The Books That Came In The Mail Today

I got three review books in the mail today. They make an interesting group – very different from each other.

Tunneling First, from Ecco/HarperCollins: Tunneling to the Center of the Earth, a collection of stories from Kevin Wilson.  From Amazon: "Kevin Wilson's characters inhabit a world that moves seamlessly between the real and the imagined, the mundane and the fantastic. 'Grand Stand-In' is narrated by an employee of a Nuclear Family Supplemental Provider—a company that supplies 'stand-ins' for families with deceased, ill, or just plain mean grandparents. And in 'Blowing Up On the Spot,' a young woman works sorting tiles at a Scrabble factory after her parents have spontaneously combusted. Southern gothic at its best, laced with humor and pathos, these wonderfully inventive stories explore the relationship between loss and death and the many ways we try to cope with both."

I don't usually read short stories but I will give these a try sometime.

Next, from HarperCollins: The Lie, by Chad Kultgen. I hadn't heard of Kultgen before, but he wrote a book called The Average American Male, which apparently got a lot of attention. Here's what Amazon says:

Lie With the publication of The Average American Male — and the release of the shocking viral videos that made it a water-cooler sensation — Chad Kultgen became one of the most talked-about authors of recent years. Now, with The Lie, Kultgen returns with an even more salacious — yet also more searching — novel that reaches deeper into the craven inner workings of some of most depraved minds in America: college students.

His subjects are Brett, the rich hedonist whose appetite for sex is matched only by his contempt for women; his best friend, Kyle, the brooding science geek whose good intentions lead him to one disastrous decision; and Heather, the social-climbing sorority girl who has the power to destroy them both. As this devil's triangle plows through four years of college, Kultgen offers a astonishing take on the wild and amoral universe of college today: a frathouse world where sex is social currency, status means everything — and winner takes all.

Abandon hope, all ye who enter here.

Ok, where have I been? I hadn't heard of The Average American Male or its accompany viral videos, but I am intrigued.  (If you are too, try YouTube – I just watched one of them). I flipped through The Lie and it appears to be nonstop sex.

Finally, I was lucky enough to win a copy of Everyone Is Beautiful, by Katherine Center, from the Does Mommy Love It blog.  I wrote about Center's book The Bright Side of Disaster earlier this month, and I am excited to read Everyone is Beautiful. Center left a nice comment on the blog and I am looking forward to trying out her books. From Amazon:

Center When Lanie Coates moves from Houston to Cambridge, Mass., with her musician husband, Peter, she loses her support system and quickly becomes overwhelmed by her three small boys and a self-image that's sagging both literally and figuratively. In this agreeable mom-lit entry, Lanie, a former painter, finds beauty in everyone but herself, and especially adores Peter, even though the two of them seem to be drifting apart. The early chapters nearly sink beneath the weight of routine housekeeping details and scenes describing the children's bodily functions and fascination with their body parts, matters most parents have experienced, but which don't necessarily make for great fiction. However, as Lanie begins to find herself through a newfound passion for photography, the story gains traction, and the tension grows as her photography teacher turns out to be a smitten kitten. Like real-life marriage with children, this book offers enough sparkling moments to compensate for the tedium.

I must enroll in a speed-reading course.



  • March 28, 2009 - 6:30 am | Permalink

    I LOVED Everyone is Beautiful. I’ve been recommending it to everyone I know. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.

  • March 28, 2009 - 9:00 am | Permalink

    You got some interesting books! I’m really looking forward to reading Everyone is Beautiful.

  • gwendolyn b.
    March 28, 2009 - 10:19 am | Permalink

    I know what you mean about the need for speedreading! EVERYONE IS BEAUTIFUL is on my wish list – Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on it!

  • March 29, 2009 - 10:24 am | Permalink

    I just read Everyone is Beautiful a few weeks ago. It was cute if predictable.

  • March 29, 2009 - 10:34 am | Permalink

    looks like some great books! Happy reading…Everyone is beautiful is making the rounds and seems like a great read.

  • March 29, 2009 - 8:02 pm | Permalink

    Ditto on the speedreading course! 🙂 I really want to read Everyone is Beautiful – you were so lucky to win! I don’t think I’d like The Lie with all the sex scenes – it doesn’t sound like my cup of tea.

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