In the Mail


Matala by Craig Holden

Book Description

Darcy Arlen, a beautiful young American, is dangerously bored. Though she’s on a very pricey tour of Europe, she’s already sick of museums and ruins, and eager for distraction. After slipping away from the group one afternoon, she meets Will, an attractive young drifter who carries about him the scent of true adventure.

Will invites Darcy back to the hostel where he’s been staying and introduces her to Justine, his darkly seductive lover and mentor. Justine, a master of the con, senses a grand opportunity in this amenable blonde. She and Will manage to turn things so that Darcy not only accompanies them to Venice, but finances the trip as well. There they meet Maurice, a shady figure who offers them a job smuggling an important package to Greece.

As the threesome travels across Europe toward the island of Crete, what unfolds is an astonishing tale of shifting alliances and shocking betrayals, of sexual obsession and mercenary enterprise, of conflicting passions and fateful choices. When the adventurers finally reach the village of Matala with the package in hand, they learn that what they have delivered is more valuable, and the repercussions of their involvement more terrifying, than they ever could have imagined.

Endlessly surprising and altogether riveting, Matala is an unforgettable novel about the intersection of love and ruthlessness.

How Big Is Your God?: The Freedom to Experience the Divine by Paul Coutinho

From Publishers Weekly

Coutinho, a Jesuit priest who has lived much of his life in India, once was told by a theology teacher at an American university that he was a heretic. He had merely posed a what if, asking what the man would do if scripture scholars should determine that Jesus never existed as a historical figure. The teacher said he would have to abandon his work as a priest because he could never base his life on a myth, but Coutinho countered that he would still die for the myth. Conversant with India’s Hindu and Buddhist traditions, Coutinho effectively uses this story to illustrate the differences between the Western and Eastern understandings of truth (one, he writes, sees truth as a set of beliefs while the other views it as an experience). Throughout this volume of short essays, Coutinho draws on Eastern religious traditions, blending them with his own Catholic practice to challenge and deepen readers’ understandings of God. Besides asking questions like Can you be religious without knowing God? and Are you running for fun or for your life? he offers practical advice as well, including a PQR (Pause Question Respond) formula for handling difficult situations and BAD (Basement Attic Disposal) days for helping Westerners get rid of consuming possessions. Readers who favor spirituality over religion will most enjoy this book.

The Bookaholics’ Guide to Book Blogs by Rebecca Gillieron and Catheryn Kilgarriff

Book Description

As more and more bloggers write about books and with some of their Web sites receiving thousands of hits a day, this is an easy-to-follow guide to the top, book-related blogs.

With the current craze for blogs, the phenomenon of book blogging is of interest from an objective standpoint as well as to those keen to read book reviews. How much influence do these bloggers have? Is there any kind of censorship or quality control? Are booksellers aware of them? Does Oprah Winfrey take note?

Many people develop a real fondness for book bloggers who write reviews for love and not money. Taking in small, quirky Web sites like Book Slut, dovegreyreader, Bluestalking Reader, and MoorishGirl as well as large, well-known sites like, this book will show readers how to investigate literature from distant lands, to find the sites of authors who are yet to be discovered by the mainstream, and to find the pages of book industry pundits who have opened their daily lives to a wider world. Welcome to the honest world of book blogs.

The Best Sports Writing of Pat Jordan

Book Description

For decades, Pat Jordan has been one of the best sports writers in America. This engrossing book compiles twenty-six features from throughout his career, among them his most famous magazine pieces and a small selection of previously unpublished gems.

Included is an exciting selection of Jordan’s profiles of sports legends such as Wilt Chamberlain, Tom Seaver, Greg Louganis, Venus and Serena Williams–each one frank, insightful, and salty–as well as an extraordinary sampling of the pieces with which Jordan made his name: those about athletes who are obscure, unsuccessful, or have fallen from grace. Whether writing about the marginal, the famous, or the infamous, Jordan displays a hard-boiled, highly literate prose and a capacity to convey how the idiosyncratic mindsets of athletes lead to success or failure.

Kevin Holtsberry
I work in communications and public affairs. I try to squeeze in as much reading as I can while still spending time with my wife and two kids (and cheering on the Pittsburgh Steelers and Michigan Wolverines during football season).

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