Mailbox Monday #635

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.

This is what we received:

Born in a Second Language by Akosua Zimba Afiriyie-Hwedie from NetGalley.

Born in a Second Language investigates how translation shapes and alters both language and identity as speakers travel through space and time.

In this book, languages are a means of conjuring an existence, of full expression and of defining who one becomes. Home exists on a spectrum: Botswana, Zambia, Ghana, one’s body, music, mother, mother tongue etc.

Akosua Zimba Afiriyie-Hwedie’s book is an exploration of African and female identity, navigating what it means to be in-between identities, languages and homes and how those in-between spaces brush up against each other, and are in themselves, a home too.

Home Is Not a Country by Safia Elhillo from NetGalley.

“Nothing short of magic.” —Elizabeth Acevedo, New York Times bestselling author of The Poet X

From the  acclaimed poet featured on Forbes Africa’s “30 Under 30” list, this powerful novel-in-verse captures one girl, caught between cultures, on an unexpected journey to face the ephemeral girl she might have been. Woven through with moments of lyrical beauty, this is a tender meditation on family, belonging, and home.

my mother meant to name me     for her favorite flower
its sweetness     garlands made     for pretty girls
i imagine her    yasmeen     bright & alive
& i ache to have been born her     instead

Nima wishes she were someone else. She doesn’t feel understood by her mother, who grew up in a different land. She doesn’t feel accepted in her suburban town; yet somehow, she isn’t different enough to belong elsewhere. Her best friend, Haitham, is the only person with whom she can truly be herself. Until she can’t, and suddenly her only refuge is gone.

As the ground is pulled out from under her, Nima must grapple with the phantom of a life not chosen—the name her parents meant to give her at birth—Yasmeen. But that other name, that other girl, might be more real than Nima knows.  And the life Nima wishes were someone else’s. . . is one she will need to fight for with a fierceness she never knew she possessed.

HOWEVER, we do need another host for MM.

We’re looking for a new host to help us with Mailbox Monday — if you have experience with WordPress or Mr. Linky, feel free to apply.

What did you receive?


  1. mail box is interesting

  2. I hope you enjoy your books and have been having a good week.

  3. Both books sound interesting. I haven’t heard of either of them before. I do hope you find someone for MM. I don’t know how to use wordpress myself.

  4. Both of these look interesting and good choices for you especially. Enjoy!

  5. Born in a Second Language looks interesting. I grew up with 2+ and even though English was one of the “2”, it’s still differently spoken and written (British vs. American English).

  6. Born in a Second Language sounds like a read for me. I’m always translating in my head, switching between the languages I grew up with. Home Is Not A Country also looks like a beautiful book. I hope you have a lovely start to the week and do drop by my Monday postif you have the time! – Juli @ A Universe in Words

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