Mailbox Monday

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mailboxes-1Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to those who celebrate! The family and I will be having our corned beef, cabbage, potatoes, and carrots for dinner. Earlier in the week, we had some warmer weather, with some nice sunny days. It has helped us get a head start on some spring cleaning in the yard. I’ve read some great poetry collections and listened to some audiobooks from Jane Austen Fan Fiction authors, which have kept me entertained. I hope everyone had a great week.

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Please come back later in the week when we share the Books That Caught Our Eye.

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Books That Caught Our Eye

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dragonlegendsAt Mailbox Monday we encourage participants to not only share the books they received, but to check out the books others have received.

Every Wednesday we will each share two books that caught our eye from that week’s Mailbox Monday.

We encourage you to share the books that caught your eye in the comments.

MARTHA:

The Ethereal Squadron by Shami Stovall at Carol’s Notebook.

It’s 1916, and the world is on fire.

The Great War has already consumed much of the globe, but a second, secret war between sorcerers threatens to crack it in two. The ruling families of Germany and Austria-Hungary, those with the chill of magic in their blood, will stop at nothing in their quest for power, and they’ve drawn the entire world into a bloody war because of it.

But Florence Cavell—codename Geist—means to stop them. She had to defy her family, cut her hair, and disguise herself as a man to join the legendary Ethereal Squadron: a joint US-UK division of the allied powers’ mightiest sorcerers. Armed with her powerful specter sorcery, which allows her to “ghost” through bullets and barbed wire alike, Geist fights a tireless battle to end the war once and for all.

But then the Germans unleash the Grave-Maker Gas, a concoction so deadly it destroys everything it touches and transforms even the strongest sorcerers into terrible monsters. Even her ghostly magic can’t resist the gas’s corrosive power, and it costs Geist everything she loves—her team, her friends, even the use of an arm.

This is the new weapon that could end the war—and give the Germans the world.

Now Geist must risk it all to lead a new team deep into hostile territory to discover the source of this terrifying new technology before the enemy sets it loose upon the world. Will she be able to stop the Grave-Maker Gas before it’s too late…or will the secrets of her past finally catch up with her?

Fans of Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld, Airborn by Kenneth Oppel, Shadow Ops: Control Point by Myke Cole, and The Roar by Emma Clayton will love this book.

This book is for anyone who likes reading about:

Strong female protagonists
Military fantasy
Historical fantasy
World War I
Adventure stories

The list at the end all capture my interest.

butterflyroomThe Butterfly Room by Lucinda Riley at The Burgeoning Bookshelf.

Posy Montague is approaching her seventieth birthday. Still living in her beautiful family home, Admiral House, set in the glorious Suffolk countryside where she spent her own idyllic childhood catching butterflies with her beloved father, and raised her own children, Posy knows she must make an agonising decision. Despite the memories the house holds, and the exquisite garden she has spent twenty-five years creating, the house is crumbling around her, and Posy knows the time has come to sell it.

Then a face appears from the past – Freddie, her first love, who abandoned her and left her heartbroken fifty years ago. Already struggling to cope with her son Sam’s inept business dealings, and the sudden reappearance of her younger son Nick after ten years in Australia, Posy is reluctant to trust in Freddie’s renewed affection. And unbeknown to Posy, Freddie – and Admiral House – have a devastating secret to reveal . . .

Full of her trademark mix of unforgettable characters and heart-breaking secrets, The Butterfly Room is the new spellbinding, multi-generational story from Sunday Times bestseller Lucinda Riley.

I liked the cover and the blurb with the secrets pulled me in on this one.

SERENA:

Since Martha had two of my books on her list, here are my backup selections:

We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter at Book Dilettante.

It is the spring of 1939 and three generations of the Kurc family are doing their best to live normal lives, even as the shadow of war grows closer. The talk around the family Seder table is of new babies and budding romance, not of the increasing hardships threatening Jews in their hometown of Radom, Poland. But soon the horrors overtaking Europe will become inescapable and the Kurcs will be flung to the far corners of the world, each desperately trying to navigate his or her own path to safety.

As one sibling is forced into exile, another attempts to flee the continent, while others struggle to escape certain death, either by working grueling hours on empty stomachs in the factories of the ghetto or by hiding as gentiles in plain sight. Driven by an unwavering will to survive and by the fear that they may never see one another again, the Kurcs must rely on hope, ingenuity, and inner strength to persevere.

An extraordinary, propulsive novel, We Were the Lucky Ones demonstrates how in the face of the twentieth century’s darkest moment, the human spirit can endure and even thrive.

WWII novel and this one is based on a true story, which should make it even more compelling.

On Democracy by E.B. White at BermudaOnion.

“I am a member of a party of one, and I live in an age of fear.”

These words were written by E. B. White in 1947.

Decades before our current political turmoil, White crafted eloquent yet practical political statements that continue to resonate. “There’s only one kind of press that’s any good—” he proclaimed, “a press free from any taint of the government.” He condemned the trend of defamation, arguing that “in doubtful, doubting days, national morality tends to slip and slide toward a condition in which the test of a man’s honor is his zeal for discovering dishonor in others.” And on the spread of fascism he lamented, “fascism enjoys at the moment an almost perfect climate for growth—a world of fear and hunger.”

Anchored by an introduction by Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Jon Meacham, this concise collection of essays, letters, and poems from one of this country’s most eminent literary voices offers much-needed historical context for our current state of the nation—and hope for the future of our society. Speaking to Americans at a time of uncertainty, when democracy itself has come under threat, he reminds us, “As long as there is one upright man, as long as there is one compassionate woman . . . the scene is not desolate.”

I’ve read this in college and would like to revisit it.

What books caught your eyes this week?

Mailbox Monday

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mailboxesMailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

Now that the big birthday bash is over for my daughter, I hope to have more time to settle into a reading routine. I hope everyone had a great weekend. I, for one, am ready for spring.

Add your link below:

Please come back later in the week when we share the Books That Caught Our Eye.

Books That Caught Our Eye

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dragonlegendsAt Mailbox Monday we encourage participants to not only share the books they received, but to check out the books others have received.

Every Wednesday we will each share two books that caught our eye from that week’s Mailbox Monday.

We encourage you to share the books that caught your eye in the comments.

MARTHA:
Under the Midnight Sky by Anna Romer found at Sam Still Reading.

Chilling secrets buried deep in wild bushland drive this thrilling new novel from bestseller Anna Romer

When an injured teenager goes missing at a remote bushland campground, local journalist Abby Bardot is determined to expose the area’s dark history. The girl bears a striking resemblance to the victims of three brutal murders that occurred twenty years ago and Abby fears the killer is still on the loose.

But the newspaper Abby works for wants to suppress the story for fear it will scare off tourists to the struggling township. Haunted by her own turbulent memories, Abby is desperate to learn the truth and enlists the help of Tom Gabriel, a reclusive crime writer. At first resentful of Abby’s intrusion, Tom’s reluctance vanishes when they discover a hidden attic room in his house that shows evidence of imprisonment from half a century before.

As Abby and Tom sift through the attic room and discover its tragic history, they become convinced it holds the key to solving the bushland murders and finding the missing girl alive.

But their quest has drawn out a killer, someone with a shocking secret who will stop at nothing to keep the truth buried.

“This really looks and sounds like a good thriller.”

——–

Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly found at Lori’s Reading Corner.

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • For readers of The Nightingale and Sarah’s Key, inspired by the life of a real World War II heroine, this remarkable debut novel reveals the power of unsung women to change history in their quest for love, freedom, and second chances.

New York socialite Caroline Ferriday has her hands full with her post at the French consulate and a new love on the horizon. But Caroline’s world is forever changed when Hitler’s army invades Poland in September 1939—and then sets its sights on France.

An ocean away from Caroline, Kasia Kuzmerick, a Polish teenager, senses her carefree youth disappearing as she is drawn deeper into her role as courier for the underground resistance movement. In a tense atmosphere of watchful eyes and suspecting neighbors, one false move can have dire consequences.

For the ambitious young German doctor, Herta Oberheuser, an ad for a government medical position seems her ticket out of a desolate life. Once hired, though, she finds herself trapped in a male-dominated realm of Nazi secrets and power.

The lives of these three women are set on a collision course when the unthinkable happens and Kasia is sent to Ravensbrück, the notorious Nazi concentration camp for women. Their stories cross continents—from New York to Paris, Germany, and Poland—as Caroline and Kasia strive to bring justice to those whom history has forgotten.

“Serena picked a WWI book while I picked this WWII women’s drama.”

SERENA:

Far Side of the Sea by Kate Breslin at the bookworm.

In spring 1918, Lieutenant Colin Mabry, a British soldier working with MI8 after suffering injuries on the front, receives a message by carrier pigeon. It is from Jewel Reyer, the woman he once loved and who saved his life–a woman he believed to be dead. Traveling to France to answer her urgent summons, he desperately hopes this mission will ease his guilt and restore the courage he lost on the battlefield.

Colin is stunned, however, to discover the message came from Jewel’s half sister, Johanna. Johanna, who works at a dovecote for French Army Intelligence, found Jewel’s diary and believes her sister is alive in the custody of a German agent. With spies everywhere, Colin is skeptical of Johanna, but as they travel across France and Spain, a tentative trust begins to grow between them.

When their pursuit leads them straight into the midst of a treacherous plot, danger and deception turn their search for answers into a battle for their lives.

I am a bit predictable in this selection with the WWI theme.

On the Come Up by Angie Thomas at The Infinite Curio.

Sixteen-year-old Bri wants to be one of the greatest rappers of all time. Or at least make it out of her neighborhood one day. As the daughter of an underground rap legend who died before he hit big, Bri’s got big shoes to fill. But now that her mom has unexpectedly lost her job, food banks and shutoff notices are as much a part of Bri’s life as beats and rhymes. With bills piling up and homelessness staring her family down, Bri no longer just wants to make it—she has to make it.

On the Come Up is Angie Thomas’s homage to hip-hop, the art that sparked her passion for storytelling and continues to inspire her to this day. It is the story of fighting for your dreams, even as the odds are stacked against you; of the struggle to become who you are and not who everyone expects you to be; and of the desperate realities of poor and working-class black families.

I really enjoyed The Hate U Give, and I think this would be another winner from Thomas.

What books caught your eyes this week?

Mailbox Monday

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mailboxes-1Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

These months are just flying by. My daughter is excited about turning 8 this month. She’s having a pool party with her mermaid friends. She’s very excited about it. I hope everyone had a great reading month in February and is ready for some spring titles this month. I’m so over winter, and I hope it takes the hint.

Please share your weekly book goodies below.

Add your link below:

Please come back later in the week when we share the Books That Caught Our Eye.

Books That Caught Our Eye

6 Comments
DragonLegendsAt Mailbox Monday we encourage participants to not only share the books they received, but to check out the books others have received.

Every Wednesday we will each share two books that caught our eye from that week’s Mailbox Monday.

We encourage you to share the books that caught your eye in the comments.

Serena

Camp Austen by Ted Scheinman at vvb32 reads.

The son of a devoted Jane Austen scholar, Ted Scheinman spent his childhood eating Yorkshire pudding, singing in an Anglican choir, and watching Laurence Olivier as Mr. Darcy. Determined to leave his mother’s world behind, he nonetheless found himself in grad school organizing the first ever UNC-Chapel Hill Jane Austen Summer Camp, a weekend-long event that sits somewhere between an academic conference and superfan extravaganza.

While the long tradition of Austen devotees includes the likes of Henry James and E. M. Forster, it is at the conferences and reenactments where Janeism truly lives. In Camp Austen, Scheinman tells the story of his indoctrination into this enthusiastic world and his struggle to shake his mother’s influence while navigating hasty theatrical adaptations, undaunted scholars in cravats, and unseemly petticoat fittings.

In a haze of morning crumpets and restrictive tights, Scheinman delivers a hilarious and poignant survey of one of the most enduring and passionate literary coteries in history. Combining clandestine journalism with frank memoir, academic savvy with insider knowledge, Camp Austen is perhaps the most comprehensive study of Austen that can also be read in a single sitting. Brimming with stockings, culinary etiquette, and scandalous dance partners, this is summer camp like you’ve never seen it before.

Martha

The Go-Away Bird by Julia Donaldson found at The Burgeoning Bookshelf.

A gorgeous story about friendship and working together from a star picture-book partnership, the inimitable Julia Donaldson and award-winning Catherine Rayner.

‘The Go-Away bird sat up in her nest, With her fine grey wings and her fine grey crest.’ One by one, the other birds fly into her tree, wanting to talk or to play, but the Go-Away bird just shakes her head and sends them all away. But then the dangerous Get-You bird comes along, and she soon realizes that she might need some friends after all . . .

The Go-Away Bird combines brilliant rhyming verse from much-loved children’s author Julia Donaldson, creator of the bestselling picture books The Gruffalo and What the Ladybird Heard, with stunning illustrations from the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal-winning Catherine Rayner.

A charming story about the power of friendship from a thrilling creative partnership, this beautiful book is perfect for reading together.

“I like birds and this cover, title and message caught my eye quickly! Sounds wonderful. (Sorry if I snagged this choice before Leslie who cares for birds.)”

——–

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory by Caitlin Doughty found at The Bookworm.

Most people want to avoid thinking about death, but Caitlin Doughty—a twenty-something with a degree in medieval history and a flair for the macabre—took a job at a crematory, turning morbid curiosity into her life’s work. Thrown into a profession of gallows humor and vivid characters (both living and very dead), Caitlin learned to navigate the secretive culture of those who care for the deceased.

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes tells an unusual coming-of-age story full of bizarre encounters and unforgettable scenes. Caring for dead bodies of every color, shape, and affliction, Caitlin soon becomes an intrepid explorer in the world of the dead. She describes how she swept ashes from the machines (and sometimes onto her clothes) and reveals the strange history of cremation and undertaking, marveling at bizarre and wonderful funeral practices from different cultures.

Her eye-opening, candid, and often hilarious story is like going on a journey with your bravest friend to the cemetery at midnight. She demystifies death, leading us behind the black curtain of her unique profession. And she answers questions you didn’t know you had: Can you catch a disease from a corpse? How many dead bodies can you fit in a Dodge van? What exactly does a flaming skull look like?

Honest and heartfelt, self-deprecating and ironic, Caitlin’s engaging style makes this otherwise taboo topic both approachable and engrossing. Now a licensed mortician with an alternative funeral practice, Caitlin argues that our fear of dying warps our culture and society, and she calls for better ways of dealing with death (and our dead).

“I was curious about the title and then became intrigued by the description.”