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

Lying in Wait by Liz Nugent @ An Interior Journey and Silver’s Reviews.

A June 2018 Indie Next Pick

From the international bestselling author of Unraveling Oliver, an “unputdownable psychological thriller with an ending that lingers long after turning the final page” (The Irish Times) about a Dublin family whose dark secrets and twisted relationships are suddenly revealed.

My husband did not mean to kill Annie Doyle, but the lying tramp deserved it.

On the surface, Lydia Fitzsimons has the perfect life—wife of a respected, successful judge, mother to a beloved son, mistress of a beautiful house in Dublin. That beautiful house, however, holds a secret. And when Lydia’s son, Laurence, discovers its secret, wheels are set in motion that lead to an increasingly claustrophobic and devastatingly dark climax.

For fans of Ruth Ware and Gillian Flynn, this novel is a “seductively sinister story. The twists come together in a superbly scary denouement, which delivers a final sting in the tail. Brilliantly macabre”

“This sounds like a good suspense novel for me.”

Martha

Once Upon a Spine (Bibliophile Mystery #11) by Kate Carlisle found at Book Dilettante and Lori’s Reading Corner.

Brooklyn’s future in-laws are traveling from England to meet her, and if that’s not enough to set her on edge, rumors abound that the charming Courtyard Shops across the street may be replaced by high-rise apartments. Their trendy neighborhood will be ruined unless Brooklyn and her fiance, Derek Stone, can persuade the shopkeepers not to sell.

But with a rare edition of Alice in Wonderland causing bad blood at the Brothers Bookshop and a string of petty vandalism making everyone nervous, Brooklyn and Derek feel overwhelmed. Then the owner of the Rabbit Hole juice bar is felled by his own heavy shelves, and the local cobbler lies dead beside him. Things get curiouser and curiouser when a second priceless copy of Alice is discovered.

As the Brits descend, Brooklyn learns they’re not so stuffy after all. Derek’s dad is won over with chocolate cream pie, and his psychic mum would kill to help Brooklyn solve this murder–before another victim takes a tumble.

“There were several good looking cozies this week; someday I’m going to read this series.”

——–

The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels by Jon Meacham found at Under My Apple Tree.

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jon Meacham helps us understand the present moment in American politics and life by looking back at critical times in our history when hope overcame division and fear.

Our current climate of partisan fury is not new, and in The Soul of America Meacham shows us how what Abraham Lincoln called the “better angels of our nature” have repeatedly won the day. Painting surprising portraits of presidents including, besides Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, and Lyndon B. Johnson, and illuminating the courage of such influential citizen activists as Martin Luther King, Jr., early suffragettes Alice Paul and Carrie Chapman Catt, civil rights pioneers Rosa Parks and John Lewis, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, and Army-McCarthy hearings lawyer Joseph N. Welch, Meacham brings vividly to life turning points in American history. He writes about the Civil War, Reconstruction, and the birth of the Lost Cause; the backlash against immigrants in the First World War and the resurgence of the Klu Klux Klan in the 1920s; the fight for women’s rights; the demagoguery of Huey Long and Father Coughlin and the isolationist work of America First in the years before World War II; the anti-Communist witch-hunts led by Senator Joseph McCarthy; and Lyndon Johnson’s crusade to finish the fight against Jim Crow. In each of these dramatic, crucial turning points, the battle to lead the country to look forward rather than back, to assert hope over fear, was joined, even as it is today.

While the American story has not always been heroic, and the outcome of our battles never certain, in this inspiring book Meacham reassures us, “the good news is that we have come through darkness before”–as, time and again, Lincoln’s better angels have found a way to prevail.

“This is book sounds like it offers hope coming through political division.”

Leslie

Startalk by Neil Degrasse Tyson at BermudaOnion’s Weblog.

Now abridged for YA audiences, this beautifully illustrated companion to celebrated scientist Neil deGrasse Tyson’s popular podcast and National Geographic Channel TV show is an eye-opening journey for anyone curious about the complexities of our universe.

For decades, beloved astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson has interpreted science with a combination of brainpower and charm that resonates with fans everywhere. In 2009, he founded StarTalk, the wildly popular podcast that became an Emmy-nominated talk show on the National Geographic Channel in 2015. Tyson’s pioneering book takes the greatest hits from the airwaves to the page in one smart, richly illustrated compendium for young adult readers. Featuring vivid photography, thought-provoking sidebars, enlightening facts, and fun quotes from science and entertainment luminaries like Bill Nye and Josh Groban, StarTalk reimagines science’s most challenging topics–from how the brain works to the physics of comic book superheroes–in a relatable, humorous way that will attract curious young readers.

“Love, love, love everything by Neil Degrasse Tyson. He makes astrophysics sound simple!”

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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.

Serena

Decluttering at the Speed of Life: Winning Your Never-Ending Battle with Stuff By Dana White at Martha’s Bookshelf and Absolute Shannonigans.

You don’t have to live overwhelmed by stuff–you can get rid of clutter for good!

While the world seems to be in love with the idea of tiny houses and minimalism, many of us simply can’t purge it all and start from nothing. Yet a home with too much stuff is a home that is difficult to maintain, so where do we begin? Add in paralyzing emotional attachments and constant life challenges, and it can feel almost impossible to make real decluttering progress.

In Decluttering at the Speed of Life, decluttering expert and author Dana White identifies the mind-sets and emotional challenges that make it difficult to declutter. Then, in her signature humorous approach, she provides workable solutions to break through these struggles and get clutter out–for good!

But more than simply offering strategies, Dana dives deep into how to implement them, no matter the reader’s clutter level or emotional resistance to decluttering. She helps identify procrasticlutter–the stuff that will get done eventually so it doesn’t seem urgent–as well as how to make progress when there’s no time to declutter.

Sections of the book include:

Why You Need This Book (You Know Why)
Your Unique Home
Decluttering in the Midst of Real Life
Change Your Mind, Change Your Home
Breaking Through Your Decluttering Delusions
Working It Out Room by Room
Helping Others Declutter
Real Life Goes On (and On)

As long as we’re living and breathing, new clutter will appear. The good news is that decluttering can get easier, become more natural, and require significantly fewer hours, less emotional bandwidth, and little to no sweat to keep going.

“This is perfetfor me. I need to declutter badly. ”

Martha

Bloody Orbit: Gattis File #1 by K.R. Richardson found at Book Dilettante.

This science fiction police procedural pairs an idealistic rookie with an officer who uses cybernetic implants to process forensics; in solving a mass murder, they will uncover a vast conspiracy.

Eric Matheson, an idealistic rookie cop trying to break from his powerful family, is plunged into the investigation of a brutal crime in his first weeks on the job in Angra Dastrelas, the corrupt capital city of the corporate-owned planet Gattis. A newcomer to the planet, Matheson is unaware of the danger he’s courting when he’s promoted in the field to assist the controversial Chief Investigating Forensic Officer, Inspector J. P. Dillal, the planet’s first cybernetically enhanced investigator. Coming from a despised ethnic underclass, the brilliant and secretive Dillal seems determined to unravel the crime regardless of the consequences. The deeper they dig, the more dangerous the investigation becomes. But in a system where the cops enforce corporate will, instead of the law, the solution could expose Gattis’s most shocking secrets and cost thousands of lives–including Matheson’s and Dillal’s.

“I like sci fi and police procedure so this could be interesting.”

——–

Suicide of the West: How the Rebirth of Tribalism, Populism, Nationalism, and Identity Politics is Destroying American Democracy by Jonah Goldberg found at Rose City Reader.

Combining intellectual history, social science, economics, and pop culture, bestselling author of Liberal Fascism, National Review senior editor, and syndicated columnist Jonah Goldberg makes the timely case that America – and other democracies – must actively defend liberty against forces pulling us back to the tribal and nationalistic ideologies of the past.

The West is dying from ingratitude. Democracy and liberty were accidents of history. If capitalism were natural, it would have popped-up long before the 1700s, when humanity stumbled into a miraculous explosion in human prosperity. This miracle was not delivered by God or created by machines. It came from new ideas and values. But what is created by ideas and values can be destroyed them.

In this age of resentment, we reject the gift of liberty and instead listen to the lesser angels of our nature. We find comfort in authoritarianism, tribalism, identity politics, nationalism and aristocracy, all of which brutalized humanity for millennia.

Goldberg exposes the West’s suicidal tendencies on the left, but also on the right – at a moment when many conservatives are surrendering to tribalism and nationalism. Suicide of the West asserts that for the West to survive, a renewed commitment to classically liberal principles is required. Suicide is painless, liberty takes work.

“Once again I am drawn to a book that provokes thought on our county’s predicament of division.”

Leslie

The Day of the Dead by Nicci French at Silver’s Reviews.

Now the final book in this extraordinary series is here. And it’s an ending you’ll never forget.

A decade ago, psychologist Frieda Klein was sucked into the orbit of Dean Reeve — a killer able to impersonate almost anyone, a man who can disappear without a trace, a psychopath obsessed with Frieda herself.

In the years since, Frieda has worked with — and sometimes against — the London police in solving their most baffling cases. But now she’s in hiding, driven to isolation by Reeve. When a series of murders announces his return, Frieda must emerge from the shadows to confront her nemesis. And it’s a showdown she might not survive.

Criminology student Lola Hayes has tracked Frieda down with a single-minded pursuit: she wants to delve inside the mind of a woman besieged by darkness. But in following every move Frieda makes, Lola is exposing herself to the same terrors—and the same twisted fixation of a diabolical psychopath.

This gripping cat-and-mouse thriller pits one of the most fascinating characters in contemporary fiction against an enemy like none other. Smart, sophisticated, and spellbinding, it’s a novel to leave you breathless.

“I may have seen this book before, but I just realized it is the last book in the Frieda Klein series. I’m still a few books behind. Each title has a day of the week in it and I thought it ended with Sunday.”

——–

“My other choice this week was Suicide of the West, and the Decluttering book also caught my 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 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

From the Corner of the Oval by Rebecca Dorey-Stein @ Under My Apple Tree.

The compulsively readable, behind-the-scenes memoir that takes readers inside the Obama White House, through the eyes of a young staffer learning the ropes, falling in love, and finding her place in the world.

In 2012, Beck Dorey-Stein was just scraping by in DC when a posting on Craigslist landed her, improbably, in the Oval Office as one of Barack Obama’s stenographers. The ultimate DC outsider, she joined the elite team who accompanied the president wherever he went, recorder and mic in hand. On whirlwind trips across time zones, Beck forged friendships with a tight group of fellow travelers–young men and women who, like her, left their real lives behind to hop aboard Air Force One in service of the president. But as she learned the ropes of protocol, Beck became romantically entangled with a consummate DC insider, and suddenly, the political became all too personal. Set against the backdrop of a White House full of glamour, drama, and intrigue, this is the story of a young woman making unlikely friendships, getting her heart broken, learning what truly matters, and discovering her voice in the process.

“This sounds intriguing. I like when books give you a behind the scenes look.”

——–
Life Expectancy Poetry by Kirsten Rian @ Rose City Reader.

Past-present-future. Beginning-middle-end. Mama-daughter-son. Life goes the way it goes, and usually in unexpected directions. Rian looks far back to her Scandinavian roots to explore what remains, cultural and genetic ties as tethers to something bigger than the literal visceral skewing of life expectancy statistics relative to her own health and her family. Rian’s son was born with medical issues, cuing a decade and a half journey of doctors, tests, fights with insurance, surgeries, and scans. When her children were 10 and 12 their father suddenly and inexplicably passed away at age 44. While driving home from the beach after scattering his ashes, and thinking about when they had married on that very beach years before, she absent-mindedly felt the side of her head and noticed a lump that turned out to be a tumor. Past-present-future. Beginning-middle-end. What remains.

What’s a more appropriate pick than a poetry collection for the last MM in April.

Leslie

The Summer Sail by Wendy Francis at Bookfan and Silver’s Reviews.

Three college roommates are celebrating a twentieth wedding anniversary by taking a cruise to Bermuda. As the ship pulls away from the pier, everyone is looking forward to lounging by the pool, sipping sunset cocktails, and reminiscing. Abby, the mother hen of the group, will be celebrating her wedding anniversary in style, even as she and her husband keep a secret from the group. Ambitious career woman Caroline happily anticipates several stress-free days away from her magazine job with her boyfriend, Javier, who may or may not be finally inspired to propose. And single mom Lee (annoyingly gorgeous and irresistibly popular in college) hopes she’ll win back the affections of her formerly sweet daughter Lacey, who after her first year in college, has inexplicably become a little bit of a monster.

As the balmy pink shores of Bermuda come into view, tensions simmer, and old jealousies flare, sending the temperature from soothing to scorching in this engrossing tale of three best friends on a vacation they won’t soon forget—but not for the reasons they expect

This would make for some good escapist reading this summer. Now I just need to find a sunny day when I can sit outside and do nothing but read!

——–

The One John Marrs at The Infinite Curio.

How far would you go to find The One?

A simple DNA test is all it takes. Just a quick mouth swab and soon you’ll be matched with your perfect partner—the one you’re genetically made for.

That’s the promise made by Match Your DNA. A decade ago, the company announced that they had found the gene that pairs each of us with our soul mate. Since then, millions of people around the world have been matched. But the discovery has its downsides: test results have led to the breakup of countless relationships and upended the traditional ideas of dating, romance and love.

Now five very different people have received the notification that they’ve been “Matched.” They’re each about to meet their one true love. But “happily ever after” isn’t guaranteed for everyone. Because even soul mates have secrets. And some are more shocking than others…

A word-of-mouth hit in the United Kingdom, The One is a fascinating novel that shows how even the simplest discoveries can have complicated consequences.

Sounds like an intriguing genre mix of sci-fi, thriller, and a bit of romance.

Martha

Walking on My Grave (A Death on Demand Mysteries) by Carolyn Hart found at Lori’s Reading Corner.

In the latest Death on Demand Mystery from the New York Times bestselling author of Don’t Go Home, book seller Annie Darling learns murder and money go hand in hand…

Annie’s friend and fellow shop owner Ves Roundtree is a very wealthy woman. Her rich brother entrusted her with his estate, and upon her death, his fortune is to be divided. Several cash-strapped islanders are in line to collect life-changing inheritances. The problem is, Ves is very much alive.

Ves hosts a dinner for the prospective beneficiaries and feels a chill in the air that has nothing to do with the wintry season. Not long after, she suffers a bad fall that was no accident. Everyone at the table had a motive but not a shred of evidence was left behind.

When one of the suspects is found floating in the harbor and Ves disappears, Annie and her husband Max spring into action to catch a calculating killer before greed takes another life.

“This looks like a good mystery read to me.”

——–

I Liked My Life by Abby Fabiaschi found at Silver’s Reviews.

A story from debut author Abby Fabiaschi that is “as absorbing as it is illuminating, and as witty as it is heartbreaking.”

Maddy is a devoted stay-at-home wife and mother, host of excellent parties, giver of thoughtful gifts, and bestower of a searingly perceptive piece of advice or two. She is the cornerstone of her family, a true matriarch…until she commits suicide, leaving her husband Brady and teenage daughter Eve heartbroken and reeling, wondering what happened. How could the exuberant, exacting woman they loved disappear so abruptly, seemingly without reason, from their lives? How they can possibly continue without her? As they sift through details of her last days, trying to understand the woman they thought they knew, Brady and Eve are forced to come to terms with unsettling truths.

Maddy, however, isn’t ready to leave her family forever. Watching from beyond, she tries to find the perfect replacement for herself. Along comes Rory: pretty, caring, and spontaneous, with just the right bit of edge…but who also harbors a tragedy of her own. Will the mystery of Maddy ever come to rest? And can her family make peace with their history and begin to heal?

“The cover is certainly different and the story sounds unusual too.”

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.

Serena

The Rain Watcher by Tatiana De Rosnay @ Lori’s Reading Corner.

The first new novel in four years from the beloved superstar author of Sarah’s Key, a heartbreaking and uplifting story of family secrets and devastating disaster, in the tradition of THE NEST.

“Hypnotic, passionate, ominous and tender―unforgettable.” ―Jenna Blum, New York Times and internationally bestselling author of Those Who Save Us

The Rain Watcher is a powerful family drama set in Paris as the Malegarde family gathers to celebrate the father’s 70th birthday. Their hidden fears and secrets are slowly unraveled as the City of Light undergoes a stunning natural disaster. Seen through the eyes of charismatic photographer Linden Malegarde, the youngest son, all members of the family will have to fight to keep their unity against tragic circumstances.

In this profound and intense novel of love and redemption, De Rosnay demonstrates all of her writer’s skills both as an incredible storyteller but also as a soul seeker.

“I’ve heard great things about this author..”

——–

A Bold and Dangerous Family by Caroline Moorehead at Bookramblings.

Mussolini was not only ruthless: he was subtle and manipulative. Black-shirted thugs did his dirty work for him: arson, murder, destruction of homes and offices, bribes, intimidation and the forcible administration of castor oil. His opponents – including editors, publishers, union representatives, lawyers and judges – were beaten into submission. But the tide turned in 1924 when his assassins went too far, horror spread across Italy, and twenty years of struggle began. Antifascist resistance was born and it would end only with Mussolini’s death in 1945. Among those whose disgust hardened into bold and uncompromising resistance was a family from Florence: Amelia, Carlo and Nello Rosselli.

Caroline Moorehead’s research into the Rossellis struck gold. She has drawn on letters and diaries never previously translated into English to reveal – in all its intimacy – a family driven by loyalty, duty and courage, yet susceptible to all the self-doubt and fear that humans are prey to. Readers are drawn into the lives of this remarkable family – and their loves, their loyalties, their laughter and their ultimate sacrifice.

I haven’t heard about this book yet, but I’m intrigued..

Leslie

Cooking with My Sisters by Adriana and Mary Trigiani at BermudaOnion.

Cooking with My Sisters, by New York Times bestselling author Adriana Trigiani and her sister Mary Yolanda Trigiani, gives you a seat at the Trigiani and Bonicelli family tables. Featuring over eighty family recipes, some more than 150 years old, from Bari, the Veneto, the Italian Alps and their American hometown Big Stone Gap, Virginia, accompanied by family stories told with heart and gusto, Cooking with My Sisters is a book to treasure.

This warm, engaging, and easy-to-follow book will introduce both new and seasoned cooks to dishes including Penne Alla Roseto, Happy IBM (Italian-by-Marriage) Husband Salad, and the Tipsy Lady from Flicksville’s Ice Box Cake, all the while sharing stories and insights from family members like Grandmom Viola Trigiani, who was known to write her recipes in code to guard her culinary secrets closely, and Grandma Lucy Bonicelli, a soft-spoken woman who believed the dinner table was a respite and not a place to argue.

Cooking with My Sisters will inspire readers to try delectable, memorable dishes as they peer into the window of a home where the kitchen table was the center of the action, guests became family, and relationships were celebrated. As Rachael Ray says, “This collection fills the heart as full as the stomach Mangia, y’all “

Not sure how I missed this when it was first published!

——–

The Annotated Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler at Carol’s Notebook.

The first fully annotated edition of Raymond Chandler’s 1939 classic The Big Sleep features hundreds of illuminating notes and images alongside the full text of the novel and is an essential addition to any crime fiction fan’s library.

A masterpiece of noir, Raymond Chandler’s The Big Sleep helped to define a genre. Today it remains one of the most celebrated and stylish novels of the twentieth century. This comprehensive, annotated edition offers a fascinating look behind the scenes of the novel, bringing the gritty and seductive world of Chandler’s iconic private eye Philip Marlowe to life. The Annotated Big Sleep solidifies the novel’s position as one of the great works of American fiction and will surprise and enthrall Chandler’s biggest fans.

Including:
-Personal letters and source texts
-The historical context of Chandler’s Los Angeles, including maps and images
-Film stills and art from the early pulps
-An analysis of class, gender, sexuality, and ethnicity in the novel.

I know I’ve seen the movie but don’t think I’ve ever read the book. And annotated version would be enlightening.

Martha

Strangers in Their Own Land by Arlie Russell Hochschild found at Savvy Verse & Wit.

In Strangers in Their Own Land, the renowned sociologist Arlie Hochschild embarks on a thought-provoking journey from her liberal hometown of Berkeley, California, deep into Louisiana bayou country – a stronghold of the conservative right. As she gets to know people who strongly oppose many of the ideas she famously champions, Hochschild nevertheless finds common ground and quickly warms to the people she meets, among them a Tea Party activist whose town has been swallowed by a sinkhole caused by a drilling accident – people whose concerns are actually ones that all Americans share: the desire for community, the embrace of family, and hopes for their children.

Strangers in Their Own Land goes beyond the commonplace liberal idea that these are people who have been duped into voting against their own interests. Instead Hochschild finds lives ripped apart by stagnant wages, a loss of home, an elusive American dream – and political choices and views that make sense in the context of their lives. Hochschild draws on her expert knowledge of the sociology of emotion to help us understand what it feels like to live in “red” America. Along the way she finds answers to one of the crucial questions of contemporary American politics: Why do the people who would seem to benefit most from “liberal” government intervention abhor the very idea.

“As I am troubled by the great divide between the liberals and conservatives of America, any book that might help explain, and find common ground, sounds interesting to me.”

——–

The River by Starlight by Ellen Notbohm found at Rose City Reader.

Her brother’s letter touched a match to the wick of Annie’s doused dreams. Dream enough for her, to stroll the length of a town without the abortive glances, the stilted greetings, the wider berth given her on the sidewalk. “I could use some help out here,” he wrote. “What’s holding you to Iowa anyway?”

Annie Rushton leaves behind an unsettling past to join her brother on his Montana homestead and make a determined fresh start. There, sparks fly when she tangles with Adam Fielding, a visionary businessman-farmer determined to make his own way and answer to no one. Neither is looking for a partner, but they give in to their undeniable chemistry.

Annie and Adam’s marriage brims with astounding success and unanticipated passion, but their dream of having a child eludes them as a mysterious illness of mind and body plagues Annie’s pregnancies. Amidst deepening economic adversity, natural disaster, and the onset of world war, their personal struggles collide with the societal mores of the day. Annie’s shattering periods of black depression and violent outbursts exact a terrible price. The life the Fieldings have forged begins to unravel, and the only path ahead leads to unthinkable loss.

Based on true events, this sweeping novel weaves a century-old story, timeless in its telling of love, heartbreak, healing, and redemption embodied in one woman’s tenacious quest for control over her own destiny in the face of devastating misfortune and social injustice.

“I was drawn by the cover and left curious by the blurb.”

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 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

Vandana Shiva: Creative Civil Disobedience by Lionel Astruc @ Library of Clean Reads.

An icon worldwide for the ecological revolution and a leader of the alter-globalization movement, Vandana Shiva has made teaching by example the basis of her work. Walking the back roads of India alone in the late 1980s in search of traditional seeds threatened by industrial agriculture, she returned leading a procession of 500,000 demonstrators – farmers and activists – and with a network of 120 seed banks in place. Her initiatives have borne fruit on five continents and her legal proceedings against multinational corporations have earned her numerous awards, including the Right Livelihood Award – known as the “alternative Nobel prize”. Wrapped in her timeless sari of artisanal cotton, she calls upon each of us to become that “little nobody” who can reverse current trends.

A doctor of quantum physics and philosophy, she lives up to her name: the god Shiva is also known for his fierce character and as a protector of life. Her history is marked by commitment, body and soul, to a country currently torn by an intense war for raw materials.

Why is a major paradigm shift likely in the coming years? What role should we play? How does abundance for some and scarcity for others result in the loss of food sovereignty for everyone? What is ecofeminism and how does it represent a major opportunity, for men as well as women, and for the planet?

This series of interviews alternately addresses both the major challenges of today and the epic journey of this successor to Gandhi.

“Shiva is a woman whose books I studied in my Ecofeminism Philosophy minor at college. She’s a fascinating woman.”

——–

Tiffany Blues by M.J. Rose at Silver’s Reviews.

The New York Times bestselling author of The Library of Light and Shadow crafts a dazzling Jazz Age jewel—a novel of ambition, betrayal, and passion about a young painter whose traumatic past threatens to derail her career at a prestigious summer artists’ colony run by Louis Comfort Tiffany of Tiffany & Co. fame. “[M.J. Rose] transports the reader into the past better than a time machine could accomplish” (The Associated Press).

New York, 1924. Twenty‑four‑year‑old Jenny Bell is one of a dozen burgeoning artists invited to Louis Comfort Tiffany’s prestigious artists’ colony. Gifted and determined, Jenny vows to avoid distractions and romantic entanglements and take full advantage of the many wonders to be found at Laurelton Hall.

But Jenny’s past has followed her to Long Island. Images of her beloved mother, her hard-hearted stepfather, waterfalls, and murder, and the dank hallways of Canada’s notorious Andrew Mercer Reformatory for Women overwhelm Jenny’s thoughts, even as she is inextricably drawn to Oliver, Tiffany’s charismatic grandson.

As the summer shimmers on, and the competition between the artists grows fierce as they vie for a spot at Tiffany’s New York gallery, a series of suspicious and disturbing occurrences suggest someone knows enough about Jenny’s childhood trauma to expose her.

Supported by her closest friend Minx Deering, a seemingly carefree socialite yet dedicated sculptor, and Oliver, Jenny pushes her demons aside. Between stolen kisses and stolen jewels, the champagne flows and the jazz plays on until one moonless night when Jenny’s past and present are thrown together in a desperate moment, that will threaten her promising future, her love, her friendships, and her very life.

There are those authors that you just love no matter what they write, and M.J. Rose is one of those authors for me.

Leslie

The Waters & The Wild by DeSales Harrison at Book Dilettante and Silver’s Reviews.

A debut novel about a psychoanalyst haunted by a past crime and a past lover–a story that examines what it means to love, to betray, and to forgive.

Daniel Abend is a psychoanalyst and single parent living in New York City, with a successful practice and a comfortable life: an apartment on the Upper West Side, a beautiful teenage daughter, and an untroubled daily routine. When one of his young patients commits suicide, it is a tragedy, but one easily explained by her depression and drug addiction.

But shortly after, Daniel receives an ominous note that makes him question the patient’s death. A few days later, his daughter abruptly disappears. A series of letters from an unknown sender ensnares Daniel in an increasingly desperate search for his daughter and for the truth–a search that stretches back decades, to when he was a young man living in Paris, falling in love with a woman who would upend his life. With lyrical prose and masterful plotting, The Waters & The Wild is a sophisticated and surprising literary mystery about passion, betrayal, and redemption.

“I was initially attracted by the cover, but a literary mystery is a favorite genre of mine.”

——–

Before Mars by Emma Newman at Drey’s library.

Hugo Award winner Emma Newman returns to the captivating Planetfall universe with a dark tale of a woman stationed on Mars who starts to have doubts about everything around her.

After months of travel, Anna Kubrin finally arrives on Mars for her new job as a geologist and de facto artist in residence–and already she feels she is losing the connection with her husband and baby at home on Earth.

In her room on the base, Anna finds a mysterious note, painted in her own hand, warning her not to trust the colony psychiatrist. A note she can’t remember painting.

When she finds a footprint in a place that the colony AI claims has never been visited by humans, Anna begins to suspect that she is caught up in an elaborate corporate conspiracy. Or is she losing her grip on reality? Anna must find the truth, regardless of what horrors she might discover or what they might do to her mind.

It’s scifi! And I’m always looking for new scifi to add to my TBR list.

Martha

Tess of the Road by Rachel Hartman found at The Infinite Curio.

In the medieval kingdom of Goredd, women are expected to be ladies, men are their protectors, and dragons get to be whomever they want. Tess, stubbornly, is a troublemaker. You can’t make a scene at your sister’s wedding and break a relative’s nose with one punch (no matter how pompous he is) and not suffer the consequences. As her family plans to send her to a nunnery, Tess yanks on her boots and sets out on a journey across the Southlands, alone and pretending to be a boy.

Where Tess is headed is a mystery, even to her. So when she runs into an old friend, it’s a stroke of luck. This friend is a quigutl–a subspecies of dragon–who gives her both a purpose and protection on the road. But Tess is guarding a troubling secret. Her tumultuous past is a heavy burden to carry, and the memories she’s tried to forget threaten to expose her to the world in more ways than one.

“This caught my eye a few weeks ago but I couldn’t find which blog it was on. It caught my eye again.:-)”

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Rescued: An Andy Carpenter Mystery (An Andy Carpenter Novel) by David Rosenfelt found at Lori’s Reading Corner.

The next novel in David Rosenfelt’s witty, heartfelt mystery series featuring lawyer Andy Carpenter and his faithful golden retriever, Tara.

Defense lawyer Andy Carpenter is reluctant to take on any more cases. He’d much rather spend his time working for his dog rescue organization, the Tara Foundation, than find himself back in a courtroom. However, when a truck carrying over seventy dogs from the South to the rescue-friendly northeast turns up with a murdered driver, Andy can’t help but get involved.

Andy is eager to help the dogs, many of whom come to the Tara Foundation while awaiting forever homes – it’s the man accused of murder who he has a problem defending. The accused just happens to be his wife Laurie’s ex-fiance; her tall, good looking, ex-Marine ex-fiance. Even with dozens of cases behind him, this one may prove to be his most difficult.

“I really enjoy this series and the dogs catch my eye every time. ”

Books That Caught Our Eye

5 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 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

True Stories from an Unreliable Eyewitness: A Feminist Coming of Age (e-book) by Christine Lahti @ An Interior Journey.

A fiercely intelligent, hilarious, and deeply feminist collection of interrelated personal stories from Academy, Emmy, and Golden Globe Award–winning actress and director Christine Lahti.

For decades, actress and director Christine Lahti has captivated the hearts and minds of her audience through iconic roles in Chicago Hope, Running on Empty, Housekeeping, And Justice for All, Swing Shift, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, God of Carnage, and The Blacklist. Now, in True Stories from an Unreliable Eyewitness, this acclaimed performer channels her creativity inward to share her own story for the first time on the page.

In this poignant essay collection, Lahti focuses on three major periods of her life: her childhood, her early journey as an actress and activist, and the realities of her life as a middle-aged woman in Hollywood today. Lahti’s comical and self-deprecating voice shines through in stories such as “Kidnapped” and “Shit Happens,” and she takes a boldly honest look at the painful fissures in her family in pieces such as “Mama Mia” and “Running on Empty.” Taken together, the collection illuminates watershed moments in Lahti’s life, revealing her struggle to maintain integrity, fight her need for perfection, and remain true to her feminist inclinations.

Lahti’s wisdom and candid insights are reminiscent of Nora Ephron’s I Feel Bad About My Neck and Joan Rivers’s I Hate Everyone—and yet her experiences are not exclusive to one generation. The soul of her writing can be seen as a spiritual mother to feminist actresses and comedic voices whose works are inspiring today’s young women, including Amy Schumer, Lena Dunham, Amy Poehler, Caitlin Moran, and Jenny Lawson. Her stories reveal a stumbling journey toward agency and empowerment as a woman—a journey that’s still very much a work in progress.

True Stories from an Unreliable Eyewitness is about the power of storytelling to affirm and reframe the bedrock of who we are, revealing that we’re all unreliable eyewitnesses when it comes to our deeply personal memories. Told in a wildly fresh, unique voice, and with the unshakable ability to laugh at herself time and again, this is Christine Lahti’s best performance yet.

“I love Lahti, and this sounds fascinating.”

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The Lost Family by Jenna Blum @ Book Dilettante and BermudaOnion’s Weblog.

The New York Times bestselling author of Those Who Save Us creates a vivid portrait of marriage, family, and the haunting grief of World War II in this emotionally charged, beautifully rendered story that spans a generation, from the 1960s to the 1980s

In 1965 Manhattan, patrons flock to Masha’s to savor its brisket bourguignon and impeccable service and to admire its dashing owner and head chef Peter Rashkin. With his movie-star good looks and tragic past, Peter, a survivor of Auschwitz, is the most eligible bachelor in town. But Peter does not care for the parade of eligible women who come to the restaurant hoping to catch his eye. He has resigned himself to a solitary life. Running Masha’s consumes him, as does his terrible guilt over surviving the horrors of the Nazi death camp while his wife, Masha—the restaurant’s namesake—and two young daughters perished.

Then exquisitely beautiful June Bouquet, an up-and-coming young model, appears at the restaurant, piercing Peter’s guard. Though she is twenty years his junior, the two begin a passionate, whirlwind courtship. When June unexpectedly becomes pregnant, Peter proposes, believing that beginning a new family with the woman he loves will allow him to let go of the horror of the past. But over the next twenty years, the indelible sadness of those memories will overshadow Peter, June, and their daughter Elsbeth, transforming them in shocking, heartbreaking, and unexpected ways.

Jenna Blum artfully brings to the page a husband devastated by a grief he cannot name, a frustrated wife struggling to compete with a ghost she cannot banish, and a daughter sensitive to the pain of both her own family and another lost before she was born. Spanning three cinematic decades, The Lost Family is a charming, funny, and elegantly bittersweet study of the repercussions of loss and love.

I have been waiting for the newest Blum novel! And its WWII!

Leslie

Why Travel Matters: A Guide to the Life-Changing Effects of Travel by Craig Storti at Book Dilettante.

Why Travel Matters explores the profound life lessons that await anyone who wishes to learn what travel has to teach. With engaging prose, delightful wit and a distinctive style, Craig Storti infuses his own experiences traveling the world for 30+ years with quotations, insights, reflections and commentary from famous travelers, great travel writers, historians and literary masters. Storti’s vast knowledge of the literature makes him an expert curator of astute gems from the likes of: St. Augustine, Mark Twain, Somerset Maugham, D. H. Lawrence, Bruce Chatwin, Aldous Huxley and more.

“I like to visit new places but I’m not the best traveler. I need to get out more.”

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“My second book choice was also The Book Ninja. Such a catchy title.”

Martha

The Book Ninja by Ali Berg and Michelle Kalus found at Sam Still Reading.

Sometimes love means having to broaden your literary horizons.

Frankie Rose is desperate for love. Or a relationship. Or just a date with a semi-normal person will do.

It’s not that she hasn’t tried. She’s the queen of online dating. But enough is enough. Inspired by her job at The Little Brunswick Street Bookshop, Frankie decides to take fate into her own hands and embarks on the ultimate love experiment.

Her plan? Plant her favourite books on trains inscribed with her contact details in a bid to lure the sophisticated, charming and well-read man of her dreams.

Enter Sunny, and one spontaneous kiss later, Frankie begins to fall for him. But there’s just one problem – Frankie is strictly a classics kind of gal, and Sunny is really into Young Adult. Like really.

A clever, funny and wryly observed story about books and discovering who you really are.

“This is about books and love – two things to catch my eye.”

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Come from Away by Genevieve Graham found at So Many Books, So Little Time.

From the bestselling author of Tides of Honour and Promises to Keep comes a poignant novel about a young couple caught on opposite sides of the Second World War.

In the fall of 1939, Grace Baker’s three brothers, sharp and proud in their uniforms, board Canadian ships headed for a faraway war. Grace stays behind, tending to the homefront and the general store that helps keep her small Nova Scotian community running. The war, everyone says, will be over before it starts. But three years later, the fighting rages on and rumours swirl about “wolf packs” of German U-Boats lurking in the deep waters along the shores of East Jeddore, a stone’s throw from Grace’s window. As the harsh realities of war come closer to home, Grace buries herself in her work at the store.

Then, one day, a handsome stranger ventures into the store. He claims to be a trapper come from away, and as Grace gets to know him, she becomes enamoured by his gentle smile and thoughtful ways. But after a several weeks, she discovers that Rudi, her mysterious visitor, is not the lonely outsider he appears to be, but someone else entirely—someone not to be trusted. When a shocking truth about her family forces Grace to question everything she has so strongly believed, she realizes that she and Rudi have more in common than she had thought. And if Grace is to have a chance at love, she must not only choose a side, but take a stand.

Come from Away is a mesmerizing story of love, shifting allegiances, and second chances, set against the tumultuous years of the Second World War.

“This sounds very engaging. ”

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

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

LESLIE:

Neverworld Wake by Marisha Pessl at BermudaOnion.

Enter a realm where fears are physical and memories come alive in this absorbing psychological suspense thriller, from acclaimed New York Times bestselling author of Special Topics in Calamity Physics and Night Film.

Once upon a time, back at Darrow-Harker School, Beatrice Hartley and her five best friends were the cool kids, the beautiful ones. Then the shocking death of Jim–their creative genius and Beatrice’s boyfriend–changed everything.

One year after graduation, Beatrice is returning to Wincroft–the seaside estate where they spent so many nights sharing secrets, crushes, plans to change the world–hoping she’ll get to the bottom of the dark questions gnawing at her about Jim’s death.

But as the night plays out in a haze of stilted jokes and unfathomable silence, Beatrice senses she’s never going to know what really happened.

Then a mysterious man knocks on the door. Blithely, he announces the impossible: time for them has become stuck, snagged on a splinter that can only be removed if the former friends make the harshest of decisions.
Now Beatrice has one last shot at answers . . . and at life.

And so begins the Neverworld Wake.

SERENA:

Surprise Me by Sophie Kinsella at Sam Still Reading

After ten years together, Sylvie and Dan have a comfortable home, fulfilling jobs, and beautiful twin girls, and they communicate so seamlessly they finish each other’s sentences. They have a happy marriage and believe they know everything there is to know about each other. Until it’s casually mentioned to them that they could be together for another sixty-eight years . . . and panic sets in.

They decide to bring surprises into their marriage to keep it fresh and fun. But in their pursuit of Project Surprise Me—from unexpected gifts to restaurant dates to sexy photo shoots—mishaps arise, with disastrous and comical results. Gradually, surprises turn to shocking truths. And when a scandal from the past is uncovered, they begin to wonder if they ever really knew each other at all.

With a colorful cast of eccentric characters, razor-sharp observations, and her signature wit and charm, Sophie Kinsella presents a humorous yet moving portrait of a marriage—its intricacies, comforts, and complications. Surprise Me reveals that hidden layers in a close relationship are often yet to be discovered.

I love Kinsella’s humor, so this one should be a breath of fresh air.

The War Bride’s Scrapbook by Caroline Preston at Under My Apple Tree.

Lila Jerome has never been very lucky in love, and has always been more interested in studying architecture and, more recently, supporting the war bond effort on the home front. But in the fall of 1943, a chance spark with a boarder in her apartment sets Lila on a course that shakes up all of her ideas about romance.

Lila is intoxicated by Perry Weld, the charismatic army engineer who’s about to ship out to the European front, and it isn’t long before she discovers that the feeling is mutual. After just a few weeks together, caught up in the dramatic spirit of the times and with Perry’s departure date fast approaching, the two decide to elope. In a stunning kaleidoscope of vibrant ephemera, Lila boldly attempts to redefine her life in America as she navigates the heartache and longing of a marriage separated by ocean and war.

In her second scrapbook novel after the lauded Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt, Caroline Preston has once again pulled from her own extraordinary collection of vintage memorabilia, transporting us back to the lively, tumultuous 1940s and introducing us to an unforgettable, ambitious heroine who must learn to reconcile a wartime marriage with a newfound self-confidence.

I really loved Preston’s first book, so I’m sure to love this one. 

MARTHA:
Snail Mail by Samantha Berger, Julia Patton (Illustrator) found at BermudaOnion’s Weblog.

Description
Nothing Says Love Like an Old-Fashioned Letter

A long, long time ago, before email and texting, the mail was delivered in a much slower way-it was called Snail Mail (because some thought it was delivered by a snail). Although it took much longer, everyone agreed that letters were a little more special when they were delivered by Snail Mail. They might be handwritten. They might include a drawing. They might even contain a surprise inside One such letter was sent by a Girl to the Boy she loved, and it was up to four special snails to deliver her card across the country. The snails trek across the country-through desert heat and dangerous blizzards, across mountains and plains, through cities and forests-and along the way, they find that taking time to slow down and look around makes the journey all the more beautiful.

Snail Mail’s playful and educational story encourages kids to have slow living, and to approach life with determination and wonder. Julia Patton’s rich illustrations showcase America’s diverse terrain and national monuments from coast to coast. Kids and parents alike will delight in this celebration of America’s beauty and the power of a simple handwritten letter.

This looks charmingly educational. 🙂

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A Man Lay Dead by Ngaio Marsh found at Carol’s Notebook.

Ngaio Marsh was one of the queens (she has been called the empress) of England’s Golden Age of mystery fiction. And in true Golden Age fashion, her oeuvre opens with, yes, a country-house party between the two world wars – servants bustling, gin flowing, the gentlemen in dinner jackets, the ladies all slink and smolder. Even more delicious: The host, Sir Hubert Handesley, has invented a new and especially exciting version of that beloved parlor entertainment, The Murder Game.

I saw ‘vintage murder’, then variation of ‘The Murder Game’, and I was caught.

What books caught your eye this week?