Books That Caught Our Eye

2 Comments

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

Every Wednesday Friday we will each share two books that caught our eye from that week’s Mailbox Monday.

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

SERENA:
The Red Lotus by Chris Bohjalian at An Interior Journey.

The first time Alexis saw Austin, it was a Saturday night. Not in a bar, but in the emergency room where Alexis sutured a bullet wound in Austin’s arm. Six months later, on the brink of falling in love, they travel to Vietnam on a bike tour so that Austin can show her his passion for cycling and he can pay his respects to the place where his father and uncle fought in the war. But as Alexis sips white wine and waits at the hotel for him to return from his solo ride, two men emerge from the tall grass and Austin vanishes into thin air. The only clue he leaves behind is a bright yellow energy gel dropped on the road. As Alexis grapples with this bewildering loss, and deals with the FBI, Austin’s prickly family, and her colleagues at the hospital, Alexis uncovers a series of strange lies that force her to wonder: Where did Austin go? Why did he really bring her to Vietnam? And how much danger has he left her in? Set amidst the adrenaline-fueled world of the emergency room, The Red Lotus is a global thriller about those who dedicate their lives to saving people, and those who peddle death to the highest bidder.

“I always like reading about Vietnam War because it is so multifaceted. This sounds like it would be mysterious and I really think it could be thrilling to read. I’ve read other books by this author, so I’m intrigued.”

——–


The German Heiress
by Anika Scott at Silver’s Reviews.

Clara Falkenberg, once Germany’s most eligible and lauded heiress, earned the nickname “the Iron Fräulein” during World War II for her role operating her family’s ironworks empire. It’s been nearly two years since the war ended and she’s left with nothing but a false identification card and a series of burning questions about her family’s past. With nowhere else to run to, she decides to return home and take refuge with her dear friend, Elisa.

Narrowly escaping a near-disastrous interrogation by a British officer who’s hell-bent on arresting her for war crimes, she arrives home to discover the city in ruins, and Elisa missing. As Clara begins tracking down Elisa, she encounters Jakob, a charismatic young man working on the black market, who, for his own reasons, is also searching for Elisa. Clara and Jakob soon discover how they might help each other—if only they can stay ahead of the officer determined to make Clara answer for her actions during the war.

Propulsive, meticulously researched, and action-fueled, The German Heiress is a mesmerizing page-turner that questions the meaning of justice and morality, deftly shining the spotlight on the often-overlooked perspective of Germans who were caught in the crossfire of the Nazi regime and had nowhere to turn.

“I like the perspective on this one.”

——–

MARTHA:

Britfield & the Lost Crown by C.R. Stewart found at An Imperfect Christian Mom.

Britfield & the Lost Crown is the first book in a thrilling seven-part series for middle school and young adult readers. It will inspire children to engage both their creativity and their critical thinking skills as they encounter actual places, authentic characters, and exciting but realistic events in seventeen action-packed chapters.
Based on family, friendship, loyalty, and courage, Britfield & the Lost Crown and its hero, Tom, take readers on an epic adventure across England – from the smoldering crags of Yorkshire to the heart of London and, finally, to the magnificent shores of Dover.
With help from his best friend, Sarah, and a hot air balloon, Tom flees Yorkshire, escaping from Weatherly Orphanage and the clutches of a relentless detective, in pursuit of the truth about himself and his heritage: Are his parents still alive? Is he the true heir to the British throne? As Tom and a memorable cast of both heroic and dastardly characters unravel a royal mystery that could change the course of history, readers are taken on a breathless journey to a surprise ending that will leave them clamoring for more .
Built on more than seven years of extensive research and development, Britfield & the Lost Crown creates a real world that readers can embrace as it weaves accurate geography, literature, architecture, and history into its fast-paced story. With stimulating language and active writing, Britfield engages the reader from the first pages and doesn’t let go until it reaches its exciting conclusion.

“I like middle-grade books that include leaning (geography, literature, history, etc.). ”

——–

The Daughter of Victory Lights by Kerri Turner found at Book’d Out.

An enthralling story of one woman’s determined grab for freedom after WW2 from a talented new Australian voice. ‘PART CABARET, PART BURLESQUE, AND LIKE NOTHING YOU’VE EVER SEEN BEFORE! GENTLEMEN, AND LADIES IF YOU’VE DARED TO COME, WELCOME TO …’

There was a pause, and Evelyn sensed those around her leaning forward in anticipation.

‘THE VICTORY!’

1945: After the thrill and danger of volunteering in an all-female searchlight regiment protecting Londoners from German bombers overhead, Evelyn Bell is secretly dismayed to be sent back her rigid domestic life when the war is over. But then she comes across a secret night-time show, hidden from the law on a boat in the middle of the Thames. Entranced by the risque and lively performance, she grabs the opportunity to join the misfit crew and escape her dreary future.

At first the Victory travels from port to port to raucous applause, but as the shows get bigger and bigger, so too does the risks the performers are driven to take, as well as the growing emotional complications among the crew. Until one desperate night …

1963: Lucy, an unloved and unwanted little girl, is rescued by a mysterious stranger who says he knows her mother. On the Isle of Wight, Lucy is welcomed into an eclectic family of ex-performers. She is showered with kindness and love, but gradually it becomes clear that there are secrets they refuse to share. Who is Evelyn Bell?

“The cover is lovely and the story sounds interesting.”

What books caught your eye?

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.

Every Wednesday Friday we will each share two books that caught our eye from that week’s Mailbox Monday.

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

SERENA:
The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles at Silver’s Reviews.

Paris, 1939. Odile Souchet is obsessed with books and the Dewey Decimal System, which makes order out of chaos. She soon has it all – a handsome police officer beau, an English best friend, a beloved twin, and a job at the American Library in Paris, a thriving community of students, writers, diplomats, and book lovers. Yet when war is declared, there’s also a war on words.

Montana, 1983. Widowed and alone, Odile suffers the solitary confinement of small-town life. Though most adults are cowed by her, the neighbor girl will not let her be. Lily, a lonely teenager yearning to break free of Froid is obsessed by the older French woman who lives next door and wants to know her secrets.

As the two become friends, Odile sees herself in Lily – the same love of language, the same longings, the same lethal jealousy. The Paris Library’s dual narratives explore the relationships that make us who we are – family and friends, first loves and favorite authors – in the fairy tale setting of the City of Light. It also explores the geography of resentment, the consequences of unspeakable betrayal, and what happens when the people we count on for understanding and protection fail us.

The wit, empathy, and deep research that brings The Paris Library to life also brings to light a cast of lively historical characters and a little-known chapter of World War II history: the story of the American librarian, Miss Reeder, who created the Soldiers’ Service to deliver books to servicemen, and who later faced the Nazi ‘Book Protector’ in order to keep her library open. She and her colleagues defied the Bibliotheksschutz by delivering books to Jewish readers after they were forbidden from entering the library.

“I was fascinated with the part about the “little-known chapter of WWII history. I’m eager to read that.”

——–

MARTHA:

The Yellow Bird Sings: A Novel by Jennifer Rosner found at Bookfan.

In Poland, as World War II rages, a mother hides with her young daughter, a musical prodigy whose slightest sound may cost them their lives.

As Nazi soldiers round up the Jews in their town, Róza and her 5-year-old daughter, Shira, flee, seeking shelter in a neighbor’s barn. Hidden in the hayloft day and night, Shira struggles to stay still and quiet, as music pulses through her and the farmyard outside beckons. To soothe her daughter and pass the time, Róza tells her a story about a girl in an enchanted garden:

The girl is forbidden from making a sound, so the yellow bird sings. He sings whatever the girl composes in her head: high-pitched trills of piccolo; low-throated growls of contrabassoon. Music helps the flowers bloom.

In this make-believe world, Róza can shield Shira from the horrors that surround them. But the day comes when their haven is no longer safe, and Róza must make an impossible choice: whether to keep Shira by her side or give her the chance to survive apart.

Inspired by the true stories of Jewish children hidden during World War II, Jennifer Rosner’s debut is a breathtaking novel about the unbreakable bond between a mother and a daughter. Beautiful and riveting, The Yellow Bird Sings is a testament to the triumph of hope—a whispered story, a bird’s song—in even the darkest of times.

“This got a second look from me as it sounds different. ”

——–

The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes: A Collection of Victorian-Era Detective Stories by G. K. Chesterton, Jacques Futrelle found at Carol’s Notebook.

Enthralled by the adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Victorian readers around the world developed a fascination with eccentric detectives and bizarre crimes. Featuring an international array of authors and characters, this compilation of 16 short stories showcases the best of the mysteries inspired by the Baker Street sleuth. Their heroes range from famous figures like G. K. Chesterton’s Father Brown and Maurice Leblanc’s Arsene Lupin to lesser-known but equally captivating characters.

“The Problem of the Stolen Rubens,” by Jacques Futrelle, centers on Professor Van Dusen, also known as The Thinking Machine, whose superior mental powers and dispassionate approach resemble Holmes’. Robert Barr’s “The Absent Minded Coterie” presents French detective Eugène Valmont, a cultured and elegant gentleman . . . but a rather poor investigator. “The Murder at Troyte’s Hill,” by Catherine L. Pirkis, “The Ninescore Mystery,” by The Scarlet Pimpernel author Baroness Orczy, and “Cinderella’s Slipper,” by Hugh C. Weir, feature a Victorian novelty—a detective heroine. Holmesians and other lovers of old-time mysteries will thrill to these tales of dark deeds and their discovery.

“As a fan of Holmes, this cover and title caught my eye.”

What books caught your eye?

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.

Every Wednesday Friday we will each share two books that caught our eye from that week’s Mailbox Monday.

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

SERENA:
Christmas Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella at An Interior Journey.

#1 New York Times bestselling author Sophie Kinsella returns with a festive new Shopaholic adventure filled with holiday cheer and unexpected gifts.

“Funny, charming, and the perfect read to get into the holiday spirit.”—PopSugar

’Tis the season for change and Becky Brandon (née Bloomwood) is embracing it, returning from the States to live in the charming village of Letherby and working with her best friend, Suze, in the gift shop of Suze’s stately home. Life is good, especially now that Becky takes time every day for mindfulness—even if that only means listening to a meditation tape while hunting down online bargains.

But Becky still adores the traditions of Christmas: Her parents hosting, carols playing on repeat, her mother pretending she made the Christmas pudding, and the neighbors coming ’round for sherry in their terrible holiday sweaters. Things are looking cheerier than ever, until Becky’s parents announce they’re moving to ultra-trendy Shoreditch—unable to resist the draw of craft beer and smashed avocados—and ask Becky if she’ll host this year. What could possibly go wrong?

Becky’s sister demands a vegan turkey, her husband insists that he just wants aftershave (again), and little Minnie needs a very specific picnic hamper: Surely Becky can manage all this, as well as the surprise appearance of an old boyfriend–turned–rock star and his pushy new girlfriend, whose motives are far from clear. But as the countdown to Christmas begins and her bighearted plans take an unexpected turn toward disaster, Becky wonders if chaos will ensue, or if she’ll manage to bring comfort and joy to Christmas after all.

“I love the Shopaholic series.”

——–

MARTHA:

The Minuteman by Greg Donahue found at Savvy Verse & Wit.

Declaring war on homegrown Nazis…in Newark, NJ.

Join writer and documentary producer Greg Donahue as he explores the history of domestic Nazis on the brink of World War II and the Jewish mobsters who stood up to them in this gripping, true-life audiobook.

In the early 1930’s, pro-Nazi groups popped up across America, attempting to drum up support among recent immigrants for the fascist movement back in Europe. By 1939, a massive rally of some 20,000 homegrown Nazi supporters was held in New York City’s Madison Square Garden. While across the Hudson River in Newark, New Jersey, the town’s large German population stepped up Nazi recruitment activity. Pro-fascist groups staged parades, screened anti-Semitic films, and organized boycotts of Jewish businesses and politicians throughout the city. Complicating matters, Newark was also the epicenter of the Jewish mob.

Abner ‘Longie’ Zwillman, known as the “Al Capone of New Jersey,” had made a fortune in gambling, bootlegging, racketeering, and controlled the city’s ports and police force. Not surprisingly, this powerful Jewish gangster took exception to the Nazi’s anti-Semitic platform. In response, Zwillman helped organize a group of ex-boxers, factory workers, and students to defend the city’s Jewish interests. The group dubbed themselves the Minutemen—ready at a moment’s notice—and took to breaking up Nazi gatherings using an intimidating combination of stink bombs, baseball bats, brass knuckles, and pure chutzpah.

Greg Donahue’s The Minuteman tells the story of one of Newark’s native sons—ex-prizefighter and longtime Zwillman enforcer Sidney Abramowitz, a.k.a. Nat Arno—who took over leadership of the Minutemen in 1934 and made it his personal business to put an end to what he saw as the homegrown Nazi movement’s “anti-American” activities. For six years, Arno and his crew of vigilantes battled Newark’s Nazis at every turn. The Minuteman is a story of the ethics of violence in the face of fascism—a forgotten legacy that is as relevant now as it was nearly a hundred years ago.

Photos Included in Cover Art Courtesy of the Jewish Historical Society of NJ—Warren Grover Collection

©2019 Greg Donahue (P)2019 Audible Originals, LLC

“This looks/sounds fascinating.”

——–

The Royal Art of Poison by Eleanor Herman found at Infinite Curio.

The story of poison is the story of power. For centuries, royal families have feared the gut-roiling, vomit-inducing agony of a little something added to their food or wine by an enemy. To avoid poison, they depended on tasters, unicorn horns, and antidotes tested on condemned prisoners. Servants licked the royal family’s spoons, tried on their underpants and tested their chamber pots.

Ironically, royals terrified of poison were unknowingly poisoning themselves daily with their cosmetics, medications, and filthy living conditions. Women wore makeup made with mercury and lead. Men rubbed turds on their bald spots. Physicians prescribed mercury enemas, arsenic skin cream, drinks of lead filings, and potions of human fat and skull, fresh from the executioner. The most gorgeous palaces were little better than filthy latrines. Gazing at gorgeous portraits of centuries past, we don’t see what lies beneath the royal robes and the stench of unwashed bodies; the lice feasting on private parts; and worms nesting in the intestines.

In The Royal Art of Poison, Eleanor Herman combines her unique access to royal archives with cutting-edge forensic discoveries to tell the true story of Europe’s glittering palaces: one of medical bafflement, poisonous cosmetics, ever-present excrement, festering natural illness, and, sometimes, murder.

“How interesting to think the royals were poisoning themselves with make-up, medications and living conditions even while having taste testers to protect them from food poisons.”

What books caught your eye?

Books That Caught Our Eye

2 Comments

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

Every Wednesday Friday we will each share two books that caught our eye from that week’s Mailbox Monday.

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

SERENA:
Midnight in Chernobyl (The Untold Story of the World’s Greatest Nuclear Disaster) by Adam Higginbotham at Sam Still Reading.

The definitive, dramatic untold story of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster, based on original reporting and new archival research.

The story of Chernobyl is more complex, more human, and more terrifying than the Soviet myth. Adam Higginbotham has written a harrowing and compelling narrative which brings the 1986 disaster to life through the eyes of the men and women who witnessed it firsthand. Drawing on hundreds of hours of interviews conducted over the course of more than ten years, as well as letters, unpublished memoirs, and documents from recently-declassified archives, this book makes for a masterful non-fiction thriller.

Chernobyl has become lodged in the collective nightmares of the world: shorthand for the spectral horrors of radiation poisoning, for a dangerous technology slipping its leash, for ecological fragility, and for what can happen when a dishonest and careless state endangers not only its own citizens, but all of humanity. It is a story that has long remained in dispute, clouded from the beginning in secrecy, propaganda, and misinformation.

Midnight In Chernobyl is an indelible portrait of history’s worst nuclear disaster, of human resilience and ingenuity and the lessons learned when mankind seeks to bend the natural world to his will – lessons which, in the face of climate change and other threats – remain not just vital but necessary.

Now, Higginbotham brings us closer to the truth behind this colossal tragedy.

“I remember this disaster from my childhood and how scary it was, especially since we had visited places in our own state with nuclear power plants. I love reading about recent events — it’s good to know about recent history.”

——–

The Ultimate Guide to the 2020 Election: 101 Nonpartisan Solutions to All the Issues that Matter by Ryan Clancy, Margaret White at Reviews by Martha’s Bookshelf.

From the NO LABELS political organization, this book presents an unbiased education for voters on all the key issues America faces and how we can overcome them.

With the 2020 US presidential election looming, the emerging contest doesn’t seem so much a battle of ideas as it does a war of two tribes bent on the other’s destruction. The Far Left and Far Right aren’t much interested in a conversation, and they’ve dropped any pretense of it. But in fact, according to a recent study, two-thirds of the country are part of an “exhausted majority,” who “share a sense of fatigue with our polarized national conversation, a willingness to be flexible in their political viewpoints, and a lack of voice in the national conversation.” The Ultimate Guide to the 2020 Election gives a voice to this exhausted majority and provides an unbiased education on the true nature of the challenges America faces on several key issues, including:

• Health Care
• Energy & Climate Change
• Infrastructure
• Big Tech & Privacy
• The American Dream
• Immigration
• The National Debt
• Gun Safety

In addition, No Labels senior advisors Ryan Clancy and Margaret White present sound, fact-based ideas for rescuing American democracy itself. Complete with sample questions for all 2020 presidential candidates and specific policy solutions that address concerns on both sides of the aisle, this bipartisan political handbook is an essential reference for all US voters.

“I think this would be a book to prepare many of us for the media blitz that will surely confuse many, especially since there are already reports of hacking of election machines.”

——–

MARTHA:
Prescient (Delphi Chronicles #1) by Derek Murphy found at My Lovely Secrets.

The first time I saw the future I lost hope.

It wasn’t just that the future sucked; that civilization had gone and ruined itself; that we’d altered our own DNA and devolved into predatory monsters that fed on the few remaining survivors. That was all awful enough, but it was more than that. I remember being young and thinking, when I grow up, I’ll have a nice big house. I’ll get an exciting, interesting job. I’ll meet the man of my dreams and we’ll fall in love and stay together forever.

But that all disappeared the first time I tripped 20 years into the future and found the houses burned, the handsome boys dead, and the only jobs were the ones young girls gave hairy old survivors in tents in exchange for a little food and water. Nobody asked little girls what they wanted to be when they grew up anymore. Nobody wanted to draw attention to the fact that most of them wouldn’t live that long.

There was no hope, no peace for anyone. At least I had it better than they did. When my trip was over, I would get to go back. Back to the normalcy of 2015. Back to iPhones and Twitter and buying so much food it went bad before you could eat it. Back to laughing over foamy cappuccinos and iced lattes at the mall, window shopping and flirting with hot guys (not that I ever did that, mind you – but I always wanted to). And I still could. That was the point. Unlike everybody else, for whom 2015 was 20 years ago – long before humanity was destroyed – it was my reality. At least, it was some of the time.

But after seeing the future; after struggling to make it to the end of the day; after my first kill – none of those other things were the least bit enjoyable. All I could think when I got back to the real world, is how can I stop what’s coming?

“Tania had several dystopian titles that drew my eye this week. .”

——–

The Girls with No Names: A Novel by Serena Burdick found at Silver’s Reviews.

A beautiful tale of hope, courage, and sisterhood—inspired by the real House of Mercy and the girls confined there for daring to break the rules.

Growing up in New York City in the 1910s, Luella and Effie Tildon realize that even as wealthy young women, their freedoms come with limits. But when the sisters discover a shocking secret about their father, Luella, the brazen elder sister, becomes emboldened to do as she pleases. Her rebellion comes with consequences, and one morning Luella is mysteriously gone.

Effie suspects her father has sent Luella to the House of Mercy and hatches a plan to get herself committed to save her sister. But she made a miscalculation, and with no one to believe her story, Effie’s own escape seems impossible—unless she can trust an enigmatic girl named Mable. As their fates entwine, Mable and Effie must rely on their tenuous friendship to survive.

Home for Unwanted Girls meets The Dollhouse in this atmospheric, heartwarming story that explores not only the historical House of Mercy, but the lives—and secrets—of the girls who stayed there.

“This interesting story caught my eye last week at Sam Still Reading too.”

What books caught your eye?

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.

Every Wednesday we will each share two books that caught our eye from that week’s Mailbox Monday.

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

MARTHA:

Who Rescued Who by Victoria Schade found at Bookfan.

Where can you turn when the world turns against you? When Elizabeth Barnes’ life fell apart she never imagined that she’d be rescued by a new friend on four paws.

The plan was simple: Elizabeth would ignore the fact that she was unjustly fired from her dream job, fly across the pond to settle an unexpected inheritance in her father’s home country and quickly return to reclaim her position among the Silicon Valley elite.

But when Elizabeth stumbles upon an abandoned puppy, she’s shocked to realize that her brief trip to England might turn into an extended stay. Her strict itinerary is upended completely by the pup’s dogged devotion, and soon the loveable puppy helps her to connect with a tight-knit community of new friends on two legs and four, from the aunt and uncle she didn’t know existed, to a grumpy coffee shop owner to two very opinionated sheep. Along the way Elizabeth is confronted by long-kept family secrets, hard truths about her former life and a new romance that might lead her to question everything she knows about love. Because sometimes rescue magic happens on both ends of the leash.

“Dog on the cover – that always catches my eye and the last sentence of the blurb pulled me in.”

Deal with the Devil (Mercenary Librarians #1) by Kit Rocha found at Lori’s Reading Corner.

Orphan Black meets the post-apocalyptic Avengers in the vein of Ilona Andrews’ Hidden Legacy series by USA Today and New York Times bestselling author duo Kit Rocha

The United States went belly up 45 years ago when our power grid was wiped out. Too few live in well-protected isolation while the rest of us scrape by on the margins. The only thing that matters is survival. By any means. At any cost.

Nina is an information broker with a mission: to bring hope to the darkest corners of Atlanta. She and her team of mercenary librarians use their knowledge to help those in need. But altruism doesn’t pay the bills—raiding vaults and collecting sensitive data is where the real money is.

Knox is a bitter, battle-weary supersoldier who leads the Silver Devils, an elite strike squad that chose to go AWOL rather than slaughter innocents. Before the Devils leave town for good, they need a biochem hacker to stabilize the experimental implants that grant their superhuman abilities.

The problem? Their hacker’s been kidnapped. And the ransom for her return is Nina. Knox has the perfect bait for a perfect trap: a lost Library of Congress server. The data could set Nina and her team up for years…

If they live that long.

“Post-apocalyptic catches my eye too.”

SERENA:

Flying Lessons & Other Stories by Ellen Oh at Read All the Things.

Great stories take flight in this adventurous middle-grade anthology crafted by ten of the most recognizable and diverse authors writing today. Newbery Medalist Kwame Alexander delivers a story in-verse about a boy who just might have magical powers; National Book Award winner Jacqueline Woodson spins a tale of friendship against all odds; and Meg Medina uses wet paint to color in one girl’s world with a short story that inspired her Newbery award-winner Merci Suárez Changes Gear. Plus, seven more bold voices that bring this collection to new heights with tales that challenge, inspire, and celebrate the unique talents within us all.

“I’m really on a short-story kick these days, especially collections with a theme.”

So We Can Glow by Leesa Cross-Smith at BermudaOnion.

From Kentucky to the California desert, these forty-two short stories expose the hearts of girls and women in moments of obsessive desire and fantasy, wildness and bad behavior, brokenness and fearlessness, and more.

On a hot July night, teenage girls sneak out of the house to meet their boyfriends by the train tracks. Members of a cult form an unsettling chorus as they proclaim their adoration for the same man. A woman luxuriates in a fantasy getaway to escape her past. A love story begins over cabbages in a grocery store, and a laundress’s life is consumed by her obsession with a baseball star. After the death of a sister, two high school friends kiss all night and binge-watch Winona Ryder movies.

Leesa Cross-Smith’s sensuous stories — some long, some gone in a flash, some told over text and emails — drench readers in nostalgia for summer nights and sultry days. They recall the intense friendships of teenage girls and the innate bonds between mothers, the first heady rush of desire, and the pure exhilaration of womanhood, all while holding up the wild souls of women so they can catch the light.

“Yes, another short-story collection. This one sounds fearless and scary and so much more.”

What books caught your eye?

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.

Every Wednesday we will each share two books that caught our eye from that week’s Mailbox Monday.

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

MARTHA:

Westering Women by Sandra Dallas found at Bookfan Mary and Silver’s Reviews.

From the bestselling author of Prayers for Sale, an inspiring celebration of sisterhood on the perilous wagon-trail west

“If you are an adventuresome young woman of high moral character and fine health, are you willing to travel to California in search of a good husband?”

It’s February 1852, and all around Chicago Maggie sees the postings soliciting “eligible women” to travel to the gold mines of Goosetown. A young seamstress with a small daughter and several painful secrets, she has nothing to lose.

So she joins forty-three other women and two pious reverends on the dangerous 2,000-mile journey west. None of them are prepared for the hardships they face on the trek through the high plains, mountains, and deserts. Or for the triumphs of finding strengths they did not know they possessed. And not all will make it.

As Maggie gets to know the other women, she soon discovers that she’s not the only one looking to leave dark secrets behind. And when her past catches up with her, it becomes clear a band of sisters will do whatever it takes to protect one of their own.

“I really like the idea of pioneer sisters protecting their own.”

Winners Take All, The Elite Charade of Changing the World, by Anand Giridharadas found at BermudaOnion’s Weblog.

The New York Times bestselling, groundbreaking investigation of how the global elite’s efforts to “change the world” preserve the status quo and obscure their role in causing the problems they later seek to solve. An essential read for understanding some of the egregious abuses of power that dominate today’s news.

Anand Giridharadas takes us into the inner sanctums of a new gilded age, where the rich and powerful fight for equality and justice any way they can—except ways that threaten the social order and their position atop it. They rebrand themselves as saviors of the poor; they lavishly reward “thought leaders” who redefine “change” in ways that preserve the status quo; and they constantly seek to do more good, but never less harm.

Giridharadas asks hard questions: Why, for example, should our gravest problems be solved by the unelected upper crust instead of the public institutions it erodes by lobbying and dodging taxes? His groundbreaking investigation has already forced a great, sorely needed reckoning among the world’s wealthiest and those they hover above, and it points toward an answer: Rather than rely on scraps from the winners, we must take on the grueling democratic work of building more robust, egalitarian institutions and truly changing the world—a call to action for elites and everyday citizens alike.

“This sounds like an interesting work with all of the issues of societal inequalities these days.”

SERENA:

Westering Women by Sandra Dallas at Bookfan Mary and Silver’s Reviews.

It’s February 1852, and all around Chicago Maggie sees the postings soliciting “eligible women” to travel to the gold mines of Goosetown. A young seamstress with a small daughter and several painful secrets, she has nothing to lose.

So she joins forty-three other women and two pious reverends on the dangerous 2,000-mile journey west. None of them are prepared for the hardships they face on the trek through the high plains, mountains, and deserts. Or for the triumphs of finding strengths they did not know they possessed. And not all will make it.

As Maggie gets to know the other women, she soon discovers that she’s not the only one looking to leave dark secrets behind. And when her past catches up with her, it becomes clear a band of sisters will do whatever it takes to protect one of their own.

“I have loved Dallas’ work in the past. These women have adventure in their blood.”

What books caught your eye?

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.

Every Wednesday we will each share two books that caught our eye from that week’s Mailbox Monday.

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

 

MARTHA:

The K Team by David Rosenfelt found at Lori’s Reading Corner.

From bestselling mystery author David Rosenfelt comes a new series – a spinoff of the much beloved Andy Carpenter mysteries – about a dynamic new investigative team featuring a determined former cop and his loyal German Shepherd.

Corey Douglas and his K-9 partner, Simon Garfunkel, have recently retired from the police force. Not ready to give up the life yet, they come up with a proposal for fellow former cop, Laurie Carpenter, and her investigating partner, Marcus. Laurie and Marcus – who help out Laurie’s lawyer husband Andy on cases – have been chafing to jump back into investigating on their own, so they are in.

They call themselves the K Team, in honor of Simon. Their first job as private investigators comes to them from Judge Henry Henderson, who’s known as a very tough but fair judge, and they’ve all come up against him in court at one time or another. Though it’s hard to believe, Judge Henderson is being blackmailed and extorted, and he doesn’t want to involve the police–he needs the K Team to figure out why.

“I so enjoy the humor and mystery of Rosenfelt so I am interested in this new series. (Maybe I can pick it up at NetGalley!)”

 

Have You Seen Me?: A Novel of Suspense by Kate White found at Silver’s Reviews.

From New York Times bestselling author Kate White comes a gripping novel about one woman’s dangerous quest to recover lost memories someone would rather she never find.

The key to her missing memories could bring relief―or unlock her worst nightmares.

On a cold, rainy morning, finance journalist Ally Linden arrives early to work in her Manhattan office, only to find that she’s forgotten her keycard and needs to have a colleague she’s never met let her in. When her boss finally arrives, he seems surprised to see her―because she hasn’t worked there in five years.

Ally knows her name, but little else, and it’s only after several hours in an emergency room and multiple interviews with the hospital psychiatrist that she begins to piece together important facts: she lives on the Upper West Side; she’s now a freelance personal finance journalist; she’s married to a lovely man named Hugh. But she still can’t recall what happened to her during the previous two days. When she learns that she’s experienced a dissociative fugue state, Ally tries to think of triggers and remembers that she’d been seeing a therapist about a traumatic event from her childhood, in which she came across evidence for a murder that was never solved.

Desperate to unearth answers, Ally focuses on figuring out where she spent the missing forty-eight hours. As ominous details of the two days pile up, so does the terrifying pressure: she must recover the time she lost before the time she has left runs out.

Featuring Kate White’s signature twists and turns, Have You Seen Me? is a harrowing read that will keep readers guessing until its shocking ending.

“I do like stories with amnesia elements. This sounds like good suspense.”

 

SERENA:

The Vineyards of Champagne by Juliet Blackwell from Bookfan Mary.

Beneath the cover of France’s most exquisite vineyards, a city of women defy an army during World War I, from the New York Times bestselling author of The Lost Carousel of Provence….

Deep within the labyrinth of caves that lies below the lush, rolling vineyards of the Champagne region, an underground city of women and children hums with life. Forced to take shelter from the unrelenting onslaught of German shellfire above, the bravest and most defiant women venture out to pluck sweet grapes for the harvest. But wine is not the only secret preserved in the cool, dark cellars…

In present day, Rosalyn Acosta travels to Champagne to select vintages for her Napa-based employer. Rosalyn doesn’t much care for champagne–or France, for that matter. Since the untimely death of her young husband, Rosalyn finds it a challenge to enjoy anything at all. But as she reads through a precious cache of WWI letters and retraces the lives lived in the limestone tunnels, Rosalyn will unravel a mystery hidden for decades…and find a way to savor her own life again.

“Yes, Please. WWI letters, France, vineyards. I love them all.”

 

Christmas Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella from Sam Still Reading.

’Tis the season for change and Becky Brandon (née Bloomwood) is embracing it, returning from the States to live in the charming village of Letherby and working with her best friend, Suze, in the gift shop of Suze’s stately home. Life is good, especially now that Becky takes time every day for mindfulness—even if that only means listening to a meditation tape while hunting down online bargains.

But Becky still adores the traditions of Christmas: Her parents hosting, carols playing on repeat, her mother pretending she made the Christmas pudding, and the neighbors coming ’round for sherry in their terrible holiday sweaters. Things are looking cheerier than ever, until Becky’s parents announce they’re moving to ultra-trendy Shoreditch—unable to resist the draw of craft beer and smashed avocados—and ask Becky if she’ll host this year. What could possibly go wrong?

Becky’s sister demands a vegan turkey, her husband insists that he just wants aftershave (again), and little Minnie needs a very specific picnic hamper: Surely Becky can manage all this, as well as the surprise appearance of an old boyfriend–turned–rock star and his pushy new girlfriend, whose motives are far from clear. But as the countdown to Christmas begins and her bighearted plans take an unexpected turn toward disaster, Becky wonders if chaos will ensue, or if she’ll manage to bring comfort and joy to Christmas after all.

“I have loved almost all of the Shopaholic books, and I cannot wait to read this one.”

What books caught your eye this week?