A Visit from Santa

Okay, not really Santa, but the next best thing: author Joshua Henkin.
The season of giving is upon us and Josh is one author who epitomizes generosity this year! Josh has been traveling through blogland this month, offering signed copies of his New York Times Notable Book, Matrimony, and I'm happy to announce that he's making a stop here at A Reader's Respite.

And one of you are going to be the lucky recipient of an autographed, inscribed copy of Matrimony!

In Matrimony, a man and woman meet in college, fall in love, and spend the next fifteen years finding their way through the ups and downs of marriage. It’s the second novel from author Joshua Henkin, and Matrimony reflects the maturing talent of a writer who auspiciously emerged on the literary scene nine years ago with the critically praised first novel Swimming Across the Hudson.

Longer in scope, more ambitious with its characters, and grounded with realism and wry humor, Matrimony introduces us to Julian Wainwright and Mia Mendelsohn, two intensely likeable yet wonderfully flawed characters, who meet their freshman year at Graymont College, a liberal arts school in western Massachusetts. Julian, an aspiring writer, has arrived at college from New York to study with his literary hero. Mia has come from Montreal searching for something new and unknown. When they meet, folding laundry, they fall deeply and happily into first love.

But real life soon intrudes, and a family crisis arises at the end of their senior year that will cement their relationship more seriously and quickly than they could have imagined. Together they make their way through the next fifteen years — through career changes, family conflicts and losses, betrayals and successes. From the university towns of Ann Arbor, Berkeley, and Iowa City, to the brownstones of Greenwich Village, the novel moves back and forth between Julian and Mia’s perspectives as Henkin explores the choices and sacrifices we make at different stages in our lives, our changes in ambition and desire, and how we come to lead the lives we live.

From Pantheon Books

Would you like to enter? Just leave a comment telling me about the best Holiday present you've ever received and you'll be in the running!

This contest is open to all domestic and international entrants and will remain open until New Year's Eve (Pacific Time, -8 GMT), at which time we will pick a random winner. Don't forget to check back on New Year's Day to see if you won!

If you'd like to read more about Josh and his writing, visit his website and blog! Josh is also a new contributor over at Reading Group Guides where he shares his adventures in touring and also the backstory behind Matrimony. Please feel free to join in the discussions online or if you have a book club of your own, Josh regularly contributes to discussions via phone (or maybe even in person if your club meets in New York, New Jersey or Philadelphia!). Go to his website to learn more and download the Matrimony Reading Group Guide.

Good luck and Happy Holidays!


  1. I guess this is more of a holiday blessing than an actual present -- my son got married 2 days after Christmas in 1986, and as things turned out, my daughter-in-law has been a blessing to me. This couple have a strong, happy marriage and have given me three beautiful grandchildren. I'd love to read this book; thanks for the chance to win it. lcbrower40 at gmail dot com

  2. At the beginning of our Christmas back in 2002, we found out my wife was pregnant for the first time, so I'll say that was my best holiday present ever.

  3. hmmm...best holiday present is hard. I vividly remember the joy of finding a a pink Schwinn Lil' Chicken bike next to the tree when I was about ten- that banana seat and Mickey Mouse bell made me so very happy!

    Foreign Circus Library

  4. I want this book! it is making the rounds and I've entered every giveaway I could find and still nothing... grrr

    Anyway, my favorite Christmas gift was a ski trip to Colorado... it was a gift that kept on giving. I have wonderful memories from that trip that I will never forget. Plus it was the first time I saw snow (that was a gift on its own).

  5. How 'bout my most memorable Christmas present. When I was six months pregnant, my husband gave me a swimsuit. Yeah, a swimsuit. I did wear it and use it eventually, but what was he thinking? I'm still married to him.

    niteswimming AT gmail (dot) com

  6. my best present would be my puppy oliver!

  7. my best present would be this awesome necklace that my mother gave me! it used to belong to my grandmother


  8. the best present i could have got was when my children were quite young and they pooled thier money together to buy me a new bag


  9. I too have been unable to get my hands on a copy...I would love to win this.

    My best Christmas gift ever was a signed first edition of my favorite book, Fall on your Knees. Someone very close to me searched a lot for the perfect copy and i just love it.


  10. No need to enter me since I have won this book from Dar. I posted your contest on my sidebar.

  11. My first bike when I was 37. Santa knew I had always wanted one and there it was!!

  12. wow! Josh is being the most generous Santa this year :)
    best Holiday present -- " I don't know! but I think it was my first PC :)" and u know i am addicted to PCs :) though the old one is long gone :)
    Very nice review :) I don't want to be entered of course :)

  13. Mine was a dollhouse. Corny, I know, but it was the most beautiful thing I'd ever seen in my eight years of existence.

  14. My best present was the first handmade ornament from my son. Thanks for the chance to win.

  15. The best holiday present I received was a surprise visit from my hubby who was in Afghanistan.


  16. The best Christmas gift I ever received was having my daughter in my life after 22 yrs. I had given her up for adoption and now we are together after 22 yrs.

  17. This was the year that both of my children were old enough to be excited about Christmas and still young enough to believe in it. My daughter ran into our bedroom Christmas morning shouting "He came, he came!" And they had both worked so hard to make everyone presents.

    I would very much like to read this one. My email is kay.hardtmann@gmx.de


Fire away!