Welcome to Mailbox Monday, the weekly meme created by Marcia from A girl and her books (formerly The Printed Page) where book lovers share the titles they received for review, purchased, or otherwise obtained over the past week. Mailbox Monday currently is on tour, and this month’s host is Cindy’s Love of Books.
Here’s what I received:
Jack and Larry: Jack Graney and Larry, the Cleveland Baseball Dog by Barbara Gregorich, a surprise from Goodly Creatures author Beth Massey, who is friends with the author and thought The Girl might like this book (Amazon/IndieBound)
Jack Graney was born in St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada, and played baseball for the Cleveland American League team (now known as the Indians) from 1910-22. As leadoff batter, Jack had a life full of firsts, particularly first hit and first run scored in a game or a season. He was the first player to face a young Red Sox pitcher named Babe Ruth — and the first player to collect a hit off the Bambino, too. Jack was also the first former major leaguer to become a sports announcer. For decades he was the voice of the Cleveland Indians, and when he retired in 1953, Cleveland celebrated Jack Graney Day in his honor.
Jack was also the first, and only, major league player to own a dog that was the team’s official mascot. That dog was Larry, a bull terrier. At the time that Larry became Jack’s dog and joined the Cleveland team, appearing in all the official team photos, bull terriers had only recently been imported to the United States from England, where the breed was developed. Newspaper reporters incorrectly called Larry a bull dog. He was not: he was a bull terrier.
All major leaguers dream of winning their league’s pennant and, beyond that, the World Series. Jack and Larry is the story of a man, a dog, a team, and the pursuit of the pennant: a pursuit filled with joy and sorrow. (from the author’s website)
It was an icy morning in January 1945 when the patrol came for seventeen-year-old Leo Auberg to deport him to a camp in the Soviet Union. Leo would spend the next five years in a coke-processing plant, shoveling coal, lugging bricks, mixing mortar, and battling the relentless calculus of hunger that governed the labor camp: 1 shovel load = 1 gram of bread.
In her new novel, Nobel laureate Herta Müller calls upon her unique combination of poetic intensity and detached precision to conjure the distorted world of the labor camp. She has given Leo the language to express the inexpressible, as hunger sharpens his senses into an acuity that is both hallucinatory and profound. Here, the heart is reduced to a pump, the breath mechanized to the rhythm of a swinging shovel, and coal, sand, and cement have a will of their own. Hunger becomes an insatiable angel who haunts the camp, but also a bare-knuckled sparring partner, delivering blows that keep Leo feeling the rawest connection to life. (publisher’s summary)
Sweeping from the Central European countryside just before World War II to Paris to contemporary Williamsburg, Brooklyn, I Am Forbidden brings to life four generations of one Satmar family.
In 1939 Transylvania, five-year-old Josef witnesses the murder of his family by the Romanian Iron Guard and is rescued by a Gentile maid who raises him as her own son. Five years later, Josef rescues a young girl, Mila, after her parents are killed while running to meet the Rebbe they hoped would save them. Josef helps Mila reach Zalman Stern, a leader in the Satmar community, in whose home Mila is raised as a sister to Zalman’s daughter, Atara. As the two girls mature, Mila’s faith intensifies, while her beloved sister discovers a world of books and learning that she cannot ignore. With the rise of communism in Central Europe, the family moves to Paris, to the Marais, where Zalman tries to raise his children apart from the city in which they live.
When the two girls come of age, Mila marries within the faith, while Atara continues to question fundamentalist doctrine. The different choices the two sisters make force them apart until a dangerous secret threatens to banish them from the only community they’ve ever known.
A beautifully crafted, emotionally gripping story of what happens when unwavering live, unyielding law, and centuries of tradition collide, I Am Forbidden announces the arrival of an extraordinarily gifted new voice and opens a startling window on a world long closed to most of us, until now. (publisher’s summary)
What books did you add to your shelves recently?
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© 2012 Anna Horner of Diary of an Eccentric. All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce or republish content without permission.