Mailbox Monday – June 21, 2010

Welcome to this week’s edition of Mailbox Monday hosted every Monday by Marcia at The Printed Page.

I got some real gems this week.

Beside the Sea by Veronique Olmi and Stone in a Landslide by Maria Barbal both arrived from Peirene Press thanks to Meike. I discovered this small press through a post by El Fay on This Book and I Could Be Friends (thanks El Fay!).

Beside the Sea is a disturbing and compelling novella about a mother and her two young children. First published in France, it has now been translated by Adriana Hunter for English speaking readers. I was so excited when I got this book, I read it immediately (read my review).

Veronique Olmi is a French author who was born in 1962 in Nice and now lives in Paris. Her twelve plays have won numerous awards. She has published six novels.

Stone in a Landside takes place in the Catalan Pyrenees at the beginning of the last century when 13-year-old Conxa is sent to live and work for her childless aunt. After years of hard work follow she meets and falls in love with Jaume only to be separated by Civil War. The story is narrated by Conxa, now in her waning years. The novella is translated by Laura McGloughlin and Paul Mitchell. This book has received much praise. Financial Times writes: ‘… there is an understated power in Barbal’s depiction of how the forces of history can shape the life of the powerless.

Maria Barbal was born in 1949 in Tremp (Pyrenees) and studied Philology in Barcelona where she still lives today. She has established herself as the most influential and successful Catalan contemporary author, winning numerous awards including the national literature prize of Spain, the Serra d’Or and the renowned Prudenci-Bertrana prize.

Publisher Simon & Schuster sent me a finished copy of Sea Escape by Lynne Griffin which I will be touring in July for TLC Book Tours. This novel is about the relationship between a mother and daughter. When Laura Martinez’s mother suffers a debilitating stroke, Laura returns to a once-loved beach house to reclaim her father’s love letters to her mother. The book jacket reads:

As Laura delves deeper into her tangled family history, each letter revealing patchwork details of her parents’ marriage, she finds a common thread. A secret, mother and daughter unknowingly share.

Lynne Griffin is a nationally recognized expert on family life. She teaches in the graduate program of Social Work and Family Studies at Wheelock College and at Grub Street Writers. She lives outside of Boston with her family. Sea Escape is her second novel. Learn more about Griffin and her work by visiting the author’s website.

Starvation Lake by Bryan Gruley found its way to my doorstep via a Shelf Awareness offer from Simon & Schuster. The book is the first in a projected series and was nominated for this year’s Edgar Award, and was recently nominated for two Anthony Awards (Best First Novel and Best Paperback Original).  Set in Michigan, the novel opens with the pieces of a shattered snow mobile washing up on the shores of  Starvation Lake. Connected to the disappearance of the town’s legendary hockey coach years earlier, the snow mobile becomes the first piece of evidence suggesting murder rather than a tragic accident. Protagonist Gus Carpenter (the editor of the local newspaper) begins to investigate the crime – and as the case moves forward, he uncovers some disturbing secrets for which some people may be willing to kill. Visit the fictional town of Starvation Lake and listen to the author narrate excerpts from the novel.

Brian Gruley is the Chicago bureau chief for The Wall Street Journal. He was won numerous awards for his writing and reporting. Starvation Lake is his first novel. He lives with is family in Chicago. To learn more about Gruley and his work, visit the author’s website.

I also received a wonderful package in the mail this week from a Library Thing friend (click on photos to enjoy a larger view):

  • Gorgeous bookmarks by Australian artist Ellis Rowan
  • Wonderful Australian triple milled soaps
  • And, of course the books: The Twyborn Affair by Patrick White (awarded the Noble Prize for Literature in1973), The China Garden by Kristina Olsson (well-known Australian author), and a fun book called My Listography which I cannot wait to start filling up with lists!

My week in books was fantastic! How about you? Did anything wonderful show up in YOUR mailbox this week?

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    • Staci on June 21, 2010 at 04:23

    Starvation Lake sounds awesome, plus I like the fact that it takes place in Michigan! I have to check out Beside the Sea book and read your review on that one! Those presents were wrapped so beautifully!! and then what amazing stuff was hidden under the paper!! Enjoy!

  1. You had a great mailbox! What a nice package from your Library Thing friend!

    • Alayne on June 21, 2010 at 07:12

    What great gifts! My mailbox is at The Crowded Leaf.

    • Anna on June 21, 2010 at 08:04

    Those bookmarks are gorgeous! Enjoy your new books.

  2. I am going to be reading Sea Escape really soon too! I hope we like it! I also think those bookmarks are wonderful!

    • Serena on June 21, 2010 at 09:31

    Wow, what a great package! Love those bookmarks. Happy reading.

    • Susan on June 21, 2010 at 10:20

    Wow! I think you get the award for most gorgeous mailbox this week! Enjoy all your books and goodies.

    Here is my lil’ mailbox:

  3. Your presents are beautiful! Sea Escape is on my wish list. Love the bookmarks!

  4. Sea Escape looks good. I read another book by this author (Life Without Summer) and liked it a lot.

    Here’s my MM:

  5. I want to have your mailbox! The two Peirene Press books look particularly good and I’d love to get a book care package! Fun!

    • Wendy on June 28, 2010 at 06:38

    Staci: I agree – Starvation Lake looks fun, and my gift package was AWESOME!

    Kathy: It was so fun to get such a nice package from my LT friend…I am always so amazed at the wonderful people I have met on line!

    Alayne: I agree!

    Anna: I love beautiful bookmarks!

    Zibilee: I am looking forward to Sea Escape too 🙂

    Serena: I know!! The bookmarks are amazing.

    Susan: LOL! Thank you!

    Beth: I hope Sea Escape is as good as it looks 🙂

    Laurel: I also have her other book – glad to know it is a good read.

    Rose City Reader: LOL! I hope to read the second Peirene Press book soon. By the way, the publisher contacted me and was asking how she could get a hold of you – did she contact you? If not and you want to contact HER, let me know and I’ll send you her email.

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