Mailbox Monday – August 8, 2011 – AND a 2 Book Giveaway

Welcome to this week’s edition of Mailbox Monday. This month Mailbox Monday is being hosted by Staci at Life in the Thumb.

Make sure to visit Staci’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.

This is what arrived at my house this week:

Harper Collins sent me an Advance Readers Edition of Irma Voth by Miriam Toews (due for release in September). Described as a “novel of great humanity written with dry wit, edgy humor and emotional poignancy,” this novel centers around a nineteen year old Mennonite woman living in Mexico. Irma is cast out of her family for marrying a young Mexican she barely knows and finds herself in an unsatisfying marriage with her faith in God damaged. Irma Voth is the story of a young woman’s quest “to discover all that she may become in the unexpectedly rich and confounding world that lies beyond the stifling, observant community she knows.” Watch the author talk about the book:

Miriam Toews was born in a the small Mennonite town of Teinbach, Manitoba. She has published four novels and a memoir. Toews has won numerous literary awards in Canada, including the Governor General’s Award and the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize for her body of work. She lives in Toronto.

Meryl Zegarek sent me a copy of Orange Prize nominee Repeat It Today With Tears by Anne Peile (due for release through Serpent’s Tail in September). This book was very controversial when it was first published in the UK. It begins with the line: “The first time I kissed my father on the mouth it was the Easter holiday.” Susanna is obsessed with the father she has never known and when she discovers his address, she goes to find him. This novel is about what happens next. Described as “startling,” “elegant,” disquieting,” and “memorable,” Repeat it Today With Tears is destined to be a book readers will be talking about.

Anne Peile Anne Peile was born in London; she has lived in the South West and Belfast and worked as a cook, writing emails for the BBC and in educational support. She works for a London bookstore. Repeat It Today With Tears is her debut novel, and was longlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction 2011.

Also from Meryl Zegarek:

An Advance Readers Edition of Red-Robed Priestess by Elizabeth Cunningham (due for release by Consortium in November). This is the fourth and final installation of the Maeve Chronicles, a series which recounts the Passion story through the eyes of Mary Magdalen, known as Maeve. The books are all designed to stand alone. In Red-Robed Priestess, Maeve returns to the British Isles to seek her first-born daughter who was taken from her by the druids more than forty years before. The novel is described as “an adventure story” which carries the reader “through a world of fantasy and intrigue.

Elizabeth Cunningham is a graduate of The New Seminary and ordained as an interfaith minister and counselor. Her other novels include The Passion of Mary Magdalen, Magdalen Rising: The Beginning, Bright Dark Madonna, The Return of the Goddess, and The Wild Mother. She lives with her husband in the Hudson Valley. Read more about Cunningham and her work by visiting the author’s website.

A hard cover edition of The Monastery of the Heart: An Invitation to a Meaningful Life by Joan Chittister (released through Bluebridge in May). This book is marketed as “a spiritual guide for all of us who are seeking a more purposeful life today, in a time of social upheavals and global transformations.” Chittister builds on the ancient Rule of Benedict to show new ways of meaningful living. Read more about the book on its dedicated website.

Joan Chittister is an internationally known author and lecturer and is the executive director of Benetvision, a resource and research center for contemporary spirituality. She is the past president of the Conference of American Benedictine Prioresses and the Leadership Conference of Women Religious. She currently serves as c0-chair of the Global Peace Initiative of Women. She lives in Erie, Pennsylvania.


Due to a very high volume of review books, I am happy today to offer two of my Mailbox Monday books for giveaway: Red-Robed Priestess AND The Monastery of the Heart.


  • This is an INTERNATIONAL giveaway.
  • To enter, leave me a comment on this post telling me you would like to be entered…and letting me know which book you would like to win (pick ONE).
  • This is a quick giveaway…I’ll close comments tomorrow (August 9th) at 5:00 pm, and draw two winners on Wednesday, August 10th.
  • The winners will be announced on my blog and I will also send them an email.

That’s it! Good luck!


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  1. I’ve never heard of these books.

    Here is mine

  2. (No need to enter me in the giveaway, my mailbox also overfloweth).

    I also received Repeat It Today With Tears, and I remember reading a review of it somewhere. It certainly sounds interesting!

    Enjoy your reading.

  3. Interesting stuff! Monastery of the Heart looks like a timely read. Enjoy your books!

  4. Miriam Toews is an author I want to love, but have only just ended up enjoying. I never wind up keeping her books after I read them.

    • kaye on August 8, 2011 at 03:12

    Interesting group of books. Have a great week and happy reading!

    • Geraldine on August 8, 2011 at 03:32

    Thanks for the opportunity to win one of these great books and please enter me in the draw.
    Monastery of the Heart would be my pick.

    • pearl on August 8, 2011 at 05:46

    What a great choice. I would enjoy reading The Monastery of The Heart. many thanks.

  5. The small town my in-laws live in has a large Mennonite community, so Irma Roth sounds fascinating to me. I’ll be watching for your review.

  6. These all look so good! Especially the one about the Mennonite woman. I hope you enjoy them!

  7. I’ve read a few of Toews books…and “dry wit” is right. Her books are weird, in a good way.

  8. What a mailbox!! Happy Reading!

    Here is my Monday: Mailbox/What Are You Reading?/Musings post!

    • Liz V. on August 8, 2011 at 09:15

    Please enter my name for The Monastery of the Heart.


  9. No need to enter me (I am also experiencing a high volume of review books!), but I hope you enjoy Repeat It Today With Tears as much as I did. I’m thrilled it’s getting a U.S. release and look forward to hearing your thoughts.

  10. I haven’t read any of Miriam Toews books yet, though I keep meaning to! Repeat It Today with Tears sounds a bit disturbing, but interesting too. I look forward to your review.

    No need to enter me in the giveaway!

  11. Wow, you got some great books! Yes, please enter me for Red-Robed Priestess. Thanks for the giveaway!

    • Wendy on August 9, 2011 at 06:44

    Bluestocking: Well, now you have!! 🙂

    Laura: I’m looking forward to Peile’s book – very controversial from what I understand.

    Pam: thank you!

    Kailana: I am looking forward to the Toew’s book – an author I’ve never read…sorry you are not a huge fan (although it sounds like you like her).

    Kaye: Thank you!

    Geraldine: I’ve got your entry 🙂

    Pearl: You’re welcome!

    Kathy: I think Irma Roth looks really interesting too!

    • Wendy on August 9, 2011 at 06:46

    Heather: Thanks! I think Irma Roth looks good too!

    Jill: “Weird in a good way” – sounds wonderful!!! 🙂

    Gautami: Thanks!

    Liz: Got it!

    Carrie: Good to know you enjoyed the Peile book! I’m excited to read that one.

    Avis: I agree, Repeat it With Tears sounds disturbing – but it piqued my interest!

    Michelle: Thanks for entering the give!

  12. Coming into this late. Just got back from Singapore. Haven’t heard of them either but would like the Monastery of the Heart one. Thank you for sharing.

    • Staci on August 10, 2011 at 14:14

    All of your books look great and that is one strange cover for the Red-Robed Priestess!! 😀

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