Mailbox Monday – January 18, 2010

Welcome to Mailbox Monday – a weekly meme hosted by Marcia each Monday at The Printed Page. It is here where I share with you the books which have arrived at my home over the last week.

I’ve been in New Hampshire visiting family since the 7th, but my wonderful husband has been keeping me posted about what has arrived at my door in my absence. This week I got:

Impatient With Desire by Gabrielle Burton which arrived from Hyperion Voice via a Library Thing Early Reviewers offer. This book is due for release in March 2010. The book blurb reads: ‘In the summer of 1846, Tamsen Donner, her husband, George, their five daughters, and eighty other pioneers embarked on the California-Oregon Trail. During that ill-fated trip, early snows trapped them for over four months in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Almost half the group perished, and some resorted to unimaginable means to survive—making the Donner Party an enduringly fascinating episode in American history. Set during those long, snowbound months and told through the hauntingly imagined journal entries and letters of Tamsen, IMPATIENT WITH DESIRE is psychologically penetrating, dramatic, provocative, romantic, and intimate.‘ Burton is the author of a previous memoir (I’m Running Away from Home, But I’m Not Allowed to Cross the Street: A Primer of Women’s Liberation), a non fiction book about the ill-fated Donner party which also is part memoir of Burton’s travels west with her family following the same route (Searching For Tamsen Donner),  and another novel (Heartbreak Hotel). Read more about Burton and her work on the author’s website.

In An Uncharted Country by Clifford Garstang arrived from Marissa at JKS Communications. This short story collection was published in September 2009 through Press 53. This is a “linked collection [which] showcase[s] ordinary men and women in and around Rugglesville, Virginia, as they struggle to find places and identities in their families and the community.” I was drawn to the book because I like to support the small presses (which often publish wonderful fiction by lesser known authors), and also because of this quote from Pulitzer Prize winning author Elizabeth Strout: “This collection delivers on its title: each story takes us into an area—emotional and geographic—that we may not have been before. There is an impressive variety here, and Garstang’s ability as a storyteller is on display each time. These characters are real, vulnerable, and always, in unique ways, brave.” Garstang’s work has appeared in Virginia Quarterly Review, Shenandoah, Cream City Review, The Baltimore Review, and elsewhere and has received Distinguished Mention in the Best American Series. He won the 2006 Confluence Fiction Prize and the 2007 GSU Review Fiction Prize, and has had scholarships to the Sewanee Writers’ Conference and the Indiana University Writers’ Conference, as well as residencies at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts. To learn more about Garstang and his work, visit the author’s website. Garstang also maintains a blog called Perpetual Folly.

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    • Lisa on January 17, 2010 at 20:59

    I’m very intrigued by Impatient with Desire but that title sure doesn’t give a good idea what the book is about.

    • Teddy on January 17, 2010 at 22:15

    Both of these books sound awesome. I can hardly wait to read your reviews! Impatient with Desire has especially caught my eye.

    • Mary on January 18, 2010 at 04:45

    I hope they’re good. I don’t have the greatest luck with short story collections – hope this is good!

    • Anna on January 18, 2010 at 04:57

    It’s hard for me to find a good book of short stories, so I’m looking forward to your review!

    • Kaye on January 18, 2010 at 05:18

    I’d never have guessed that would be about the Donner party.
    Have a good week, enjoy your new books and happy reading.

  1. Impatient with Desire sounds awesome–I look forward to hearing your thoughts on that one.

    • Kathy on January 18, 2010 at 06:31

    Impatient with Desire sounds really good, but what a name! I hope you enjoy your new books!

  2. Thank you so much for talking about An Uncharted Country! I can tell you, I very rarely read short story collections and this is the first one I’ve chosen to represent. The reason I was drawn to this is because Cliff Garstang tells amazing stories that are wildly different from one another…each one is a bite size story that you could read before going to bed — I couldn’t though, because I devoured the whole thing in a car ride between Tennessee and North Carolina, I didn’t put it down even for a break for lunch. When Pulitzer-Prize winning authors are willing to publicly praise a book of short stories (like the praise this one has received) it makes you think maybe you’re missing out if you don’t read it. Again, thanks for letting your voracious readers know about the book!

    • kim v on January 18, 2010 at 07:48

    I think the Short Story collection sounds like a promising read and a great way to discover new authors. Sometimes I like to enjoy a story in one sitting.

    Enjoy your books!

    • Wendy on January 18, 2010 at 09:22

    Lisa: LOL – I know what you mean…it sounds like a romance, doesn’t it?

    Teddy: I agree – they sound great. I’m actually most excited by the short story collection because I am always looking for new collections by new authors…I just love the art of the short story.

    Mary: I’ve actually had some good luck lately finding good short story collections…two of my favorite reads in 2009 were short story collections.

    Anna: Stay tuned – I hope to get to that one soon.

    Kaye: Thanks!

    Stephanie: I am looking forward to reading it 🙂

    Kathy: LOL – I agree – the title doesn’t seem to describe the book, does it?

    Julie: You’re welcome – my pleasure! I love giving new authors a spotlight on my blog…and I especially like discovering great new short story collections. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to get my hands on this one.

    Kim: I really like short stories…I think they are harder to write than a novel in many ways.

    • Alayne on January 18, 2010 at 10:20

    Nice books! My mailbox is at The Crowded Leaf.

  3. I am putting Impatient With Desire on my wish list. It sounds very interesting but that title sounds like a romance novel. Happy reading!

  4. Great couple of books you got there! Impatient with Desire sounds interesting!

    • Staci on January 18, 2010 at 18:09

    You received a great mix there!!

    • Kim on January 18, 2010 at 19:50

    Lovely looking books and I hope they are as good as they look!

  5. Enjoy these books.

  6. Hi Wendy,
    Through a circuitous web search–publicity hound to technorati to donner party to caribous mom–I discovered that you received my novel, Impatient with Desire. I hope it resonates with you. I really like your blog and so many of the books you’ve reviewed.
    I noticed in the comments that some of your readers were put off or surprised by the title. When she was 23, Tamsen Donner sailed from MA to NC on a great sailing ship at a time women didn’t travel alone. Mid trip she wrote her sister, “My heart is big with hope and impatient with desire.”
    All best,
    Gabrielle Burton

    • Wendy on January 27, 2010 at 11:01

    Alayne: Thanks for dropping by.

    Beth: Read down to the author’s comment … she explains the title!

    Katy: I agree!

    Staci: I was definitely overwhelmed with some good books this week.

    Kim: I hope so too 🙂

    Serena: thanks!

    Gabrielle: Thank you so much for dropping by my blog and leaving a comment (I love when authors take the time to do that!). And thanks for explaining the title. I am really looking forward to reading your book 🙂

  7. And I’m really looking forward to hearing what you think. GB

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