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 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.

LESLIE:

The Italian House by Teresa Craneat Library of Clean Reads.

For readers of Santa Montefiore and Victoria Hislop, a gripping story of passion and family secrets set in a glorious Tuscan villa

When Carrie Stowe unexpectedly inherits her eccentric grandmother’s Italian villa, she sets her heart on going to Tuscany. It could be her only escape from the mundane and suffocating routine of life with Arthur, her repressive husband.

Arriving late at night and in the midst of a violent storm, she discovers that she is not alone. A young man is there before her, an enigmatic figure from the past: her cousin Leo, who had been missing for years, believed dead.

As Carrie reads the secrets of her grandmother’s diaries and the enchantment of the house exerts itself, Carrie finds herself irresistibly drawn to him. But what of her husband? And is Leo really who he appears to be?

MARTHA:

Eight Goodbyes by Christine Brae found at The Bookworm.

When Tessa Talman meets Simon Fremont for the first time, not only is she attracted to him, she’s intrigued by how different their lives are. He’s a dedicated scientist, practical, pragmatic, and grounded—while she’s a head-in-the-clouds romance author. As their relationship grows, they agree to meet in places around the world, while continuing to live on opposite sides of the globe.

Though their feelings for each other deepen, their priorities remain the same. Simon is in a hurry to be financially sound and settle down, but Tessa is enjoying her freedom and newfound success. Neither is willing to give in, but as each goodbye gets harder, Tessa begins to wonder whether fame is the path to happiness, or if she has everything she needs in Simon.

Just as Tessa finds the courage to go after her own happily ever after, the unthinkable happens, separating them in ways they never imagined.

To move forward, she must let go of the past, and determine once and for all if love is truly more powerful than the pain of goodbye.

I can’t pin it down but this one caught my attention.

Betty Church and the Suffolk Vampire (A Betty Church Mystery Book 1) by M.R.C. Kasasian found at Fiction Books.

Brilliant new series from the author of The Mangle Street Murders, perfect for readers of Agatha Christie, Jasper Fforde and M.C. Beaton. September 1939. A new day dawns in Sackwater, not that this sleepy backwater is taking much notice… Inspector Betty Church – one of the few female officers on the force – has arrived from London to fill a vacancy at Sackwater police station. But Betty isn’t new here. This is the place she grew up. The place she thought she’d left behind for good. Time ticks slowly in Sackwater, and crime is of a decidedly lighter shade. Having solved the case of the missing buttons, Betty’s called to the train station to investigate a missing bench. But though there’s no bench, there is a body. A smartly dressed man, murdered in broad daylight, with two distinctive puncture wounds in his throat. While the locals gossip about the Suffolk Vampire, Betty Church readies herself to hunt a dangerous killer. Reviews for BETTY CHURCH AND THE SUFFOLK VAMPIRE: ‘Betty Church is a wonderful creation … Had me laughing out loud’ GOODREADS. ‘I loved this … A cast of crazy characters, with a gruesome murder or two thrown in for good measure’

Yvonne had three interesting titles but this mystery really caught my eye. ​

SERENA:

Florida by Lauren Groff at VVB32Reads.

In her thrilling new book, Lauren Groff brings the reader into a physical world that is at once domestic and wild—a place where the hazards of the natural world lie waiting to pounce, yet the greatest threats and mysteries are still of an emotional, psychological nature. A family retreat can be derailed by a prowling panther, or by a sexual secret. Among those navigating this place are a resourceful pair of abandoned sisters; a lonely boy, grown up; a restless, childless couple, a searching, homeless woman; and an unforgettable, recurring character—a steely and conflicted wife and mother.

The stories in this collection span characters, towns, decades, even centuries, but Florida—its landscape, climate, history, and state of mind—becomes its gravitational center: an energy, a mood, as much as a place of residence. Groff transports the reader, then jolts us alert with a crackle of wit, a wave of sadness, a flash of cruelty, as she writes about loneliness, rage, family, and the passage of time. With shocking accuracy and effect, she pinpoints the moments and decisions and connections behind human pleasure and pain, hope and despair, love and fury—the moments that make us alive. Startling, precise, and affecting, Florida is a magnificent achievement.

I love short stories, and this collection sounds very unique.

We’d love to hear what books caught your eyes this week. Please share in the comments.

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Mailbox Monday

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sunflowermailbox-sml_img_2937_edited-2Mailbox 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.

Sorry for the delay in posting. It has been a busy weekend with swim and other activities. I hope everyone got some great books to share!

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

2 Comments

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

Every 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.
 
 
 

LESLIE:

The Case for the Real Jesus by Lee Strobel at An Imperfect Christian Mom.

Has modern scholarship debunked the traditional Christ? Has the church suppressed the truth about Jesus to advance its own agenda? What if the real Jesus is far different from the atoning Savior worshipped through the centuries?

In The Case for the Real Jesus, former award-winning legal editor Lee Strobel explores such hot-button questions as:
• Did the church suppress ancient non-biblical documents that paint a more accurate picture of Jesus than the four Gospels?
• Did the church distort the truth about Jesus by tampering with early New Testament texts?
• Do new insights and explanations finally disprove the resurrection?
• Have fresh arguments disqualified Jesus from being the Messiah?
• Did Christianity steal its core ideas from earlier mythology?

Evaluate the arguments and evidence being advanced by prominent atheists, liberal theologians, Muslim scholars, and others. Sift through expert testimony. Then reach your own verdict in The Case for the Real Jesus.

MARTHA:

The Surviving Trace by Calia Read found at Library of Clean Reads.

Will is my fiancé. The shy man I met years ago in college. The person I’m supposed to spend the rest of my life with.

This is the life I’ve always wanted until finding a picture of four men changes everything…

Étienne says he’s my husband and the year is 1912. He can’t stand the sight of me, but I don’t know why.

Oh, and he’s one of the men from the picture.

I’ve done the impossible and have become trapped in time and I know Étienne is my key to going home.

The more time I spend with Étienne, the further I fall for him until I’m questioning which time I belong in and if the life I left behind is the one I truly desire.

All I know for certain is I need to survive time.

I need to survive love.

And I need to make it out on the other side alive

Time travel and romance always seem to catch my eye.

Vox by Christina Dalcher  found at Lori’s Reading Corner.

Set in an America where half the population has been silenced, VOX is the harrowing, unforgettable story of what one woman will do to protect herself and her daughter.

On the day the government decrees that women are no longer allowed more than 100 words daily, Dr. Jean McClellan is in denial–this can’t happen here. Not in America. Not to her.

This is just the beginning.

Soon women can no longer hold jobs. Girls are no longer taught to read or write. Females no longer have a voice. Before, the average person spoke sixteen thousand words a day, but now women only have one hundred to make themselves heard.

But this is not the end.

For herself, her daughter, and every woman silenced, Jean will reclaim her voice.

This futuristic dystopian has an intriguing, if disturbing, premise.

SERENA:

The Lost for Words Bookshop by Stephanie Butland @Bermudaonion and Silver’s Reviews

Loveday Cardew prefers books to people. If you look carefully, you might glimpse the first lines of the novels she loves most tattooed on her skin. But there are some things Loveday will never, ever show you.

Into her hiding place – the bookstore where she works – come a poet, a lover, and three suspicious deliveries.

Someone has found out about her mysterious past. Will Loveday survive her own heartbreaking secrets?

I love books about secrets, bookstores, and there is mention of a poet.

We’d love to hear what books caught your eyes this week. Please share in the comments.

Mailbox Monday

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sunflowermailbox-sml_img_2937_edited-2Mailbox 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.

My summer has already started with the divisional swim team for my daughter. She’s having a great time with her new team, even if she is a little shy. There are so many more fundraisers and social events with this team than her previous teams, but I think that builds stronger bonds between the kids … maybe even the parents. 🙂 I hope everyone had a great reading week. My reading as you may have guessed as slowed considerably.

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 later this week for Books That Caught Our Eye.

Books That Caught Our Eye

2 Comments

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

Every 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.

LESLIE:

Tangerine by Christine Mangan at BermudaOnion.

The last person Alice Shipley expected to see since arriving in Tangier with her new husband was Lucy Mason. After the accident at Bennington, the two friends—once inseparable roommates—haven’t spoken in over a year. But there Lucy was, trying to make things right and return to their old rhythms. Perhaps Alice should be happy. She has not adjusted to life in Morocco, too afraid to venture out into the bustling medinas and oppressive heat. Lucy—always fearless and independent—helps Alice emerge from her flat and explore the country.

But soon a familiar feeling starts to overtake Alice—she feels controlled and stifled by Lucy at every turn. Then Alice’s husband, John, goes missing, and Alice starts to question everything around her: her relationship with her enigmatic friend, her decision to ever come to Tangier, and her very own state of mind.

Tangerine is a sharp dagger of a book—a debut so tightly wound, so replete with exotic imagery and charm, so full of precise details and extraordinary craftsmanship, it will leave you absolutely breathless.

MARTHA:

The Bird and the Blade by Megan Bannen found at The Infinite Curio.

The Bird and the Blade is a lush, powerful story of life and death, battles and riddles, lies and secrets from author Megan Bannen.

Enslaved in Kipchak Khanate, Jinghua has lost everything: her home, her family, her freedom . . . until the kingdom is conquered by enemy forces and she finds herself an unlikely conspirator in the escape of Prince Khalaf and his irascible father across the vast Mongol Empire.

On the run, with adversaries on all sides and an endless journey ahead, Jinghua hatches a scheme to use the Kipchaks’ exile to return home, a plan that becomes increasingly fraught as her feelings for Khalaf evolve into an impossible love.

Jinghua’s already dicey prospects take a downward turn when Khalaf seeks to restore his kingdom by forging a marriage alliance with Turandokht, the daughter of the Great Khan. As beautiful as she is cunning, Turandokht requires all potential suitors to solve three impossible riddles to win her hand—and if they fail, they die.

Jinghua has kept her own counsel well, but with Khalaf’s kingdom—and his very life—on the line, she must reconcile the hard truth of her past with her love for a boy who has no idea what she’s capable of . . . even if it means losing him to the girl who’d sooner take his life than his heart.

I like the cover and really like the description of this historical retelling of the opera Turandot.

Wild Blues by Beth Kephart and illustrated by William Sulit found at Savvy Verse & Wit.

The threat of two escaped convicts and a missing friend lead Lizzie on a harrowing journey through the wilds of the Adirondacks in this stunning novel from National Book Award finalist Beth Kephart.

Thirteen-year-old Lizzie’s favorite place in the world is her uncle’s cabin. Uncle Davy’s renovated schoolhouse cabin, filled with antiques and on the edge of the Adirondacks, disconnected from the rest of the world, is like something out of a fairy tale. And an escape from reality is exactly what Lizzie needs. Life hasn’t been easy for Lizzie lately. Her father abandoned their family, leaving Lizzie with her oftentimes irresponsible mother. Now, her mom has cancer and being unable to care for Lizzie during her chemotherapy, Mom asks her where she’d like to spend the summer. The answer is simple: Uncle Davy’s cabin.

Lizzie loves her uncle’s home for many reasons, but the main one is Matias, Uncle Davy’s neighbor and Lizzie’s best friend. Matias has proportionate dwarfism, but that doesn’t stop him and Lizzie from wandering in the woods. Every day they go to their favorite nook where Matias paints with watercolors and Lizzie writes. Until one day when Matias never arrives.

When news breaks about two escaped convicts from the nearby prison, Lizzie fears the worst. And when Uncle Davy goes missing, too, Lizzie knows she’s the only one who knows this area of woods well enough to save them. Armed with her trusted Keppy survival book, Lizzie sets out into the wilds of the Adirondacks, proving just how far she’ll go to save the people she loves.

I was drawn by this cover and the book premise intrigues me.

SERENA:

Natural Disaster by Ginger Zee at Reviews by Martha’s Bookshelf.

ABC News chief meteorologist Ginger Zee pulls back the curtain on her life in Natural Disaster. Ginger grew up in small-town Michigan where she developed an obsession with weather as a young girl. Ginger opens up about her lifelong battle with crippling depression, her romances that range from misguided to dangerous, and her tumultuous professional path. This cyclone of stories may sound familiar to some—it’s just that Ginger’s personal tempests happened while she was covering some of the most devastating storms in recent history, including a ferocious tornado that killed a legend in the meteorology field. This book is for all the mistake makers who have learned to forgive others and themselves—even in the aftermath of man-made, or in this case Zee-made, disasters. It’s a story that every young woman should read, a story about finding love and finding it in yourself. Beloved by Good Morning America’s audience, Ginger is a daily presence for millions. Zee’s gained fame for her social media presence which is as unfiltered as Natural Disaster—from baby barf to doggy doo-doo. She’s shattered the glass ceiling for women in meteorology, but admits here first, she’s the one natural disaster she couldn’t have forecast.

I like inspiring stories, and since much of the time I feel like a natural disaster, this title spoke to me.

The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See at Under My Apple Tree.

In their remote mountain village, Li-yan and her family align their lives around the seasons and the farming of tea. For the Akha people, ensconced in ritual and routine, life goes on as it has for generations—until a stranger appears at the village gate in a jeep, the first automobile any of the villagers has ever seen.

The stranger’s arrival marks the first entrance of the modern world in the lives of the Akha people. Slowly, Li-yan, one of the few educated girls on her mountain, begins to reject the customs that shaped her early life. When she has a baby out of wedlock—conceived with a man her parents consider a poor choice—she rejects the tradition that would compel her to give the child over to be killed, and instead leaves her, wrapped in a blanket with a tea cake tucked in its folds, near an orphanage in a nearby city.

As Li-yan comes into herself, leaving her insular village for an education, a business, and city life, her daughter, Haley, is raised in California by loving adoptive parents. Despite her privileged childhood, Haley wonders about her origins. Across the ocean Li-yan longs for her lost daughter. Over the course of years, each searches for meaning in the study of Pu’er, the tea that has shaped their family’s destiny for centuries.

I’ve read several of Lisa See’s books, so this was an easy pick for me.

We’d love to hear what books caught your eyes this week. Please share in the comments.

Mailbox Monday

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mailboxesMailbox 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.

Feels like summer here now, complete with thunderstorms in the evenings. I’m glad that the cool weather and constant rain has left us for a bit. It was too dreary. I’ve been reading, but very slowly as I navigate the new summer swim team routine, which is more rigorous than last year’s. Who would have thought that possible? I hope everyone had a great reading week.

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 later this week for Books That Caught Our Eye.

Books That Caught Our Eye

2 Comments

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

Every 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.
 
 
 
 
LESLIE:
The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware at An Interior Journey.

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of In a Dark, Dark Wood, The Woman in Cabin 10, and The Lying Game comes Ruth Ware’s highly anticipated fourth novel.

On a day that begins like any other, Hal receives a mysterious letter bequeathing her a substantial inheritance. She realizes very quickly that the letter was sent to the wrong person—but also that the cold-reading skills she’s honed as a tarot card reader might help her claim the money.

Soon, Hal finds herself at the funeral of the deceased…where it dawns on her that there is something very, very wrong about this strange situation and the inheritance at the center of it.

Full of spellbinding menace and told in Ruth Ware’s signature suspenseful style, this is an unputdownable thriller from the Agatha Christie of our time.

 

MARTHA:
One Way by S.J. Morden found at The Infinite Curio.
Eight astronauts. One killer. No way home.

Andy Weir’s The Martian meets Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None in this edge-of-your-seat science fiction thriller about one man’s fight for survival on a planet where everyone’s a killer.

Frank Kittridge is serving life for murdering his son’s drug dealer, so when he’s offered a deal by Xenosystems Operations – the corporation that owns the prison – he takes it. He’s been selected to help build the first permanent base on Mars. Unfortunately, his crewmates are just as guilty of their crimes as he is.

As the convicts set to work on the frozen wastes of Mars, the accidents multiply.

Until Frank begins to suspect they might not be accidents at all . . .

Dr. S. J. Morden trained as a rocket scientist before becoming the author of razor-sharp, award-winning science fiction. Perfect for fans of Andy Weir’s The Martian and Richard Morgan, One Way takes off like a rocket, pulling us along on a terrifying, epic ride with only one way out.

“It’s Sci Fi and suspense so it caught my eye.”

——–

Birds of a Feather: A True Story of Hope and the Healing Power of Animals by Lorin Lindner found at Under My Apple Tree.
The inspiring story of how one woman’s vision helped create a unique healing community

Lee Woodruff: “This true story will twist your heart like a sponge and renew your faith in the world.”

Vicki Myron: “A heartwarming book.”

Animal lover though she was, Lorin Lindner was definitely not looking for a pet. She was busy training to be a psychologist. Then came Sammy – a mischievous and extremely loud bright pink Moluccan cockatoo who had been abandoned. It was love at first sight. But Sammy needed a companion. Enter Mango, lover of humans (“Hewwo”), inveterate thief of precious objects. Realizing that there were many parrots in need of new homes, Dr. Lindner eventually founded a sanctuary for them.

Meanwhile, she began to meet homeless veterans on the streets of Los Angeles. Before long she was a full time advocate for these former service members, who were often suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and finding it hard to navigate the large VA Healthcare System Ultimately, Dr. Lindner created a program for them, too.

Eventually the two parts of her life came together when she founded Serenity Park, a unique sanctuary on the grounds of the Greater Los Angeles Veterans Administration Healthcare Center. She had noticed that the veterans she treated as a clinical psychologist and the parrots she had taken in as a rescuer quickly formed bonds. Men and women who had been silent in therapy would share their stories and their feelings more easily with animals. Now wounded warriors and wounded parrots find a path of healing together. Birds of a Feather is ultimately a love story between veterans and the birds they nurse back to health and between Dr. Lindner and her husband, a veteran with PTSD, who healed at Serenity Park. Full of remarkable people and colorful birds, this book reminds us that we all have the power to make a difference.

“The uniform and the bird caught my eye. Sounds good.”

SERENA:

Beginner’s Luck: Dispatches from the Klamath Mountains by Malcolm Terence at Rose City Reader.

In the late 1960s, Malcolm Terence left his job as a reporter for the Los Angeles Times to look for adventure and may have found more than he bargained for. The era had triggered unprecedented social and political changes in America, tectonic shifts that challenged war and the social order that oppressed people along lines of class, gender, and race. One branch was a back-to-the-land movement, and Terence, who had just traveled for a year managing a rock band, strayed into Black Bear Ranch, a commune just starting in a remote corner of the Klamath Mountains near the California-Oregon border.

Black Bear Ranch still exists, but many of its early residents eventually returned to urban civilization. A few, Terence among them, stayed on in neighboring river towns. Some tried logging, others gold mining, and some tried growing marijuana, all with mixed success. The local mining and timber communities had a checkered opinion of their new hippie neighbors, as did the Native tribes, but it was the kind of place where people helped each other out, even if they didn’t always agree.

When wildfires grew large, Terence and other veterans of the commune joined the fire crews run by the US Forest Service. In between, the Black Bear expats built homesteads, planted gardens, delivered babies, and raised their children. They gradually overcame the skepticism of the locals and joined them in political battles against the use of herbicides in the forest and the Forest Service’s campaign to close all the mining claims. As in the best of organizing efforts, the organizers learned as much as they led.

Beginner’s Luck will appeal to anyone who experienced life on a commune in the 1960s–1970s or who wants to learn about this chapter in modern American history. Terence offers insight into environmental activism and the long history of conflict between resource exploitation and Native American rights without lecturing or pontificating. With wit, humor, and humility, his anecdotal essays chronicle a time and place where disparate people came together to form an unlikely community.