Your Package Will Arrive in the Mail

When I was a kid I was addicted to Scholastic Book Orders. Remember when your teacher would walk desk row to desk row, peeling off six or seven brightly-coloured multiple-page flyers at a time, handing each set to the person at the head of the row, instructing them to please take one and pass the rest back?

I was tall for my age Grades 3 through 7 so inevitably I was near the back and had to wait, wait, wait as head of the row enjoyed the power of having all the book orders, person number 2 had the co-ordination of a stone and fumbled trying to separate just one order from the next, person number 3 or 4 was somewhere else entirely and had to be yelled at ten times before finally—FINALLY!—saying, “Huh? What? Oh!” and passing the remainders on.

I don’t know what I enjoyed more: the hours (literally) scanning and rescanning each offering, then carefully checking off the appropriate boxes and tallying the price making sure it fit the amount my mom had given me permission to spend or the weeks of heady anticipation. Someday not soon enough the teacher would walk in with a large box and distribute plastic bags with the books each student had ordered!

I tried book clubs for adults as I got older, but they weren’t the same (I don’t like being automatically sent selections of anything. I like to choose, darn it!). But hello—then came Amazon and the like. Ordering books online is pretty fantastic. I love, love, love having books on order and checking the mailbox all too frequently for my latest parcel.

In the quest for perfect summer reads, I’m currently I’m waiting for two short story collections, 100 Stories for Queensland and Nothing But Flowers: tales of post-apocalyptic love  and Leigh Russell’s latest novel Dead End.

I’ve yammered on about Leigh (and her previous novels, Cut Short and Road Closed) and interviewed her before, so imagine my extreme delight when she contacted me and asked if I wanted a review copy of Dead End. Did I!

Dead End has been receiving rave reviews, as evidenced here, and her publisher (No Exit Press) sums the story up, thus: “When the corpse of Abigail Kirby is discovered, police are shocked to learn that the victim’s tongue was cut out while she lay dying. Shortly after coming forward, a witness is blinded and murdered. Detective Inspector Geraldine Steel’s flirtation with the pathologist on the case helps her to cope with the distress of finding out she was adopted at birth. Abigail Kirby’s teenage daughter runs away from home to meet a girl who befriended her online. Too late, she realises she has made a dreadful mistake – a mistake that may cost her life. Detective Sergeant Ian Peterson uncovers a shocking secret about the serial killer who has been mutilating his murder victims. Does the sergeant’s discovery come too late to save Geraldine Steel from a similar dreadful fate?”

I’ll give my thoughts on Dead End, especially whether I feel it lives up to all the high praises (heh heh), once I’ve read it, but if you want to beat me to the punch and read it first, you can snap it up for your e-reader. For Kindle readers in the States and the UK, it’s part of a summer promotion, selling so inexpensively you should grab it now, even if you plan to read Cut Short and Road Closed first. For us Canadians, it still hasn’t been officially released so pre-order it or put it on your wish list and get cracking on the first two novels (that’s if you’re a crime fiction fan, of course).

I love bookstores, but I’m stoked to have two parcels to fanatically watch for in the mail. What about you? Do you buy primarily through shops or online? What are you waiting for in the book department for this summer’s reading?

p.s. And for all you blossoming Leigh Russell fans and/or writers who adore listening to other authors talk about writing, check out Leigh’s author channel on youtube. She has about five posts up now, sharing on topics like the inspiration for the Geraldine Steel series, the importance of research, and how to get published, with more to come.

7 thoughts on “Your Package Will Arrive in the Mail

  1. I have a box of books on their way RIGHT NOW! BLISS! When I don’t have something “on it’s way” I feel hollow..empty….(yes, an exaggeration but not by much) I also love the anticipation of books ordered from our local bookstore too. I will happily anticipate books from both online and shops. While in Kamloops this past spring, I was delighted to learn there were numerous second hand bookstores…instant gratification and a bargain to boot. Right now I am waiting for Erasing Hell by Francis Chan and a few books for my kids too. I too have fond memories of Scholastic book orders. Thanks for the trip down memory Lane.

    Laurie A.


  2. Wow! I remember Scholastic Book orders from my elementary school days — and waiting and waiting for the books to arrive. And the Bookmobile (mobile library bus) that came to our neighbourhood just once a week – on Thursday nights – with its new selection of books. There’s something magical about anticipation, especially when you’re a kid.

    Now, I’m more likely to get impatient and grumpy if I have to wait. But I do like to search out new things to read that aren’t on the ‘A’ list (but often should be) and you’ve put me onto some great reads. I’ll have to check out DI Steel’s methodology.


  3. Dear Laurie,

    No, I think BLISS is a perfect word–and lol re: feeling “hollow, empty” when you don’t have books on order. I relate all too well. Sounds like you’re all set to have a wonderful, book-filled summer. Yay!

    p.s. Aw, thanks for subscribing to this blog via e-mail. I am flattered. 🙂


  4. Yep, Scholastic was great, Vello, but you have to stop talking about the Bookmobile. I am SO JEALOUS of people who got to experience the mobile library bus. It sounds sooooooooooooo fun. My mom used to have books arrive by train from Prince George in boxes. Also VERY FUN!

    And you’re right, anticipation is even sweeter when you’re a kid. I’m going to show I’m aging now with my next question. Do you think kids today have as many opportunities for delayed gratification (thus longing and happy, exciting anticipation) as kids in the past?


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