Books That Caught Our Eye

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

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

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

Serena

Brief Answers to the Big Questions by Stephen Hawking @ Under My Apple Tree

Stephen Hawking was the most renowned scientist since Einstein, known both for his groundbreaking work in physics and cosmology and for his mischievous sense of humor. He educated millions of readers about the origins of the universe and the nature of black holes, and inspired millions more by defying a terrifying early prognosis of ALS, which originally gave him only two years to live. In later life he could communicate only by using a few facial muscles, but he continued to advance his field and serve as a revered voice on social and humanitarian issues.

Hawking not only unraveled some of the universe’s greatest mysteries but also believed science plays a critical role in fixing problems here on Earth. Now, as we face immense challenges on our planet—including climate change, the threat of nuclear war, and the development of artificial intelligence—he turns his attention to the most urgent issues facing us.

Will humanity survive? Should we colonize space? Does God exist? These are just a few of the questions Hawking addresses in this wide-ranging, passionately argued final book from one of the greatest minds in history.

Featuring a foreword by Eddie Redmayne, who won an Oscar for playing Stephen Hawking, an introduction by Nobel Laureate Kip Thorne, and an afterword from Hawking’s daughter, Lucy, Brief Answers to the Big Questions is a brilliant last message to the world.

“Hawking has always fascinated me, so this appeals to me.”

——–

BEASTIE BOYS BOOK by Michael Diamond and Adam Horovitz @ BemudaOnion

A panoramic experience that tells the story of Beastie Boys, a book as unique as the band itself—by band members ADROCK and Mike D, with contributions from Amy Poehler, Colson Whitehead, Spike Jonze, Wes Anderson, Luc Sante, and more.

Formed as a New York City hardcore band in 1981, Beastie Boys struck an unlikely path to global hip hop superstardom. Here is their story, told for the first time in the words of the band. Adam “ADROCK” Horovitz and Michael “Mike D” Diamond offer revealing and very funny accounts of their transition from teenage punks to budding rappers; their early collaboration with Russell Simmons and Rick Rubin; the debut album that became the first hip hop record ever to hit #1, Licensed to Ill—and the album’s messy fallout as the band broke with Def Jam; their move to Los Angeles and rebirth with the genre-defying masterpiece Paul’s Boutique; their evolution as musicians and social activists over the course of the classic albums Check Your Head, Ill Communication, and Hello Nasty and the Tibetan Freedom Concert benefits conceived by the late Adam “MCA” Yauch; and more. For more than thirty years, this band has had an inescapable and indelible influence on popular culture.

With a style as distinctive and eclectic as a Beastie Boys album, Beastie Boys Book upends the typical music memoir. Alongside the band narrative you will find rare photos, original illustrations, a cookbook by chef Roy Choi, a graphic novel, a map of Beastie Boys’ New York, mixtape playlists, pieces by guest contributors, and many more surprises.

“Ever since I saw this on CBS This Morning, I’ve wanted it. Loved this band as a kid.”

Martha

When Stars Go Out found at Library of Clean Reads

The dawning of a new order casts a shadow across a whole nation. GRO, the government’s Great Reorganization Operation, is turning American society upside down as it seizes teenagers and throws them into compounds across the country. Behind the speeches and programs, a darkness stirs. Reed can feel it. Taken from his home and dropped into the compound of “The Hill” in central Virginia, he can’t escape the feeling that evil hangs over him night and day, watching his every move. Something is preying upon the teenagers of the Hill. An entire city lies paralyzed under the iron fist of a shadowy government agency and its cruel police force. Spies lurk among the crowds of frightened teens, ready to pounce at the first sign of dissidence. Fear keeps a choking hold on every soul–almost.

When he makes a new friend, Reed begins asking questions and stumbles upon a different side of this dark reality–a world of secrets where the light still lingers and hope burns in the hearts of a few. It’s a strange world where everyday teens are fugitives playing a high-stakes game of cat-and-mouse with the secret police. But it’s fascinating, thrilling, and it all seems to revolve around a single figure–one man–who ties Reed’s parallel lives together. Though dangerous to be around, this man seems to hold the answers Reed needs to make sense of the insanity around him. But he is being hunted, and the secrets in his past may be darker than anything else that haunts the Hill.

Caught in a crossfire of warring ideals, Reed faces an agonizing choice and a single path of escape–but is it worth what it will cost him?

“This fits in with the dystopian/Christian genres that I like.”

——–

The Priestess and the Dragon by Nicolette Andrews found at ScaredyEngines End of Line Library

An arrogant dragon. A smart mouthed priestess. The fate of the world depends on them working together.
We’re doomed.

Suzume’s life was perfect. That was until she was exiled. Living in a remote mountain shrine, couldn’t get any worse. At least that’s what she thought before she awakened a dragon. Because when she frees the Dragon, she catches fire. But she doesn’t burn.

The Dragon, Kaito, has been trapped for five hundred years. Now he wants revenge. Suzume may not be able to control her new-found ability, just yet, but she’s willing to fake it, if it will get her back home.

With new powers come dangerous enemies. Someone wants Suzume dead. Her powers have made her a target. And getting back her old life will not be as easy as she thought.

A power-hungry monster is out to destroy the world. And they are the only ones who can stop it. But can they learn to work together before it’s too late?

Start the adventure today and watch the sparks fly.

“The cover caught my eye and the blurb makes it sound like a fun adventure.”

Leslie

The Seven or Eight Deaths of Stella Fortuna by Juliet Grames at Silver’s Reviews

For Stella Fortuna, death has always been a part of life. Stella’s childhood is full of strange, life-threatening incidents—moments where ordinary situations like cooking eggplant or feeding the pigs inexplicably take lethal turns. Even Stella’s own mother is convinced that her daughter is cursed or haunted.

In her rugged Italian village, Stella is considered an oddity—beautiful and smart, insolent and cold. Stella uses her peculiar toughness to protect her slower, plainer baby sister Tina from life’s harshest realities. But she also provokes the ire of her father Antonio: a man who demands subservience from women and whose greatest gift to his family is his absence.

When the Fortunas emigrate to America on the cusp of World War II, Stella and Tina must come of age side-by-side in a hostile new world with strict expectations for each of them. Soon Stella learns that her survival is worthless without the one thing her family will deny her at any cost: her independence.

In present-day Connecticut, one family member tells this heartrending story, determined to understand the persisting rift between the now-elderly Stella and Tina. A richly told debut, The Seven or Eight Deaths of Stella Fortuna is a tale of family transgressions as ancient and twisted as the olive branch that could heal them.

“When I saw the story began in Italy, it caught my eye. Plus it has a lot of the plot elements I look for in a novel.”

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Books That Caught Our Eye

2 Comments

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

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

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

SERENA:

Now & Again by Julia Turshen at Under My Apple Tree.

Small Victories, one of the most beloved cookbooks of 2016, introduced us to the lovely Julia Turshen and her mastery of show-stopping home cooking, and her second book, Feed the Resistance, moved a nation, winning Eater Cookbook of the Year in 2017. In Now & Again, the follow-up to what Real Simple called “an inspiring addition to any kitchen bookshelf,” more than 125 delicious and doable recipes and 20 creative menu ideas help cooks of any skill level to gather friends and family around the table to share a meal (or many!) together. This cookbook comes to life with Julia’s funny and encouraging voice and is brimming with good stuff, including:

• can’t-get-enough-of-it recipes
• inspiring menus for social gatherings, holidays and more
• helpful timelines for flawlessly throwing a party
• oh-so-helpful “It’s Me Again” recipes, which show how to use leftovers in new and delicious ways
• tips on how to be smartly thrifty with food choices

Now & Again will change the way we gather, eat, and think about leftovers, and, like the name suggests, you’ll find yourself reaching for it time and time again.

I can always use more recipes for leftovers.

Christmas at the Chalet by Anita Hughes at Bookfan.

Christmas at the Chalet is a delicious love story about a bridal designer showing her new collection in the Alps during the magical week of Christmas where hijinx of the heart ensue.

It’s the day after Christmas, and Felicity Grant is at a gorgeous ski chalet in St. Moritz for the biggest fashion show of her career. Felicity is a rising star on the bridal design scene, and this is her best collection yet. But when her boyfriend gives her a spa day instead of a diamond ring for Christmas, she has to face the possibility that she may never walk down the aisle in one of her own stunning designs.

And then there’s Nell, the top model headlining Felicity’s show. Nell is planning her dream wedding to her wonderful fiancé with one catch: her divorced parents can’t stand each other and threaten to no-show if the other is there.

Add to that Felicity’s race against the clock to create a special gown for a prestigious bridal salon, and what both girls need is a Christmas miracle. What better place to find one than in the Swiss Alps with its dark forests and sparkling vistas?

But for Felicity it’s hard to recognize a miracle even when it’s right in front of her, and for Nell one miracle might not be enough to fix the past. Can dreams really come true or is that the stuff of Swiss fairytales?

Anita Hughes’s Christmas at the Chalet is full of romance, gorgeous gowns, and the stunning scenery of the Swiss Alps. It’s about love and forgiveness, and creating one’s own miracles during the most festive time of year.

Hughes always has good reads.

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

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

SERENA:

The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White at My Lovely Secret.

Elizabeth Lavenza hasn’t had a proper meal in weeks. Her thin arms are covered with bruises from her “caregiver,” and she is on the verge of being thrown into the streets . . . until she is brought to the home of Victor Frankenstein, an unsmiling, solitary boy who has everything–except a friend.

Victor is her escape from misery. Elizabeth does everything she can to make herself indispensable–and it works. She is taken in by the Frankenstein family and rewarded with a warm bed, delicious food, and dresses of the finest silk. Soon she and Victor are inseparable.

But her new life comes at a price. As the years pass, Elizabeth’s survival depends on managing Victor’s dangerous temper and entertaining his every whim, no matter how depraved. Behind her blue eyes and sweet smile lies the calculating heart of a girl determined to stay alive no matter the cost . . . as the world she knows is consumed by darkness.

This sounds intriguing, especially since so many other books focus on Victor and his creation.

Monster School by Kate Coombs and Lee Gatlin at An Imperfect Christian Mom.

Twilight’s here. The death bell rings. Everyone knows what the death bell brings—it’s time for class! You’re in the place where goblins wail and zombies drool. (That’s because they’re kindergartners.) Welcome to Monster School. In this entertaining collection of poems, award-winning poet Kate Coombs and debut artist Lee Gatlin bring to vivid life a wide and playful cast of characters (outgoing, shy, friendly, funny, prickly, proud) that may seem surprisingly like the kids you know . . . even if these kids are technically monsters.

My daughter would enjoy this one.

LESLIE
Lullaby Road (Ben Jones #2) by James Anderson at Library of Clean Reads.

Ben Jones, protagonist of the glowingly reviewed Never-Open Desert Diner, returns in a devastatingly powerful literary crime novel about parenthood, loss, and the desert in winter.

Winter has come to Highway 117, a remote road through the Utah desert trafficked only by oddballs, fugitives, and those looking to escape the world. So when local truck driver Ben Jones finds an abandoned, mute Hispanic child at a lonely gas station along his route, far from any semblance of proper civilization, he knows something has gone terribly awry. With the help of his eccentric neighbors, Ben sets out to help the kid and learn the truth. In the process he makes new friends and loses old ones, finds himself in mortal danger, and uncovers buried secrets far more painful than he could have imagined.

“I Loved The Never-Open Desert Diner. I didn’t know the story continued because the book was a standalone. This is going to the top of my wishlist!”

What books caught your eyes this week?

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.

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.

Serena

We Were Mothers by Katie Sise at An Interior Journey.

A brilliant, twisty novel about a missing woman, an unfaithful husband, and the dark secrets that will destroy two perfect families.

A scandalous revelation is about to devastate a picturesque town where the houses are immaculate and the neighborhoods are tightly knit. Devoted mother Cora O’Connell has found the journal of her friend Laurel’s daughter—a beautiful college student who lives next door—revealing an illicit encounter. Hours later, Laurel makes a shattering discovery of her own: her daughter has vanished without a trace. Over the course of one weekend, the crises of two close families are about to trigger a chain reaction that will expose a far more disturbing web of secrets. Now everything is at stake as they’re forced to confront the lies they have told in order to survive.

“I want to know what these secrets are and how they make everything at stake. ”

——–

The Wartime Sisters by Lynda Cohen Loigman at BookFan.

Two estranged sisters, raised in Brooklyn and each burdened with her own shocking secret, are reunited at the Springfield Armory in the early days of WWII. While one sister lives in relative ease on the bucolic Armory campus as an officer’s wife, the other arrives as a war widow and takes a position in the Armory factories as a “soldier of production.” Resentment festers between the two, and secrets are shattered when a mysterious figure from the past reemerges in their lives.

“Yup, you guessed it, it’s the WWII time period again that has attracted my attention.”

 

Martha

First Flurries by Joanne DeMaio found at An Interior Journey

From New York Times bestselling author Joanne DeMaio comes a novel snow-dusted with love and possibility.

Lindsey Haynes’ father once gave her a snow globe with the note: “Unsure where to go? Give a little shake … and your heart will always know.” On a whim, those words lead her to the quaint New England town of Addison. It’s a place straight out of a storybook with its twinkling town green, decorated Main Street, and secluded lakeside cabin community.

But an encounter with a dejected doctor named Greg Davis turns Lindsey’s days upside down, much like a snow globe in motion. With a little nudge from endearing townsfolk, and a few chance meetings of their own, a magical flurry of emotions suddenly swirls around them.

First Flurries is an enchanting story about finding love and home when you’re not even looking. So cozy up and settle in with a tale that will simply capture your holiday heart.

“This looks like a light, fun Christmas read.”

——–

Deceased and Desist (A Tallie Graver Mystery) by Misty Simon found at Lori’s Reading Corner.

Window of opportunity . . .

Most housecleaners don’t do windows, but Tallie Graver loves leaving a pane of glass streak-free and sparkling. After a dirty divorce from a filthy-rich jerk, she’s started her own cleaning business to make ends meet. On her latest job, prepping a renovated bed and breakfast for a grand re-opening, she’s standing outside on a ladder, wiping off a grimy pane, when she spies a man on a bed through the glass. But the B&B isn’t open for business yet—and the man’s not sleeping. Her family owns the Graver Funeral Home, so Tallie knows a corpse when she sees one.

The victim is a shady building inspector with a reputation for handing out passing grades for a greased palm. With the local police resistant, Tallie launches her own investigation, before she gets a rep as a town crank. But it’s going to take more than a squirt bottle and a squeegee to clean up this mess. With the help of her gal pal Gina, Tallie searches for a killer’s motive. But she’d better be careful, or it’ll be curtains for this window cleaner.

“I’ve had to write some ‘cease and desist’ letters lately so this cozy title caught my eye.”

Books That Caught Our Eye

2 Comments

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

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

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

Here are our picks this week:

MARTHA:

Trail of Ligntning by Rebecca Roanhorse found at The Infinite Curio.

While most of the world has drowned beneath the sudden rising waters of a climate apocalypse, Dinétah (formerly the Navajo reservation) has been reborn. The gods and heroes of legend walk the land, but so do monsters.

Maggie Hoskie is a Dinétah monster hunter, a supernaturally gifted killer. When a small town needs help finding a missing girl, Maggie is their last best hope. But what Maggie uncovers about the monster is much more terrifying than anything she could imagine.

Maggie reluctantly enlists the aid of Kai Arviso, an unconventional medicine man, and together they travel the rez, unraveling clues from ancient legends, trading favors with tricksters, and battling dark witchcraft in a patchwork world of deteriorating technology.

As Maggie discovers the truth behind the killings, she will have to confront her past if she wants to survive.

Welcome to the Sixth World.

The cover of this Native American Post-Apocalyptic caught my eye.

Stet: An Editor’s Life by Diana Athill found at Rose City Reader.

For nearly five decades, Diana Athill edited (nursed, coerced, coaxed) some of the most celebrated writers in the English language, among them V. S. Naipaul, Philip Roth, John Updike, Jean Rhys, Mordecai Richler, Molly Keane, and Norman Mailer. A founding editor of the prestigious publishing house André Deutsch Ltd., Athill takes us on a guided tour through the corridors of literary London, offering a keenly observed, devilishly funny, and always compassionate insider’s portrait of the glories and pitfalls of making books—spiced with candid insights about the type of people who make brilliant writers and ingenious publishers, and the idiosyncrasies of both. It is both “wryly humorous” (The New York Time Book Review) and “full of history, wisdom, and dirt” (The Boston Globe).

“This is not literary life as we know it today—huge advances, showbiz and vast conglomerates—but the world of small literary houses . . . An enveloping blast of nostalgia: read and marvel at what we (all of us) are missing.” —Marie-Claire

“A beautifully written, hard-headed, and generally insightful look back at the heyday of post-war London publishing by a woman who was at its center for nearly half a century.” —The Washington Times

“Witty and astute . . . The literarily curious will find [her] portraits of leading contemporary authors irresistible.” —Publishers Weekly

Considering my connection to books and authors this title caught my interest.

LESLIE:
I Know You Know by Gilly Macmillan at The Infinite Curio.

From author Gilly Macmillan comes this original, chilling and twisty mystery about two shocking murder cases twenty years apart, and the threads that bind them.

Twenty years ago, eleven-year-olds Charlie Paige and Scott Ashby were murdered in the city of Bristol, their bodies dumped near a dog racing track. A man was convicted of the brutal crime, but decades later, questions still linger.

For his whole life, filmmaker Cody Swift has been haunted by the deaths of his childhood best friends. The loose ends of the police investigation consume him so much that he decides to return to Bristol in search of answers. Hoping to uncover new evidence, and to encourage those who may be keeping long-buried secrets to speak up, Cody starts a podcast to record his findings. But there are many people who don’t want the case—along with old wounds—reopened so many years after the tragedy, especially Charlie’s mother, Jess, who decides to take matters into her own hands.

When a long-dead body is found in the same location the boys were left decades before, the disturbing discovery launches another murder investigation. Now Detective John Fletcher, the investigator on the original case, must reopen his dusty files and decide if the two murders are linked. With his career at risk, the clock is ticking and lives are in jeopardy…

I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump lately. Maybe a good thriller can hold my interest.

SERENA:

Stet: An Editor’s Life by Diana Athill found at Rose City Reader was also on my list, since I edit for my day job.

Fast Friends by Jill Mansell found at Lori’s Reading Corner.

Isn’t life more fun in the fast lane?
When bored housewife and mother Camilla Stewart impulsively invites her old schoolfriends for dinner, she hardly imagines that the evening will shatter her comfortable existence. But Roz Vallender and Loulou Marks are no ordinary guests. Roz is a stunning and self-assured TV presenter, while the reckless Loulou owns Vampires, the trendiest wine bar in town.

When they reveal that Camilla’s husband Jack has been playing around, Camilla determines to make some changes. With a little help from her friends, she soon finds out that life in the fast lane is a lot more fun–and the future still holds plenty of surprises.

I always eagerly await new Jill Mansell books.

What books caught your eyes this week?

Books That Caught Our Eye

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

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

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

Here are our picks this week:

MARTHA:

Absolute Proof by Peter James found at Sam Still Reading.

What would it take to prove the existence of God? This question and the consequences of its answer lies at the heart of Absolute Proof, the new international thriller from bestselling author Peter James. To provide absolute proof of a divine existence would trigger worldwide instability, with every one of the major faiths laying claim to such evidence by whatever means necessary. Promising intrigue, action and conspiracy on a global scale this electrifying novel will have you hooked from the first page to last.

The description of this thriller is intriguing to me.

The Girl He Used to Know by Tracey Garvis Graves found at Under My Apple Tree.

Annika (rhymes with Monica) Rose is an English major at the University of Illinois. Anxious in social situations where she finds most people’s behavior confusing, she’d rather be surrounded by the order and discipline of books or the quiet solitude of playing chess.

Jonathan Hoffman joined the chess club and lost his first game–and his heart–to the shy and awkward, yet brilliant and beautiful Annika. He admires her ability to be true to herself, quirks and all, and accepts the challenges involved in pursuing a relationship with her. Jonathan and Annika bring out the best in each other, finding the confidence and courage within themselves to plan a future together. What follows is a tumultuous yet tender love affair that withstands everything except the unforeseen tragedy that forces them apart, shattering their connection and leaving them to navigate their lives alone.

Now, a decade later, fate reunites Annika and Jonathan in Chicago. She’s living the life she wanted as a librarian. He’s a Wall Street whiz, recovering from a divorce and seeking a fresh start. The attraction and strong feelings they once shared are instantly rekindled, but until they confront the fears and anxieties that drove them apart, their second chance will end before it truly begins.

This sounds like an unusual and interesting storyline.

SERENA:

Solve This!: Wild and Wacky Challenges for the Genius Engineer in You (National Geographic Kids) by Joan Marie Galat from BermudaOnion.

From the first wheel to the International Space Station, the miracles of engineering are all around us. Think cars, bridges, skyscrapers, and yes – even bubble wrap! Engineers dream up new ideas and bring them to life while figuring out creative solutions to problems they encounter along the way. But how do they do it? Find out in Solve This!

In this fun book, kids are confronted with wacky scenarios like this one: You’re playing with your little sister when a vulture swoops down and grabs her favorite teddy bear. Mid-flight, the vulture realizes it doesn’t care for the taste of fake fur and drops it to the ground. But now the plushie is on the other side of a raging river. How do you stop your sister from crying, stay safe, and save the day? Each challenge invites kids to think creatively to problem solve. Then they can see how different National Geographic explorers tackled the challenge. One of the big lessons? There’s often more than one solution!

I think these brain teasers would help my daughter think creatively and have fun.

The Winter Soldier by Daniel Mason from Sam Still Reading.

Vienna, 1914. Lucius is a twenty-two-year-old medical student when World War I explodes across Europe. Enraptured by romantic tales of battlefield surgery, he enlists, expecting a position at a well-organized field hospital. But when he arrives, at a commandeered church tucked away high in a remote valley of the Carpathian Mountains, he finds a freezing outpost ravaged by typhus. The other doctors have fled, and only a single, mysterious nurse named Sister Margarete remains.

But Lucius has never lifted a surgeon’s scalpel. And as the war rages across the winter landscape, he finds himself falling in love with the woman from whom he must learn a brutal, makeshift medicine. Then one day, an unconscious soldier is brought in from the snow, his uniform stuffed with strange drawings. He seems beyond rescue, until Lucius makes a fateful decision that will change the lives of doctor, patient, and nurse forever.

From the gilded ballrooms of Imperial Vienna to the frozen forests of the Eastern Front; from hardscrabble operating rooms to battlefields thundering with Cossack cavalry, The Winter Soldier is the story of war and medicine, of family, of finding love in the sweeping tides of history, and finally, of the mistakes we make, and the precious opportunities to atone.

Our expectations are often different from reality, and I can’t imagine being in Lucius’ shoes here, but I do like a good WWI story.

What books caught your eyes this week? Share them in the comments.

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

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

Here are our picks this week:

MARTHA:

The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White from BermudaOnion.

Elizabeth Lavenza hasn’t had a proper meal in weeks. Her thin arms are covered with bruises from her “caregiver,” and she is on the verge of being thrown into the streets . . . until she is brought to the home of Victor Frankenstein, an unsmiling, solitary boy who has everything–except a friend.

Victor is her escape from misery. Elizabeth does everything she can to make herself indispensable–and it works. She is taken in by the Frankenstein family and rewarded with a warm bed, delicious food, and dresses of the finest silk. Soon she and Victor are inseparable.

But her new life comes at a price. As the years pass, Elizabeth’s survival depends on managing Victor’s dangerous temper and entertaining his every whim, no matter how depraved. Behind her blue eyes and sweet smile lies the calculating heart of a girl determined to stay alive no matter the cost . . . as the world she knows is consumed by darkness.

The Girl in the Road by Monica Byrne from Adventures in Writing.

Monica Byrne bursts on to the literary scene with an extraordinary vision of the future. In a world where global power has shifted east and revolution is brewing, two women embark on vastly different journeys—each harrowing and urgent and wholly unexpected.

When Meena finds snakebites on her chest, her worst fears are realized: someone is after her and she must flee India. As she plots her exit, she learns of the Trail, an energy-harvesting bridge spanning the Arabian Sea that has become a refuge for itinerant vagabonds and loners on the run. This is her salvation. Slipping out in the cover of night, with a knapsack full of supplies including a pozit GPS, a scroll reader, and a sealable waterproof pod, she sets off for Ethiopia, the place of her birth.

Meanwhile, Mariama, a young girl in Africa, is forced to flee her home. She joins up with a caravan of misfits heading across the Sahara. She is taken in by Yemaya, a beautiful and enigmatic woman who becomes her protector and confidante. They are trying to reach Addis Abba, Ethiopia, a metropolis swirling with radical politics and rich culture. But Mariama will find a city far different than she ever expected—romantic, turbulent, and dangerous.

As one heads east and the other west, Meena and Mariama’s fates are linked in ways that are mysterious and shocking to the core.

LESLIE:

The Psychology of Time Travel by Kate Mascarenhas at Carol’s Notebook.

1967: Four young female scientists invent a time travel machine in their remote lab in Cumbria. They become known as the pioneers: the women who led the world to a future where no knowledge is unattainable.

2016: Ruby Rebello knows that her beloved grandmother was one of the pioneers, but she refuses to talk about her past. Ruby’s curiosity soon turns to fear however, when a newspaper clipping from four months in the future arrives in the post. The clipping reports the brutal murder of an unnamed elderly lady.

Could the woman be her Granny Bee?

SERENA:

Good Rosie! by Kate DiCamillo from BermudaOnion.

Rosie is a good dog and a faithful companion to her owner, George. She likes taking walks with George and looking at the clouds together, but the closest she comes to another dog is when she encounters her reflection in her empty dog bowl, and sometimes that makes Rosie feel lonely. One day George takes Rosie to the dog park, but the park is full of dogs that Rosie doesn’t know, which makes her feel lonelier than ever. When big, loud Maurice and small, yippy Fifi bound over and want to play, Rosie’s not sure how to respond. Is there a trick to making friends? And if so, can they all figure it out together?

This sounds like a fantastic book for my daughter.

The Alliance by Jolina Petersheim at Ubiquitous Grace.

When Leora Ebersole sees the small plane crash in her Old Order Mennonite community, she has no idea it’s a foreshadowing of things to come. Soon after the young pilot, Moses Hughes, regains consciousness, they realize his instruments were destroyed by the same power outage that killed the electricity at the community store, where Englischers are stranded with dead cell phones and cars that won’t start.

Moses offers a sobering theory, but no one can know how drastically life is about to change. With the only self-sustaining food supply in the region, the Pacifist community is forced to forge an alliance with the handful of stranded Englischers in an effort to protect not only the food but their very lives.

In the weeks that follow, Leora, Moses, and the community will be tested as never before, requiring them to make decisions they never thought possible. Whom will they help and whom will they turn away? When the community receives news of a new threat, everyone must decide how far they’re willing to go to protect their beliefs and way of life.

This sounds like a unique post-apocalyptic book.

What books caught your eyes this week? Share them in the comments.