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Mailbox Monday #536

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 I received:

National Geographic Kids: Weird But True: USA

Calling all patriots! Get ready to explore wacky wonders, facts, stats, tidbits, and trivia about America’s 50 states and territories! Did you know that there is a floating post office in Michigan? Or that a library book checked out by George Washington was returned to a New York City library 221 years late? Maybe you’d be amazed to discover that the ink used to print U.S. paper money is magnetic? In this latest and greatest edition of Weird But True!, you’ll encounter all kinds of bizarre people, places, events, and things that make our country great.

What did you receive?

Mailbox Monday #535

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 I received:

Birthday Suit by Lauren Blakely, purchased from Audible.

There is no rule in the Man Code as unbreakable as this: No matter how beautiful, smart, clever, and witty she is, do not – under any circumstances – fall in love with your best friend’s woman. Yeah. So there’s that. Look, it’s not like I didn’t know I screwed up by falling for her.

Also, for the record, unrequited love sucks big time. And, I might have cut myself some slack by now, given everything that went down in the last few years, but Lulu just walked back into my life in a big way.

There are three things I’ve never been able to resist – my friends, my family, and chocolate. Leo Hennessy? He was nowhere on that list. He’s been a true friend – a friend who walked through hell and back with me. Now, I’m stepping into my new future. I didn’t expect it to include a riddle-filled, race-against-the-clock scavenger hunt across New York City. With Leo.

Suddenly, I’m looking at this man with new eyes… But my life spun out because of a man once before, and I can’t risk my fresh start, no matter what the temptation. And Leo is most definitely a temptation of the sexiest, sweetest, and most dangerous variety. More irresistibly delicious than chocolate….

Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover, purchased from Audible.

Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, Tara Westover was 17 the first time she set foot in a classroom. Her family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education and no one to intervene when one of Tara’s older brothers became violent. When another brother got himself into college, Tara decided to try a new kind of life. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge University. Only then would she wonder if she’d traveled too far, if there was still a way home.

Along the Broken Bay by Flora J. Solomon, an Amazon freebie.

December 1941. War has erupted in the Pacific, spelling danger for Gina Capelli Thorpe, an American expat living in Manila. When the Japanese invade and her husband goes missing, Gina flees with her daughter to the Zambales Mountains to avoid capture—or worse.

Desperate for money, medicine, and guns, the resistance recruits Gina to join their underground army and smuggles her back to Manila. There, she forges a new identity and opens a nightclub, where seductive beauties sing, dance, and tease secrets out of high-ranking Japanese officers while the wildly successful club and its enemy patrons help fund the resistance.

But operating undercover in the spotlight has Gina struggling to stay a step ahead of the Japanese. She’s risked everything to take a stand, but her club is a house of cards in the eye of a storm. Can Gina keep this delicate operation running long enough to outlast the enemy, or is she on a sure path to defeat that will put her family, her freedom, or even her life at risk?

What did you receive?

 

Mailbox Monday #534

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 I received:

The 3-Day Effect by Florence Williams, an Audible original download.

Does nature really make us feel better? The 3-Day Effect takes a look at the science behind why being in the wild can make us happier, healthier, and more creative. Whether it’s rafting down Utah’s Green River, hiking in Utah’s wilderness, or walking through Rock Creek Park in Washington, DC, scientists are finding that the more exposure humans have to nature, the more we can benefit from reduced anxiety, enhanced creativity, and overall well-being.

Trek with science journalist Florence Williams and researchers as we guide former war veterans, sex trafficking survivors, and even a nature hater on three-day excursions to the wild to see how being outdoors offers something like a miracle cure for an array of serious and everyday ailments. They wire themselves up to see what happens under the vast sky.

The Child by Jan Hahn, an Audible for review.

In Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice,” Fitzwilliam Darcy’s proposal to Elizabeth Bennet at Hunsford is disastrous. In Jan Hahn’s “The Child,” Darcy flees England soon afterward, striving to overcome his longing for her. Upon his return two years later—while standing on the steps of St. George’s Church in Hanover Square—he spies the very woman he has vowed to forget. But who is the child holding her hand?

Darcy soon discovers that Elizabeth and her family are suffering the effects of a devastating scandal. His efforts to help the woman he still loves only worsen her family’s plight. His misguided pride entangles him in a web of falsehood, fateful alliances, and danger.

Will Elizabeth be able to forgive Darcy for his good intentions gone awry? And what effect will the child have on Darcy’s hopes to win Elizabeth’s love?

The Journey by Jan Hahn, an Audible for review.

Shortly after the Netherfield ball, Elizabeth Bennet begins a journey to visit her relations in London with her travelling companions, Mr. Bingley’s sisters and the proud, arrogant Mr. Darcy. Suddenly, their carriage is abruptly stopped, and Elizabeth hears the menacing cry, “Stand and deliver!” Abduction The leader of a band of highwaymen, Nate Morgan, a handsome, masked rogue, plans to seize Elizabeth for his amusement, but Darcy steps forward and offers himself as a hostage in her place. When his proposal fails to secure Elizabeth’s release, Darcy makes a shocking declaration-Elizabeth is his wife! Romance At a time when a woman’s future could be ruined by the slightest hint of scandal, Elizabeth’s reputation will depend not only upon the actions of a hero but a villain as well. Filled with danger, excitement, daring and passion, The Journey follows Jane Austen’s beloved characters from Pride and Prejudice as they embark on a fateful journey that changes their lives forever.

What did you receive?

Mailbox Monday #533

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 I received:

Marilla of Green Gables by Sarah McCoy, which I purchased at the Gaithersburg Book Festival.

A bold, heartfelt tale of life at Green Gables . . . before Anne: A marvelously entertaining and moving historical novel, set in rural Prince Edward Island in the nineteenth century, that imagines the young life of spinster Marilla Cuthbert, and the choices that will open her life to the possibility of heartbreak—and unimaginable greatness.

Plucky and ambitious, Marilla Cuthbert is thirteen years old when her world is turned upside down. Her beloved mother has dies in childbirth, and Marilla suddenly must bear the responsibilities of a farm wife: cooking, sewing, keeping house, and overseeing the day-to-day life of Green Gables with her brother, Matthew and father, Hugh.

In Avonlea—a small, tight-knit farming town on a remote island—life holds few options for farm girls. Her one connection to the wider world is Aunt Elizabeth “Izzy” Johnson, her mother’s sister, who managed to escape from Avonlea to the bustling city of St. Catharines. An opinionated spinster, Aunt Izzy’s talent as a seamstress has allowed her to build a thriving business and make her own way in the world.

Emboldened by her aunt, Marilla dares to venture beyond the safety of Green Gables and discovers new friends and new opportunities. Joining the Ladies Aid Society, she raises funds for an orphanage run by the Sisters of Charity in nearby Nova Scotia that secretly serves as a way station for runaway slaves from America. Her budding romance with John Blythe, the charming son of a neighbor, offers her a possibility of future happiness—Marilla is in no rush to trade one farm life for another. She soon finds herself caught up in the dangerous work of politics, and abolition—jeopardizing all she cherishes, including her bond with her dearest John Blythe. Now Marilla must face a reckoning between her dreams of making a difference in the wider world and the small-town reality of life at Green Gables.

Friday Black by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, which I purchased at the Gaithersburg Book Festival.

A piercingly raw debut story collection from a young writer with an explosive voice; a treacherously surreal, and, at times, heartbreakingly satirical look at what it’s like to be young and black in America.

From the start of this extraordinary debut, Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah’s writing will grab you, haunt you, enrage and invigorate you. By placing ordinary characters in extraordinary situations, Adjei-Brenyah reveals the violence, injustice, and painful absurdities that black men and women contend with every day in this country.

These stories tackle urgent instances of racism and cultural unrest, and explore the many ways we fight for humanity in an unforgiving world. In “The Finkelstein Five,” Adjei-Brenyah gives us an unforgettable reckoning of the brutal prejudice of our justice system. In “Zimmer Land,” we see a far-too-easy-to-believe imagining of racism as sport. And “Friday Black” and “How to Sell a Jacket as Told by Ice King” show the horrors of consumerism and the toll it takes on us all.

Entirely fresh in its style and perspective, and sure to appeal to fans of Colson Whitehead, Marlon James, and George Saunders, Friday Black confronts readers with a complicated, insistent, wrenching chorus of emotions, the final note of which, remarkably, is hope.

Other Voices, Other Lives by Grace Cavalieri, which I purchased at the Gaithersburg Book Festival.

Other Voices, Other Lives is a selection of poems, plays, and interviews drawn from over 40 years of work by one of America’s most beloved and influential women of letters. Grace Cavalieri writes of women’s lives, loves, and work in a multitude of voices. The book also includes interview excerpts from her public radio series, The Poet & the Poem. Her incisive interviews with Robert Pinsky, Lucille Clifton, and Josephine Jacobsen offer profound insights into the writing life.

This series is devoted to career-spanning collections from writers who meet the following three criteria: The majority of their books have been published by independent presses; they are active in more than one literary genre; and they are consistent and influential champions of the work of other writers, whether through publishing, reviewing, teaching, mentoring, or some combination of these. Modeled after the “readers” popular in academia in the mid-20th centuries, our Legacy Series allows readers to trace the arc of a significant writer’s literary development in a single, representative volume.

Green Card & Other Essays by Áine Greaney for review.

In Green Card and Other Essays, Áine Greaney invites her readers to follow her three-decades’ long journey from Irish citizen and resident to new immigrant and green card holder to dual citizenship that now includes naturalized U.S. citizenship. These first-person essays offer an intimate perspective on the challenges—fear, displacement, assimilation and dueling identities—faced by many immigrants from all countries. They explore what inspires us to commit to a new country—and what holds us back. As a collection, Green Card exemplifies the power of storytelling to build bridges of understanding and a deeper joy in our shared humanity.

What did you receive?

Mailbox Monday #532

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 I received:

Searching for Sylvie Lee by Jean Kwok for review in June.

A poignant and suspenseful drama that untangles the complicated ties binding three women—two sisters and their mother—in one Chinese immigrant family and explores what happens when the eldest daughter disappears, and a series of family secrets emerge, from the New York Times bestselling author of Girl in Translation

It begins with a mystery. Sylvie, the beautiful, brilliant, successful older daughter of the Lee family, flies to the Netherlands for one final visit with her dying grandmother—and then vanishes.

Amy, the sheltered baby of the Lee family, is too young to remember a time when her parents were newly immigrated and too poor to keep Sylvie. Seven years older, Sylvie was raised by a distant relative in a faraway, foreign place, and didn’t rejoin her family in America until age nine. Timid and shy, Amy has always looked up to her sister, the fierce and fearless protector who showered her with unconditional love.

But what happened to Sylvie? Amy and her parents are distraught and desperate for answers. Sylvie has always looked out for them. Now, it’s Amy’s turn to help. Terrified yet determined, Amy retraces her sister’s movements, flying to the last place Sylvie was seen. But instead of simple answers, she discovers something much more valuable: the truth. Sylvie, the golden girl, kept painful secrets . . . secrets that will reveal more about Amy’s complicated family—and herself—than she ever could have imagined.

A deeply moving story of family, secrets, identity, and longing, Searching for Sylvie Lee is both a gripping page-turner and a sensitive portrait of an immigrant family. It is a profound exploration of the many ways culture and language can divide us and the impossibility of ever truly knowing someone—especially those we love.

Lady in the Lake by Laura Lippman for review in July.

In 1966, Baltimore is a city of secrets that everyone seems to know—everyone, that is, except Madeline “Maddie” Schwartz. Last year, she was a happy, even pampered housewife. This year, she’s bolted from her marriage of almost twenty years, determined to make good on her youthful ambitions to live a passionate, meaningful life.

Maddie wants to matter, to leave her mark on a swiftly changing world. Drawing on her own secrets, she helps Baltimore police find a murdered girl—assistance that leads to a job at the city’s afternoon newspaper, the Star. Working at the newspaper offers Maddie the opportunity to make her name, and she has found just the story to do it: a missing woman whose body was discovered in the fountain of a city park lake.

Cleo Sherwood was a young African-American woman who liked to have a good time. No one seems to know or care why she was killed except Maddie—and the dead woman herself. Maddie’s going to find the truth about Cleo’s life and death. Cleo’s ghost, privy to Maddie’s poking and prying, wants to be left alone.

Maddie’s investigation brings her into contact with people that used to be on the periphery of her life—a jewelry store clerk, a waitress, a rising star on the Baltimore Orioles, a patrol cop, a hardened female reporter, a lonely man in a movie theater. But for all her ambition and drive, Maddie often fails to see the people right in front of her. Her inability to look beyond her own needs will lead to tragedy and turmoil for all sorts of people—including the man who shares her bed, a black police officer who cares for Maddie more than she knows.

Phoenix: Transformation Poems by Jessica Goody, which I purchased.

The sideways glance, the quick turn of the head, the sudden look up: these provide Jessica Goody’s angle of vision into the fleeting experience of the world that is captured and rendered in her lines.

What did you receive?

Mailbox Monday #531

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 I received:

Sunset Beach by Mary Kay Andrews from Tandem Literary for review.

Drue Campbell’s life is adrift. Out of a job and down on her luck, life doesn’t seem to be getting any better when her estranged father, Brice Campbell, a flamboyant personal injury attorney, shows up at her mother’s funeral after a twenty-year absence. Worse, he’s remarried – to Drue’s eighth grade frenemy, Wendy, now his office manager. And they’re offering her a job.

It seems like the job from hell, but the offer is sweetened by the news of her inheritance – her grandparents’ beach bungalow in the sleepy town of Sunset Beach, a charming but storm-damaged eyesore now surrounded by waterfront McMansions.

With no other prospects, Drue begrudgingly joins the firm, spending her days screening out the grifters whose phone calls flood the law office. Working with Wendy is no picnic either. But when a suspicious death at an exclusive beach resort nearby exposes possible corruption at her father’s firm, she goes from unwilling cubicle rat to unwitting investigator, and is drawn into a case that may – or may not – involve her father. With an office romance building, a decades-old missing persons case re-opened, and a cottage in rehab, one thing is for sure at Sunset Beach: there’s a storm on the horizon.

Westworld Psychology by Travis Langley, Wind Goodfriend, Tim Cain, a surprise in the mailbox.

In Michael Crichton’s 1973 motion picture Westworld, people playing out fantasies find their lives in danger when robots built to entertain start to kill, creating an opportunity for viewers to examine an array of psychological phenomena. Today, the HBO television series reframes those questions and fears of technology gone awry in terms of twenty-first century concerns about rapidly evolving AI. The essays in this collection, edited by Travis Langley and Wind Goodfriend, explore those issues, offering fans an in-depth psychological exploration of the Westworld universe, including:

  • When do synthetic people become sentient?
  • When is artificial intelligence simply intelligence?
  • What is the appeal of live-action role playing?
  • Why does the Wild West intrigue us?
  • How far will people go in pursuit of violent delights?

Make a Nerdy Living: How to Turn Your Passions into Profit, with Advice from Nerds Around the Globe by Alex Langley, another surprise in the mailbox.

“How can I make a living at this?” Many nerds ask themselves this question—and now they have an answer. Filled with humor and real-life advice, this entertaining guide explores how you can actually get paid for nerdy passions that range from live-streaming video and prop making to writing and cosplay. Along with general tips for newcomers and in-depth advice for the more experienced, interviews with stars reveal how geeks, gamers, and fans successfully turned their dreams into reality.

Geek Girls Don’t Cry by Andrea Towers, Marisha Ray, another surprise in my mailbox.

What does it mean for a woman to be strong—especially in a world where our conception of a “hero” is still so heavily influenced by male characters like Batman, Spider-Man, and Superman? Geek Girls Don’t Cry explores the subject, offering advice tailor-made for fans of any age. Andrea Towers, who works in public relations at Marvel Entertainment and has written about superheroines for outlets such as Entertainment Weekly, outlines some of the primary traits heroic women can call upon, like resilience, self-acceptance, and bravery, pulling in stories from real-life women as well as figures from the pop-culture pantheon. She also interviews the creators of our favorite fictional heroines, who discuss how they drew from their own experiences to develop these protagonists and how, conversely, their own creations continue to inspire them.

100 Parks 5,000 Ideas by Joe Yogerst

In the sequel to the best-selling 50 States, 5,000 ideas, National Geographic turns to the United States’ and Canada’s most pristine–and adventure-filled–national, state, and city parks with 5,000 ideas for the ultimate vacation. Showcasing the best experiences, both obvious and unexpected, each entry in this robust guide provides an overview of the park, detailed travel advice, fascinating facts, insider knowledge about wildlife, and expert tips for hiking, biking, camping, and exploring. From the geysers of Yellowstone National Park to the Everglades’ Nine Mile Pond Canoe Trail and the stunning peaks of Banff and Jasper in Alberta, each page will fuel your wanderlust. Plus, explore the natural beauty tucked away in cities like New York’s Central Park and Boston Commons, and find bonus parks with day-trip suggestions to nearby neighbors. Top 10 lists throughout highlight best-of destinations for river trips, monuments, panoramic views, beaches, and more. This comprehensive book provides all the inspiration and information you need to plan your next park visit–and make it a memorable one.

What did you receive?

Mailbox Monday #530

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 I received:

We Will Tell You Otherwise by Beth Mayer for review in July.

  • What does Beth Mayer’s intimate collection of short stories want to tell us? That the dead have much to teach the living, that madness can point the way to clarity, that the burn of departing never cools, that inside abandonment can be redemption. Mayer’s prose rattles like bones, proving that no matter how far you live in the margins, you can’t escape the telling.

    –Desiree Cooper

  • Beth Mayer’s stories unflinchingly explore the tough and the tender sides of family life as well as offering us a window into the lives of those we often prefer not to notice when we pass them in our neighborhoods. I was moved by the deep emotional truths in We Will Tell You Otherwise, and the slyly ironic and often sardonic wit of these stories kept me smiling all the way through. What a lovely collection of stories this is!

    –David Haynes

  • The stories in Beth Mayer’s We Will Tell You Otherwise are indelible treasures, full of poignancy and pathos. Mayer is the best kind of writer—one who doles out her wisdom with humor, who mines the intricacies of love, friendship, and family effortlessly.

    –John Jodziov

What did you receive?

Mailbox Monday #529

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 I received:

Darcy and Elizabeth: Mischief and Misunderstanding by Cassandra Knightley, a Kindle freebie.

A stolen kiss at the Netherfield Ball sparks a merry war between Darcy and Elizabeth.

After unexpectedly inheriting both a title and the fine estate of Messina Grove, Lord Bennet and his family leave Longbourn forever to start a new life of nobility. And why should they not? Mr. Bingley and his party had quit Netherfield no more than a week earlier, leaving Jane quite publicly heartbroken, and Elizabeth secretly so.

A Forever Kind of Love by Christie Capps, a Kindle freebie.

In this sweet Regency variation of Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice, Fitzwilliam Darcy’s eldest son sets out to seek a bride. Alexander Fitzwilliam Darcy is the spitting image of his father—in looks, temperament, and his inability to impress a woman not particularly wanting to be impressed.

Darcy, against the loving advice of his intelligent wife, decides to help his son along. In the process, the forever kind of love our dear couple has for each other is displayed as tenderness meets stubbornness and affection meets determination.

Come along for the bumpy ride between Darcy & Elizabeth as love blooms at Pemberley—or does it?

We Are the Gardeners by Joanna Gaines, illustrated by Julianna Swaney, which came from the Easter Bunny.

You and your children can learn all about the Gaines family’s story of becoming gardeners in Joanna’s first children’s book—starting with the first little fern Chip bought for Jo. Over the years, the family’s love for gardening blossomed into what is now a beautiful, bustling garden.

Julianna Swaney’s illustrations bring the Gaines family garden to life with colorful, whimsical watercolors and invite you to enjoy the beauty of a thriving garden.

Katt vs. Dogg by James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein, which also came via the Easter Bunny.

Oscar is a happy dogg—a rambunctious kid who loves being a Dogg Scout. Thanks to his family, he knows that snobby katts are good for nothing but chasing up trees.

What did you receive?

Mailbox Monday #528

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 I received:

Apprehension and Desire by Ola Wegner, a Kindle freebie.

What if Elizabeth Bennet had agreed to Darcy’s marriage proposal offered to her at Hunsford parsonage, sincerely thinking it was the best thing she could have done in her situation? As his fiancée and later wife, can she fall in love with Fitzwiliam Darcy who is still very much arrogant, rude, and not reformed man? Will she be able to look over her own prejudice and apprehension, and see a worthy man who loves, and desires her?

The Passion According to Carmela by Marcos Aguinis, translated by Carolina De Robertis, a Kindle freebie for World Book Day.

It is a time for upheaval in Cuba: the time to build a new society. Even from her position of privilege, idealistic divorcée Carmela Vasconcelos sees the waves of uprising and is caught up in the excitement. Persuaded by her brother, Lucas, she flees her wealthy home to join Fidel Castro’s rebels.

In the mountainous jungle of the Sierra Maestra, Carmela meets Ignacio Deheza, a charismatic Argentinian socialist fighting on behalf of the insurrection. On the training fields of a revolution, they bond in the cause—and in a blind passion that stirs their blood and soul.

As Carmela, Ignacio, and Lucas navigate increasingly dangerous political waters, their personal fates become inexorably tied with that of their country. But when the rebellion succumbs to corruption and disillusionment, they’ll find their dedication to the movement tested. For Carmela and Ignacio, they’ll soon discover that it’s their commitment to each other—and the choices they must make to survive—that will be the greatest challenge of all.

Go: A Coming of Age Novel by Kazuki Kaneshiro, translated by Takami Nieda, a Kindle freebie for World Book Day.

As a Korean student in a Japanese high school, Sugihara has had to defend himself against all kinds of bullies. But nothing could have prepared him for the heartache he feels when he falls hopelessly in love with a Japanese girl named Sakurai. Immersed in their shared love for classical music and foreign movies, the two gradually grow closer and closer.

One night, after being hit by personal tragedy, Sugihara reveals to Sakurai that he is not Japanese—as his name might indicate.

Torn between a chance at self-discovery that he’s ready to seize and the prejudices of others that he can’t control, Sugihara must decide who he wants to be and where he wants to go next. Will Sakurai be able to confront her own bias and accompany him on his journey?

What did you receive?

Mailbox Monday #527

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 I received:

Lucky Suit by Lauren Blakely, narrated by Zachary Webber and Andi Arndt, from Audible.

I’m breaking up with setups. No more “you should meet my son, nephew, grandson, the butcher, the guy down the street who mows my lawn.” People mean well, but machines know better, so I’ll rely on the great dating algorithms of the web to find my ideal man, thank you very much.

Soon enough, it looks like I’ve found him – his screen name is Lucky Suit, and he’s hilarious, quick-witted, and full of heart. But when we finally get together in person, I have the distinct feeling I’ve met him before. Funny enough – he says the same thing about me.

Turns out, there’s something fishy about our meetup, and when we find out what truly brought us together, all bets are off as to whether we can trust our hearts over our heads. Can you fall in love with someone you’re not sure you really know?

For Every One by Jason Reynolds, which we purchased for our daughter. Here’s the review.

For Every One is exactly that: for every one. For every one person. For every one who has a dream. But especially for every kid. The kids who dream of being better than they are. Kids who dream of doing more than they almost dare to imagine. Kids who are like Jason Reynolds, a self-professed dreamer. Jason does not claim to know how to make dreams come true; he has, in fact, been fighting on the front line of his own battle to make his own dreams a reality. He expected to make it when he was sixteen. Then eighteen. Then twenty-five. Now, some of those expectations have been realized. But others, the most important ones, lay ahead, and a lot of them involve kids, how to inspire them: All the kids who are scared to dream, or don’t know how to dream, or don’t dare to dream because they’ve NEVER seen a dream come true. Jason wants kids to know that dreams take time. They involve countless struggles. But no matter how many times a dreamer gets beat down, the drive and the passion and the hope never fully extinguishes—because simply having the dream is the start you need, or you won’t get anywhere anyway, and that is when you have to take a leap of faith.

Spirit Riding Free: Lucky’s Guide to Horses and Friendship by Stacia Deutsch , which we purchased for our daughter.

In this must-have guidebook, Lucky Prescott and her friends teach readers about the things they love most of all: the small frontier town of Miradero, all things horses, and the fun that comes with being with best friends! The PALs and other key characters from the hit Netflix show guide readers through pages of interactive quizzes about which of the PALs they are, recipes for horse-friendly cookies, easy-to-make crafts, and so much more! With nonfiction elements about horse care and plenty of playful games and activities, this guide is the perfect gift for Spirit Riding Free fans.

Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly and Laura Freeman, which we purchased for our daughter.

Based on the New York Times bestselling book and the Academy Award–nominated movie, author Margot Lee Shetterly and Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Award winner Laura Freeman bring the incredibly inspiring true story of four black women who helped NASA launch men into space to picture book readers!

Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Christine Darden were good at math…really good.

They participated in some of NASA’s greatest successes, like providing the calculations for America’s first journeys into space. And they did so during a time when being black and a woman limited what they could do. But they worked hard. They persisted. And they used their genius minds to change the world.

In this beautifully illustrated picture book edition, we explore the story of four female African American mathematicians at NASA, known as “colored computers,” and how they overcame gender and racial barriers to succeed in a highly challenging STEM-based career.

We Are Displaced by Malala Yousafzai, which I purchased.

In her powerful new book, Nobel Peace Prize winner and New York Times-bestselling author Malala Yousafzai introduces some of the people behind the statistics and news stories about the millions of people displaced worldwide.

Malala’s experiences visiting refugee camps caused her to reconsider her own displacement — first as an Internally Displaced Person when she was a young child in Pakistan, and then as an international activist who could travel anywhere in the world except to the home she loved. In We Are Displaced, which is part memoir, part communal storytelling, Malala not only explores her own story, but she also shares the personal stories of some of the incredible girls she has met on her journeys — girls who have lost their community, relatives, and often the only world they’ve ever known.

In a time of immigration crises, war, and border conflicts, We Are Displaced is an important reminder from one of the world’s most prominent young activists that every single one of the 68.5 million currently displaced is a person — often a young person — with hopes and dreams.

Olivia Otter Builds Her Raft by Dara Kass and Jessica Piazza, which I purchased.

Olivia is a very strong swimmer and is doing fine on her own, until one day a big storm shows her that there is more to life. Travel with Olivia as she builds her raft of amazing otters who face adversity, support each other, and learn to believe in themselves and the power of teamwork.

What did you receive?

Mailbox Monday #526

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 I received:

Beyond the Lens by Hannah Ellis, a Kindle freebie.

Twenty-six-year-old Lucy Mitchell isn’t the sort of person who’d take part in a reality TV show. But when she loses her job and is offered a free trip to Spain, she reluctantly agrees. She has no idea what to expect.

But she definitely isn’t expecting Adam.

The lovely cameraman captures her heart, and as Lucy sips cocktails in the sun with fantastic new friends, everything seems perfect.

But that’s all about to change.

Thrust into the spotlight, Lucy’s world is turned upside down. Can her blossoming romance survive under pressure? Will she ever escape the cameras? There’s one thing she knows for sure: when dealing with the media, you should always read the fine print…

A Father’s Sins by J. Dawn King, a Kindle freebie.

How do Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet overcome the consequences of poor decisions made by their fathers when Darcy and Elizabeth were young?

In A Father’s Sins, Mr. George Darcy, father of an illegitimate child raised by his steward, Mr. Wickham, agreed with his wife, Anne, that the firstborn son of their marriage would be heir to Pemberley. However, Mr. Darcy loved his eldest son, George Wickham, and indulged him by bringing him to Pemberley to live after the death of his wife. His heir, Fitzwilliam Darcy, paid a heavy price for this decision.

Mr. Thomas Bennet, an educated gentleman and father of five daughters, favored his second born, Elizabeth. Unexpectedly, his wife gave birth to a son and heir. Mr. Bennet, at the persistent urging of his wife, chose not to have his youngest children vaccinated for smallpox. When the plague hit Longbourn it devastated their family. Elizabeth paid the heaviest price for this decision of her father.

Her Good Opinion by Eden Forster, a Kindle freebie.

Mr. Darcy knows that Miss Elizabeth Bennet is aware of his role in separating her eldest sister, Miss Jane Bennet, and his friend, Mr. Bingley, and thereby involving them both in misery of the acutest kind. He knows because he was there when Elizabeth found out. Still, the gentleman offers her his hand in marriage—an offer she promptly refuses.

Determined to win her good opinion and ultimately her heart, Mr. Darcy asks Elizabeth for six weeks to change her mind.

What could possibly tempt Elizabeth to accept the man who has been the means of ruining the happiness of a most beloved sister?

A Case of First Impression by A.M. Blair, a Kindle freebie.

What if George Wickham hadn’t married into the Bennet family?

A Case of First Impression — a modern twist on Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice – gives George and his accomplice, Mrs. Younge, the alternate endings they deserve. George Wickham’s 21st Century counterpart, George Wickersham, is more corrupt than the original, but then again, who knows what the original is up to when he goes off to “enjoy himself in London or Bath.”

Elyse Barret, an updated version of Elizabeth, narrates this modern tale. She’s the only family member her father trusts to keep an eye on Mrs. Younge’s criminal trial, which involves a modern Mr. Darcy as a key witness.

Second Impressions by Pepper Basham, a Kindle freebie.

He likes streamline. She prefers embellishments. His forte is business. Hers is atmosphere. Will they realize each has what the other needs most to create the perfect romance with a touch of Jane Austen flair?

When a country girl travels to Bath, England to visit Jane Austen country, will a serious businessman ruin her regency-dream?

Maria Lucas: A Short Story by Jennifer Becton, a Kindle freebie.

After a great deal of romantic strife, Maria Lucas finds herself married to Mr. Jonas Card in a desperate attempt to extricate herself and her sister Charlotte from a dire financial situation. Mr. Card, however, truly loves Maria and has vowed to woo her. Alas, she views him only in friendly terms. But when it seems that Mr. Card’s feelings have changed, Maria sets out to discover why. And through a series of unexpected events, Mr. Card succeeds in wooing his wife without saying a word.

“Maria Lucas” is a post script to the novel Charlotte Collins: A Continuation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. As such, it contains minor spoilers, but it can be read as a stand-alone piece.

The Overdue Life of Amy Byler by Kelly Harms, a Kindle freebie.

Overworked and underappreciated, single mom Amy Byler needs a break. So when the guilt-ridden husband who abandoned her shows up and offers to take care of their kids for the summer, she accepts his offer and escapes rural Pennsylvania for New York City.

Usually grounded and mild mannered, Amy finally lets her hair down in the city that never sleeps. She discovers a life filled with culture, sophistication, and—with a little encouragement from her friends—a few blind dates. When one man in particular makes quick work of Amy’s heart, she risks losing herself completely in the unexpected escape, and as the summer comes to an end, Amy realizes too late that she must make an impossible decision: stay in this exciting new chapter of her life, or return to the life she left behind.

But before she can choose, a crisis forces the two worlds together, and Amy must stare down a future where she could lose both sides of herself, and every dream she’s ever nurtured, in the beat of a heart.

Dirty English by Ilsa Madden-Mills, a Kindle freebie.

A scarred fighter.
A girl with rules.
One night of unbridled passion.

There are three things you need to know about Elizabeth Bennett: she’s smart as a whip, always in control, and lives by a set of carefully crafted rules. She’s learned the hard way that people you love the most always hurt you in the end. But then she meets Declan Blay, the new neighbor at her apartment complex.

A tattooed British street fighter, he’s the campus bad boy she’s supposed to avoid, but when he saves her from a frat party gone bad, all her rules about sex and love fly out the window. She gives him one night of unbridled passion, but he longs for more.

With only a cardboard-thin wall separating their bedrooms, he dreams of possessing the vulnerable girl next door forever.

One night. Two damaged hearts. The passion of a lifetime.

What did you receive?

Mailbox Monday #525

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.

Happy National Poetry Month! I hope you picked out some poems to read this month and share with others. Maybe you even received some poetry books in your mailboxes. I haven’t but I will be sharing poetry this month. Feel free to stop by!

Here’s what I received:

The Daughter’s Tale by Armando Lucas Correa for TLC Book Tours.

BERLIN, 1939. The dreams that Amanda Sternberg and her husband, Julius, had for their daughters are shattered when the Nazis descend on Berlin, burning down their beloved family bookshop and sending Julius to a concentration camp. Desperate to save her children, Amanda flees toward the south of France, where the widow of an old friend of her husband’s has agreed to take her in. Along the way, a refugee ship headed for Cuba offers another chance at escape and there, at the dock, Amanda is forced to make an impossible choice that will haunt her for the rest of her life. Once in Haute-Vienne, her brief respite is inter­rupted by the arrival of Nazi forces, and Amanda finds herself in a labor camp where she must once again make a heroic sacrifice.

NEW YORK, 2015. Eighty-year-old Elise Duval receives a call from a woman bearing messages from a time and country that she forced herself to forget. A French Catholic who arrived in New York after World War II, Elise is shocked to discover that the letters were from her mother, written in German during the war. Despite Elise’s best efforts to stave off her past, seven decades of secrets begin to unravel.

Based on true events, The Daughter’s Tale chronicles one of the most harrowing atrocities perpetrated by the Nazis during the war. Heart­breaking and immersive, it is a beautifully crafted family saga of love, survival, and redemption.

The Last Letter by Rebecca Yarros from Scribbler box.

If you’re reading this, well, you know the last-letter drill. You made it. I didn’t. Get off the guilt train, because I know if there was any chance you could have saved me, you would have.

I need one thing from you: get out of the army and get to Telluride.

My little sister Ella’s raising the twins alone. She’s too independent and won’t accept help easily, but she has lost our grandmother, our parents, and now me. It’s too much for anyone to endure. It’s not fair.

And here’s the kicker: there’s something else you don’t know that’s tearing her family apart. She’s going to need help.

So if I’m gone, that means I can’t be there for Ella. I can’t help them through this. But you can. So I’m begging you, as my best friend, go take care of my sister, my family.

Please don’t make her go through it alone.

What did you receive?