a celebrity culture hypnotized by its own, myths, Blonde is a sweeping novel about the elusive magic of a woman, the lasting legacy of a star, and the heartbreak behind the creation of the most evocative icon of the twentieth century. (from Amazon via LibraryThing)

The Mightiest Heart--Lynn Cullen

Who can resist a story about a dog who so loved his master that he gave up his life? This exquisitely illustrated tale, based on the legend of Llywelyn, a thirteenth-century Welsh prince, and his loyal hound, Gelert, will keep young readers and listeners spellbound. Laurel Long joins the ranks of today's premier illustrators in her debut, adding incredible power to Lynn Cullen's spare but emotionally charged text. Each picture is like a precious treasure, revealing painstaking attention to detail, breathtaking color, and characters whose mutual love transcends the pages of this marvelous book. The Mightiest Heart is sure to be one of the best gifts to give young readers this fall. Lynn Cullen, author of several popular middle-grade novels, researched this story in Wales, where a monument to Gelert still stands. Laurel Long makes an outstanding debut as a picture book illustrator. (from Amazon via LibraryThing)

4 comments:

I apologize for word verification, but I turned it off and had close to 50 spam comments within 12 hours (nobody has time for that) so I had to turn it back on. Sorry!

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  1. I'm going to read Joyce Carol Oates one of these days, that's a promise. Great mailbox!

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  2. Relics looks good. I love Oates but have not read Blonde yet.
    Don't worry, my blogging has been lamer than anyone's lately!

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  3. I love any book written by Joyce Carol Oates.

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  4. Looks like quite a collection for Monday! :) Hope you enjoy them all. And don't worry about being tardy. (I know I'm always tardy anymore.)

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