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Nov 30, 2009

Mailbox Monday

Mailbox Monday

Mailbox Monday is hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page. We share what books that we found in our mailboxes last week. And I am adding what I purchased, swapped, etc.

I've received an interesting mix of topics this week. From an American favorite to a murderess, and the tried and true classics of Austen:

From Paperbackswap:

Mary Todd Lincoln: A Biography by Jean H. Baker
"From Library Journal:
In the thriving cottage industry of Lin coln studies Baker's readable and sympathetic biography is easily the definitive account of the troubled former First Lady. Baker's principal contribution is in recognizing Mary Todd Lincoln on her own terms. Although we can never separate her from Abraham Lincoln, Mary Todd Lincoln's importance derives less from her marriage than from her personal suffering as a woman. Politics, tragedy, and poverty denied her the family comfort and identity she craved. Baker's chapters on her last years of alleged insanity and real loneliness reveal a jealous and proud 19th-century American woman trapped by the conventions of Victorian domesticity."

For Review, from the author:

The Secret of the Glass by Donna Russo Morin (February 2010)

"At the dawn of the 17th Century, the glassmakers of Murano are revered as master artisans, enjoying privileges far beyond their station, but they are forced to live in virtual imprisonment, contained by the greedy Venetian government who fears other countries will learn the intricacies of the craft…and reap the rewards.
Sophia Fiolario, the comely daughter of a glass making maestro, has no desire for marriage, finding her serenity in the love of her family and the beauty of the glass. She learns of its secrets at her father’s side, where a woman is forbidden to be. The life Sophia loves is threatened by the poor health of her father and the determined attentions of a nobleman who could and would never love her but seeks to possess her wealth and the privilege it affords. Thrust into the opulent world of the Venetian court, Sophia becomes embroiled in the scheming machinations of the courtiers’ lives. The beauty of Venice, the magnificence of the Doge’s Palace, are rivaled only by the intrigue and danger that festers behind their splendid facades. As she searches for an escape, she finds the arms of another, a man whose own desperate situation is yet another obstacle in their path.
Amidst political and religious intrigue, the scientific furor ignited by Galileo, and even murder, Sophia must do anything to protect herself, her family…and the secret of the glass."

From a giveaway win: A Savage Wisdom by Norman German

"An imaginative reconstruction of the life of the only woman executed in Louisiana's electric chair."

"Here is a powerful, page-turning account of crime and punishment, told in terms of the literary tradition of true crime stories that includes Capote’s In Cold Blood and Mailer’s The Executioner’s Song. Norman German has created a worthy companion to and version of this all-American genre." George Garrett, novelist and poet laureate of Virginia.

"Norman German’s novel follows the hard life and heinous crimes of Toni Jo Henry, the first and only woman to die in Louisiana’s infamous electric chair. The novel meets this bone-chilling story head-on, and it leaves the reader burning with the heartless brutality of the tale. Read A Savage Wisdom to see the darkness and comprehend its cold light." ~Dayne Sherman, author of Welcome to the Fallen Paradise.

From Bookmooch:
Northanger Abbey, Lady Susan, The Watsons, and Sanditon (The World's Classics) by Jane Austen

"This is the only edition of these four Jane Austen titles in one volume. 'Northanger Abbey' is the earliest comedy, making fun of the excesses of the Gothic novel. It combines literary burlesque with a tale of female enlightenment. 'Lady Susan' and 'The Watsons' were early compositions, reflecting many of the qualities of 'Northanger Abbey'. 'Sanditon' too is an incomplete novel written late in Austen's life, and indicating a new depth of comic insight."
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