Sunday, December 12, 2010

Mailbox Monday - December 13th

Mailbox Monday's December host is:  Lady Q @ Let Them Read Books.

Mailbox Monday is an opportunity to share the books that arrive by mail at your house during the previous week. Here is what I received:


 The Quilt and Other Stories and Sanshiro came from my Secret Santa EM along with some green teas, a tea ball, bookmarks and Christmas Card. I was so thrilled as I have been wanting to read more Japanese Literature and of course, I love tea! Thanks so much, I appreciate your thoughtfulness.

I also received Lake of Dreams; Kim Edwards from Viking. - When Lucy Jarrett returns to her childhood home in Lake of Dreams, N.Y., she learns that her brother, Blake, who's gone into the family business, and his girlfriend hope to drain a controversial marsh to construct a high-end property. Meanwhile, Lucy, who remains haunted by her father's death in a fishing accident years earlier, reconnects with her first boyfriend, Keegan Fall, now a successful glass artist. But when she sees something familiar in the pattern of one of his pieces, and discovers a hidden note in her childhood home, Lucy finally digs into her family's mysterious past. Unfortunately, the lazy expository handling of information mutes the intrigue, and readers will see the reignited spark between Keegan and Lucy coming for miles. All loose ends eventually come together with formulaic ease to rock the family boat. Edwards is at her best when highlighting the strain between her characters.


My Reading Life; Pat Conroy (memoir) from Random House  - The strengths and weakness of Conroy's novels--both his beguiling narrative voice and his often overly emotional language--are present in this slim paean to the books and book people that have shaped his life. Conroy attributes his love of literature to his mother, who nurtured his passion for reading and at the same time educated herself by studying his school books. "I tremble with gratitude as I honor her name," he writes. Conroy's favorite novel was Gone with the Wind, which his mother read to him when he was five years old, and it made a novelist of him, he asserts. Conroy pays tribute to the men who were substitute father figures and mentors, among them a legendary book rep who chastised him for his "overcaffeinated prose." Breakneck contrasts exist throughout: on the one hand, Conroy sketches concisely the venom of Southern white bigotry; on the other hand, he allows humor to bubble up through dialogue, and riffs the English language. While some readers will not progress beyond the fustian prose, Conroy's legion of fans will doubtlessly bond with the author as he earnestly explores the role of books in providing him with inspiration and solace.

The Matchmaker of Kenmare; Frank Delaney (Random House) - “And there’s a legend—she had only vague details—that all couples who are meant to marry are connected by an invisible silver cord which is wrapped around their ankles at birth, and in time the matchmaking gods pull those cords tighter and tighter and draw the couple slowly toward one another until they meet.” So says Miss Kate Begley, Matchmaker of Kenmare, the enigmatic woman Ben MacCarthy meets in the summer of 1943.

As World War II rages on, Ben remains haunted by the mysterious disappearance of his wife, the actress Venetia Kelly. Searching for purpose by collecting stories for the Irish Folklore Commission, he travels to a remote seaside cottage to profile the aforementioned Matchmaker of Kenmare.

Ben is immediately captivated by the forthright Miss Begley, who is remarkably self-assured in her instincts but provincial in her experience. Miss Begley is determined to see that Ben moves through his grief—and a powerful friendship is forged along the way.

But when Charles Miller, a striking American military intelligence officer, arrives on the scene, Miss Begley develops an intense infatuation and looks to make a match for herself. Miller needs a favor, but it will be dangerous. Under the cover of their neutrality as Irish citizens, Miss Begley and Ben travel to London and effectively operate as spies. As they are drawn more deeply and painfully into the conflict, both discover the perils of neutrality—in both love and war.

Steeped in colorful history, The Matchmaker of Kenmare is a stirring story of friendship and sacrifice. New York Times bestselling author Frank Delaney has written a lush and surprising novel, rich as myth, tense as a thriller, and like all grand tales—harrowing, sometimes hilarious, and heartbreaking.

Hope that your weekly mailbox made you happy.

39 comments:

  1. Nice gifts from your secret santa, Diane!

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  2. I'm loving your mailbox!!! Enjoy!

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  3. Lake of Dreams looks good! I loved The Memory Keeper's Daughter, so I'm sure I would love this one.

    I'd also like to read the Pat Conroy memoir, as I've so enjoyed his fiction.

    Here's my Monday:

    http://laurelrainsnow.wordpress.com/2010/12/13/monday-memes-mailbox-what-are-you-reading-dec-13/

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  4. I really enjoyed Pat Conroy's My Reading Life! It has added a whole new layer to my love Gone with the Wind (what it meant to the South) and made me want to finally tackle War and Peace (he claims to have read it 3X).

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  5. The Frank Delaney book is something I would like to read myself.

    I have the Wild Irish this time in my Mailbox so something in common!

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  6. I have to admit that I'm jealous that you got Lake of Dreams. Enjoy your new books.

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  7. What a lovely Secret Santa gift, and the fact that it came with tea is just wonderful! I am also excited that you got the new Pat Conroy, as I am a big fan and really want to read that one. Enjoy all your new reads over there!

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  8. Oh, The matchmaker of Kenmare sounds like a good one! I think Conroy's memoir looks good, too. Thanks for stopping by! Happy reading!

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  9. I am always amazed, you must have one big mailbox!

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  10. I've been seeing Pat Conroy's book everywhere. I really want to read it! Enjoy your books!

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  11. As always, a full and diverse mailbox for you.

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  12. I loved Pat Conroy's book -- hope you do too, and I like Frank Delaney; will be looking for your review of that one.
    Hope you enjoy your books :)

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  13. Enjoy your books. P.S. I love the artsy cats and mailbox picture that heads your MM post.

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  14. What a great bunch of books! I really enjoyed My Reading Life! But you've got me intrigued with The Matchmaker of Kemare... I'm going to have to make a note to put that in my TBR pile soon! Thanks for sharing!

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  15. Great mailbox - love the sound of The Matchmaker of Kenmare - look forward to your review!

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  16. I have always wondered about Pat Conroy!

    Great books, enjoy!

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  17. What a wonderful mailbox you have!!

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  18. Your secret santa sure was sweet! You got some terrific books this week, Diane. Enjoy them all!

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  19. I just love Pat Conroy... hope you enjoy his new book!

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  20. I have Conroy's book that I must read yet! Happy reading this week!

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  21. These are all new to me! Happy reading! My mailbox is at The Crowded Leaf.

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  22. Look at all of that loot! I have My Reading Life coming to me from a giveaway and I'm looking forward to it! Here's my Mailbox: Coffee and a Book Chick -- Mailbox Monday...

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  23. I have "Lake of Dreams" as well and can't wait to get to it! Enjoy all of your new books.

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  24. The Matchmaker of Kenmare sounds really good! I've seen the title around, but hadn't read the description before.

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  25. Wow so many good books! Luck you. Hope you enjoy them,
    Natalie ƸӜƷ
    www.thebookinn.net

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  26. I received for review The Job by Craig Davis from the author.

    Joe B. enjoys the sweet life as a vice president at a huge conglomerate, Universal Whirligig. But along with the Big Boss' favor, he has also gained the notice of a bitter human resources manager, Luci Fernandez. Hateful of any success but her own, Luci manages to get him demoted to the mail room! A rollicking comedy of errors follows as Joe B. tries to figure out what's happened to him, and attempts to get a meeting with the Big Boss. Joe B.'s great expectations have taken a dickens of a twist. His family is forced to make a series of hard adjustments, and he gets only lame comforts from a string of the worst friends anyone could have. Will he finally track down the cause of his frustrations? Or will he only learn a lesson about what it is to be the boss, and that what is apparent is often only a shadow of a greater ongoing good? "The Job: Based on a True Story (I Mean, This is Bound to Have Happened Somewhere) is a modern parable of ancient troubles and truths.

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  27. The Conroy book looks really interesting! Lovely gifts from Em as well -- I love the pairing of book and tea!

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  28. Excellent "mailbox" and wonderful Secret Santa gifts! I hope you enjoy it all, Diane. :)

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  29. These all sound very good. I wouldn't know which one to start with first.

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  30. Great stuff Diane! I have Delaney's book as well and it sure does sound fantastic. Happy Reading!

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  31. That's a great list of books! Lake of Dreams - I still haven't read The Memory Keeper's Daughter, and it's sitting right near the top of my TBR shelf! The Matchmaker of Kenmare sounds good, too, and what a great gift from your Secret Santa! Enjoy all of the new reads!

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  32. What a great gift from the Secret Santa. Lucky girl and I can see someone who'll be sipping the tea and thinking... "ahhhh what a beautiful book and surprise."

    Enjoy these great books :)

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  33. Sounds like a nice selection - happy reading.

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  34. Yay for your mailbox! I love this time of year and seeing everything people get from their Secret Santas.

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  35. My Reading Life sounds very good - I just read a review of it last night.

    Sue

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  36. What a great gift! Looking forward to your thoughts on the Delaney book.

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  37. I am so excited about the Matchmaker of Kenmare! I was in Kerry last summer for a wedding and we had dinner in Kenmare one night - it was so charming. I like Delaney's writing so that combined with the setting sounds like a winner to me!

    Enjoy your books!

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