Monday, November 16, 2009

Mailbox Monday (11-16-09 edition)

    Mailbox Monday is brought to us by The Printed Page. In my mailbox last week I got:


    Firstly let me say that way back in May, I won a pack of books from Nicole of Linus's Blanket. After a few months, I found that I had never received those books, nor had I received some other books. I began to be concerned that perhaps I had a problem with my mail (like someone stealing packages) or something. So I contacted a few of the people from whom I'd won the books to let them know that I'd never received them, and to double-check the mailing address that they'd sent to (as one book that made it to me almost didn't make it, since the address was put down incorrectly. Luckily a notice from UPS made it to me when the book didn't, so I was able to call them and give them the correct address). Well, Nicole was one of two people to even respond to me (the other two I contacted never responded). Not only did Nicole respond to me, but she went out of her way to track down the problem (I think it's related to there being another Heather Johnson out on the book blogs), and she got the books shipped to me, even though I told her that she didn't need to-- I just wanted to make sure that there was no problem with my mail. So I finally received my books (after five months), thanks to a very conscientious and gracious Nicole.

    The Heretic's Daughter by Kathleen Kent

    Martha Carrier was one of the first women to be accused, tried and hanged as a witch in Salem, Massachusetts. Like her mother, young Sarah Carrier is bright and willful, openly challenging the small, brutal world in which they live. Often at odds with one another, mother and daughter are forced to stand together against the escalating hysteria of the trials and the superstitious tyranny that led to the torture and imprisonment of more than 200 people accused of witchcraft. This is the story of Martha's courageous defiance and ultimate death, as told by the daughter who survived. Kathleen Kent is a tenth generation descendent of Martha Carrier. She is also a natural-born storyteller, and in her first novel, she paints a haunting portrait, not just of Puritan New England, but also of one family's deep and abiding love in the face of fear and persecution.

    The Monster of Florence by Douglas Preston with Mario Spezi

    In 2000, Douglas Preston and his family moved to Florence, Italy, fulfilling a long-held dream. They put their children in Italian schools and settled into a 14th century farmhouse in the green hills of Florence, where they devoted themselves to living la dolce vita while Preston wrote his best-selling suspense novels. All that changes when he discovers that the lovely olive grove in front of their house had been the scene of the most infamous double-murders in Italian history, committed by a serial killer known only as the Monster of Florence. Preston, intrigued, joins up with the crack Italian investigative journalist Mario Spezi to solve the case. THE MONSTER OF FLORENCE tells the true story of their search for—and identification of—a likely suspect, and their chilling interview with that man. And then, in a strange twist of fate, Preston and Spezi themselves become targets of the police investigation into the murders. Preston has his phone tapped and is interrogated by the police, accused of perjury, planting false evidence and being an accessory to murder—and told to leave the country. Spezi fares worse: he is thrown into Italy's grim Capanne prison, accused of being the Monster of Florence himself. THE MONSTER OF FLORENCE, which reads like one of Preston's thrillers, tells a remarkable and harrowing story involving murder, mutilation, suicide, carnival trials, voyeurism, princes and palaces, body parts sent by post, séances, devil worship and Satanic sects, poisonings and exhumations, Florentine high fashion houses and drunken peasants—and at the center of it, Preston and Spezi, caught in the crossfire of a bizarre prosecutorial vendetta.

    Admission by Jean Hanff Korelitz

    "Admissions. Admission. Aren't there two sides to the word? And two opposing sides...It's what we let in, but it's also what we let out." For years, 38-year-old Portia Nathan has avoided the past, hiding behind her busy (and sometimes punishing) career as a PrincetonUniversity admissions officer and her dependable domestic life. Her reluctance to confront the truth is suddenly overwhelmed by the resurfacing of a life-altering decision, and Portia is faced with an extraordinary test. Just as thousands of the nation's brightest students await her decision regarding their academic admission, so too must Portia decide whether to make her own ultimate admission. Admission is at once a fascinating look at the complex college admissions process and an emotional examination of what happens when the secrets of the past return and shake a woman's life to its core.

    Thanks so much to Nicole for looking into whatever happened to these books, and getting them resent to me. She went above and beyond the call of duty!

    Additionally I also received:

    The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

    Once in a generation a novel comes along that taps a vein of universal human experience, resonating with readers of all ages. THE LOVELY BONES is such a book -- a #1 bestseller celebrated at once for its artistry, for its luminous clarity of emotion, and for its astonishing power to lay claim to the hearts of millions of readers around the world. Now in an audiobook edition read by the author, with movie tie-in art.
    "My name was Salmon, like the fish; first name, Susie. I was fourteen when I was murdered on December 6, 1973."
    So begins the story of Susie Salmon, who is adjusting to her new home in heaven, a place that is not at all what she expected, even as she is watching life on earth continue without her -- her friends trading rumors about her disappearance, her killer trying to cover his tracks, her grief-stricken family unraveling. Out of unspeakable tragedy and loss, THE LOVELY BONES succeeds, miraculously, in building a tale filled with hope, humor, suspense, even joy.
    The major motion picture version of THE LOVELY BONES, directed by Peter Jackson and starring Rachel Weisz, Susan Sarandon, Mark Wahlberg, Stanley Tucci, and Saoirse Ronan is scheduled for release on December 11, 2009.

    Thanks so much to you both! You're an especially good woman, Nicole!

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