Mailbox Monday – November 22, 2010

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

To play along, write a post sharing the books which have arrived at your home this week…then drop by Julie’s blog and link up. Be sure to stop by other blogs to see what books they found on their doorstep!

My cup definitely runneth over this week – I got slammed with books, and they look awesome:

Caitlin from Penguin sent me a copy of On Maggie’s Watch by Ann Wertz Garvin which was released just this month. Author Jacquelyn Mitchard writes this about the novel: “If you’re interested in the best in women’s fiction – this suspenseful, quirky, humorous story of a well-meaning woman’s reverberating effect on her neighbor’s life, is certainly that and more.” That sounds like just the kind of women’s fiction I love! Read an excerpt from the book here. Better yet, watch this quirky, wonderful video of the author talking about On Maggie’s Watch:

I can’t wait to read this book – do you know why? I went to Ann Wertz Garvin’s website and read her author page and it made me laugh..and it made me want to read more stuff that she has written. This is Garvin’s debut novel – I bet it won’t be her last.

Maggie at Harper Collins sent me an Advance Readers Edition of Under the Mercy Trees by Heather Newton. Here is another debut novel (due for release in January 2011) which looks really interesting. The blurb describes it as follows: “A beautifully rendered, heartbreaking first novel, Under the Mercy Trees is the story of a man forced to face his troubled past when he returns to his small hometown in the mountains of North Carolina after the disappearance of his brother.” I don’t know what it is about missing person novels, but I am always drawn to them. And this one has other elements that also appeal to me: troubled pasts, family secrets, love and redemption.

Heather Newton has published short stories  in publications such as Encore magazine, O, Georgia! and Wellspring. She lives in Asheville, North Carolina with her family, and where she also works as an attorney and mediator. You may view other writings by Newton by visiting the Flatiron Writers website. More information about Newton and her work may be found on the author’s website.

Mark, also with Harper Collins, tempted me with two books that I just had to have:

Years ago when I first moved to San Francisco, I discovered Armistead Maupin’s fantastic Tales in the City books. I read them all, ravenously and without stopping to breathe. So imagine how thrilled I was to see that in Maupin’s latest novel (released this month), he brings back Mary Ann Singleton who took center stage in his Tales of the City series. In Mary Ann in Autumn more than twenty years have passed in the life of Mary Ann – she has spent the time pursuing a television career in New York…but circumstances take her back to San Francisco and into the arms of her oldest and dearest friend, Michael Tolliver. This book is jumping to the top of the heap…so watch for a review before the month closes!

Armistead Maupin is a best selling author whose books have been the basis of three highly acclaimed television miniseries, as well as the basis of a major motion picture starring Robin Williams (Michael Tolliver Lives). A stage version of Tales of the City is set to premiere in San Francisco in 2011. Maupin resides in San Francisco with his spouse Christopher Turner. Learn more about Maupin and his work by visiting the author’s website.

The Fates Will Find Their Way by Hannah Pittard is another novel (due for release in February 2011) which involves a missing person. When sixteen year old Nora Lindell goes missing, she leaves a group of neighborhood boys behind…and it is these boys who narrate a story full of the mystery of Nora’s disappearance, divergent suspicions, and the ever present “what ifs.” This is a book about what happens after someone goes missing. It is being called a haunting literary debut – and it looks captivating.

Hannah Pittard’s short fiction has appeared in many publications including the Mississippi Review, Nimrod, and StoryQuarterly…and was included in 2008 Best American Short Stories’ 100 Distinguished Stories. She is the recipient of the 2006 Amanda Davis Highwire Fiction Award, and has taught fiction at the University of Virginia. The Fates Will Find Their Way is Pittard’s first novel. A wonderful interview with her can be found on Three Guys One Book.

Meghan from Penguin sent me Inspirations: Selections from Classic Literature by Paulo Coelho. Inspired by the four elements of water, earth, air and fire, Coelho has created an anthology of inspirational selections from classic literature such as Machiavelli’s The Prince and writings from Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nelson Mandela, Oscar Wilde, DH Lawrence, and Mary Shelley. The book is arranged in four sections which correspond to the the four elements…and Coelho shows how lessons can be found in the “most surprising of places.”

Paulo Coelho has sold more than 100 million copies of his books worldwide – books which have been translated into sixty-nine languages and published in 150 countries. Coelho has been praised for his work and received numerous international literary awards. Learn more about Coelho and his work by visiting the author’s website.

I requested and received a galley of A Widow’s Story: A Memoir by Joyce Carol Oates through a Shelf Awareness offer. This much anticipated memoir will be published through Ecco/Harper Collins in March 2011. In February 0f 2008, Oates lost her husband of nearly fifty years, unexpectedly and suddenly. A Widow’s Story is her story of grief and the process of moving through loss and offers a glimpse into the life of a fiercely private person.

Joyce Carol Oates has won numerous literary prizes including the NBCC Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award and the National Book Award (to name only two), and has been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. Her best selling fiction includes We Were the Mulvaneys, Them,  and The Falls. She has written numerous short story collections, essays, dramas and novellas. To see a complete listing of her vast literary work, visit this page on Wikipedia.

Jocelyn with Kelley and Hall sent me the latest novel from Laura Kasischke. The Raising is due for release in March 2011 through Harper Perennial. The novel centers around the death of a beautiful sorority girl – a straight A student from a small town. A year after her death, no one is left unscathed: her boyfriend, Craig, and his roommate, Perry; a sociology professor, and finally Shelly, the first person at the scene of Nicole’s death who is claiming that Nicole is actually alive. This is being marketed as an evocative thriller told in a narrative which is both “hauntingly supernatural and chillingly real.

Laura Kasischke is the author of seven collections of poetry and eight novels. She has won numerous literary awards and two of her novels have been made into films (including The Life Before Her Eyes which starred Uma Thurman). She teaches in the MFA program and the Residential College of the University of Michigan and resides in Michigan with her family.

An Advance Readers Edition of The Anatomy of Ghosts by Andrew Taylor arrived through a Shelf Awareness offer. This latest suspense-thriller is due for release through Hyperion in January 2011. Taylor’s novel is set in 1786 England and centers around John Holdsworth, a bookseller and novelist, who has fallen on hard times. When he is commissioned to catalogue an extensive library in order that it may be donated to Cambridge University, he unexpectedly encounters a mystery involving a man who claims he has seen a ghost and a secret society which meets within the college’s walls.

Andrew Taylor is the author of many crime and suspense novels. He won the 2009 Cartier Diamond Dagger from the Crime Writer’s Association for sustained excellence in crime writing. Learn more about Taylor and his work by visiting the author’s website.

I am really excited about this redesigned edition of Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift. Elaine from Penguin/Viking sent me a copy of this classic, a raucous novel of political and social satire, to celebrate celebrate the modern day film adaptation, starring Jack Black and hitting theaters December 22nd. The novel, first published in 1726 by Irish author Jonathan Swift, describes the fantastic voyages of the shipwrecked castaway Lemuel Gulliver as he awakens to find himself on a series of bizarrely populated islands. Watch for a post about the movie, as well as a book review by Caribousmom sometime in December.

Jonathan Swift, born in Ireland in 1667,  was not just a novelist, but also an essayist, poet, and ordained priest. He was first published anonymously under the pseudonyms of Lemeul Gulliver, Isaac Bickerstaffm and M.B. Drapier. He died in 1745.

The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown is getting some great early buzz, so when I saw that TLC Book Tours would be touring it in January/February 2011 I couldn’t wait to request a copy (watch for my review January 24th). The Weird Sisters is due to be published in January through Amy Einhorn Books/G.P. Putnam’s Sons.  Centered around the Andreas family whose passion and solace is books, the novel introduces three sisters all named after Shakespearean women: Rosalind, Bianca, and Cordelia. Brought together in adulthood because of their ailing parents, they discover that despite their different paths in life, they are more similar than not.

Eleanor Brown’s work has been published in anthologies, magazines and literary journals. She holds an MA in literature and resides in Colorado. The Weird Sisters is her first novel. Learn more about Brown and her work by visiting the author’s website.

Angela from Penguin sent me a copy of Great Gals: Inspired Ideas for Living a Kick-Ass Life by Summer Pierre (I love the title, don’t you?). This is a journal of sorts – and has some awesome graphic art and prompts for self-exploration between its pages. Check out my review of the book here.

Summer Pierre is a writer, artist and musician who has published a previous book titled The Artist in the Office: How to Thrive and Survive Seven Days A Week. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, child and two cats. Learn more about Pierre and her work by visiting the author’s website.

Whew – that was a lot to write about!!! What about you? What great books arrived at YOUR home this week???

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    • Mystica on November 21, 2010 at 21:27

    Thats a beautiful haul of books you’ve got there.

    I entered for this meme for the first time (hopefully not the last!). Would appreciate if you could come visit.

    • Mary on November 22, 2010 at 04:25

    Wow, fantastic mailbox list! I hope you enjoy each one.

  1. I always find awesome books on your blog! Thanks!

    Here is my Monday post!

  2. Wow, you got some great looking books last week! I got A Widow’s Story as well, and like you, I’m really looking forward to it.

    • zibilee on November 22, 2010 at 08:21

    Very full mailbox this week! I also got The Widow’s Tale and am looking forward to it! I hope that you have a lot of good reading time this week to get to some of your new arrivals!

  3. You had a great mailbox this week! Under The Mercy Trees and On Maggie’s Watch both sound like books I would enjoy. Enjoy all your new reads!

  4. Awesome bunch of books you got! Happy Reading!

    • Staci on November 22, 2010 at 14:49

    I’m liking pretty much all of your books 😀

  5. What a glorious mailbox! We share The Anatomy of Ghosts as well as A Widow’s Story (don’t they both look like great books?). You have too many that I’d like .. On Maggie’s Watch, Under the Mercy Trees, The Raising .. I think that the one I most look forward to hearing about is The Fates Will Find Their Way.

    Enjoy them all!

    • Carol Wong on November 26, 2010 at 09:53

    I am very jealous! You received a large haul of super books!

    Can’t wait to hear about them.


    • Wendy on November 28, 2010 at 15:16

    Mystica: Welcome to Mailbox Monday – glad you are having some fun with it!

    Mary: I hope so too 🙂

    Gautami: You’re welcome!

    Kathy: I am interested in reading more about who Oates REALLY is…she is a bit of an elusive writer and I like her books.

    Zibilee: Almost TOO full! *laughs* I will look forward to your thoughts on the JCO Memoir

    Beth: I just finished ON MAGGIE’S WATCH and posted a review today – cute, fun book!

    Kathleen: Thank you!

    Staci: LOL! Perhaps that’s why I always read your blog – we share the same interests!!!

    Julie: You’re box was VERY full this week too 🙂 I am also interested in The Fates Will Find Their Way…

    Carol: I hope you won’t have to wait TOO long for reviews on these! I’m feeling a little overwhelmed!

  6. I’m intrigued by the perspective in THE FATES WILL FIND THEIR WAY – multiple male narrators isn’t something I’ve read much. I’m looking forward to this one – the pre-release buzz is fantastic!

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