Mailbox Monday started by Marcia at The Printed Page is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week (checked out library books don’t count, eBooks & audio books do). This month Mailbox Monday is being hosted by Let Them Read Books. Stop by there to check out everyone else's mailboxes. Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.
I received a handful of books over the last month or so from Library Thing Early Reviewers program and Goodreads First Reads. Here they are and next I'll be working on getting posts up!
"When the sun goes down on my life, you'll all come apart like ripped balloons." The wealthy Leon Farrell spoke those words to his three children before he passed, but, as always, he underestimated them. While his oldest, Edgar, does seem to be falling apart at the seams, Shirley and Gunther are doing just fine.
Shunned by their father after the death of their mother while they were still children, the younger Farrell siblings worked their way through college and into successful careers. Shirley handles PR on board cruise ships and Gunther has built a computer software company that's growing by leaps and bounds. Their oldest brother, Edgar, is the only one that seems to be struggling in the wake of his father's death. It's not that he misses their father, he misses the inheritance that he's sure is coming to him.
In his final thumbing of the nose at his kids, Leon died without telling anyone where his will was, including his attorney of over 20 years. Pressed for money to pay off gambling debts, Edgar hires private investigator, Carson Montgomery, to locate the missing document.
From the Amazon product description: Helen Fairchild is leading a privileged Pasadena existence: married to a pillar of the community; raising a water polo-playing son destined for the most select high school; volunteering her time on the most fashionable committees. It only bothers Helen a tiny bit the she has never quite fit in with the proper Pasadena crowd, never finished that graduate degree in Classics, and never had that second baby. But the rigid rules of society in Pasadena appeal to Helen, the daughter of Oregon "fiber artists," even if she'll never be on the inside. And then along comes a Rose Parade float, killing her philandering husband and leaving Helen broke, out of her "forever' house and scrambling to salvage her once-rarefied existence. Enter Dr. Patrick O'Neill, noted archaeologist, excavator of Troy and wearer of nubby sweaters. A job as Dr. O'Neill's research assistant is the lifeline Helen needs to reinvent herself, both personally and professionally. Ancient mysteries to solve! Charity events to plan! School admissions advisors to charm! If Helen wasn't so distracted by her incredibly attractive boss, she might be able to pull off this new life. Helen's world widens to include a Hollywood star, a local gossip columnist, an old college nemesis, a high-powered Neutron Mom, an unforgiving school headmistress , the best Armenian real state agent in the biz, and, of course, the intriguing Patrick O'Neill. While uncovering secrets about ancient Troy alongside her archaeologist boss, Helen discovers something much more: a new sense of self and a new love. With it's keen social observations, laugh-out-loud scenes and whip-smart dialogue, Helen of Pasadena reads like a roman à clef and unfolds like a romantic comedy. Along the way, this novel delivers humor, insight and wisdom on reinventing yourself.
The Goodreads product description: Yasuko Hanaoka is a divorced, single mother who thought she had finally escaped her abusive ex-husband Togashi. When he shows up one day to extort money from her, threatening both her and her teenaged daughter Misato, the situation quickly escalates into violence and Togashi ends up dead on her apartment floor. Overhearing the commotion, Yasuko’s next door neighbor, middle-aged high school mathematics teacher Ishigami, offers his help, disposing not only of the body but plotting the cover-up step-by-step.
When the body turns up and is identified, Detective Kusanagi draws the case and Yasuko comes under suspicion. Kusanagi is unable to find any obvious holes in Yasuko’s manufactured alibi and yet is still sure that there’s something wrong. Kusanagi brings in Dr. Manabu Yukawa, a physicist and college friend who frequently consults with the police. Yukawa, known to the police by the nickname Professor Galileo, went to college with Ishigami. After meeting up with him again, Yukawa is convinced that Ishigami had something to do with the murder. What ensues is a high level battle of wits, as Ishigami tries to protect Yasuko by outmaneuvering and outthinking Yukawa, who faces his most clever and determined opponent yet.
The Goodreads product description: In the vein of The Glass Castle, Breaking Night is the stunning memoir of a young woman who at age fifteen was living on the streets, and who eventually made it into Harvard. Liz Murray was born to loving but drug-addicted parents in the Bronx. In school she was taunted for her dirty clothing and lice-infested hair, eventually skipping so many classes that she was put into a girls' home. At age fifteen, Liz found herself on the streets when her family finally unraveled. She learned to scrape by, foraging for food and riding subways all night to have a warm place to sleep. When Liz's mother died of AIDS, she decided to take control of her own destiny and go back to high school, often completing her assignments in the hallways and subway stations where she slept. Liz squeezed four years of high school into two, while homeless; won a New York Times scholarship; and made it into the Ivy League. Breaking Night is an unforgettable and beautifully written story of one young woman's indomitable spirit to survive and prevail, against all odds.