In my mailbox is a meme that can be found over at The Story Siren, intending to share any books bought/gifted/borrowed over time. I’ve decided to post these on Wednesdays sporadically, with the intention to share what I’ve got my hands on recently. Thanks to primarily Goodreads for blurbs and covers. Links are provided if you’re interested in buying any of the books, which will go through my Amazon Associates account, or reading a few reviews.

I went in today looking for The Other Boleyn Girl and Discworld books. I found a couple from my Amazon wishlist instead.

Dissolution (Matthew Shardlake #1) – C.J. Sansom

Henry VIII has proclaimed himself Supreme Head of the Church and the country is waking up to savage new laws, rigged trials, and the greatest network of informers ever seen. Under the order of Thomas Cromwell, a team of commissioners is sent through the country to investigate the monasteries. There can only be one outcome: the monasteries are to be dissolved. But on the Sussex coast, at the monastery of Scarnsea, events have spiralled out of control. Cromwells Commissioner, Robin Singleton, has been found dead, his head severed from his body. His horrific murder is accompanied by equally sinister acts of sacrilegea black cockerel sacrificed on the altar and the disappearance of Scarnseas Great Relic.

Genre: Historical Fiction/Mystery

When I watch The Book Show, I take paper and a pen with me. I usually pick up several book titles and author names to go away and check out on Goodreads. Some end up on my Amazon wishlist, some I decide I’m not interested in. I have a small backlog of these lists which I started going through yesterday, and this guy’s most recent novel (Heartstone) was on it. So I took a gander at the first one in the series and decided it was worth having a read. Then today I spotted the first 3 upstairs in the charity shop. Reasonably tatty but completely readable, so I bought the first one. I’m still a little unsure on this one, having heard mixed reviews, so the others will have to come another time.

The Magicians’ Guild (Black Magician Trilogy #1) – Trudi Canavan

“We should expect this young woman to be more powerful than our average novice, possibly even more powerful than the average magician.”

This year, like every other, the magicians of Imardin gather to purge the city of undesirables. Cloaked in the protection of their sorcery, they move with no fear of the vagrants and miscreants who despise them and their work—until one enraged girl, barely more than a child, hurls a stone at the hated invaders . . . and effortlessly penetrates their magical shield.

What the Magicians’ Guild has long dreaded has finally come to pass. There is someone outside their ranks who possesses a raw power beyond imagining, an untrained mage who must be found and schooled before she destroys herself and her city with a force she cannot yet control.

Genre: Fantasy

I remember spotting a few of Canavan’s novels in the SF&F bookclub I was in during my teens. I believe it wasn’t this trilogy but another I can’t remember the name of at the moment but I wanted to get my hands on it when it went to paperback, and of course shortly after I near enough stopped reading. So more recently, remembering her name, I added this book to my Amazon wishlist, and today it was on the shelf in the charity shop! I was quite happy about that.

Things Snowball – Rich Hall

Rich Hall plumps up the cushions, sets out a few drinks and invites us into his world. He describes his idyllic childhood in Eastern Tennessee, helping to operate his grandfolks’ backyard nuclear plant. He explains how he sold his soul to the Devil to make him a better bluesman, and how the Devil tried to sell it back. And he reveals what happened when Neil Diamond invited him to dinner, and more importantly, why he had to wear a hardhat.

Along the way he tackles the questions we’ve all asked ourselves from time to time, such as, which element did people breath before oxygen was discovered in 1774? (neon.) What’s the difference between iron and lead? (There isn’t one: ask anyone who has ever been hit in the head by a length of pipe.) And, if Jesus was a carpenter, “How come not a single example of his craftsmanship exists, not even a crude chest of drawers?” In the tradition of Woody Allen’s “Without Feathers”, “Things Snowball” is a comic, inventive book: subversive and entertaining.

Genre: Humour

I love Rich Hall. His dry, sarcastic sense of humour is absolutely hilarious and I spotted these two novels on the shelf today and became morbidly curious.

Magnificent Bastards – Rich Hall

From the grouchy, deadpan, comic genius and brilliantly witty author ofOtis Lee Crenshaw: I Blame Society and Things Snowball comes this wonderful new collection of stories of magnificent bastards and lost souls. Meet the man who vacuums bewildered prairie dogs out of their burrows; a smug, carbon-neutral eco-couple; a teenage girl who invites 45,000 MySpace friends to a house party; the author of a business book entitled Highly Successful Secrets to Standing on a Corner Holding Up a Golf Sale Sign; and a man whose attempts to teach softball to a group of indolent advertising executives sparks an international crisis.
With his trademark humor, this is guaranteed to delight his loyal fanbase as well as draw in new readers.

Genre: Humour

See above. Plus there are squirrels.