Mailbox Monday – June 28, 2010

Another Monday…and another Mailbox Monday (hosted each week by Marcia at The Printed Page).

No matter how disciplined I try to be, books keep finding their way onto my shelves…and this week was no different.

Here is what arrived on my doorstep over the last seven days:

I requested Red Hook Road by Ayelet Waldman  (due for release in July from Doubleday) through a Shelf Awareness offer. This novel is set on the coast of Maine over the course of four summers and connects the stories of two families. There is something about books set in New England coupled with family sagas and secrets that call out to me. Red Hook Road is actually a follow up novel to a previous book by this author (Love and Other Impossible Pursuits), which I have not yet read. Khaled Hosseini says this about Red Hook Road: “A thoroughly gripping and elegantly written story about love, grief, friendship, and the unexpected ways in which disaster brings families together. The novel is chockfull of revelations and insights on how people both unravel and manage to find grace under strain.

Ayelet Waldman is the author of two previous novels. She has also had her work published in the New York Times, Elle, Vogue and other magazines and journals. You might remember the fallout that Waldman faced when she wrote in an essay that she loved her husband more than her children – later she published her memoir Bad Mother and was interviewed on NPR (where she spoke about the controversy). Waldman is married to novelist Michael Chabon and they live in Berkeley, California with their four children. Learn more about Waldman and her work by visiting the author’s website.

Rebecca from Viking/Penguin emailed me a pitch I could not turn down, and so I now have The Doctor and The Diva by Adrienne McDonnell lined up for review this summer (the book is set for release in July). This debut novel is a “tale of passionate love affairs, dangerous decisions, and a woman’s irreconcilable desires as she is forced to choose between the child she has always longed for and the opera career she cannot live without.” Doesn’t this sound like a fantastic summertime read? The book is set in the early 1900s and moves from Boston to a coconut plantation on the island of Trinidad to the remote rivers of South America and to the opera stages of Florence. Called “lush,” “haunting,” and “absorbing,” The Doctor and the Diva portrays the life of a woman who dares to want it all.

Adrienne McDonnell has taught literature and fiction writing at UC Berkeley and led writing workshops at both Berkeley and Adult Education in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She lives near San Francisco. The Doctor and the Diva is her first novel. Check out the author’s website for more information.

I also found myself browsing the sale shelves at Barnes and Noble this week and could not resist picking up two books which I’ve been interested in reading for awhile now:

A Beautiful Place to Die by Malla Nunn (Atria Books 2009) – A crime novel set in the 1950s in apartheid South Africa, this novel got some fantastic reviews when it was first released. This is Nunn’s debut, but her sequel to the book (Let the Dead Lie) was releases in paperback in April 2010 through Washington Square Press. Read more about Nunn on the publisher’s page.

Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith (Grand Central Publishing 2008) – Another debut novel, this time set in Stalin’s Soviet Union. A thriller and page turner, here is another book which excited reviewers when it was released. Smith has since published his second book – The Secret Speech (available in paperback May 2010). Read more about Smith and his work on the author’s website.

And for those of who read my Sunday Salon post yesterday, you’ll see I also found some amazing books (at great prices) in the yard sales on Saturday!

What books came into YOUR house this week?

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  1. I got Red Hook Road the week before and I’m really excited about it. I’ll be looking for your review.

    • Alayne on June 28, 2010 at 07:23

    Enjoy your new books! My mailbox is at The Crowded Leaf.

  2. I just got a copy of Red Hook Road in the mail the other day. It looks great and I can’t wait to get the chance to read it!! I also like all your other books, it seems like you got some great stuff there!

    • Anna on June 28, 2010 at 07:56

    The Doctor and the Diva caught my eye, and I’ve been wanting to read Child 44 for ages. Looking forward to your thoughts!

  3. I have Child 44 on my wish list. The Doctor and The Diva does sound very good! I’ll watch for your review of it.

    • Lady Q on June 28, 2010 at 12:34

    I really, really, really want to read The Doctor & the Diva! So jealous! No books for me this week, but I’ve got a copy of Captivity to give away over on my blog if you’d like to stop by!

    • Marie on June 28, 2010 at 12:48

    The Doctor and the Diva looks awesome! I have Child 44 in my TBR pile somewhere- I look forward to your thoughts on it! 🙂

  4. Looks like you got some great new reads as usual, Wendy! I’ve heard good things about The Doctor and the Diva in particular. Enjoy!

    • Mary on June 28, 2010 at 15:06

    Can’t wait to read Red Hook Road! Have a great week!

    • Staci on June 28, 2010 at 16:11

    I can’t wait to read Red Hook Road too and I picked up Child 44 for 25 cents at my library sale!! Enjoy 😀

    • Megan on June 28, 2010 at 17:58

    Being disciplined really is too hard. In the wake of the BEA book lunacy, I’ve been trying extra-hard to be disciplined, but the books, they keep slipping in the door. Red Hook Road and The Doctor & the Diva look excellent. I just picked up a copy of Child 44 at a recent book sale, too! Looking forward to reading your thoughts on all of them!

  5. I love the Doctor and the Diva cover.

    • carolyn on June 28, 2010 at 19:32

    I would just add that Waldman has written a series of mysteries known as the Mommy Track mysteries, and they are fantastic, very clever and funny.

    • Serena on June 29, 2010 at 08:25

    looks like you have some powerful books in this list. Happy reading.

    • Aths on June 29, 2010 at 09:28

    A Beautiful Place to Die sounds interesting! Looking forward to your reviews! Have fun with the books!

    • Cathy on June 29, 2010 at 15:12

    I’ve got both A Beautiful Place to Die and Child 44 on my TBR shelves. Would someone please pay me to sit around on my duff and read?!?

    • Wendy on July 4, 2010 at 17:29

    I am SO late responding to all of you, that I am just going to say … THANK YOU to everyone for stopping by and weighing in on the books in my mailbox. I love hearing from you…especially when you tell me about YOUR books 🙂

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