Books That Caught Our Eye

2 Comments

Books That Caught Our Eye

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

Each week will share a few books that caught our eye from that week’s Mailbox Monday.

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

Serena


Her Last Flight by Beatriz Williams at Library of Clean Reads.

In 1947, photographer and war correspondent Janey Everett arrives at a remote surfing village on the Hawaiian island of Kauai to research a planned biography of forgotten aviation pioneer Sam Mallory, who joined the loyalist forces in the Spanish Civil War and never returned. Obsessed with Sam’s fate, Janey has tracked down Irene Lindquist, the owner of a local island-hopping airline, whom she believes might actually be the legendary Irene Foster, Mallory’s onetime student and flying partner. Foster’s disappearance during a round-the-world flight in 1937 remains one of the world’s greatest unsolved mysteries.

At first, the flinty Mrs. Lindquist denies any connection to Foster. But Janey informs her that the wreck of Sam Mallory’s airplane has recently been discovered in a Spanish desert, and piece by piece, the details of Foster’s extraordinary life emerge: from the beginnings of her flying career in Southern California, to her complicated, passionate relationship with Mallory, to the collapse of her marriage to her aggressive career manager, the publishing scion George Morrow.

As Irene spins her tale to its searing conclusion, Janey’s past gathers its own power. The duel between the two women takes a heartstopping turn. To whom does Mallory rightfully belong? Can we ever come to terms with the loss of those we love, and the lives we might have lived?

“I’ve read Williams before, and I love stories with great locations, photographers, artists, writers, so …this one is for me.”

Martha

The Road to Ironbark by Kaye Dobbie found by Sam Still Reading.

A daring hold-up. Passion. Revenge. A mystery that will echo through the centuries. A compelling romantic adventure, perfect for readers who love Darry Fraser.

1874, The Victorian Goldfields

In the town of Ironbark, Aurora Scott faces ruin as the railways supplant the Cobb & Co coach line, the lifeline of her hotel. Aurora is no stranger to adversity; the formidable publican has pulled herself from a murky past to build a respectable life in Ironbark. But when bushrangers storm the hotel, taking hostages as leverage for the Starburst Mine’s payroll, Aurora has more trouble on her hands than she can handle.

This is no random act, but a complex scheme of revenge. The gang turn on each other. Shots ring out. And when the dust settles, the money has vanished, and so has Aurora Scott…

After 150 years, the mystery of the missing payroll has passed into folklore. And when journalist Melody Lawson helps her brother prepare for the town’s annual Gold Hunt Weekend, she is just as drawn into the past as the tourists. But with a surprise inheritance her own family history becomes a puzzle, bound up with the fabled payroll – and as Melody follows the clues, danger mounts…

“I was drawn by the cover (stagecoach) and this sounds like a good mystery.”

——–

Derailed (PI Kelly Pruett #1) by Mary Keliikoaat found at Bookworm.

A dying wish. A secret world.
Can this grieving investigator stay on the right track?

PI Kelly Pruett is determined to make it on her own. And juggling clients at her late father’s detective agency, a controlling ex, and caring for a deaf daughter was never going to be easy. So she takes it as a good sign when a letter left by her dad ties into an unsolved case of a young woman struck by a train.

Hunting down the one person who can prove the mysterious death was not just a drunken accident, Kelly discovers this witness is in no condition to talk. And the closer she gets to the truth the longer her list of sleazy suspects with murderous motives grows. Each clue exposes another layer of the victim’s steamy double life.

On a crash course with a killer, she must piece together the puzzle of what really happened to the victim that rainy night, before her own fate is sealed and she loses everything near and dear, including her life.

“This is another mystery that caught my eye this week.”

Books That Caught Our Eye

1 Comment

DragonLegendsAt Mailbox Monday we encourage participants to not only share the books they received, but to check out the books others have received. Each week will share a few books that caught our eye from that weeks’ Mailbox Monday.

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

Serena

Rosie’s Travelling Tea Shop by Rebecca Raisin at The Bookworm.

A swanky job as a Michelin-Starred Sous Chef, a loving husband and future children scheduled for exactly January 2021.

That’s until she comes home one day to find her husband’s pre-packed bag and a confession that he’s had an affair.

Heartbroken and devastated, Rosie drowns her sorrows in a glass (or three) of wine, only to discover the following morning that she has spontaneously invested in a bright pink campervan to facilitate her grand plans to travel the country.

Now, Rosie is about to embark on the trip of a lifetime, and the chance to change her life! With Poppy, her new-found travelling tea shop in tow, nothing could go wrong, could it…?

“This one just sounds delightful. I need a laugh.”

——–

Martha

The Cowboy Who Saved Christmas by Jodi Thomas, Sharla Lovelace, Scarlett Dunn found at Bookfan.

In these Texas-set stories of romance and adventure, the Civil War is over, Christmas is coming—and it’s time for three rugged fighters to become lovers…

FATHER GOOSE by New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Jodi Thomas

Dispirited by war, when Trapper Morgan accepts a job hauling five little rich girls to Dallas, all he cares about is the money. He doesn’t expect they’ll awaken his spirit—or that their intriguing nursemaid, Carolina, will awaken his heart. And when danger strikes as Christmas Eve nears, he definitely doesn’t expect Carolina and the girls to risk their lives—for him . . .

THE MISTLETOE PROMISE by Sharla Lovelace

A catastrophic storm, an ailing herd, and a failing cattle ranch have left Texas rancher Josie Bancroft in danger of losing everything her father worked for. Still, she’d rather die than merge with her neighbor rancher Benjamin Mason, the man who broke her heart years ago, on Christmas Eve. As old sparks fly and secrets are revealed, however, Ben is determined to help Josie—and prove that this time around can be different. That the misunderstandings of Christmas past need not define their future…

CHRISTMAS ROAD by Scarlett Dunn

Yellow Fever has hit Clint Mitchum’s Texas hometown and taken his father and siblings, leaving Clint ever more cynical. Racing homeward to be by his mother’s side, Clint finds only a note from her, asking that he help her caregiver, a young woman named Amelia. Assuming his mother has passed, in his grief Clint ventures out to search for Amelia—and finds the best of gifts—just in time for Christmas…

“Christmas in July (or August) works for me. I may not be able to resist this one.”

——–

American Radical: Inside the World of an Undercover Muslim FBI Agent by Tamer Elnoury, Kevin Maurer found at Read All the Things.
The explosive memoir of a Muslim American FBI agent fighting terror from the inside.

It’s no secret that federal agencies are waging a broad, global war against terror. But for the first time in this memoir, an active Muslim American federal agent reveals his experience infiltrating and bringing down a terror cell in North America.

A longtime undercover agent, Tamer Elnoury joined an elite counterterrorism unit after September 11. Its express purpose is to gain the trust of terrorists whose goals are to take out as many Americans in as public and as devastating a way possible. It’s a furious race against the clock for Tamer and his unit to stop them before they can implement their plans. Yet as new as this war still is, the techniques are as old as time: listen, record, and prove terrorist intent.

Due to his ongoing work for the FBI, Elnoury writes under a pseudonym. An Arabic-speaking Muslim American, a patriot, a hero: To many Americans, it will be a revelation that he and his team even exist, let alone the vital and dangerous work they do keeping all Americans safe.

“I do feel we have enemies (not limited to Muslims and certainly not to say all Muslims are terrorists) within our borders and this title caught my eye.”


What books caught your eyes this week?

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

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

Serena

The Jane Austen Marriage Manual by Kim Izzo at vvb32 reads.

Katherine Shaw—Kate— is happy with her life. She has supportive friends, a glamorous magazine career, and a love of all things Jane Austen. But when she loses her job, her beloved grandmother falls ill and a financial disaster forces a sale on the family home, Kate finds herself facing a crisis that would test even the most stalwart of Austen heroines.

Friends rally round, connecting her to freelance gigs, and presenting her with a birthday gift— title to land in Scotland—that’s about to come in very handy. Turns out that Kate’s first freelance assignment is to test an Austen-inspired theory: in the toughest economic times is a wealthy man the only must-have accessory? What begins as an article turns into an opportunity as Kate—now Lady Kate—jet-sets to Palm Beach, St Moritz and London where, in keeping company with the elite, she meets prospects who make Mr. Darcy look like an amateur. But will rubbing shoulders with men of good fortune ever actually lead her to love? And will Kate be able to choose between Mr. Rich and Mr. Right?

“I’m a sucker for an Austen-like read.”

——–

When We Were Young and Brave by Hazel Gaynor at Silver’s Reviews.

China, December 1941. Having left an unhappy life in England for a teaching post at a missionary school in northern China, Elspeth Kent is now anxious to return home to help the war effort. But as she prepares to leave China, a terrible twist of fate determines a different path for Elspeth, and those in her charge.

Ten-year-old Nancy Plummer has always felt safe at Chefoo School, protected by her British status. But when Japan declares war on Britain and America, Japanese forces take control of the school and the security and comforts Nancy and her friends are used to are replaced by privation, uncertainty and fear. Now the enemy, and separated from their parents, the children look to their teachers – to Miss Kent and her new Girl Guide patrol especially – to provide a sense of unity and safety.

Faced with the relentless challenges of oppression, the school community must rely on their courage, faith and friendships as they pray for liberation – but worse is to come when they are sent to a distant internment camp where even greater uncertainty and danger await . . .

Inspired by true events, When We Were Young and Brave is an unforgettable novel about impossible choices and unimaginable hardship, and the life-changing bonds formed between a young girl and her teacher in a remote corner of a terrible war.

“Another WWII novel that I cannot resist. Gaynor is a wonderful writer, too.”

Martha

The Erasure Initiative by Lili Wilkinson found at Book’d Out.

I wake up, and for a few precious seconds I don’t realise there’s anything wrong.

The rumble of tyres on bitumen, and the hiss of air conditioning. The murmur of voices. The smell of air freshener. The cool vibration of glass against my forehead.

A girl wakes up on a self-driving bus. She has no memory of how she got there or who she is. Her nametag reads CECILY. The six other people on the bus are just like her: no memories, only nametags. There’s a screen on each seatback that gives them instructions. A series of tests begin, with simulations projected onto the front window of the bus. The passengers must each choose an outcome; majority wins. But as the testing progresses, deadly secrets are revealed, and the stakes get higher and higher. Soon Cecily is no longer just fighting for her freedom – she’s fighting for her life.

“This cover caught my eye and then I was intrigued by the blurb.”

——–

The Chalet by Catherine Cooper found at Fiction Books.

Four friends. One luxury getaway. The perfect murder.

French Alps, 1998 – Two young men ski into a blizzard… but only one returns.

20 years later – Four people connected to the missing man find themselves in that same resort. Each has a secret. Two may have blood on their hands. One is a killer-in-waiting.

Someone knows what really happened that day.

And somebody will pay.

“This thriller/mystery caught my interest.”

What books caught your eyes this week?

Books That Caught Our Eye

Leave a comment

DragonLegendsAt Mailbox Monday we encourage participants to not only share the books they received, but to check out the books others have received. Each week will share a few books that caught our eye from that weeks’ Mailbox Monday.

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

Serena

House Lessons: Renovating a Life by Erica Bauermeister at vvb32 reads.

“I think anyone who saves an old house has to be a caretaker at heart, a believer in underdogs, someone whose imagination is inspired by limitations, not endless options.”

In this mesmerizing memoir-in-essays, Erica Bauermeister renovates a trash-filled house in eccentric Port Townsend, Washington, and in the process takes readers on a journey to discover the ways our spaces subliminally affect us. A personal, accessible, and literary exploration of the psychology of architecture, as well as a loving tribute to the connections we forge with the homes we care for and live in, this book is designed for anyone who’s ever fallen head over heels for a house. It is also a story of a marriage, of family, and of the kind of roots that settle deep into your heart. Discover what happens when a house has its own lessons to teach in this moving and insightful memoir that ultimately shows us how to make our own homes (and lives) better.

“My reading has slowed unless I can read something in chunks, which is why these essays seem like a good fit.”

——–

Reasonable Doubt by Dr Xanthe Mallett at The Burgeoning Bookshelf.

We all put our faith in the criminal justice system. We trust the professionals: the police, the lawyers, the judges, the expert witnesses. But what happens when the process lets us down and the wrong person ends up in jail?

Henry Keogh spent almost twenty years locked away for a murder that never even happened. Khalid Baker was imprisoned for the death of a man his best friend has openly admitted to causing. And the exposure of ‘Lawyer X’ Nicola Gobbo’s double-dealing could lead to some of Australia’s most notorious convictions being overturned.

Forensic scientist Xanthé Mallett is used to dealing with the darker side of humanity. Now she’s turning her skills and insight to miscarriages of justice and cases of Australians who have been wrongfully convicted.

Exposing false confessions, polices biases, misplaced evidence and dodgy science, Reasonable Doubt is an expert’s account of the murky underbelly of our justice system – and the way it affects us all.

“My niece is studying criminal justice, and what she tells me about the justice system and the mess it is here. We’ve had many conversations about how to change it. This one provides a different perspective on Australia’s system.”

Martha

Love Starts Here (A Morgan’s Grove Novel #1) by Traci Borum found at Library of Clean Reads.

Feeling her life is at a standstill, Jill McCallister jumps at the chance to visit Morgan’s Grove, the town founded by her great-great-great-grandfather. Eager to discover her roots and do research for a new book, she drives from Colorado to Texas, excited to meet the inhabitants of her grandfather’s legacy.

Jill immerses herself in the charming community, enjoying the residents and their quirky traditions. When she meets the mysterious Rick Wright, she almost forgets she’s sworn off men, but she’s not willing to risk getting too involved, especially since she will be returning home in a few weeks.

When the winter festival kicks into high gear, Jill and Rick are thrown together to work on a project, and sparks soon fly. Although she fights it, Jill can’t help falling hard for his soulful eyes and flirty smile. But as tempting as Rick is, he’s hiding something, and the mystery writer in Jill is determined to discover his secret.

With the clock running out on her time in Morgan’s Grove, Jill needs to decide what “home” really means to her.

“This sounds like an easy ‘Hallmark’ style romance. Sometimes light reading hits the mark.”

——–

The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio G. Iturbe found at Wanders With A Book.

Based on the experience of real-life Auschwitz prisoner Dita Kraus, this is the incredible story of a girl who risked her life to keep the magic of books alive during the Holocaust.
Fourteen-year-old Dita is one of the many imprisoned by the Nazis at Auschwitz. Taken, along with her mother and father, from the Terezín ghetto in Prague, Dita is adjusting to the constant terror that is life in the camp. When Jewish leader Freddy Hirsch asks Dita to take charge of the eight precious volumes the prisoners have managed to sneak past the guards, she agrees. And so Dita becomes the librarian of Auschwitz.

Out of one of the darkest chapters of human history comes this extraordinary story of courage and hope.

“I was sure this was a previous selection but I didn’t see it. It sounds fascinating, although emotionally difficult.”

What books caught your eyes this week?

Books That Caught Our Eye

3 Comments

DragonLegendsAt Mailbox Monday we encourage participants to not only share the books they received, but to check out the books others have received. Each week will share a few books that caught our eye from that weeks’ Mailbox Monday.

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

Serena

The Firsts: The Women Who Shook Capitol Hill by Jennifer Steinhauer at vvB32 Reads.

In November 2018, the largest number of women ever was elected to the 116th Congress, resulting in a grand total of 87 in the House and 23 in the Senate. Ushered in on a groundswell of grassroots support, diverse in background, age, professional experience, and ideology, the new freshmen immediately began making history—and noise. These include Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the youngest woman to be elected to the House; Sharice Davids and Deb Haaland, the first Native American women in Congress; Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, the first Muslim women representatives; and Abigail Spanberg, a former CIA agent. The Firsts will tell their stories–their triumphs and obstacles, alliances and controversies–as they arrive in Washington, D.C., ready to carry their historic legacy into institutional change. Veteran Hill reporter Jennifer Steinhauer will follow these women’s attempts to transcend the partisan rancor and dysfunction of Congress from their positions as upstarts and backbenchers in a Democratic caucus directed by leaders old enough to be their grandparents. Moving on from their trailblazing campaigns to the daily work of governance, these women will confront whether a gender and generational shift in the House can overcome institutional inertia. Will they work with their party’s leadership, or will they work to overthrow it? Will their protests of the power structure fizzle, or will they create a lasting legislative framework for their ideas? How will they get on with their older peers, some of whom may feel resentful or pushed aside? What do their new roles mean for their lives back home, and how do they adjust to the weird, exciting, and often toxically seductive trappings of public office in the age of the twenty-four-hour news cycle?

“Though I’m no longer in the political arena in any capacity, it will always fascinate me. You need serious grit to make any inroads in politics, especially if you are advocating for serious change. This sounds like it will be fascinating.”

——–

Why We Swim by Bonnie Tsu at vvB32 Reads.

We swim in freezing Arctic waters and piranha-infested rivers to test our limits. We swim for pleasure, for exercise, for healing. But humans, unlike other animals that are drawn to water, are not natural-born swimmers. We must be taught. Our evolutionary ancestors learned for survival; now, in the twenty-first century, swimming is one of the most popular activities in the world.

Why We Swim is propelled by stories of Olympic champions, a Baghdad swim club that meets in Saddam Hussein’s palace pool, modern-day Japanese samurai swimmers, and even an Icelandic fisherman who improbably survives a wintry six-hour swim after a shipwreck. New York Times contributor Bonnie Tsui, a swimmer herself, dives into the deep, from the San Francisco Bay to the South China Sea, investigating what about water—despite its dangers—seduces us and why we come back to it again and again.

“My daughter loves to swim and she’s been on several swim teams since she was about six or seven. She loves being in the pool and being in a competitive sport, but I think it’s fascinating that we’re so ill-equipped bodily speaking for swimming but we’re so drawn to it. Our skin is so vulnerable and there are so many dangers in the water….I think this would be a fantastic read.”

Martha

Idle Hands by Cassondra Windwalker found at Fiction Books.

You can call me Ella. You generally assign me a whole host of other preposterous monikers. I think the least imaginative name I’ve heard is “the devil”, but I’ll answer to it if I must.

After making the courageous decision to leave her abusive husband, Perdie and her three young children start over and finally find the safety and love they deserve. But years later, when tragedy strikes, Perdie is left wondering if the choice she made to leave has led them to this moment.

If she were given the opportunity to take it all back and stay, would she?

In a frantic bid to protect her family, Perdie makes a deal to do just that. But in a world where the devil pulls the strings, can Perdie really change the past?

Brimming with enlightened observations and brilliant voice, Idle Hands is a haunting examination of grief, resilience, and what we’d give to spend another moment with the ones we love.

“This sounds like an intense, interesting read.”

——–

Build a Castle: 64 Slot-Together Cards for Creative Fun by Pail Farrel found at Savvy Verse & Wit.

Turrets, ramparts, windows, walls, and more–create your own medieval masterpiece with the first in a new series of graphic-designed building cards.

This pack contains sixty-four cards (4 x 2¾ inches) of a variety of graphic designs. Clever paper engineering allows you to slot the cards together, building up and out in whichever way you like! Also included is a short ten-page booklet, with descriptions of the card designs and suggestions of stacking methods. The instructions tell you how to build a castle, or you can let your imagination run riot and design your own!

“I think this type of hands-on book is great to enjoy with kids.”

What books caught your eyes this week?

Books That Caught Our Eye

2 Comments

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

Each week will share a few books that caught our eye from that week’s Mailbox Monday.

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

MARTHA:

The Rules of Contagion by Adam Kucharski found at Sam Still Reading.

A deadly virus suddenly explodes into the population. A political movement gathers pace, and then quickly vanishes. An idea takes off like wildfire, changing our world forever. We live in a world that’s more interconnected than ever before. Our lives are shaped by outbreaks – of disease, of misinformation, even of violence – that appear, spread and fade away with bewildering speed. To understand them, we need to learn the hidden laws that govern them. From ‘superspreaders’ who might spark a pandemic or bring down a financial system to the social dynamics that make loneliness catch on, The Rules of Contagion offers compelling insights into human behaviour and explains how we can get better at predicting what happens next.

Along the way, Adam Kucharski explores how innovations spread through friendship networks, what links computer viruses with folk stories – and why the most useful predictions aren’t necessarily the ones that come true.

The Night Whistler by Greg Woodland found at The Burgeoning Bookshelf.

It’s 1966. Hal and his little brother, newly arrived in Moorabool with their parents, are exploring the creek near their new home when they find the body of a dog.

Not just dead, but recently killed.

Not just killed, but mutilated.

Constable Mick Goodenough, recently demoted from his city job as a detective, is also new in town—and one of his dogs has gone missing. He’s experienced enough to know what it means when someone tortures an animal to death: it means they’re practising. So when Hal’s mother starts getting anonymous calls—a man whistling, then hanging up—Goodenough, alone among the Moorabool cops, takes her seriously.

The question is: will that be enough to keep her safe?

SERENA:

Don’t Call Us Dead: Poems by Danez Smith at Read All the Things!

Award-winning poet Danez Smith is a groundbreaking force, celebrated for deft lyrics, urgent subjects, and performative power. Don’t Call Us Dead opens with a heartrending sequence that imagines an afterlife for black men shot by police, a place where suspicion, violence, and grief are forgotten and replaced with the safety, love, and longevity they deserved here on earth. Smith turns then to desire, mortality―the dangers experienced in skin and body and blood―and a diagnosis of HIV positive. “Some of us are killed / in pieces,” Smith writes, “some of us all at once.” Don’t Call Us Dead is an astonishing and ambitious collection, one that confronts, praises, and rebukes America―“Dear White America”―where every day is too often a funeral and not often enough a miracle.

“This book has been on my wish list for far too long…time to remedy that.”

The Book of Lost Names by Kristin Harmel at Silver’s Reviews.

Eva Traube Abrams, a semi-retired librarian in Florida, is shelving books one morning when her eyes lock on a photograph in a magazine lying open nearby. She freezes; it’s an image of a book she hasn’t seen in sixty-five years—a book she recognizes as The Book of Lost Names.

The accompanying article discusses the looting of libraries by the Nazis across Europe during World War II—an experience Eva remembers well—and the search to reunite people with the texts taken from them so long ago. The book in the photograph, an eighteenth-century religious text thought to have been taken from France in the waning days of the war, is one of the most fascinating cases. Now housed in Berlin’s Zentral- und Landesbibliothek library, it appears to contain some sort of code, but researchers don’t know where it came from—or what the code means. Only Eva holds the answer—but will she have the strength to revisit old memories and help reunite those lost during the war?

As a graduate student in 1942, Eva was forced to flee Paris after the arrest of her father, a Polish Jew. Finding refuge in a small mountain town in the Free Zone, she begins forging identity documents for Jewish children fleeing to neutral Switzerland. But erasing people comes with a price, and along with a mysterious, handsome forger named Rémy, Eva decides she must find a way to preserve the real names of the children who are too young to remember who they really are. The records they keep in The Book of Lost Names will become even more vital when the resistance cell they work for is betrayed and Rémy disappears.

“Yes, I know, I’m predictable. WWII related fiction again!”

What books caught your eyes this week?

Books That Caught Our Eye

2 Comments

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

Each week will share a few books that caught our eye from that week’s Mailbox Monday.

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

MARTHA:
Serena picked I’m Still Here which was one of my choices too.

What the Moon Saw by D. L. Koontz found at Library of Clean Reads.
When newlywed FBI agent and brilliant linguist Libby Shaw is warned that her death is imminent, she’ll do anything she can to survive–even take mysterious advice to submerge in mineral water of Bedford Springs during a full moon. Libby finds herself thrust back in time to 1926, where danger and intrigue surround her. As Libby tries to adapt to her new life, she finds herself oddly drawn to the town sheriff who seems to know her far better than she knows herself. Yet he seems eerily familiar and as pieces of a past start surfacing in dreams and visions, Libby seeks out the handsome sheriff for answers, only to find more questions.

As Libby learns someone is following her to change history, she must join forces with the sheriff to uncover the mystery of their past. Will they be thwarted by the master criminal who’s determined to destroy them both or will they be able to build a life together after lifetimes of being pulled apart by nefarious forces?

“I liked the cover even before I discovered this is a time travel story. One of my fav genres.”

——–

This Book Is Anti-Racist: 20 Lessons on How to Wake Up, Take Action, and Do the Work by Tiffany Jewell, Aurelia Durand (Illustrations) found at My Lovely Secret.
Who are you?
What is your identity?
What is racism?
How do you choose your own path?
How do you stand in solidarity?
How can you hold yourself accountable?

Learn about identities, true histories, and anti-racism work in 20 carefully laid out chapters. Written by anti-bias, anti-racist, educator and activist, Tiffany Jewell, and illustrated by French illustrator Aurélia Durand in kaleidoscopic vibrancy.

This book is written for the young person who doesn’t know how to speak up to the racist adults in their life. For the 14 year old who sees injustice at school and isn’t able to understand the role racism plays in separating them from their friends. For the kid who spends years trying to fit into the dominant culture and loses themselves for a little while. It’s for all of the Black and Brown children who have been harmed (physically and emotionally) because no one stood up for them or they couldn’t stand up for themselves; because the colour of their skin, the texture of their hair, their names made white folx feel scared and threatened.

It is written so children and young adults will feel empowered to stand up to the adults who continue to close doors in their faces. This book will give them the language and ability to understand racism and a drive to undo it. In short, it is for everyone.

“I have been looking at the many books on antiracism and am interested in the thoughts of our participants who read them.”

——–

SERENA:

I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown from vvb32 reads.

Austin Channing Brown’s first encounter with a racialized America came at age 7, when she discovered her parents named her Austin to deceive future employers into thinking she was a white man. Growing up in majority-white schools, organizations, and churches, Austin writes, “I had to learn what it means to love blackness,” a journey that led to a lifetime spent navigating America’s racial divide as a writer, speaker and expert who helps organizations practice genuine inclusion.

In a time when nearly all institutions (schools, churches, universities, businesses) claim to value “diversity” in their mission statements, I’m Still Here is a powerful account of how and why our actions so often fall short of our words. Austin writes in breathtaking detail about her journey to self-worth and the pitfalls that kill our attempts at racial justice, in stories that bear witness to the complexity of America’s social fabric–from Black Cleveland neighborhoods to private schools in the middle-class suburbs, from prison walls to the boardrooms at majority-white organizations.

“I don’t read a lot of memoirs, but these kinds of books are very important right now.”

The Boy Who Followed His Father Into Auschwitz by Jeremy Dronfield at Just Me Mrs. D.

Where there is family, there is hope

In 1939, Gustav Kleinmann, a Jewish upholster from Vienna, and his sixteen-year-old son Fritz are arrested by the Gestapo and sent to Germany. Imprisoned in the Buchenwald concentration camp, they miraculously survive the Nazis’ murderous brutality.

Then Gustav learns he is being sent to Auschwitz—and certain death.

For Fritz, letting his father go is unthinkable. Desperate to remain together, Fritz makes an incredible choice: he insists he must go too. To the Nazis, one death camp is the same as another, and so the boy is allowed to follow.

Throughout the six years of horror they witness and immeasurable suffering they endure as victims of the camps, one constant keeps them alive: their love and hope for the future.

Based on the secret diary that Gustav kept as well as meticulous archival research and interviews with members of the Kleinmann family, including Fritz’s younger brother Kurt, sent to the United States at age eleven to escape the war

“Yes, I love WWII novels, and this one seems very engaging. There were so many great choices this week.”

What books caught your eyes this week?

Books That Caught Our Eye

6 Comments

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

Each week will share a few books that caught our eye from that week’s Mailbox Monday.

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

Martha:


Inspired Mama: The Empowered Mother’s Guide to an Intentional Life by Sez Kristiansen found at An Imperfect Christian Mom.
Inspired Mama is the ultimate mind, body, and lifestyle guide for women seeking to live their best life in motherhood.

As mothers, women tend to give up on their personal dreams and emotional self-care in order to take care of their families. Too often, we end up giving in to social pressures and external expectations rather than living the life we dream about, a life of freedom and inspiration.

The truth is freedom is the highest vibrational element that every woman must embody to live an extraordinary life, but it’s harder than ever to embody freedom as a mother. Inspired Mama empowers women to align with their best life through self-reflection, intentional manifestation, and wanderlust, so you can heal yourself and your family through your own spiritual self-care.

In this book, you’ll discover how to free your mind, body, and spirit so you can live an authentic lifestyle customized for the amazing woman you are.

You’ll discover:
How to replace old habits with nourishing new ones
Simple and practical actions that free you emotionally, physically, and financially
High vibrational living that gets you into alignment with your highest self
How to dive deep into adventures that break you out of your restricted comfort zone

You will be supported in making incremental, potent changes to your life that awaken you to the unbridled joy of inspired, intentional, and conscious living.

After reading this book, you will re-discover yourself as a woman in motherhood and learn how to align with the infinite abundance of the Universe. You will also learn how to live by your own unique energetic blueprint, and start intentionally manifesting the life of your dreams. Motherhood is the ultimate balancing act, and freeing the woman within is essential to finding fulfillment and purpose with your family and beyond.

“This looks like a book good for mothers, including me.”

——–


The Bird Way: A New Look at How Birds Talk, Work, Play, Parent, and Think by Jennifer Ackerman found at Sam Still Reading.

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Genius of Birds, a radical investigation into the bird way of being, and the recent scientific research that is dramatically shifting our understanding of birds — how they live and how they think.

“There is the mammal way and there is the bird way.” This is one scientist’s pithy distinction between mammal brains and bird brains: two ways to make a highly intelligent mind. But the bird way is much more than a unique pattern of brain wiring, and lately, scientists have taken a new look at bird behaviors they have, for years, dismissed as anomalies or mysteries. What they are finding is upending the traditional view of how birds conduct their lives, how they communicate, forage, court, breed, survive. They’re also revealing the remarkable intelligence underlying these activities, abilities we once considered uniquely our own–deception, manipulation, cheating, kidnapping, infanticide, but also, ingenious communication between species, cooperation, collaboration, altruism, culture, and play.

Some of these extraordinary behaviors are biological conundrums that seem to push the edges of–well–birdness: A mother bird that kills her own infant sons, and another that selflessly tends to the young of other birds as if they were her own. Young birds that devote themselves to feeding their siblings and others so competitive they’ll stab their nestmates to death. Birds that give gifts and birds that steal, birds that dance or drum, that paint their creations or paint themselves, birds that build walls of sound to keep out intruders and birds that summon playmates with a special call–and may hold the secret to our own penchant for playfulness and the evolution of laughter.

Drawing on personal observations, the latest science, and her bird-related travel around the world, from the tropical rainforests of eastern Australia and the remote woodlands of northern Japan, to the rolling hills of lower Austria and the islands of Alaska’s Kachemak Bay, Ackerman shows there is clearly no single bird way of being. In every respect, in plumage, form, song, flight, lifestyle, niche, and behavior, birds vary. It’s what we love about them. As E.O Wilson once said, when you have seen one bird, you have not seen them all.

“I miss the birds I used to have and this sounds good.”
Serena:

The Spiral Shell: A French Village Reveals Its Secrets of Jewish Resistance in World War II by Sandell Morse at Rose City Reader.

For author Sandell Morse what started out as a research project became an unexpected rediscovery of identity and faith. In this haunting memoir, she uncovers long silenced stories of bravery and resistance among the civilians of a small town in France during WWII, and in turn finds deeper meaning and understanding of her own Jewish heritage. After the war, as the author describes, “truth went underground” and the stories of those who resisted and escaped were left buried and unheard. Morse gradually befriended and gained the trust of several individuals who shared their stories of bravery and resistance during that harrowing time. In a narrative that unfolds and overlaps both past and present, the author in turn discovers truths about her own life and Jewish history, denied her in childhood, and that she now more fully comprehends in light of the brave and selfless actions of those who chose to fight against bigotry, oppression, and genocide.

“I really love WWII novels. This sounds like another good one.”

53347588._sy475_Finding Eadie by Caroline Beecham at the Burgeoning Bookshelf.

London 1943: War and dwindling resources are taking their toll on the staff of Partridge Press. The pressure is on to create new books to distract readers from the grim realities of the war, but Partridge’s rising star, Alice Cotton, leaves abruptly and cannot be found.

Alice’s secret absence is to birth her child, and although her baby’s father remains unnamed, Alice’s mother promises to help her raise her tiny granddaughter, Eadie. Instead, she takes a shocking action.

Theo Bloom is employed by the American office of Partridge. When he is tasked with helping the British publisher overcome their challenges, Theo has his own trials to face before he can return to New York to marry his fiancee.

Inspired by real events during the Second World War, Finding Eadie is a story about the triumph of three friendships bound by hope, love, secrets and the belief that books have the power to change lives.

“Yes, I know. Another WWII novel. Sorry but this one sounds good too.”

What books caught your eyes this week?

Books That Caught Our Eye

5 Comments

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

Each week will share a few books that caught our eye from that week’s Mailbox Monday.

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

MARTHA: (Serena picked two books that were in my list too!)
The Wonder Boy of Whistle Stop by Fannie Flagg found at Bookfan.
The beloved author returns to the small town at the heart of Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café with a heartwarming novel about secrets of youth rediscovered, hometown memories, and everyday magic.

Bud Threadgoode grew up in the bustling little railroad town of Whistle Stop, Alabama, with his mother Ruth, church going and proper, and his Aunt Idgie, the fun-loving hell-raiser. Together they ran the town’s popular Whistle Stop Cafe, known far and wide for its friendly, fun, and famous “Fried Green Tomatoes.” And as Bud often said to his daughter Ruthie, of his childhood, “How lucky can you get?”

But sadly, as the railroad yards shut down and the town became a ghost town, nothing was left but boarded-up buildings and memories of a happier time.

Then one day, Bud decides to take one last trip, just to see where his beloved Whistle Stop used to be. In so doing, he discovers new friends, new surprises about Idgie’s life, and about Ninny Threadgoode, Evelyn Couch, other beloved Flagg characters, and also about the town itself. He also sets off a series of events, both touching and inspiring, which change his life and the lives of his daughter and many others. Could these events all be just coincidences? Or something else? And can you go home again?

“I needed at least one lighter pick this week and this caught my eye since my family thoroughly enjoyed the movie Fried Green Tomatoes.”

——–

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett found at The Infinite Curio.
From The New York Times -bestselling author of The Mothers , a stunning new novel about twin sisters, inseparable as children, who ultimately choose to live in two very different worlds, one black and one white.

The Vignes twin sisters will always be identical. But after growing up together in a small, southern black community and running away at age sixteen, it’s not just the shape of their daily lives that is different as adults, it’s everything: their families, their communities, their racial identities. Ten years later, one sister lives with her black daughter in the same southern town she once tried to escape. The other secretly passes for white, and her white husband knows nothing of her past. Still, even separated by so many miles and just as many lies, the fates of the twins remain intertwined. What will happen to the next generation, when their own daughters’ storylines intersect?

Weaving together multiple strands and generations of this family, from the Deep South to California, from the 1950s to the 1990s, Brit Bennett produces a story that is at once a riveting, emotional family story and a brilliant exploration of the American history of passing. Looking well beyond issues of race, The Vanishing Half considers the lasting influence of the past as it shapes a person’s decisions, desires, and expectations, and explores some of the multiple reasons and realms in which people sometimes feel pulled to live as something other than their origins.

As with her New York Times-bestselling debut The Mothers, Brit Bennett offers an engrossing page-turner about family and relationships that is immersive and provocative, compassionate and wise.

“This is another book that sounds timely and an interesting look at family, society, and history.”

SERENA:

When We Were Young & Brave by Hazel Gaynor at Silver’s Reviews.

China, December 1941. Having left an unhappy life in England for a teaching post at a missionary school in northern China, Elspeth Kent is now anxious to return home to help the war effort. But as she prepares to leave China, a terrible twist of fate determines a different path for Elspeth, and those in her charge.

Ten-year-old Nancy Plummer has always felt safe at Chefoo School, protected by her British status. But when Japan declares war on Britain and America, Japanese forces take control of the school and the security and comforts Nancy and her friends are used to are replaced by privation, uncertainty and fear. Now the enemy, and separated from their parents, the children look to their teachers – to Miss Kent and her new Girl Guide patrol especially – to provide a sense of unity and safety.

Faced with the relentless challenges of oppression, the school community must rely on their courage, faith and friendships as they pray for liberation – but worse is to come when they are sent to a distant internment camp where even greater uncertainty and danger await . . .

Inspired by true events, When We Were Young and Brave is an unforgettable novel about impossible choices and unimaginable hardship, and the life-changing bonds formed between a young girl and her teacher in a remote corner of a terrible war.

“WWII book again in the mix. Sorry, everyone. I just love this time period and there are so many aspects of the war and the people affected that can be explored. This sounds like another good one.”

White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide by Carol Anderson at Words and Peace.

From the Civil War to our combustible present, acclaimed historian Carol Anderson reframes our continuing conversation about race, chronicling the powerful forces opposed to black progress in America.

As Ferguson, Missouri, erupted in August 2014, and media commentators across the ideological spectrum referred to the angry response of African Americans as “black rage,” historian Carol Anderson wrote a remarkable op-ed in The Washington Post suggesting that this was, instead, “white rage at work. With so much attention on the flames,” she argued, “everyone had ignored the kindling.”

Since 1865 and the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment, every time African Americans have made advances towards full participation in our democracy, white reaction has fueled a deliberate and relentless rollback of their gains. The end of the Civil War and Reconstruction was greeted with the Black Codes and Jim Crow; the Supreme Court’s landmark 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision was met with the shutting down of public schools throughout the South while taxpayer dollars financed segregated white private schools; the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965 triggered a coded but powerful response, the so-called Southern Strategy and the War on Drugs that disenfranchised millions of African Americans while propelling presidents Nixon and Reagan into the White House, and then the election of America’s first black President, led to the expression of white rage that has been as relentless as it has been brutal.

Carefully linking these and other historical flashpoints when social progress for African Americans was countered by deliberate and cleverly crafted opposition, Anderson pulls back the veil that has long covered actions made in the name of protecting democracy, fiscal responsibility, or protection against fraud, rendering visible the long lineage of white rage. Compelling and dramatic in the unimpeachable history it relates, White Rage will add an important new dimension to the national conversation about race in America.

“I’ve always been interested in societal issues and social movements. This is one I haven’t read.”

What books caught your eyes this week?

Books That Caught Our Eyes

5 Comments

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

Each week will share a few books that caught our eye from that week’s Mailbox Monday.

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

MARTHA:

Seeing Miss Heartstone by Nichole Van found at Library of Clean Reads.

Miss Belle Heartstone—heiress and savvy businesswoman—needs a husband. Immediately. As in, yesterday would not have been soon enough. Her mother’s attempts at matchmaking have been disastrous. So Belle decides to solve the problem her way—survey the market and purchase the best groom available.

Colin Radcliffe, Marquess of Blake—debt-ridden and penniless—needs a large infusion of cash. Desperately. Preferably cash that does not come with a wife attached. It is no surprise, then, when he receives Miss Heartstone’s brazen proposal—her cash, his title, their marriage—that he politely declines.

But before he leaves her, Blake suggests something truly radical: Maybe before finding a husband, Belle should find herself.

His simple words send them both on an unexpected journey, spanning continents and years, entwining their lives in ways neither could have foreseen. Can two lonely souls move past societal expectations and forge a unique life together?

“That beautiful cover drew me in and I like the idea of the story.”

The City We Became (Great Cities #1) by N.K. Jemisin found at vvb32 reads.

Five New Yorkers must come together in order to defend their city in the first book of a stunning new series by Hugo award-winning and NYT bestselling author N. K. Jemisin.

Every city has a soul. Some are as ancient as myths, and others are as new and destructive as children. New York City? She’s got five.

But every city also has a dark side. A roiling, ancient evil stirs beneath the earth, threatening to destroy the city and her five protectors unless they can come together and stop it once and for all.

“This title and story seemed to resonate with me this week.”

SERENA:

The Bookman’s Tale by Charlie Lovett at Rose City Reader.

Nine months after the death of his beloved wife Amanda left him shattered, Peter Byerly, a young antiquarian bookseller, relocates from North Carolina to the English countryside, hoping to outrun his grief and rediscover the joy he once took in collecting and restoring rare books. But upon opening an eighteenth-century study of Shakespeare forgeries, he discovers a Victorian watercolor of a woman who bears an uncanny resemblance to Amanda.

Peter becomes obsessed with learning the picture’s origins and braves a host of dangers to follow a trail of clues back across the centuries—all the way to Shakespeare’s time and a priceless literary artifact that could prove, once and for all, the truth about the Bard’s real identity.

“The real identity of Shakespeare has always been a fascinating mystery to me. Was Shakespeare actually the one who wrote all those plays, was it someone else, was it a group of people?”

Midnight Train to Prague by Carol Windley at Silver’s Reviews.

In 1927, as Natalia Faber travels from Berlin to Prague with her mother, their train is delayed in Saxon Switzerland. In the brief time the train is idle, Natalia learns the truth about her father―who she believed died during her infancy―and meets a remarkable woman named Dr. Magdalena Schaeffer, whose family will become a significant part of her future. Shaken by these events, Natalia arrives at a spa on the shore of Lake Hevíz in Hungary. Here, she meets Count Miklós Andorján, a journalist and adventurer. The following year, they will marry.

Years later, Germany has invaded Russia. When Miklós fails to return from the eastern front, Natalia goes to Prague to wait for him. With a pack of tarot cards, she sets up shop as a fortune teller, and she meets Anna Schaeffer, the daughter of the woman she met decades earlier on that stalled train. The Nazis accuse Natalia of spying, and she is sent to a concentration camp. Though they are separated, her friendship with Anna grows as they fight to survive and to be reunited with their families.

“Anyone who has been reading these posts for a while will know that WWI and WWII books end up on my list of finds.”

What books caught your eyes this week?