Sunday, January 17, 2010

In My Mailbox #3

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren

The library where I work belongs to a library system, much like a consortium (so that all the libraries in the county are connected and you can borrow books from all 44 libraries).  I was at system headquarters for a class on Tuesday and at the end we started talking about book ordering, how we choose which books to add to the collection.  And the following conversation occurred:

Fearless Leader: You do know about the "Book Room," right? 
Clueless Students: *confused looks*  Um, no.
Fearless Leader:  Really?  Then how do order books without looking at a copy first?
Cluless Students: Reviews, word of mouth, blogs.
Fearless Leader:  No No No.  *shaking her head* Come with me.
Clueless Students:  *follow along down the hall, through a door, into a wonderful area filled with books*

We were in the most amaing place.  Books of all types justed waiting to be looked at.  But, the best part was a side room, that I will call the "Book Closet," with shelved of books waiting to be read and reviewed.  My jaw dropped, it just couldn't be true. . . the Middle Grades and YA sections were stocked with some highly sought after titles.  The rule is you borrow it, you review it for the system blog, then your library gets to keep the book. WHOA!

By this point, my brain was on book overload.  I was thinking why didn't know about this and How many books could I borrow without looking like a book hog at the same time.  Everyone managed to find at least two or three books to take.  I decided on three, because I already have a teetering TBR stack and I don't want to find these books on my desk in six months gathering dust.  Plus, having to write a review means they should be read realtively quickly.  So I chose:

From the "Book Closet":

The Journal of Curious Letters (The 13th Reality Book 1) by James Dashner (Aladdin, 2009 Pbk edition)
Ice by Sarah Beth Durst (Margaret K. McElderry, October 2009)
The Mark by Jen Nadol (Bloomsbury, January 2010)

And then I also bought:
Struts & Frets by Jon Skovron (Amulet Books, November 2009)

Summary from Goodreads: When Cassie was a little girl, her grandmother told her a fairy tale about her mother, who made a deal with the Polar Bear King and was swept away to the ends of the earth. Now that Cassie is older, she knows the story was a nice way of saying her mother had died. Cassie lives with her father at an Arctic research station, is determined to become a scientist, and has no time for make-believe.

Then, on her eighteenth birthday, Cassie comes face-to-face with a polar bear who speaks to her. He tells her that her mother is alive, imprisoned at the ends of the earth. And he can bring her back -- if Cassie will agree to be his bride.

That is the beginning of Cassie's own real-life fairy tale, one that sends her on an unbelievable journey across the brutal Arctic, through the Canadian boreal forest, and on the back of the North Wind to the land east of the sun and west of the moon. Before it is over, the world she knows will be swept away, and everything she holds dear will be taken from her -- until she discovers the true meaning of love and family in the magical realm of Ice.

I read about Ice on another blog and thought it sounded interesting.  So when it was in the "Book Closet" I grabbed it.  None of the other librarians had heard of it, but they agreed that the cover was appealing.

Summary from Goodreads: Cassandra Renfield has always seen the mark—a glow around certain people reminiscent of candlelight. But the one time she mentioned it, it was dismissed as a trick of the light. Until the day she watches a man awash in the mark die. After searching her memories, Cassie realizes she can see a person’s imminent death. Not how or where, only when: today.

Armed with a vague understanding of the light, Cassie begins to explore her “gift,” seeking those marked for death and probing the line between decision and destiny. Though she’s careful to hide her secret—even from her new philosophy-obsessed boyfriend—with each impending death comes the temptation to test fate. But so many questions remain. How does the mark work? Why is she the only one who sees it? And finally, the most important of all: If you know today is someone’s last, should you tell them?

The Mark was chosen for a different reason.  Jen Nadol happens to live in the same county as my library and we try have as many local authors in our collection as possible.

Summary from Goodreads: Music is in Sammy’s blood. His grandfather was a jazz musician, and Sammy’s indie rock band could be huge one day—if they don’t self-destruct first. Winning the upcoming Battle of the Bands would justify all the band’s compromises and reassure Sammy that his life’s dream could become a reality. But practices are hard to schedule when Sammy’s grandfather is sick and getting worse, his mother is too busy to help either of them, and his best friend may want to be his girlfriend.

When everything in Sammy’s life seems to be headed for major catastrophe, will his music be enough to keep him together?

Struts & Frets had proven to be a hard book to track down.  Every week I would  pop into Borders and look for it.  But it was never there.  I annoyed the booksellers everytime, to no avail.  Finally, I was able to track down one copy at an indie bookshop not too far away.  Yay, for indie book stores.  All the great reviews got me curious.  I can't wait to read it.

What's in your mailbox this week?


  1. Wow! A secret book room! How did you ever limit yourself to just three? The three you picked are all great choices though. I'll have to look at Struts and Frets. The others are already in my library or on order. Happy reading!

  2. Wow that sounds so awesome. The Mark looks really good. Hope you enjoy reading all your books.

  3. Great books! I'm so jealous of you getting The Mark!

    Here's what I got this week:

    Have a great week!


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