Welcome to Mailbox Monday, the weekly meme where book lovers share the titles they received for review, purchased, or otherwise obtained over the past week. It is now being hosted at the Mailbox Monday blog.
Here’s what I added to my shelves since I last posted my books in mid-March:
Jane Austen: Her Life, Her Times, Her Novels by Janet Todd — from Sterling Publishing
Jane Austen is one of the greatest novelists in English Literature. Over the last 200 years, her six published works have been loved by academic critics and the general reading public. As a result, there has always been speculation about the woman behind the writing. She lived only forty-one years during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries — a time of huge turbulence. Jane Austen: Her Life, Her Times, Her Novels traces her life, her relationships with family and friends; the attitudes and customs of the time that shaped her and in turn shaped her work; and the places where she lived, worked, and set her novels, from rural Hampshire to fashionable Bath Spa. Chapters on all of her novels run through this book and place them in the context of her life. Jane Austen: Her Life, Her Times, Her Novels features removable memorabilia including:
*Handwritten drafts of early writings such as “The History of England” and “The Watsons” and drafts of her later novel Persuasion.
*A letter between Jane Austen and her sister Cassandra.
*A letter from George Austen, Jane’s father, to the publisher Thomas Cadell that was returned to the family with the words ‘Rejected by return of post’ written on it.
*A handwritten note outlining profits from her novels.
*A frontispiece to the 1833 editing of Pride and Prejudice. (publisher’s summary)
Northanger Abbey by Val McDermid — from Grove Press
Internationally bestselling crime writer Val McDermid is renowned for her acutely suspenseful, psychologically complex, seamlessly plotted thrillers. Her millions of fans know that she is also a playful storyteller with a delightful, wry wit. Now, in Northanger Abbey, her mastery and humor are both on display in an updated take on Jane Austen’s classic novel about a young woman whose visit to the stately home of a well-to-do acquaintance stirs her most macabre imaginings.
Cat Morland is ready to grow up. A homeschooled minister’s daughter in the quaint, sheltered Piddle Valley in Dorset, she loses herself in novels (and, of course, her smartphone) and is sure there is a glamorous adventure awaiting her beyond the valley’s narrow horizon. So imagine her delight when the Allens, neighbors and friends of her parents, invite her to attend the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh as their guest. With a sunny personality, tickets every night, and a few key wardrobe additions courtesy of Susie Allen, Cat quickly begins to take Edinburgh by storm and is welcomed into the bosom of the Thorpe family, particularly by eldest daughter Bella. And then there’s the handsome Henry Tilney, an up-and-coming lawyer whose family home is the beautiful and forbidding Northanger Abbey. Cat is entranced by Henry and his charming sister Eleanor, but she can’t help wondering if everything about them is as perfect as it seems. Or has she just been reading too many novels?
A delectable, note-perfect modern update of the Jane Austen classic with an extra frisson of suspense that only McDermid could provide, Northanger Abbey tells a timeless story of innocence amid cynicism, the exquisite angst of young love, and the value of friendship. (publisher’s summary)
Haunting Mr. Darcy by KaraLynne Mackrory — from Meryton Press
What happens to the happily ever after when the ever after has already happened?
A “spirited” courtship indeed! Jane Austen’s much adored Pride and Prejudice is transfigured in this Regency adaptation. That fickle friend Fate intervenes when an unexpected event threatens the happily ever after of literature’s favorite love story.
The gentlemen from Netherfield have left, winter is upon the land, and after a horrifying carriage accident, Elizabeth Bennet finds her spirit transported as if by magic into Mr. Darcy’s London home. Paranormally tethered to the disagreeable man, it doesn’t help that he believes she is a phantasm of his love-struck mind and not the real Elizabeth.
Somehow they must learn to trust, learn to love and learn to bring Elizabeth back to her earthly form before it is too late. (publisher’s summary)
How Could This Happen: Explaining the Holocaust by Dan McMillan — a surprise from Basic Books
The Holocaust has long seemed incomprehensible, a monumental crime that beggars our powers of description and explanation. Historians have probed the many sources of this tragedy, but no account has united the various causes into an overarching synthesis that answers the vital question: How was such a nightmare possible in the heart of western civilization?
In How Could This Happen, historian Dan McMillan distills the vast body of Holocaust research into a cogent explanation and comprehensive analysis of the genocide’s many causes, revealing how a once-progressive society like Germany could have carried out this crime. The Holocaust, he explains, was caused not by one but by a combination of factors — from Germany’s failure to become a democracy until 1918, to the widespread acceptance of anti-Semitism and scientific racism, to the effects of World War I, which intensified political divisions within the country and drastically lowered the value of human life in the minds of an entire generation. Masterfully synthesizing the myriad causes that led Germany to disaster, McMillan shows why thousands of Germans carried out the genocide while millions watched, with cold indifference, as it enveloped their homeland.
Persuasive and compelling, How Could This Happen explains how a perfect storm of bleak circumstances, malevolent ideas, and damaged personalities unleashed history’s most terrifying atrocity. (publisher’s summary)
What books did you add to your shelves recently?
© 2014 Anna Horner of Diary of an Eccentric. All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce or republish content without permission.