Mailbox Monday

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snowy-valentine-mailbox-colorMailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

I hope everyone has been safe and warm during the snow storms here in the United States. We haven’t been affected too badly this year, but it is super cold! Reading has picked up for me in this month, which is good. I have mostly read poetry collections, but I did read one work of fiction and one nonfiction book. I hope to put more fiction in the rotation, since there seem to be so many good books out there.

Tell us about your new books by adding your Mailbox Monday post to the linky below:

Be sure to stop back later this week for Books That Caught Our Eye.

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 will share a few books that caught our eye from that weeks’ Mailbox Monday.

We encourage you to share the books that caught your eye in the comments.

MARTHA:

516di-nulnl._sx346_bo1204203200_The Future of Buildings, Transportation, and Power, by Roger Duncan and Michael E. Webber found at Words and Peace.

Most people have fantasized about stepping into the future, if only for a moment. Will there be flying cars? Will buildings be sleek, “smart,” and clean, or will they be just one more dysfunctional component of a decaying infrastructure? Will there be robots everywhere? Will we have clean energy and clear skies or polluted air and water?

The evolution of buildings, transportation and power will determine how our future looks and feels, and in this book Roger Duncan and Michael Webber argue the Energy Efficiency Megatrend will shape our future technology. Buildings and vehicles will evolve into sentient-appearing machines such that we will be living, working and moving about inside robots. Buildings may develop personalities and the transportation system will have any manner of vehicle available at a moment’s notice. This complex, interconnected system will be powered by the clean and efficient conversion of fuels and energy flows that surround us. Duncan is a former Austin City Council member and former General Manager of Austin Energy, the city’s municipal electric utility. Webber is the Josey Centennial Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Texas, and Chief Science and Technology Officer at ENGIE, a multi-national energy services and infrastructure company.

“This looks timely and interesting!”

511ebd1x3bl._sx331_bo1204203200_A Rogue of One’s Own (A League of Extraordinary Women #2) by Evie Dunmore found at The Infinite Curio.

A lady must have money and an army of her own if she is to win a revolution – but first, she must pit her wits against the wiles of an irresistible rogue bent on wrecking her plans…and her heart.

Lady Lucie is fuming. She and her band of Oxford suffragists have finally scraped together enough capital to control one of London’s major publishing houses, with one purpose: to use it in a coup against Parliament. But who could have predicted that the one person standing between her and success is her old nemesis, Lord Ballentine? Or that he would be willing to hand over the reins for an outrageous price—a night in her bed.

Lucie tempts Tristan like no other woman, burning him up with her fierceness and determination every time they clash. But as their battle of wills and words fans the flames of long-smouldering devotion, the silver-tongued seducer runs the risk of becoming caught in his own snare.

As Lucie tries to out-manoeuvre Tristan in the boardroom and the bedchamber, she soon discovers there’s truth in what the poets say: all is fair in love and war…

“This cute cover caught my eye and then the suffragist involvement (and rest of the blurb) really pulled me in.”

SERENA:

41j3lxa70rl._sx327_bo1204203200_Unfinished by Priyanka Chopra Jonas at Just Reading Jess.
Unfinished is a collection of personal essays, stories, and observations by actor, producer, activist and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, Priyanka Chopra.‘The flavor of the book will be honest, funny, spirited, bold, and rebellious, just like me. I have always been a private person; I’ve never spoken about my feelings during my journey but I am ready to do so now. I was raised to be fearless when it came to opinions, and I would like to tell my story in the hopes of inspiring people–especially women–to change the conversation, to shatter glass ceilings. Women are always told we can’t have everything. I want everything, and I believe anyone else can have it too. I’m proof of it.’

“I really think this will be fascinating.”
51mfwcvbqgl._sx331_bo1204203200_The Bookseller’s Secret by Michelle Gable at Silver’s Reviews and Book Reviews by Linda Moore
In 1942, London, Nancy Mitford is worried about more than air raids and German spies. Still recovering from a devastating loss, the once sparkling Bright Young Thing is estranged from her husband, her allowance has been cut, and she’s given up her writing career. On top of this, her five beautiful but infamous sisters continue making headlines with their controversial politics.Eager for distraction and desperate for income, Nancy jumps at the chance to manage the Heywood Hill bookshop while the owner is away at war. Between the shop’s brisk business and the literary salons she hosts for her eccentric friends, Nancy’s life seems on the upswing. But when a mysterious French officer insists that she has a story to tell, Nancy must decide if picking up the pen again and revealing all is worth the price she might be forced to pay.

Eighty years later, Heywood Hill is abuzz with the hunt for a lost wartime manuscript written by Nancy Mitford. For one woman desperately in need of a change, the search will reveal not only a new side to Nancy, but an even more surprising link between the past and present…

“This one is WWII era and about secrets and books…can’t go wrong there.”
What books caught your eyes this week?

Mailbox Monday

5 Comments

Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

I’m writing this post in advance of Christmas because with all the unwrapping and cooking, I’ll likely forget to post it. I know everyone will be eager to share their book goodies with everyone after the holiday. I’m not sure I’ll have any to share, but I do hope to have a couple that I ordered before the holiday finally show up. I’m eager to just have a break from chaos at work and get some sleep and down time in. I wish you all well and look forward to your posts.

Hope everyone had a good book week. Add your Mailbox Monday post to the linky below:

Be sure to stop back later this week for Books That Caught Our Eye.

Books That Caught Our Eye

3 Comments

At Mailbox Monday we encourage participants to not only share the books they received, but to check out the books others have received.

Each week will share a few 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:

512slgqe8bl._sx322_bo1204203200_An Ivy Hill Christmas by Julie Klassen at Fiction Books.

Richard Brockwell, the younger son of Ivy Hill’s most prominent family, hasn’t been home for Christmas in years. He prefers to live in the London townhouse, far away from Brockwell Court, the old family secret that haunts him, and the shadows of his past mistakes. But then his mother threatens to stop funding his carefree life–unless he comes home for Christmas. Out of options, he sets out for Ivy Hill, planning to be back on a coach bound for London and his unencumbered bachelor life as soon as the festivities are over.

But Christmas in the country presents unforeseen surprises, including encounters with an orphaned apprentice, the first love he disappointed years ago, and Arabella Awdry, a young lady who is far more appealing than he recalled . . . and determined to have nothing to do with him.

Will Christmastime in Ivy Hill, with its village charm, kissing boughs, joyous songs, and divine hope, work its magic in his heart . . . and hers as well?

“I love books that have secrets that are bound to come out.”

——–

MARTHA:
No Reading Allowed: The WORST Read-Aloud Book Ever by Raj Haldar & Chris Carpenter found at Silver’s Reviews.

From the #1 NEW YORK TIMES bestselling authors of P IS FOR PTERODACTYL comes another hilarious, fresh look at the English language!

The hero had super vision.
The hero had supervision.

Man, a tea sounds great.
Manatee sounds great!

Sir Francis Bacon
Sir, France is bakin’!

What is going on here?!
You can’t believe everything you hear! A single word can have many different meanings. And sometimes two words that sound alike can be spelled completely differently. Ptolemy the pterodactyl is back to show us all how absurd and fun language can be when homophones, homonyms, and tricky punctuation are at play!

No Reading Allowed allows children and their parents to laugh together while also learning something new. Perfect for baby gifts, birthday gifts, teacher gifts, and anyone who finds humor in the absurdity of the English language.

“I love “word” books and this would be fun to share this with my grandchildren.”

——–

The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes found at The Infinite Curio.

A Cinderella story with deadly stakes and thrilling twists, perfect for fans of One of Us is Lying and Knives Out.

Avery Grambs has a plan for a better future: survive high school, win a scholarship, and get out. But her fortunes change in an instant when billionaire Tobias Hawthorne dies and leaves Avery virtually his entire fortune. The catch? Avery has no idea why–or even who Tobias Hawthorne is. To receive her inheritance, Avery must move into sprawling, secret passage-filled Hawthorne House, where every room bears the old man’s touch–and his love of puzzles, riddles, and codes.

Unfortunately for Avery, Hawthorne House is also occupied by the family that Tobias Hawthorne just dispossessed. This includes the four Hawthorne grandsons: dangerous, magnetic, brilliant boys who grew up with every expectation that one day, they would inherit billions. Heir apparent Grayson Hawthorne is convinced that Avery must be a con-woman, and he’s determined to take her down. His brother, Jameson, views her as their grandfather’s last hurrah: a twisted riddle, a puzzle to be solved. Caught in a world of wealth and privilege, with danger around every turn, Avery will have to play the game herself just to survive.

“I do like puzzles, riddles and codes and this sounds like a fun mystery/suspense.”

What Books Caught Your Eye this week?

Mailbox Monday

3 Comments

Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

We’ve had what seems like a very stressful few weeks with the shopping, activities outdoors in the cold, our first snow, and my work drama that likely will continue into the new year. I hope everyone is reading. I haven’t been, which is probably why I am so stressed.

Hope everyone had a good book week. Add your Mailbox Monday post to the linky below:

Be sure to stop back later this week for Books That Caught Our Eye.

Books That Caught Our Eye

6 Comments

At Mailbox Monday we encourage participants to not only share the books they received, but to check out the books others have received.

Each week will share a few 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.

MARTHA:

Passenger 23 by Sebastian Fitzek found at Fiction Books.

On average 23 people a year disappear from the world’s cruise ships. They are written off as accidents or suicides. But what if they’re not?

Five years ago Martin Schwarz, a police psychologist, lost his wife and son. They were holidaying on a cruise ship when they simply vanished. A lacklustre investigation was unable to shed any light on what happened – murder-suicide being the coroner’s verdict. It is a verdict that has haunted Martin ever since, blighting his life. But then he is contacted by an elderly woman, a writer, who claims to have information regarding their fate and wants him to come on board The Sultan of the Seas immediately.

She explains that his wife and son are not the only mother and child pair to have disappeared. Only a few months ago another mother and daughter also vanished. She believes there may be a serial killer on board.

But when the missing daughter reappears – carrying the teddy bear of Martin’s missing son – it becomes apparent that the truth could be much, much worse…

“This sounds like a very creepy suspense.”

Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women That a Movement Forgot by Mikki Kendall found at Sam Still Reading.

Today’s feminist movement has a glaring blind spot, and paradoxically, it is women. Mainstream feminists rarely talk about meeting basic needs as a feminist issue, argues Mikki Kendall, but food insecurity, access to quality education, safe neighborhoods, a living wage, and medical care are all feminist issues. All too often, however, the focus is not on basic survival for the many, but on increasing privilege for the few. That feminists refuse to prioritize these issues has only exacerbated the age-old problem of both internecine discord and women who rebuff at carrying the title. Moreover, prominent white feminists broadly suffer from their own myopia with regard to how things like race, class, sexual orientation, and ability intersect with gender. How can we stand in solidarity as a movement, Kendall asks, when there is the distinct likelihood that some women are oppressing others?

“The premise of this book sounds realistic to me and it caught my eye.”

SERENA:

Hood Feminism was also on my list.

The Woman With the Blue Star by Pam Jenoff from Silver’s Reviews.

1942. Sadie Gault is eighteen and living with her parents amid the horrors of the Kraków Ghetto during World War II. When the Nazis liquidate the ghetto, Sadie and her pregnant mother are forced to seek refuge in the perilous sewers beneath the city. One day Sadie looks up through a grate and sees a girl about her own age buying flowers.

Ella Stepanek is an affluent Polish girl living a life of relative ease with her stepmother, who has developed close alliances with the occupying Germans. Scorned by her friends and longing for her fiancé, who has gone off to war, Ella wanders Kraków restlessly. While on an errand in the market, she catches a glimpse of something moving beneath a grate in the street. Upon closer inspection, she realizes it’s a girl hiding.

Ella begins to aid Sadie and the two become close, but as the dangers of the war worsen, their lives are set on a collision course that will test them in the face of overwhelming odds. Inspired by harrowing true stories, The Woman with the Blue Star is an emotional testament to the power of friendship and the extraordinary strength of the human will to survive.

“I absolutely love Pam Jenoff’s books.”

What books caught your eyes this week?

Mailbox Monday

4 Comments

Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

Hope everyone had a good week. I’m usually busy baking and doing holiday things with my daughter, so I haven’t been reading many things. I hope you all have a great week. No snow here, but it is very cold of late.

Hope everyone had a good book week. Add your Mailbox Monday post to the linky below:

Be sure to stop back later this week for Books That Caught Our Eye.

Books That Caught Our Eye

4 Comments

At Mailbox Monday we encourage participants to not only share the books they received, but to check out the books others have received.

Each week will share a few 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.

MARTHA:

517ir197hxl._sx326_bo1204203200_Sleigh Bells Ring: A Magical Cowboy Christmas Romance by Jessica James found at Bookfan.

WELCOME HOME TO THE MAGIC OF CHRISTMAS!

Sleigh Bells Ring is a heartwarming holiday cowboy Christmas romance filled with second chances, holiday traditions, the reuniting of best friends, and the magical promise of love during the holiday season.

There’s no love story as beautiful as those at Christmas, so pour yourself a cup of hot chocolate and indulge in a classic romance that unleashes the magic of Christmas and the true meaning of the season. This clean, wholesome romance will take you back to bygone days when holiday traditions were deeply rooted institutions, and when love could heal all wounds.

Returning to her family’s Montana ranch after a ten-year absence, Jordyn Dunaway pitches in to help her Mother create the special holiday magic for which the family ranch is renowned. But when she discovers that her best friend growing up—the man she has never forgotten—is employed as a ranch hand, the holiday season turns into something she never imagined.

Chad Devlin was falling into a deep abyss after leaving the military as a result of a traumatic brain injury. When his old employer invited him back as a ranch hand he found himself recovering both physically and mentally…that is until he was blindsided by the return of the ranch owner’s daughter after a ten-year absence.

The rocky relationship of the former best friends takes a back seat as the future of the family-owned ranch becomes threatened. If Jordyn and Chad don’t put their painful pasts behind them, they might lose the ranch they both call home. Can misunderstandings, mistrust, and lost years be forgotten when the magic of Christmas is in the air?

Find out with the help of beautiful vistas, Western hospitality, and the magical meaning of a special sleigh bell that ties both Jordyn and Chad to the past—and the future.

If you love Debbie Macomber, Shanna Hatfield, RaeAnne Thayne, Susan Mallery, or Sheila Roberts, you’ll love Sleigh Bells Ring by award-winning Jessica James.

“This cover caught me with the magical look of Christmas.”

41usgakfkflProspector’s Run by Kevin W. Bates found at Library of Clean Reads.

Even after five thousand years, riches can be found among the First Stellar Civilization’s dead, shattered worlds—with luck and the right coordinates—Holtz Mitsumi has neither. But as he watches hope and his last credit disappear on a failed voyage prospecting for lost First Civ tech, Mitsumi stumbles on a mysterious artifact in the wastes of an abandoned alien city. Compelled to find the artifact’s origin, but struggling to finance the expedition, Holtz encounters Aber Chandra. An enigmatic figure, Chandra holds information on coordinates for lost First Civ worlds where untold treasure awaits.

But even as Mitsumi and Chandra scrape together a rag-tag crew, they are hunted by the Consortium. Ambushed, Holtz and crew barely survive only to discover that Chandra is not what he seems. Chased across the galaxy, Mitsumi desperately tries to evade his pursuers and keep the crew from each other’s throats. When one of the crew is kidnapped and threatened with personality erasure, all bets are off and their fate teeters on a knife’s edge.

“This is a sci-fi that is definitely up my alley.”

SERENA:

41aqa8xdz2l._sx327_bo1204203200_The Kitchen Front by Jennifer Ryan at Bookfan.

In a new World War II-set story from the bestselling author of The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir, four women compete for a spot hosting a wartime cookery program called The Kitchen Front – based on the actual BBC program of the same name – as well as a chance to better their lives.

Two years into WW2, Britain is feeling her losses; the Nazis have won battles, the Blitz has destroyed cities, and U-boats have cut off the supply of food. In an effort to help housewives with food rationing, a BBC radio program called The Kitchen Front is putting on a cooking contest–and the grand prize is a job as the program’s first-ever female co-host. For four very different women, winning the contest presents a crucial chance to change their lives.

For a young widow, it’s a chance to pay off her husband’s debts and keep a roof over her children’s heads. For a kitchen maid, it’s a chance to leave servitude and find freedom. For the lady of the manor, it’s a chance to escape her wealthy husband’s increasingly hostile behavior. And for a trained chef, it’s a chance to challenge the men at the top of her profession.

These four women are giving the competition their all–even if that sometimes means bending the rules. But with so much at stake, will the contest that aims to bring the community together serve only to break it apart?

“Definitely one for my list.”

What books caught your eyes this week?

Mailbox Monday

11 Comments

Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

How is it December already? The end of the year always comes too quickly for me. I feel unprepared every year and stressed out. This year, particularly so. I hope everyone has had time to read and enjoy family and food. I’m focused on food and family these days as a way to destress from work. We did have some snow flurries last week, but nothing stuck to the ground.

Hope everyone had a good book week. Add your Mailbox Monday post to the linky below:

Be sure to stop back later this week for Books That Caught Our Eye.

Books That Caught Our Eye

5 Comments

At Mailbox Monday we encourage participants to not only share the books they received, but to check out the books others have received.

Each week will share a few 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.

MARTHA:

51w9yvqqc1l._sx330_bo1204203200_I Was Told It Would Get Easier by Abbi Waxman found at An Interior Journey.

Jessica and Emily Burnstein have very different ideas of how this college tour should go.

For Emily, it’s a preview of freedom, exploring the possibility of her new and more exciting future. Not that she’s sure she even wants to go to college, but let’s ignore that for now. And maybe the other kids on the tour will like her more than the ones at school. . . . They have to, right?

For Jessica, it’s a chance to bond with the daughter she seems to have lost. They used to be so close, but then Goldfish crackers and Play-Doh were no longer enough of a draw. She isn’t even sure if Emily likes her anymore. To be honest, Jessica isn’t sure she likes herself.

Together with a dozen strangers–and two familiar enemies–Jessica and Emily travel the East Coast, meeting up with family and old friends along the way. Surprises and secrets threaten their relationship and, in the end, change it forever.

“Although family ‘drama’ isn’t my usual draw, this mother/daughter journey caught my interest.”

54297964Goodbye, Orchid by Carol Van Den Hende found at Book Reviews by Linda Moore.

Can love blossom after life changes in an instant?

One July morning in Manhattan, handsome athlete and entrepreneur Phoenix Walker accompanies his love, half-Asian beauty Orchid, to the airport.

Neither believes today is goodbye.

But after she leaves, disaster strikes. Phoenix wakes in the hospital, broken, forever changed. He longs for Orchid but remembers the tragedy in her past that makes her panic over images of trauma.

Now, he’s faced with the hardest decision of his life. Does he burden the woman whose traumatic childhood makes him feel protective of her? Or does true love mean leaving her without explaining why?

Rising from ashes is hard. Giving up the one you love is harder.

“I was drawn by the beautiful cover and then caught by the interesting blurb.”

SERENA:

41omcxhxwul._sx330_bo1204203200_Our Darkest Night by Jennifer Robson at Silver’s Reviews.

It is the autumn of 1943, and life is becoming increasingly perilous for Italian Jews like the Mazin family. With Nazi Germany now occupying most of her beloved homeland, and the threat of imprisonment and deportation growing ever more certain, Antonina Mazin has but one hope to survive—to leave Venice and her beloved parents and hide in the countryside with a man she has only just met.

Nico Gerardi was studying for the priesthood until circumstances forced him to leave the seminary to run his family’s farm. A moral and just man, he could not stand by when the fascists and Nazis began taking innocent lives. Rather than risk a perilous escape across the mountains, Nina will pose as his new bride. And to keep her safe and protect secrets of his own, Nico and Nina must convince prying eyes they are happily married and in love.

But farm life is not easy for a cultured city girl who dreams of becoming a doctor like her father, and Nico’s provincial neighbors are wary of this soft and educated woman they do not know. Even worse, their distrust is shared by a local Nazi official with a vendetta against Nico. The more he learns of Nina, the more his suspicions grow—and with them his determination to exact revenge.

As Nina and Nico come to know each other, their feelings deepen, transforming their relationship into much more than a charade. Yet both fear that every passing day brings them closer to being torn apart . . .

“I love WWII novels, and this one sounds like a love story for the ages.”

What books caught your eyes this week?