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Mailbox Monday – July 18, 2011

 Welcome to this edition of Mailbox Monday!

This month Mailbox Monday is hosted by Gwendolyn at A Sea of Books.

Make sure you visit Gwendolyn’s blog today and add your link … you’ll also find links to other readers’ mailboxes there.

To see the schedule of this meme’s host, please visit the dedicated blog.

Last week not one book arrived on my doorstep, but this week a nice mix of books showed up…and they all look wonderful. Here they are:

Spiegel & Grau sent me a hardcover edition of Next to Love by Ellen Feldman (due for release later this month). This was one of the books which caught me eye and made it onto my Book Buzz series for summer releases. The more I read about this novel, the more excited I am to read it. Described as “a moving multi-generational novel set during and after World War II,“  Next to Love follows the lives of three young women and their men during the years of WWII, beginning with the men going off to war and ending a generation later, when the men’s lives finally return to normal. Feldman has been interviewed and has written about what led her to write Next to Love – one of things she wrote really captured me: “War transforms the society that wages it. America emerged from World War II a different country from the one that entered it. The female genii who had escaped from the bottle could not be forced back in. It is not accident that the feminist revolution of the seventies was made by the daughters of the women who went out to work in the forties.

Ellen Feldman is a 2009 Guggenheim Fellow and the author of the novels Scottsboro (shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction), The Boy Who Loved Anne Frank, and Lucy. In addition to writing novels, she contributes to several blogs and has lectured extensively in this country, England, and Germany. She lives in New York City. Learn more about Feldman and her work by visiting the author’s website.

The Very Thought of You by Rosie Alison arrived as part of Atria Books‘ Galley Alley promotion. Feldman was shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction in 2010 which was what initially caught my attention, but it was the novel’s description which made me request it. Set in England in the summer of 1939, Alison’s debut novel centers around eight year old Anna Sands who is evacuated to a large Yorkshire Estate as the war threatens London. The couple who has offered to house the evacuees are childless and struggling in their unraveling marriage. Anna is drawn into their relationship, a witness and accomplice to a love affair with unforeseen consequences. The Times calls the book “melancholic, mysterious and heartbreakingly gorgeous.Browse inside the book.

Rosie Alison grew up in Yorkshire, and read English at Keble College, Oxford. She spent ten years directing television documentaries before becoming a film producer at Heyday Films. She is married with two daughters and lives in London. The Very Though of You is her first novel.

I Gave My Heart to Know This by Ellen Baker found its way to my doorstep through Random House. Slated for release in August, Baker’s second novel  is initially set in 1944 and centers around three women who are working at a Wisconsin shipyard while the men they love are sent to Europe to fight the war.  Five decades later, one of the women’s great-granddaughters, Julia, returns to Wisconsin and begins to uncover the dark secrets which changed her family forever. Author Fannie Flagg says the novel is “a great, big, rich and romantic slice of  World War II history.

Ellen Baker’s debut novel, Keeping the House, won the 2008 Great Lakes Book Award for Fiction and was named one of the Chicago Tribune‘s favorite books of the year. Baker has worked as a costumed living history interpreter, a curator of a World War II museum, and as a bookseller and event coordinator at an independent bookstore. She lives in Minnesota. Read more about Baker and her work by visiting the author’s website.

Random House sent me a finished hardcover of The Homecoming of Samuel Lake by Jenny Wingfield for a TLC Book Tour in which I am participating in August. The publisher describes the book as follows: “Every first Sunday in June, members of the colorful Moses clan gather for their annual reunion at “the old home place,” a sprawling hundred-acre farm in Arkansas. Samuel Lake, a handsome young preacher with a huge heart and strong convictions, has brought his wife, Willadee Moses, and their three young children to the festivities. For the children it’s a time to vacation away from the prying eyes of their father’s congregation, and for Willadee it’s a chance to be with her beloved mother and father. But tragedy strikes, jolting the family to their core and setting the stage for a summer of crisis and profound change.” Lauded as a book with unforgettable characters, this is a novel I hope to love.

Jenny Wingfield lives in Texas with her rescued dogs, cats, and horses. Her screenplay credits include The Man in the Moon and The Outsider. The Homecoming of Samuel Lake is her first novel.

The good folks from Atria sent me a finished hardcover edition of The Map of Time by Felix J. Palma. This book is a beautiful example of why I love physical books…not only is the cover amazing, but the end papers in this book are works of art. The novel is a little outside my normal reading, but it looks fascinating. Set in Victorian England with characters both real and imagined, the book involves intertwined plots in which a skeptical H.G. Wells is called upon to investigate allegations of time travel. At risk are literary classics such as Dracula and The Time Machine. The central question of the novel: “What happens if we change history?” Critics are raving about this book, calling it brilliant and a masterpiece.Read more about the novel by visiting the dedicate website (which is itself a worthwhile experience!).

Felix J. Palma has been acclaimed as one of the most brilliant and original storytellers of our time. He has enjoyed hundreds of awards for his short stories. The Map of Time won the 2008 Ateneo de Sevilla XL Prize, and is now being published in more than 30 countries. He has also worked as a columnist, literary critic and has given creative writing workshops. He lives in Spain. Read more about Palma and his work by visiting the author’s website.

The Knowledge of Good and Evil by Glenn Kleier arrived from Tor/Forge. This suspense-thriller (being released tomorrow) is also a bit outside my usual reading and wrestles with the question: What lies Beyond, and what does it hold for humanity? Inspired by a true story of the death of Father Thomas Merton who claimed to have looked into the Mind of God and escaped with a secret, The Knowledge of Good and Evil centers around a psychologist named Angela Weber who is searching for Father Merton’s journal and the secrets to the afterlife. Described as “fast-paced” and “provocative,” Kleier’s latest novel “probes the darkest corners of the Great Unknown, exposing humanity’s deepest fears and challenging its most-cherished beliefs.

Glenn Kleier is the former co-founder and president of a national marketing and communications firm who now pursues his passion for writing full-time. He is the author of the internationally acclaimed thriller, The Last Day. He lives in Louisville, Kentucky. Read more about Kleier and his work by visiting the author’s website.

Did any wonderful books find their way into YOUR home this week?

17 Comments

  1. July 18, 2011    

    I’m really curious about Ellen Baker’s new book. I enjoyed her first.

  2. July 18, 2011    

    I read Next to Love a few weeks ago and I really enjoyed it, hope you do too!

  3. July 18, 2011    

    Mary: It looks great, doesn’t it?

    Anne: Oh, good to hear! I hope I like it too 😉

  4. July 18, 2011    

    You received so many great-sounding books this week! I really want to read The Map of Time — I’m especially looking forward to your review of that one. Enjoy!

  5. July 18, 2011    

    The Ellen Feldman book sounds very interesting! Always wonder if prior Orange Prize nominees will get another nod in the upcoming year.

    I read the Rosie Allison book. I liked it, though I wasn’t sure if it was short list worthy. I will be curious to read your thoughts.

  6. July 18, 2011    

    Nice mailbox!! I won a copy of the Feldman book and am awaiting its arrival with bated breath. And I think the cover of I GAVE MY HEART TO KNOW THIS is just gorgeous! Hope you enjoy all your new reads!

  7. July 18, 2011    

    I Gave My Heart to Know This looks like a book I would enjoy. I’ll be putting it on my wish list. I have the first two books and think they look good as well. I hope you enjoy all your new reads.

  8. July 18, 2011    

    I read your title and I thought, it can’t be July 18th all ready! It is, though… Crazy!

    Enjoy your new books!

  9. July 18, 2011    

    They all look amazing! It’ll be hard to decide which one to read first.

  10. July 18, 2011    

    I read Next to Love Saturday and absolutely loved it (I also adored Scottsboro). I hope you like it. The Very Thoughts of You was a thoroughly engaging read too. Enjoy!

  11. July 18, 2011    

    Lots of very good stuff in that mailbox this week. I am really looking forward to read The Map of Time soon, and a lot of your others sound wonderful as well. I hope that you enjoy them all!

  12. kaye kaye
    July 18, 2011    

    The Very Thought of You sounds so wonderful. Enjoy it and all your other new books.

  13. July 18, 2011    

    We have a couple of titles in common…enjoy!

  14. July 18, 2011    

    Fab book selection! Next to Love is one I’ve really had my eye on.

  15. July 18, 2011    

    What a great mailbox! I finished Next to Love last week- it’s excellent. And The Map of Time is a lot of fun. 🙂

  16. July 24, 2011    

    Avis: I’m starting to see some reviews out there for A Map of Time – readers seem to be loving it!

    Jill: I’ve heard some mixed things about Rosie Allison’s book – we’ll see!

    Gwendolyn: I agree about the cover of Baker’s book!

    Beth(Bookaholic): thank you…and for stopping by!

    Kailana: I know – the summer is flying by!!!

    Kathy: Always my biggest dilemma!!!

  17. July 24, 2011    

    Carrie: I hope to read Scottsboro this month – and it is great to know that you loved BOTH her books!

    Heather: I am anxious to read A Map of Time even though it is not the type of book I normally read.

    Kaye: Thank you!

    Staci: That always seems to happen, doesn’t it?!??

    Amused: I agree!

    Carrie K.: Another positive vote on the Feldman title – yay!

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