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.

Serena

The Vineyards of Champagne by Juliet Blackwell at Silver’s Reviews.

Beneath the cover of France’s most exquisite vineyards, a city of women defy an army during World War I, from the New York Times bestselling author of The Lost Carousel of Provence….

Deep within the labyrinth of caves that lies below the lush, rolling vineyards of the Champagne region, an underground city of women and children hums with life. Forced to take shelter from the unrelenting onslaught of German shellfire above, the bravest and most defiant women venture out to pluck sweet grapes for the harvest. But wine is not the only secret preserved in the cool, dark cellars…

In present day, Rosalyn Acosta travels to Champagne to select vintages for her Napa-based employer. Rosalyn doesn’t much care for champagne–or France, for that matter. Since the untimely death of her young husband, Rosalyn finds it a challenge to enjoy anything at all. But as she reads through a precious cache of WWI letters and retraces the lives lived in the limestone tunnels, Rosalyn will unravel a mystery hidden for decades…and find a way to savor her own life again.

“WWI and vineyards. What’s not to like.”

——–


The Kennedy Heirs by J. Randy Taraborrelli at An Interior Journey.

A unique burden was inherited by the children of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy and his celebrated siblings, Senators Robert and Ted Kennedy. Raised in a world of enormous privilege against the backdrop of American history, this third generation of Kennedys often veered between towering accomplishment and devastating defeat. In his revelatory new book, acclaimed Kennedy historian J. Randy Taraborrelli draws back the curtain on the next generation of America’s most famous family.

John Kennedy, Jr.’s life in the public eye is explored, following the Kennedy scion as he faced the challenges posed by marrying his great love, Carolyn Bessette. Riveting new details are shared about the couple’s tragic demise―and why Ethel Kennedy advised Carolyn not to take the trip that would ultimately end her life. John’s sister, Caroline Kennedy, had her own complicated relationships, including a marriage to Ed Schlossberg that surprised her mother, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, and an unexpected bond with her mother-in-law, Mae Schlossberg.

Additional stories, many shared here for the first time, illuminate the rest of the Kennedy dynasty: Kara Kennedy, Ted’s daughter, and her valiant battle against lung cancer; how Ted’s wife, Vicki, introduced a new era of feminism to the Kennedy family; the lifelong struggles with addiction faced by Bobby Kennedy Jr. and Patrick Kennedy; the unexpected way pop star Taylor Swift helped Conor Kennedy heal after the death of his mother, Bobby’s wife Mary; and Congressman Joe Kennedy III’s rise to prominence. At the center of it all is the family’s indomitable matriarch, Ethel Kennedy―a formidable presence with her maddening eccentricities and inspiring courage.

Based on hundreds of exclusive first-hand interviews and cultivated over twenty years of research―including numerous Oral Histories from the JFK Library and the Edward M. Kennedy Institute―The Kennedy Heirs is an epic drama of ambition, scandal, pride and power.

“And yes, Kennedys are a must know in New England, so there is a certain bit of interest here in how this generation of them has fared.”

Martha

The Words between Us by Erin Bartels found at Silver’s Reviews.

Robin Windsor has spent most of her life under an assumed name, running from her family’s ignominious past. She thought she’d finally found sanctuary in her rather unremarkable used bookstore just up the street from the marina in River City, Michigan. But the store is struggling and the past is hot on her heels.

When she receives an eerily familiar book in the mail on the morning of her father’s scheduled execution, Robin is thrown back to the long-lost summer she met Peter Flynt, the perfect boy who ruined everything. That book–a first edition Catcher in the Rye–is soon followed by the other books she shared with Peter nearly twenty years ago, with one arriving in the mail each day. But why would Peter be making contact after all these years? And why does she have a sinking feeling that she’s about to be exposed all over again?

With evocative prose that recalls the classic novels we love, Erin Bartels pens a story that shows that words–the ones we say, the ones we read, and the ones we write–have more power than we imagine.

“I love the power of words and this book (with bookshop) sounds intriguing.”

——–

Extraordinary Birds by Sandy Stark-McGinnis found at Under My Apple Tree.

Eleven-year-old December knows everything about birds, and everything about getting kicked out of foster homes. All she has of her mom is the bird guide she left behind, and a message: “In flight is where you’ll find me.” December believes she’s truly a bird, just waiting for the day she transforms. The scar on her back is where her wings will sprout; she only needs to find the right tree and practice flying.

When she’s placed with foster mom Eleanor, who runs a taxidermy business and volunteers at a wildlife rescue, December begins to see what home means in a new light. But the story she’s told herself about her past is what’s kept her going this long. Can she learn to let go?

“I get attracted by birds and this sounds unusual and remarkable.”

Leslie

The Lying Room by Nicci French at Lori’s Reading Corner.

In this thrilling standalone from the internationally bestselling author of the Frieda Klein series, a married woman’s affair with her boss spirals into a dangerous game of chess with the police when she discovers he’s been murdered and she clears the crime scene of all evidence.

One little secret between a married woman, her lover, and a killer.

It should have been just a mid-life fling. A guilty indiscretion that Neve Connolly could have weathered. An escape from twenty years of routine marriage to her overworked husband, and from her increasingly distant children. But when Neve pays a morning-after visit to her lover, Saul, and finds him brutally murdered, their pied-à-terre still heady with her perfume, all the lies she has so painstakingly stitched together threaten to unravel.

After scrubbing clean every trace of her existence from Saul’s life—and death—Neve believes she can return to normal, shaken but intact. But she can’t get out of her head the one tormenting question: what was she forgetting?

An investigation into the slaying could provide the answer. It’s brought Detective Chief Inspector Alastair Hitching, and Neve’s worst fears, to her door. But with every new lie, every new misdirection to save herself, Neve descends further into the darkness of her betrayal—and into more danger than she ever imagined. Because Hitching isn’t the only one watching Neve. So is a determined killer who’s about to make the next terrifying move in a deadly affair….

“I’m glad to see this series continuing.”

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