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Mailbox Monday – October 10, 2011


Welcome to this week’s edition of Mailbox Monday. This month Mailbox Monday is being hosted by Serena at Savvy Verse & Wit.

Make sure to visit Serena’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.

Here is what arrived at MY house this week:

Via Shelf Awareness, Alfred A. Knopf sent me a beautiful finished hard cover copy of Into The Silence: The Great War, Mallory, and the Conquest of Everest by Wade Davis (being released this month). The book is based on more than a decade of prodigious research in British, Canadian, and European archives, and months in the field in Nepal and Tibet. Davis re-creates British climbers’ epic attempts to scale Mount Everest in the early 1920s.  Davis shows how the exploration originated in nineteenth-century imperial ambitions, and he takes the reader “far beyond the Himalayas to the trenches of World War I, where Mallory and his generation found themselves and their world utterly shattered.  In the wake of the war that destroyed all notions of honor and decency, the Everest expeditions, led by these scions of Britain’s elite, emerged as a symbol of national redemption and hope.

Wade Davis is a scientist, anthropologist, and writer who received his Ph.D. in ethnobotany from Harvard University and has spent twenty-five years studying the plants, psychotropic drugs, and ceremonial rituals of indigenous cultures around the world. He is the author of the international bestseller The Serpent and the Rainbow, One River and five other books. He has written for Outside, National Geographic, Fortune, and Condé Nast Traveler. Read more about Davis and his work by visiting the author’s website.

Jocelyn Kelley of Kelley & Hall sent me The Hazards of Hunting While Heartbroken by Mari Passananti (released July 2011 through Rutland Square Press). The novel features character Zoe Clark who thinks her world will implode when her fiance dumps her on the eve of their wedding and she is thrust back into the unpredictable New York dating scene. Described as “hugely appealing,” the book is a modern day coming-of-age story for women.

Mari Passananti has practiced law and worked in a major legal search firm. She graduated from the University of Rhode Island and Georgetown University Law Center, and now lives in Boston. The Hazards of Hunting While Heartbroken is her first novel. To learn more about Passananti, follow the author’s blog.

Michael Joseph Publicity/Penguin UK sent me a copy of The Girl on the Cliffby Lucinda Riley (due for release in the UK later this month). “Could a secret from 1914 end a century of heartache?” In the latest novel by internationally bestselling British author Lucina Riley, the past is set to repeat its sorrows. From a bittersweet romance in wartime London to a troubled relationship in contemporary New York, two family’s pasts have been intertwined for a century. Described as “haunting, uplifting and deeply moving,” the novel tells a story of triumph of hope over loss.

Lucinda Riley’s first novel, Hothouse Flower, was as a Richard and Judy’s Book Club pick and sold more than 100,000 copies in the UK alone. Riley was born in Ireland, but later moved to England where she became an actress. Her novels have a central theme of modern women discovering their lives through examination of their pasts. She currently lives with her husband and four children in Norfolk, UK and France. Read more about Riley and her work by visiting the author’s website.

Finally, I was thrilled to win a $25 gift certificate to Barnes & Noble through a giveaway at Wallace’s blog Unputdownables. I bought two books with my gift certificate:

We the Animals by Justin Torres is a book which has been getting a lot of buzz around the blog-o-sphere. It went on my wish list when I first read the blurb about the novel. Published at the end of August through Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, this is Torres’s debut novel. Check out this NPR interview with the author and read an excerpt from the book.

Justin Torres was raised in upstate New York. His work has appeared in Granta, Tin House, and Glimmer Train. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, he was the recipient of a Rolón Fellowship in Literature from United States Artists and is a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford.

On Canaan’s Side by Sebastian Barry is another book which has been on my radar ever since I learn it was being published this fall. Recently published through Viking/Penguin, the novel was long listed for the 2011 Booker Prize. The novel is narrated in the first person of Lilly Bere. Lilly revisits her past, going back to the moment she was forced to flee Ireland, at the end of the First World War, and continues her tale in America, a world filled with both hope and danger. The book spans nearly seven decades, from the Great Depression to World War II and the Vietnam War.

Check out this video of Barry talking about the book:

Sebastian Barry was born in Dublin in 1955. He is a playwright and poet, as well as a novelist. His novel A Long Long Way (2005) and The Secret Scripture (2008) were both shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. He has won the Irish-America Fund Literary Award, The Christopher Ewart-Biggs Prize, the London Critics Circle Award, The Kerry Group Irish Fiction Prize, and Costa Awards for Best Novel and Book of the Year. He lives in Wicklow with his wife Ali, and three children, Merlin, Coral, and Tobias.

Did any fantastic books find their way to YOUR home this week?


11 Comments

  1. October 10, 2011    

    I’ll be watching for your review of We the Animals – the ending of that book stunned me.

  2. October 10, 2011    

    On Canaan’s Side sounds very good! I think it might be a must read for me.

  3. Beachreader's Gravatar Beachreader
    October 10, 2011    

    I just picked up We the Animals. I think I may start it this week.

  4. October 10, 2011    

    I have got to get my hands on that Everest book, Mike would LOVE it!

  5. October 10, 2011    

    The Hazards of… sounds really good! So do the other books in your mailbox. Hope you enjoy them all.

  6. October 10, 2011    

    The Girl on the Cliff looks especially good. Enjoy your books!

  7. October 10, 2011    

    I have The Hazards of Hunting While Heartbroken too – I am looking forward to comparing notes with you!

  8. October 11, 2011    

    The Everest book is the one for me as well.

  9. October 11, 2011    

    I have also been hearing a lot about We the Animals, and will be curious to see what you think of it. On Canaan’s Side also looks really interesting. I hope that you enjoy all of them!

  10. October 11, 2011    

    These are all new to me…except We the Animals. Enjoy your reading.

  11. October 11, 2011    

    Enjoy your new books! I have Into the Silence, too.

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