Books That Caught Our Eye

2 Comments

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

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

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

MARTHA:

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

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

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

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

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

Not just dead, but recently killed.

Not just killed, but mutilated.

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

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

SERENA:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What books caught your eyes this week?

Books That Caught Our Eye

2 Comments

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

——–

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

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

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

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

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

——–

SERENA:

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

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

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

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

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

Where there is family, there is hope

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

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

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

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

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

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

What books caught your eyes this week?

Books That Caught Our Eye

6 Comments

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

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

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

Martha:


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

——–


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What books caught your eyes this week?

Books That Caught Our Eye

5 Comments

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

——–

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

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

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

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

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

SERENA:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What books caught your eyes this week?

Books That Caught Our Eyes

5 Comments

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

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

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

MARTHA:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SERENA:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What books caught your eyes this week?

Books That Caught Our Eye

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

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

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

Serena

The Transatlantic Book Club by Felicity Hayes-McCoy at Silver’s Reviews.

Eager to cheer up her recently-widowed gran, Cassie Fitzgerald persuades Lissbeg library to set up a Skype book club, linking readers on Ireland’s Finfarran Peninsula with the little US town of Resolve, where generations of Finfarran’s emigrants have settled.

But when the club decides to read a detective novel, old conflicts on both sides of the ocean are exposed, hidden love affairs come to light, and, as secrets emerge, Cassie fears she may have done more harm than good. Will the truths she uncovers about her granny Pat’s marriage affect her own hopes of finding love? Is Pat, who’s still struggling with the death of her husband, about to fall out with her oldest friend? Or could the transatlantic book club itself hold the clue to a triumphant happy ending?

“I have a hard time keeping a bookclub in my own state, nevermind one that is transatlantic.”

——–

The Ballad of Song Birds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins from An Imperfect Christian Mom.

It is the morning of the reaping that will kick off the 10th annual Hunger Games. In the Capitol, 18-year-old Coriolanus Snow is preparing for his one shot at glory as a mentor in the Games. The once-mighty house of Snow has fallen on hard times, its fate hanging on the slender chance that Coriolanus will be able to out charm, outwit, and outmaneuver his fellow students to mentor the winning tribute.

The odds are against him. He’s been given the humiliating assignment of mentoring the female tribute from District 12, the lowest of the low. Their fates are now completely intertwined – every choice Coriolanus makes could lead to favor or failure, triumph or ruin. Inside the arena, it will be a fight to the death. Outside the arena, Coriolanus starts to feel for his doomed tribute… and must weigh his need to follow the rules against his desire to survive no matter what it takes.

“I’ve read all the others in this series. So why not?!””

Martha

Love for the Spinster (Women of Worth #2) by Kasey Stockton found at Colletta’sKitchen Sink.

Freya runs from her past, but trouble seems to follow her everywhere she goes.

Years after discovering her parents’ marriage was invalid, and she illegitimate, Freya continued to struggle with the scandal hanging over her head. When her father reappears with his real wife and daughter, Freya flees London entirely.

With an inherited country house, Freya at least has somewhere to run. She looks forward to meeting her faithful steward, who writes the most diverting letters. However, Mr. Daniel Bryce is not the old gentleman she expected, but young, handsome, and eligible.

Freya struggles with her growing feelings for her steward as they work together to renovate the only home she has left. When a stranger shows up and threatens to reveal Freya’s past, will she find the strength to remove herself from the scandal’s shadow?

A clean and wholesome Regency romance, Love for the Spinster is the second book in the Women of Worth series. It can be read apart from the series but works best in proper order.

“It must be time for me to pull a historical romance because many of Colletta’s books drew my eye.”

——–

We Are Not Free by Traci Chee found at vvb32 reads

“All around me, my friends are talking, joking, laughing. Outside is the camp, the barbed wire, the guard towers, the city, the country that hates us.

We are not free.

But we are not alone.”

Fourteen teens who have grown up together in Japantown, San Francisco.

Fourteen teens who form a community and a family, as interconnected as they are conflicted.

Fourteen teens whose lives are turned upside down when over 100,000 people of Japanese ancestry are removed from their homes and forced into desolate incarceration camps.

In a world that seems determined to hate them, these young Nisei must rally together as racism and injustice threaten to pull them apart.

“I think this is a difficult historical situation that we should all care about.”

Leslie

Final Flight by Eric C. Anderson at The Bookworm.

It’s 2023. Former Air Force maintenance officer Jason Montgomery and his erstwhile wrench-twister, Rob “Ski” Kalawski, have just landed the gig of their lives. China Air’s aging fleet of Boeing 777s now desperately needs navigation hardware and software upgrades. It’s a multimillion-dollar contract, and they’re just the guys to do it. Too easy, right?

Wrong. The Japanese firm supplying the gear knows the Chinese will reverse-engineer and steal it, so they’ve planted a deadly navigation bug to trigger at the first sign of theft. Jason’s just the middleman, but he finds himself trapped between yakuza gangsters, a tattooed dragon-lady sales exec, and murderous Russian mobsters looking to make a profit on the missing airplanes and passengers. If these crazies don’t start behaving like moral adults, people are going to die by the hundreds . . . and they do.

FINAL FLIGHT, the latest prescient tale from the man who brought us the NEW CALIPHATE trilogy and BYTE, might make you think twice before boarding the next plane.

“I like a good thriller … and I’ll be avoiding airplanes!”

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

Knit of the Living Dead (A Knit & Nibble Mystery Book 6) by Peggy Ehrhart found at Bookworm.

When a spooky celebration in Arborville, New Jersey conjures real scares, can Pamela and the Knit and Nibble Club sink their teeth into a bone-chilling mystery that just won’t rest in peace?

Among the countless revelers at the town’s much-anticipated Halloween parade, a woman dressed as Little Bo Peep is the only one making people scream bloody murder. In a scene straight out of a horror movie, the Knit and Nibblers find the nursery rhyme character dead with thick strands of yarn looped around her neck. Pamela and her best friend, Bettina, are set on pinning down who wanted the woman gone forever, but it’ll take every trick they can muster to catch the culprit without becoming the next poor souls to join Little Bo Peep’s dark, endless sleep . . .

“This cover drew me right in. It looks like a light, fun mystery that would be welcome in these times.”

——–

Two Rivers, (The Great Peacemaker Series #1) by Zoe Saadia found at Library of Clean Reads.

Having survived the failed raid on the enemy lands, Tekeni had no illusions. He was nothing but an enemy cub, adopted into one of the clans, but not accepted, never for real. To fit in was difficult, to run away – impossible. To get into trouble, more often than not, was the only available option. They did not expect anything else from him, anyway.

However, when a meaningless row during a ballgame grew out of proportion, resulting in a fight, Tekeni has found himself in a truly grave trouble. Neither he nor anyone else could have foreseen the chain of events the consequences of this fight would release, when the highly esteemed but controversial Two Rivers decided to help Tekeni out.

Two Rivers was a strange person with unacceptable notions and ideas. He maintained that to war on and on was a mistake of disastrous consequences. He went as far as suggesting a negotiation of peace with some of the neighboring nations. Even Tekeni, the despised enemy, thought such ideas to be far-fetched and wild. And yet…

With their trouble mounting and the revengefulness of some people around them growing, both Tekeni and Two Rivers find themselves pushed beyond limits.

“I really liked this cover too and was glad to discover this Native American story in my Kindle Library.”

Serena

A Heart in a Body in the World by Deb Caletti at An Interior Journey.

Each step in Annabelle’s 2,700-mile cross-country run brings her closer to facing a trauma from her past in National Book Award finalist Deb Caletti’s novel about the heart, all the ways it breaks, and its journey to healing. Because sometimes against our will, against all odds, we go forward.

Then…
Annabelle’s life wasn’t perfect, but it was full—full of friends, family, love. And a boy…whose attention Annabelle found flattering and unsettling all at once.

Until that attention intensified.

Now…
Annabelle is running. Running from the pain and the tragedy from the past year. With only Grandpa Ed and the journal she fills with words she can’t speak out loud, Annabelle runs from Seattle to Washington, DC and toward a destination she doesn’t understand but is determined to reach. With every beat of her heart, every stride of her feet, Annabelle steps closer to healing—and the strength she discovers within herself to let love and hope back into her life.

“This sounds like a good road trip/journey story.”

——–

The Dead Boy’s Club (Club Dead Book 1) by Rue Volley at The Bookworm.

Fifteen-year-old Harper J. Ellis lives in Juniper Hollow, a hotbed for paranormal activity. Here the dead outnumber the living ten to one, and strange occurrences are a way of life. Most of the residents choose to ignore the odd quirks of the small Victorian town.

But not Harper.

She’s perfectly content to spend her days in the graveyard, reading paranormal romance books at the foot of a tombstone. Like many girls her age, she obsesses over boys. However, it’s her taste for all things strange and unusual that prompt her to start a club.

A pulse isn’t required, but a flair for ghoulish fun is. Care to join?

“Sometimes you just need a bit of paranormal weirdness.”

Leslie

The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware at An Interior Journey.

When she stumbles across the ad, she’s looking for something else completely. But it seems like too good an opportunity to miss—a live-in nannying post, with a staggeringly generous salary. And when Rowan Caine arrives at Heatherbrae House, she is smitten—by the luxurious “smart” home fitted out with all modern conveniences, by the beautiful Scottish Highlands, and by this picture-perfect family.

What she doesn’t know is that she’s stepping into a nightmare—one that will end with a child dead and herself in prison awaiting trial for murder.

Writing to her lawyer from prison, she struggles to explain the events that led to her incarceration. It wasn’t just the constant surveillance from the home’s cameras, or the malfunctioning technology that woke the household with booming music, or turned the lights off at the worst possible time. It wasn’t just the girls, who turned out to be a far cry from the immaculately behaved model children she met at her interview. It wasn’t even the way she was left alone for weeks at a time, with no adults around apart from the enigmatic handyman.

It was everything.

She knows she’s made mistakes. She admits that she lied to obtain the post, and that her behavior toward the children wasn’t always ideal. She’s not innocent, by any means. But, she maintains, she’s not guilty—at least not of murder—but somebody is.

Full of spellbinding menace and told in Ruth Ware’s signature suspenseful style, The Turn of the Key is an unputdownable thriller from the Agatha Christie of our time.

“I enjoy this author’s writing and I like a good thriller.”

——–

The Three Mrs. Wrights by Linda Keir at Silver’s Reviews.

Mr. Wright has everything. All that’s left to give him is what he deserves.

Lark has good things coming: a career as a board-game designer and a whirlwind romance with a handsome investor. Trip is so compassionate and supportive, he’s almost too good to be true.

Jessica has always been cautious, but she can’t resist Jonathan. The brilliant TED-talking visionary has big plans for his inspiring medical start-up. Now Jessica is invited to be part of the team—and to partner with the founder outside the office.

Holly has settled into a comfortable life with Jack, her husband of nearly twenty years. They’ve raised three children, they own a beautiful home, and they’ve founded a worthy charity. She’s proud of building a marriage that has endured—she just doesn’t want to look too closely at the cracks.

Lark, Jessica, and Holly are three strangers with so much in common it hurts. Their one and only is one and the same.

The charming Mr. Wright’s serial lies are about to catch up with him…

“Not my usual genre, but something about this one grabs my attention.”

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

Hello, Summer by Mary Kay Andrews at Under My Apple Tree.

It’s a new season…

Conley Hawkins left her family’s small town newspaper, The Silver Bay Beacon, in the rearview mirror years ago. Now a star reporter for a big-city paper, Conley is exactly where she wants to be and is about to take a fancy new position in Washington, D.C. Or so she thinks.

For small town scandals…

When the new job goes up in smoke, Conley finds herself right back where she started, working for her sister, who is trying to keep The Silver Bay Beacon afloat—and she doesn’t exactly have warm feelings for Conley. Soon she is given the unenviable task of overseeing the local gossip column, “Hello, Summer.”

And big-time secrets.

Then Conley witnesses an accident that ends in the death of a local congressman—a beloved war hero with a shady past. The more she digs into the story, the more dangerous it gets. As an old heartbreaker causes trouble and a new flame ignites, it soon looks like their sleepy beach town is the most scandalous hotspot of the summer.

“I am in need of distraction. This sounds like one that could distract me.”

Martha

The Minute I Saw You by Paige Toon found at Sam Still Reading.

The brand new novel from the Sunday Times bestselling author Paige Toon. The perfect summer read for 2020!

Some people believe that it’s possible to fall in love simply by gazing into another person’s eyes . . .

When Hannah and Sonny meet, a spark ignites that is hard to ignore and impossible to forget. Weeks later, their paths cross again, but Sonny appears distant and reluctant to meet Hannah’s eye. It soon transpires that Sonny is at a crossroads. He’s committed to making serious life changes – ones that can’t and won’t include romance.

Hannah has her own reasons for wanting to keep their budding friendship platonic. Plus, she’s only in town temporarily, housesitting for her uncle. But as the summer hots up and the chemistry between them intensifies, Hannah and Sonny discover that there’s more to each other than meets the eye…

“This sounds like another nice distracting story.”

——–

We’re All Not the Same, But We’re Still Family: An Adoption and Birth Family Story by Theresa Fraser, Eric E.W. Fraser at Savvy Verse & Wit.

This story was written for adoptive families to explore the benefits of adoption openness. The main character, Deshaun, loves his family but always wondered about his biological family. Does he look like them? Did they love him? With the support of his adoptive parents, Deshaun gets to meet his biological family. They develop an ongoing relationship, so Deshaun feels more stable in his adoptive family, but also develops a comfortable relationship with his birth family. Deshaun and his family are reminded (as we all are) that family can include biological, adopted, foster and kin members.

“This sounds like a very helpful book about families that include adoptive children and more.”

Leslie

The City in the Middle of the Night by Charlie Jane Anders at vvb32 reads.

Set on a planet that has fully definitive, never-changing zones of day and night, with ensuing extreme climates of endless, frigid darkness and blinding, relentless light, humankind has somehow continued apace — though the perils outside the built cities are rife with danger as much as the streets below.

But in a world where time means only what the ruling government proclaims, and the levels of light available are artificially imposed to great consequence, lost souls and disappeared bodies are shadow-bound and savage, and as common as grains of sand. And one such pariah, sacrificed to the night, but borne up by time and a mysterious bond with an enigmatic beast, will rise to take on the entire planet–before it can crumble beneath the weight of human existence.

“A little scifi is always good for me when this planet gets a bit stressful.”

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

The Lost and Found Bookshop by Susan Wiggs at Silver’s Reviews.

Somewhere in the vast Library of the Universe, as Natalie thought of it, there was a book that embodied exactly the things she was worrying about.

In the wake of a shocking tragedy, Natalie Harper inherits her mother’s charming but financially strapped bookshop in San Francisco. She also becomes caretaker for her ailing grandfather Andrew, her only living relative—not counting her scoundrel father.

But the gruff, deeply kind Andrew has begun displaying signs of decline. Natalie thinks it’s best to move him to an assisted living facility to ensure the care he needs. To pay for it, she plans to close the bookstore and sell the derelict but valuable building on historic Perdita Street, which is in need of constant fixing. There’s only one problem–Grandpa Andrew owns the building and refuses to sell. Natalie adores her grandfather; she’ll do whatever it takes to make his final years happy. Besides, she loves the store and its books provide welcome solace for her overwhelming grief.

After she moves into the small studio apartment above the shop, Natalie carries out her grandfather’s request and hires contractor Peach Gallagher to do the necessary and ongoing repairs. His young daughter, Dorothy, also becomes a regular at the store, and she and Natalie begin reading together while Peach works.

To Natalie’s surprise, her sorrow begins to dissipate as her life becomes an unexpected journey of new connections, discoveries and revelations, from unearthing artifacts hidden in the bookshop’s walls, to discovering the truth about her family, her future, and her own heart.

“I’m always fascinated by books about writers, librarians, and book shops.”

“I’m always fascinated by books about writers, librarians, and book shops.”

——–

The Edible Garden by Paul West at The Burgeoning Bookshelf.

Paul shares practical gardening advice, with guides on building a no-dig garden, composting and keeping chooks, and an A-Z guide of the veggies that are easiest to grow. There are also more than 50 of Paul’s favourite family recipes – simple, produce-driven dishes that are bursting with freshness and flavour. And then there are ideas for fun food activities to do with your community, whether it’s hosting a pickle party or passata day, brewing beer with some mates or whipping up a batch of homemade sausages.

The Edible Garden Cookbook & Growing Guide is a celebration of real food and vibrant community. It will inspire you to grow, cook and eat with those you love – and find real meaning along the way.

“This sounds like a good book as we just planted our annual veggie garden.”

Martha

End of the Trail (Tempe Crabtree Mysteries Book 18) by Marilyn Meredith found at An Imperfect Christian Mom.

Deputy Tempe Crabtree joins the search for a missing hiker in the high Sierra. Her decision to help involves her in the complicated relationship of two couples, murder, a threat to her life, and an encounter with a familiar legend, plus help from her friend, the ghost hunter.

“I like Native American settings so this series caught my eye.”
 
 
 
 
 
 

——–

My Wife Said You May Want To Marry Me by Jason B. Rosenthal found at BermudaOnion’s Weblog.

An inspiring memoir of life, love, loss, and new beginnings by the widower of bestselling children’s author and filmmaker Amy Krouse Rosenthal, whose last of act of love before her death was setting the stage for her husband’s life without her in the viral New York Times Modern Love column, “You May Want to Marry My Husband.”

On March 3, 2017, Amy Krouse Rosenthal penned an op-ed piece for the New York Times’ “Modern Love” column —”You May Want to Marry My Husband.” It appeared ten days before her death from ovarian cancer. A heartbreaking, wry, brutally honest, and creative play on a personal ad—in which a dying wife encouraged her husband to go on and find happiness after her demise—the column quickly went viral, reaching more than five million people worldwide.

In My Wife Said You May Want to Marry Me, Jason describes what came next: his commitment to respecting Amy’s wish, even as he struggled with her loss. Surveying his life before, with, and after Amy, Jason ruminates on love, the pain of watching a loved one suffer, and what it means to heal—how he and their three children, despite their profound sorrow, went on. Jason’s emotional journey offers insights on dying and death and the excruciating pain of losing a soulmate, and illuminates the lessons he learned.

As he reflects on Amy’s gift to him—a fresh start to fill his empty space with a new story—Jason describes how he continues to honor Amy’s life and her last wish, and how he seeks to appreciate every day and live in the moment while trying to help others coping with loss. My Wife Said You May Want to Marry Me is the poignant, unreserved, and inspiring story of a great love, the aftermath of a marriage ended too soon, and how a surviving partner eventually found a new perspective on life’s joys in the wake of tremendous loss.

“I have to admit that the title captured my eye, then the blurb caught my interest.”

Leslie

Yoga Animals by by Paige Towler at BermudaOnion’s Weblog.

Adorable animal photos and lyrical text guide kids step-by-step through easy animal-inspired yoga poses.

Roar like a lion! Arch like a kitten! Stretch like a cobra! Did you know that many yoga poses were inspired by animals? Let these creatures inspire your young ones to get moving, practice mindfulness, or calm down after a long day. Simple step-by-step instructions explain the kid-friendly moves. Kids will get a kick out of the accompanying photos of animals that mimic each pose, and the sweet poem is sure to delight.

The foreword by Tara Stiles, founder of Strala Yoga, reminds us that we’re never too young to start enjoying the health benefits of yoga and mindfulness. Animal Yoga is the perfect intro to this ancient practice–great for engaging (and quieting!) a class, reading aloud one-on-one, or helping restless little ones fall asleep at bedtime or naptime.

“The title caught my eye, but I’m also a fan of yoga as long as the poses aren’t too difficult.”

——–

My second choice was also The Edible Garden by Paul West at The Burgeoning Bookshelf.

“I’m planning a garden this year but so far the weather has not been cooperating. ”

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 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:

Lessons from Walden by Bob Pepperman Taylor at Words and Peace.

Throughout this original and passionate book, Bob Pepperman Taylor presents a wide-ranging inquiry into the nature and implications of Henry David Thoreau’s thought in Walden and Civil Disobedience. As Taylor says in his introduction, ” Walden is a central American text for addressing two of the central crises of our time: the increasingly alarming threats we now face to democratic norms, practices, and political institutions, and the perhaps even more alarming environmental dangers confronting us.” Taylor pursues this inquiry in three chapters, each focusing on a single theme: chapter 1 examines simplicity and the ethics of “voluntary poverty,” chapter 2 looks at civil disobedience and the role of “conscience” in democratic politics, and chapter 3 concentrates on what “nature” means to us today and whether we can truly “learn from nature”—and if so, what does it teach? Taylor considers Thoreau’s philosophy, and the philosophical problems he raises, from the perspective of a wide range of thinkers and commentators drawn from history, philosophy, the social sciences, and popular media, breathing new life into Walden and asking how it is alive for us today.

“It’s funny because I was just telling a friend that I’ve read Walden many times since college and while in college when she suggested I read it in the time of COVID-19. This seems like it would be interesting to read with Walden or, if you’re like me, without reading Walden yet again.”

If It Bleeds by Stephen King from The bookworm.

The novella is a form King has returned to over and over again in the course of his amazing career, and many have been made into iconic films, including “The Body” (Stand By Me) and “Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption” (Shawshank Redemption). Like Four Past Midnight, Different Seasons, and most recently Full Dark, No Stars, If It Bleeds is a uniquely satisfying collection of longer short fiction by an incomparably gifted writer.

“Sometimes you want some Stephen King, but in a shorter format.”

——–

MARTHA:
Didn’t See It Coming: Overcoming the Seven Greatest Challenges That No One Expects and Everyone Experiences by Carey Nieuwhof found at An Imperfect Christian Mom.

An influential pastor, podcaster, and thought leader believes it’s not only possible to predict life’s hardest moments, but also to alter outcomes, overcome challenges, and defeat your fiercest adversaries.

Founding Pastor of one of North America’s most influential churches, Carey Nieuwhof wants to help you avoid and overcome life’s seven hardest and most crippling challenges: cynicism, compromise, disconnectedness, irrelevance, pride, burnout, and emptiness. These are challenges that few of us expect but that we all experience at some point. If you have yet to confront these obstacles, Carey provides clear tools and guidelines for anticipation and avoidance. On the other hand, if you already feel stuck in a painful experience or are wrestling with one of these challenges, he provides the steps you need to find a way out and a way forward into a more powerful and vibrant future.

“Somehow this does sound like it hits issues we all experience – even if, or maybe when, we don’t expect them.”

——–

The Lost Letter by Mimi Matthews found at Library of Clean Reads.

A PROUD BEAUTY

Society beauty Sylvia Stafford is far too pragmatic to pine. When the tragic death of her gamester father leaves her destitute and alone, she finds work as a governess in a merchant’s household in Cheapside. Isolated from the fashionable acquaintance of her youth, she resigns herself to lonely spinsterhood until a mysterious visitor convinces her to temporarily return to her former life–and her former love.

A SCARRED BEAST

Colonel Sebastian Conrad is no longer the dashing cavalry officer Sylvia once fell in love with. Badly scarred during the Sepoy Rebellion, he has withdrawn to his estate in rural Hertfordshire where he lives in near complete seclusion. Brooding and tormented, he cares nothing for the earldom he has inherited–and even less for the faithless beauty who rejected him three years before.

A SECOND CHANCE

A week together in the remote Victorian countryside is the last thing either of them ever wanted. But when fate intervenes to reunite them, will a beastly earl and an impoverished beauty finally find their happily-ever-after? Or are some fairy-tale endings simply not meant to be?

“I am a sucker for Beauty and the Beast stories… and I like second chances too.”

What Books Caught Your Eyes This Week?