Monday, July 20, 2009

Mailbox Monday - 7/20/09

Mailbox Monday is hosted every week by Marcia at the Printed Page.  Head over there to see what others got this week.

My mailbox wasn't very busy this week.  For that, I am thankful.  Yes, I love getting packages in the mail, but I have more than enough to keep me busy for awhile.  I have gotten real selective about the books I receive/request for review, and I think the mailbox has finally caught up.  Since the list is short, I'll be sharing covers with you this week.  Here's what I got...

The Weight of Silence (ARC) by Heather Gudenkauf, from Mira
It happens quietly one August morning. As dawn's shimmering light drenches the humid Iowa air, two families awaken to find their little girls have gone missing in the night.

Seven-year-old Calli Clark is sweet, gentle, a dreamer who suffers from selective mutism brought on by tragedy that pulled her deep into silence as a toddler.

Calli's mother, Antonia, tried to be the best mother she could within the confines of marriage to a mostly absent, often angry husband. Now, though she denies that her husband could be involved in the possible abductions, she fears her decision to stay in her marriage has cost her more than her daughter's voice.

Petra Gregory is Calli's best friend, her soul mate and her voice. But neither Petra nor Calli has been heard from since their disappearance was discovered. Desperate to find his child, Martin Gregory is forced to confront a side of himself he did not know existed beneath his intellectual, professorial demeanor.

Now these families are tied by the question of what happened to their children. And the answer is trapped in the silence of unspoken family secrets.

Educating Esme: Diary of a Teacher's First Year by Esme Raji Codell, from Algonquin Books
A must-read for parents, new teachers, and classroom veterans, Educating Esmé is the exuberant diary of Esmé Raji Codell’s first year teaching in a Chicago public school. Fresh-mouthed and free-spirited, the irrepressible Madame Esmé—as she prefers to be called—does the cha-cha during multiplication tables, roller-skates down the hallways, and puts on rousing performances with at-risk students in the library. Her diary opens a window into a real-life classroom from a teacher’s perspective. While battling bureaucrats, gang members, abusive parents, and her own insecurities, this gifted young woman reveals what it takes to be an exceptional teacher.

Heroine to thousands of parents and educators, Esmé now shares more of her ingenious and yet down-to-earth approaches to the classroom in a supplementary guide to help new teachers hit the ground running. As relevant and iconoclastic as when it was first published, Educating Esmé is a classic, as is Madame Esmé herself.

South of Broad (ARC) by Pat Conroy, from Doubleday
Against the sumptuous backdrop of Charleston, South Carolina, South of Broad gathers a unique cast of sinners and saints. Leopold Bloom King, our narrator, is the son of an amiable, loving father who teaches science at the local high school. His mother, an ex-nun, is the high school principal and a well-known Joyce scholar. After Leo's older brother commits suicide at the age of thirteen, the family struggles with the shattering effects of his death, and Leo, lonely and isolated, searches for something to sustain him. Eventually, he finds his answer when he becomes part of a tightly knit group of high school seniors that includes friends Sheba and Trevor Poe, glamorous twins with an alcoholic mother and a prison-escapee father; hardscrabble mountain runaways Niles and Starla Whitehead; socialite Molly Huger and her boyfriend, Chadworth Rutledge X; and an ever-widening circle whose liaisons will ripple across two decades-from 1960s counterculture through the dawn of the AIDS crisis in the 1980s.

The ties among them endure for years, surviving marriages happy and troubled, unrequited loves and unspoken longings, hard-won successes and devastating breakdowns, and Charleston's dark legacy of racism and class divisions. But the final test of friendship that brings them to San Francisco is something no one is prepared for.

The Journey to Amazing Grace: Out of Slavery by Linda Granfield, from Tundra Books
The story of slavery, a man, and the world’s most beloved hymn.

John Newton led a rich life. He was a God-fearing man and a successful seafaring trader; his cargo was a lucrative business, for his wares were human beings. In 1748, Newton’s ship, the Greyhound, sailed the triangular trade route from Liverpool to Africa and on to Antigua as it had many times before. But on one journey, at the height of the slave trade, a storm raged. Feeling all was lost, Newton prayed that if he were spared, he would leave the cruel world of slave trading behind forever. That night, Newton’s prayers were answered, and true to his word, he turned his back on the slave trade. In fact, he went on to become an ardent abolitionist. Among Newton’s many achievements, his greatest legacy would be the most beloved hymn of all: “Amazing Grace.”

It's a Snap!: George Eastman's First Photograph by Monica Kulling, from Tundra Books
In 1877 in Rochester, New York, George Eastman couldn’t understand why picture-taking was so difficult. Having left school at fourteen to support his mother and two sisters, George decided to find out by making photography his hobby. He packed up glass plates, a plate holder, a tent, a heavy tripod, a thick piece of black cloth, a water jug, and chemicals and set off to take his first photograph.

George realized that not many people could own a camera — they were too expensive and the size of today’s microwave ovens! But how could he make picture-taking easier? Eventually, George created dry plates, and they were such a success that he opened his own dry-plate company in 1881. But this was only the beginning — George went on to invent film and the Brownie camera. The rest is history.


bermudaonion said...

You got some great looking books! I did a little happy dance when I got South of Broad. It's a Snap! looks like a lot of fun.

Pam said...

Oh MAN, I'm about 200pp into South of Broad. If the ending doesn't stink, it's going to be my favorite book of the year. Enjoy!

Cindy said...

Shelly you got some really good books. Nothing in common. I noticed alot of people got South of Broad. Can't wait to see your reviews. Enjoy your books and happy reading

Anna said...

They all sound interesting, but The Weight of Silence caught my eye.

My Mailbox post is here.

Diary of an Eccentric

Beth F said...

You have a nice list -- and I'm looking forward to hearing about South of Broad.

Rebecca :) said...

I read Educating Esme several years ago. I look forward to seeing what you think of it! The Weight of Silence looks so good. I am sad I couldn't take part in the tour for it but I am so backlogged on my reading right now. I look forward to your review on it, too!

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