Surprises in the Mail

These three new books showed up in my mailbox recently.

My kiddo often comments, “I’m so lucky!” That’s exactly how I’m feeling lately.

I’ve been thrilled to receive three great books in the mail–all for free! Two I won in giveaways, just by commenting, and one was sent by my friend. So let this be a reminder if you stumble on a contest in the blogosphere–it only takes a moment to comment, and you might end up winning!

“Malled: My Unintentional Career in Retail,” by Caitlin Kelly, arrived first, courtesy of the lovely Christi Craig. Thanks, Christi! Read Caitlin’s guest post, if you missed it. I haven’t started reading the book yet, but it seems like it’ll offer an interesting, personal perspective on the economy and how people have adapted.

My dear friend Tamara sent me a hardcover copy of “The Tiger’s Wife” by Téa Obreht–and it’s autographed to me! What a lovely surprise. I knew Tamara was going to hear the author speak in Chautauqua, NY, this summer, but I never dreamed an autographed book would be coming my way.

I’m almost finished with this luminous read. I’m in awe of how carefully Obreht has woven the stories that the protagonist’s grandfather told her together with the real-time story of Natalia’s attempts to come to terms with his death. No wonder she was named one of the “5 under 35” for fiction by the National Book Foundation last year.

Finally, over at Tom Bentley’s blog, The Write Word, I won a copy of the “2012 Guide to Literary Agents,” edited by Chuck Sambuchino. Lots of folks commented, and Tom pulled my name out of a hat. I am now one of his loyal readers due to his often-humorous approach to a variety of writing topics. I especially related to his recent post “Free Your Stories–Put Them in Cages.”

I haven’t owned an agent guide in a long time, and I am so excited to have the “2012 Guide to Literary Agents” on my desk. It’s packed full of interesting tips and articles, including Tom’s piece on writing retreats. There’s a fabulous “Agents Tell All” feature, offering Q and As from numerous agents on a variety of salient subjects, as well as an indispensable glossary of industry terms.

Although I’m not querying right now, I’m enjoying reading sections of the guide and I plan to offer a more in-depth post about it in the next few weeks.

I love giving away things here on my blog, and it has been great fun to win two books in the past two months. It’s also great fun to send just-because letters, cards and packages to friends and family. After receiving such joy in my mailbox, I began making up some care packages for a niece, a second cousin and my friends stationed in India.

Have you gotten anything exciting in the mail lately? And when was the last time you mailed something fun to somebody? In discussing the effects of Facebook, Mary, over at Big Red Chair Designs, challenged her readers to pick up a pen and write a letter. I’m echoing that challenge today. It’s great fun to receive mail, so why not send some joy out into the world? It’s the perfect time before the holiday season gears up and post office lines get prohibitively long.

About Laura Stanfill

Publisher, Forest Avenue Press
This entry was posted in Books, Reading, Writing and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Surprises in the Mail

  1. Liz says:

    thanks for the tip on that book, laura. i’ll look forward to reading the agent q & a for sure.

    • I’ll try to remember to bring the 2012 Guide to our next session, Liz, so everyone can take a look! It’s an excellent resource and I’ve only skimmed the surface so far.

  2. tamarapaulin says:

    I put in an Amazon order, and I’m hoping I forget I did before it arrives by post. 🙂 Thanks for the reviews! I have been wondering about The Tiger’s Wife.

    • I love getting packages even if I ordered them myself, Tamara! I definitely recommend “The Tiger’s Wife.” I know I’ll reread it and perhaps enjoy it even more the second time around, because it’s such an artful blend of the protagonist’s life and her grandfather’s incredible stories.

  3. How fun to know where my book has ended up! I’m honored to be in the same photo with Tea’s book and hope you enjoy “Malled”. Please let me know…

  4. I think you already know this, but, I nominated you for “The Most Versatile Blogger Award.” You are welcome to check it out by following the link back to my blog:

    • Yes, I saw that link this morning. Thanks so much Kathryn! That’s very sweet, and I really appreciate being included in your great list. Alas, I just won the award a few weeks ago, so I’m not going to follow all the rules and accept a second one, mostly because I don’t have another list of 15 bloggers ready to go. But thank you. That means so much.

  5. I love it when I win books, my budget just doesn’t provide enough to feed my addiction. I’m so grateful to all the bloggers who do giveaways.

    • I agree! It’s so nice to win books–and to give them away. I’ve thought about giving away some random slightly used novels in my collection. Perhaps I should! As it is, I’ll be giving another flipback book away in the next few weeks, so I hope you pop by and comment. It’s always great to give books to an avid reader. (If you haven’t heard of flipbacks, they’re the pocket sized books that originated in the Netherlands and were launched in England this past June by Hodder & Stoughton. You can click on my flipback category in the sidebar for the full scoop…)

  6. Laura, Thanks for the mention, and wow! You are lucky. I’ll take on your challenge, too, and write a letter this week. I made a point this summer to send my longest and dearest friend notes every few weeks or so, and then Fall arrive, and school started, and boy, I miss that correspondence. A real post from the mailman beats an email any day 🙂

    • I’m glad you’ll be writing a letter, Christi! I’ll take the challenge this week too. Sometimes it’s really hard to fit correspondence into the everyday grind, but it’s always worth it.

  7. Emma Burcart says:

    Ok, now you’ve got me wanting to comment on all the blogs I love to read. Normally I just read them and move on. I have not been much of a commentor. But, if it means I could win something, I’m in! And The Tiger’s Wife is on my books-to-read list. Too bad I don’t know anyone in NY so I could have one arrive, signed, in the mail.

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