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Mar 28, 2010

Mailbox Monday Time

Mailbox Monday is a weekly meme that 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.
Warning: Exploring Mailbox Mondays across the blogosphere will lead to toppling wishlists and to-be-read-piles! But it's the thrill of the chase that counts!

There was no Mailbox Monday at The Burton Review last week because I only recieved two books on Saturday and I actually don't get on the computer much during the weekend. SO those two are added to this lot. The slow week of last week was completely redemptive this week.

The too cool for school blogger, Amy at Passages to the Past, sent this one my way. I missed out last year so I am looking forward to this one.

Ice Land by Betsy Tobin

"Iceland, AD 1000

Freya knows that her people are doomed. Warned by the Fates of an impending disaster, she must embark on a journey to find a magnificent gold necklace, one said to possess the power to alter the course of history. But even as Freya travels deep into the mountains of Iceland, the country is on the brink of war. The new world order of Christianity is threatening the old ways of Iceland's people, and tangled amidst it all are two star-crossed lovers who destiny draws them together-even as their families are determined to tear them apart.
Infused with the rich history and mythology of Iceland, Betsy Tobin's sweeping novel is an epic adventure of forbidden love, lust, jealousy, faith and magical wonder set under the shadow of a smoldering volcano."

From Swaptree:
Secret for A Nightingale by Victoria Holt aka Jean Plaidy
"As a young girl in India, beautiful, high-spirited Susanna Pleydell had first became aware of her special gifts to soothe the sick. But she had sacrificed that calling when she married the dashing and sophisticated Aubrey St. Clare. When they return home to London, however, Aubrey has changed. Susanna discovers she has married a man with a weakness for opium and the occult. And even more menacing, Aubrey has met the sinister Dr. Damien Adar, whose hold over him is fierce and frightening...."

Also from Swaptree:
Penhallow by Georgette Heyer (1942)
"The death of menacing old man Adam Penhallow, on the eve of his birthday, seems at first to be by natural causes. But Penhallow had ruled his Cornish roost with an iron will and a sharp tongue, playing one relative against another and giving both servants and kin cause to hate him, so that when it emerges that he was poisoned, there are more than a dozen prime suspects."

In celebration of all things William Marshal, of The Greatest Knight fame by Elizabeth Chadwick, I just could not resist these bodice rippers:
both of the following books by Mary Pershall from Paperbackswap (I received another one of this series a few weeks ago):

A Shield of Roses
"Lady Eve MacMurrough, fairest of Erin's fair flowers, her flashing emerald eyes held secrets no man could resist. Defiant daughter of one king and willful ward of another, she would bring the purity of true love to her marriage bed.
Sir Richard FiztGilbert deClare, sitting astride his great black war horse Taran, no English knight was bolder. To the tempestous Lady Eve he had pledged his troth, but he longed to posses in timeless ecstasy her wild, resisting heart.
Born in a fierce, feudal world as cruel as it was courtly, theirs was the rapturous love destined to change the face of the Irish nation forever."

 Dawn of the White Rose
"Isabel de Clare. Her tawny beauty was a King's prize, to be locked within a brooding castle until she exchanged its gray walls for a husband's tyranny...

William Marshal. The towering knight armed with a will of steel, he conquered Isabel's senses in a single blazing night.

Lovers bound by destiny. His power matched her pride. Their passion was a battlefield with no quarter given - and none asked. And with every battle they gambled what they held most dear...the tenderest of loves, in the heat of ceaseless challenge so dearly gained, and so easily lost... "

And a fabulous swap from Paperbackswap, woohoo:
Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel, which every one else talked about when it won the Booker Prize last year. (560 pages! 10/13/2009)
"In the ruthless arena of King Henry VIII’s court, only one man dares to gamble his life to win the king’s favor and ascend to the heights of political power.
England in the 1520s is a heartbeat from disaster. If the king dies without a male heir, the country could be destroyed by civil war. Henry VIII wants to annul his marriage of twenty years, and marry Anne Boleyn. The pope and most of Europe opposes him. The quest for the king’s freedom destroys his adviser, the brilliant Cardinal Wolsey, and leaves a power vacuum.
Into this impasse steps Thomas Cromwell. Cromwell is a wholly original man, a charmer and a bully, both idealist and opportunist, astute in reading people and a demon of energy: he is also a consummate politician, hardened by his personal losses, implacable in his ambition. But Henry is volatile: one day tender, one day murderous. Cromwell helps him break the opposition, but what will be the price of his triumph?
In inimitable style, Hilary Mantel presents a picture of a half-made society on the cusp of change, where individuals fight or embrace their fate with passion and courage. With a vast array of characters, overflowing with incident, the novel re-creates an era when the personal and political are separated by a hairbreadth, where success brings unlimited power but a single failure means death."
For a future review:
No Will But His: A Novel of Kathryn Howard by Sarah A. Hoyt (April 6, 2010) (she also wrote under a penname Plain Jane, and I LOVED THAT ONE!)

"As the bereft, orphaned cousin to the ill-fated Anne Boleyn, Katherine Howard knows better than many the danger of being favored by the King. But she is a Howard, and therefore ambitious, so she assumes the role Henry VIII has assigned her-his untouched child bride, his adored fifth wife. But her innocence is imagined, the first of many lies she will have to tell to gain the throne. And the path that she will tread to do so is one fraught with the same dangers that cost Queen Anne her head."

Writing Jane Austen by Elizabeth Aston (April 13, 2010)
"Jane Austen for the twenty-first century! Mayhem ensues when a struggling young writer is chosen to complete an unfinished manuscript by a certain famous novelist... Critically acclaimed and award-winning -- but hardly bestselling -- author Georgina Jackson can't get past the first chapter of her second book. When she receives an urgent email from her agent, Georgina is certain it's bad news. Shockingly, she's offered a commission to complete a newly discovered manuscript by a major nineteenth-century author. Skeptical at first about her ability to complete the manuscript, Georgina is horrified to know that the author in question is Jane Austen.
Torn between pushing through or fleeing home to America, Georgina relies on the support of her banker-turned-science student roommate, Henry, and his quirky teenage sister, Maud -- a serious Janeite. With a sudden financial crisis looming, the only way Georgina can get by is to sign the hugely lucrative contract and finish the book. But first she has to admit she's never actually read Jane Austen!"

And check out this win! I won this from Wonders And Marvels site, which is such fun with odd historical details galore.
For The Soul of France: Culture Wars in the Age of Dreyfus (Jan. 2010) by Frederick Brown (perfect for the French Historicals Reading Challenge hosted by Enchanted by Josephine!)
"Brown shows us how Paris's most iconic monuments that rose up during those years bear witness to the passionate decades-long quarrel. At one end of Paris was Gustave Eiffel's tower, built in iron and more than a thousand feet tall, the beacon of a forward-looking nation; at Paris' other end, at the highest point in the city, the basilica of the Sacre-Coeur, atonement for the country's sins and moral laxity whose punishment was France's defeat in the war . . .

Brown makes clear that the Dreyfus Affair — the cannonade of the 1890s — can only be understood in light of these converging forces. The Affair shaped the character of public debate and informed private life. At stake was the fate of a Republic born during the Franco-Prussian War and reared against bitter opposition.

The losses that abounded during this time — the financial loss suffered by thousands in the crash of the Union Generale, a bank founded in 1875 to promote Catholic interests with Catholic capital outside the Rothschilds' sphere of influence, along with the failure of the Panama Canal Company — spurred the partisan press, which blamed both disasters on Jewry.
The author writes how the roiling conflicts that began thirty years before Dreyfus did not end with his exoneration in 1900. Instead they became the festering point that led to France's surrender to Hitler's armies in 1940, when the Third Republic fell and the Vichy government replaced it, with Marshal Petain heralded as the latest incarnation of Joan of Arc, France's savior . . ."

My new Half-Price bookstore finally opened.. about a mile away.. so that's where many lunch breaks will be spent. French Fries to go and Books!
My first purchases, with promises of a loving relationship to come with many more future purchases:
Click the linked titles to go to the Goodreads page with a description and reviews.

Mary Queen of Scots: A Novel by Margaret George (Arleigh says there's some strange s*x scene in this one)..880 pages
The Autobiography of Henry VIII with Notes by His Fool, Will Somers by Margaret George (has anyone finished this one?) ..944 pages
The Memoirs of Cleopatra by Margaret George ..976 pages
The Crimson Petal and the White by Michael Faber .. 944 pages
London: The Novel by Edward Rutherfurd .. 829 pages
Mary Stewart's Merlin Trilogy by Mary Stewart ..928 pages
The Last Boleyn: A Novel by Karen Harper ..a measly 592 pages

What are your thoughts on these selections? Have you read any of these? I am really looking forward to the Margaret George books, but they are HUGE! HUGE! If there was a chunkster challenge, these would suffice. I'll need to swear off review requests in order to read one of these, they would probably take me two weeks, three weeks if it's a snoozer.
And I did buy some at Half Price Books over the weekend but I'm saving them for next week.
What books did you receive this week?

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