Mailbox Monday


Black Rabbit Hill by Eve Chase (G. P. Putnam and Sons) Published February 9, 2016

For fans of Kate Morton and Sarah Waters, here’s a magnetic debut novel of wrenching family secrets, forbidden love, and heartbreaking loss housed within the grand gothic manor of Black Rabbit Hall


The Last Days of Magic by Mark Tompkins (Viking) Published March 1, 2016


Small Mercies by Eddie Joyce (Penguin) Published in paperback February 9, 2016

“Eddie Joyce’s terrific first novel is so American that the story might as well have taken place at the base of the Statue of Liberty.”
—Richard Russo



The Kite Family by Hon Lai-Chu, translated by Andrea Lingenfelter (Muse Press) Published March, 2016

A patient escapes from an asylum, to spend his life as the perfect mannequin in a department store display; when living alone is outlawed, a woman who resides quietly with her cat is assigned by bureaucrats to a role in an artificially created “family;” a luckless man transforms himself into a chair so people can, literally, sit on him. These are just a few of the inhabitants of Hon Lai-chu’s stories, where surreal characters struggle to carve out space for freedom and individuality in an absurd world. The Chinese version of The Kite Family won the New Writer’s Novella first prize from Taiwan’s Unitas Literary Association, was one of 2008’s Books of the Year according to Taiwan’s China Times, was selected as one of the Top 10 Chinese Novels Worldwide, and was awarded a Translation Grant from the U.S. National Endowment for the Arts.


Why We Came To The City by Kristopher Jansma (Viking) Published February 16, 2016

A warm, funny, and heartfelt novel about a tight-knit group of twentysomethings in New York whose lives are upended by tragedy—from the widely acclaimed author of The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards…

Thanks to the publishers for sending me exciting new books; I hope you discover a great new read from this week’s post. Find more Monday Mailbox books here.

26 thoughts on “Mailbox Monday”

    1. They are mostly in a genre I rarely read, except for The Kite Family which is translated from Chinese. But, I like seeing what’s current (such as the last one; I have no idea about twenty-somethings).

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, it’s so fun that you mention my desk! It was a present from my parents for my 17th birthday, an antique library table from the Chicago Stockyards where my father used to work. We just had it refinished this fall as it was getting a little old; you know how old I am! 😉


  1. Wow! Talk about some terrific looking books. I read Black Rabbit Hall last week and now I’m looking forward to your thoughts on it. I’ve kindled Why We Came to the City – it sounds really good. By the by, I’ve meant to email you about Jane Eyre – have you started it? I was going to this week.


    1. Nadia, I finished Jane Eyre last night; loved it so much! It’s got everything: story, morals, strong characters. Wonderful stuff! I’ll post about it whenever you want, take your time. xo


      1. M, I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed it so much – that’s great! I just started it last night and already I’m enjoying it. I’m wondering why I ever disliked it the first time I read it. Maybe we can post about it next week. I’ll email you when I finish it. Thanks!!


  2. Love the oversized photos! Enjoy your brand new books! (I know what you mean about opening them for the first time. It feels kind of wrong, in a sense.)


  3. Hi Bellezza
    Thank you for listing The Last Days of Magic. I hope you find it an enjoyable read! As a debut author in today’s difficult publishing environment, reviews are like gold!
    Mark Tompkins


    1. Mark, I began your book today and right away ran into a few struggles. First of all, I choose to interpret sons of God (Genesis 6:4) as men rather than angels which immediately conflicts with the whole premise that mythical creatures come from this union.

      Secondly, it was confusing to me, a non-Irish person, to come across so many terms in the first twenty pages of the novel such as Sidhe, Morrigna, Skeaghshee…perhaps if I persevere, they will come to make sense to me, but I’m not sufficiently intrigued to carry on right now.

      I certainly do not want to cast any aspersions on your novel, which has been clearly well received in light of the reviews on the back cover. At this point I will lay it down and try again another day.


      1. Hi Bellezza,
        I certainly understand if this is not your sort of book, and I would not presume to try to talk you into reading it.

        You are correct, Genesis 6:4 can, and has been interrupted a number of ways. For the purpose of the novel only, I selected the definition that made for an interesting story. For that reason, I took the approach that if “sons of God” meant men, then their offspring would be human and they would not have to be named as “Nephilim” (or “Giants” in the KJV). Instead, I used the definition of “sons of God” found in Job (1:6, 2:1, 38:7). He identifies them as angels. I am not a conspiracy theorist, I am a fiction writer and I am only asking my readers to accept this definition while reading the book, just for the fun of it.

        I understand that terms such as Sidhe, Morrigna, and Skeaghshee can be confusing. It is my hope that readers will refer to the table of magical beings at the front (page xi) until they get used to them.

        If you do pick up the novel again, please let me know how your reading goes.


  4. I would love to read Why We Came To The City by Kristopher Jarsma.I enjoyed his previous novel,The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards.
    I’m finishing Just Kids by Patti Smith. And just started Eat the Document by Dana Spiotta.


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