It's been a while since I did a Mailbox Monday kind of post. Mostly, it's because I gave up on regularly tracking books. I love coming home every evening to packages at my doorstep, and then I spend some time staring at the book, reading a page, and trying to remember how the book came to land at my door. But opening my spreadsheet and keeping track of the books... yawn! Spreadsheet? What spreadsheet? I eventually do get to it, but by then the moment has passed, it's all business and schedules then, so blogging about the books doesn't come to mind. In addition, an overdose of ARC titles sends me off to the library often. I do end up doing a better job of reading the library books probably because they aren't restricted by schedules and usually I just read them right away.
That said, I was looking at the books in my immediate pile and decided that I was in a mood to showcase them. I won't be getting to any of the books for another two weeks (because their release dates are far off), but the library book is due back in 3 weeks, so that's probably what will get read first. See what I mean by library books not getting put off due to any reason?
The Map of Time by Felix J. Palma. I'm willing to confess right away that it is the cover that pulled me into this book. I'm not sure I have even a fair idea of what this book is about. Time travel? I do know that H.G. Wells' classic masterpiece, The Time Machine, has something to do with it. (Atria also sent a copy of The Time Machine with this book.) Moreover, the synopsis even has a mention of Dracula. I love books that have something to do with other books. Remember The Weird Sisters? All that reference to Shakespeare was just music to my ears (even if I am not a big Shakespeare fans). The Map of Time is actually a translation. It was originally published in Spanish.
Jamrach's Menagerie by Carol Birch. Didn't that title make your eyebrows lift up for a moment? Mine did, I promise. Jamrach's Menagerie was on the 2011 Orange Prize longlist, a fact that I just realized during the typing of this post. For some reason, that fact totally escaped me when I first saw this one online and then later when I received this book. This book is about all the things I don't usually read - there are plenty of animals, whale hunting, an adventure at sea. But it still has some kind of lure around it - a feeling of adventure that's pretty hard to ignore.
The Secret Lives of Baba Segi's Wives, also sometimes known as The Secret Lives of the Four Wives by Lola Shoneyin. I've been waiting since last year to read this. Being about polygamy (a topic that's disgusting and fascinating to read about) and set in Nigeria, this book is told mostly from the perspective of the youngest wife. I've been looking for different kinds of books on this topic. (The Lonely Polygamist by Brady Udall is another one that I want to read.) This book also was on the Orange Prize longlist this year. (Is it coincidence that I have two Orange Prize books on this post?)
Never Knowing by Chevy Stevens. This is one book I want to read but am also feeling a bit reluctant. I quite enjoyed her previous Still Missing, although there were aspects of the book that bothered me. What I did love best about Still Missing was the protagonist's voice and the pull of the novel, so that's something I would be expecting from this one too. I would be keeping my fingers crossed though that I don't get disappointed by her new book.
Blindness by José Saramago. At the start of this month, I expressed a desire to read more of Saramago's works. I had only read his The Elephant's Journey, which I loved, so after months, I'm quite ready to read some more of his books. Blindness is apparently Saramago's most famous work and it sure has a powerful concept for a plot - an epidemic of blindness. In a way, this book reminds me of that strange story I heard in childhood about a land of blind people where the one-eyed man is the king. I know Helen is reading this right now and I'm eagerly waiting to hear what she thinks.
So these are some of the books I'm pretty excited about right now. In the meantime, I'm reading and loving The London Train and The Picture of Dorian Gray (not the uncensored version though).