Mailbox Monday

I’m such a sporadic participant in Mailbox Monday (hosted this month by Laura of I’m Booking It) but am really excited about the books I received this week!  Have you read any of these?  What did you scoop up this week?

The Violets of March by Sarah Jio

The Violets of March by Sarah Jio

From A heartbroken woman stumbled upon a diary and steps into a life of its anonymous author.  In her twenties, Emily Wilson was on top of the world: she had a bestselling novel, a husband plucked from the pages of GQ, and a one-way ticket to happily ever after.  Ten years later, the tide has turned on Emily’s good fortune. So when her great-aunt Bee invites her to spend the month of March on Bainbridge Island in Washington State, Emily accepts, longing to be healed by the sea. Researching her next book, Emily discovers a red velvet diary, dated 1943, whose contents reveal startling connections to her own life.  (pub. date 4/26/11, Plume Books)

The Wilder Life by Wendy McClure

The Wilder Life: My Adventures in the Lost World of Little House on the Prairie by Wendy McClure

I heard about this one when I interviewed Alison Arngrim (actress who portrayed Nellie Oleson on the long-running, hit television show based on the books) and she mentioned it.  After that, I saw it on Edelweiss and and couldn’t wait to read it!

From Publishers Weekly via Obsessed with Laura Ingalls Wilder and her Little House books about an 1880s pioneer family, children’s book editor and memoirist McClure (I’m Not the New Me) attempts to recapture her childhood vision of “Laura World.” Her wacky quest includes hand-grinding wheat for bread, buying an authentic churn, and traveling to sites where the Ingalls family attempted to wrest a living from the prairie. Discovering that butter she churned herself was “just butter,” McClure admits she “felt like a genius and a complete idiot at the same time.” Viewing a one-room dugout the Ingallses occupied that was “smaller than a freight elevator” prompted McClure to admit that “the actual past and the Little House world had different properties.” McClure finally tells her boyfriend, “I’m home,” after recognizing that her travels stemmed from her reaction to the recent death of her mother. Readers don’t need to be Wilder fans to enjoy this funny and thoughtful guide to a romanticized version of the American expansion west. (pub. date 4/26, Riverhead Books)

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

From Booklist via  Sepetys’ first novel offers a harrowing and horrifying account of the forcible relocation of countless Lithuanians in the wake of the Russian invasion of their country in 1939. In the case of 16-year-old Lina, her mother, and her younger brother, this means deportation to a forced-labor camp in Siberia, where conditions are all too painfully similar to those of Nazi concentration camps. Lina’s great hope is that somehow her father, who has already been arrested by the Soviet secret police, might find and rescue them. A gifted artist, she begins secretly creating pictures that can–she hopes–be surreptitiously sent to him in his own prison camp. Whether or not this will be possible, it is her art that will be her salvation, helping her to retain her identity, her dignity, and her increasingly tenuous hold on hope for the future. Many others are not so fortunate. Sepetys, the daughter of a Lithuanian refugee, estimates that the Baltic States lost more than one-third of their populations during the Russian genocide. Though many continue to deny this happened, Sepetys’ beautifully written and deeply felt novel proves the reality is otherwise. Hers is an important book that deserves the widest possible readership. (pub. date 3/22, Philomel)

Miss Julia Rocks the Cradle by Ann B. Ross

Miss Julia Rocks the Cradle by Ann B. Ross
From In the latest (# 12) installment of this bestselling series Miss Julia vows to mind her own business–but can she succeed?  Miss Julia has promised her husband, Sam, to mind her own business. What a relief! She doesn’t have to spring into action when a dead body is found in a toolshed six blocks from her house. Instead, she can concentrate on what’s really important-like figuring out who’s been passing bad checks in her name and, most important, preparing for Hazel Marie’s impending due date.  Miss Julia’s investigative work on the possible murders-of her financial reputation and of the person in the toolshed-keeps her buzzing. But the sudden arrival of Hazel Marie’s twins during a fierce blizzard brings a whole new set of challenges and a double helping of trouble for Ann B. Ross’s indomitable southern heroine. (4/5, Viking)
The mailbox image used in my slider and featured image is courtesy of James Crable.


  • At 2011.03.27 21:45, Brooke said:

    The Wilder Life sounds very interesting.

    Here is mine
    Brooke´s last blog post ..Fern is for fascination

    • At 2011.03.27 21:52, bermudaonion (Kathy) said:

      I can see why you’re excited! Between Shades of Gray is fantastic – have tissues handy when you read it. I’m just a little bit jealous of the Miss Julia book!
      bermudaonion (Kathy)´s last blog post ..Lots of winners!

      • At 2011.03.27 22:03, Mystica said:

        Shades of Grey and Violets of March and the Miss Julia one – all I would love to have myself!
        Mystica´s last blog post ..Mailbox Monday 27th March 2011

        • At 2011.03.28 00:00, RAnn said:

          I want your books!

          • At 2011.03.28 01:53, Jess - A Book Hoarder said:

            What a great mailbox. I got Between Shades of Gray previously and I have heard really good things about it…I’m starting it this week.

            The Violets of March sounds interesting. Never trust the one-way ticket to happily ever after.
            Jess – A Book Hoarder´s last blog post ..Mailbox Monday

            • At 2011.03.28 04:17, Majanka said:

              Between Shades of Grey has been on my wishlist for a while now, and I love the cover of the first novel The Violets of March, as well. Enjoy reading!

              Here’s my Mailbox for this week.

              • At 2011.03.28 08:38, Lady Q said:

                Between Shades of Grey is getting great reviews!! And I’ve been seeing The Violets of March a lot lately, too. Enjoy your new books!
                Lady Q´s last blog post ..Mailbox Monday- March 28

                • At 2011.03.28 08:38, Kim V said:

                  Growing up I was a huge Little House on the Praire fan, so I am adding The Wilder Life on my TBR list.

                  Enjoy all your books!

                  • At 2011.03.28 10:04, Meg said:

                    Ooh, The Violets Of March! I’m halfway through that one now myself and am really enjoying it. Books that flip between the past and present are always intriguing, and I’m enjoying the mystery surrounding the red diary. Can’t wait to see what you think!
                    Meg´s last blog post ..Did-not-finish mini reviews- ‘Staying At Daisy’s’ and ‘You Were Wrong’

                    • At 2011.03.28 10:54, Coffee and a Book Chick said:

                      I hope you enjoy Between Shades of Gray! It is one of my favorites and I still think about it!
                      Coffee and a Book Chick´s last blog post ..The Second Duchess- by Elizabeth Loupas

                      • At 2011.03.28 11:04, Kate {The Parchment Girl} said:

                        Can’t wait to see what you think of Violets of March! I didn’t have time to review that one, but still am curious about it.
                        Kate {The Parchment Girl}´s last blog post ..Mailbox Monday Episode 30

                        • At 2011.03.28 15:02, Beth(bookaholicmom) said:

                          So jealous of The Violets of March! I downloaded Shades of Gray Saturday and started it right away. It is very good!
                          Beth(bookaholicmom)´s last blog post ..Mailbox Monday March 28

                          • At 2011.03.28 17:04, Mary (Bookfan) said:

                            Fab mailbox! The Violets of March is on my wish list!
                            Mary (Bookfan)´s last blog post ..Mailbox Monday – March 28

                            • At 2011.03.28 17:45, Valerie said:

                              They all look good. I think I’d be most interested in The Wilder Life one because like almost every American girl, I read her (Laura’s) books repeatedly as a kid!
                              Valerie´s last blog post ..“So Much for That”- A Novel by Lionel Shriver

                              • At 2011.03.29 02:42, Michelle @ The True Book Addict said:

                                Some literary titles and a cozy…nice haul! Enjoy your books. 🙂
                                Michelle @ The True Book Addict´s last blog post ..MAILBOX MONDAY

                                • At 2011.03.29 14:28, Kathleen said:

                                  Hope you enjoy your 4 new books!
                                  Kathleen´s last blog post ..Review- Separate Kingdoms by Valerie Laken

                                  • At 2011.03.29 15:48, Erin said:

                                    I haven’t read any of these, but I’ve added The Wilder Life to my list…it looks great! And the cover of The Violets of March is lovely. It looks like a cake to me and is making me hungry!
                                    Erin´s last blog post ..Author Interview with Liza Bakewell and “Madre” Giveaway!

                                    • At 2011.03.29 20:02, Jenners said:

                                      Nice mailbox. I got something really neat in my mailbox too…some glossy magazines featuring my secret British heartthrob and a lovely book from a very generous blogger who I wish to thank so much. Let me know if I have a book you would enjoy…I’d be happy to send it along.
                                      Jenners´s last blog post ..Review- The Big Over Easy by Jasper Fforde

                                      • At 2011.03.30 17:47, Natalie said:

                                        wow, you lucky blogger! i can only wonder who would dare send you magazine cut-outs of a barely legal british heartthrob…mwa ha ha. enjoy! xoxoxo

                                      • At 2011.03.30 18:04, toothybooks said:

                                        i’ve seen plenty of great reviews of ‘between shades of gray’, but other than that, i haven’t heard of any of the other books. i hope you enjoy them though and i’ll be looking forward to reading your reviews of them.

                                        • At 2011.04.04 14:59, Aths said:

                                          I have Between Shades of Gray from the library and can’t wait to read that!
                                          Aths´s last blog post ..March Madness

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