Mailbox Monday – September 13, 2010

Welcome to Mailbox Monday hosted this month at Kathy’s blog Bermuda Onion.

I am still in New Hampshire with my sister, but books have arrived back at my home in California and Kip has been my blog helper by emailing me what came and from whom. Also, thanks to Lydia at Penguin, a couple of books arrived here in New Hampshire for Paula’s reading pleasure which I thought I would also share with you.

Bell Bridge Books sent me a copy of A Dog Named Slugger by Leigh Brill as part of a Shelf Awareness offer. This memoir is about a very special partnership between a service dog named Slugger and author Leigh Brill who has overcome the challenge of physical disability with his help.

Leigh Brill was born in North Carolina and raised in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. She graduated with honors from Roanoke College despite her daily struggle with cerebral palsy – a physical disability with which she was born. Brill obtained a Master’s degree in Counseling from James Madison University and worked for several years as a therapist in community agencies and then for Ronald McDonald House Charities. Slugger was her first service dog (she now enjoys life with her second dog, Kenda. For more information about Brill and her work, visit the author’s website. Also, check out this You Tube video about Brill and Slugger:

Charles Jessold Considered a Murderer by Wesley Stace arrived from Picador. This historical novel (already published in the UK) is due for release in the United States in February 2011. The book’s plot is unusual – just before the opening of his debut opera, musician Charles Jessold poisons his unfaithful wife and his lover, and then turns a gun on himself. Stace’s depicts London in the early part of the 20th century while exploring the psychological relationships between his characters through the eyes of Jessold’s best friend (and music critic) Leslie Shepherd. Author Sarah Waters writes of Stace’s novel: “A tremendously imaginative novel that’s really several novels in one, for beneath its sparkling surface there are some very murky depths. A wonderfully disquieting read.

Wesley Stace is not only an author but a well known folk/pop singer-songwriter (who goes by the stage name John Wesley Harding) as well. Although born in the UK, Stace has made his home in New York (Brooklyn) since 1991. He has published two books: Misfortune (2005) which was nominated for the Guardian First Book Award, and shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the James Tiptree, Jr. Award; and By George (2007).

Penguin/Tarcher sent me a copy of The Art of Comforting by Val Walker. This non-fiction book (due for release in late October) provides a guide for comforting those who are suffering. Walker notes that “We live in an increasingly “virtual” world in which it can be tempting to skip making that true, human connection with someone in pain. Even though our thoughts might be with them, we lack the confidence to reach out, worrying that we will say or do the “wrong” thing.

Val Walker holds a Master of Science degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from Virginia Commonwealth University, with specialized study in grief, loss and disability. She has guided Veterans Affairs clients with service-related disabilities in their major transitions from military to civilian life and facilitated bereavement support groups at the Massey Cancer Center, Medical College of Virginia, and served there also as an interviewer/researcher in a national study of grief and depression. For the past four years, she has worked with supported housing programs for people with mental illness at a mental health agency in Portland, Maine. To learn more about Walker and her work, visit the author’s website.

Finally, let me share with you the books which Lydia Hirt from Penguin graciously sent my sister Paula (and stay tuned – because Paula has offered to review these on my blog once she’s read them!):

Lost Empire: A Fargo Adventure by Clive Cussler with Grant Blackwood is the next adventure for the husband and wife treasure-hunting team Sam and Remi Fargo from Spartan Gold. In Lost Empire, the couple make a startling new discovery while diving off the coast of Tanzania – a long lost Confederate ship. Unbeknown to them, others are also interested in the relic…specifically Mexico’s ruling party who believe it contains a secret which could destroy them. Called dazzling and breathtaking, this latest Cussler book hit the book stores in August.

Crescent Dawn: A Dirk Pitt Novel by Clive Cussler and Dirk Cussler is due for release in November. In this latest installation in the long-standing series, Pitt and his team discover that Roman artifacts uncovered in Turkey and Israel connect to the rise of a fundamentalist movement determined to restore the glory of the Ottoman Empire. In Crescent Dawn, Cussler takes readers from Washington to London, and to the shores of the Near East on another unparalleled adventure.

Clive Cussler is the prolific, best selling author of more than forty adventure novels. Cussler began writing in 1965 and published his first novel featuring Dirk Pitt in 1973.  He is the founder of the National Underwater & Marine Agency, (NUMA) a non-profit organisation that dedicates itself to American maritime and naval history. The author owns over 100 of the finest examples of custom coachwork and 50’s convertibles to be found anywhere. To learn more about Cussler and his extensive body of work, visit the author’s website.

What great books found their way to YOUR home this week?

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  1. Isn’t Lydia great? She offered to send my dad some audio books when she found out he’s under hospice care. I hope you enjoy your books – A Dog Named Slugger sounds like the perfect book for you.

  2. A Dog Named Slugger sounds like a book I would enjoy, i’m a huge dog lover. Enjoy your new books!

    • Holly on September 12, 2010 at 20:28

    I’d love to read the Art of Comforting. Great mailbox. Enjoy!!

    • Mystica on September 12, 2010 at 21:29

    The look in that dog’s eyes. After looking at that cover I lost interest in the rest of your mailbox!

    • Kim V on September 13, 2010 at 04:29

    I really want to read a Dog Named Slugger!

    Happy reading!

  3. The Charles Jessold book will be a must read for me. I wish it came out sooner!

    • zibilee on September 13, 2010 at 07:45

    It seems like there was a lot of very interesting stuff in your mailbox this week, and I am hoping that you enjoy every last morsel of it! I will be interested in hearing what you think of all your new books, and will be checking back to hear all about them!

    • Wendy on September 13, 2010 at 08:55

    Kathy: Lydia is awesome – and so kindhearted…her generosity at this time is so appreciated (my sister literally screamed with excitement when those books arrived). I agree about Slugger…looks like my type of book!

    Mrs. Q: I think A Dog Named Slugger is exactly for people like you and me – although I have a feeling it is also a huge tear-jerker!

    Holly: I thought that book looked very good too.

    Mystica: Isn’t that a fabulous cover/photo? You can just see the empathy that Slugger had.

    Kim V: I don’t think you are alone!!

    Stephanie: I think that book looks fascinating as well!

    Zibilee: They all look great, don’t they? Thanks for stopping in – you are such a faithful commenter!!

    • Kate on September 13, 2010 at 10:16

    A Dog Named Slugger looks like such a good book! Happy reading!

  4. Slugger looks very cute. There seems to be many of the animal memoirs out right now. I just reviewed Cleo by Helen Brown yesterday. It is a great memoir! I’ll have to read Slugger too!

    • Holly on September 13, 2010 at 15:27

    Adding the Charles Jessod book to my WL. It looks great! Happy reading 🙂

    • Amy on September 16, 2010 at 12:24

    A Dog Named Slugger caught my attention because of the beautiful Lab pictured on the cover who I’m guess ing is Slugger! I read your post with growing interest, too. As a woman who is wheel-chair bound because of a rare bone disease, I am very interested in other people who have physical disabilities and how they manage. I saw a TV show about a year ago which told about dogs being trained to assist the physically disabled. I am happy to read that this has worked well for Leigh Brill. I am excited to read her story and am putting at the top of my tbr List.

    I hope your sister is doing well. I am keeping you both in my thoughts.

    ~ Amy

    • Lisamm on September 19, 2010 at 12:24

    What a lot of cool stuff- such a variety! Lydia is so wonderful!

    • Wendy on October 1, 2010 at 06:11

    Kate: I agree – Slugger looks wonderful.

    Beth: There does seem to be an overabundance of dog books out there of late!!

    Holly: I thought the Jessop book looked interesting too.

    Amy: I love reading books about working dogs. I was honored to foster a service dog a number of years ago, and it was amazing what that dog could do (he was later placed with a woman with disabilities and went on to enrich her life enormously). Thanks for keeping me and my sister in your thoughts *hugs*

    Lisa: I agree – on BOTH counts!!

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