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Mailbox Monday #557

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:

There’s Something About Darcy by Gabrielle Malcolm, a giveaway win from Diary of an Eccentric.

For some, Colin Firth emerging from a lake in that clinging wet shirt is one of the most iconic moments in television. What is it about the two-hundred-year-old hero that we so ardently admire and love?

Dr Malcolm examines Jane Austen’s influences in creating Darcy’s potent mix of brooding Gothic hero, aristocratic elitist and romantic Regency man of action. She investigates how he paved the way for later characters like Heathcliff, Rochester and even Dracula, and what his impact has been on popular culture over the past two centuries. For twenty-first century readers the world over have their idea of the ‘perfect’ Darcy in mind when they read the novel and will defend their choice passionately.

In this insightful and entertaining study, every variety of Darcy jostles for attention: vampire Darcy, digital Darcy, Mormon Darcy and gay Darcy. Who does it best and how did a clergyman’s daughter from Hampshire create such an enduring character?

Christmas Poetry to Inspire by Jean Kay from my Bookish Secret Santa.

Christmas Poetry to Inspire is a collection of poems written by Jean Kay who writes a poem every morning to start her day. Her poems are thought-provoking, easy to read, understandable and usually rhyme.Reading inspirational poems relating to Christmas can create the peace of mind we all long for at this busy time of year. Give yourself a gift and take some time from the hustle bustle of the Christmas Season to relax, enjoy and soothe your soul with inspiration from Christmas Poetry to Inspire.There are many reasons to celebrate Christmas—sharing good food with family and friends, carol singing, attending concerts, lunches, and church services of all denominations. All these ways to celebrate are mentioned in poems throughout the book.

Yule Tide: A Jane Austen-Inspired Collection of Stories edited by Christina Boyd from my Bookish Secret Santa.

“I went up to the Great House between three and four, and dawdled away an hour very comfortably…” –Jane Austen

A holiday short story anthology with some favorite Austenesque authors, YULETIDE is inspired by Jane Austen, PRIDE & PREJUDICE, and the spirit of the season. Regency and contemporary alike, each romance was dreamt to spark love, humor, and wonder while you dawdle over a hot cup of tea this Christmas.

Stories by: Elizabeth Adams * J. Marie Croft * Amy D’Orazio * Lona Manning * Anngela Schroeder * Joana Starnes * Caitlin Williams

All proceeds from the KINDLE E-BOOK and PAPERBACK ONLY to benefit Chawton Great House in Hampshire, former manor of Jane Austen’s brother Edward Austen Knight and now the Centre for the Study of Early Women’s Writing, 1600-1830.

What did you receive?

Mailbox Monday #556

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 Lost Books of Jane Austen by Janine Barchas for review from TLC Book Tours.

In the nineteenth century, inexpensive editions of Jane Austen’s novels targeted to Britain’s working classes were sold at railway stations, traded for soap wrappers, and awarded as school prizes. At just pennies a copy, these reprints were some of the earliest mass-market paperbacks, with Austen’s beloved stories squeezed into tight columns on thin, cheap paper. Few of these hard-lived bargain books survive, yet they made a substantial difference to Austen’s early readership. These were the books bought and read by ordinary people.

Packed with nearly 100 full-color photographs of dazzling, sometimes gaudy, sometimes tasteless covers, The Lost Books of Jane Austen is a unique history of these rare and forgotten Austen volumes. Such shoddy editions, Janine Barchas argues, were instrumental in bringing Austen’s work and reputation before the general public. Only by examining them can we grasp the chaotic range of Austen’s popular reach among working-class readers.

Informed by the author’s years of unconventional book hunting, The Lost Books of Jane Austen will surprise even the most ardent Janeite with glimpses of scruffy survivors that challenge the prevailing story of the author’s steady and genteel rise. Thoroughly innovative and occasionally irreverent, this book will appeal in equal measure to book historians, Austen fans, and scholars of literary celebrity.

What did you receive?

 

Mailbox Monday #555

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: Dream Journal by Dr. Allan Peterkin from Media Masters Publicity.

Decode your dreams and discover the fascinating science, history, and culture behind dreaming in this awesome write-in journal.

Have you ever wondered where your dreams come from? Or why they’re so hard to remember? Or how to make that monster in your nightmares a little bit more … friendly? We’ve got answers to these musings and more!

In this journal, you’ll explore the mysteries of the unconscious mind. You’ll learn how dreams inspired some of the most popular art in recent history, how the ancient Greeks used dreams to answer their questions, and how your brain works as it conjures up these amazing, imaginative, and often weird reveries. Plus, you’ll find tips on how to get a good night’s sleep, remember more about what you dream, and conjure lucid dreams. It’s the perfect tool to help kids remember, record, and reflect on their nighttime adventures. Catching Z’s has never been so much fun.

With lively text, and vibrant imagery, and plenty of space for writing, this journal is your go-to place to document, learn, and celebrate the powers of your fantastic, creative brain.

Pride, Prejudice & Secrets by C.P. Odom from the JAFF Writer-Reader Get Together 2019.

One of the turning points in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice is Miss Elizabeth Bennet’s passionate refusal and denunciation of the equally passionate but infinitely more repressed Fitzwilliam Darcy. However, unforeseen events can lead to the most unexpected consequences.

During a visit with her friend Charlotte Collins at Hunsford, Elizabeth falls prey to illness for almost the first time in her life just as Mr. Darcy comes to call. Befuddled by her illness, she misinterprets his proposal of marriage, and a simple nod of acknowledgment is mistaken for acceptance of his suit by a joyous Darcy.

By the time Elizabeth regains her health, it seems every one of her acquaintance — and many outside of it — accept she is engaged to the last man in the world she would ever consider. Elizabeth knows that her life will be forever changed, and the consequences will spread further than she imagines.

Ditching Mr. Darcy by Samantha Whitman from the JAFF Writer-Reader Get Together 2019.

What would you do if you crashed your car into a ditch and woke up as the main character of your favorite book? What if nothing happened the way it was supposed to? What if you met the dreamiest romantic hero in literary history and yet you fell in love with someone else instead? What would happen if you never woke up again? What would happen if you did? Elizabeth Baker is about to find out.

 

Courting Elizabeth by Renata McMann and Summer Hanford from the JAFF Writer-Reader Get Together 2019.

In the wake of his disastrous proposal to Elizabeth, Darcy is compelled to write her, unable to permit her misconceptions to stand. Unfortunately, he leaves his letter unattended. What happens when Darcy’s words make their way into Lady Catherine’s hands? With his aunt determined to force him to marry Anne de Bourgh, will Darcy still manage to pursue Elizabeth? Find out what twists, turns and danger await in Courting Elizabeth.

Courting Elizabeth is a Pride and Prejudice variation novel of approximately 83,000 words.

Renata McMann and Summer Hanford began writing Pride and Prejudice Variations together in 2014 and have since become immersed in the amazing world Jane Austen created. Whether you’re a fan of Darcy and Elizabeth specifically or of clean Regency Romance in general, you will enjoy both McMann’s ability to imagine variations of this classic love story and Hanford’s skill in turning these variations of Mr. Darcy, Elizabeth Bennet and their enduring love into entertaining stories.

Second Son by Cherith Boardman from the JAFF Writer-Reader Get Together 2019.

What if, instead of being born the heir to Pemberley, Fitzwilliam Darcy had been a second son?

In a time when birth order determines who inherits everything or nothing, Fitzwilliam Darcy must find his own path – excelling in the profession he chuses. When tragedy strikes, he is called to fulfil his role as the “spare,” struggling to meet the demands placed upon him, overcoming the distrust of those who wish him to fail, and devoting himself to the good of Pemberley’s dependents.

Disgusted with Society, and scorned by the sister he loves, Darcy visits his friend in Hertfordshire, where he meets the Bennets of Longbourn. He discovers in their second daughter, Elizabeth, a new source of hope and purpose for his life. When his family questions the lady’s fitness to be Mistress of Pemberley and demands he fulfil his responsibilities to his family and the legacy of the Darcy name, Fitzwilliam is left torn between duty and his heart…

Duty has taken his dreams once, is Pemberley to take Elizabeth from him as well?

Aerendgast: The Lost History of Jane Austen by R. Berman from the JAFF Writer-Reader Get Together 2019.

What if Jane Austen was secretly married? What if she had a baby whose descendants are still alive today? Violet Desmond has just learned that her life is a lie. With sparse clues, she sets off to discover her hidden history and, simultaneously, an explanation for her vivid dreams-dreams in which a woman from the past narrates an impossible story involving a secret marriage and a child-a story intimately connected to Jane Austen. Violet reluctantly agrees to receive help from cavalier Peter Knighton. Blacklisted from his profession, Knighton can almost taste the money and accolades he’ll receive for digging up something good on Austen. The unlikely pair begins a quest for answers that leads them to Aerendgast Hallows. Knee-deep in hidden crypts, perilous pursuits, and centuries-old riddles, Violet must put her literary expertise to the test as she battles to uncover the secret that her loved ones died trying to reveal-before an unknown enemy silences her as well.

Suddenly Mrs. Darcy by Jenetta James from the JAFF Writer-Reader Get Together 2019.

Elizabeth Bennet never imagined her own parents would force her to marry a virtual stranger.

But when Mrs. Bennet accuses Fitzwilliam Darcy of compromising her daughter, that is exactly the outcome. Trapped in a seemingly loveless marriage and far from home, she grows suspicious of her new husband’s heart and further, suspects he is hiding a great secret. Is there even a chance at love given the happenstance of their hasty marriage?

 

Lover’s Knot by Jenetta James from the JAFF Writer-Reader Get Together 2019.

A great love. A perplexing murder. Netherfield Park — a house of secrets.

Fitzwilliam Darcy is in a tangle. Captivated by Miss Elizabeth Bennet, a girl of no fortune and few connections. Embroiled in an infamous murder in the home of his friend, Charles Bingley. He is being tested in every way. Fearing for Elizabeth’s safety, Darcy moves to protect her in the only way he knows but is thwarted. Thus, he is forced to turn detective. Can he overcome his pride for the sake of Elizabeth? Can he, with a broken heart, fathom the villainy that has invaded their lives? Is there even a chance for love born of such strife?

Impulse & Initiative by Abigail Reynolds from the JAFF Writer-Reader Get Together 2019 — signed by the author!

In Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice, Mr. Darcy gives up on winning the woman he loves after she refuses his proposal of marriage. What if, instead of disappearing from her life, he took the initiative and tried to change her mind? In Impulse & Initiative, Mr. Darcy follows Elizabeth Bennet to her home in Hertfordshire, planning to prove to her he is a changed man and worthy of her love. THE PEMBERLEY VARIATIONS by Abigail Reynolds is a series of novels exploring the roads not taken in Pride & Prejudice.

What did you receive?

Mailbox Monday #554

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.

American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins for review.

Lydia Quixano Pérez lives in the Mexican city of Acapulco. She runs a bookstore. She has a son, Luca, the love of her life, and a wonderful husband who is a journalist. And while there are cracks beginning to show in Acapulco because of the drug cartels, her life is, by and large, fairly comfortable.

Even though she knows they’ll never sell, Lydia stocks some of her all-time favorite books in her store. And then one day a man enters the shop to browse and comes up to the register with a few books he would like to buy―two of them her favorites. Javier is erudite. He is charming. And, unbeknownst to Lydia, he is the jefe of the newest drug cartel that has gruesomely taken over the city. When Lydia’s husband’s tell-all profile of Javier is published, none of their lives will ever be the same.

Forced to flee, Lydia and eight-year-old Luca soon find themselves miles and worlds away from their comfortable middle-class existence. Instantly transformed into migrants, Lydia and Luca ride la bestia―trains that make their way north toward the United States, which is the only place Javier’s reach doesn’t extend. As they join the countless people trying to reach el norte, Lydia soon sees that everyone is running from something. But what exactly are they running to?

Were We Awake by L.M. Brown for review.

In each story, events make the characters understand that their world is not as it seemed.

In Hidden, the discovery of an affair between her father and aunt is only the start of finding hidden secrets for Hazel.

What It Means to Be Empty-Handed is narrated by a fourteen–year-old daughter of an alcoholic. Her denial and elaborate imagination starts to disintegrate when she lies to the wrong person.

In Communion, a seven year old boy believes the mourners arriving at his best friend’s house next door are attending a party and he wants to go.

What did you receive?

Mailbox Monday #553

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.

I Can’t Make This Up by Kevin Hart from Audible.

Superstar comedian and Hollywood box-office star Kevin Hart turns his immense talent to the written word by writing some words. Some of those words include: the, a, for, above, and even even. Put them together and you have the funniest, most heartfelt, and most inspirational memoir on survival, success, and the importance of believing in yourself since Old Yeller.

It begins in North Philadelphia. He was born an accident, unwanted by his parents. His father was a drug addict who was in and out of jail. His brother was a crack dealer and petty thief. And his mother was overwhelmingly strict, beating him with belts, frying pans, and his own toys.

The odds, in short, were stacked against our young hero, just like the odds that are stacked against the release of a new book in this era of social media (where Hart has a following of over 100 million, by the way).

But Kevin Hart, like Ernest Hemingway, J.K. Rowling, and Chocolate Droppa before him, was able to defy the odds and turn it around. In his literary debut, he takes the listener on a journey through what his life was, what it is today, and how he’s overcome each challenge to become the man he is today.

And that man happens to be the biggest comedian in the world, with tours that sell out football stadiums and films that have collectively grossed over $3.5 billion.

He achieved this not just through hard work, determination, and talent: It was through his unique way of looking at the world. Because just like a book has chapters, Hart sees life as a collection of chapters that each person gets to write for himself or herself.

“Not only do you get to choose how you interpret each chapter, but your interpretation writes the next chapter,” he says. “So why not choose the interpretation that serves your life the best?”

What did you receive?

Mailbox Monday #552

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.

Code This!: Puzzles, Games, Challenges, and Computer Coding Concepts for the Problem Solver in You for review.

Welcome to the Coder Crew, where you’re on a mission. You’ll write algorithms to find hidden treasures, decode ciphers to read secret messages, create loops to program an expedition, and more. Along the way, you’ll learn the art of figuring out how to do things in general. That’s called computer science. You’ll also learn the art of explaining something in particular. That’s called programming, or coding.

Then you can put your skills to the test to help Cody the Robot. Whenever the Code This! Explorers need a hand, Cody is there to help. Unfortunately, this robot is very particular about the details. It can’t simply collect a rare type of bacteria from a volcano. It needs step-by-step instructions on where to go, how to collect the bacteria, what bacteria to collect, and how to get back to the Explorers. Even more unfortunately, the Explorers are superbusy folks with a lot of cool stuff on their minds. That means they rarely give Cody the instructions it needs, which makes it want to totally short-circuit. That’s where YOU come in to help Cody succeed at some of the trickiest, most awesome missions on Earth.

The Book of Queens: Legendary Leaders, Fierce Females, and Wonder Women Who Ruled the World for review.

Empire builders, legendary leaders, revolutionary rebels, powerful pioneers, and more … discover more than 100 wonder women who prove that girls totally rule.

They’re queens wielding scepters and sitting on thrones, they’re revolutionaries on the front lines of change, they’re presidents and prime ministers leading their nation, or they’re CEOs, scientists, sports legends, and artists who are have risen to the top of their fields. Welcome to The Book of Queens, where being a mighty monarch doesn’t just mean wearing a crown. Leaders like these come from all over the globe and have different talents. But most of all? They rule!

Are you ready to be inspired by the most powerful women in history? Some wielded their might for good while others let their power go to their heads. Yet all were powerful people who changed the course of history. From Elizabeth I to Cleopatra to Beyonce, every regal ruler in this book showcases the kind of guts, smarts, and strength it takes to lead. And while there are some wonder women you might recognize, others may leave you wondering why so many brave, smart, and hardworking ladies have gone unnoticed … until now. Whether real-life royals or average Janes who rose to rule, get ready to be inspired by their stories.

Don’t Read This Book Before Dinner: Revoltingly true tales of foul food, icky animals, horrible history, and more for review.

If you love to be grossed out, grab a seat at the table to revel in some of the most repulsive and downright disgusting true stories from around the globe.

From wretched rodents and beastly bugs to putrid plants and muck-filled moats, step right in to find out more about the icky, sticky world around you. Gloriously gross stories of decaying delicacies, foul fashion, horrible history, awful animals, and more are paired with eye-popping pictures, fun facts, and hilarious quizzes in this fun book. Topics go way beyond food to include art, plants, animals, fashion, pop culture, medicine, the human body, and beyond. It’s a hot mess to digest, but it’s sure to leave kids disgusted and delighted. Read if you dare, but don’t say we didn’t warn you! Sometimes you CAN judge a book by its cover!

What did you receive?

Mailbox Monday #551

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.

Camp Red Moon by R.L. Stine from Audible.

Camp nights or camp frights?!

Every sleepaway camp promises memories that last a lifetime. But the memories from Camp Red Moon might give you nightmares!

• The campfire appears to dim when the moon turns blood red and strange creatures prowl the forest.

• Do you find a total lookalike at camp? Is it coincidence or is he a shapeshifter trying to take over your life?

• Why don’t your competitors at the robotics competition seem exactly…human?

• And why do campers do anything to avoid Cabin 6?

What did you receive?

Mailbox Monday #550

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.

The Journey Home To Pemberley by Joana Starnes, a blog giveaway win.

A chance encounter in the wilds of the North brings more joy to Elizabeth and Mr Darcy than either of them dared hope for. But her world is rocked by blow after blow – and the truth would only cause him pain. ‘I must be cruel only to be kind’ is Elizabeth’s guiding precept, and she chooses her path. Yet time, circumstances and new acquaintances teach her she had made a terrible mistake.

How can she regain what she had lost and rebuild a future with the only man she will ever love, but for whom disguise of every sort is his abhorrence?

What did you receive?

Mailbox Monday #549

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.

The Christmas Spirits on Tradd Street by Karen White for review.

Melanie Trenholm should be anticipating Christmas with nothing but joy–after all, it’s the first Christmas she and her husband, Jack, will celebrate with their twin babies. But the ongoing excavation of the centuries-old cistern in the garden of her historic Tradd Street home has been a huge millstone, both financially and aesthetically. Local students are thrilled by the possibility of unearthing more Colonial-era artifacts at the cistern, but Melanie is concerned by the ghosts connected to the cistern that have suddenly invaded her life and her house–and at least one of them is definitely not filled with holiday cheer….

And these relics aren’t the only precious artifacts for which people are searching. A past adversary is convinced that there is a long-lost Revolutionary War treasure buried somewhere on the property that Melanie inherited–untold riches rumored to be brought over from France by the Marquis de Lafayette himself and intended to help the Colonial war effort. It’s a treasure literally fit for a king, and there have been whispers throughout history that many have already killed–and died–for it. And now someone will stop at nothing to possess it–even if it means destroying everything Melanie holds dear.

Skin Memory by John Sibley Williams from the poet.

A stark, visceral collection of free verse and prose poetry, Skin Memory scours a wild landscape haunted by personal tragedy and the cruel consequences of human acts in search of tenderness and regeneration. In this book of daring and introspection, John Sibley Williams considers the capriciousness of youth, the terrifying loss of cultural identity and self-identity, and what it means to live in an imperfect world. He reveals each body as made up of all bodies, histories, and shared dreams of the future.

In these poems absence can be held, the body’s dust is just dust, and though childhood is but a poorly edited memory and even our well-intentioned gestures tend toward ruin, Williams nonetheless says, “I’m pretty sure, everything within us says something beautiful.”

What did you receive?

Mailbox Monday #548

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.

The Home Front: Life in America During World War II by Dan Gediman and Martha C. Little from Audible.

Narrated by Emmy Award–winning actor Martin Sheen, The Home Front: Life in America During World War II takes listeners into the lives of Americans at home—part of the Greatest Generation—who supported the war effort and sustained the country during wartime. The war brought immediate, life-changing shifts: the rationing of meat, dairy products, and sugar; an explosion of war-related jobs; and, despite mixed signals, a greater role for women working outside the home. Thanks to Martin Sheen’s performance and the voices of ordinary Americans throughout this Audible Original, listeners can feel what life was like during a disruptive and uncertain period of American history. Martha Little is the Executive Producer, and Dan Gediman is the series producer of The Home Front.

A Jane Austen Christmas: Regency Christmas Traditions: Jane Austen Regency Life, Book 1 by Maria Grace from Audible.

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 listener to a longed-for old fashioned Christmas.

What did you receive?

Mailbox Monday #547

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.

The Broken God by Laura Roklicer from the poet for review.

By creating meaning, one is creating life. By creating Gods in the sky, one is killing the God in oneself. And the crucified love nails us all to the cross. Until we realize – and embrace – who we really are, we will remain just The Broken God.

The Floating Door by M.E. Silverman from the poet for review.

M.E. Silverman’s The Floating Door moves from the peculiar and vivid details of growing up Jewish in America to a series of musings about the last Jew in Kabul, over whom “the sun snaps shut/ like a casket.” Noah and Abraham and Isaac vie for attention in a child’s mind with schoolyard rhymes like step on a crack, break your mother’s back. A menorah takes center stage, then a Captain America glass. Throughout, there’s a daring coupling of whimsy and pathos. Shoes from the piles in the Holocaust Museum, “rise leisurely, puppets on strings” to “sweep through the air like Astaire and Rogers.” – Jacqueline Osherow

What did you receive?

Mailbox Monday #546

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.

The Institute by Stephen King from Audible.

In the middle of the night, in a house on a quiet street in suburban Minneapolis, intruders silently murder Luke Ellis’ parents and load him into a black SUV. The operation takes less than two minutes. Luke will wake up at The Institute, in a room that looks just like his own, except there’s no window. And outside his door are other doors, behind which are other kids with special talents – telekinesis and telepathy – who got to this place the same way Luke did: Kalisha, Nick, George, Iris, and 10-year-old Avery Dixon. They are all in Front Half. Others, Luke learns, graduated to Back Half, “like the roach motel,” Kalisha says. “You check in, but you don’t check out.”

In this most sinister of institutions, the director, Mrs. Sigsby, and her staff are ruthlessly dedicated to extracting from these children the force of their extranormal gifts. There are no scruples here. If you go along, you get tokens for the vending machines. If you don’t, punishment is brutal. As each new victim disappears to Back Half, Luke becomes more and more desperate to get out and get help. But no one has ever escaped from The Institute.

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson from Audible.

In this generation-defining self-help guide, a superstar blogger cuts through the crap to show us how to stop trying to be positive all the time so that we can truly become better, happier people.

For decades we’ve been told that positive thinking is the key to a happy, rich life. “F*ck positivity,” Mark Manson says. “Let’s be honest, shit is f*cked, and we have to live with it.” In his wildly popular Internet blog, Manson doesn’t sugarcoat or equivocate. He tells it like it is – a dose of raw, refreshing, honest truth that is sorely lacking today. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck is his antidote to the coddling, let’s-all-feel-good mind-set that has infected modern society and spoiled a generation, rewarding them with gold medals just for showing up.

Manson makes the argument, backed by both academic research and well-timed poop jokes, that improving our lives hinges not on our ability to turn lemons into lemonade but on learning to stomach lemons better. Human beings are flawed and limited – “not everybody can be extraordinary; there are winners and losers in society, and some of it is not fair or your fault”. Manson advises us to get to know our limitations and accept them. Once we embrace our fears, faults, and uncertainties, once we stop running and avoiding and start confronting painful truths, we can begin to find the courage, perseverance, honesty, responsibility, curiosity, and forgiveness we seek.

There are only so many things we can give a f*ck about, so we need to figure out which ones really matter, Manson makes clear. While money is nice, caring about what you do with your life is better, because true wealth is about experience. A much-needed grab-you-by-the-shoulders-and-look-you-in-the-eye moment of real talk, filled with entertaining stories and profane, ruthless humor, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck is a refreshing slap for a generation to help them lead contented, grounded lives.

The 5 Second Rule: Transform your Life, Work, and Confidence with Everyday Courage by Mel Robbins from Audible.

How to enrich your life and destroy doubt in five seconds.

Throughout your life, you’ve had parents, coaches, teachers, friends, and mentors who have pushed you to be better than your excuses and bigger than your fears. What if the secret to having the confidence and courage to enrich your life and work is simply knowing how to push yourself?

Using the science of habits, riveting stories, and surprising facts from some of the most famous moments in history, art, and business, Mel Robbins will explain the power of a “push moment”. Then, she’ll give you one simple tool you can use to become your greatest self.

It takes just five seconds to use this tool, and every time you do you’ll be in great company. More than eight million people have watched Mel’s TEDx Talk, and executives inside of the world’s largest brands are using the tool to increase productivity, collaboration, and engagement.

In The 5 Second Rule, you’ll discover it takes just five seconds to:

Become confident
Break the habit of procrastination and self-doubt
Beat fear and uncertainty
Stop worrying and feel happier
Share your ideas with courage

The 5 Second Rule is a simple, one-size-fits-all solution for the one problem we all face – we hold ourselves back.

The secret isn’t knowing what to do – it’s knowing how to make yourself do it.

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