Monday, March 21, 2011

Mailbox Monday

Welcome to this week’s edition of Mailbox Monday.

This wonderful weekly meme was started by Marcia at The Printed Page. She now has given it its own blog – and the meme tours from blog host to blog host on a monthly basis.

This month Mailbox Monday is being hosted by Laura at I’m Booking It. Make sure you visit Laura’s blog today and add your link … you’ll also find links to other readers’ mailboxes there.


I've got a particularly toothsome set of books to dazzle you with this week, as my paperbackswap account has been active and a Borders near my house is closing, sending enticing discounts my way.

Daniel Deronda, by George Eliot - I am about halfway done with The Mill on the Floss, and then I have four other Eliot novels before I get to Daniel Deronda, but I have it when I'm ready for it! I've heard such wonderful things about this novel that I am really eager to read it.

Shopgirl, by Steve Martin - the last celebrity-penned fiction I read was by Jimmy Buffet, and it was on the weak side, but this comes highly recommended, so I thought I would pry my mind open and see what writing skills Steve Martin brings to the party.

Fred Harvey Houses of the Southwest, by Richard Melzer - I absolutely love the story of the Harvey Girls and actually started a S&S-based Harvey Girls story years ago. It continues to sit on the shelf and I continue to be interested in this part of Americana. Getting a picture book on the topic can only spur my own writing juices in this direction. At any rate, I can add this to my collection of Harvey Girls books and memorabilia. I actually ate at a Harvey Girls restaurant when I visited Kansas City a few years ago and asked for a menu for my collection.

Pemberley Ranch, by Jack Caldwell - I enjoy Westerns, Austen adaptations, and good writing, and since this P&P-inspired story got good reviews from bloggers I admire, I figured I would give it a whirl.

Cleopatra's Daughter, by Michelle Moran - I entered a bazillion contests when this book came out last year and never won a copy so I decided to part with some hardearned cash for it. I loved Stacy Schiff's bio of Cleopatra that I listened to earlier this year and I liked Moran's Mistress of Rome that I read last year, so this seemed like a good buy.

The Leopard, Guiseppe di Lampedusa - I love Italy, though I've only been to Milan a couple of times on business, I dream of spending quality time there. This novel, set in the 1860's, promises to help me understand the modern incarnation of this ancient place that I want to know on a personal basis. Besides I need a context for the time Robert Browning, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, and their friends and colleagues spent in Italy. I've heard it's beautifully written and trust that nothing is lost in transation.

Ireland, by Frank Delaney - Delaney's current novel, The Matchmaker of Kenmare, has been getting a lot of blogger ink lately, and so I wanted to see what else he had written and lo I discovered this fictionalized account of Irish history. My research on Amazon hooked me with this description:

BBC reporter Delaney's fictionalized history of his native country, an Irish bestseller, is a sprawling, riveting read, a book of stories melding into a novel wrapped up in an Irish history text. In 1951, when Ronan O'Mara is nine, he meets the aging itinerant Storyteller, who emerges out a "silver veil" of Irish mist, hoping to trade a yarn for a hot meal. Welcomed inside, the Storyteller lights his pipe and begins, telling of the architect of Newgrange, who built "a marvelous, immortal structure... before Stonehenge in England, before the pyramids of Egypt," and the dentally challenged King Conor of Ulster, who tried, and failed, to outsmart his wife. The stories utterly captivate the young Ronan ("This is the best thing that ever, ever happened"), and they'll draw readers in, too, with their warriors and kings, drinkers and devils, all rendered cleanly and without undue sentimentality.

Sense and Sensibility, by Jane Austen - I am planning on reading S&S on my upcoming trip to London and didn't want to take the copy from my nice set, so I decided on a Penquin Classics paperback for the trip. I plan to earmark it like crazy because when I get home my regional JASNA group is discussing it on April 10, and I must do well on the quiz!


  1. Happy book haul day! Your mailbox photo is too cute!

    All these books are appealing-- it would be hard to decide which to read first. I love anything Austen so would probably lean that direction.

    The Harvey Girls are interesting too though. I love the Judy Garland musical The Harvey Girls. Are you a fan of the film?

    Come visit if you have time.

  2. Jane, you hit the jackpot last week! enjoy

  3. I see great books here! Look forward to read your reviews! As usual, for the some weeks, I got none!

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

  4. What a wonderful blog! Thanks for visiting mine. This is a treaure trove of classics.

    I'm your newest follower:)

  5. Haha I also tried really hard to win Cleopatra's Daughter ... in the end I somehow settled on reading Nefertiti instead - which was really good. Have you read it?