Saturday, December 26, 2009

Weekly Finds: 12/26/09

Writing this up a day early since I doubt any mail will be delivered tomorrow on Sunday, and it was a wonderful Christmas for me book-wise.  I received a few from the top of my wish list as well as some gift certificates to spend later.  There were also a few contest awards that arrived this week, so my stack of books to read has just about doubled.

I, Alex Cross by James Patterson - courtesy of Hachette Book Group giveaway at Bookin' With Bingo.

From the inside cover:  Detective Alex Cross is pulled out of a family celebration and given the awful news that a beloved relative has been found brutally murdered.  Alex vows to hunt down her killer, and soon learns that she was mixed up in one of Washington's wildest scenes.  And she was not the killer's only victim.

The hunt for the murderer leads Alex and his girlfriend, Detective Brianna Stone, to a place where every fantasy is possible, if you have the credentials to get in.  Alex and Bree are soon facing down some very important, very protected, very dangerous people in levels of society where only one thing is certain - they will do anything to keep their secrets safe.

As Alex closes in on the killer, he discovers evidence that points to the unimaginable - a revelation that could rock the entire world.  With the unstoppable action, unforeseeable twists, and edge-of-you-seat excitement that only a James Patterson thriller delivers, I, Alex Cross is the master of suspense at his sharpest and best.

The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. Rowling - a Christmas present from my Dad.

From the back of the book:  The Tales of Beedle the Bard, a Wizarding classic, first came to Muggle readers' attention in the book know as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows.  Now, thanks to Hermoise Granger's new translation from the ancient runes, we present this stunning edition with an introduction, notes, and illustrations by J.K. Rowling, and extensive commentary by Albus Dumbledore.  Never before have Muggles been privy to these richly imaginative tales: "The Wizard and the Hopping Pot", "The Fountain of Fair Fortune", "The Warlock's Hairy Heart", "Babbitty Rabbitty and her Cackling Stump", and of course, "The Tale of the Three Brothers".  But not only are they the equal of fairy tales we know and love, reading them gives new insight into the world of Harry Potter.

The Link by Colin Tudge - another Christmas present from my Dad, recommended to me by TutuTheFirst on

From the inside cover:  For more than a century, scientists have raced to unravel the human family tree and have grappled with its complications.  Now, with an astonishing new discovery, everything we thought we knew about primate origins could change.  Lying inside a high-security vault, deep within the heart of one of the world's leading natural history museums, is the scientific find of a lifetime - a perfecty fossilized early primate, older than the previously most famous primate fossil, Lucy, by an astonishing forty-four millionn years.

A secret until now, the fossil - "Ida" to the researchers who have painstakingly verified her provenance - is the most complete primate fossil ever found.  Forty-seven million years old, Ida rewrites what we've assumed about the earliest primate origins.  Her completeness is unparelleled - so much of what we understoon about evolution comes from partial fossils and even single bones, but Ida's fossilization offers much more than that, from a haunting "skin shadow" to her stomach contents.  And remarkably, knowledge of her discovery and existence almost never saw the light of day.

With exclusive access to the first scientists to study her, the award-winning science writer Colin Tudge tells the history of Ida and her place in the world.  A magnificent, cutting-edge scientific detective story followed her discovery, and The Link offers a wide-ranging investigation into Ida and our earliest origins.  At the same time, it opens a stunningly evocative window into our past and changes what we know about primate evolution and, ultimately, our own.

The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler - a Christmas present from my Mom.

Description from  Nothing ever moves in a straight line in Fowler's fiction, and in her latest, the complex dance of modern love has never been so devious or so much fun. In this newest work, six Californians join to discuss Jane Austen's novels. Over the six months they meet, marriages are tested, affairs begin, unsuitable arrangements become suitable, and love happens.


Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler - Another Christmas present from my Mom.
From the back of the book:  After nursing a broken engagement with Jane Austen noves and Absolut, Courtney Stone wakes up and finds herself not in her Los Angeles bedroom or even in her own body, but inside the bedchamber of a woman in Regency England.  Who but an Austen addict like herself could concoct such a fantasy?
Not only is Courtney stuck in another woman's life, she is forced to pretend she actually is that woman; and despite knowing nothing about her, she manages to fool even the most astute observer.  But not even her level of Austen mania has prepared Courtney for the chamber pots and filthy coaching inns of nineteenth-century England, let alone the realities of being a single woman who must fend off suffocating chaperones, condomless seducers, and marriages of convenience.  This looking-glass Austen world is not without its charms, however.  There are journeys to Bath and London, balls in the Assembly Rooms, and the enigmatic Mr. Edgeworth, who may not be a familiar species of philanderer after all.  But when Courtney's borrowed brain serves up memories that are not her own, the ultimate identity crisis ensues.  Will she ever get her real life back, and does she even want to?
There are a few more to add....I'll finish up tomorrow, this post is getting long already.

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