IMM (20): More Magic, Orphaned Books, Academic Lit, and Net Galley

Today marks our 20th contribution for In My Mailbox, a Sunday meme hosted by The Story Siren. Since we (Fats, Iphigene and myself) are all avid bibliophiles, we find this a great way to keep track of books that we have bought, were given to us, or borrowed from the library. I only have a few this week compared to the previous week, but I would like to think that these are fairly good titles.

Orphaned Books

Yes, you read correctly. These books were left lying around near our mailbox. Since we live inside the university – mostly inhabited by an expatriate community – it is not uncommon to have garage sales or see stuff lying around unwanted as residents move in and out fairly quickly. It broke my heart to see these three orphaned books, so I simply took them in and found a new home for them in my bookshelves.

I have already read Carlos Ruis Zafon’s Shadow of the Wind (review can be found here) and I know that it’s a satisfying read. While I haven’t read anything written by Augusten Burroughs, I have heard of him. Dry, a Memoir promises to be a good adult reading material – and may even be something that we can share for Nonfiction Monday. I am particularly excited though with Primitive People by Francine Prose – because (1) as could be seen from the book cover, Prose is the author of Blue Angel, which was a finalist for the National Book Award. (2) I noted that this book came from Green Apple, my favorite independent book shop in San Francisco – and they sell pretty good titles.

Book for Review from Pansing

Occasionally, we do receive a few books for review from publishers or from authors. Here is one of them. Amanda Hocking’s Switched. I have a feeling that few of the YA bloggers might be familiar with this book that is said to have sold multi-million copies in e-book format. Nice! Very excited to read it. If you’ve read it, I’d like to know what you think – or even post links to your reviews.

Library Love

While I admit to borrowing more picture books and YA fiction from the library, I do borrow a few academic books that also help me out in my teaching and my writing. I hardly ever feature them here (since most are pretty boring materials), but I am excited about these two:

I love reading academic books that discuss actual lives of individuals – one of the reasons why I was drawn to the field of gifted and talented education in the first place. Gifted Lives is written by Joan Freeman and it documents research that she has done with the gifted for more than 30 years. An amazing journey indeed. I also am intrigued by Howard Gardner’s Extraordinary Minds: Portraits of 4 Exceptional Individuals and an Examination of our own extraordinariness. Now, that’s a mouthful. 🙂

Presents from my husband, the enabler extraordinaire

My husband knows that I am currently banning myself from purchasing brand new books, since they cost a great deal. I can not resist bargain books, yes, but I hardly ever purchase brand new ones, if I can help it. After seeing me moon over these two books, he thought it best to buy them for me as a present. Enabler, indeed. Admittedly, he does spoil me a great deal.

Finally, my own copy of Erin Morgenstern’s Night Circus. He seemed to sense I wouldn’t be able to finish Susanna Clarke’s Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell which I borrowed from our community library (see my IMM here), so he thought that it would be better for me to have my own copy. Hmmm… could this possibly be my Christmas gift??? Hahaha.

Trying out NetGalley

Just this week, I registered for NetGalley – I’ve been seeing quite a number of books from NetGalley in most mailboxes every Sunday, so I thought that I might as well give it a try. Here are some of the books I requested and have been given to me this week. I plan on using this sparingly primarily because I have access to a great number of books from our libraries here in Singapore and truth be told, it seems like such a huge responsibility. With all my academic writing and my teaching and other university commitments, it seems unlikely I can finish reading as quickly as I wish. Anyway, just so I can get a teaser of what Netgalley is about, here are a few reads I requested for and received from the publishers:

A full moon is rising by Marilyn Singer and Pictures by Julia Cairns. Publisher: Lee & Low Books, August 2011. Since we’re planning on doing a poetry theme for November and December, this seems like a wonderful add-in to our featured books. Add the fact that I love Lee & Low Publishing Company and their books. I am also planning on including this book for Nonfiction Monday.

Cloud of Ink by L.S. Klatt published by University of Iowa Press – is another book that would be a good add-in to our upcoming Poetry Theme. I was surprised to discover that there are only very few titles under the Poetry Genre in NetGalley. That IS sad.

Unbeknownst by Julie Hanson is also another University of Iowa Press publication. Both Cloud of Ink and this book were published in March of this year. I have not read any of Hanson’s and Klatt’s works yet, and I am looking forward to getting to know them through their poetry.

Because I can not resist award-winning books, I also requested for (and received) The Tiger’s Wife by Tea Obreht, published by Random House Publishing Group in March 2011. The book is the winner of the Orange Prize and a National Book Award Finalist. I’ve seen quite a number of mixed reviews about the book, and it would be good to see for myself whether it is something that would move my sensibilities. I am hoping that my ladies, Fats and Iphigene, would help me out in the review of these four lovely books. 🙂

How about you? I’d love to hear your IMM for this week.

17 comments on “IMM (20): More Magic, Orphaned Books, Academic Lit, and Net Galley

  1. Glad you registered with NetGalley – that is an addictive site! I’ve been interested in The Tiger’s Wife. Ooh The Night Circus and Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell – that’s a nice gift from your husband! I’ve never read Switched but I remember seeing it on the ebook bestseller lists for a long time. Hope you like it. The cover is pretty.
    Have a good week!


    • Hi Lucy, I’m beginning to feel that this netgalley thingy would be short-lived, having trouble with a kindle for ipad because of country restrictions – we don’t have that option here in Singapore yet – and I can’t download the adobe digital reading media tools as well – I’m left with the bluefire app which is kind of slow for my tastes. So perhaps I’d just give these four books a try (I might even end up borrowing one of them in the library, *sigh*), but at least I did give it a shot.


  2. you got Night Circus. I want to read that one but I haven’t got a copy yet. My TBR is pretty messed up lately & adding more will just make me crazy. Switched looks interesting, I hope you review that one. Happy reading to the GB team 😉


  3. Switch sounds really good I’ve never heard of it before! Excellent haul!

    Xpresso Reads


    • Switched, from what I understand, is a bestseller e-book and now a lot of publishers have made their bidding just to publish the actual hardcopy of the book. Sounds awesome, and there’s a lot of hype about the book, so I’m looking forward to reading it.


  4. I am about half way through Night Circus. I like it so far. Tigers Wife has been on my radar for some time. I am looking forward to hearing what you think.


    • Hi Stephanie, thanks for dropping by. Been hearing lots of mixed reviews about the Tiger’s Wife – I don’t know whether I can manage reading the entire book though on the iPad. Like I said above, I’d probly end up borrowing it from the library. I’m beginning to regret having registered – but wanted to see how the experience would be like. Oh well, enough whining. Let’s see how it goes.


  5. Great selection here Myra! You always seem to find the most interesting books.
    I love the cover for the Night Circus, I see it everywhere. I can’t wait to see what you think of it.

    I’m excited for your poetry theme- I’m always on the look out for new poetry collections, so I’m expecting for you to come up with some great ones.

    I’m glad you picked up those books and gave them a good home! Very noble of you, I’m sure it must have taken a lot to save them. 😉

    Happy reading!


    • Hi Jo, we’re pretty excited about the poetry theme as well. We’re all set to launch in the coming week. I’m also looking forward to your war-inspired theme and will be dropping by every now and again to see how your reviews are doing.


  6. Ah enablers, how can we not love them! My boyfriend is one of those too! lol

    I have heard fantastic things about Night Circus. It’s on my list, but I have too many already on my list. As is Tiger’s Wife. Received Switched as well. I’ll link to you for my review!


  7. You got some awesome books this week. Come visit me as well

    Livre De Amour-Books of Love


  8. I hadn’t seen that cover for Switched. It’s pretty. And The Night Circus is one of my favorite books this year! I’m looking forward to your reviews. Here’s what I got this week. Happy reading!


  9. Pingback: Highlights of November and Carnival of Children’s Literature |

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