Friday, April 10, 2009

Mail Call & Friday Fill Ins

I will be venturing out in the rain soon to run a few errands. I have the day off of work to spend however I want. What could be better than that? Just add in a book and a steaming hot mug of hot cocoa and I'm all set. But first, the errands.

I am going to try to avoid stopping in at the bookstore while out and about this morning. It will be a test of my will, let me tell you. With the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books just two weeks away, I am trying to be good and refrain from spending too much extra money before hand. Several of us bloggers have plans to meet up at the festival and it would be great to see you there too! If you are planning to go, please let me know.

Dare to take a look inside my mailbox for this week's Mailbox Monday on Friday? I was quite pleased with what I found.

Shanghai Girls
by Lisa See ~ I cannot even begin to tell you how excited I was when this arrived in the mail. Kisses to Library Thing's Early Reviewer Program for granting me my book heart's desire. At least one of them.

The Surest Poison by Chester D. Campbell ~ A mystery that sounded too good to pass up. This is the first in a new series by the author of the Greg McKenzie mystery series. The author was kind enough to send me a copy for review.

Last Night in Montreal by Emily St. John Mandel ~ This book came to me by way of the Unbridled Virtual Book Tours, for which I will be a stop along the way in June. I was intrigued from the description, " . . . a story of love, amnesia, compulsive travel, the depths and the limits of family bonds, and the nature of obsession."

Picking Cotton: Our Memoir of Injustice and Redemption by Jennifer Thompson-Cannino, Ronald Cotton with Erin Torneo ~ Everything about this nonfiction book captured my interest and now has me eager to read it.

1. (The opening for this fill-in was "Anonymous . . .", however, I decided to approach it differently by shifting the beginning of the sentence to the end. Barbara from Heidi's Books passed away early this morning and I instantly thought of this poem.)

Do Not Stand At My Grave and Weep

Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning's hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die.

by Anonymous

2. Today is a sad day.

3. "Let me embrace thee, sour adversity, for wise men say it is the wisest course." ~ William Shakespeare

4. The warming of the temperatures, seeing my cats and dog lazing in the sunspots around the house as well watching them take pleasure in playing with the birds (the cats from behind the glass windows) are what I look forward to most about Spring. You can be sure I don't look forward to the allergies that come with the season!

5. Who needs therapy when I have chocolate, books, cuddly animals by my side and friends like you to talk to?

6. A big solid chocolate Easter bunny MUST go into the Easter Basket!

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to getting a great big hug when my husband walks in the door this evening; tomorrow my plans include going to see the L.A. Galaxy and Chivas play (professional soccer); and Sunday, I want to sleep in, curl up with a book and travel the world in its pages, trying desperately to forget that I'll be suffering through a root canal come Monday morning.


  1. I love that poem.

    I am too, too jealous about your day off to even be jealous of your books. Enjoy!

  2. Enjoy your long weekend. I know how hard it is to resist the temptation to buy books. I've been waiting to see if I get any birthday gift cards. I wasn't disappointed;-) I hope the root canal goes well Monday.

  3. I've been on vacation this week at my parents' house in Indiana. My entire family is now watching "Monsters versus Aliens" and I am sitting at Panera with a hot cup of cocoa and my sister's laptop! It doesn't get any better than this! I wish I could join you in LA...but I'm on the wrong coast!

  4. I like the poem. Sad to hear that the blogging community has lost another.

    Hope your (ew) root canal goes well on Monday!

  5. I really want to read Picking Cotton. I was in a bookstore on Wednesday and almost bought it but decided two books was enough.

  6. I am watching my own mail for a review copy of Picking Cotton. It'll be interesting to compare notes on that one!

    I'm sorry to hear about Barbara.

    Enjoy this weekend as much as you can, Wendy! And what more appropriate day for a root canal than a Monday :-)?

    I'm saving up my money and book-shopping time for the Festival of Books too - SO looking forward to meeting up with you there!

  7. So sad and so Sorry to hear about Barbara's passing.

    Your mailbox treated you very well this week :)

    Enjoy your Easter weekend and time with your husband. Be good on your errands!! Wish I lived in your area as I would LOVE to meet you and other bloggers IRL. Enjoy your Sunday it sounds divine!!

  8. Hope you have a great weekend. Can't wait to see what you think of Shanghai Girls. it's getting so much good buzz!

  9. I am so sad to hear the news about Barbara. I am truly heartbroken... I feel as if I have lost a close friend even though we never met. Do you know if the doctor's ever figured out what exactly it was?

  10. I never met Barbara, but I'm so sorry for your loss *hugs*

  11. What a beautiful poem. I was very sorry sorry to learn about Barbara; she was very sweet, and will be missed by many.

  12. It looked like it was going to rain all day but thankfully didn't. Ugh, it's too hot here for cocoa but it sure does sound good!

    Ah, today is a sad day. Poor Barbara :(

  13. Wendy...I have been looking for that poem since my mom died 17 years ago. Easter was her favorite holiday, as it is mine. I wept when I read it on your blog because it was one of her favorite poems and she always told me not to visit her grave. I just am in shock right now. If I had your phone number, I would call you. This is just too powerful a message for me.
    Thank you for our friendship.

  14. Wendy...You won't believe mom's name was Barbara, :)

    My sympathy on your loss.

  15. THis looks like a wonderful blog - is there anything better than cats and books mentioned in the same sentence?

    I'll look forward to following your blog!

  16. That's so sad about Barbara :(

    A festival of books? That sounds wonderful! I wish they'd have one here.

  17. I'm so sorry to hear about Barbara. That's a lovely poem. I hadn't read it for a while and it was nice to do so again today. Thanks.

    Our two have been lazing around, sprawled out, all over the house lately. Jiro especially loves reclining in the sun. They're definitely enjoying the warm weather.

    I'm looking forward to reading Last Night in Montreal. They couldn't send me a hard copy to Japan because of postage, but gave me instead a PDF of the galley. Not my favourite way to read a book but it does sound wonderful.

    I'm very jealous of all of you who will be going to the Festival of Books! :P
    I hope you have a relaxing day on Sunday, and good luck at the dentist.

  18. I love the poem -- I'm so sorry to hear about Barbara. My prayers to her and the family at this time :)

    Enjoy your new books, and I hope that you able to hold until the book festival/meeting :)

    Hope you have a good weekend!

  19. I thought Shanghai Girls was a very good read; I hope you enjoy it, too. And, I'm right there with you on Picking Cotton - that one is a must have!

    I'm sending you comforting and pain-free thoughts for your dental visit. (Notice that I didn't say those dreaded words.)

    OH! This comment box is right over your "A Word From Authors" box and when I scrolled down to Publish this comment, I saw Clea Simon's name. That reminded me of something I've wanted to tell you for a looooonnnnnggggg time - I picked up her book Mad House (non-fiction) at a library book sale. I'm looking forward to reading it.

  20. Oops! I don't know where my paragraph went, but I wanted you to know that I'm sorry about your blogging friend, Barbara.

  21. Very sorry to hear about Barbara, but a lovely poem in tribute.

  22. LOL-I like that, a test of your will to not stop at the bookstore. Boy do I know that feeling too. I so wish I could meet up with all of you. I can't wait to hear all about it though.

    YOu got some great books there. Shanghai Girls-lucky you. I'll be doing the tour for Last Night in Montreal. It does sound really good.

    Have a great weekend and Happy Easter Wendy.

  23. In Germany we get Friday and Monday off - and it's gorgeous here. I just went on a bike ride through the forest along the river.

  24. I've read a synopsis of Picking Cotton, and I would really like to read it as well!

    I'm so sorry to hear about the passing of your friend, Barbara.

  25. Just wanted to tell you I passed you some bloggy love:

    Have a wonderful weekend!

  26. Love the poem - didn't know Heidi - but many of my blogging friends did - so here is a BIG virtual {{{HUG}}}

  27. An award is awaiting you at A Novel Menagerie in the Sunday Salon Post.


  28. I'm very sorry about your bloggig buddy.

    Hope you're having a good weekend. I've had 2 root canals - both were completely painless, they're just long. Its too bad you can't read during it!

    I was excited as you when I received Shanghai Girls - one would've thought I'd seen my favorite celebrity author or something, the way I yelled!

  29. I'm sorry to hear about Barbara's passing.

    You've a great list there! I hope you've a wonderful week ahead, Wendy!

  30. I'm sorry to hear about the sad news, Wendy...

  31. So sorry to hear about Barbara!

    I also got Picking Cotton and can't wait to get started on it!

  32. I'm so happy for you that you received Shanghai Girls. It's in my TBR pile, and I can't wait to read it. Happy reading!

    Diary of an Eccentric

  33. Carrie K - I really like that poem too. I get every other Friday off at work, which is nice. :-)

    Kristy - Thank you. It was nice to have a long one. I ended up not having the root canal because the doctor didn't have the right sized tools. Go figure. I have to go back in two weeks and we'll try again.

    Sandy - That does sound nice! I hope your family enjoyed the movie. :-) I wish you could join us at the book festival too.

    Lexi - It is very sad news, indeed.

    I had mentally prepared myself for the root canal yesterday and so was disappointed that it had to be rescheduled. I was a little peeved that the doctor didn't have the right equipment.

    Kathy - It's good to limit yourself sometimes. :-) I hope you do get a chance to read Picking Cotton.

    Florinda - I can't wait to read what you think of Picking Cotton. It'll be awhile before I get to it, but I'm eager to do so.

    Thank you. Barbara was a big part of one of my yahoo groups and she's going to be missed.

    I can't wait until the book festival! I look forward to finally meeting you. :-)

    Staci - Thank you, Staci.

    My mailbox was good to me last week. :-)

    I wish you could come to the book festival too. It would be great to meet you.

    Marie - I am looking forward to reading it. :-)

  34. Kristie - It is such terrible news. I haven't heard yet if they've figured out what it was. If I find out, I will let you know. I am sorry for your loss, Kristie.

    Nymeth - Thank you, Nymeth.

    Diane - Isn't it? I really like that poem. Barbara will definitely be missed.

    Jen - I was hoping for more rain than we got. Oh well.

    Donna - That means so much to me, Donna, that I could help you like this. I heard the poem years ago and only rediscovered it about a year ago. It's such a powerful poem.

    Hugs to you.

    Ingrid - Thank you! And thank you too for stopping by!

    Serena - Oh, I plan too! LOL

    Yvonne - Thank you, Yvonne. I wish you could come for the festival.

  35. Nat - Thank you, Nat.

    Cats have such a great life. :-)

    I look forward to reading your thoughts on Last Night in Montreal. I'm glad to see you'll be reading it for the tour too!

    Julia - Thank you, Julia.

    I am trying to be good about avoiding the bookstore until the festival. It's hard though!

    Joy - I can't wait to dive into Shanghai Girls and Picking Cotton.

    Thank you for the good thoughts about my dental visit. I was really hoping to get it over with yesterday, but no such luck. Now I have to wait another two weeks. Hopefully the doctor will be better prepared next time!

    I will be curious to know what you think of Mad House when you get to it, Joy! I haven't read any of Clea Simon's nonfiction books yet.

    Jenclair - Thank you.

    Dar - It took a lot of willpower. :-) I wish you could come to the festival. It will be fun to meet a few fellow bloggers. :-)

    Oh good! I look forward to reading your thoughts on Last Night in Montreal. It looks like it will be a good one.

    Lenore - That sounds wonderful, Lenore! I lucked out that I had Friday off. I get every other Friday off from work and it just happened to fall on the last weekend. :-) Your bike ride sounds so nice! When I lived in Northern California, near a river, I used to love to take walks along the levee. I don't get that opportunity where I live now, unfortunately.

    Laura - It's an interesting collaboration, isn't it? I am looking forward to reading the book.

    Thank you, Larua.

    Carrie K. - Thank you, Carrie!

  36. Sally - Thank you so much, Sally!

    Sheri - Aw! Thank you, Sheri!

    Myckyee - Thank you.

    Admittedly, my previous root canal was less painful than when I had my four wisom teeth pulled. This root canal will be a little different though since it's actually a re-treat. The dentist says there's a high risk of perforation because of how deep the previous fillings went. She says I may end up losing the tooth. We'll see. It's been put off for another two weeks.

    I'm glad I'm not the only one who got so excited over Shanghai Girls. :-)

    Melody - Thank you, Melody. I hope you have a great week too!

    Alice - Thank you so much, Alice.

    Melissa - Thank you, Melissa.

    Picking Cotton sounds like it will be good, doesn't it?

    Anna - I hear it's a good one! I look forward to reading your thoughts on Shanghai Girls.

  37. It's definitely a test of my will not going into the bookstore. I've tried but I haven't succeeded much!

    I've got to keep my eye on Lisa See's new book. :)

  38. I don't usually buy too much at the
    Festival of Books. Number one, it's crowded! I have a hard time elbowing my way to the cashier. I tend to browse a lot but we'll see how it goes this year.

  39. Thank you for stopping by the mailbox this week. I enjoyed Lisa See's 'Shanghai Girls' but not as much as 'Snow Flower' or 'Peony'. And 'Picking Cotton' is in my TBR pile right now.

  40. Ti - So you aren't going to be wheeling around an empty suitcase with the intent on leaving with it full?

    The books I usually buy are ones I have signed by the authors, although I've found a few jewels while browsing some of the booths that I just can't resist. I'm not to keen on crowds either--but I make an exception for the book festival.

    Marcia - Thank you for hosting the event! I can't wait to dive into Shanghai Girls and Picking Cotton.

  41. Ooooo ... lucky you getting "Shanghai Girls"! Have fun reading :o)

  42. Terri - Thanks, Terri. I'm looking forward to it. :-)


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