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.
At age 35, Cami Walker was burdened by a battle with multiple sclerosis, a chronic neurological condition that made it difficult for her to walk, work, or enjoy her life. Seeking a remedy for her depression after being hospitalized, she received an uncommon prescription from an African medicine woman: give to others for 29 days.
29 Gifts is the insightful story of the author’s life change as she embraces and reflects on the naturally reciprocal process of giving and receiving. Many of Walker’s gifts were simple – a phone call, spare change, a Kleenex. Yet the acts were transformative. By day 29, not only had Walker’s health and happiness improved, but she had created a worldwide giving movement.
The book also includes personal essays from others whose lives changed for the better by giving, plus pages for the reader to record their own journey. More than a memoir, 29 Gifts offers inspiring lessons on how a simple daily practice of altruism can dramatically alter your outlook on the world.
A young girl in Harlem discovers slam poetry as a way to understand her mother’s religion and her own relationship to the world. Debut novel of renowned slam poet Elizabeth Acevedo.
Xiomara Batista feels unheard and unable to hide in her Harlem neighborhood. Ever since her body grew into curves, she has learned to let her fists and her fierceness do the talking.
But Xiomara has plenty she wants to say, and she pours all her frustration and passion onto the pages of a leather notebook, reciting the words to herself like prayers—especially after she catches feelings for a boy in her bio class named Aman, who her family can never know about. With Mami’s determination to force her daughter to obey the laws of the church, Xiomara understands that her thoughts are best kept to herself.
So when she is invited to join her school’s slam poetry club, she doesn’t know how she could ever attend without her mami finding out, much less speak her words out loud. But still, she can’t stop thinking about performing her poems.
Because in the face of a world that may not want to hear her, Xiomara refuses to be silent.
From the New York Times bestselling author of How to Walk Away comes a stunning new novel about courage, hope, and learning to love against all odds.
Cassie Hanwell was born for emergencies. As one of the only female firefighters in her Texas firehouse, she’s seen her fair share of them, and she’s a total pro at other people’s tragedies. But when her estranged and ailing mother asks her to give up her whole life and move to Boston, Cassie suddenly has an emergency of her own.
The tough, old-school Boston firehouse is as different from Cassie’s old job as it could possibly be. Hazing, a lack of funding, and poor facilities mean that the firemen aren’t exactly thrilled to have a “lady” on the crew—even one as competent and smart as Cassie. Except for the infatuation-inspiring rookie, who doesn’t seem to mind having Cassie around. But she can’t think about that. Because love is girly, and it’s not her thing. And don’t forget the advice her old captain gave her: Never date firefighters. Cassie can feel her resolve slipping…and it means risking it all—the only job she’s ever loved, and the hero she’s worked like hell to become.
Katherine Center’s Things You Save in a Fire is a heartfelt and healing tour-de-force about the strength of vulnerability, the nourishing magic of forgiveness, and the life-changing power of defining courage, at last, for yourself.
“This sounds like a story (maybe a romance?) I would like.”
From the screenwriter of the Netflix Original viral hit, A Christmas Prince, comes another heartwarming holiday story about a beautiful Grinch who’s determined to get her dream job even if it means spending a week at a Christmas Camp where she discovers an unexpected love.
Haley Hanson’s idea of the perfect Christmas is escaping to the Caribbean to work so she can avoid all the traditional Christmas distractions. Over the years, she’s sacrificed her personal life to climb the corporate ladder at a prestigious Boston advertising agency. Now she just needs to land a coveted Christmas toy company account to make partner. But first, her boss, Larry, thinks she needs a holiday attitude adjustment, so he ships her off to a Christmas Camp at Holly Peak Inn to help her find her Christmas spirit.
Arriving at the charming mountainside inn, Haley meets the owner’s handsome son, Jeff, and feels an instant spark, but resists the attraction, refusing to be distracted from her goal of doing all the required Christmas tasks as fast as possible so she can get back to work.
At first Haley struggles with all the traditional Christmas Camp activities. It’s not until she finally allows herself to slow down, live in the moment, and let Christmas back into her heart, that she begins to grow closer to Jeff. But when he finds out Haley’s come up with a plan to help his dad save the struggling inn while he’s been trying to convince his dad to sell it, their relationship takes a serious holiday hit. Now it will take the magic of the season to bring these two hearts together.
“I think I need a few light Christmas reads soon. This one actually sounds like a Hallmark Christmas movie story.”
The best of the best–including recipes, tastings, and testings–of 2019, all compiled into one must-have collection from America’s most trusted kitchen.
A carefully curated collection–in full color for the first time–of ATK’s best recipes of the year, selected from the hundreds of recipes developed for Cook’s Illustrated and Cook’s Country magazines and for new books such as The Complete Make-Ahead Cookbook, The Complete Slow Cooker, Nutritious Delicious, How to Roast Everything, Just Add Sauce, The Perfect Cake, and Multicooker Perfection. This year’s edition offers a wide array of fresh, foolproof recipes like Chinese Pork Dumplings, Shrimp Po’ Boys, Braised Brisket with Pomegranate, Cumin, and Cilantro, Thai Grilled Cornish Hens with Chili Dipping Sauce, and Roasted Lobster Tails. And we didn’t forget about dessert! From Easy Holiday Sugar Cookies and Lazy Strawberry Sonker to Coconut Cream Pie and Blackberry-Mascarpone Lemon Cake, this collection will satisfy every sweet tooth.
All of this year’s ingredient and equipment tastings and testings are here, too. Want to find out which high-end blender makes the grade? Wonder how we selected our top supermarket turkey? Curious to know which roll of paper towels really gets the job done? For the answers to these questions and more, look no further than The Best of America’s Test Kitchen 2019.
“I Love America’s Test Kitchen cookbooks!”
When Pete the Parakeet’s favourite person goes on holiday without him, he’s left behind with the rest of the family. The trouble is, none of them like him! Pete has been mean to everyone, and now he finds himself with no one to play with.
Pete’s family are willing to give him a second chance – if he can change his ways. Will Pete realise that being the bird with the bad attitude won’t get him anywhere?
Don’t miss this light-hearted, fun story, which carries a message for young readers about the importance of friendship and compassion. Pete the Cheeky Parakeet will bring lots of laughter and learning to story time!
“It’s nice to see a children’s story featuring birds even if it is a cranky parakeet! Although most of my parakeets are nice.”