Monday, January 27, 2014

Mailbox Monday - Gifts and Challenge Books

Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week.  Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.  

It's been a good long while since I did a Mailbox Monday, so I thought I better fill you in on what I've received recently.  

The Daylight Gate, by Jeanette Winterson - this was a Xmas gift from my husband who heard it reviewed on NPR and thought I would like it. Here's what Amazon has to say about it:
After the Gunpowder Plot of 1605, every Catholic conspirator in England fled to a wild, untamed place far from the reach of London law. On Good Friday, 1612, deep in the woods of Pendle Hill, amid baptismal pools and low, thick fog, a gathering of thirteen is interrupted by the local magistrate. Two of their coven have already been imprisoned for witchcraft and are awaiting trial, but those who remain are vouched for by the wealthy and respected Alice Nutter.
Shrouded in mystery and gifted with eternally youthful beauty, Alice is established in Lancashire society and insulated by her fortune. Yet she is also plagued by rumors of a dark and torrid love affair with another woman, the matriarch of the notorious Demdike clan. As those accused of witchcraft retreat into darkness, Alice stands alone as a realm-crosser, a conjurer of powers that will either destroy her or set her free.
Doesn't that sound delicious?  And the cover is marvelous.  I may save this for October reading, or I may disregard my reading plans and just dive in now.

 A Little History of Literature, by John Sutherland - a Xmas present from my brother Mark, who shares a remarkably similar taste in books to me.  Another book I had not heard of, so another blurb from Amazon:

This 'little history' takes on a very big subject: the glorious span of literature from Greek myth to graphic novels, from The Epic of Gilgamesh to Harry Potter. John Sutherland is perfectly suited to the task. He has researched, taught, and written on virtually every area of literature, and his infectious passion for books and reading has defined his own life. Now he guides young readers and the grown-ups in their lives on an entertaining journey 'through the wardrobe' to a greater awareness of how literature from across the world can transport us and help us to make sense of what it means to be human.
 I am so looking forward to reading this--it will be my non-fiction selection after I finish Bill Bryson's absolutely fabulous One Summer: America, 1927.  It will go nicely with my collection of books about books, which includes Lucy Pollard-Gott's The Fictional 100 and Erin Blakemore's The Heroine's Bookshelf.

Narrow Windows Lives - The Industrial Revolution in Lancashire, by Sue Wilkes - a few years ago, I learned about this book from theauthor's website;and I promised myself I would get a copy so that I could read about the world my grandmother left in 1920 when she emigrated to Montreal.  She had grown up working in a factory in Oldham, and though she died before I was born, I've always wondered about her life and times.

Eight Cousins, by Louisa May Alcott - this is on my Back to the Classics reading list for 2014, so I figured I better have a copy on hand.  I enjoyed Little Women so much when I finally read it a few years ago, and my reading about LMA has been so enjoyable.  This book has recently gotten enough rave reviews that I put it on the list. Jane of Lantern Hill, by L.M. Montgomery - I have heard such wonderful things about this book that I wanted to read it and then I up and joined the L.M. Montgomery Reading Challenge to put it offically on the reading list for this year.  I enjoyed The Blue Castle so much, that I wanted to try another non-Anne book.

Inherit the Wind, by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee - the play that became the movie and which is a fictionalized version of the 1925 Scopes "Monkey" trial.  A classic of American theatre, but a classic I've never seen nor read.  Time to remedy that!


  1. I lived in Lancashire for a year- Lancaster, in fact, a couple of years ago! I've been missing it recently as it really was a wonderful little town so Narrow Windows seems like something I might enjoy- thanks for bringing it to my attention!

  2. What great-sounding gifts! Happy reading!

  3. Those sound amazing! I went to ALA which is a library conference this weekend, and brought home too many books! :D

  4. This looks to be a great bunch of books. A little history of Literature seems such a big subject indeed! I see that it is under 300 pages. That does not seem enough. I would almost want to read something longer on this subject.

  5. Some nice books for you. ENJOY your reading week.

    Silver's Reviews
    My Mailbox Monday

  6. Good bunch of books! I hope you enjoy them all!

  7. A mailbox outside your gate or house only means one thing, and that is protection for your packages. With it, you are assured that no one will be able to steal the stuff that you had delivered even if you are not there to personally receive it.

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