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Mailbox Monday #594

Mailbox Monday has become a tradition in the blogging world, and many of us thank Marcia of The Printed Page for creating it.

It now has it’s own blog where book bloggers can link up their own mailbox posts and share which books they bought or which they received for review from publishers, authors, and more.

Leslie, Martha, and I also will share our picks from everyone’s links in the new feature Books that Caught Our Eye. We hope you’ll join us.

Here’s what we received:

The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion, an Audible freebie.

“Life changes fast….You sit down to dinner and life as you know it ends.” These were among the first words Joan Didion wrote in January 2004. Her daughter was lying unconscious in an intensive care unit, a victim of pneumonia and septic shock. Her husband, John Gregory Dunne, was dead. The night before New Year’s Eve, while they were sitting down to dinner, he suffered a massive and fatal coronary. The two had lived and worked side by side for nearly 40 years.

The weeks and months that followed “cut loose any fixed idea I had about death, about illness, about probability and luck…about marriage and children and memory…about the shallowness of sanity, about life itself.”

In The Year of Magical Thinking, Didion explores with electric honesty and passion a private yet universal experience. Her portrait of a marriage, and a life, in good times and bad, will speak directly to anyone who has ever loved a husband, a wife, or a child.

Listen to Joan Didion’s full-hour interview with Charlie Rose.

War Girl Ursula: A bittersweet novel of WWII (War Girls Book 1) by Marion Kummerow, a Kindle freebie.

In Berlin, 1943, compassion is a crime.

Newlywed Ursula Hermann is a simple woman, wanting nothing more than an end to the war and the return of her husband from the Russian front.

But some things are not meant to be.

The authorities determine that Ursula’s contribution to the war effort is to guard a prison for undesirables and political prisoners.

Then, the unthinkable happens. A prisoner, Royal Air Force pilot Tom Westlake escapes, and Ursula looks the other way. If her single act of mercy is discovered, her life is forfeit.

When the injured airman returns, seeking her help, it is her opportunity to turn over the enemy and save herself from destruction. In a world where right has become wrong, and wrong has become right, Ursula must make a decision: obey the fatherland, or follow her conscience.

Inspired by true historical events, War Girl Ursula is the unforgettable story of one young woman’s moral courage in the face of unspeakable suffering.

Pemberley: Mr. Darcy’s Dragon by Maria Grace, a win from Diary of an Eccentric.

Fitzwilliam Darcy of Pemberley has the good fortune to be in possession of the first English firedrake egg laid in a century. Or, at least, he was until some miscreant stole it.

Mr. Darcy tracks the thief to Hertfordshire. Catching the thief, however, proves to be an entirely different kettle of brimstone, especially when he encounters fellow Dragon Keeper, Miss Elizabeth Bennet of Longbourn.

Elizabeth Bennet’s deep connection to dragons and remarkable grasp of their lore make her the ideal companion for finding the egg. It’s too bad that from their introduction she finds Darcy arrogant, conceited, and selfishly disdainful of the feelings of others.

Time is running out for Darcy to win Elizabeth’s trust and recover the precious egg before it hatches, and the fragile peace between humans and dragons is lost forever.

What did you receive?