Monday, October 26, 2009

Mailbox Monday - 10/26

Mailbox Monday can be found at The Printed Page.

So what did I get in my mailbox this week? I got one book "Ice" through the Amazon Vine program. It is another retelling of the classic tale "East of the Sun, West of the Moon". Ironic that this was offered since last month I read "Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow" by Jessica Day George, this book is another beautiful retelling of this classic tale. I am really looking forward to reading this book to see how they compare. Eventually I would actually like to read the classic tale itself.

The second book I got because it is Halloweeny and spooky and I realized that I had never actually read the story. It is "The Picture of Dorian Grey" by Oscar Wilde. A classic that I have never read and am looking forward to reading. I got this through

The last book I actually bought. After reading "The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane" by Kate DiCamillo (and loving it) I saw "The Tale of Despareux" at half price books for a couple dollars. So I picked it up.

See below for more into on these books!

"Ice" by Sarah Beth Durst

First Sentence: "Once upon a time, the North Wind said to the Polar Bear King, 'Steal me a daughter, and when she grows she will be your bride.'"
From "When Cassie was a little girl, her grandmother told her a fairy tale about her mother, who made a deal with the Polar Bear King and was swept away to the ends of the earth. Now that Cassie is older, she knows the story was a nice way of saying her mother had died. Cassie lives with her father at an Arctic research station, is determined to become a scientist, and has no time for make-believe.

Then, on her eighteenth birthday, Cassie comes face-to-face with a polar bear who speaks to her. He tells her that her mother is alive, imprisoned at the ends of the earth. And he can bring her back -- if Cassie will agree to be his bride.

That is the beginning of Cassie's own real-life fairy tale, one that sends her on an unbelievable journey across the brutal Arctic, through the Canadian boreal forest, and on the back of the North Wind to the land east of the sun and west of the moon. Before it is over, the world she knows will be swept away, and everything she holds dear will be taken from her -- until she discovers the true meaning of love and family in the magical realm of Ice."

"The Picture of Dorian Gray" by Oscar Wilde

First Sentence: "The studio was filled with the rich odor of roses, and when the light summer wind stirred amid the trees of the garden there came through the open door the heavy scent of lilac, or the more delicate perfume of the pink-flowering thorn."
From "A lush, cautionary tale of a life of vileness and deception or a loving portrait of the aesthetic impulse run rampant? Why not both? After Basil Hallward paints a beautiful, young man's portrait, his subject's frivolous wish that the picture change and he remain the same comes true. Dorian Gray's picture grows aged and corrupt while he continues to appear fresh and innocent. After he kills a young woman, "as surely as if I had cut her little throat with a knife," Dorian Gray is surprised to find no difference in his vision or surroundings. "The roses are not less lovely for all that. The birds sing just as happily in my garden." As Hallward tries to make sense of his creation, his epigram-happy friend Lord Henry Wotton encourages Dorian in his sensual quest with any number of Wildean paradoxes, including the delightful "When we are happy we are always good, but when we are good we are not always happy." But despite its many languorous pleasures, The Picture of Dorian Gray is an imperfect work. Compared to the two (voyeuristic) older men, Dorian is a bore, and his search for ever new sensations far less fun than the novel's drawing-room discussions. Even more oddly, the moral message of the novel contradicts many of Wilde's supposed aims, not least "no artist has ethical sympathies. An ethical sympathy in an artist is an unpardonable mannerism of style." Nonetheless, the glamour boy gets his just deserts. And Wilde, defending Dorian Gray, had it both ways: "All excess, as well as all renunciation, brings its own punishment."

"The Tale of Despereaux" by Kate DiCamillo

First Sentence: "The story begins within the walls of the castle, with the birth of a mouse."
From "Welcome to the story of Despereaux Tilling, a mouse who is in love with music, stories, and a princess named Pea. It is also the story of a rat called Roscuro, who lives in the darkness and covets a world filled with light. And it is the story of Miggery Sow, a slow-witted serving girl who harbors a simple, impossible wish. These three characters are about to embark on a journey that will lead them down into a horrible dungeon, up into a glittering castle, and, ultimately, into each other's lives. What happens then? As Kate DiCamillo would say: Reader, it is your destiny to find out.

From the master storyteller who brought us BECAUSE OF WINN-DIXIE comes another classic, a fairy tale full of quirky, unforgettable characters, with twenty-four stunning black-and-white illustrations by Timothy Basil Ering. This paperback edition pays tribute to the book's classicdesign, featuring a rough front and elegant gold stamping."

Those are the books that entered my house this week! Hope that you all have a good week and happy reading :-)


  1. Oscar Wilde is fantastic ... enjoy your books.

  2. The only Oscar Wilde novel I have read so far is "The Importance of Being Earnest". I really liked that one, so I am assuming I will love this one too :-)

  3. Love the cover on Ice - don't you just love the Amazon Vine program? Oops - that reminds me that I need to get a few reviews done!

    Here's my Mailbox! ~ Wendi

  4. I do love the Amazon Vine program. Although I almost always request books, so I am always trying to keep up with all the Vine reviews I need to do!