Books That Caught Our Eye


Books That Caught Our Eye

Here at Mailbox Monday, we want to encourage participants to not only share the books they received, but to check out the books others have received. We encourage you to share the books that caught your eye in the comments.

Here are the books that caught our eye this week:


Emma by Alexander McCall Smith at Sam Still Reading.

The summer after she graduates from university, Emma Woodhouse returns home to the village of Highbury, where she will live with her health-conscious father until she is ready to launch her interior-design business and strike out on her own. In the meantime, she will do what she does best: offer guidance to those less wise than she is in the ways of the world. Happily, this summer brings many new faces to Highbury and into the sphere of Emma’s not always perfectly felicitous council: Harriet Smith, a naïve teacher’s assistant at the ESL school run by the hippie-ish Mrs. Goddard; Frank Churchill, the attractive stepson of Emma’s former governess; and, of course, the perfect Jane Fairfax.

I love Jane Austen, and this is part of the Austen project in which authors place their own spin on those tales of English society. I think given Smith’s name recognition and his skill as a writer, this will be a good rendition. I cannot wait to get my hands on it.

Flunked by Jen Calonita at Library of Clean Reads.


Full of regret, Cinderella’s wicked stepmother, Flora, has founded the Fairy Tale Reform School with the mission of turning the wicked and criminally mischievous into upstanding members of Enchantasia.

Impish, sassy 12-year-old Gilly has a history of petty theft and she’s not too sorry about it. When she lifts a hair clip, she gets tossed in reform school-for at least three months. But when she meets fellow students Jax and Kayla, she learns there’s more to this school than its sweet mission. There’s a battle brewing and she starts to wonder: can a villian really change?

My daughter has rekindled my interest in fairy tales, and this is part of a series of twisted fairy tales, which are usually fun reads.


Singing to a Bulldog by Anson Williams @ Bookfan.

Growing up in 1950s California, young Anson William Heimlich showed very little promise. Clumsy, unsure of himself, and made to feel like a failure by his disappointed artist of a dad, Anson started working odd jobs as a teenager to help support his family. His boss at one of these jobs, an aging African-American janitor named Willie, unexpectedly became a mentor—and the lessons he taught young Anson proved to be invaluable throughout his subsequent career as an actor, director, and entrepreneur.

In Singing to a Bulldog, Anson Williams (as he came to be known) relates both these lessons and the never-before-revealed stories of the many seminal TV series he has worked on and the famous (and not-so-famous) folks he’s encountered during his 40 years in Hollywood, including: • being directed by Steven Spielberg in his first dramatic role • getting kidnapped by Gerald Ford’s daughter at the White House • subbing for Sammy Davis, Jr., as a headliner with Bill Cosby • being humbled by Sunny, a young volunteer for the Cerebral Palsy National Organization • mentoring Shailene Woodley on the set of The Secret Life of the American Teenager and many more.

This compelling read has a cross-generational and broad appeal, combining all the fun of a celebrity memoir with the emotional impact of an inspirational bestseller. With Singing to a Bulldog, Anson Williams brings his gift of storytelling to a new medium in a book that is sure to touch readers’ hearts and lives as profoundly as Willie once touched his.

I LOVED him on Happy Day!! I can’t wait to read this!!

Texts from Jane Eyre: And Other Conversations with Your Favorite Literary Characters by Mallory Ortberg @ Bookfan.


Hilariously imagined text conversations—the passive aggressive, the clever, and the strange—from classic and modern literary figures, from Scarlett O’Hara to Jessica Wakefield

Mallory Ortberg, the co-creator of the cult-favorite website The Toast, presents this whimsical collection of hysterical text conversations from your favorite literary characters. Everyone knows that if Scarlett O’Hara had an unlimited text-and-data plan, she’d constantly try to tempt Ashley away from Melanie with suggestive messages. If Mr. Rochester could text Jane Eyre, his ardent missives would obviously be in all-caps. And Daisy Buchanan would not only text while driving, she’d text you to pick her up after she totaled her car. Based on the popular web-feature, Texts from Jane Eyre is a witty, irreverent mashup that brings the characters from your favorite books into the twenty-first century.

It’s about favorite literary characters and supposed to be hilarious. Sounds like my kind of book!


One Step Too Far by Tina Seskis at Book Dilettante.

A happy marriage. A beautiful family. A lovely home. So what makes Emily Coleman get up one morning and walk right out of her life–to start again as someone new?

Now, Emily has become Cat, working at a hip advertising agency in London and living on the edge with her inseparable new friend, Angel. Cat’s buried any trace of her old self so well, no one knows how to find her. But she can’t bury the past–or her own memories.

And soon, she’ll have to face the truth of what she’s done–a shocking revelation that may push her one step too far.

I love a good psychological thriller.

My Real Children by Jo Walton at Sam Still Reading.


An alternate history, in which a woman with dementia struggles to remember her two contradictory lives.

It is 2015 and Patricia Cowan is very old. ‘Confused today’ read the notes clipped to the end of her bed. Her childhood, her years at Oxford during the Second World War – those things are solid in her memory. Then that phone call and… her memory splits in two.

She was Trish, a housewife and mother of four. She was Pat, a successful travel writer and mother of three.

She remembers living her life as both women, so very clearly. Which memory is real – or are both just tricks of time and light?

This sounds a little like Life After Life, a book I both enjoyed and was disappointed in. But I do enjoy speculative fiction so this is worth an addition to my to-read list.

12 thoughts on “Books That Caught Our Eye

  1. Hi Ladies,

    Sorry Serena and Vicki! I am just not enthused by the constant re-thrashing and ‘what if’ scenarios, of some of the most iconic classics to have been written, so I am going to declare myself out of your choices this week.

    Leslie, both of your books are real possibilities for my own list. I can’t believe that both storylines deal with women who purport to live two completely diverse lives, with separate identities, albeit under totally different circumstances! ‘My Real Children’ sounds especially poignant right now, as my own FIL has recently been diagnosed with early stage dimensure and has moments where he fails to recognise even my husband as being his eldest son … heartbreaking to watch!

    Have a great weekend one and all!


    • Sadly I have the same situation in my own family with my FIL having early stage dementia and my mom at a more advanced stage. Perhaps that’s why I’m attracted to these types of stories. Earlier this year I read an excellent mystery written from the pov of a women sinking into dementia: Elizabeth is Missing. by Emma Healey.

      • Hi Leslie,

        Having both parents with dementia must be placing a huge strain on the rest of the family and I can’t begin to imagine how you must be feeling about, or coping with, the situation.

        I have decided not to add ‘My Real Children’ to my list, as I am imagining this to be a slightly more clinical story about the two separate lives of the protagonist Patricia Cowan, which for me would make it a more difficult read than the excellent sounding ‘Elizabeth Is Missing’, which has a definite storyline and premise.

        Perhaps this is rather burying my head in the sand a little, but I don’t think that I am ready to confront the issues which come with the disease in such a head on way, just yet! I still need the comfort of reading about it couched in fictional terms for a little longer!

        Take Care,


    • Well Yvonne~ I haven’t read but a few classics and Jane Eyre isn’t one of them. I just thought the book sounded interesting, especially since it’s supposed to be hilarious. Laughter is the best medicine you know!

      • Hi Vicki,

        Sorry if I offended, it wasn’t meant that way!

        I haven’t read that many of the classics either, but I just prefer them the way they were originally written, that’s all.

        I am not a big fan of funny books either, but I know what you mean about laughter being the best medicine, so I look forward to you perhaps sharing one or two of the texts in your review, should you decide to read the book.

        Happy Reading!
        Yvonne 🙂

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