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 Friday 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:
Christmas Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella at An Interior Journey.

#1 New York Times bestselling author Sophie Kinsella returns with a festive new Shopaholic adventure filled with holiday cheer and unexpected gifts.

“Funny, charming, and the perfect read to get into the holiday spirit.”—PopSugar

’Tis the season for change and Becky Brandon (née Bloomwood) is embracing it, returning from the States to live in the charming village of Letherby and working with her best friend, Suze, in the gift shop of Suze’s stately home. Life is good, especially now that Becky takes time every day for mindfulness—even if that only means listening to a meditation tape while hunting down online bargains.

But Becky still adores the traditions of Christmas: Her parents hosting, carols playing on repeat, her mother pretending she made the Christmas pudding, and the neighbors coming ’round for sherry in their terrible holiday sweaters. Things are looking cheerier than ever, until Becky’s parents announce they’re moving to ultra-trendy Shoreditch—unable to resist the draw of craft beer and smashed avocados—and ask Becky if she’ll host this year. What could possibly go wrong?

Becky’s sister demands a vegan turkey, her husband insists that he just wants aftershave (again), and little Minnie needs a very specific picnic hamper: Surely Becky can manage all this, as well as the surprise appearance of an old boyfriend–turned–rock star and his pushy new girlfriend, whose motives are far from clear. But as the countdown to Christmas begins and her bighearted plans take an unexpected turn toward disaster, Becky wonders if chaos will ensue, or if she’ll manage to bring comfort and joy to Christmas after all.

“I love the Shopaholic series.”

——–

MARTHA:

The Minuteman by Greg Donahue found at Savvy Verse & Wit.

Declaring war on homegrown Nazis…in Newark, NJ.

Join writer and documentary producer Greg Donahue as he explores the history of domestic Nazis on the brink of World War II and the Jewish mobsters who stood up to them in this gripping, true-life audiobook.

In the early 1930’s, pro-Nazi groups popped up across America, attempting to drum up support among recent immigrants for the fascist movement back in Europe. By 1939, a massive rally of some 20,000 homegrown Nazi supporters was held in New York City’s Madison Square Garden. While across the Hudson River in Newark, New Jersey, the town’s large German population stepped up Nazi recruitment activity. Pro-fascist groups staged parades, screened anti-Semitic films, and organized boycotts of Jewish businesses and politicians throughout the city. Complicating matters, Newark was also the epicenter of the Jewish mob.

Abner ‘Longie’ Zwillman, known as the “Al Capone of New Jersey,” had made a fortune in gambling, bootlegging, racketeering, and controlled the city’s ports and police force. Not surprisingly, this powerful Jewish gangster took exception to the Nazi’s anti-Semitic platform. In response, Zwillman helped organize a group of ex-boxers, factory workers, and students to defend the city’s Jewish interests. The group dubbed themselves the Minutemen—ready at a moment’s notice—and took to breaking up Nazi gatherings using an intimidating combination of stink bombs, baseball bats, brass knuckles, and pure chutzpah.

Greg Donahue’s The Minuteman tells the story of one of Newark’s native sons—ex-prizefighter and longtime Zwillman enforcer Sidney Abramowitz, a.k.a. Nat Arno—who took over leadership of the Minutemen in 1934 and made it his personal business to put an end to what he saw as the homegrown Nazi movement’s “anti-American” activities. For six years, Arno and his crew of vigilantes battled Newark’s Nazis at every turn. The Minuteman is a story of the ethics of violence in the face of fascism—a forgotten legacy that is as relevant now as it was nearly a hundred years ago.

Photos Included in Cover Art Courtesy of the Jewish Historical Society of NJ—Warren Grover Collection

©2019 Greg Donahue (P)2019 Audible Originals, LLC

“This looks/sounds fascinating.”

——–

The Royal Art of Poison by Eleanor Herman found at Infinite Curio.

The story of poison is the story of power. For centuries, royal families have feared the gut-roiling, vomit-inducing agony of a little something added to their food or wine by an enemy. To avoid poison, they depended on tasters, unicorn horns, and antidotes tested on condemned prisoners. Servants licked the royal family’s spoons, tried on their underpants and tested their chamber pots.

Ironically, royals terrified of poison were unknowingly poisoning themselves daily with their cosmetics, medications, and filthy living conditions. Women wore makeup made with mercury and lead. Men rubbed turds on their bald spots. Physicians prescribed mercury enemas, arsenic skin cream, drinks of lead filings, and potions of human fat and skull, fresh from the executioner. The most gorgeous palaces were little better than filthy latrines. Gazing at gorgeous portraits of centuries past, we don’t see what lies beneath the royal robes and the stench of unwashed bodies; the lice feasting on private parts; and worms nesting in the intestines.

In The Royal Art of Poison, Eleanor Herman combines her unique access to royal archives with cutting-edge forensic discoveries to tell the true story of Europe’s glittering palaces: one of medical bafflement, poisonous cosmetics, ever-present excrement, festering natural illness, and, sometimes, murder.

“How interesting to think the royals were poisoning themselves with make-up, medications and living conditions even while having taste testers to protect them from food poisons.”

What books caught your eye?

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