Mailbox Monday – November 8, 2010

Welcome to this week’s edition of Mailbox Monday hosted this month by Knitting and Sundries.

I’ve been absent from this event since October 11th as I was in New Hampshire and then traveling by car across country back to California. I arrived home to several new books on my doorstep! Below you can see what arrived. Be sure to check out the links to other readers’ mailboxes this week.

The Tapestry of Love by Rosy Thornton came to me from the author. I am eager to read this book since I loved Thornton’s previous book Crossed Wires (reviewed here). The Tapestry of Love is set in rural France (the Cevennes mountains) and centers around Catherine, a woman who has survived divorce and watched her children grow into adults…and is now ready to make a new start. This novel was released in October in the US through Headline Book Publishing.

Rosy Thornton teaches at Cambridge University and resides in a nearby village with her partner, two daughters, and spaniels Treacle and W.G. Snuffy Walden. The Tapestry of Love is her fourth novel. Read more about Thornton and her work by visiting the author’s website.

Letters From Home by Kristina McMorris came to me from the author. Due for release in the US through Kensington Books in February 2011, this is a novel of hope and connection in times of war. The publisher’s blurb describes the novel as follows: “In the midst of World War II, a Midwestern infantryman falls deeply in love through a yearlong letter exchange, unaware that the girl he’s writing to is not the one replying. Woven around this main thread are three female friends whose journeys toward independence take unexpected turns as a result of romance, tragedy, and deception, their repercussions heightened by an era of the unknown.” Early reviews call McMorris’ debut novel “skillfully written,” “gripping and memorable,” and “wholly original.” Listen to the author talking about her book:

Kristina McMorris lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and two sons. She has more than 20 national literary awards to her credit and has received two nominations for the Golden Heart. Read more about McMorris and her work by visiting the author’s website.

Terrie from Other Press sent me a finished copy of How To Live: A Life of Montaigne in One Question and Twenty Attempts at an Answer by Sarah Bakewell. This biography looks fascinating and was a bestseller in the UK where it was published this past spring. Other Press published it to an American audience in October and describes the book as breaking “the paradigm of the classic intellectual biography: no knowledge is required, only a genuine curiosity and a natural inclination to have a good time.” Bakewell asks simple questions and then turns to Montaigne for the answers.

Sarah Bakewell was a curator of early printed books at the Wellcome Library before turning her talents towards writing full-time. She has two previously published biographies: The Smart and The English Dane. Bakewell resides in London where she teaches creative writing at City University and catalogs rare book collections for the National Trust. Read more about Bakewell and her work by visiting the author’s website.

I also received two wonderful dog-related books from Hougton Mifflin Harcourt:

Good Old Dog: Expert Advice for Keeping Your Aging Dog Happy, Healthy, and Comfortable by the Faculty of the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University (and edited by Nicholas Dodman, BVMS with Lawrence Lindner) is due for release later this month. Tuft’s Cummings Veterinary School treats more than eight thousand older dogs annually and are on the cutting edge of science and technology. A team of Board Certified specialists have contributed to this book and give information on everything from nutrition to identifying cognitive decline to coping with loss in an aging dog.

The Faculty of the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University boast the largest residency program in the US for veterinarians. Editor Nicholas Dodman is a world-renowned animal behaviorist and has appeared on Oprah, the Today show, Good Morning America, 20/20 and CNN. Writer Lawrence Lindner is a NYT best selling author who has written regular columns for the Washington Post and the Boston Globe.

Pukka: The Pup After Merle by Ted Kerasote is a beautiful book with more than 200 hundred photos and was published in October. Narrated in the “voice” of Pukka, it explores the early bonding between Pukka and Kerasote, as well as their adventures in Wyoming and in the wider world.

Ted Kerasote is the author of six books including his bestselling book entitled Merle’s Door: Lessons from a Freethinking Dog. His essays and photographs have appeared in well-known publications such as Audubon, Geo, Outside, Science, and the New York Times. Learn more about Kerasote, his work, and Pukka by visiting the author’s website.

Meryl Zegarek sent me two books penned by the late Elizabeth Jolley (who was born in England, but immigrated to Australia where she became one of the country’s most acclaimed and celebrated authors):

Foxybaby is described as “hilarious and bawdy” and centers around protagonist Alma Porch, a novelist and aspiring dramatist who is hired to teach a course in Trinity College’s “Better Body Through the Arts” summer program for overweight adults. The novel takes place in the Australian outback and features “starving matrons, orgies of sex and gluttony, and an eccentric group of staff and students.

The Sugar Mother was lauded by The New Yorker as a novel full of  “humor, suspense, and exquisite characterization.” Edwin Page is the main protagonist, a fussy middle-aged English professor who stays behind at home when his wife leaves for a year-long fellowship abroad. Edwin’s life is turned upside down by his new neighbors – Mrs. Botts and her sexy, twenty-something daughter Leila. Things get “predictably complicated” when Edwin accepts Mrs. Bott’s proposal that Leila become Edwin’s “sugar mother” (ie: surrogate mother) for his childless wife.

Both Foxybaby and The Sugar Mother are being released this week through Persea Books.

Pantheon Books sent me a finished copy of Take One Candle Light One Room by Susan Straight which was released last month. This literary novel by a National Book Award finalist (for her previous novel Highwire Moon), is being described as a “searing, ultimately redemptive novel about America’s legacy of racial violence and a woman’s struggle to forge her own identity.” Reviewers have high praise for Straight’s work calling her a “major writer” and “one of America’s gutsiest writers.

Susan Straight is the author of six previous novels. She has written for The New York Time Magazine, the Los Angeles Times, Harper’s Magazine, and NPR’s All Things Considered. Straight’s short stories have earned her an Edgar Award, and an O’Henry Award. She lives in Riverside, California with her three daughters and teaches at the University of California. Learn more about Straight and her work by visiting the author’s website.

Penguin sent me the paperback version of Knit the Season by Kate Jacobs. This is the latest installment of the Friday Night Knitting Club series where characters gather at the coziest yarn shop on Manhattan’s Upper West Side to knit and connect with each other. Booklist calls Knit the Season “heartwarming” while USA Today praises the book for its “spirit of the season.

Kate Jacobs is the best selling author of three previous novels. She is a former magazine writer and editor and lives in Los Angeles with her husband. Read more about Jacobs and her work by visiting the author’s website.

What books arrived at YOUR home this past week?

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  1. OK Knit the Season and FoxBaby look like they are irght up my alley. I will definitely take a peek at those very soon! Thanks for sharing 🙂 I had a fun adn girlie MG this week arrive in my mail

    • Mary on November 8, 2010 at 04:34

    I think Letters from Home sounds really good. Adding it to my list! I also received Rosy Thornton’s book recently and look forward to reading it. I really enjoyed Crossed Wires. Have a great week!

  2. I should probably read Good Old Dog – our Milou will be 15 soon. I hope you enjoy all of your new books.

    • Alayne on November 8, 2010 at 06:47

    Nice books, hope you enjoy them. My mailbox is at The Crowded Leaf.

    • zibilee on November 8, 2010 at 07:23

    I also got The Tapestry of Love and the two Elizabeth Jolley books. I am really excited about all of them! I read and reviewed another Jolley collection, and thought that it was very well written and engrossing. The books were like nothing I had ever experienced before and covered a lot of territory. Wonderful mailbox! Lots of good stuff in there!

  3. I’m really looking forward to reading Rosy’s latest too! I haven’t received it yet, but it should be on its way to me now. I loved Crossed Wires too. Enjoy all your books!

  4. I”m a bit jealous of Take One Candle Light a Room. I saw that at the store the other day. Such an interesting cover!

  5. I really enjoyed The Tapestry of Love — I do need to read Crossed Wires, I’ve heard so much about that one!

    I also have Letters From Home, and am thinking that I need to read this one soon — it just seems to be calling me and telling me to hurry up and read it already! Lovely covers for Tapestry and Letters, don’t you think?

    • Amy on November 8, 2010 at 12:12

    Pukka has an adorable cover and sounds like a wonderful book! Thank you for posting the author’s website. You received several other very interesting seeming books – Take One Candle Light One Room sounds like an intense, interesting story and the cover of Letters from Home is so pretty.

    I, too, received Rosy Thornton’s book, The Tapestry of Love from her and can’t wait to read it. It will be my first of her books but I’m sure not the last.

    ~ Amy

    • Katie on November 8, 2010 at 14:06

    Thanks so much for posting about Susan Straight’s novel! As her editor (and publicist), I also highly recommend her work–this novel and her previous ones. Thanks for including her website as well, which really gives a sense of the world she comes from and of the places she has created on the page–and check out her “book rate book club!”

  6. Knit the Season and Letters From Home both sound like books I would love to read. I think they are both going on the wish list right now. Enjoy all your new reads!

  7. Letters from Home has been getting some awesome reviews! The Tapestry of Love ALSO sounds like one I would really enjoy! As a knitter, my eye was immediately drawn to Knit the Season. The Jolley books look too fun. Actually, ALL of your books look great! Enjoy them all!

    • Wendy on November 8, 2010 at 16:58

    Julie Anne: Thanks for stopping by!

    Mary: I agree that Letters from Home sounds really good – and I am very excited about Thornton’s latest!

    Kathy: Wow, I didn’t realize how old Milou was! I’ll let you know if the book is worth the read or not.

    Alayne: Thanks!

    Zibilee: Good to know that you enjoyed previous stuff by Jolley…I have another book by her but haven’t read it yet.

    Avis: We’ll have to compare thoughts on it 🙂

    Amy (My Friend Amy): I agree – it looks very interesting! I’ll let you know…

    Coffee and a Book Chick: I agree – great covers! I’ll be waiting until the end of February to review Letters from Home (at the author’s request) when it is closer to release.

    Amy: Pukka also has some awesome photos in it…hope you’ll like Thornton’s book…if so, I can recommend Crossed Wires by her.

    Katie: Thanks for stopping by…it is always my pleasure to publish posts on the books that come my way…and Straight’s book looks wonderful.

    Beth: Thanks! Glad I can add to your TBR list 🙂

  8. You are aware that you have an extremely popular mailbox, right?! My home mailbox is so small that I have everything delivered to work, and I have an issue with online impulse purchases so thought my mailguys hated me – but if I received a third of the packages you apparently do I think I would be fired 🙂 Thanks for sharing all your delightful books – and what an array of covers there are! Can’t wait to send you some to be included in the future!

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