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Jun 1, 2009

Mailbox Monday, Read It Forward

Mailbox Monday is hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page. We share what books that we found in our mailboxes last week. And I am adding what I purchased.
Here's what I received during the last week:
You don't need to tell me this is a great load of books!! This is an awesome haul, probably the best week ever in quality and what I like.. helps when I actually purchase them to help it along..

From Marcia at The Printed Page, as part of the Read it Forward campaign, thank you! (See the end of this post for my own sort of read-it-forward):
"Myers considered herself a daddy's girl, until the death of her father when she was only 11 left her particularly lonely. In this dark though moving book, she explains that she never told her two younger sisters of her loneliness and found her mother's unpredictable cruelty truly bewildering. Although this was a working-class Jewish family in Queens in the 1960s and '70s, it wasn't the sort featured in storybooks. Her parents chain-smoked and fought endlessly, slinging curses at each other without a thought of their children listening. Alyse got herself into a gifted high school in Manhattan, found herself part-time jobs and enrolled in an affordable city college. It was only after she married and had a child herself that she started to understand her father had been a philanderer and her mother used morphine to cope. The greatest gift she gave her daughter was the determination to create a different sort of life for herself."

"Penelope Devereux was the brightest star who ever shone in the court of Queen Elizabeth I in 16th-century England, and this biography challenges the usual historians' view that she was merely a footnote to famous men's lives. Her life touched on every great event of the age—the execution of Mary Queen of Scots, the defeat of the Spanish Armada, the arrival of King James, and the Gunpowder Plot. She also knew many of the celebrated artistic figures of the day, including William Shakespeare. She was the most beautiful woman of her generation and muse to countless poets and musicians, yet she died in disgrace—a widow, outcast from court, and stripped of all her titles. Set against the character of Queen Elizabeth I and the staged pageantry of her Court, this dramatic and ultimately tragic story will have immediate appeal to all lovers of historical biographies." Penelope is featured in Holt's "My Enemy The Queen", which I really enjoyed, although that novel focuses on Lettice Knollys. I actually mistakenly got two of these, dopey people refunded my money without telling me why, so then I reordered it from somewhere else, then of course I get both of them. I am not looking at the bank account to see what sort of a mess they caused, I don't want to know. Do you sense a future giveaway?
"This highly readable translation of French historian Evelyne Lever's 1991 biography captures all the drama and pathos of Marie Antoinette's short life. Born in 1755, this carefree, fun-loving daughter of Austrian empress Maria Theresa inherited neither her mother's political shrewdness nor her sense of duty. She was married off at 14 to the stolid, clumsy French Dauphin, who would not fully consummate their marriage for another seven years, at which point he was King Louis XVI and their marital difficulties were the subject of public ridicule. She consoled herself by retreating to the artificial village she constructed at Trianon, where she could be free of the court etiquette she hated and indulge in expensive amusements that only increased her unpopularity. Her rare incursions into politics were just as ill judged; she alienated the French nobility with attempts to further Austria's diplomatic goals, and from the first rumblings of revolution in 1788, she influenced Louis to take a hard line on royal power when compromise might have saved the monarchy and prevented their executions in 1793. Lever does not soften Marie Antoinette's faults or downplay her poor judgment, but most readers will finish this absorbing narrative feeling very sorry for a pretty, goodhearted, but fundamentally frivolous woman thrown into a historical moment whose demands were beyond her."

Whos Who In Late Medieval England (Who's Who in British History) I have the Who's Who in Tudor England, it's like having a Encyclopedia of the influential people during the era. This one is Middle Ages from 1272-1485, covering the reigns of Edward I to Richard III, spanning the Hundred Years War and War of The Roses etc. These are all mini-biographies and I am thrilled that Elizabeth Woodville is one of the four featured on the cover.

"It is April 1551. While the family of Lord Henry Grey are visiting their Devon estate, the Grey sisters are saved from drowning by a local medical apprentice, Richard Stocker. Little does Richard know that this single act will plunge him into a tide of religious and social upheaval that will change not only his own life but the course of British history. In gratitude for saving his daughters, Lord Henry agrees to employ Richard in his household. Lady Katherine has already fallen for her father’s handsome new employee, while Richard is in thrall to the intellect of her troubled but brilliant sister, Lady Jane, with whom he forms a close friendship. Following King Edward’s death, the teenaged Lady Jane is proclaimed Queen. Soon, however, she is deposed and put to the axe. The woman Richard has grown to love as a friend, confidante, and adviser is dead. Bereft, he abandons the intrigues and deceptions of court life, resolving to resume his medical apprenticeship. In the Shadow of Lady Jane is at once a gripping political thriller and a compelling love story. "

Received For Review from Simon & Schuster:
Crowner Royal (Part of A Crowner John Mystery) By: Bernard Knight ISBN-13: 9781847372970 "It is April 1196. At the command of King Richard and his Chief Justiciar Hubert Walter, county coroner Sir John de Wolfe—along with his officer Gwyn of Polruan and clerk Thomas de Peyne—has left Exeter for London where he is to become the first Coroner of the Verge. Thrust into the intrigues of the closed world of the Royal Court, John quickly finds himself embroiled in a case of theft, blackmail, espionage, and murder."

Anne Frank Remembered By: Miep Gies ISBN-13: 9781416598855 (Reprint from its earlier issue)
"This memoir reveals the writer to be a woman of great courage, who determinedly pursued a course of action founded upon deep humanitarian convictions despite great personal danger. Gies was the trusted employee to whom Otto Frank turned when his family was forced into hiding in their attempt to escape deportation and death. Teenagers who have read Anne Frank: the Diary of a Young Girl (Doubleday, 1967) will surely want to read about Gies' adventures in secretly obtaining provisions for eight people for two years. The characterizations of the Frank family, particularly Anne, with whom Gies had a special friendship, are perceptive. Gies describes the day the Franks were captured, following their betrayal by persons still unknown. These vignettes and the description of what was happening in Amsterdam provide insight into how the Nazi occupation affected the lives of innocent people, and into the heroism of a remarkable woman."

**Giggles with Glee**
OK, on to the serious stuff: I have a copy of Angie Fox's second novel, The Dangerous Book for Demon Slayers that I am just never going to get around to reading. I wish I had the time, but I just don't think I could do this book justice, I am just not in the mood for this type of book right now, and I have had it for a month.
So who has a Book Review Blog, that would like to have this copy of mine, and is willing to review it on their blog, within a few weeks of receiving it from me? (USA Only) Comment here and leave me your email address if you are interested in this opportunity.
update: Thanks to Dolleygurl for taking the book off my hands :)