Books That Caught Our Eye

1 Comment

At Mailbox Monday, we encourage participants to not only share the books they received, but also to check out the books received by others. Each week, our team is sharing with you 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.

EMMA:

If Cats Disappeared From The World, by Genki Kawamura found at A Universe in Words

Our narrator’s days are numbered. Estranged from his family, living alone with only his cat Cabbage for company, he was unprepared for the doctor’s diagnosis that he has only months to live. But before he can set about tackling his bucket list, the Devil appears with a special offer: in exchange for making one thing in the world disappear, he can have one extra day of life. And so begins a very bizarre week . . .

Because how do you decide what makes life worth living? How do you separate out what you can do without from what you hold dear? In dealing with the Devil our narrator will take himself – and his beloved cat – to the brink. Genki Kawamura’s If Cats Disappeared from the World is a story of loss and reconciliation, of one man’s journey to discover what really matters in modern life.

This beautiful tale is translated from the Japanese by Eric Selland, who also translated The Guest Cat by Takashi Hiraide. Fans of The Guest Cat and The Travelling Cat Chronicles will also surely love If Cats Disappeared from the World.

“Japanese fiction and cats? Yes please !”


mount-fuji-jhc-cover-front-1023x1536-1Mount Fuji: 36 Sonnets, by Jay Hall Carpenter found at Savvy Verse & Wit 

Jay Hall Carpenter’s homage to “36 Views of Mount Fuji” by Katsushika Hokusai (1830). These Shakespearean sonnets discuss family, nostalgia, love, death, and more.

“I’m also going toward Japan here. I really enjoy Hokusai‘s art, and am curious to see how the poet (also a famous sculptor) took his inspiration from it.”


MARTHA:

Primer and Punishment: A House-Flipper Mystery #5 by Diane Kelly found at Bookfan.

Primer and Punishment marks the fifth in the delightful cozy mystery series from Diane Kelly set in Nashville, Tennessee. Whitney Whitaker has a knack for nailing down murderers . . . but this time she might just come unmoored.

Carpenter Whitney Whitaker and her cousin Buck are looking once again to rehab and resell a house, only this particular house is made of fiberglass, floats, and has been dubbed the Skinny Dipper. The old houseboat sure could use some work, but the unusual project has Whitney bubbling with excitement.

The charming and handsome Grant Hardisty lives on the cabin cruiser in the adjacent slip, but the cousins soon learn he’s left a half dozen angry ex-wives in his wake and made enemies of all sorts of unsavory folks. The man is clearly caught in an increasingly dangerous current with no life preserver in sight.

Whitney and Buck are spraying primer on their houseboat when—KABOOM!—Grant’s boat blows sky high with the man himself inside. Detective Collin Flynn has no shortage of suspects, but the waters become muddied when several of them confess to the crime. Is one of those who confessed truly guilty, or are they taking a dive for someone else? When anonymous threats are made against the cousins, Whitney must quickly determine who killed their neighbor at the lake, or she and Buck might also be sunk.

“This cover caught my eye especially since I lived on a houseboat at times with my father. The cozy mystery sounds like one I would like.”


A Time for Justice Zoe Caine Legal Thriller #1 by Freya Atwood found at Bookshelf Journeys.

A terrible crime was committed in a facility for troubled youth. When a lawyer decides to unveil it twenty years later, she must fight against her family and city to find the truth…

As a stubborn and quick-witted lawyer, Zoe Caine has been trying to catch her big case for far too long. And the chance presents itself, the moment a traumatized woman begs her to uncover a horrifying injustice committed by the town’s beloved people. An unspoken crime Zoe knows firsthand.

Contemplating whether she should risk her career, Zoe soon learns that nothing remains secret. When the woman is found injured and near-dead, she decides to investigate. Only to find a truth that should have remained hidden away. They were raised in the same abusive facility. Twenty years ago.

The case has turned personal and Zoe knows she only has one chance to make this right. And when people threaten her life, the court is her only hope. Until the corruption that follows…

A Time for Justice is Freya’s 1st novel in the Zoe Caine series of blood-pumping legal thrillers. If you are an avid fan of strong female leads, action-packed courtroom drama, riveting characters and mind-blowing murder mystery, then you’ll love Freya’s intriguing story.
 
“I’m apt to be interested anytime there is a Legal Thriller. Make is a female lead and that is a plus.”

SERENA:

Solito: A Memoir by Javier Zamora at Bookshelf Journeys.

A young poet tells the story of his harrowing migration from El Salvador to the United States at the age of nine in this memoir.
Trip. My parents started using that word about a year ago–“one day, you’ll take a trip to be with us. Like an adventure.”

Javier’s adventure is a three-thousand-mile journey from his small town in El Salvador, through Guatemala and Mexico, and across the U.S. border. He will leave behind his beloved aunt and grandparents to reunite with a mother who left four years ago and a father he barely remembers. Traveling alone except for a group of strangers and a coyote hired to lead them to safety, Javier’s trip is supposed to last two short weeks.

At nine years old, all Javier can imagine is rushing into his parents’ arms, snuggling in bed between them, living under the same roof again. He does not see the perilous boat trips, relentless desert treks, pointed guns, arrests and deceptions that await him; nor can he know that those two weeks will expand into two life-altering months alongside a group of strangers who will come to encircle him like an unexpected family.

“This sounds like a trip that might make you rethink the journey and the worth of it.”


What do you do with a chance by Kobi Yamada and illustrated by Mae Besom at Words and Peace.

The award–winning creators of The New York Times best sellers What Do You Do With an Idea? and What Do You Do With a Problem? return with a captivating story about a child who isn’t sure what to make of a chance encounter and then discovers that when you have courage, take chances, and say yes to new experiences, amazing things can happen.

In this story, a child is visited by his first chance and unsure what to do with it, he lets it go. Later on, when a new chance arrives he reaches for it, but this time he misses and falls. Embarrassed and afraid, he begins ignoring each new chance that comes by, even though he still wants to take them. Then one day he realizes that he doesn’t need to be brave all the time, just at the right time, to find out what amazing things can happen when he takes a chance…

The final addition to the award-winning What Do You Do With…? picture book series created by New York Times best-selling author Kobi Yamada and illustrator by Mae Besom, What Do You Do With a Chance? inspires kids of all ages and parents alike to find the courage to go for the opportunities that come their way. Because you never know when a chance, once taken, might be the one to change everything.

“This sounds like a delightful series of books for kids and this one is particularly inspiring. How many times have we had an opportunity but let fear steer us away?”

What books caught your eye this week?

Books That Caught Our Eye

3 Comments

At Mailbox Monday, we encourage participants to not only share the books they received, but also to check out the books received by others. Each week, our team is sharing with you a few Books That Caught Our Eye from that week’s Mailbox Monday.

I think we have all started off the year with good TBRs and new hauls. May you continue with more good books.

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

SERENA:

HelloStranger

Hello Stranger by Katherine Center

Sadie Montogmery has had good breaks and bad breaks in her life, but as a struggling artist, all she needs is one lucky break. Things seem to be going her way when she lands one of the coveted finalist spots in a portrait competition. It happens to coincide with a surgery she needs to have. Minor, they say. Less than a week in the hospital they say. Nothing about you will change, they say. Upon recovery, it begins to dawn on Sadie that she can see everything around her, but she can no longer see faces.

Temporary, they say. Lots of people deal with this, they say. As she struggles to cope―and hang onto her artistic dreams―she finds solace in her fourteen-year-old dog, Peanut. Thankfully, she can still see animal faces. When Peanut gets sick, she rushes him to the emergency vet nearby. That’s when she meets veterinarian Dr. Addison. And she’s pleasantly surprised when he asks her on a date. But she doesn’t want anyone to know about her face blindness. Least of all Joe, her obnoxious neighbor who always wears a bowling jacket and seems to know everyone in the building. He’s always there at the most embarrassing but convenient times, and soon, they develop a sort of friendship. But could it be something more?

As Sadie tries to save her career, confront her haunting past, and handle falling in love with two different guys she realizes that happiness can be found in the places―and people― you least expect.

“I like stories with struggling artists, but this poor girl has it far worse than the rest of us.”


 
EMMA:

LastLifeBoat

THE LAST LIFE BOAT by Hazel Gaynor

Inspired by a remarkable true story, a young teacher evacuates children to safety across perilous waters, in a moving and triumphant new novel from New York Times bestselling author Hazel Gaynor.

1940, Kent: Alice King is not brave or daring—she’s happiest finding adventure through the safe pages of books. But times of war demand courage, and as the threat of German invasion looms, a plane crash near her home awakens a strength in Alice she’d long forgotten. Determined to do her part, she finds a role perfectly suited to her experience as a schoolteacher—to help evacuate Britain’s children overseas.

1940, London: Lily Nichols once dreamed of using her mathematical talents for more than tabulating the cost of groceries, but life, and love, charted her a different course. With two lively children and a loving husband, Lily’s humble home is her world, until war tears everything asunder. With her husband gone and bombs raining down, Lily is faced with an impossible choice: keep her son and daughter close, knowing she may not be able to protect them, or enroll them in a risky evacuation scheme, where safety awaits so very far away.

When a Nazi U-boat torpedoes the S. S. Carlisle carrying a ship of children to Canada, a single lifeboat is left adrift in the storm-tossed Atlantic. Alice and Lily, strangers to each other—one on land, the other at sea—will quickly become one another’s very best hope as their lives are fatefully entwined.

“For those of you who enjoy WWII historical novels, this sounds really good!”


 
Solito: A Memoir, by Javier ZamoraSolito

A young poet tells the unforgettable story of his harrowing migration from El Salvador to the United States at the age of nine in this moving, page-turning memoir hailed as the mythic journey of our era (Sandra Cisneros)

Trip. My parents started using that word about a year ago–“one day, you’ll take a trip to be with us. Like an adventure.”

Javier’s adventure is a three-thousand-mile journey from his small town in El Salvador, through Guatemala and Mexico, and across the U.S. border. He will leave behind his beloved aunt and grandparents to reunite with a mother who left four years ago and a father he barely remembers. Traveling alone except for a group of strangers and a coyote hired to lead them to safety, Javier’s trip is supposed to last two short weeks.

At nine years old, all Javier can imagine is rushing into his parents’ arms, snuggling in bed between them, living under the same roof again. He does not see the perilous boat trips, relentless desert treks, pointed guns, arrests and deceptions that await him; nor can he know that those two weeks will expand into two life-altering months alongside a group of strangers who will come to encircle him like an unexpected family.

A memoir by an acclaimed poet that reads like a novel, Solito not only provides an immediate and intimate account of a treacherous and near-impossible journey, but also the miraculous kindness and love delivered at the most unexpected moments. Solito is Javier’s story, but it’s also the story of millions of others who had no choice but to leave home.

“I keep seeing this one. Sounds like an essential autobiography.”


 
MARTHA:

HauntedHouse

How to Sell a Haunted House by Grady Hendrix

When Louise finds out her parents have died, she dreads going home. She doesn’t want to leave her daughter with her ex and fly to Charleston. She doesn’t want to deal with her family home, stuffed to the rafters with the remnants of her father’s academic career and her mother’s lifelong obsession with puppets and dolls. She doesn’t want to learn how to live without the two people who knew and loved her best in the world.

Mostly, she doesn’t want to deal with her brother, Mark, who never left their hometown, gets fired from one job after another, and resents her success. But she’ll need his help to get the house ready for sale because it’ll take more than some new paint on the walls and clearing out a lifetime of memories to get this place on the market.

Some houses don’t want to be sold, and their home has other plans for both of them…

“The cover and title caught my eye. This would be perfect for my October “haunted” reading.”


HartsRidge

Hart’s Ridge by Kay Bratt
found at Bookfan.  

If Robyn Carr and Melinda Leigh had a book-baby, Hart’s Ridge would be it. Join Kay Bratt in this small town mystery series with cases to solve, and a small-town deputy determined to do it.

When five-year-old Molly walks into a gas station on the outskirts of town, alone and barely speaking, one sheriff’s deputy is determined to reunite her with her missing mother.

Nestled gently in the Blue Ridge mountains, Hart’s Ridge is a small and yet undiscovered quaint town. That is until you dig a little deeper and learn that no matter how perfect things look, every town has its secrets. Taylor Gray has lived there since she was a kid and has clawed her way out of poverty, foster care, and then the police academy to reach her dream of being in law enforcement.
However, the townspeople aren’t the only ones that she is committed to serve and protect. She’s also the unofficial caretaker of her father and adult sisters, a family fractured by tragedy and barely keeping it together. Her role is heavy and rarely appreciated, but she’ll stop at nothing to try to piece them back together one day.

The mother of a young girl is missing. Time is of the essence and Taylor plunges into the investigation, determined to find her and reunite mother and child. When the sheriff brings a familiar face in to take charge, things begin to unravel at a pace hard to keep up with, and what they find is every law enforcement officer’s worst nightmare.

Hart’s Ridge is a standalone novel and book one of the new Hart’s Ridge mystery series, written by Kay Bratt, International Best-Selling Author of Wish Me Home and the By the Sea series.

 
“A ‘Robyn Carr and Melinda Leigh’ mix mystery sounds like a winner to me.”
 
 
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What books caught your eye this week?

Books That Caught Our Eye

3 Comments

At Mailbox Monday, we encourage participants to not only share the books they received, but also to check out the books received by others. Each week, our team is sharing with you a few Books That Caught Our Eye from that week’s Mailbox Monday.

The new year is moving along quickly already. This week all three of us had Serena’s first choice, Patient Zero, on our short lists.

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

SERENA:

Spike

 
Spike: The Virus vs the People – The Inside Story by Jeremy Farrar and Anjana Ahuja

One of the first books on Covid-19 from an expert in emerging infectious disease.

The Coronavirus pandemic has devastated lives and livelihoods around the world – and continues to do so. These personal tragedies will, and must, be told and heard. There is, however, also a truthful and objective scientific narrative to be written about how the virus played out and how the world set about dealing with it. Spike is that story – from the inside. Its author, Jeremy Farrar, is one of the UK’s leading scientists and a ‐ member of the SAGE emergency committee.

As head of the Wellcome Trust, and an expert in emerging infectious diseases, Jeremy Farrar was one of the first people in the world to hear about a mysterious new respiratory disease in China – and to learn that it could readily spread between people. Farrar describes how it feels as one of the key scientists at the sharp end of a fast-moving situation, when complex decisions must be made quickly amid great uncertainty. His book casts light on the UK government’s claims to be ‘following the science’ in its response to the virus, and is informed not just by Farrar’s views but by interviews with other top scientists and political figures.

Farrar, who has spent his career on the frontlines of epidemics including Nipah virus in Malaysia, bird flu in Vietnam and Ebola in West Africa, also reflects on the wider issues of Covid-19: the breath-taking scientific advances in creating tests, treatments and vaccines; the challenge to world leaders to respond for the global good and the need to address inequalities that hold back success against the virus. All these shape how the world ultimately fares not just against Covid-19, but against all the major health challenges we face globally.

“I am interested to hear about these early days of the pandemic. This looks like a good place to start.”


 

Whendaycomes

 
When the Day Comes by Gabrielle Meyer
found at The Bookworm.
 
Libby has been given a powerful gift: to live one life in 1774 Colonial Williamsburg and the other in 1914 Gilded Age New York City. When she falls asleep in one life, she wakes up in the other without any time passing. On her twenty-first birthday, Libby must choose one path and forfeit the other–but how can she possibly decide when she has so much to lose?

 

“Now this sounds interesting. Both timelines would have perks and drawbacks I’m sure. I wonder which she will choose?”


 
EMMA:

TheLastRemainsThe Last Remains: A Mystery (Ruth Galloway #15) by Elly Griffiths
found at Bookfan.

The discovery of a missing woman’s bones forces Ruth and Nelson to finally confront their feelings for each other as they desperately work to exonerate one of their own.

When builders discover a human skeleton while renovating a café, they call in archaeologist Dr. Ruth Galloway, who is preoccupied with the threatened closure of her department and by her ever-complicated relationship with DCI Nelson. The bones turn out to be modern–the remains of Emily Pickering, a young archaeology student who went missing in 2002. Suspicion soon falls on Emily’s Cambridge tutor and also on another archeology enthusiast who was part of the group gathered the weekend before she disappeared–Ruth’s friend Cathbad.

As they investigate, Nelson and his team uncover a tangled web of relationships within the archaeology group and look for a link between them and the café where Emily’s bones were found. Then, just when the team seem to be making progress, Cathbad disappears. The trail leads Ruth a to the Neolithic flint mines in Grimes Graves. The race is on, first to find Cathbad and then to exonerate him, but will Ruth and Nelson uncover the truth in time to save their friend?

“I have heard lots of good things about this series. And here is already #15! A nice reminder to try #1.”


 

Local Woman Missing by Mary KubicaLocalWomanMissing
found at

People don’t just disappear without a trace….

Shelby Tebow is the first to go missing. Not long after, Meredith Dickey and her six-year-old daughter, Delilah, vanish just blocks away from where Shelby was last seen, striking fear into their once-peaceful community. Are these incidents connected? After an elusive search that yields more questions than answers, the case eventually goes cold.

Now, 11 years later, Delilah shockingly returns. Everyone wants to know what happened to her, but no one is prepared for what they’ll find….

In this smart and chilling thriller, master of suspense and New York Times best-selling author Mary Kubica takes domestic secrets to a whole new level, showing that some people will stop at nothing to keep the truth buried.

“Hmm, I thought I had read a book by Kubica, but apparently not. Once again, high time to try, and this one could be a good beginning.”


 
MARTHA:

Indepence

Independence: A Novel by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni found at Bookfan.

India, 1947. In a rural village in Bengal live three sisters, daughters of a well-respected doctor.

Priya: intelligent and idealistic, resolved to follow in her father’s footsteps and become a doctor, though society frowns on it.

Deepa: the beauty, determined to make a marriage that will bring her family joy and status.

Jamini: devout, sharp-eyed, and a talented quiltmaker, with deeper passions than she reveals.
Theirs is a home of love and safety, a refuge from the violent events taking shape in the nation. Then their father is killed during a riot, and even their neighbors turn against them, bringing the events of their country closer to home.

As Priya determinedly pursues her career goal, Deepa falls deeply in love with a Muslim, causing her to break with her family. And Jamini attempts to hold her family together, even as she secretly longs for her sister’s fiancé.

When the partition of India is officially decided, a drastic–and dangerous–change is in the air. India is now for Hindus, Pakistan for Muslims. The sisters find themselves separated from one another, each on different paths. They fear for what will happen to not just themselves, but each other.

“I am drawn in by this cover. The historical fiction sounds interesting too.”


 

OceansofMercy

 

Oceans of Mercy by Mallory Ford
found at Coletta’s Kitchen.

Marine biologist and aptly nicknamed “Shark Girl,” Allie Jameson has always been the peacemaker of her five siblings, preferring to fly under the radar and only making waves when it comes to her questionable dating choices.

Boat captain and Allie’s long-time best friend Knox Parker is struggling with his feelings for the girl who has been there for him through the good and the hard. He knows he has feelings for her, but can he risk their friendship to tell her?

Knox has been a strong and steady presence in Allie’s life for as long as she can remember, their friendship spanning the test of time and multiple tragedies for them both. Still, as Allie begins to grow as a person and in her faith, she realizes she’s let those around her fight her battles for her for far too long. It’s time for her to step up and stand up for herself, but old habits die hard for Knox who has been her protector since childhood.

Just as Allie and Knox navigate the growing pains of their changing friendship and feelings for one another, a routine dive reopens a long closed missing person case that has deeply personal ties to Allie’s family. At the same time, an unexpected career opportunity for Allie thrusts her into the spotlight and stretches their friendship to the point where they must either bend or break.

Oceans of Mercy is a friends-to-lovers story of faith, romance, family, and the unique gifts God gives those who love Him. It is the first in a five book series, with each individual book following one of the Jameson siblings in their lives and loves. There is an overarching plot line that will span the whole series, but each individual book will have its own happy and satisfying ending.

“I liked all the covers on Colletta’s post but I chose this one based on the blurb..”
 
 
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What books caught your eye this week?

Books That Caught Our Eye

1 Comment

At Mailbox Monday, we encourage participants to not only share the books they received, but also to check out the books received by others. Each week, our team is sharing with you a few Books That Caught Our Eye from that week’s Mailbox Monday.

The new year is moving along quickly already. This week all three of us had Serena’s first choice, Patient Zero, on our short lists.

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

SERENA:

PatientZeroPatient Zero by Lydia Kang and Nate Pedersen
found at Sam Still Reading.

From the masters of storytelling-meets-science and co-authors of QuackeryPatient Zero tells the long and fascinating history of disease outbreaks – how they start, how they spread, the science that lets us understand them, and how we race to destroy them before they destroy us.

Written in the authors’ lively and accessible style, chapters include page-turning medical stories about a particular disease or virus – smallpox, Bubonic plague, polio, HIV – that combine ‘Patient Zero’ narratives, or the human stories behind outbreaks, with historical examinations of missteps, milestones, scientific theories, and more.

Learn the tragic stories of Patient Zeros throughout history, such as Mabalo Lokela, who contracted Ebola while on vacation in 1976, and the Lewis Baby on London’s Broad Street, the first to catch cholera in an 1854 outbreak that led to a major medical breakthrough. Interspersed are origin stories of a different sort – how a rye fungus in 1951 turned a small village in France into a phantasmagoric scene reminiscent of Burning Man. Plus the uneasy history of human autopsy, how the HIV virus has been with us for at least a century, and more.

“This could take me a long time to read, but it is fascinating to learn about medical breakthroughs and how we deal with diseases over time”


 

Yellowface

Yellowface by R.F. Kuang
found at Book Dilettante.

Authors June Hayward and Athena Liu were supposed to be twin rising stars: same year at Yale, same debut year in publishing. But Athena’s a cross-genre literary darling, and June didn’t even get a paperback release. Nobody wants stories about basic white girls, June thinks.

So when June witnesses Athena’s death in a freak accident, she acts on impulse: she steals Athena’s just-finished masterpiece, an experimental novel about the unsung contributions of Chinese laborers to the British and French war efforts during World War I.

So what if June edits Athena’s novel and sends it to her agent as her own work? So what if she lets her new publisher rebrand her as Juniper Song–complete with an ambiguously ethnic author photo? Doesn’t this piece of history deserve to be told, whoever the teller? That’s what June claims, and the New York Times bestseller list seems to agree.

But June can’t get away from Athena’s shadow, and emerging evidence threatens to bring June’s (stolen) success down around her. As June races to protect her secret, she discovers exactly how far she will go to keep what she thinks she deserves.

“I want to read this just from the blurb and the cover and the title sealed it.”


 
EMMA:

Patient Zero: A Curious History of the World’s Worst Diseases, by Lydia Kang and Nate Pedersen
found at Sam Still Reading

“A very timely history of disease outbreaks, from the authors of Quackery: stories of outbreaks (and their patient zeros), plus chapters on the science, culture, and cures for different types of epidemics and pandemics. Popular reading on a timely topic.”

“This sounds like an important book to read today, plus it looks easily accessible. Definitely one of the nonfiction I want to read this year.”


 

An Ungrateful Instrument by Michael MeehanAnUngratefulInstrument
also found at Sam Still Reading.

 ‘I want to tell a story. A long but simple story. A tale of long recovery. A tale of love. A tale of lost and found.’

In his remarkable new novel, award-winning Australian author Michael Meehan sensitively explores the links between generational conflict, family, and the creative act.

At its heart, An Ungrateful Instrument is a novel that portrays a son’s struggle to be more than a mere instrument of the father’s ambition. Antoine Forqueray and later his son Jean-Baptiste, were each brought up as child prodigies to the court of Louis XIV. Together, they were said to be the only musicians in France who could play the father’s brilliant, eccentric music for the viola da gamba.
In an imaginative masterstroke the story is told by Jean-Baptiste’s highly attuned mute sister, Charlotte-Elisabeth. Threaded throughout, deep in a forest an old man creates the gift of a special viol for the boy, Jean Baptiste.

This is a novel that can almost be heard like music, as it soars in language, theme, and a wisdom that both embodies and transcends its period setting.”

“Wow, so neat that someone wrote a historical novel on these famous Louis XIV’s musicians! I love art and French history, perfect!”


 
MARTHA:

TheWishingGame

The Wishing Game by Meg Shaffer
found at Book Reviews by Linda Moore.

Make a wish. . . .

Lucy Hart knows better than anyone what it’s like to grow up without parents who loved her. In a childhood marked by neglect and loneliness, Lucy found her solace in books, namely the Clock Island series by Jack Masterson. Now a twenty-six-year-old teacher’s aide, she is able to share her love of reading with bright, young students, especially seven-year-old Christopher Lamb, left orphaned after the tragic death of his parents. Lucy would give anything to adopt Christopher, but even the idea of becoming a family seems like an impossible dream without proper funds and stability.

But be careful what you wish for. . . .

Just when Lucy is about to give up, Jack Masterson announces he’s finally written a new book. Even better, he’s holding a contest on his private island where four hand-picked readers will compete to win the only copy. At age thirteen, Lucy fled her unhappy home and showed up on Jack Masterson’s doorstep, hoping to live with her favorite author. Thirteen years later, a sky-blue envelope arrives with Lucy’s name on it, postmarked “Clock Island.”

For Lucy, a chance to read the first Clock Island book in years is a prize worth fighting for, but the possibility of winning, selling the manuscript, and securing a better future for her and Christopher means everything.

But first, Lucy must contend with ruthless book collectors, wily opponents, and the distractingly handsome (and grumpy) Hugo Reese, illustrator of the Clock Island books and Jack’s only friend. Meanwhile, Jack “the Mastermind” Masterson is plotting the ultimate twist ending that could change all their lives forever.

. . . You might just get it.

“Of course, I love this cover. Then I was drawn by the plot with a mysterious book.”


TheGoodLuckCafe

The Good Luck Café, Somerset Lake #4, by Annie Rains
found at Siver’s Reviews.

Moira Green is perfectly content with her life. She has a rewarding career and plenty of wonderful friends, including the members of her weekly book club. Then everything in her life goes topsy-turvy when the town council plans to demolish the site of her mother’s beloved café to make room for much-needed parking. Moira is determined to save her mother’s business, so she swallows her pride and asks Gil Ryan for help.

Moira and Somerset Lake’s mayor were good friends once, the kind who could laugh at everything and nothing at all. Until one night changed everything between them. And now, with Gil supporting the council’s plans, Moira is forced to find another way to save Sweetie’s—and it involves campaigning against Gil. Going head-to-head in a battle of wills reveals more than either of them are ready for, and as the election heats up, so does their attraction. But without a compromise in sight, can these two be headed for anything but disaster?

“This is a lovely cover and sounds like a good romance.”
 
 
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What books caught your eye this week?

Books That Caught Our Eye

3 Comments

At Mailbox Monday, we encourage participants to not only share the books they received, but also to check out the books received by others. Each week, our team is sharing with you a few Books That Caught Our Eye from that week’s Mailbox Monday.

Sorry I went silent over the holidays. I had several nights busy wrapping gifts. Then I actually had my computer turned off for almost 9 days. Shocking for me!  I am glad Emma and Serena added their picks and that others got to share during the holidays too.

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

EMMA:

Life on the Mississippi is an epic, enchanting blend of history and adventure in which Buck builds a wooden flatboat from the grand “flatboat era” of the 1800s and sails it down the Mississippi River, illuminating the forgotten past of America’s first western frontier.
Seven years ago, readers around the country fell in love with a singular American voice: Rinker Buck, whose infectious curiosity about history launched him across the West in a covered wagon pulled by mules.

Now, Buck returns to chronicle his latest incredible adventure: building a wooden flatboat from the bygone era of the early 1800s and journeying down the Mississippi River to New Orleans.

A modern-day Huck Finn, Buck casts off down the river on the flatboat Patience accompanied by an eccentric crew of daring shipmates. Over the course of his voyage, Buck steers his fragile wooden craft through narrow channels dominated by massive cargo barges, rescues his first mate gone overboard, sails blindly through fog, breaks his ribs not once but twice, and camps every night on sandbars, remote islands, and steep levees. As he charts his own journey, he also delivers a richly satisfying work of history that brings to life a lost era.

The role of the flatboat in our country’s evolution is far more significant than most Americans realize. Between 1800 and 1840, millions of farmers, merchants, and teenage adventurers embarked from states like Pennsylvania and Virginia on flatboats headed beyond the Appalachians to Kentucky, Mississippi, and Louisiana. Settler families repurposed the wood from their boats to build their first cabins in the wilderness; cargo boats were broken apart and sold to build the boomtowns along the water route. Joining the river traffic were floating brothels, called “gun boats”; “smithy boats” for blacksmiths; even “whiskey boats” for alcohol. In the present day, America’s inland rivers are a superhighway dominated by leviathan barges—carrying $80 billion of cargo annually—all descended from flatboats like the ramshackle Patience.

As a historian, Buck resurrects the era’s adventurous spirit, but he also challenges familiar myths about American expansion, confronting the bloody truth behind settlers’ push for land and wealth. The Indian Removal Act of 1830 forced more than 125,000 members of the Cherokee, Choctaw, and several other tribes to travel the Mississippi on a brutal journey en route to the barrens of Oklahoma. Simultaneously, almost a million enslaved African Americans were carried in flatboats and marched by foot 1,000 miles over the Appalachians to the cotton and cane fields of Arkansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana, birthing the term “sold down the river.” Buck portrays this watershed era of American expansion as it was really lived.

“I love free travelling through books and history: perfect combo!”


 

DemonCopperhead

Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver
found at Sam Still Reading.

“Anyone will tell you the born of this world are marked from the get-out, win or lose.”

Set in the mountains of southern Appalachia, this is the story of a boy born to a teenaged single mother in a single-wide trailer, with no assets beyond his dead father’s good looks and copper-colored hair, a caustic wit, and a fierce talent for survival. In a plot that never pauses for breath, relayed in his own unsparing voice, he braves the modern perils of foster care, child labor, derelict schools, athletic success, addiction, disastrous loves, and crushing losses. Through all of it, he reckons with his own invisibility in a popular culture where even the superheroes have abandoned rural people in favor of cities.

Many generations ago, Charles Dickens wrote David Copperfield from his experience as a survivor of institutional poverty and its damages to children in his society. Those problems have yet to be solved in ours. Dickens is not a prerequisite for readers of this novel, but he provided its inspiration. In transposing a Victorian epic novel to the contemporary American South, Barbara Kingsolver enlists Dickens’ anger and compassion, and above all, his faith in the transformative powers of a good story. Demon Copperhead speaks for a new generation of lost boys, and all those born into beautiful, cursed places they can’t imagine leaving behind.

“Except her last book, I have really enjoyed this author. Sounds like I should really get to this one”.


 
SERENA:

The Holiday Ex-Files by Jennifer PeelHolidayExFiles
found at Book Sniffers Anonymous.

Once upon a time people called me the holiday queen. But catching my husband under the Christmas tree with another woman kind of did something to me. Like make me digitally crop him out of all our wedding photos and post them online. Who knew that post would go viral? Thanks to all the requests I received to do the same for other jilted partners, I started a new business called, the Holiday Ex-Files. And I couldn’t be happier. Well . . . at least I’m not unhappy.

Then along comes my ex-husband’s best friend, Noah Cullen. Yep, like the vampires. He’s extremely gorgeous like them too. He has a plan to help me believe in the magic of holidays again. But the more I’m around him, I begin to think he’s the magical one, and that perhaps I picked the wrong best friend to begin with. Maybe, just maybe, it will be a very merry Christmas after all.

“This sounds like a kind of spurned love and redemption story over the holiday season. Could be a fun one.”

 



The Direction of the Wind  by Mansi ShaDirectionofWindh
found at Book Reviews by Linda Moore

Sophie Shah was six when she learned her mother, Nita, had died. For twenty-two years, she shouldered the burden of that loss. But when her father passes away, Sophie discovers a cache of hidden letters revealing a shattering truth: her mother didn’t die. She left.

Nita Shah had everything most women dreamed of in her hometown of Ahmedabad, India―a loving husband, a doting daughter, financial security―but in her heart, she felt like she was living a lie. Fueled by her creative ambitions, Nita moved to Paris, the artists’ capital of the world―even though it meant leaving her family behind. But once in Paris, Nita’s decision and its consequences would haunt her in ways she never expected.

Now that Sophie knows the truth, she’s determined to find the mother who abandoned her. Sophie jets off to Paris, even though the impulsive trip may risk her impending arranged marriage. In the City of Light, she chases lead after lead that help her piece together a startling portrait of her mother. Though Sophie goes to Paris to find Nita, she may just also discover parts of herself she never knew.

“I always love these family secrets kind of novels and this one sounds like a real heartbreaker. I can’t imagine leaving my child for any reason. I’d love to discover why Nita leaves.”


 
MARTHA:
ProgressReport

 

Progress Report by Roman Lando
found at Words and Peace.

AN ALIEN ARTIFACT. AN ACCIDENTAL DISCOVERY. A LOOMING NUCLEAR APOCALYPSE.

Art is a computer geek and retro electronics aficionado who just wants to be left alone. When he stumbles upon an alien artifact, he can’t help but try and find out its purpose. Instead, he finds himself in over his head, in the midst of what might just turn out to be the end of the world, and nobody except him knows the truth. A truth that certain factions don’t want to get out – at any cost.

It’s not paranoia when self-driving cars are out to get you. Can Art survive the hunt, and maybe save the world in the process?

Progress Report is a near-future technothriller for fans of Ready Player One, Daemon, and Bobiverse.

“This sci fi thriller sounds like it is right up my sci fi reading alley!”


The beloved real-life story of a woman in the Alaskan wilderness, the children she taught, and the man she loved.

“From the time I’d been a girl, I’d been thrilled with the idea of living on a frontier. So when I was offered the job of teaching school in a gold-mining settlement called Chicken, I accepted right away.”

Anne Hobbs was only nineteen in 1927 when she came to harsh and beautiful Alaska. Running a ramshackle schoolhouse would expose her to more than just the elements. After she allowed Native American children into her class and fell in love with a half-Inuit man, she would learn the meanings of prejudice and perseverance, irrational hatred and unconditional love. “People get as mean as the weather,” she discovered, but they were also capable of great good.

As told to Robert Specht, Anne Hobbs’s true story has captivated generations of readers. Now this beautiful new edition is available to inspire many more.

“I am not familiar with this but it sounds very interesting.”
 
 
📚📚📚

 

What books caught your eye this week?

Books That Caught Our Eye

2 Comments

At Mailbox Monday, we encourage participants to not only share the books they received, but also to check out the books received by others. Each week, our team is sharing with you a few Books That Caught Our Eye from that week’s Mailbox Monday.

Merry Christmas Season!
One more big party to go maybe, and then you will have quiet time
to enjoy your new books, right? 
I was expecting to see more of your books, but I guess some of you were too busy to post this week.

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

EMMA:

 
In 1869, when the final spike was driven into the Transcontinental Railroad, few were prepared for its seismic aftershocks. Once a hodgepodge of short, squabbling lines, America’s railways soon exploded into a titanic industry helmed by a pageant of speculators, crooks, and visionaries.

 

The vicious competition between empire builders such as Cornelius Vanderbilt, Jay Gould, J. P. Morgan, and E. H. Harriman sparked stock market frenzies, panics, and crashes; provoked strikes that upended the relationship between management and labor; transformed the nation’s geography; and culminated in a ferocious two-man battle that shook the nation’s financial markets to their foundations and produced dramatic, lasting changes in the interplay of business and government.

Spanning four decades and featuring some of the most iconic figures of the Gilded Age, Iron Empires reveals how the robber barons drove the country into the twentieth century—and almost sent it off the rails.

 
“I love nonfiction, and this one sounds fascinating.”

 


 

The Echo of Old Books, by Barbara Davis
found at Silver’s Reviews
and Book Reviews by Linda Moore

Rare-book dealer Ashlyn Greer’s affinity for books extends beyond the intoxicating scent of old paper, ink, and leather. She can feel the echoes of the books’ previous owners—an emotional fingerprint only she can read. When Ashlyn discovers a pair of beautifully bound volumes that appear to have never been published, her gift quickly becomes an obsession. Not only is each inscribed with a startling incrimination, but the authors, Hemi and Belle, tell conflicting sides of a tragic romance.

With no trace of how these mysterious books came into the world, Ashlyn is caught up in a decades-old literary mystery, beckoned by two hearts in ruins, whoever they were, wherever they are. Determined to learn the truth behind the doomed lovers’ tale, she reads on, following a trail of broken promises and seemingly unforgivable betrayals. The more Ashlyn learns about Hemi and Belle, the nearer she comes to bringing closure to their love story—and to the unfinished chapters of her own life.

 

“Can you resist a book about books? I can’t.

 


 
SERENA:
 

 

The Rom-Com Agenda by Jayne Denker
found at Sam Still Reading
 
You know how the story’s supposed to go…but love makes its own plans.

STEP 1: Find yourself
Leah Keegan is used to being alone, especially after taking care of her sick foster mother for the past year. But now there’s nothing keeping her in the sweet town of Willow Cove. It’s time to move on. Again.

STEP 2: Win back the one who got away
Eli Masterson thought he and Victoria were meant to be together until she decided to jet off to Rome for a year. Eli is determined to win her back. But how?

STEP 3: Become a romantic hero
Changing Eli’s physical appearance is easy, but to turn Eli into the sophisticated-yet-vulnerable ideal man, his girl pals force him to watch classic rom-coms. And take notes.

STEP 4: Fall in love?
Inadvertently drawn into the makeover scheme, Leah ends up being Eli’s guide through the wild world of meet-cutes and grand gestures. Even though she believes Eli doesn’t need to change a thing about himself. Even though she just might be falling for Eli . . . and Eli falling for her.
 
“This sounds like a fun story to pass the time,
especially when you’re curled up on the couch.”
 
 
Serena also chose The Echo of Old Books, by Barbara Davis.
Here is why:
 
“What’s not to love about this book!
I love a good mystery and romance, so this one sounds like a delight.”
 
📚📚📚

 

What books caught your eye this week?

Books That Caught Our Eye

1 Comment

At Mailbox Monday, we encourage participants to not only share the books they received, but also to check out the books received by others. Each week, our team is sharing with you a few Books That Caught Our Eye from that week’s Mailbox Monday.

Merry Christmas!
It’s interesting that I tend to notice trends every week. For sure, there was a lot of snow on many of your covers this week, but also quite a few upcoming really good WWII historical novels! Time to start filling in your 2023 TBR lists!

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

EMMA:

The Wrong Mother, by Charlotte Duckworth
found at An Interior Journey
 
Faye is 39 and single. She’s terrified that she may never have the one thing she always wanted: a child of her own.
Then she hears about an online co-parenting app. For men and women who want to have a baby, but don’t want to do it alone. When the app matches her with smooth-talking, wealthy Louis, it feels as though the fates have aligned.
But just one year later, Faye’s dream has turned into a nightmare. She’s on the run from Louis, with baby Jake in tow.
In desperate need of a new place to live, she responds to an advert from an older lady, Rachel, who’s renting out a room in her cottage in a remote Norfolk village. It’s all Faye can afford – and surely she’ll be safe from Louis there?
But is Rachel the benevolent landlady she pretends to be? Or does she have a secret of her own?
 
“I had a closer look at this one, because the title reminded me
of an amazing French thriller.
This one sounds just as good!”

 


 

Cold People, by Tom Rob Smith
found at Sam Still Reading

From the brilliant, bestselling author of Child 44 comes a suspenseful and fast-paced novel about an Antarctic colony of global apocalypse survivors seeking to reinvent civilization under the most extreme conditions imaginable.

The world has fallen. Without warning, a mysterious and omnipotent force has claimed the planet for their own. There are no negotiations, no demands, no reasons given for their actions. All they have is a message: humanity has thirty days to reach the one place on Earth where they will be allowed to exist…Antarctica.

Cold People follows the perilous journeys of a handful of those who endure the frantic exodus to the most extreme environment on the planet. But their goal is not merely to survive the present. Because as they cling to life on the ice, the remnants of their past swept away, they must also confront the urgent challenge: can they change and evolve rapidly enough to ensure humanity’s future? Can they build a new society in the sub-zero cold?

Original and imaginative, as profoundly intimate as it is grand in scope, Cold People is a masterful and unforgettable epic.

 

“I hate the snow and cold, but somehow,
I recently read three amazing books set in Antarctica.
And I think I won’t be able to resist this one!”
 

 
SERENA:

 

The Twelve Dates of Christmas by [Jenny Bayliss]

 

 

The Twelve Dates of Christmas, by Jenny Bayliss
found at The Infinite Curio

 
When it comes to relationships, thirty-four-year-old Kate Turner is ready to say “Bah, humbug.” The sleepy town of Blexford, England, isn’t exactly brimming with prospects, and anyway, Kate’s found fulfillment in her career as a designer, and in her delicious side job baking for her old friend Matt’s neighborhood café. But then her best friend signs her up for a dating agency that promises to help singles find love before the holidays. Twenty-three days until Christmas. Twelve dates with twelve different men. The odds must finally be in her favor . . . right?

 

Yet with each new date more disastrous than the one before–and the whole town keeping tabs on her misadventures–Kate must remind herself that sometimes love, like mistletoe, shows up where it’s least expected. And maybe, just maybe, it’s been right under her nose all along. . . .

 
“This book reminds me of those fun, comedic Hallmark movies.
These are the kinds of holiday reads I like.”

 

 



Lessons in Chemistry, by Bonnie Garmus
found at Bookshelf Journeys

 

Chemist Elizabeth Zott is not your average woman. In fact, Elizabeth Zott would be the first to point out that there is no such thing as an average woman. But it’s the early 1960s and her all-male team at Hastings Research Institute takes a very unscientific view of equality. Except for one: Calvin Evans; the lonely, brilliant, Nobel–prize nominated grudge-holder who falls in love with—of all things—her mind. True chemistry results. 

 

But like science, life is unpredictable. Which is why a few years later Elizabeth Zott finds herself not only a single mother, but the reluctant star of America’s most beloved cooking show Supper at Six. Elizabeth’s unusual approach to cooking (“combine one tablespoon acetic acid with a pinch of sodium chloride”) proves revolutionary. But as her following grows, not everyone is happy. Because as it turns out, Elizabeth Zott isn’t just teaching women to cook. She’s daring them to change the status quo.  

Laugh-out-loud funny, shrewdly observant, and studded with a dazzling cast of supporting characters, Lessons in Chemistry is as original and vibrant as its protagonist.

 
“Yes, this week I went with fun reads. I really wanted some laughs this week.”
 
 
📚📚📚

 

What books caught your eye this week?

Books That Caught Our Eye

2 Comments

At Mailbox Monday, we encourage participants to not only share the books they received, but also to check out the books received by others. Each week, our team is sharing with you a few Books That Caught Our Eye from that week’s Mailbox Monday.

Somehow, I noticed lots of spooky covers this week among your mailboxes. But as snow is coming for a bunch of people, at least in the US, I hope it may help brighten the mood, lol!

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

EMMA:

 

When 10 year-old Jill meets an elderly man in a wheelchair who must get to the top floor of her apartment complex, she has no idea that their journey up ten stories will evolve into an adventure of a lifetime. Enjoy this novella while cuddling at the fireplace and sipping some grownup eggnog, or gather the family around the Christmas tree for a read-along with a carton of the straight stuff. And, afterwards… feel free to read it again.

If you’re looking for a gift-able Christmas book for someone special, check out The Tenth Floor in hardback version. Printed on premium paper and in color, this little novella is crafted to provide an heirloom quality present to be enjoyed holiday season after holiday season!

 

“This lovely Christmas novella sounds perfect for the occasion!”

 


 

Fish Swimmming in Dappled Sunlight, by Riku Onda
Translated from the Japanese by Alison Watts
found at Bookshelf Journeys

Set in Tokyo over the course of one night, Aki and Hiro have decided to be together one last time in their shared flat before parting. Their relationship has broken down after a mountain trek during which their guide died inexplicably. Now each believes the other to be a murderer and is determined to extract a confession before the night is over. Who is the murderer and what really happened on the mountain?

In the battle of wills between them, the chain of events leading up to this night is gradually revealed in a gripping psychological thriller that keeps the reader in suspense to the very end.

 

“A Japanese psychological thriller? Yes please, now!”

 


 
MARTHA:

The Kingdoms, by Natasha Pulley
found at Bookshelf Journeys

A time twisting alternative history that asks whether it’s worth changing the past to save the future, even if it costs you everyone you’ve ever loved.

Joe Tournier has a bad case of amnesia. His first memory is of stepping off a train in the nineteenth-century French colony of England. The only clue Joe has about his identity is a century-old postcard of a Scottish lighthouse that arrives in London the same month he does. Written in illegal English—instead of French—the postcard is signed only with the letter “M,” but Joe is certain whoever wrote it knows him far better than he currently knows himself, and he’s determined to find the writer.
The search for M, though, will drive Joe from French-ruled London to rebel-owned Scotland and finally onto the battle ships of a lost empire’s Royal Navy. In the process, Joe will remake history, and himself.

“I am a big fan of alternate history so this gets my interest.”

 



Georgie, All Along, by Kate Clayborn
found at Bookfan

The acclaimed author of Love Lettering weaves a wise and witty new novel that echoes with timely questions about love, career, reconciling with the past, and finding your path while knowing your true worth.

Longtime personal assistant Georgie Mulcahy has made a career out of putting others before herself. When an unexpected upheaval sends her away from her hectic job in L.A. and back to her hometown, Georgie must confront an uncomfortable truth: her own wants and needs have always been a disconcertingly blank page.

But then Georgie comes across a forgotten artifact—a “friendfic” diary she wrote as a teenager, filled with possibilities she once imagined. To an overwhelmed Georgie, the diary’s simple, small-scale ideas are a lifeline—a guidebook for getting started on a new path.

Georgie’s plans hit a snag when she comes face to face with an unexpected roommate—Levi Fanning, onetime town troublemaker and current town hermit. But this quiet, grouchy man is more than just his reputation, and he offers to help Georgie with her quest. As the two make their way through her wishlist, Georgie begins to realize that what she truly wants might not be in the pages of her diary after all, but right by her side—if only they can both find a way to let go of the pasts that hold them back.

Honest and deeply emotional, Georgie, All Along is a smart, tender must-read for everyone who’s ever wondered about the life that got away . . .

“This cover caught my eye and it sounds like it might be a good romance.”

 


 
SERENA:
 

 

Stop Overthinking:
23 Techniques to Relieve Stress,
Stop Negative Spirals,
Declutter Your Mind, and Focus on the Present,
by Nick Trenton
found at The Book Connection

 

Overcome negative thought patterns, reduce stress, and live a worry-free life.

Overthinking is the biggest cause of unhappiness. Don’t get stuck in a never-ending thought loop. Stay present and keep your mind off things that don’t matter, and never will.

Break free of your self-imposed mental prison.

Stop Overthinking is a book that understands where you’ve been through,the exhausting situation you’ve put yourself into, and how you lose your mind in the trap of anxiety and stress. Acclaimed author Nick Trenton will walk you through the obstacles with detailed and proven techniques to help you rewire your brain, control your thoughts, and change your mental habits.What’s more, the book will provide you scientific approaches to completely change the way you think and feel about yourself by ending the vicious thought patterns.

Stop agonizing over the past and trying to predict the future.

Nick Trenton grew up in rural Illinois and is quite literally a farm boy. His best friend growing up was his trusty companion Leonard the dachshund. RIP Leonard. Eventually, he made it off the farm and obtained a BS in Economics, followed by an MA in Behavioral Psychology.

Powerful ways to stop ruminating and dwelling on negative thoughts.

-How to be aware of your negative spiral triggers-Identify and recognize your inner anxieties-How to keep the focus on relaxation and action-Proven methods to overcome stress attacks-Learn to declutter your mind and find focus

Unleash your unlimited potential and start living.

No more self-deprecating talk. No more sleepless nights with racing thoughts. Free your mind from overthinking and achieve more, feel better, and unleash your potential. Finally be able to live in the present moment.

 

“This is something I need right now.”

 


 

Alice has always wanted to be a writer. Her talent is innate, but her stories remain safe and detached, until a devastating event breaks her heart open, and she creates a stunning debut novel. Her words, in turn, find their way to readers, from a teenager hiding her homelessness, to a free diver pushing himself beyond endurance, an artist furious at the world around her, a bookseller in search of love, a widower rent by grief. Each one is drawn into Alice’s novel; each one discovers something different that alters their perspective, and presents new pathways forward for their lives.

Together, their stories reveal how books can affect us in the most beautiful and unexpected of ways—and how we are all more closely connected to one another than we might think.
 
“I’ve loved Erica Bauermeister’s previous books. This one sounds like another winner.”
 
 
📚📚📚
 

What books caught your eye this week?

Books That Caught Our Eye

1 Comment

At Mailbox Monday, we encourage participants to not only share the books they received, but also to check out the books received by others. Each week, our team is sharing with you a few Books That Caught Our Eye from that week’s Mailbox Monday.

It was fun seeing more December-look books this week among your mailboxes, and already some 2023 reading plans!

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

EMMA:

Saha, by Cho Nam-Joo
translated from the Korean by Jamie Chang
found at Sam Still Reading

 

A National Book Award Finalist hailed as “a social treatise as well as a work of art” (Alexandra Alter, New York Times), Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982 announced Cho Nam-Joo as a major literary talent. In her signature sharp prose, brilliantly translated by Jamie Chang, Nam-Joo returns with this haunting account of a neglected housing complex in the shadows of Town: a former fishing village bought out by a massive conglomerate. Town is prosperous and safe—but only if you’re a citizen with “valuable skills and assets,” which the residents of Saha Estates are not. Disenfranchised and tightlipped, the Saha are forced into harsh labor, squatting in moldy units without electricity. Braiding the disparate experiences of the Saha residents—from the reluctant midwife to the unknowing test subject to the separated siblings—into a powerful Orwellian parable, Nam-Joo has crafted a heartbreaking tale of what happens when we finally unmask our oppressors.

 

“I really enjoy international lit, and somehow missed this Korean dystopia,
so to my TBR right away!”

 


Reading the World:
Confessions of a Literary Explorer
, by Ann Morgan
found at The Smell of Ink

In 2012, the world arrived in London for the Olympics…and Ann Morgan went out to meet it. She read her way around all the globe’s 196 independent countries (plus one extra), sampling one book from every nation. It wasn’t easy. Many languages have next to nothing translated into English; there are tiny, tucked-away places where very little is written down at all; some governments don’t like to let works of art leak out to corrupt Westerners.

Her literary adventures shed light on the issues that affect us all: personal, political, national and global. Using her quest as a starting point, this book explores questions such as: What is cultural heritage? How do we define national identity? Is it possible to overcome censorship and propaganda? And how can we celebrate, challenge and change our remarkable world?

 

“I have so much enjoyed Morgan’s first nonfiction book
(The World Between Two Covers)
on her literary adventures in reading the world,
that I want to see what else she draws from her experience.”

 


MARTHA:

MurderSnowedInnMurder at the Snowed Inn by Imogen Plimp
found at The Book Connection.

Heartbroken after her beloved husband’s death, Claire Andersen—proud foster mom, dog mom, and culinary artisan—decides to try her hand at a new beginning, renovating an old B&B in idyllic Galway, Maryland on the edge of the enchanted Appalachian Mountains. She knew her fresh start would be exciting, but she never expected it to be tinged with enthralling adventure, romance that’s sweet as sweet can be … and murder!

Adorable and resilient, former NYC chef Claire Andersen is no stranger to second chances. She and her stock trader husband George had decided long ago to trade in their life of ambition for one of quaint & quiet adventure—by opening up a cozy neighborhood coffee shoppe on the ground floor their Brooklyn brownstone. He was the coffee-connoisseur, she was the baker extraordinaire. Claire was so happy, she could just die. But fate had other plans—it came for her husband instead.

After George’s passing, Claire decides (with a nudge from her doting foster daughter Al) to trade in her life of brews and baked goods for breakfast—bed and breakfast, that is! And what better setting in which to start over than Galway, Maryland—a charming, snowy mountain town (and favorite cross-county ski destination of Claire’s youth).

All is well in Claire’s new B&B venture—and with her new oven constantly in use, it’s mouth-watering, even—until her first guest is murdered in-house. It’s not long until one of the suspects Claire questions about the murder winds up dead, too. Suddenly, Claire finds herself starting over yet again—and trading in her hostess hat (she’d just dusted it off, too!) for a secret life as an amateur sleuth.

But it’s not all B&B business and bodies: Claire also finds herself in the throes of not one, but two potential romances—each more toe-curling and butterflies-in-the-stomach inducing than the other.

Alongside her trusty new pal Evelyn (who’s feisty enough to make anyone blush) and her faithful bloodhound Rupert, Claire races the clock to get to the next victim—before the killer does. And she knows she’d better hurry. Because if the killer catches her first, she might run out of second chances.

“I am being drawn to some of the cozy mysteries.
The author’s warning of a non-binary character didn’t make me less interested..”


EducationinMurder An Education in Murder: A Cozy Mystery
(A Homeschool Cozy Mystery Book 1) by Patty Joy
found at Carstairs Considers.

When a dead body shows up that wasn’t on the lesson plan, a homeschooling mom is the prime suspect.
Rainbow Bailey is happy with her life, homeschooling her five children. Small town life suits her well and she spends contented days juggling her household, science projects, helping her husband, her friends, and planning what comes next.
What she didn’t plan on was murder.
Rainbow is shocked to discover a body in a dumpster. It not only ruins her mom’s night out, but turns her entire world upside down. Things get even bleaker for her when the struggling and frustrated police chief can’t find a better suspect than Rainbow.
Terrified by the prospect of a lifetime in prison for a crime she didn’t commit, it’s up to her and her children to find the true culprit before the killer strikes again.
Will Rainbow and her curious kids crack the case, or will Rainbow take the blame for this heinous crime?
If you like cozy mysteries with a small-town flair, realistic characters and a taste of murder, you’ll love Patty Joy’s Homeschool Cozy Mystery series. Grab your copy of An Education in Murder now!

“Another cozy mystery.
I homeschooled my children for a few years
so that element got my attention.”

 


SERENA:

 

 

  The Loch by Steve Alten
found at The Smell of Ink

 

Marine biologist Zachary Wallace once suffered a near-drowning experience in legendary Loch Ness, and now, long-forgotten memories of that experience have begun haunting him.

The truth surrounding these memories lies with Zachary’s estranged father, Angus Wallace, a wily Highlander on trial for murder.

Together the two plunge into a world where the legend of Loch Ness shows its true face.

“This is an older book,
but I’ve always been fascinated by the myth of the Lock Ness,
and I think this will bring a good dose of reality and mystery with it.”


 

Throughout history, there have been numerous epidemics that have threatened mankind with destruction. Diseases have the ability to highlight our shared concerns across the ages, affecting every social divide from national boundaries, economic categories, racial divisions, and beyond. Whether looking at smallpox, HIV, Ebola, or COVID-19 outbreaks, we see the same conversations arising as society struggles with the all-encompassing question: What do we do now?

In “poignant yet relevant detail” (Niki Kapsambelis, author of The Inheritance), Quarantine Life from Cholera to COVID-19 demonstrates that these conversations have always involved the same questions of individual liberties versus the common good, debates about rushing new and untested treatments, considerations of whether quarantines are effective to begin with, what to do about healthy carriers, and how to keep trade circulating when society shuts down.

This vibrant social and medical history tracks different diseases and outlines their trajectory, what they meant for society, and societal questions each disease brought up, along with practical takeaways we can apply to current and future pandemics—so we can all be better prepared for whatever life throws our way.

“I’ve enjoyed non-fiction about these larger scientific-societal issues in the past.
I think I’m ready to read about pandemics now, so this one might work well.”

 


Saint (The World of the Narrows #0) by Adrienne Young
found at The Infinite Curio

 

As a boy, Elias learned the hard way what happens when you don’t heed the old tales.

Nine years after his lack of superstition got his father killed, he’s grown into a young man of piety, with a deep reverence for the hallowed sea and her fickle favor. As stories of the fisherman’s son who has managed to escape the most deadly of storms spreads from port to port, his devotion to the myths and creeds has given him the reputation of the luckiest bastard to sail the Narrows.

Now, he’s mere days away from getting everything his father ever dreamed for him: a ship of his own, a crew, and a license that names him as one of the first Narrows-born traders. But when a young dredger from the Unnamed Sea with more than one secret crosses his path, Elias’ faith will be tested like never before. The greater the pull he feels toward her, the farther he drifts from the things he’s spent the last three years working for.

He is dangerously close to repeating his mistakes and he’s seen first hand how vicious the jealous sea can be. If he’s going to survive her retribution, he will have to decide which he wants more, the love of the girl who could change their shifting world, or the sacred beliefs that earned him the name that he’s known for—Saint.

“Ok, the first thing that caught my eye about this book
was the blue eyes in the book cover.
They are arresting, aren’t they?
But there’s something about this description of his lack of superstition
and his new respect for the sea
that just makes me interested in seeing what happens.”

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What books caught your eye this week?

Books That Caught Our Eye

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At Mailbox Monday, we encourage participants to not only share the books they received, but also to check out the books received by others. Each week, our team is sharing with you a few Books That Caught Our Eye from that week’s Mailbox Monday.

We are already in December, so this is my first time to post here. I’m thrilled to share with you what caught our eye this week.
A great way to fine tune your book list for Santa!

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

EMMA:

 

Homecoming, by Kate Morton,
found at Book’d Out

 

Adelaide Hills, Christmas Eve, 1959: At the end of a scorching hot day, beside a creek on the grounds of the grand and mysterious mansion, a local delivery man makes a terrible discovery. A police investigation is called and the small town of Tambilla becomes embroiled in one of the most shocking and perplexing murder cases in the history of South Australia.Sixty years later, Jess is a journalist in search of a story. Having lived and worked in London for almost twenty years, she now finds herself laid off from her full-time job and struggling to make ends meet. A phone call out of nowhere summons her back to Sydney, where her beloved grandmother, Nora, who raised Jess when her mother could not, has suffered a fall and been raced to the hospital.Nora has always been a vibrant and strong presence: decisive, encouraging, young despite her years. When Jess visits her in the hospital, she is alarmed to find her grandmother frail and confused. It’s even more alarming to hear from Nora’s housekeeper that Nora had been distracted in the weeks before her accident and had fallen on the steps to the attic—the one place Jess was forbidden from playing in when she was small.

At loose ends in Nora’s house, Jess does some digging of her own. In Nora’s bedroom, she discovers a true crime book, chronicling the police investigation into a long-buried tragedy: the Turner Family Tragedy of Christmas Eve, 1959. It is only when Jess skims through the book that she finds a shocking connection between her own family and this once-infamous crime—a crime that has never been resolved satisfactorily. And for a journalist without a story, a cold case might be the best distraction she can find…

An epic novel that spans generations, Homecoming asks what we would do for those we love, and how we protect the lies we tell. It explores the power of motherhood, the corrosive effects of tightly held secrets, and the healing nature of truth. Above all, it is a beguiling and immensely satisfying novel from one of the finest writers working today.

 
“I have devoured all of Morton’s books. So cool to see a new one to come out next April.
And… it’s available on Netgalley!!”

 


 

It is once again up to American markswoman Kate Rees to take the shot that just might win—or lose—World War II, in the followup to national bestseller Three Hours in Paris.

Three missions. Two cities. One shot to win the war.

October 1942: it’s been two years since American markswoman Kate Rees was sent to Paris on a British Secret Service mission to assassinate Hitler. Since then, she has left spycraft behind to take a training job as a sharpshooting instructor in the Scottish Highlands. But her quiet life is violently disrupted when Colonel Stepney, her former handler, drags her back into the fray for a dangerous three-pronged mission in Paris.

Each task is more dangerous than the next: Deliver a package of penicillin to sick children. Assassinate a high-ranking German operative whose knowledge of secret invasion plans could turn the tide of the war against the Allies. Rescue a British agent who once saved Kate’s life, and get out.

Kate will encounter sheiks and spies, poets and partisans, as she races to keep up with the constantly-shifting nature of her assignment, showing every ounce of her Oregonian grit in the process.

New York Times bestselling author Cara Black has crafted another heart-stopping thrill-ride that reveals a portrait of Paris at the height of the Nazi Occupation.–

Three Hours in Paris was Cara Black’s foray into historical mystery,
and it was fabulous. So cool to see a sequel!”

 


MARTHA:

 

The Stationmaster’s Cottage by Phillipa Nefri Clark
found at The Book Connection.

Christie is happy in her life… or so she tells herself. Despite a tragic childhood, she has built a satisfying career and loves her city apartment. But deep down she yearns for a simpler life. Family. A garden. And a place to heal her heart.

The decision to attend a funeral in a town she’s never heard of throws her safe world into disarray, exposing the cracks in her life. As she deals with the fallout, Christie moves into a rundown cottage she’s inherited and there, makes a discovery.

Fifty years ago, a heartbroken young artist waited each dawn on a jetty for his true love to return. And each night, he wrote her a love letter.

What Christie uncovers will change her life forever.

“I was drawn by the lovely cover and I like historical romance.”


A Death in Tokyo by Keigo Higashino,
Giles Murray (Translator)
found at Book Dilettante.

In the latest from international bestselling author Keigo Higashino, Tokyo Police Detective Kaga is faced with a very public murder that doesn’t quite add up, a prime suspect unable to defend himself, and pressure from the highest levels for a quick solution.

In the Nihonbashi district of Tokyo an unusual statue of a Japanese mythic beast – a kirin – stands guard over the district from the classic Nihonbashi bridge. In the evening, a man who appears to be very drunk staggers onto the bridge and collapses right under the statue of the winged beast. The patrolman who sees this scene unfold, goes to rouse the man, only to discover that the man was not passed out, he was dead; that he was not drunk, he was stabbed in the chest. However, where he died was not where the crime was committed – the key to solving the crime is to find out where he was attacked and why he made such a super human effort to carry himself to the Nihonbashi Bridge. That same night, a young man named Yashima is injured in a car accident while attempting to flee from the police. Found on him is the wallet of the murdered man.

Tokyo Police Detective Kyoichiro Kaga is assigned to the team investigating the murder – and must bring his skills to bear to uncover what actually happened that night on the Nihonbashi bridge. What, if any, connection is there between the murdered man and Yashima, the young man caught with his wallet? Kaga’s investigation takes him down dark roads and into the unknown past to uncover what really happened and why.

A Death in Tokyo is another mind-bending mystery from the modern master of classic crime, finalist for both an Edgar Award and a CWA Dagger, the internationally bestselling Keigo Higashino.

“I like police procedurals and this got my interest in the series.”

 


 

SERENA:

 

Happy Place by Emily Henry
foud at Book’d Out

 

Harriet and Wyn have been the perfect couple since they met in college—they go together like salt and pepper, honey and tea, lobster and rolls. Except, now—for reasons they’re still not discussing—they don’t.

They broke up five months ago. And still haven’t told their best friends.

Which is how they find themselves sharing a bedroom at the Maine cottage that has been their friend group’s yearly getaway for the last decade. Their annual respite from the world, where for one vibrant, blissful week they leave behind their daily lives; have copious amounts of cheese, wine, and seafood; and soak up the salty coastal air with the people who understand them most.

Only this year, Harriet and Wyn are lying through their teeth while trying not to notice how desperately they still want each other. Because the cottage is for sale and this is the last week they’ll all have together in this place. They can’t stand to break their friends’ hearts, and so they’ll play their parts. Harriet will be the driven surgical resident who never starts a fight, and Wyn will be the laid-back charmer who never lets the cracks show. It’s a flawless plan (if you look at it from a great distance and through a pair of sunscreen-smeared sunglasses). After years of being in love, how hard can it be to fake it for one week…in front of those who know you best?

“These Emily Henry books are always funny and entertaining.
They seem to make me happier when I read them, so I’d like to get this one on audio.”

 


 

 Yeva Skalietska, a girl living in the city of Kharkiv, turned 12 on February 14, 2022—a happy day. Ten days later, the only life she’d ever known was irrevocably shattered. On February 24, her city was suddenly under attack as Russia launched its horrifying invasion of Ukraine. Yeva and her family ran to a basement bunker, where she began writing a diary. She describes the bombings they endured while sheltering underground, and their desperate journey west to escape the conflict raging around them. After many endless train rides and a prolonged stay in an overcrowded refugee center in Western Ukraine, Yeva and her beloved grandmother eventually find refuge in Dublin. There, she bravely begins to forge a new life, hoping she’ll be able to return home one day.

 

“This crisis in Ukraine has me very concerned,
especially when daughters similar in age to my own
are fleeing their home countries in order to be safe from harm and war.”

 

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What books caught your eye this week?