The Sunday Salon: Bookmarks edition

Happy Sunday everyone! This week seemed to fly by and I can’t believe it’s Sunday already.  I have to work a shift at work today but I am excited for later tonight when my family celebrates my sister’s birthday at Sakura, one of those Japanese style restaurants where they cook the food in front of you.Eating out is one of my favorite things, especially when my family is there!

Earlier this week, I was excited to find the newest issue of Bookmarks in my mailbox! I immediately drew myself a bath and soaked with the magazine and a pen so I could star all the new books that I found.

I have to admit that the cover articles didn’t interest me as much as usual, so as a result I came away with less of a wishlist than usual.  I can’t complain though as my wishlist is certainly long enough already!

Here are the books that piqued my interest–

On Long Island, a farmer finds a duck pond turned red with blood. On the Lower East Side, two boys playing at a pier discover a floating human torso wrapped tightly in oilcloth. Blueberry pickers near Harlem stumble upon neatly severed limbs in an overgrown ditch. Clues to a horrifying crime are turning up all over New York, but the police are baffled: There are no witnesses, no motives, no suspects.

The grisly finds that began on the afternoon of June 26, 1897, plunged detectives
headlong into the era’s most baffling murder mystery. Seized upon by battling media moguls Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst, the case became a publicity circus. Reenactments of the murder were staged in Times Square, armed reporters lurked in the streets of Hell’s Kitchen in pursuit of suspects, and an unlikely trio—a hard-luck cop, a cub reporter, and an eccentric professor—all raced to solve the crime.

What emerged was a sensational love triangle and an even more sensational trial: an unprecedented capital case hinging on circumstantial evidence around a victim whom the police couldn’t identify with certainty, and who the defense claimed wasn’t even dead. The Murder of the Century is a rollicking tale—a rich evocation of America during the Gilded Age and a colorful re-creation of the tabloid wars that have dominated media to this day.

-From Amazon

When her widower father drowns at sea, Gemma Hardy is taken from her native Iceland to Scotland to live with her kind uncle and his family. But the death of her doting guardian leaves Gemma under the care of her resentful aunt, and it soon becomes clear that she is nothing more than an unwelcome guest at Yew House. When she receives a scholarship to a private school, ten-year-old Gemma believes she’s found the perfect solution and eagerly sets out again to a new home. However, at Claypoole she finds herself treated as an unpaid servant.

To Gemma’s delight, the school goes bankrupt, and she takes a job as an au pair on the Orkney Islands. The remote Blackbird Hall belongs to Mr. Sinclair, a London businessman; his eight-year-old niece is Gemma’s charge. Even before their first meeting, Gemma is, like everyone on the island, intrigued by Mr. Sinclair. Rich (by Gemma’s standards), single, flying in from London when he pleases, Hugh Sinclair fills the house with life. An unlikely couple, the two are drawn to each other, but Gemma’s biggest trial is about to begin: a journey of passion and betrayal, redemption and discovery, that will lead her to a life of which she’s never dreamed.

Set in Scotland and Iceland in the 1950s and ’60s, The Flight of Gemma Hardy—a captivating homage to Charlotte BrontË’s Jane Eyre—is a sweeping saga that resurrects the timeless themes of the original but is destined to become a classic all its own.

-From Amazon

Rory Hendrix is the least likely of Girl Scouts. She hasn’t got a troop or even a badge to call her own. But she’s checked the Handbook out from the elementary school library so many times that her name fills all the lines on the card, and she pores over its surreal advice (Uniforms, disposing of outgrown; The Right Use of Your Body; Finding Your Way When Lost) for tips to get off the Calle: that is, the Calle de las Flores, the Reno trailer park where she lives with her mother, Jo, the sweet-faced, hard-luck bartender at the Truck Stop.

Rory’s been told that she is one of the “third-generation bastards surely on the road to whoredom.” But she’s determined to prove the county and her own family wrong. Brash, sassy, vulnerable, wise, and terrified, she struggles with her mother’s habit of trusting the wrong men, and the mixed blessing of being too smart for her own good. From diary entries, social workers’ reports, half-recalled memories, arrest records, family lore, Supreme Court opinions, and her grandmother’s letters, Rory crafts a devastating collage that shows us her world even as she searches for the way out of it.

Tupelo Hassman’s Girlchild is a heart-stopping and original debut.

-From Amazon

Fifteen-year-olds Cece and Mack didn’t expect to fall in love. She’s a sensitive A student; he’s a high school dropout. But soon they’re spending every moment together, bonding over a rescued dog, telling their secrets, making plans for the future. Everything is perfect. Until. Until. Mack makes a horrible mistake, and in just a few minutes, the future they’d planned becomes impossible. In this stark new reality, both of them must find meaning and hope in the memories of what they had, to survive when the person they love can’t stay.

From award-winning writer Paul Griffin, Stay with Me is both heartbreaking and uplifting, filled with characters (both dog and human) that will forever change the way you look at the world.

-From Amazon

Have you read any these? What did you think of the new Bookmarks?

Bookmarks Magazine, September/October 2011

As I leafed through my mail a few weeks ago (junk, junk and more junk!), I was thrilled to come across the new issue of Bookmarks!  I had promised myself I would clean the house, since it was my day off, so I had to put it aside, but man did I clean my butt off so that I could dive in!

As always, I checked off a lot of books that caught my eye and thus my TBR pile grew exponentially.
Here are some of the books that I found interesting.  Some of them were new to me and some of them I had heard of before but hadn’t gotten a copy or read yet.
Zone One, by Olson Whitehead.  This one is for my husband.  It is about a zombie pandemic.  Enough said!
Nightwoods, by Charles Frazier.  This one takes place in the Appalachians, with a woman taking custody of her dead sister’s twin children, described in the blurb as troubled.  It’s not a detailed description but it was enough to grab my interest!
Wench, by Dolen Perkins-Valdez. This has been on my list since it cam out.  My mom has a copy, so I may need to borrow it!
Low Life, by Luc Sante.  This was from a feature article about Ragtime New York and it’s accompanying literature.  This is a “social history [that] focuses on the immigrant underworld of old New York and is aided by black-and-white photographs . . . “
A Wild Surge of Guilty Passion, by Ron Hansen. This is about a real life crime from almost a century ago that inspired James Cain’s Double Indemnity.  This has been on my TBR list for a few months now!
Ten Thousand Saints, by Eleanor Henderson. A high school boy dies after he overdoses and his friend makes a complete turn around as a result, even accepting the dead boys child as his own.
Where She Went, by Gayle Forman. This one is pretty self explanatory! I must say, I am thrilled that Bookmarks is featuring a YA section now!
So those are the books that went immediately to my TBR list, or just reminded me that I already really wanted to read them.  There were a few other titles that I marked to look into, so it is possible some of those will make it to my TBR list too.
What books has Bookmarks inspired you to read or add to your TBR list?