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Mailbox Monday #407

Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia at To Be Continued, formerly The Printed Page, has a permanent home at its own blog.

To check out what everyone has received over the last week, visit the blog and check out the links. Leave yours too.

Also, each week, Leslie, Vicki, and I will share the Books that Caught Our Eye from everyone’s weekly links.

Here’s what I received:

Family Portraits: A Dearest Friends Continuation by Pamela Lynne, a gift from the author.

In Dearest Friends, Pamela Lynne drew complex and interesting characters who joined Darcy and Elizabeth on their road to happily ever after. But, what happened after ‘the end’? Did Lydia survive her time at Rosings? Did Jane find fulfillment as Mrs. Bingley? Did Mary and Sebastian adhere to duty or allow their hearts to lead them? Follow the Fitzwilliams, Bennets, Gardiners and Darcys through portraits of their lives at two, five and ten years after the Darcys’ marriage. Their canvas is studded with heartbreaking loss, new beginnings and, through it all, the indelible bond of family?

A Certain Age by Beatriz Williams for review.

As the freedom of the Jazz Age transforms New York City, the iridescent Mrs. Theresa Marshall of Fifth Avenue and Southampton, Long Island, has done the unthinkable: she’s fallen in love with her young paramour, Captain Octavian Rofrano, a handsome aviator and hero of the Great War. An intense and deeply honorable man, Octavian is devoted to the beautiful socialite of a certain age and wants to marry her. While times are changing and she does adore the Boy, divorce for a woman of Theresa’s wealth and social standing is out of the question, and there is no need; she has an understanding with Sylvo, her generous and well-respected philanderer husband.

But their relationship subtly shifts when her bachelor brother, Ox, decides to tie the knot with the sweet younger daughter of a newly wealthy inventor.

A Jane Austen Christmas: Regency Christmas Traditions by Maria Grace, which I won from JustJane1813.

Many Christmas traditions and images of ‘old fashioned’ holidays are based on Victorian celebrations. Going back just a little further, to the beginning of the 19th century, the holiday Jane Austen knew would have looked distinctly odd to modern sensibilities.

How odd? Families rarely decorated Christmas trees. Festivities centered on socializing instead of gift-giving. Festivities focused on adults, with children largely consigned to the nursery. Holiday events, including balls, parties, dinners, and even weddings celebrations, started a week before Advent and extended all the way through to Twelfth Night in January.

Take a step into history with Maria Grace as she explores the traditions, celebrations, games and foods that made up Christmastide in Jane Austen’s era. Packed with information and rich with detail from period authors, Maria Grace transports the reader to a longed-for old fashioned Christmas.

The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir by Jennifer Ryan for review in 2017.

As England enters World War II’s dark early days, spirited music professor Primrose Trent, recently arrived to the village of Chilbury, emboldens the women of the town to defy the Vicar’s stuffy edict to shutter the church’s choir in the absence of men and instead ‘carry on singing’. Resurrecting themselves as “The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir”, the women of this small village soon use their joint song to lift up themselves, and the community, as the war tears through their lives.

Told through letters and journals, The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir moves seamlessly from budding romances to village intrigues to heartbreaking matters of life and death. As we come to know the struggles of the charismatic members of this unforgettable outfit — a timid widow worried over her son at the front; the town beauty drawn to a rakish artist; her younger sister nursing an impossible crush and dabbling in politics she doesn’t understand; a young Jewish refugee hiding secrets about her family, and a conniving midwife plotting to outrun her seedy past — we come to see how the strength each finds in the choir’s collective voice reverberates in her individual life.

In turns funny, charming and heart-wrenching, this lovingly executed ensemble novel will charm and inspire, illuminating the true spirit of the women on the home front, in a village of indomitable spirit, at the dawn of a most terrible conflict.

The Orphan’s Tale by Pam Jenoff for review in 2017.

Seventeen-year-old Noa has been cast out in disgrace after becoming pregnant by a Nazi soldier during the occupation of her native Holland. Heartbroken over the loss of the baby she was forced to give up for adoption, she lives above a small German rail station, which she cleans in order to earn her keep.

When Noa discovers a boxcar containing dozens of Jewish infants, unknown children ripped from their parents and headed for a concentration camp, she is reminded of the baby that was taken from her. In a moment that will change the course of her life, she steals one of the babies and flees into the snowy night, where she is rescued by a German circus.

The circus owner offers to teach Noa the flying trapeze act so she can blend in undetected, spurning the resentment of the lead aerialist, Astrid. At first rivals, Noa and Astrid soon forge a powerful bond. But as the facade that protects them proves increasingly tenuous, Noa and Astrid must decide whether their unlikely friendship is enough to save one another—or if the secrets that burn between them will destroy everything.

From my secret Santa:

Overheard in Hell

Take Out From the Writer’s Cafe

By Candlelight: Dark Imagination

Straying from the Path

Dancing on the Edge

If My Sandcastle Drowns… Can I Live With You?

What did you receive?

Mailbox Monday #406

Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia at To Be Continued, formerly The Printed Page, has a permanent home at its own blog.

To check out what everyone has received over the last week, visit the blog and check out the links. Leave yours too.

Also, each week, Leslie, Vicki, and I will share the Books that Caught Our Eye from everyone’s weekly links.

Here’s what I received?

A Million Little Things by Susan Mallery, a surprise from Tandem Literary.

Zoe Saldivar is more than just single-she’s ALONE. She recently broke up with her longtime boyfriend, she works from home and her best friend Jen is so obsessed with her baby that she has practically abandoned their friendship. The day Zoe accidentally traps herself in her attic with her hungry-looking cat, she realizes that it’s up to her to stop living in isolation.

Her seemingly empty life takes a sudden turn for the complicated-her first new friend is Jen’s widowed mom, Pam. The only guy to give her butterflies in a very long time is Jen’s brother. And meanwhile, Pam is being very deliberately seduced by Zoe’s own smooth-as-tequila father. Pam’s flustered, Jen’s annoyed and Zoe is beginning to think “alone” doesn’t sound so bad, after all.

The Guests on South Battery by Karen White for review.

With her extended maternity leave at its end, Melanie Trenholm is less than thrilled to leave her new husband and beautiful twins to return to work, especially when she’s awoken by a phone call with no voice on the other end—and the uneasy feeling that the ghostly apparitions that have stayed silent for more than a year are about to invade her life once more.

But her return to the realty office goes better than she could have hoped, with a new client eager to sell the home she recently inherited on South Battery. Most would treasure living in one of the grandest old homes in the famous historic district of Charleston, but Jayne Smith would rather sell hers as soon as possible, guaranteeing Melanie a quick commission.

Despite her stroke of luck, Melanie can’t deny that spirits—both malevolent and benign—have started to show themselves to her again. One is shrouded from sight, but appears whenever Jayne is near. Another arrives when an old cistern is discovered in Melanie’s backyard on Tradd Street.

Melanie knows nothing good can come from unearthing the past. But some secrets refuse to stay buried….

What did you get?

Mailbox Monday #405

Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia at To Be Continued, formerly The Printed Page, has a permanent home at its own blog.

To check out what everyone has received over the last week, visit the blog and check out the links. Leave yours too.

Also, each week, Leslie, Vicki, and I will share the Books that Caught Our Eye from everyone’s weekly links.

Here’s what I received:

The Secret Life of Lilykins by Max Goodman, illustrated by Erik Mace, for review.

On the surface, Lilykins lives the life of a typical house cat. But Lilykins has another life – a secret life – that transports her to a world of incredible adventures. “The Secret Life of Lilykins” is a story filled with animals, adventure and absurdity. But at its core, it’s a story about the power of imagination.

Doctor Who Psychology: A Madman with a Box by Travis Langley and Katy Manning, a surprise from Sterling Publishing.

If a person could travel eternally through space and time, how would this power affect him, psychologically and emotionally? In a fun and accessible way, Doctor Who Psychology explores this question through an analysis of the longest-running sci-fi TV series of all time. This fascinating in-depth academic study, edited by Travis Langley, contains 20 essays delving into the psychology behind the time-traveling Doctor in his many iterations, as well as his companions and his foes.

The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck from Diary of an Eccentric.

Set at the end of World War II, in a crumbling Bavarian castle that once played host to all of German high society, a powerful and propulsive story of three widows whose lives and fates become intertwined—an affecting, shocking, and ultimately redemptive novel from the author of the New York Times Notable Book The Hazards of Good Breeding

Amid the ashes of Nazi Germany’s defeat, Marianne von Lingenfels returns to the once grand castle of her husband’s ancestors, an imposing stone fortress now fallen into ruin following years of war. The widow of a resistor murdered in the failed July, 20, 1944, plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler, Marianne plans to uphold the promise she made to her husband’s brave conspirators: to find and protect their wives, her fellow resistance widows.

First, Marianne rescues six-year-old Martin, the son of her dearest childhood friend, from a Nazi reeducation home. Together, they make their way across the smoldering wreckage of their homeland to Berlin, where Martin’s mother, the beautiful and naïve Benita, has fallen into the hands of occupying Red Army soldiers. Then she locates Ania, another resistor’s wife, and her two boys, now refugees languishing in one of the many camps that house the millions displaced by the war.

As Marianne assembles this makeshift family from the ruins of her husband’s resistance movement, she is certain their shared pain and circumstances will hold them together. But she quickly discovers that the black-and-white, highly principled world of her privileged past has become infinitely more complicated, filled with secrets and dark passions that threaten to tear them apart. Eventually, all three women must come to terms with the choices that have defined their lives before, during, and after the war—each with their own unique share of challenges.

What did you receive?

Mailbox Monday #404

Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia at To Be Continued, formerly The Printed Page, has a permanent home at its own blog.

To check out what everyone has received over the last week, visit the blog and check out the links. Leave yours too.

Also, each week, Leslie, Vicki, and I will share the Books that Caught Our Eye from everyone’s weekly links.

Here’s what I received:

March, Vol. 1-3 by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, Nate Powell, which I purchased.

Congressman John Lewis (GA-5) is an American icon, one of the key figures of the civil rights movement. His commitment to justice and nonviolence has taken him from an Alabama sharecropper’s farm to the halls of Congress, from a segregated schoolroom to the 1963 March on Washington, and from receiving beatings from state troopers to receiving the Medal of Freedom from the first African-American president.

The Performance of Becoming Human by Daniel Borzutzky, which I purchased.

Winner of the 2016 National Book Award in Poetry. Daniel Borzutzky’s new collection of poetry, The Performance of Becoming Human, draws hemispheric connections between the US and Latin America, specifically touching upon issues relating to border and immigration policies, economic disparity, political violence, and the disturbing rhetoric of capitalism and bureaucracies. To become human is to navigate these borders, including those of institutions, the realities of over- and under-development, and the economies of privatization, in which humans endure state-sanctioned and systemic abuses. Borzutzky, whose writing Eileen Myles has described as “violent, perverse, and tender” in its portrayal of “American and global horror,” adds another chapter to a growing and important compilation of work that asks what it means to a be both a unitedstatesian and a globalized subject whose body is “shared between the earth, the state, and the bank.”

The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen, which I purchased.

The winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, as well as five other awards, The Sympathizer is the breakthrough novel of the year. With the pace and suspense of a thriller and prose that has been compared to Graham Greene and Saul Bellow, The Sympathizer is a sweeping epic of love and betrayal. The narrator, a communist double agent, is a “man of two minds,” a half-French, half-Vietnamese army captain who arranges to come to America after the Fall of Saigon, and while building a new life with other Vietnamese refugees in Los Angeles is secretly reporting back to his communist superiors in Vietnam. The Sympathizer is a blistering exploration of identity and America, a gripping espionage novel, and a powerful story of love and friendship.

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead, which I purchased.

Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. Life is hellish for all the slaves but especially bad for Cora; an outcast even among her fellow Africans, she is coming into womanhood – where even greater pain awaits. When Caesar, a recent arrival from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they decide to take a terrifying risk and escape. Matters do not go as planned and, though they manage to find a station and head north, they are being hunted.

In Whitehead’s ingenious conception, the Underground Railroad is no mere metaphor – engineers and conductors operate a secret network of tracks and tunnels beneath the Southern soil. Cora and Caesar’s first stop is South Carolina, in a city that initially seems like a haven – but the city’s placid surface masks an insidious scheme designed for its black denizens. Even worse: Ridgeway, the relentless slave catcher, is close on their heels. Forced to flee again, Cora embarks on a harrowing flight, state by state, seeking true freedom.

As Whitehead brilliantly re-creates the unique terrors for black people in the pre-Civil War era, his narrative seamlessly weaves the saga of America from the brutal importation of Africans to the unfulfilled promises of the present day. The Underground Railroad is at once a kinetic adventure tale of one woman’s ferocious will to escape the horrors of bondage and a shattering, powerful meditation on the history we all share.

The Many Lives of Fitzwilliam Darcy by Beau North and Brooke West, a giveaway win.

After Elizabeth Bennet rejects his marriage proposal, Fitzwilliam Darcy finds himself in the most unusual of circumstances. At first believing the extraordinary turn of events has granted him an inexplicable boon, he is eager to put the humiliating proposal behind him.

He soon discovers that he is trapped in the same waking dream with no end in sight and no possible escape. All that he holds dear—his name, his home, his love—remains ever out of reach. How will he find his way back to his normal life? Will one mistake haunt the rest of his days? It will take all of his fortitude to weather the storms of his strange new fate, and all of his courage to grasp the promise of his future.

What did you receive?

Mailbox Monday #403

Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia at To Be Continued, formerly The Printed Page, has a permanent home at its own blog.

To check out what everyone has received over the last week, visit the blog and check out the links. Leave yours too.

Also, each week, Leslie, Vicki, and I will share the Books that Caught Our Eye from everyone’s weekly links.

Here’s what I received:

Frankenstein Darcy by Cass Grix, a giveaway win at JustJane1813.

Pride and Prejudice meets Frankenstein. When he first comes to Hertfordshire, Frankenstein Darcy is a man of secrets, wanting to find peace. Falling in love with a provincial nobody is not in his plans. Elizabeth Bennet is both intrigued by this tall, dark, handsome stranger and infuriated by his arrogance. Neither of them realize how dangerous falling in love can be.

Frankenstein Darcy is a fun, romantic literary mashup, following the basic plot of Pride and Prejudice, one of the world’s greatest romances, and combining it with the themes of Frankenstein, one of the world’s greatest Gothic stories.

In this full length novel, Darcy and Elizabeth deal with the conflict between science and religion, nature vs.nurture, love and friendship, and inner and outer beauty.

Darcy at Last by Jane Grix, a bonus from the giveaway win.

After an accident, Elizabeth Bennet has amnesia. She cannot remember the past few months – including Mr. Darcy’s disastrous proposal. Although concerned for Elizabeth’s health, Darcy realizes he now has a second chance to win her heart.

Mr. Bennet’s Dutiful Daughter by Joana Starnes, which I won from the blog tour.

When Colonel Fitzwilliam’s disclosures are interrupted by the bearer of distressing news from Longbourn, Miss Elizabeth Bennet is compelled to accept an offer she would have otherwise dismissed out of hand. An offer of marriage from the all-too-proud Mr Darcy.

Yet how is she to live with a husband she hardly knows and does not love? Will she continue to feel trapped in a marriage of convenience while events conspire to divide them? Or would love grow as, day by day and hour after hour, she learns to understand the man she married, before she loses his trust and his heart?

Given the ‘early marriage’ premise, the issue of growing affection and intimacy is central to the story. The scenes are not graphic, but the novel does address mature themes.

Make and Move: Shark by Jen Green for review.

Get an up-close look at a shark’s body systems in Make and Move: Shark. This illustrated learning guide presents basic facts about shark anatomy in an easily accessible format, with colorful illustrations, simple explanations, and a large 20-piece floor puzzle with hinged joints. As readers learn about various types of sharks and how their bodies enable them to survive in the depths of the ocean, the puzzle is assembled layer by layer, providing a complete overview of how sharks have come to rule the world beneath the waves.

Animal Adventures: Sharks by Cynthia Stierle for review.

Animal Adventures: Sharks will take you beneath the ocean’s surface to meet the many sharks that lurk in the depths. Have fun while learning, encounter sharks—large and small, gentle and fierce—with colorful illustrations and fascinating facts, and then build a diorama. Everything you need to explore the ocean is right here.
*This unique set includes a book full of colorful illustrations and intriguing facts about sharks, plus 3-D animal models and a diorama with reusable stickers.
*Journey to all the world’s oceans to learn everything you need to know about these mysterious creatures.
Animal Adventures: Sharks offers a unique learning experience as you meet wild and exotic animals face-to-face.

What did you receive?

Mailbox Monday #402

Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia at To Be Continued, formerly The Printed Page, has a permanent home at its own blog.

To check out what everyone has received over the last week, visit the blog and check out the links. Leave yours too.

Also, each week, Leslie, Vicki, and I will share the Books that Caught Our Eye from everyone’s weekly links.

Here’s what I received:

Womb: A Novel in Utero by Eric D. Goodman for review, which will be published in Spring 2017.

What makes Womb most unique is the unusual narrator. Set in the city and suburbs of Baltimore, Womb is narrated from the point of view of a child still in utero. He describes his own reality inside the womb, his connection to the collective consciousness, and also narrates (through his own perspective) the drama of his mother’s life as she deals with her pregnancy, friends, family and work. Womb has been compared to Room by Emma Donoghue in style, as well as The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold. Womb is due for delivery on Spring 2017.

Shine-a-Light: Secrets of the Rainforest by Carron Brown, Alyssa Nassner — a gift for my daughter from Usborne Books…shhhh

Discover the amazing animals that live in the lush rainforest, with this gorgeously illustrated book of natures hidden habitats. By simply holding the book up to the light, or shining a light behind each page, young children will be able to discover the animals and plants that live in and around a kapok tree, from the colourful parrots in the canopy, to the sleek jaguar on the forest floor. The innovative see-through feature fulfils a similar function to lift-the-flaps books, but has the added interactive dimension of the child being able to see both the surface and the hidden picture at the same time.

A Tale of Two Beasts by Fiona Roberton, another gift for the little one.

A little girl rescues a strange beast in the woods and carries him safely home. But the beast is not happy and escapes! A funny and charming tale about seeing both sides of the story.

What did you receive in your mailbox?

Mailbox Monday #401

Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia at To Be Continued, formerly The Printed Page, has a permanent home at its own blog.

To check out what everyone has received over the last week, visit the blog and check out the links. Leave yours too.

Also, each week, Leslie, Vicki, and I will share the Books that Caught Our Eye from everyone’s weekly links.

Here’s what I received:

Books we got from Usborne included:

Billy the Goat’s Big Breakfast by Jez Alborough

Nat the Cat makes some lovely homemade bread for her friends to share. But Billy the Goat is too greedy to wait for the bread to bake — and he gulps down a sneaky mouthful of the delicious-looking dough… Soon his tummy has swollen up like a fresh loaf of bread. What will Nat the Cat say when she finds out?

Sticker Dolly Dressing Dream Jobs by Emily Bone

This is an exciting addition to the successful “Sticker Dolly Dressing” series that follows three best friends, Becca, Katy and Leyla, as they prepare to start work, then imagine what their dream jobs would be. This title features all kinds of different jobs – caring for elephants at an elephant sanctuary in Africa, scouring a crime scene for clues as a forensic scientist, working out dance routines in a hit musical, designing costumes for a period drama, and lots, lots more. It includes over 350 stickers to dress the dolls so they’re ready for each job.

The Usborne Book of Fairy Tales by Heather Amery, illustrated by Stephen Cartwright

Charming picture book of six classic fairy tales (Cinderella, The Story of Rumpelstiltskin, Little Red Riding Hood, Sleeping Beauty, Goldilocks and the Three Bears & Three Little Pigs). Dual-level text, on each page a simple line for beginner readers and a more complex one which can be read aloud by an adult or reading child.

50 Science Things to Make & Do

Age Level: 9 and up | Grade Level: 4 and up | Series: Usborne Activities 50 Science Things to Make amp Do contains simple step-by-step activities that combine hands-on fun and scientific investigation. Authors: Georgina Andrews and Kate Knighton Format: 104 pages, hardcover, spiral bound.

Zombie Sticker Book, purchased from Usborne.

A madcap sticker book that comes with over 600 stickers which you can use to bring the zany scenes to life. It helps you discover what happens when the vibrant town of Cozyville becomes a zombie zone.

 

For Review:

Marlene by C.W. Gortner for review with TLC Book Tours in December.

Raised in genteel poverty after the first World War, Maria Magdalena Dietrich dreams of a life on the stage. When a budding career as a violinist is cut short, the willful teenager vows to become a singer, trading her family’s proper, middle class society for the free-spirited, louche world of Weimar Berlin’s cabarets and drag balls. With her sultry beauty, smoky voice, seductive silk cocktail dresses, and androgynous tailored suits, Marlene performs to packed houses, and becomes entangled in a series of stormy love affairs that push the boundaries of social convention.

For the beautiful, desirous Lili Marlene, neither fame nor marriage and motherhood can cure her wanderlust. As Hitler and the Nazis rise to power, she sets sail for America. Rivaling the success of another European import, Greta Garbo, Marlene quickly becomes one of Hollywood’s leading ladies, starring with legends such as Gary Cooper, John Wayne, and Cary Grant. Desperate for her return, Hitler tries to lure her with dazzling promises. Marlene instead chooses to become an American citizen, and after her new nation is forced into World War II, tours with the USO, performing for thousands of Allied troops in Europe and Africa.

But one day she will return to Germany. Escorted by General George Patton himself, Marlene is heartbroken by the war’s devastation and the evil legacy of the Third Reich that has transformed her homeland and the family she loved.

An enthralling and insightful account of this extraordinary legend, Marlene reveals the inner life of a woman of grit, glamour, and ambition who defied convention, seduced the world, and forged her own path on her own terms.

Dogs and Their People from BarkPost by Morgane Chang, Stacie Grissom, and illustrated by Dave Coverly, which I won from Suko’s Notebook.

Finally, Bark & Co. has tapped the humans at BarkPost, the company’s publishing arm, to put into words and photographs the first official BarkBook, capturing the depth, spirit, and power of the extraordinary bond between humans and their pups.

Mostly community-sourced and filled with never-before-told anecdotes, stories, photos, and intimate insights, Dogs and Their People spotlights over 200 unique and remarkable dogs. Some are celebri-dogs while others are just making their debut; some will make your heart ache, while others will make it soar; and others simply look really dapper in color. All bring to life and celebrate the crazy, consuming, insatiable love we feel for the World’s Ultimate Best Friend in a book that is the perfect gift for Dog Lovers everywhere.

What did you receive?

Mailbox Monday #400

Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia at To Be Continued, formerly The Printed Page, has a permanent home at its own blog.

To check out what everyone has received over the last week, visit the blog and check out the links. Leave yours too.

Also, each week, Leslie, Vicki, and I will share the Books that Caught Our Eye from everyone’s weekly links.

Here’s what I received:

Without a Conscience by Cat Gardiner for review in November.

Someone wants to kill The Iceman, Fitzwilliam Darcy, and will stop at nothing to lure him into the open. Out for retribution, the son of an assassinated South American drug lord is seeking payback. His diabolical objective puts Operation Macarena into play by dangling bait guaranteed to entice his enemy. Can Darcy’s new bride, Liz, accept his decision to leave their tranquil life at Pemberley to resume the deadly profession he swore was behind them forever?

But are Darcy and Liz each fully satisfied with their simple, peaceful existence raising polo ponies and planning exotic vacations? Darcy set Liz’s spirit free; how can she resist the urge to ride on the wild side? Perhaps coming out of retirement is just what her husband needs because The Iceman never truly melted.

Without a Conscience takes readers on an adventure from the dangerous Peruvian Amazon Basin to the salacious underbelly of Parisian nightlife, leading toward a perilous rescue in Moscow.

Essential Readings & Study Guide by K.V. Dominic, which Anna passed on to me.

“K. V. Dominic Essential Readings” gathers for the first time the three most important works of poetry from this shining new light of contemporary Indian verse in English: “Winged Reason,” “Write Son, Write” and “Multicultural Symphony.” A fourth collection of 22 previously unpublished poems round out a complete look at the first 12 years of Dominic’s prolific and profound verse. Each poem includes unique Study Guide questions suitable for South Asian studies curricula.

Written in free verse, each of his poems makes the reader contemplate on intellectual, philosophical, spiritual, political, and social issues of the present world. Themes range from multiculturalism, environmental issues, social mafia, caste-ism, exploitation of women and children, poverty, and corruption to purely introspective matters. From the observation of neighborhood life to international events, and everyday forgotten tragedies of India, nothing escapes the grasp of Dominic’s keen sense of the fragility of life and morality in the modern world.

R2-D2 and C-3P0’s Guide to the Galaxy (LEGO Star Wars) by Ace Landers, which my daughter picked from her school’s book fair (primarily because it came with a C-3P0 lego character)

A guide to the good guys, bad guys, places and vehicles from LEGO(R) STAR WARS(TM) presented by R2D2 and C-3P0. The two fan-favorite Droids introduce each chapter (i.e. heroes, villains, vehicles, places) and occasionally pop in to comment on things via comic book word balloons, making for a humorous and fresh take on the LEGO(R) STAR WARS(TM) Universe. Plus, comes with buildable C-3P0 minifigure!

Draw DC Universe: Learn to Draw the Heroes and the Villains by Kaitlyn Nichols, which she got from the book fair as well.

This book is a complete how-to-draw package, jammed with expert tips and techniques, tons of practice space, and of course, a universe of DC heroes and villains. The draw-right-in-it book comes with everything you need: a sketching pencil, a drawing marker, artist Have fun

The Little Shop of Monsters by R.L. Stine, illustrated by Marc Brown, which she picked from the book fair.

A frighteningly fun picture book adventure from two monstrously talented children’s book icons–Marc Brown and R.L. Stine!

Are you are afraid of monsters?
Do they make you shiver and shake and shut your eyes really tight at night?

Welcome to the Little Shop of Monsters! Do you want a SNEEZER? A TICKLER? Or one of the CREEPIEST monsters of all? Come on in and choose your favorite, if you dare (before one of them chooses YOU!).

Renowned children’s book creators Marc Brown and R.L. Stine join forces for the very first time-in Stine’s picture book debut-with a tale that is monstrously good fun.

Trick or Treat! by Hayley Down, illustrated by Sarah Vince, which she selected from the book fair.

As Halloween approaches, children will be excited to explore this super spooky story. It contains a silicone torch that can be used to light up the pages and reveal some hidden artwork. Dim the lights of the room for extra effect!

A funny, rhyming story that will help children understand that Halloween doesn’t have to be scary, it’s full of pictures of fun costumes. Shine the torch and you’ll be able to see the excited children inside them!

Political Theatre by Mark Peterson, already reviewed in November.

Over the past two years New York–based Mark Peterson (born 1955) has photographed American presidential candidates as they lead rallies, meet with the public and plead for votes. He began documenting the race shortly before the government shutdown in 2013 at a Tea Party rally at the US Capitol, when politicians were railing against President Obama and the Affordable Care Act. Since then Peterson has followed the political spin as it approaches the November 2016 election, creating already-famous images of Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Sarah Palin, Chris Christie and others, cutting through the staging of their personalities and revealing the cold, naked ambition for power. This volume documents what has been widely described as the most polarized and bizarre presidential race in American history.

What did you receive?

Mailbox Monday #399

Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia at To Be Continued, formerly The Printed Page, has a permanent home at its own blog.

To check out what everyone has received over the last week, visit the blog and check out the links. Leave yours too.

Also, each week, Leslie, Vicki, and I will share the Books that Caught Our Eye from everyone’s weekly links.

Here’s what I received:

Guilty Conscience by Cat Gardiner, which I already loved.  Thanks to her for sending such an awesome gift with it.

This BONUS NOVELETTE: Guilty Conscience brings us six vignettes as we await the sequel to the first book in the Conscience Series. It is not a stand-alone piece and it is recommended that you read Denial of Conscience first.

Questions such as: What is married life like for newlyweds Fitzwilliam and Liz Darcy after their whirlwind romance in Denial of Conscience? Can the protective Darcy give his new wife wings to fly without holding on too tight? Can the newly freed Liz learn to compromise after being essentially imprisoned at Longbourn? You’ll also get a glimpse into what the future may bring this couple in Without a Conscience. Does danger lurk around the corner? Although Iceman has retired from Obsidian and trains polo ponies, could he be drawn back into black ops?

Magnesium by Ray Buckley from Mindbuck Media for review.

Magnesium is a collection of poetry, prose, and dialogues. The book will be released January 10, 2017.

Darcy’s Hope: Beauty from Ashes by Ginger Monette for review from the author.

1916. World War I has turned French chateaus into bloody field hospitals, British gentlemen into lice-infested soldiers, and left Elizabeth Bennet’s life in tatters.

Her father is dead and her home destroyed. Never again will Elizabeth depend on a man to secure her future!

But when an opportunity arises to advance her dreams of becoming a doctor, she is elated–until HE arrives….

Heartbroken. Devastated. Captain Fitzwilliam Darcy is left rejected by the woman he loved and reeling from the slaughter of his men on the battlefield. “Enough!” Darcy vows. “No more sentimental attachments!”

“No comrades, no dog, and certainly no woman!”

But arriving at a field hospital to pursue a covert investigation, Darcy discovers his beloved Elizabeth training with a dashing American doctor and embroiled in an espionage conspiracy.

With only a few months to expose the plot, Darcy is forced to grapple with his feelings for Elizabeth while uncovering the truth. Is she indeed innocent?

What did you receive?

Mailbox Monday #398

Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia at To Be Continued, formerly The Printed Page, has a permanent home at its own blog.

To check out what everyone has received over the last week, visit the blog and check out the links. Leave yours too.

Also, each week, Leslie, Vicki, and I will share the Books that Caught Our Eye from everyone’s weekly links.

Here’s what I received:

A Lowcountry Christmas by Mary Alice Monroe, a surprise from Tandem Literary.

A wounded warrior and his younger brother discover the true meaning of Christmas in this timeless story of family bonds.

As far as ten-year-old Miller McClellan is concerned, it’s the worst Christmas ever. His father’s shrimp boat is docked, his mother is working two jobs, and with finances strained, Miller is told they can’t afford the dog he desperately wants. “Your brother’s return from war is our family’s gift,” his parents tell him. But when Taylor returns with PTSD, family strains darken the holidays.

Then Taylor’s service dog arrives—a large black Labrador/Great Dane named Thor. His brother even got the dog! When Miller goes out on Christmas Eve with his father’s axe, determined to get his family the tree they can’t afford, he takes the dog for company—but accidentally winds up lost in the wild forest. The splintered family must come together to rediscover their strengths, family bond, and the true meaning of Christmas.

Stuck on fun!: Play with patterns, sticker tape, and more! by Jannie Ho

Stuck on Fun introduces young crafters to the creative possibilities of decorative tape and patterns. This interactive book comes with fully illustrated punch-out cards and characters, as well as stickers, sticker tape, patterned paper, and stencils to decorate, embellish, and personalize each punch-out in a unique and colorful way. Also included is a 16-page project book filled with simple instructions for designing and creating unique patterns from the included materials as well as an assortment of common craft supplies. Kids will have a blast creating their own unique character designs, doodles, and patterns. From washi tape, patterned paper, and stickers to stencils and punch-outs, this book is a perfect gift for crafters of all ages!

What did you receive?

Mailbox Monday #397

Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia at To Be Continued, formerly The Printed Page, has a permanent home at its own blog.

To check out what everyone has received over the last week, visit the blog and check out the links. Leave yours too.

Also, each week, Leslie, Vicki, and I will share the Books that Caught Our Eye from everyone’s weekly links.

Here’s what my daughter received from Scholastic Book Club and the library sale:

Pete the Cat: Groovy Phonics Game

1001 Things to Spot in Fairyland

Zootopia: Big Trouble in Little Rodentia

The Good Dinosaur: A Boy Named Spot

National Geographic Kids: Nighttime

Paw Patrol: King for a Day!

Red: A Crayon’s Story by Michael Hall

Little Tree by Loren Long

Max the Brave by Ed Vere

Night Animals by Gianna Marino

How Do Dinosaurs Stay Friends? by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague

Five Little Monkeys Reading in Bed by Eileen Christelow

Scooby-Doo! and the Monster of Mexico

Just Like Dora!

Pizza and Other Stinky Poems, pictures by Amanda Haley

The Night I Followed the Dog by Nina Laden

What did you receive?

Mailbox Monday #396

Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia at To Be Continued, formerly The Printed Page, has a permanent home at its own blog.

To check out what everyone has received over the last week, visit the blog and check out the links. Leave yours too.

Also, each week, Leslie, Vicki, and I will share the Books that Caught Our Eye from everyone’s weekly links.

Here’s what I received:

Poetry for Kids: Emily Dickinson edited by Susan Snively for review from QuartoKnows and MoonDance Press.

As the premier title in the Poetry for Kids series, Emily Dickinson introduces children to the works of poet Emily Dickinson. Poet, professor, and scholar Susan Snively has carefully chosen 35 poems of interest to children and their families. Each poem is beautifully illustrated by Christine Davenier and thoroughly explained by an expert. The gentle introduction, which is divided into sections by season of the year, includes commentary, definitions of important words, and a foreword.

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, which I snagged at the library sale.

Little Women is the heartwarming story of the March family that has thrilled generations of readers. It is the story of four sisters–Jo, Meg, Amy and Beth– and of the courage, humor and ingenuity they display to survive poverty and the absence of their father during the Civil War.

Adrienne Rich’s Poetry, also snagged at the library sale.

This wonderful book: Adrienne, Rich Poetry: Texts of the Poems is a joy. The editor have carefully chooses their materials to provide the opportunity for an on-going study in the classroom, of an important American poet.

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou, also snagged at the library sale.

Sent by their mother to live with their devout, self-sufficient grandmother in a small Southern town, Maya and her brother, Bailey, endure the ache of abandonment and the prejudice of the local “powhitetrash.” At eight years old and back at her mother’s side in St. Louis, Maya is attacked by a man many times her age—and has to live with the consequences for a lifetime. Years later, in San Francisco, Maya learns that love for herself, the kindness of others, her own strong spirit, and the ideas of great authors (“I met and fell in love with William Shakespeare”) will allow her to be free instead of imprisoned.

What did you receive?