Sunday, July 10, 2011

Mailbox Monday for July 10

Our mail is slowly trickling in... According to the news, there is a 40 million-letter backlog that Canada Post is struggling to deal with. I have a feeling some of the books I am waiting to receive have been lost in that big pile. So this week I got some books through courier and others by mail. Finally!

Mailbox Monday was created by Marcia at A Girl and Her Books. It is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week. A Sea of Books is hosting for the month of July. You can view the touring blog list at Mailbox Monday blog for the upcoming months.

Writing and Selling Your Memoir by Paula Balzer (for review from Writer's Digest)
There’s more to writing a memoir than just writing your life story. Writing & Selling Your Memoir talks readers through process of telling their most personal stories in a compelling, relatable, and readable manner.
Drawing on her experience working with New York Times best-selling memoirists, literary agent Paula Balzer carefully explores the genre and provides readers with step-by-step instruction on how to:
  • Identify strong opening and closing points
  • Find and develop a strong central hook that readers can relate to
  • Structure a memoir to maximize readability
  • Use dialogue and pacing to enhance intimacy
  • Approach honesty and truthfulness
  • Build a successful author platform around their memoir
  • Get an agent’s attention
Writer With a Day Job: Inspiration & Exercises to Help You Craft a Writing Life Alongside Your Career by Aine Greaney (for review from Writer's Digest)
Balancing a full-time job and a productive writing life is no easy feat! This book offers writers advice, skill-building techniques, prompts, and exercises in every chapter, and strategies on how to get and keep writing while also working the 9 to 5 grind. Readers will discover tips and exercises for:
1. Setting and protecting personal writing goals
2. Creating a schedule that complements their stamina
3. Getting creative before and after work - and on their lunch hour
4. Finding inspiration in the most unlikely of spots and at the most impromptu of times
5. Writing proficiently in multiple forms (long and short) so that they don't get bogged down writing one long project
6. Becoming an active participant in writing communities so they have a solid support system at the ready
7. Figuring out how (if at all) to share their writing life with co-workers, friends, and family members
The Writer's Compass: From Story Map to Finished Draft in 7 Stages by Nancy Ellen Dodd (for review from Writer's Digest)
This book will show writers how to develop their ideas into a finished novel by working through it in 7 stages, while learning how to mapping out their story's progress and structure so they can evaluate and improve their work. It teaches writers to visualize their story's progress with a story map that helps them see all the different components of their story, where these components are going, and, perhaps most importantly, what's missing. The book simplifies Aristotle's elements of good writing (a.k.a. that each story should have a beginning, a middle and an end) into easily applicable concepts that will help writers improve their craft. The author helps readers strengthen their work by teaching them how to focus on one aspect of their story at a time, including forming stories and developing ideas, building strong structures, creating vibrant characters, and structuring scenes and transitions. Thought-provoking questions help writers more objectively assess their story's strengths and weaknesses so they may write the story they want to tell.

Next to Love by Ellen Feldman (for review from TLC Book Tour)

A story of love, war, loss, and the scars they leave,Next to Love follows the lives of three young women and their men during the years of World War II and its aftermath, beginning with the men going off to war and ending a generation later, when their children are on the cusp of their own adulthood.

Set in a small town in Massachusetts, the novel follows three childhood friends, Babe, Millie, and Grace, whose lives are unmoored when their men are called to duty. And yet the changes that are thrust upon them move them in directions they never dreamed possible—while their husbands and boyfriends are enduring their own transformations. In the decades that follow, the three friends lose their innocence, struggle to raise their children, and find meaning and love in unexpected places. And as they change, so does America—from a country in which people know their place in the social hierarchy to a world in which feminism, the Civil Rights movement, and technological innovations present new possibilities—and uncertainties. And yet Babe, Millie, and Grace remain bonded by their past, even as their children grow up and away and a new society rises from the ashes of the war.

13 Gifts by Wendy Mass (for review from Scholastic)

When Tara, a self-proclaimed shrinking violet, steals the school mascot, a goat, in order to make some friends with the popular crowd and gets caught, she gets herself in a heap of trouble. In addition, her parents decide that instead of taking her on their summer trip to Madagascar to study the courtship rituals of the Bamboo Lemur, she must go stay with her aunt, uncle, and bratty cousin Emily St. Claire in Willow Falls. Tara thinks it's a good time to start over; she'll be turning 13 after all, so she might as well make the best of it and perhaps even attempt to break out of her shell (in a non-criminal manner). What Tara doesn't know is that this charmed town has something big in store for her on her 13th birthday. It's not a typical birthday. But then again, nothing is Willow Falls is exactly typical!

Floors by Patrick Carman (for review from Scholastic)

Charlie had his chocolate factory. Stanley Yelnats had his holes. Leo has the wacky, amazing Whippet Hotel.
The Whippet Hotel is a strange place full of strange and mysterious people. Each floor has its own quirks and secrets. Leo should know most of them - he is the maintenance man's son, after all. But a whole lot more mystery gets thrown his way when a series of cryptic boxes are left for him . . . boxes that lead him to hidden floors, strange puzzles, and unexpected alliances. Leo had better be quick on his feet, because the fate of the building he loves is at stake . . . and so is Leo's own future!

The 39 Clues: Cahills vs. Vespers Book One: The Medusa Plot by Gordon Korman (for review from Scholastic)

Are you ready to save the world? The bestselling series returns with an adventure spanning 6 explosive books, 2 secret-filled card packs, and a website that places readers right in the action.

Thirteen-year-old Dan Cahill and his older sister, Amy, thought they belonged to the world's most powerful family. They thought the hunt for 39 Clues leading to the source of that power was over. They even thought they'd won. But Amy and Dan were wrong.

One by one, distress calls start coming in from around the globe. Cahills are being kidnapped by a shadowy group known only as the Vespers. Now Amy and Dan have only days to fulfill a bizarre ransom request or their captured friends will start dying. Amy and Dan don't know what the Vespers want or how to stop them. Only one thing is clear. The Vespers are playing to win, and if they get their hands on the Clues . . . the world will be their next hostage.

So what did you get in your mailbox last week?

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  1. 30 million letter backlog? Wow, what a mess! Your mailbox is quite nice this week! Next to Love and 13 Gifts both catch my eye.

  2. It is no surprise that the postal workers are "barely working" after being forced back to work. The only mail coming through is postmarked from the government (at all levels); our property tax bill arrived without a glitch. As for magazine subscriptions, I guess they fell into the bottomless pit.

  3. I'm convinced that the post office is holding my books as hostages.

    PS Great set of reads and looking forward to our luncheon :)

  4. Next to Love sounds like a touching novel. I hope books start arriving in your mail this week.

  5. I'd go crazy if the post office went on strike. Well I hope you get the rest of your books soon.

    Here is mine

  6. Lots of intriguing titles...Next to Love is one I'm eagerly awaiting. Soon....


  7. I read Next to Love a few weeks ago and I really liked it. I hope you enjoy it as well.

  8. I was surprised when I read the spokesperson from CP said that they only have that much left in the back to clear up and I guess getting bills out is more important then the books.

    I think the same thing Laura that somewhere in that pile is my books.

    Great books especially the scholastic ones :) See you soon

  9. I am waiting for two book wins so I can imagine the feeling! Have a good week.

  10. I'm really interested in Next to Love. I know, my mail is slowly coming in. Enjoy all your new reads!

  11. I was despairing of ever getting any mail this week, but then a couple of books arrived on Friday (along with a couple of bills). Looks like you did well this week! I'm looking forward to your reviews of the books for Writer's Digest in particular. Happy reading!

  12. Enjoy your reads.

  13. I haven't seen Floors before. I bet my oldest son would love that!

  14. It's going to take a while to catch up on the post isn't it? Must be so frustrating. I'm looking forward to reading NEXT TO LOVE. Enjoy your books and hope more trickle in!

  15. That is a lot of mail to catch up on. Hopefully you'll be getting books in the mail in no time. I received Next to Love also and am looking forward to reading it. Enjoy your new reads.

  16. I'm sure some of my mail is in that pile too. Love what you got though. I like the idea of writing alongside your regular job, writers do have to eat.

  17. I'm looking forward to your thoughts on the Writer's Digest books, and I hope you love Next to Love as much as I did!


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