Mailbox Monday #168

Mailbox Mondays (click the icon to check out the new blog) has gone on tour since Marcia at A Girl and Her Books, formerly The Printed Page passed the torch. This month’s host is Diary of an Eccentric.

Kristi of The Story Siren continues to sponsor her In My Mailbox meme.

Both of these memes allow bloggers to share what books they receive in the mail or through other means over the past week.

Just be warned that these posts can increase your TBR piles and wish lists.

Here’s what I received this week:

1.  Made Priceless: A Few Things Money Can’t Buy edited by H.L. Hix, which I received from Hix since I am a contributor.

Made Priceless presents snapshots of objects that their holders treasure: a 1950s swivel rocker, a fortune-cookie fortune that reads “The rubber bands are heading in the right direction” a marble with a world map painted on it, a bread-baking pan, a bar of soap, crocheted doilies, a masonry trowel… Each object has its own story, each its own meaning. The book’s contributors include artists, a banker, a retired career military officer, secretaries, a pilot, stay-at-home mothers, students, professors, and others, each with a testament in praise of something priceless. The result is a remarkable collection that honors what money can’t buy, and celebrates the extraordinary significance in an ordinary things.

2. Restoration by Olaf Olafsson, which the Literate Housewife passed on to me. Thanks so much!

Having grown up in an exclusive circle of wealthy British ex-pats in Florence in the 1920s, Alice Orsini shocks everyone when she marries the son of a minor Italian landowner and begins restoring San Martino, a crumbling villa in Tuscany, to its former glory. But after years of hard work, filling the acres with orchards, livestock, and farmhands, Alice’s growing restlessness pulls her into the heady social swirl of wartime Rome and a reckless affair that will have devastating consequences.

Her indiscretion is noticed by careful eyes—those of Robert Marshall, a renowned dealer of renaissance art. In exchange for his silence, he demands Alice hide a priceless Caravaggio, a national treasure that he has sold to the Germans, at San Martino. As the front creeps toward Tuscany, sending a wave of orphans, refugees, and wounded Allies to San Martino, Alice trusts that the painting she’s hiding will keep the Germans at bay. What she doesn’t know is the truth about a brilliant young artist she harbors named KristÍn, a prodigy who can restore any painting, and whose secrets may ruin them all.

Trapped between loyalists and resistors, cruel German forces and Allied troops, Alice and KristÍn must withstand the destruction of everything around them while painfully confronting the consequences of their past mistakes.

3. The Lola Quartet by Emily St. John Mandel, which came from LibraryThing Early Reviewers.

Gavin Sasaki is a promising young journalist in New York City, until he’s fired in disgrace following a series of unforgivable lapses in his work. It’s early 2009, and the world has gone dark very quickly; the economic collapse has turned an era that magazine headlines once heralded as the second gilded age into something that more closely resembles the Great Depression. The last thing Gavin wants to do is return to his hometown of Sebastian, Florida, but he’s drifting toward bankruptcy and is in no position to refuse when he’s offered a job by his sister, Eilo, a real estate broker who deals in foreclosed homes.

Eilo recently paid a visit to a home that had a ten-year-old child in it, a child who looks very much like Gavin and who has the same last name as Gavin’s high school girlfriend Anna, whom Gavin last saw a decade ago. Gavin—a former jazz musician, a reluctant broker of foreclosed properties, obsessed with film noir and private detectives—begins his own private investigation in an effort to track down Anna and their apparent daughter who have been on the run all these years from a drug dealer from whom Anna stole $121,000.

What did you receive?


  1. You received some good ones. I hope you enjoy them. I’m especially intrigued by the Made Priceless book.

    Have a great week. 🙂

  2. I have a copy of Restoration, love that cover. Now I just need some time to read it.

  3. May Richard says

    Cool! I never heard of any of these. Checking them out now 😀

    In My Mailbox

  4. Great looking books! I see yours there in the top spot!!! 😀

  5. Enjoy your new books, Serena!

  6. Am currently reading From the mouth of a whale by Sjon, Although I Downloaded to my Kindle A HitchHikers Guide to the Galaxy

  7. Made Priceless: A Few Things Money Can’t Buy sounds very unique. I have an old cat tea pot that was given to me from a neighbor decades ago. This little tea pot has been displayed in every home I have lived in (and to me is priceless).

  8. So jealous about The Lola Quartet!!

  9. Wonderful mailbox! Happy reading!!!

    Here is my post!

  10. Restoration sounds good, enjoy! all of your books.


  11. I can’t wait for THE LOLA QUARTET!

  12. Interesting mix of books. Have a wonderful week,Serena, and happy reading!

  13. Tanya Patrice says

    Made Priceless sounds like an interesting book – I can’t even imagine the variety os items that it will feature.

  14. The Lola Quartet sounds good!

  15. I have Restoration, too. Enjoy your new books!

  16. A nice selection of books. Enjoy.

  17. Nice variety Serena. I’m curious about Restoration — enjoy