Friday, February 18, 2011

In My Mailbox - Weekend Edition #1

In My Mailbox (IMM) is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. It originated in November 2008 as a way to share with other readers and bloggers what books were received, bought, won, etc each week and has evolved ever since. It still informs readers each Sunday of the books Kristi obtained over the course of the week only now the books are creatively shared via her web vlog.

To learn more details about IMM, its history and how to participate, please visit Kristi at The Story Siren:

     For my weekly version of In My Mailbox, I’ve decided to do a recap of all the books that have come into my home and my hands – some via snail Mail, the Internet, Book Store, Library, Raffles, Giveaways, Authors and Publishing Houses. I read paperback books; borrow hardcover novels; scroll through e-books with my ereader, The Novel, and I listen to audio books. As you can imagine, I might not get to all the books that come into my possession each week, so be on the lookout for their reviews on my blog. If there is a book you see featured that you want to learn more about, wish to read a review or learn where you can obtain your own copy or read a review for, please contact me at cgraceh at gmail dot com and I will do my best to respond to your request in a timely fashion.

This was a big week book-wise. I went to Barnes and Noble and bought 4 bargain books via a great Groupon gift certificate, I received an ebook via NetGalley and a paperback book via FSB Media (two websites that provide books for review for book bloggers) and I received an eagerly awaited audio book via my local library's Overdrive online service.

Here's a peek at what came in my “mailbox” this week.........

Just when she thought she had life and love all figured out…
Divorce attorney Harper James can’t catch a break. Bad enough that she runs into her ex-hubby, Nick, at her sister’s destination wedding, but now, by a cruel twist of fate, she’s being forced to make a cross-country road trip with him. And her almost-fiancĂ© back at home is not likely to be sympathetic.
Harper can’t help that Nick has come blazing back into her life in all of his frustratingly appealing, gorgeous architect glory. But in Nick’s eyes, Harper’s always been the one. If they can only get it right this time, forever might be waiting—just around the bend.
My One and Only by Kristan Higgins - Due out March 29th, 2011. For more books, info and preview trailers visit the author at

     As a past yoga-junkie myself, I can't wait to open up this book from debut author Rain Mitchell. A story about friendship, finding oneself and meditation, Tales from the Yoga Studio was released in late 2010.

      The yoga studio is where daily cares are set aside, mats are unfurled, and physical exertion leads to well-being, renewal, and friendship. An aggressively expanding chain of Los Angeles yoga "experience centers," has Lee and her extraordinary teaching abilities in its sights. They woo her with a lucrative contract, a trademarked name for her classes, and a place for her handsome musician husband. But accepting the contract means abandoning the students at the homey studio Lee runs in L.A.'s Silver Lake district- and leaving behind four women whose friendships are suddenly more important to her than retirement benefits and a salary increase.     

Sunday night I found myself wandering the stacks at a Barnes and Noble – and I do mean wandering because I'm one of those people who can get lost in a bookstore for hours and not have a clue what's going on outside...digging through the bargain books, I happened upon four great novels... The first two I picked up have since inspired me in my own writing, reminding me, first and foremost, “to write what you know” and that usually, true happiness and love are right in front of you the whole time....

Petite Anglaise by Catherine Sanderson (2008)

     Petite Anglaise chronicles a year in Catherine’s beloved Paris when all that seemed stable—motherhood, romance, work, even her very identity—explodes. Fizzing with the candor, wit, and panache that have drawn millions to her blog and attracted the attention of publishers around the world, Petite Anglaise offers a decidedly fresh twist on the classic story of reinvention abroad: how a young woman transforms herself wielding the power of a mouse.

     She has a job in Paris, the city of her dreams, a handsome Frenchman, a beautiful bilingual toddler, and a charming apartment with breathtaking views. So why does Catherine Sanderson feel that her life is coming apart? Stuck in a relationship quickly losing its heat, overwhelmed by the burdens of motherhood, and restless in a dead-end administrative job, Catherine reads an article about starting an online diary and on a slow day at work—voilĂ —Petite Anglaise is born. But what begins as a lighthearted diversion, a place to muse on the fish-out-of-water challenges of ex-pat life, soon gives way to a raw forum where Catherine shares intimate details about her relationship, discontents, and most impulsive desires—a daily soap opera starring herself, her lover (Mr. Frog), and their daughter (Tadpole). 
      When a faithful reader (who happens to be an attractive, charismatic Englishman) tries to get close to the girl behind the blog, the lines between Catherine’s real and virtual personas blur, tempting her to leave Mr. Frog and the life she has worked so hard to construct, in pursuit of
l’amour fou. Propelled by her intoxicating alter ego and cheered on by thousands of readers, Catherine’s life spirals to exhilarating highs and dizzying lows as her life and her creation collide head-on and she must somehow make peace with both.

Face Value by Kathleen Baird Murray (2008)

     Kate Miller is no beauty expert. The rookie reporter from small-town England can’t walk properly in a pair of heels and doesn’t know the first thing about waxing. But then she receives an incredible phone call. Darling magazine in New York wantsher to be their new beauty editor! So what if she has no idea whether gray eyeshadow is the new black kohl? Suddenly Kate—along with her deep-discount clothes and hopelessly dated hair—is in the Big Apple, being swept away by the world of fashion. But she better find a way to put a positive spin on plastic surgery for the big yearly supplement or she’ll lose everything––including the hotshot plastic surgeon-to-the-stars who thinks Kate’s beauty is way more than skin deep.
The third book I just couldn't resist for its cover and title alone. I thought for sure I would be in for a world of fun and laughter....I'm With Stupid by Elaine Szewcyk (2008)

     A hilarious tale of girl meets boy, girl falls in lust, girl discovers boy is not playing with a full deck...
     When Kas meets William while on safari in South Africa he seems perfect-a gorgeous park ranger, both kind and brave (he saved the tour from certain death by water buffalo). Her two best friends, Max, an endlessly scheming personal trainer, and Libby, a jobless bombshell, would like to get their hands on William...but he's only interested in Kas, an editorial assistant at a struggling New York literary agency who thinks William is out of her league. The two have a fling, and Kas returns home to New York wondering if she'll hear from William again. So when he finally sends an email, she's delighted.
     Until she opens it.
     The email is not quite the love missive Kas expected. Did she misjudge William? A miscommunication ensues, triggering a rapid-fire series of comic developments that, within days, bring William to New York, now under the impression that Kas has offered him a place to live. As he unveils his big plan to take Manhattan by storm and make his fortune, Kas finally recognizes how limited William's intellectual capabilities are: He makes Kevin Federline look like Albert Einstein.

     The last book I added to my basket at B&N is one I've wanted forever. Inspiring in its own way, one, for its author's accomplishments at such a young age and two, for the risks she took to her reputation, Chloe Does Yale (2006) by author Natalie Krinsky looks every bit as scandalous and revealing as it sounds.

     Chloe Carrington is a typical Yale student, except that along with toiling through the usual grind of coursework, she pens a notorious and much-dished-over sex column for the campus newspaper. This touch of fame has wrought havoc on her social and love life, turning it literally into an open book. Chloe doesn't help matters much; she likes to share and can't resist divulging the gory details of her most recent date (or lack thereof) in her column, baring her soul for all to see.
     Like her friends, she dreams of hooking up with Mr. Right, at least for a little while but that proves even more arduous than participating in Yale's notorious "shopping" session (a two-week period in which students are encouraged to take as many classes as possible, in order to decide what courses to enroll in for that semester). As Chloe probes the campus hot spots, we get a peek at just what goes on behind the Ivy League's dormitory doors from drinking at Toad's to "Exotic Erotic" (Yale's answer to a Hugh Hefner style Playboy party, complete with coeds in skimpy bikinis).

Last but certainly not least, I have been eagerly awaiting the US release of Irish Chick Lit queen, Cecilia Ahern's latest novel, The Book of Tomorrow and to my great fortune, not only has it arrived, but I secured myself an unabridged audio book copy via my local library's Overdrive program. Can't wait to hear all the magic firsthand!

     The magical new novel from number one bestseller Cecelia Ahern. Tamara Goodwin has always got everything she's ever wanted. Born into a family of wealth, she grew up in a mansion with its own private beach, a wardrobe full of designer clothes and all that a girl could ever wish for. She's always lived in the here and now, never giving a second thought to tomorrow. But then suddenly her dad is gone and life for Tamara and her mother changes forever. Left with a mountain of debt, they have no choice but to sell everything they own and move to the country. Nestled next to Kilsaney Castle, their gatehouse is a world away from Tamara's childhood. With her mother shut away with grief, and her aunt busy tending to her, Tamara is lonely and bored and longs to return to Dublin. When a travelling library passes through Kilsaney Demesne, Tamara is intrigued. Her eyes rest on a mysterious large leather bound tome locked with a gold clasp and padlock. What she discovers within the pages takes her breath away and shakes her world to its' core.

So that's what came in at Lip Gloss and Literature. What's in Your Mailbox this week?

**All cover photos and synopses provided by Goodreads**


  1. Enjoy the Kristan Higgins book! I've read my copy already (via Netgalley) and I really enjoyed it.

  2. Petite Anglaise looks wonderful, might have to pick it up on my next visit to the bookstore. :)
    I'm your newest follower, please visit my blog!

  3. This is my first Kristan Higgins book and I'm only maybe 50 pages in but I am so hooked! I love it...what a great writer...

    I saw Petite Anglaise at another Barnes & Noble this wkd for only $4.98...such a sounds like such a good story... I love memoirs like this one...we'll have to see how it holds up to our expectations!

    Thanks for checking out my mailbox this week:)