Mailbox Monday

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I didn't receive any books last week. But I did get two while I was away in New York. They are:

Annexed by Sharon Dogar. From the publisher's website:

Everyone knows about Anne Frank and her life hidden in the secret annex - but what about the boy who was also trapped there with her?

In this powerful and gripping novel, Sharon Dogar explores what this might have been like from Peter''s point of view. What was it like to be forced into hiding with Anne Frank, first to hate her and then to find yourself falling in love with her? Especially with your parents and her parents all watching almost everything you do together. To know you''re being written about in Anne''s diary, day after day? What''s it like to start questioning your religion, wondering why simply being Jewish inspires such hatred and persecution? Or to just sit and wait and watch while others die, and wish you were fighting.

As Peter and Anne become closer and closer in their confined quarters, how can they make sense of what they see happening around them?

Anne''s diary ends on August 4, 1944, but Peter''s story takes us on, beyond their betrayal and into the Nazi death camps. He details with accuracy, clarity and compassion the reality of day to day survival in Auschwitz - and ultimately the horrific fates of the Annex''s occupants.

The second book I received is Buddha's Orphans by Samrat Upadhyay. The publisher's description:

Samrat Upadhyay has been called "a Buddhist Chekhov" by the San Francisco Chronicle. His writing has been praised by Amitav Ghosh and Suketu Mehta, and compared with the work of Akhil Sharma and Jhumpa Lahiri, placing him squarely alongside our best-known South Asian writers and at the forefront of literary fiction writers today.

Upadhyay''s new novel, Buddha''s Orphans, uses Nepal''s political upheavals of the past century as a backdrop to the story of an orphan boy, Raja, and the girl he is fated to love, Nilu, a daughter of privilege. Coveted by more than one woman, Raja is found and raised by a street vendor, kidnapped by an affluent housewife, and then found again by Nilu. Their love story scandalizes both families and takes readers through time and across the globe, through the loss of and search for children, and through several generations of this complicated family, hinting that perhaps old bends can, in fact, be righted in future branches of a family tree.

Buddha''s Orphans is a novel permeated with the sense of how we are irreparably connected to the mothers who birthed us-whether we know them or not, whether we embrace them or not-and of the way events of the past, even those we are ignorant of, inevitably haunt the present. But most of all it is an engrossing, unconventional love story that defies the stereotypes of a traditional South Asian culture, all in a seductive and transporting read.

Both books came to me from Houghton Mifflin Hoarcourt. Thank you! I've already read a few pages of both books. Annexed is written in a diary format, which, the subject matter notwithstanding, I find easy and quick to read. Buddha's Orphans (again from the few pages I've read) is well-written and belying its title, has some humour and is culturally rich. I'm looking forward to reading both these books!


DCMetroreader on June 14, 2010 at 8:00 AM said...

Oh wow Annexed sounds so good! I always wondered about Peter -- whether he was really a great guy or whether Anne was simply lonely for available companionship. Even though this is fiction I'm putting it on my TBR list.

Enjoy your books!

Literary Feline on June 14, 2010 at 9:07 AM said...

These both sound really good and like books I would enjoy. I've heard a little about Annexed before and will be curious to read your thoughts on it when you get to it.

Alayne on June 14, 2010 at 9:21 AM said...

Some serious books. Hope you enjoy them. My mailbox is at The Crowded Leaf.

bermudaonion on June 14, 2010 at 10:22 AM said...

Both books look good to me, but Buddha's Orphans really catches my eye.

Beth(bookaholicmom) on June 14, 2010 at 10:48 AM said...

Annexed sounds very interesting to me. I have often wondered about the others who were in the Annex. I will put it on my list to read.

Kelly on June 14, 2010 at 2:11 PM said...

I've heard great things about Annexed, so I hope you enjoy! :)

Staci on June 14, 2010 at 8:42 PM said...

Both are new to me titles and I'm interested in your thoughts on these. I like the idea of Annexed told from Peter's POV.

avisannschild on June 15, 2010 at 1:17 AM said...

Wow, both of these books sound so good! I'm looking forward to your reviews!


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