The Story Siren and Marcia at The Printed Page, respectively. They host these memes so that book bloggers can share the books that come into their houses. I appreciate them both and hope that you will visit their blogs.
Here's what came into my house, via the mailbox...
Picture the Dead by Adele Griffin, from Sourcebooks
A ghost will find his way home.
Jennie Lovell's life is the very picture of love and loss. First she is orphaned and forced to live at the mercy of her stingy, indifferent relatives. Then her fiancé falls on the battlefield, leaving her heartbroken and alone.
Jennie struggles to pick up the pieces of her shattered life, but is haunted by a mysterious figure that refuses to let her bury the past.
When Jennie forms an unlikely alliance with a spirit photographer, she begins to uncover secrets about the man she thought she loved. With her sanity on edge and her life in the balance, can Jennie expose the chilling truth before someone-or something-stops her?
Against the brutal, vivid backdrop of the American Civil War, Adele Griffin and Lisa Brown have created a spellbinding mystery where the living cannot always be trusted and death is not always the end.
College in a Nutskull: A Crash Ed Course in Higher Education by Anders Henriksson, from Workman
He's back. Anders Henriksson, author of The New York Times bestseller Non Campus Mentis (retitled Ignorance Is Blitz), returns with even funnier, nuttier, more outrageous material culled from the actual exam books of real college students. And it's a hoot that covers all subjects of the core curriculum, including: American History: "The Underground Railroad was built as the nation's first public transit system." Art: "Cubism is art from Cuba." Religion: "Moses led his Islams out of Egypt. Bananas from heaven arrived to feed the hungry people. These events are described in the Book of Zeus." Philosophy: "Plato did his thinking in the Cave of Al Gore." Economics: "The theory of surplus value is Marx’s idea that you always shop with coupons." Music: "Bach's sacred choral music includes the B Minor Mess. . . . All one million of his famed works can be found in his BMW. He had over one hundred children and was, of course, very famous for his work with his organ. Two of his successful sons were Jesus Christ Bach and Bacherini." Literature: "Jay Gatsby moved to East Egg because it would be a good place to raise his chickens." And Psychology—or is it Theater Arts: "Most people are either straight, gay, or thespian."
Getting In by Karen Stabiner, from Authors on the Web
Getting In is the roller-coaster story of five very different Los Angeles families united by a single obsession: acceptance at a top college, preferably one that makes their friends and neighbors green with envy. At an elite private school and a nearby public school, families devote themselves to getting their seniors into the perfect school--even if the odds are stacked against them, even if they can't afford the $50,000 annual price tag, even if the effort requires a level of deceit, and even if the object of all this attention wants to go somewhere else.
Anna Maria's Gift by Janice Shefelman, from Random House/Golden Books
When Anna Maria's father, a famous violin maker, dies, she is sent to live in the Pieta, an orphanage in Venice. Though she misses her father, she knows he will always be with her, as long as she has the beautiful violin he crafted for her.
Luckily, the Pieta is not just an orphanage—it’s also a renowned music school whose teacher is none other than composer Antonio Vivaldi. When Anna Maria becomes his star pupil, another orphan’s jealousy leads her to throw Anna Maria’s precious violin into the canals. With help from her beloved teacher and new friends, Anna Maria searches Venice’s bridges, streets, and canals, but it seems hopeless. Will Anna Maria ever find her father’s violin?
Gimme a Call by Sarah Mlynowski, from Knopf Delacorte Dell
A new life is just a phone call away!
Devi's life isn't turning out at all like she wanted. She wasted the past three years going out with Bryan—cute, adorable, break-your-heart Bryan. Devi let her friendships fade, blew off studying, didn't join any clubs . . . and now that Bryan has broken up with her, she has nothing left.
Not even her stupid cell phone—she dropped it in the mall fountain. Now it only calls one number . . . hers. At age fourteen, three years ago!
Once Devi gets over the shock—and convinces her younger self that she isn't some wacko—she realizes that she's been given an awesome gift. She can tell herself all the right things to do . . . because she's already done all the wrong ones! Who better to take advice from than your future self?
Except . . .what if getting what you think you want changes everything?
Spaceheadz by Jon Sciesza and Francesco Sedita, from Simon & Schuster
Michael K. just started fifth grade at a new school. As if that wasn't hard enough, the kids he seems to have made friends with apparently aren't kids at all. They are aliens. Real aliens who have invaded our planet in the form of school children and a hamster. They have a mission to complete: to convince 3,400,001 kids to BE SPHDZ. But with a hamster as their leader, "kids" who talk like walking advertisements, and Michael K as their first convert, will the SPHDZ be able to keep their cover and pull off their assignment?