Mailbox Monday – August 23, 2010

Welcome once again to Mailbox Monday – hosted this month by Chick Loves Lit.

Each week readers share the books which arrived in their mailboxes.

I have had some stellar weeks in books…and this week was no exception. Here is what found its way to my home this week:

Tavia from William Morrow sent me an Advance Readers Edition (through a Shelf Awareness offer) of Little Princes: One Man’s Promise to Bring Home the Lost Children of Nepal, by Conor Grennan. This nonfiction book (due for release in January 2011) is 30-year-old Conor Grennan’s memoir. His year-long trip around the globe began with a three-month stint volunteering at the Little Princes Orphanage in war-torn Nepal. What began as a lark became a passionate commitment that would transform the young American and the lives of countless others. Described as “the powerful story of a soul’s awakening and a reflection of the noblest and darkest of human intent,” Little Princes is the “true tale of the power of optimism, love, and dedication to overcome greed, violence, and hate.

Conor Grennan spent eight years at the EastWest Institute (EWI) in Prague and Brussels focusing on peace and reconciliation before traveling to Nepal where, in 2004, he began work at the Little Princes Children’s Home outside of Kathmandu. In 2006, he founded Next Generation Nepal (NGN), a nonprofit organization that reconnects trafficked and displaced children with their families. He currently lives in New York City with his wife and son. Read more about Grennan and his work by visiting the author’s website. Watch a video interview with Grennan:

Meike from Peirene Press sent me a copy of Portrait of the Mother as a Young Woman by Freidrich Christian Delius. Translated from the German by Jamie Bulloch, this novella is described as a “mesmerizing psychological portrait of the human need to safeguard innocence and integrity at any cost – even at the risk of excluding reality.” The story takes place one January afternoon in 1943 Rome and consists of a single 120-page long sentence. I’ve already seen some gushing review of this book and I can’t wait to read it.

Fredrich Christian Deliu is a critically acclaimed contemporary German writer. He was born in 1943 and lives in both Rome and Berlin. He has published a poetry collection in 1965 followed by fourteen novels, five poetry collections and a libretto for the opera “Prospero” by Luca Lombardi. His work has been translated into seventeen languages.

Melissa from Berkley Trade Paperback was kind enough to send me a finished copy of Good Enough to Eat by Stacey Ballis (due for release in September). This novel is the story of a chef who works very hard to lose half her body weight, only to have her husband leave her for a woman twice her size!  Described as  funny and poignant, the book includes a mini-cookbook of original recipes for delicious comfort foods, both healthy versions and decadent ones.

Stacey Ballis is the author of four previous novels. and has appeared on The Rachel Ray Show. She and author Jen Lancaster are currently hosting a pre-sale contest of  Good Enough to Eat (the winner gets lunch for themselves and a guest with Jen and Stacey in their hometown). To learn more about the contest (which ends September 6th) visit this post on Ballis’ blog; to learn more about Ballis and her work, visit the author’s website.

Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver came courtesy of Harper Perennial for a TLC Book Tour in October (this looks like a fantastic tour as readers will be posting about several of Kingsolver’s books including The Lacuna, The Poisonwood Bible, The Bean Trees, Animal Vegetable Miracle, and Prodigal Summer). Prodigal Summer is Kingsolver’s fifth novel (fisrt published in 2000) and celebrates the prodigal spirit of human nature and nature itself. Kingsolver weaves together three stories of human love within a larger tapestry of the mountains and farms of southern Appalachia.

Barbara Kingsolver grew up in rural Kentucky. She earned degrees in biology from DePauw University and the University of Arizona, and has worked as a freelance writer and author since 1985. She has traveled extensively. She has published thirteen books which have been translated into more than two dozen languages. Kingsolver’s books have been nominated for and won many literary prizes and awards. To learn more about her and her work, visit the author’s website.

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt sent me an advance readers edition of The Wake of Forgiveness by Bruce Machart. Due for release in October, this debut novel is being compared to works by Cormac McCarthy and Kent Haruf. The novel is set in Texas during the early part of the twentieth century and centers around Karel, a character whose birth stole his mother’s life. When Karel rides in the ultimate high-stakes race against a powerful Spanish patriarch and his alluring daughters, his father’s fortune, his brother’s futures, and his own fate hang in the balance. Fourteen years later, he is finally forced to dress the wounds of his past and to salvage the tattered fabric of his family.

Bruce Machart has published fiction in some of the country’s finest literary magazines, including Zoetrope: All-Story, Story, One Story, Five Points, Glimmer Train, and elsewhere. He was born and raised in Texas, spent three years in the Boston area (where he taught literature and writing at Berklee College of Music, Boston University, and Grub Street Writers) and finally returned to Houston in 2003 where he joined the faculty of Lone Star College. The Wake of Forgiveness is Machart’s first novel. A collection of his short stories is forthcoming in 2011. He is currently at work on his second novel. To learn more about Machart and his work, visit the author’s website.

Allie at W.W. Norton brought my attention to Original Sins by Peg Kingman. This hefty novel was released just this month and looks amazing. The book crafts a tale of two harrowing journeys into the American South of the 1840s. Anibaddh Lyngdoh, a former Virginia slave, returns to America in 1840 to learn the fate of the child she left behind eighteen years earlier. Described as a “thrilling and suspenseful tale of race, sex, religion and law in America,” Original Sins looks like a captivating read.

A fourth-generation Californian, Peg Kingman has lived and traveled in the United States, Scotland, France, India and New Zealand. She worked for many years as a technical writer in the high-tech, medical, environmental and marketing fields, and now lives in northern California. Original Sins is her second novel. To learn more about Kingman and her work, visit the author’s website.

A very close bookie friend also sent me three wonderful books for my birthday:

  • 84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff
  • The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett
  • Country Garden Quilts by Kaffe Fassett

And thanks to Rose City Reader, I discovered the wonderful small press of Hawthorne Books and ordered these two interesting books:

  • Faraway Places by Tom Spanbauer
  • Saving Stanley: The Brickman Stories by Scott Nadelson

What wonderful books arrived at YOUR home this week?

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  1. You did have a great week in books! You are in for a treat with Prodigal Summer! I hope you have a wonderful week.

    • Cheryl on August 22, 2010 at 16:13

    I have loved 84, Charing Cross Road since first reading it as a young teen. It’s one of my regrets in life that I did not actually grow up to be Helene Hanff in post-war NYC.

  2. wow, great list of books! Little Princes sounds very interesting. I would also like to read Good Enough to Eat. I will be looking forward to your reviews.

  3. I also got a copy of Little Princes this week, and am really looking forward to it! Your other books look great as well, and I do hope you enjoy them!

  4. Very interesting set of books. I am gonna check out on a few, especially Little Princes.

    Have a great reading week ahead! Here is my Mondays: Mailbox/Where Am I/Musings post.

    • bee on August 22, 2010 at 18:05

    I love your blog. You will love the Barbara Kingsolver book. She is such an amazing author, and an amazing and inspiring woman to listen to as well. Enjoy!

  5. Wow! That’s an amazing week!

    Original Sins really sounds interesting, I’m looking forward to hearing what you think.

    • Lisa on August 23, 2010 at 00:47

    Little princes sounds inetresting

    here’s mine

    • diane on August 23, 2010 at 03:01

    Little Princes is one I am looking forward to. Enjoy them all.

  6. 84 Charing Cross Road is one of my all-time favorites, and the movie is good too…
    Original Sins and Good Enough to Eat sound really interesting, in very different ways…

    Enjoy your week reading,

    • Kim V on August 23, 2010 at 04:12

    the Little Princes and Good Enough to Eat are two books that I would love to read. ENjoy all your books!

    • Staci on August 23, 2010 at 05:04

    Your friend has great taste..the first two books are favorites of mine! Good Enough to Eat is one I want to read..intrigued by how it will all play out! Great mailbox!

    • Alayne on August 23, 2010 at 05:10

    Looks like you got some very good books. Good Enough to Eat sounds like something I’d like. And I’ve heard great things about 84 Charing Cross, so I hope you like that as well. My Mailbox is at The Crowded Leaf.

    • Andi on August 23, 2010 at 07:05

    Cool! I’m so glad you’ve discovered Hawthorne! We reviewed some of their stuff over at Estella a while back, and it’s good quality. The books are beautiful, too.

    • Wendy on August 23, 2010 at 07:07

    Kathy: I can’t wait to read Prodigal Summer!

    Cheryl: Nice to see you here!! I am so looking forward to Charing Cross Road 🙂

    Mrs. Q: Thanks for stopping by!

    Zibilee: Little Princes looks so interesting, doesn’t it? I will look forward to reading your thoughts on it…

    Gautami: and all quite different! Thanks for dropping in.

    Bee: Aw, thank you! Kingsolver is one impressive writer, isn’t she?

    Laura (I’m Booking it): I agree – Original Sins looks very good…

    Lisa: And it has such a gorgeous cover too!

    Diane: Me too!

    The Book Girl: Thank you!

    Kim V: Little Princes and Good Enough to Eat seem to be getting a lot of thumbs up this morning!

    Staci: My bookie friend always seems to find the perfect books for me 🙂

    Alyane: I’m looking forward to all of them!

    • Wendy on August 23, 2010 at 07:08

    Andi: I agree – Hawthorne Books are packaged beautifully!

    • Mary on August 23, 2010 at 07:17

    Ooh, I’m jealous that you got Good Enough to Eat!!!

    • Taryn on August 23, 2010 at 09:06

    WAKE OF FORGIVENESS is the book I’m most excited to be working on this fall! Definitely check out this trailer we did for the book, it gives me the chills every time:

    • RAnn on August 23, 2010 at 09:53

    Good Enough to Eat looks interesting

  7. You got so many good ones! I”d love to read The Little Princes and look forward to hearing what you think of it.

  8. I really enjoyed Prodigal Summer. I read it about 8 years ago. Enjoy your books. Here’s what I received.

  9. I love Kaffe Fassett fabrics and quilts. The colors and prints are simply gorgeous! I received The Wake of Forgiveness for Barnes and Noble First Look Club. Did you see the trailer for it? It is riveting! Should be a good read!

  10. Texas at the beginning of the last century! That’s the setting of my own writing, so I’m interested.

    For those who enjoyed West Wing, today I’m reading a book of essays called (of course) West Wing:The American Presidency as Television Drama

  11. Awesome books you have there. I read Original Sins a while back for Historical Novels REview. I loved it!!!
    I am looking forward to Little Princes and…I think you will love Prodigal Summer.
    Happy reading.

  12. Great books in the mailbox. ENJOY!!

    Hopping by…

    Hop on over to my blog if you like…My Monday Mailbox, Teaser Tuesday, and a review of I’d Know you Anywhere by Laura Lippman.

    • Anna on August 24, 2010 at 18:43

    Good enough to eat looks really good. Enjoy all your new books!

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