In My Mailbox is a weekly meme that talks about books that have been bought, swapped, received for review or borrowed from the library. In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren and was inspired by Alea at Pop Culture Junkie
Dead End Gene Pool: A Memoir by Wendy Burden (Gotham Books, April 1, 2010)
Summary from Goodreads: In the tradition of Sean Wilsey's Oh The Glory of It All and Augusten Burrough's Running With Scissors, the great-great-great granddaughter of Cornelius Vanderbilt gives readers a grand tour of the world of wealth and WASPish peculiarity, in her irreverent and darkly humorous memoir.
For generations the Burdens were one of the wealthiest families in New York, thanks to the inherited fortune of Cornelius "The Commodore" Vanderbilt. By 1955, the year of Wendy's birth, the Burden's had become a clan of overfunded, quirky and brainy, steadfastly chauvinistic, and ultimately doomed bluebloods on the verge of financial and moral decline-and were rarely seen not holding a drink. In Dead End Gene Pool, Wendy invites readers to meet her tragically flawed family, including an uncle with a fondness for Hitler, a grandfather who believes you can never have enough household staff, and a remarkably flatulent grandmother.
At the heart of the story is Wendy's glamorous and aloof mother who, after her husband's suicide, travels the world in search of the perfect sea and ski tan, leaving her three children in the care of a chain- smoking Scottish nanny, Fifth Avenue grandparents, and an assorted cast of long-suffering household servants (who Wendy and her brothers love to terrorize). Rife with humor, heartbreak, family intrigue, and booze, Dead End Gene Pool offers a glimpse into the fascinating world of old money and gives truth to an old maxim: The rich are different
I don't read memoirs often, but this one looked interesting because the family is from New York. And the cover is slightly odd, which can sometimes be a good thing. I probably won't be posting a review for Dead End Gene Pool until the beginning of May. Thank you to Penguin and TLC Tours.
From the library:
Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause (Delacorte Press for Young Readers, 1997)
Summary from Goodreads: Vivian Gandillon relishes the change, the sweet, fierce ache that carries her from girl to wolf. At sixteen, she is beautiful and strong, and all the young wolves are on her tail. But Vivian still grieves for her dead father; her pack remains leaderless and in disarray, and she feels lost in the suburbs of Maryland. She longs for a normal life. But what is normal for a werewolf?
Then Vivian falls in love with a human, a meat-boy. Aiden is kind and gentle, a welcome relief from the squabbling pack. He's fascinated by magic, and Vivian longs to reveal herself to him. Surely he would understand her and delight in the wonder of her dual nature, not fear her as an ordinary human would.
Vivian's divided loyalties are strained further when a brutal murder threatens to expose the pack. Moving between two worlds, she does not seem to belong in either. What is she really--human or beast? Which tastes sweeter--blood or chocolate?
I loved The Silver Kiss by Annette Curtis Klause, so I looked for other books by her. I had no idea that she had also written Blood and Chocolate. It is about werewolves, that plus the amazing The Silver Kiss, leave me with very high expectations.
Summary from Goodreads: Before there was the Baby-Sitters Club, there were four girls named Kristy Thomas, Mary Anne Spier, Claudia Kishi, and Stacey McGill. As they start the summer before seventh grade (also before they start the BSC), each of them is on the cusp of a big change. Kristy is still hung up on hoping that her father will return to her family. Mary Anne has to prove to her father that she's no longer a little girl who needs hundreds of rules. Claudia is navigating her first major crush on a boy. And Stacey is leaving her entire New York City life behind...
...in order to find new friends in Stoneybrook, Connecticut.
The Summer Before . . . is a sweet, moving novel about four girls on the edge of something big - not just the Club that will change their lives, but also all the joys and tribulations of being twelve and thirteen.
I absolutely loved The Baby Sitters Club series when I was in 5th and 6th grade. I devoured them, one after another. When it was announced that BSC was getting a makeover and an update, I was excited. At the library, our copies of BSC do get borrowed, but not that often. The update will bring Kristy, Mary Ann, Claudia and Stacey into the 2000s and make them more relatable to todays tweens. I'm in the middle of reading The Summer Before and it feels like stepping back in time and meeting with old friends. The 10 year old in me was squeeing as I read the first few pages. It is definitely has a more modern feel, but there is nothing specific that would date it.
What's in your mailbox this week?