My Mailbox: Cathy Alter, Judith Lasater, and R. Scott Bakker

This week I received five good books in the mail—two review copies, and three that I bought for myself on a rainy day last week. The Storm at the Door by Stefan Merrill Block This book is being published by Random House in June, and I’ll be reviewing it in July with TLC Book Tours—I love those guys! More about the book: Inspired by elements of the lives of the author’s grandparents, this haunting love story shifts through time and reaches across []

“The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn picks up where The Adventures of Tom Sawyer left off. The Widow Douglas adopts Huck, and he goes to live with her and her sister, Miss Watson. But Huck isn’t taking to his new life too well; though he wants to please the Widow, he finds himself making mistakes in his new life everywhere he turns.

My Mailbox: Zelda Fitzgerald, Emma Donoghue, and Meg Wolitzer

I received some good books in the mail this week, two of which I ordered online and one of which comes from a good friend. I also made an unsupervised trip to the library in my new car this weekend, and I came back with only two books! Jack was so proud. Save Me the Waltz by Zelda Fitzgerald I enjoyed Tender Is the Night by Zelda’s husband, F. Scott Fitzgerald, but I found myself yearning for a complementary view—for the wife’s []

“War” by Sebastian Junger

Sebastian Junger’s War follows its famous author as he spends nearly a year in Afghanistan as a writer for Vanity Fair. He also captured his experience on on a small handheld camcorder, which was used to create 2010 documentary Restrepo with Tim Hetherington.

Spring Readathon!

With the arrival of the cherry blossoms in D.C., it is officially spring. And I can think of no better way to celebrate than everyone’s favorite seasonal event: a 24-hour readathon! Though I will be house-shopping on Saturday afternoon, I plan to devote the majority of my weekend to reading. I’d like to finish up a few books I’m in the middle of right now, including: • The Last Argument of Kings by Joe Abercrombie • The Crossing by Cormac McCarthy • []

“Heart of Darkness” by Joseph Conrad

Heart of Darkness begins as a story among friends on a boat anchored on the River Thames. The narrator tells how Charles Marlow wonders aloud that nearby London, now the largest, most populous, and wealthiest city in the world, was once as dark and savage as Africa. Indeed, before the Roman conquest, London was “one of the dark places on earth,” Marlow tells his astonished companions.

“Yoga for Emotional Balance” by Bo Forbes

Bo Forbes, a longtime therapist and also a yoga practitioner, struggled with the disconnect she saw between the physical and emotional therapy worlds. Often, she says, “we can feel, rather than think, the emotional experiences that heal us.” Instead of just talking through emotional patterns, she began introducing breathwork and restorative yoga poses into her clients’ therapy plans.

“The Oracle of Stamboul” by Michael David Lukas

Eleonora Cohen is not like other little girls. First, there was her birth. During an agonizing labor, which Eleonora’s mother does not survive, a flock of unusually colored hoopoes begin roosting outside the Cohens’ door, and the flock stays to watch over the young girl’s life.

“The Heroes” by Joe Abercrombie

Joe Abercrombie’s new fantasy novel The Heroes continues in the world set in The First Law Trilogy. This time, he takes us to a single battle fought between the comparatively modern Union and the barbarians of the North. The story is told from the perspective of three Union and three Northern characters who all fight in the battle one way or another. Like Abercrombie’s previous novel, Best Served Cold, a few familiar faces from the first trilogy appear.

“The Age of Innocence” by Edith Wharton

The Age of Innocence begins in New York City in the 1870s, in a social strata so high I almost got a nosebleed. Newland Archer has everything he could want: social prominence; a private box at the Academy of Music in New York; a fine cigar in the family study every night after his work at a law firm; an almost certain union with pretty and affluent May Welland.

“Fly Away Home” by Jennifer Weiner

For the thirty-plus years of her married life, Sylvie Woodruff has carefully monitored her words and appearance in the glare of the unforgiving spotlight trained on her, the New York senator’s wife. She works unceasingly to keep the pounds off and to support her husband’s career; even though some, like her mother, disapprove of Sylvie’s unflinching devotion to Richard, Sylvie is happy with him and the life they have built with their two daughters.

Guest Review! “Good Omens” by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman

The heroes of the book are met at the very beginning of humankind (at least, as the Bible claims it to be). Aziraphale is the angel of the East Gate of Eden, and Crawly (later re-named Crowley, because “Crawly” just wasn’t him) is the very serpent who tempted mankind out of paradise. The two of them meet for the first time just after the Lord has issued his judgment upon Adam and Eve and cast them out of the garden.

“The Lotus Eaters” by Tatjana Soli

For the past ten years, Helen Adams has devoted her life to covering the Vietnam War.

When she first arrived in Vietnam in 1965, Helen’s only encounter with war had been her father’s tales of the Korean War and her brother’s letters home, and her only experience with photography was a high school class. Against all odds—and under the mentorship of the famed Sam Darrow—Helen begins to make a name for herself as the war’s first female photojournalist.