Sunday, March 6, 2011

Mailbox Monday ~ March 7th


Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that that arrived during the previous week.  Created by Marcia @ The Printed Page, for the month of March, the host is: Laura of I'm Booking It.


(Persephone Purchases)


  • The Love of My Youth; Mary Gorden (amazon vine) -
    Thoughtful and moving, Gordon's latest captures the ardor and vulnerability of young love and the cautious circumspection of middle age. Miranda and Adam began a love affair in high school that endured through college only to end in a painful betrayal. When a mutual friend brings them together in present-day Rome, they haven't seen each other in more than three decades. Adam's ambitions to be a concert pianist never came to pass, and Miranda, once convinced that political activism could change the world, is now an epidemiologist. Both have married and raised children, but Rome still holds passionate memories for them. Though wary, they meet for daily walks, and Gordon's vividly detailed descriptions make Rome a palpable presence. Miranda and Adam tentatively reveal to each other the events of their lives, touching on aspirations, disillusionments, ideals, and desires, and these conversations set the pace of Gordon's novel. Only when Miranda is about to leave Rome are they able to fully express their emotions and achieve catharsis. Gordon's (Pearl) restraint is admirable, gradually exposing the differences in character that spelled the inevitable demise of this relationship. An accumulation of detail breathes life into her characters, and the writer's affection for this beloved, eternal city is endearing.
  • Funeral for a Dog; Thomas Pletzinger WW Norton) - When we first meet Daniel Mandelkern, an ethnologist moonlighting as a journalist for his newspaper editor wife, it's through a series of postcards that the reader will spend the rest of this vibrant, intricate novel untangling. Dispatched to profile children's book author Dirk Svensson, who reportedly lives with his three-legged dog near Milan, Mandelkern is nonplussed with his assignment but anxious to escape his wife. What unfolds, through flashbacks, Mandelkern's observations, and excerpts from Svensson's unpublished memoir, is a complex story about how people deal with love and loss--though it doesn't hurt to remember what Svensson's old friend and lover, says: "stories are one third truth, one third fiction and one third the attempt to glue the other two with words." Pletzinger does an admirable job of revealing intriguing characters without being heavy-handed or coy, and the story he tells is smart and well paced, no small feat considering the large scope and the messiness of the lives chronicled. It's a smart and rewarding debut marked by accomplished writing, a slick translation, and intelligent takes on the absurdities of contemporary life.
  • Amaryllis in Blueberry; Christina Meldrum (Simon and Schuster) - In Meldrum's intoxicating first adult novel (after 2010's Madapple) a family undertakes West African missionary work only to find its members profoundly transformed. Polish-American pathologist Dick Slepy lives with his bohemian wife, Christina "Seena," in Danish Landing, Mich. They have four daughters, each following the other by two years. There's pretty Mary Grace, now 18. Mary Catherine is "always-obedient" and pious, whereas Mary Tessa is a "trouble-maker-in-training," and the precocious Amaryllis, their youngest at 11, is an "emotional synesthete," who tastes, smells, and otherwise "consumes" the pain, rage, love, or joy of others, and is suspiciously dark-featured. Fearing that his wife is having an affair, Dick seeks the council of his local priest, Father Amadi, who suggests the Slepys take a mission to West Africa to help his nephew, Mawuli, run an aid organization. They go, but the mission is anything but the salve Dick had hoped for, and one event after another—including unplanned pregnancies, accusations of molestation, the discovery of affairs, attempted murder, and Seena being tried in a local court—shove the family into deep crisis. With every chapter, Meldrum jumps viewpoints and shifts time and space (between Michigan and West Africa in the summer and fall of 1976), creating a momentum that masks a lack of imagination. Yet her combination of coming-of-age and culture clash narratives has a seductive intensity.
  • Women Food and God; Geneen Roth (Simon and Schuster) - No matter how sophisticated or wealthy or broke or enlightened you are, how you eat tells all. After three decades of studying, teaching and writing about our compulsions with food, bestselling author Geneen Roth adds a powerful new dimension to her work in Women Food and God. She begins with her most basic concept: The way you eat is inseparable from your core beliefs about being alive. Your relationship with food is an exact mirror of your feelings about love, fear, anger, meaning, transformation and, yes, even God.
    A timeless and seminal work, Women Food and God shows how going beyond the food and the feelings takes you deeper into realms of spirit and soul—to the bright center of your own life.

47 comments:

  1. So far have only read one Persephone and thar was Miss Pettigrew lives for a day.

    must read more of them

    carol

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  2. You've given me some lovely books to read. I have become a veritable reading machine since discovering your blog. THANK YOU! :)))))

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  3. You got some nice ones this week!

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  4. I so want to read Amaryllis in Blueberry because I have heard such good things about it. I hope you enjoy it and all your new books!

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  5. So funny...this week I bought the last three Persephones you listed in this post as well. Perhaps we should be banned from future Persephone reading events as they only fuel the fire?

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  6. What a great haul of books! I recently finished Mariana and loved it and am coveting your copy of Saplings. Mariana was simple on the surface but I loved the way it was a fictional turn on the Tennyson poem. So moving! Happy reading!

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  7. I am so excited that you have received Good Evening, Mrs. Craven -- I absolutely loved it, and am looking forward to your review, Diane.

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  8. Oh my, those Persephone books are gorgeous!

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  9. I'm in love with your Persephone purchases...I'm thinking of buying 2 for my birthday...which ones would you recommend??? I'm still waiting for Miss Pettigrew to come in from a library request I made so cross that one off...BTW..you recommended that one to me!!

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  10. Wow those Persephone covers are just gorgeous!

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  11. The top four covers are beautiful!!

    http://web.me.com/bluestocking_bb/The_Bluestocking_Guide/Inklings/Entries/2011/3/6_Monday_Morning_Update_81.html

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  12. Great-looking books...the Mary Gordon is one I'd like to read. I've read and enjoyed several of her books.

    Hope you enjoy them all!

    Here's MY MONDAY MEMES POST

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  13. I have some Persephone books on my wishlist. The covers are so pretty!
    I want to read Amaryllis in Blueberry since it's been compared The Poisonwood Bible.

    Happy Reading!

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  14. I'm looking forward to the Amaryllis in Blueberry.

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  15. Wow! These are all new titles to me, and they look amazing! I hope you have time to curl up and enjoy them all! You can check out my mailbox over here: http://blog.juliealindsey.com/

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  16. The covers for the Persephone books are wonderful. I'm always amazed every time I pick up a book for the cover alone. Happy reading and have a great week.

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  17. What a great lot of books! I love the look of all of the Persephone titles, too! I have Amaryllis in Blueberry in the review pile; it looks SO good! Enjoy your new reads!

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  18. Your Persephone purchases are killing me! I really want to buy but I don't even know where to start.

    The Love of My Youth sounds amazing and I really want to read Amaryllis in Blueberry. I hope you enjoy everything!

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  19. Oh wow, I didn't know that Saplings was currently in print! I'll have to get that!

    Enjoy all of your books!

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  20. Some gorgeous books here. I have read just one Mollie Panter Brown - it was wonderful.

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  21. All these look good – enjoy! I've read good reviews for Amarylis in Blueberry - it is a particularly appealing cover.

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  22. Yay look at all of those Persephones. I hope you love Saplings as much as I did.

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  23. Hope you like Amaryllis in Blueberry - I loved how the story unfolded.

    Have a great week!

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  24. The Love of My Youth sounds wonderful -- can't wait to read your review!

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  25. Sorry, I had to giggle at Saplings, I've met some in that category!

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  26. Great books! I really liked Amaryllis in Blueberry. Hope you will too.

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  27. I really want to read Amaryllis in Blueberry and Funeral for a Dog. The others sounds great, as well. Happy reading.

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  28. Great books, want to read "Amarillys...

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  29. Those Persephone covers are gorgeous! The artwork is beautiful! I hope you enjoy Amaryllis in Blueberry as much as I did. I found it to be riveting!

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  30. Some great choices. I keep hearing of Persephone books and must make the effort to read some. Happy reading.

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  31. Amaryllis sounds like a nice read! You got a fair share of books there! Hope you enjoy.

    Take a look at what's In My Mailbox this week.

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  32. Hello Diane,

    What a fantastic selection of books this week, I just love the cover art of the 'Persephone' collection, now I can see why people rave about them so much.

    Your other authors are all new to me, but I really like the sound of 'The Love Of My Youth' and Amaryllis In Blueberry'. Two definites for my wish list.

    Thanks for the recommendations.

    Yvonne

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  33. The Persephone books are great! I've read a few and everyone one makes me want to read more. I hope you enjoy The Making of the Marchioness by Frances Hodgson Burnett. I'm only familiar with her from The Secret Garden which I loved. Monica Dickens' books all sound wonderful, too!

    The Love of My Youth by Mary Gordon sounds very good. I've always liked her books.

    Geneen Roth's book sounds interesting. I read a few of her books many years ago. They're intriguing.

    Enjoy, Diane!

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  34. All 4 that you received this week are books I will want to read. Enjoy your reading.

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  35. Love the covers from the Persephone Purchases. Very avant garde.

    You're so lucky you got the Amaryllis!

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  36. I love it when I find a new title - I'm adding The Love of my Youth to my wish list! Have a great week, Diane!

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  37. The Love of My Youth and Women, Food, and God are of interest to me, so I especially look forward to reading your posts on those two books.

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  38. I want to come over and steal those Persephones! :)

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  39. Okay, just looking at those book covers made me want your life. I was so drawn in by the Amaryllis in Blueberry cover, but it sounds almost like a copy of The Poisonwood Bible. A missionary with four daughters -- exact same scenario. And how can anyone measure up to Barbara Kingsolver?

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  40. Look at those gorgeous Persephone covers!

    Noel Streatfeild ... as in DANCING SHOES?! Who knew?! (not I!)

    ack, sorry for all the over-enthusiastic exclamation marks

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  41. Great "mailbox" this week--enjoy!!

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  42. Lovely mailbox this week.

    The Persephone covers are beautiful. Amaryllis is on my radar to read and the others are new to me.

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  43. Those Persephone covers are absolutely GORGEOUS! I simply must start visiting them.

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  44. I love the covers of the first four!

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  45. wonderful mailbox! happy reading ;)

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  46. You had a great week in books. Jealous about the Persephone books. Happy reading!

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