Mailbox Monday

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Sunflower MailboxMailbox 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.

This month of March has just flown by.  Who knew that with the impromptu snow and sledding, plus all the activities with my daughter, I would completely miss out on March!  It’s Spring, but only if the weather warms up will I believe it.  I’m looking forward to April and National Poetry Month, but I’m not looking forward to my allergies kicking in.

Hope everyone had a good week. Tell us about your new books by adding your Mailbox Monday post in the COMMENTS. (MR. Linky is having issues).

Be sure to stop back here on Wednesday for Books That Caught Our Eye.

Books That Caught Our Eye

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dragonlegends1At 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.

LESLIE:

The Lake and the Lost Girl by Jacquelyn Vincenta at Lori’s Reading Corner

When her husband’s scholarly interest turns to obsession, Lydia Carroll will do whatever it takes to save her family

On a stormy night in 1939, Mary Stone Walker disappears from her home in White Hill, Michigan. Everyone knew the talented poet was desperate to escape her demons, but when Mary goes missing without a trace, one question lingers in the small town: Did Mary successfully break free of her troubled past and flee, or did her life end that night?

Sixty years later, Lydia Carroll’s husband is still fixated on the local mystery. English Professor Frank Carroll has invested years in the search for the local poet and her lost works, sacrificing his family, his reputation, and even Lydia for the ever-more-unlikely discovery. As Frank’s behavior grows more erratic, Lydia sees that his interest in Mary has evolved into an obsession―one that threatens to destroy the family they have built together, and which can only be undone by solving the mystery of what happened to Mary on that rainy night in 1939.

The Lake and the Lost Girl tells the riveting story of secrets from the past unraveling one family from the inside out, and two women, separated by sixty years of history, determined to pursue their dreams.

Chemistry by Weike Wang at Book Dilettante and BermudaOnion

Three years into her graduate studies at a demanding Boston university, the unnamed narrator of this nimbly wry, concise debut finds her one-time love for chemistry is more hypothesis than reality. She’s tormented by her failed research–and reminded of her delays by her peers, her advisor, and most of all by her Chinese parents, who have always expected nothing short of excellence from her throughout her life. But there’s another, nonscientific question looming: the marriage proposal from her devoted boyfriend, a fellow scientist, whose path through academia has been relatively free of obstacles, and with whom she can’t make a life before finding success on her own.

Eventually, the pressure mounts so high that she must leave everything she thought she knew about her future, and herself, behind. And for the first time, she’s confronted with a question she won’t find the answer to in a textbook: What do I really want? Over the next two years, this winningly flawed, disarmingly insightful heroine learns the formulas and equations for a different kind of chemistry–one in which the reactions can’t be quantified, measured, and analyzed; one that can be studied only in the mysterious language of the heart. Taking us deep inside her scattered, searching mind, here is a brilliant new literary voice that astutely juxtaposes the elegance of science, the anxieties of finding a place in the world, and the sacrifices made for love and family.

MARTHA:

The Idea of You by Amanda Prowse found at Rainy Days and Mondays

With her fortieth birthday approaching, Lucy Carpenter thinks she finally has it all: a wonderful new husband, Jonah, a successful career and the chance of a precious baby of her own. Life couldn’t be more perfect.

But becoming parents proves much harder to achieve than Lucy and Jonah imagined, and when Jonah’s teenage daughter Camille comes to stay with them, she becomes a constant reminder of what Lucy doesn’t have. Jonah’s love and support are unquestioning, but Lucy’s struggles with work and her own failing dreams begin to take their toll. With Camille’s presence straining the bonds of Lucy’s marriage even further, Lucy suddenly feels herself close to losing everything…

This heart-wrenchingly poignant family drama from bestselling author Amanda Prowse asks the question: in today’s hectic world, what does it mean to be a mother?

I was caught by the cover and the description.

The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir by Jennifer Ryan found at Bookfan

“Just because the men have gone to war, why do we have to close the choir? And precisely when we need it most!”

As England enters World War II’s dark early days, spirited music professor Primrose Trent, recently arrived to the village of Chilbury, emboldens the women of the town to defy the Vicar’s stuffy edict to shutter the church’s choir in the absence of men and instead ‘carry on singing’. Resurrecting themselves as “The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir”, the women of this small village soon use their joint song to lift up themselves, and the community, as the war tears through their lives.

Told through letters and journals, The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir moves seamlessly from budding romances to village intrigues to heartbreaking matters of life and death. As we come to know the struggles of the charismatic members of this unforgettable outfit — a timid widow worried over her son at the front; the town beauty drawn to a rakish artist; her younger sister nursing an impossible crush and dabbling in politics she doesn’t understand; a young Jewish refugee hiding secrets about her family, and a conniving midwife plotting to outrun her seedy past — we come to see how the strength each finds in the choir’s collective voice reverberates in her individual life.

In turns funny, charming and heart-wrenching, this lovingly executed ensemble novel will charm and inspire, illuminating the true spirit of the women on the home front, in a village of indomitable spirit, at the dawn of a most terrible conflict.

I have sung in choir and I liked the sound of this.

SERENA:

The Breakdown by B.A. Paris at Luxury Reading

If you can’t trust yourself, who can you trust?

Cass is having a hard time since the night she saw the car in the woods, on the winding rural road, in the middle of a downpour, with the woman sitting inside—the woman who was killed. She’s been trying to put the crime out of her mind; what could she have done, really? It’s a dangerous road to be on in the middle of a storm. Her husband would be furious if he knew she’d broken her promise not to take that shortcut home. And she probably would only have been hurt herself if she’d stopped.

But since then, she’s been forgetting every little thing: where she left the car, if she took her pills, the alarm code, why she ordered a pram when she doesn’t have a baby.

The only thing she can’t forget is that woman, the woman she might have saved, and the terrible nagging guilt.

Or the silent calls she’s receiving, or the feeling that someone’s watching her…

This sounds like another thrilling novel from Paris. I read Behind Closed Doors and was sucked in, so this is sure to be gripping.

What books caught your eyes this week?  Please share in the comments.

Mailbox Monday

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mailboxsqurriel1Mailbox 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 trying to come up with a plan for National Poetry Month in April at my own blog, but my brain seems to be all over the place.  I’m not sure if that’s because I have too many things going on at once or because I’m itching for warmer weather that will stick around.  This freak March snow storm really was not something I looked forward to, but my daughter had a great time with her new sled, which her grampie got her when we were in New England for Thanksgiving.  I hope everyone isn’t as scatterbrained as I am.

Hope everyone had a good week. Tell us about your new books by adding your Mailbox Monday post to the linky below:

Be sure to stop back here on Wednesday 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.

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.

LESLIE:


The Someday Birds by Sally J. Pla at BermudaOnion and Luxury Reading.

The Someday Birds is a debut middle grade novel perfect for fans of Counting by 7s and Fish in a Tree, filled with humor, heart, and chicken nuggets.
 
Charlie’s perfectly ordinary life has been unraveling ever since his war journalist father was injured in Afghanistan.
 
When his father heads from California to Virginia for medical treatment, Charlie reluctantly travels cross-country with his boy-crazy sister, unruly brothers, and a mysterious new family friend. He decides that if he can spot all the birds that he and his father were hoping to see someday along the way, then everything might just turn out okay.
 
Debut author Sally J. Pla has written a tale that is equal parts madcap road trip, coming-of-age story for an autistic boy who feels he doesn’t understand the world, and an uplifting portrait of a family overcoming a crisis.
What can I say, it has birds in it!

MARTHA:


Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray found at Melissa’s Eclectic Bookshelf.

She’s a soldier.

Noemi Vidal is seventeen years old and sworn to protect her planet, Genesis. She’s willing to risk anything–including her own life. To their enemies on Earth, she’s a rebel.

He’s a machine.

Abandoned in space for years, utterly alone, Abel has advanced programming that’s begun to evolve. He wants only to protect his creator, and to be free. To the people of Genesis, he’s an abomination.

Noemi and Abel are enemies in an interstellar war, forced by chance to work together as they embark on a daring journey through the stars. Their efforts would end the fighting for good, but they’re not without sacrifice. The stakes are even higher than either of them first realized, and the more time they spend together, the more they’re forced to question everything they’d been taught was true.

This is a sci fi that fits right in with my current reading trend!


32800988A Reference to Murder by Kym Roberts found at Lori’s Reading Corner.

Charli Rae Warren is back home in Hazel Rock, Texas, spending her time reading, collecting, and selling books—at least, the ones that don’t get eaten first by her father’s pet armadillo. Running the family bookstore is a demanding job, but solving murders on the side can be flat out dangerous . . .

The Book Barn is more than just a shop, it’s a part of the community—and Charli is keeping busy with a fundraising auction and the big rodeo event that’s come to town. That includes dealing with the Texas-sized egos of some celebrity cowboys, including Dalton Hibbs, a blond, blue-eyed bull rider who gets overly rowdy one night with the local hairdresser . . . and soon afterward, disappears into thin air.

Dalton’s brother also vanished seven years ago—and Charli is thrown about whether Dalton is a villain or a victim. After a close call with an assailant wielding a branding iron (that plays havoc with her hair), and some strange vandalism on her property, she’s going to have to team up with the sheriff to untangle this mystery, before she gets gored . . .

I have to admit I am a sucker for books about bookshops. I nearly picked this up at NetGalley over the weekend.

SERENA:

The Baker’s Secret by Stephen P. Kiernan @BermudaOnion, Silver’s Reviews, and Tribute Books Mama

On June 5, 1944, as dawn rises over a small town on the Normandy coast of France, Emmanuelle is making the bread that has sustained her fellow villagers in the dark days since the Germans invaded her country.

Only twenty-two, Emma learned to bake at the side of a master, Ezra Kuchen, the village baker since before she was born. Apprenticed to Ezra at thirteen, Emma watched with shame and anger as her kind mentor was forced to wear the six-pointed yellow star on his clothing. She was likewise powerless to help when they pulled Ezra from his shop at gunpoint, the first of many villagers stolen away and never seen again.

In the years that her sleepy coastal village has suffered under the enemy, Emma has silently, stealthily fought back. Each day, she receives an extra ration of flour to bake a dozen baguettes for the occupying troops. And each day, she mixes that precious flour with ground straw to create enough dough for two extra loaves—contraband bread she shares with the hungry villagers. Under the cold, watchful eyes of armed soldiers, she builds a clandestine network of barter and trade that she and the villagers use to thwart their occupiers.

But her gift to the village is more than these few crusty loaves. Emma gives the people a taste of hope—the faith that one day the Allies will arrive to save them.

I love reading about WWII.

27905436Before the War by Faye Weldon @Silver’s Reviews

Consider Vivien in November 1922. She is twenty four, and a spinster. She wears fashionably droopy clothes, but she is plain and – worse – intelligent. At nearly six foot tall, she is known unkindly by her family as ‘the giantess’.

Fortunately, Vivien is rich, so she can travel to London and bribe a charismatic London publisher to marry her. What he does not know is that Vivien is pregnant with another’s child, and will die in childbirth in just a few months.

Fay Weldon, with one eye on the present and one on the past, offers Vivien’s fate to the reader, along with that of London between the wars: a city soaked in drizzle, peopled with flat-chested flappers, shell-shocked servicemen and aristocrats desperately clinging onto the past.

Inventive, witty and empathetic, this is a spellbinding historical novel from one of the foremost novelists of our time.

Another WWI novel; yes, these are some of my favorite books to read.

What books caught your eyes this week?  Please share in the comments.

Mailbox Monday

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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.

Even though it is March and the time has sprung forward, we’re expecting snow here in the Mid-Atlantic region on Tuesday.  My daughter has been in the mood for snow and sledding but we haven’t had anything.  If the forecasters are right, I’ll have a happy girl, who had a great birthday this past weekend with her friends.  What did you do this weekend?

Hope everyone had a good week. Tell us about your new books by adding your Mailbox Monday post to the linky below:

Be sure to stop back here on Wednesday 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.

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.

LESLIE:

31348622Persons Unknown by Susie Steiner @Rainy Days and Mondays.

Detective Manon Bradshaw is five months pregnant and has officially given up on finding romantic love. Instead, she is in hot pursuit of work-life balance and parked in a cold case corridor—the price she’s had to pay for a transfer back to Cambridgeshire. This is fine, she tells herself. She can devote herself to bringing up her two children: her adopted twelve-year-old son, Fly Dent, and the new baby. Fly needed a fresh start—he was always being stopped and searched in London by officers who couldn’t see past the color of his skin. Manon feared that Fly, increasingly sullen and adolescent, was getting in with the wrong crowd at school, or that possibly he was the wrong crowd. Being home by five, for the sake of her children, is what Manon tells herself she needs.
 
Yet when a wealthy businessman is found stabbed close to police headquarters, Manon can’t help but sidle in on the briefing: The victim is a banker from London, worth millions. More dramatically, he was once in a relationship with Manon’s sister, Ellie, and is the father of Ellie’s toddler son.
 
The case begins to circle in on Manon’s home and her family. She finds herself pitted against the colleagues she once held dear: Davy Walker and Harriet Harper.
 
Can Manon separate what she knows about the people she loves from the suspicion hanging over them? Can she investigate the evidence, just as she would with any other case? With every fiber of her being, Manon must fight to find the truth.
 
From the acclaimed author of Missing, Presumed, Persons Unknown turns on the secrets between loved ones—how little we know them, and how much they can hurt us.
I enjoyed the first book in this series enough to want to read the next one.
28962996Six Wakes by Mur Lafferty @The Infinite Curio.
A space adventure set on a lone ship where the murdered crew are resurrected through cloning to discover who their killer was — and the secret to their mission. 
 
It was not common to awaken in a cloning vat streaked with drying blood. 
 
At least, Marie Shea iv had never experienced it. She had no memory of how she died. That was also new; before, when she had awakened as a new clone, her first memory was of how she died, from illness once and from injury once… 
 
Maria’s vat was in the front of six vats, each one holding the clone of a crew member of the starship Pituitary, each clone waiting for its previous incarnation to die so it could awaken. Apparently Maria wasn’t the only one to die recently.
 
This sounds different!

MARTHA:

32498474Girl Last Seen by Nina Laurin found @Lori’s Reading Corner.

Two missing girls. Thirteen years apart.
Olivia Shaw has been missing since last Tuesday. She was last seen outside the entrance of her elementary school in Hunts Point wearing a white spring jacket, blue jeans, and pink boots.

I force myself to look at the face in the photo, into her slightly smudged features, and I can’t bring myself to move. Olivia Shaw could be my mirror image, rewound to thirteen years ago.

If you have any knowledge of Olivia Shaw’s whereabouts or any relevant information, please contact…

I’ve spent a long time peering into the faces of girls on missing posters, wondering which one replaced me in that basement. But they were never quite the right age, the right look, the right circumstances. Until Olivia Shaw, missing for one week tomorrow.

Whoever stole me was never found. But since I was taken, there hasn’t been another girl.

And now there is.

This one sounds very suspenseful – the description pulled me in.

30201498Caged Eyes by Lynn K. Hall @BermudaOnion.

An insider’s account of misogyny and rape in the US military and her extraordinary path to recovery and activism
Desperate to realize her childhood dream of being an astronaut, Lynn K. Hall was an enthusiastic young cadet. For Hall, the military offered an escape from her chaotic home–her erratic mother, absent biological father, and a man she called “dad” who sexually abused her. Resolute and committed to the Air Force Academy, Hall survived the ordeals of a first-year cadet: intense hazing from upperclassmen, grueling physical training, and demanding coursework. But she’s dismissed from the Academy when, after being raped by an upperclassman and contracting herpes, she is diagnosed with meningitis and left with chronic and debilitating pain.
Betrayed by the Academy and overcome with shame, Hall candidly recounts her loss of self, the dissociation from her body and the forfeiture of her individuality as a result of the military’s demands and her perpetrator’s abuse. Forced to leave the military and return to the civilian world, Hall turns to extreme sports to cope with and overcome PTSD and chronic pain. She, in turn, reclaims herself on the mountain trails of the Colorado Rockies.
An intimate account of grappling with shame and a misogynistic culture that condones rape and blames victims, Caged Eyes is also a transformative story of how it’s possible to help yourself and others in the aftermath of a profound injustice.

The description on this makes my chest go tight with sorrow and anger at the injustice.

SERENA:

30841905The Ambulance Drivers by James McGrath Morris @Luxury Reading

After meeting for the first time on the front lines of World War I, two aspiring writers forge an intense twenty-year friendship and write some of America’s greatest novels, giving voice to a “lost generation” shaken by war.

Eager to find his way in life and words, John Dos Passos first witnessed the horror of trench warfare in France as a volunteer ambulance driver retrieving the dead and seriously wounded from the front line. Later in the war, he briefly met another young writer, Ernest Hemingway, who was just arriving for his service in the ambulance corps. When the war was over, both men knew they had to write about it; they had to give voice to what they felt about war and life.

Their friendship and collaboration developed through the peace of the 1920s and 1930s, as Hemingway’s novels soared to success while Dos Passos penned the greatest antiwar novel of his generation, Three Soldiers. In war, Hemingway found adventure, women, and a cause. Dos Passos saw only oppression and futility. Their different visions eventually turned their private friendship into a bitter public fight, fueled by money, jealousy, and lust.

Rich in evocative detail–from Paris cafes to the Austrian Alps, from the streets of Pamplona to the waters of Key West–The Ambulance Drivers is a biography of a turbulent friendship between two of the century’s greatest writers, and an illustration of how war both inspires and destroys, unites and divides.

Everyone whose been following had to know this would be on my list this week!

31328499New York City Haiku @Library of Clean Reads

One hundred fifty
haiku on New York City
in just three lines each.

New York City Haiku collects 150 of the best haiku inspired by the Big Apple. These succinct three-line poems express not only the personal experiences of every New Yorker (or New Yorker at heart), but also the universal truths about living and loving everything that New York has to offer as well.
Written by poets of all ages and from across the country, this affordable and giftable collection creates an honest and often hilarious volume chronicling what New York is all about. A must-have for anyone who aspires to “make it there,” New York City Haiku is a thoughtful and fun testament to the city and its people.

I love haiku and I remember when The New York Times was collecting haiku about the city.  I think I even submitted some.  I’m sure I’m not in this book, but I really want to know who is.

What books caught your eyes this week?  Please share in the comments.

Mailbox Monday

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mailboxsqurrielMailbox 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.

It’s March, and I’m hoping for more spring weather here, but alas our first days in March were met with a smattering of snow.  Not enough to build snowmen or sled, just enough to make the trees pretty.  It’s my daughter’s sixth birthday this month, and we’ve been busy planning her first party with classmates from kindergarten. She’s very excited to be spending her birthday part with friends from school at Monkey Joe’s, which is basically an indoor place for kids to bounce and play games.

I hope everyone’s March has started off well and that you received some great books.

Hope everyone had a good week. Tell us about your new books by adding your Mailbox Monday post to the linky below:

Be sure to stop back here on Wednesday for Books That Caught Our Eye.