Monday, October 07, 2013

Mailbox Monday

Time for my favorite meme: Mailbox Monday, a meme started by Marcia of To Be Continued.  Gina of Book Dragon’s Lair will be hosting the meme for the month of October.   It's been a few weeks since I played the game, and have a few new books that arrived recently to talk about.

Joyland by Stephen King - I'm reading this with the Tuesday Book Talk group at GoodReads, picked it up on Saturday, and inhaled the first section.  It is absolutely wonderful.  I haven't read much King, but I'm starting to think I should, even though I don't go much for horror (see my Autumn Tag post, favorite horror story section for evidence). Set in 1973 at an amusement park on the North Carolina coast, it is nostalgic for me.  I was a high school sophomore in the fall of 1973, and while I didn't work in an amusement park, the tone and feel of the novel is spot on for the timeframe.

Bronx Primitive: Portraits in a Childhood, by Kate Simon - my brother recommended this for my NY reading, it's an immigrant memoir, coming-of-age story, focused on life after WWI.

Borrower of the Night, by Elizabeth Peters - the first in the Vicky Bliss mystery series, I found out about this series after Peters (penname for Barbara Mertz) died in August.  Here's a blurb I found that explains why it appeals to me:
Vicky Bliss, a history instructor at a small midwestern college, sets off to Germany to discover a priceless religious shrine that's been missing for hundreds of years. Her quest becomes a competition, but among her colleagues and fellow guests at the ancient castle where the shrine is hidden is a murderer, who will allow no one else to claim the prize.
Heat Wave, by Penelope Lively - I want to read something by Lively, who I've been told on good authority that I will love.  Novel, family angst, England - I'm willing to try.

Through a Glass Darkly, by Donna Leon - the next Inspector Brunetti novel (set in Venice) for me in Leon's magnificent mystery series.  The mysteries are secondary for me--I love reading about life in the city, the Brunetti family, the inner workings of the police department in Venice.  This is a "it's snowing and I'm not moving from this chair today" kind of book.

Interestingly, two of these books have pretty common titles.  Searching on Amazon for "Heat Wave" yielded a plethora of steamy covers and I couldn't find the link I wanted without adding the author's name to the search.  "Through a Glass Darkly" also produced many books, and I suspect it is popular as a title because it is found in the New Testament and drips with poetic possibility--part of why the King James version is still popular and quoted.   You don't get phrases like "through a glass darkly" in modern translations!


  1. Stephen King is too scary for me.

    Lots of nice books for you. THANKS for stopping by my Mailbox Monday post earlier.

    Have a great day!!

    Silver's Reviews
    My Mailbox Monday

  2. I hope they're all winners!!

  3. I enjoyed Joyland. Not your typical Stephen King book since there really wasn't any horror, but the same great writing.

    1. One of the reasons I decided to read it was the promised lack of horror! Glad to hear you liked it.

  4. I keep reading good things about Joyland it sounds so very atmospheric.

    Philip K. Dick used the "Through a Glass Darkly" quote in a distorted version for the title of his novel "A Scanner Darkly." It was a technological play on the words.

  5. I'm not a horror fan so I haven't read King (I've watched a couple of films though). So sad about Barbara Mertz.