Mailbox Monday – August 9, 2010

Welcome to Mailbox Monday which is hosted this month by Chick Loves Lit. Drop by her blog to leave a link to your mailbox…and check out all those great books at everyone else’s house!!!

Last week only one book found its way into my mailbox…but this week my box runneth over. Here is what arrived:

Thanks to a Shelf Awareness offer, Strangers at the Feast by Jennifer Vanderbes arrived from Simon and Schuster/Scribner. This novel is about an American family in the face of tragedy and financial collapse as the country teeters on the brink of a recession. The Olsen family from suburbia crosses paths with two teenagers from a nearby housing project which culminates in a crime that changes all the characters’ lives.

Jennifer Vanderbes’s first book, Easter Island, was hailed as a rare novel and named one of the best books of the year by both The Washington Post and The Christian Science Monitor. She is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and has received numerous awards including a Guggenheim Fellowship and a New York Public Library Cullman Fellowship. Vanderbes lives in New York City. Learn more about her work by visiting the author’s website.

Lissa at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt sent me What is Left the Daughter by Howard Norman which I have been lusting after…thank you, Lissa! This novel opens with the double suicide of the seventeen year old protagonist’s parents which causes him to move to a small town to live with his uncle, aunt and captivating cousin Tilda. When a German student arrives on the scene, it sets off a chain of life-altering passions. The novel is set in Nova Scotia during WWII and includes actual historical events.

Howard Norman is a three-time winner of the National Endowment for the Arts fellowships. His 1987 novel The Northern Lights, was nominated for a National Book Award, as was his 1994 novel The Bird Artist. He has also authored three other novels. Translated into twelve languages, his books have been widely praised. Norman teaches in the MFA program at the University of Maryland.

Meryl Zegarek Public Relations sent me a gorgeous hardcover of Catherine of Siena: A Passionate Life by Don Brophy which is being released this month through BlueBridge Books.  This biography of the woman who is best known in history as “a warrior for peace” touches on the political, social, and religious components of Catherine’s life. She lived in Tuscany, Italy in the 14th century during the time of the Hundred Years Was and strove to provide order during those years when France controlled the Pope. Catherine is one of the first two women to be named a Doctor of the Church by Pope Paul VI in 1970.

Don Brophy was the acquiring editor and managing editor for the book publisher Paulist Press for many years. He has written two previous works of non fiction: One Hundred Great Catholic Books and The Story of Catholics in America.

Trio: A Corpus Christi Trilogy by Eve La Salle Caram also found its way to me through Meryl Zegarek Public Relations. Due for release in November through Plain View Press, this volume includes all three novels of the Corpus Christi Trilogy which begins in the 1950s in Texas with a strong woman protagonist named Elizabeth. The second novel takes place in present day and is narrated in the voice of ninety-year-old Rena, who is the aunt to Elizabeth. In the final book, Elizabeth is searching for Rena’s long lost brother Johnny.

Eve La Salle Caram is the author of two previous novels and the editor of an anthology. She has been teaching creative writing for the Writer’s Program, UCLA Extension and Literature, and Writing at California State University Northridge for more than twenty-five years. Learn more about Caram and her work by visiting the author’s website.

Also through a Shelf Awareness offer, The Wave: In Pursuit of the Rogues, Freaks, and Giants of the Ocean by Susan Casey arrived from Doubleday and is due for release in September 2010. Tales about gargantuan rogue waves greater than 100 feet have long been told among mariners. In February 2000, proof of these monsters was finally uncovered when a British research vessel became trapped in a vortex of them in the North Sea. Extreme surfers are in constant search for waves which provide the ultimate challenge. In The Wave, the exploits of a group of these surfers is juxtaposed against scientists’ efforts to make sense of huge waves. Compared to  Jon Krakauer’s Into Thin Air (which I loved!), this book portrays human beings confronting nature at its worst.

Susan Casey is the editor in chief of O, The Oprah Magazine. Her writing has appeared in Esquire, Sports Illustrated, Fortune, National Geographic, and Outside. She is the author of a previous book (The Devil’s Teeth: The True Story of Obsession and Survival Among America’s Great White Sharks) which became a New York Times Bestseller.

Finally, I received an unbound galley of Thumbing Through Thoreau by Kenny Luck which is a collection of quotes by Henry David Thoreau. I already read and reviewed this book … you can find my review here.

Kenny Luck is a graduate student at Maryland University  in Pennsylvania and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in History and Political Science from that same institution. He writes for The Weekender (an arts and entertainment weekly) and The Independent. He is currently working on his second book.

What great books arrived at YOUR house this week?
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    • Andi on August 9, 2010 at 08:19

    The Corpus Christi trilogy arrived in my mailbox this past week as well. I’ll probably be giving a go soon. Always intrigued by anything set in my home state.

    Can’t wait for your thoughts on Strangers at the Feast! That one looks great.

  1. We got a lot of the same books! I hope you enjoy your new treasures!

  2. You get the coolest books! What a mixed collection. They all look great.

    I am hosting a give away on Rose City Reader for one of the books that came to my mailbox last week.

  3. What is Left The Daughter has been on my list. I think it would be a great historical fiction read. You had a great mailbox week!

  4. So many awesome books. What Is Left The Daughter really caught my eye a few places I have seen it. I hope you like it. I am curious. 🙂

  5. All of those sound excellent. I have Strangers at the Feast.

    Here is mine

    • irene on August 9, 2010 at 13:42

    You’ve got quite a stack of reading.

  6. All o these look like great books and I am hoping that you enjoy them! I also got a copy of The Wave last week and am wondering if I will like it. I will be interested in reading your review on it, and the others!

    • Nicola on August 13, 2010 at 07:04

    Both Trio and Catherine of Siena sound right up my alley. Looking forward to reviews!

    • Wendy on August 15, 2010 at 08:17

    Thanks for stopping by, everyone…I’ve been trying to get out to all of your blogs too…and even if I don’t leave a comment, please know I am reading and visiting!

    • Serena on August 17, 2010 at 09:24

    looks like you got some good reads.

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