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.

Each week 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.


Miss Austen by Gill Hornby at Bookfan.

Whoever looked at an elderly lady and saw the young heroine she once was?

England, 1840. For the two decades following the death of her beloved sister, Jane, Cassandra Austen has lived alone, spending her days visiting friends and relations and quietly, purposefully working to preserve her sister’s reputation. Now in her sixties and increasingly frail, Cassandra goes to stay with the Fowles of Kintbury, family of her long-dead fiancé, in search of a trove of Jane’s letters. Dodging her hostess and a meddlesome housemaid, Cassandra eventually hunts down the letters and confronts the secrets they hold, secrets not only about Jane but about Cassandra herself. Will Cassandra bare the most private details of her life to the world, or commit her sister’s legacy to the flames?

Moving back and forth between the vicarage and Cassandra’s vibrant memories of her years with Jane, interwoven with Jane’s brilliantly reimagined lost letters, Miss Austen is the untold story of the most important person in Jane’s life. With extraordinary empathy, emotional complexity, and wit, Gill Hornby finally gives Cassandra her due, bringing to life a woman as captivating as any Austen heroine.

“I love learning about Austen’s life and her family.”


The Five-Minute Writing Prompt Journal by Kate Motaung at
An Imperfect Christian Mom.

Five minutes could change your life. It might not sound significant, but imagine the possibilities.

Use the 52 writing prompts in this journal as an invitation to leave your inhibition at the door and let the inspiration flow, free and unreserved. Stop taking yourself so seriously and just have fun.

Write to discover. Write to release. Write to reflect. Write to restore.

Don’t worry about anything or anyone else—just set a timer and free write for five uninterrupted minutes. No overthinking, no worrying about spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, or what anyone else will think—just write.

The purpose of this journal is not to limit you with a set of rules, but rather to spark inspiration, provide space for you to practice your craft, and challenge you to cultivate the habit of writing regularly. Let go of your inhibiting fears and gain new confidence page by page as you practice these freewriting exercises.

The practice of freewriting has many benefits.

“I need another one of these.”


Our Better Angels: Seven Simple Virtues That Will Change Your Life and the World (with tote bag) by Jonathan Reckford found at Bookfan and BermudaOnion’s Weblog.

For readers of Make Your Bed, a book about real-life virtues in action to inspire readers–from Habitat for Humanity, one of the world’s most admired organizations.

In this powerful book from Habitat for Humanity, CEO Jonathan Reckford shares moving and inspiring stories of ordinary people whose lives have been changed by working together to help one another. And he shows what we can all learn from these everyday heroes.

Having witnessed people beat back the storms of life, Reckford came to see how we can all find our better selves by tapping into seven old-fashioned virtues—kindness, generosity, community, empowerment, respect, joy, and service. And he came to see how the strength gained from these virtues can help each of us build our best selves in ways that impact all areas of our lives—from our careers to our families, from how we behave in our communities to how we see the world.

With a separate chapter devoted to each of these seven virtues, Reckford introduces us to remarkable people Habitat has served, like Jed, whose family received a Habitat home and who could barely wait to donate it back Habitat to help others in need. And we also meet volunteers like Vic, a veteran who was inspired to return to Vietnam to help build housing there. Each vivid story in this book carries its own lesson and epiphany – to help readers find their own better angels.

The book begins with an inspirational foreword by Jimmy Carter.

Since 1976, Habitat for Humanity has helped more than five million people in over seventy countries. More than two million people volunteer every year with Habitat.

“I work with our local Habitat for Humanity and I like these virtues so this caught my eye.”


Ghost of the Bamboo Road (Shinobi Mystery #7) by Susan Spann found at Book Dilettante.

When a vengeful spirit terrorizes a mountain village in medieval Japan, a ninja and a Jesuit priest must reveal the truth and save the villagers from the phantom’s wrath.

January 1566: En route to Edo, Master ninja Hiro Hattori and Portuguese Jesuit Father Mateo spend the night in a rural mountain village whose inhabitants live in terror of a legendary vengeful ghost. When the innkeeper’s wife is murdered and Father Mateo’s housekeeper, Ana, is blamed for a crime she did not commit, Hiro and Father Mateo are forced to investigate and reveal the truth. But when another woman turns up murdered in the snow, the detectives must face the shocking truth that the vengeful yūrei the villagers fear might be more than just a legend after all.

“I was drawn to the unusual setting/time period and the unusual investigative duo. I plan to check out this series. ”

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