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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 A fourth collection of 22 previously unpublished poems round out a complete look at the first 12 years of Dominic’s prolific and profound verse.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?

Mailbox Monday #395

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:

I am NOT a Princess! by Bethany Burt, illustrated by Brenda McCallum from Schiffer Publishing for review.

Play-acting and self-identity are the themes of this charmingly illustrated book about a girl who dreams of being a beautiful princess. What s not to love? Princesses get to wear fancy dresses and beautiful jewels. They live happily ever after with the prince of their dreams in a splendid castle in the countryside. Plus, they are never burdened with boring chores or unpleasant activities. Their only real job is looking pretty. But when Eliza, dressed in full princess fashion, tries to join in on the fun in her household and neighborhood, she is disappointed to discover that being a princess prevents her from doing many of the things she loves. She can t ride a bike, play baseball, help her father paint, or bake cookies with her mom. See what happens as her frustration builds. This glimpse inside a little girl’s head helps preschoolers put their fantasies in perspective. For ages 0-6.

The Sheik of Araby: Pride and Prejudice in the Desert by Lavinia Angell giveaway win from Just Jane 1813.

While traveling in the heathen land of Algiers, Elizabeth Bennet is stolen from her companions and thrust into the power of a darkly handsome Sheik whose actions and manners immediately set them at odds. Can the desert-born hero overcome his native pride to humble himself before Elizabeth? Can Elizabeth put aside her reservations and accept the Sheik as her Mr. Darcy?

Divisions of culture join those of rank in this colorful retelling of Jane Austen’s celebrated novel, forcing Elizabeth Bennet and her captor, the Sheik Ahmed Ben Hassan, onto the path to a torrid desert romance.

Holidays with Jane: Trick or Sweet, an Amazon Kindle freebie.

Load up on pumpkin spice, grab your bowl of candy, and settle in for a spooky night with six brand-new modern Jane Austen adaptations from the authors of Holidays with Jane: Christmas Cheer and Spring Fever!

Must Be Magic
by Kimberly Truesdale
Eight years ago Anne Elliot made a devastating choice. When a new threat and an old love both come into her life, she faces that choice again. This time will it be love or will it be magic?

Once Upon a Story
by Rebecca M. Fleming
Catie Morland isn’t sure how to explain what happened at Abbey College’s annual Fall-o-Ween event until bumping into vacationing sisters Jane and Cassie. Will everything begin to make sense as she tells them the whole story?

Insensible
by Cecilia Gray
Miriam Dashwood has to throw a party for straight-laced Brandon Firestone without spending a dime. When the lead for rock sensation Willow Bee offers a free performance, Miriam figures he’s her hero. Brandon has other ideas, but will free spirited Miriam come around to his way of thinking?

Emma Ever After
by Melissa Buell
Emma Woodhouse is determined that this year’s Fall Ball will be the most successful one yet. An influx of single men in Highbury make a Bachelor Auction a reality. Can she work her matchmaking magic once again?

Mansfield Unmasked
by Jennifer Becton
An impromptu Halloween party at Mansfield Park Boarding House provides Pug an opportunity to use his magic powers to unite Pryce and Spenser. But can he expose their true feelings for each other before his powers fade?

Beyond Midnight
by Jessica Grey
Halloween isn’t what Will Harper planned. His sister is playing fairy godmother. He’s at Chawton High’s Trick or Sweet Dance. He’s in costume…and falling for Elena Marquez? Is it real or magic…and can it last Beyond Midnight?

The Medium by C.J. Archer, an Amazon Kindle freebie.

Seventeen year-old spirit medium Emily Chambers has a problem. Actually, she has several. As if seeing dead people isn’t a big enough social disadvantage, she also has to contend with an escaped demon and a handsome ghost with a secret past. And then there’s the question of her parentage. Being born an entire year after her father’s death (yes, a year) and without the pale skin of other respectable English ladies, Emily is as much a mystery as the dead boy assigned to her.

Jacob Beaufort’s spirit has been unable to crossover since his death. It might have something to do with the fact he was murdered. Or it might not. All he knows is, he has been assigned by the Otherworld’s administrators to a girl named Emily. A girl who can see and touch him. A girl who released a shape-shifting demon into the mortal realm. Together they must send the demon back before it wreaks havoc on London. It should be a simple assignment, but they soon learn there’s nothing simple when a live girl and a dead boy fall in love.

The Phantom of Valletta by Vicki Hopkins, an Amazon Kindle freebie.

Another chapter in the life of the infamous Phantom of the Opera, as penned by Gaston Leroux, continues when he leaves Paris and moves to Malta in search of a new beginning. Clothed in secrecy, he purchases The Royal Opera House in Valletta, which has been destroyed by a devastating fire. In an attempt to bury the pain of his past, the burned-out shell becomes his new obsession. He is determined to resurrect the structure from ashes and return it to glory.

To raise funds for his task, he holds a masquerade and encounters a strange woman who prophesies his destiny of undoing and death. Her words haunt the Opera Ghost, but he continues on his path of restoration. After years of hard work, the gala reopening occurs. The Phantom is convinced he has reached the pinnacle of success in his life. He rests in peace over his accomplishments.

For sheer amusement, he takes on a new student, which leads him down a path of romance, mystery, and danger. His fortune unfolds before him, and he discovers he cannot hide from those who seek retribution for his former sins. He is forced to reap the consequences and comes face-to-face with his darkest demons and fears. In the end, his insatiable hunger for beauty is challenged to the core. Will he survive the obstacles he encounters or will this finally be his undoing and death?

An Heir for Pemberley: A Pride and Prejudice Variation Short Story by Jane Grix, an Amazon Kindle freebie.

Fitzwilliam Darcy has it all – a beautiful, intelligent wife who loves him and she is expecting their first child. But Darcy’s mother died in childbirth and he worries that he could lose it all.

An Heir for Pemberley is a variation to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. It is a short story sequel, 4000 words long and takes about fifteen minutes to read. It is a quick escape to Pemberley.

What did you receive?

Mailbox Monday #394

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:

Among the Lost by Seth Steinzor for review from the poet, a book that will be on tour with Poetic Book Tours in January 2017.

Among the Lost, set in the modern American rust belt, is a meditation drawn from Dante s Purgatorio. To Dante, Purgatory was the mountain where souls not damned went after death to cleanse themselves of sin in preparation for entering Paradise. What, Steinzor asks, are we preparing ourselves for, having lost the fear of hell and the hope of heaven, in the course of our daily urban existence? And whatever that is, how do we go about preparing for it?

Good Taste: Simple, Delicious Recipes for Family and Friends by Jane Green

Jane Green’s life has always revolved around her kitchen…

… from inviting over friends for an impromptu brunch; to wowing guests with delicious new recipes; to making sure her ever-on-the-move family makes time to sit down together. For Jane, food is enjoyable because of the people surrounding it and the pleasures of hosting and nourishing those she cares about, body and soul.

Now, Jane opens wide the doors of her stunning home to share tips on entertaining, ideas for making any gathering a cozy yet classy affair, and some of her favorite dishes, ranging from tempting hors d’oeuvres like Sweet Corn and Chili Soup, to mouthwatering one-pot mains like Slow-Braised Onion Chicken, to sinfully satisfying desserts like Warm Chocolate and Banana Cake.

Hermit Thrush by Amy Minato for review from Inkwater Press.

The Annotated Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen and David M. Shapard, which I purchased for research.

This Revised and Expanded Edition contains hundreds of new notes and illustrations.
The first-ever fully annotated edition of one of the most beloved novels in the world is a sheer delight for Jane Austen fans. Here is the complete text of “Pride and Prejudice “with thousands of annotations on facing pages, including:

– Explanations of historical context

Rules of etiquette, class differences, the position of women, legal and economic realities, leisure activities, and more.

– Citations from Austen’s life, letters, and other writings

Parallels between the novel and Austen’s experience are revealed, along with writings that illuminate her beliefs and opinions.

– Definitions and clarifications

Archaic words, words still in use whose meanings have changed, and obscure passages are explained.

– Literary comments and analyses

Insightful notes highlight Austen’s artistry and point out the subtle ways she develops her characters and themes.

– Maps and illustrations

of places and objects mentioned in the novel.

– An introduction, a bibliography, and a detailed chronology of events

Of course, one can enjoy the novel “without “knowing the precise definition of a gentleman, or what it signifies that a character drives a coach rather than a hack chaise, or the rules governing social interaction at a ball, but readers of “The Annotated Pride and Prejudice “will find that these kinds of details add immeasurably to understanding and enjoying the intricate psychological interplay of Austen’s immortal characters.

What did you receive?

Mailbox Monday #393

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:

Sandlands by Rosy Thornton for review from the author.

This beautifully written short story collection is inspired by coastal England, by the landscape and its flora and fauna, as well as by its folklore and historical and cultural heritage. Several of the stories focus on a bird, animal, wildflower, or insect characteristic of the locality, from barn owl to butterfly. The book might be described as a collection of ghost stories; in fact, while one or two stories involve a more or less supernatural element, each of them deals in various ways with the tug of the past upon the present, and explores how past and present can intersect in unexpected ways.

Secrets of Animal Camouflage by Carron Brown & Bee Johnson, which I ordered from Usborne Books for my daughter for a pending camping trip.

New light is thrown on the secrets of animal camouflage in this delightfully illustrated new Shine-a-Light title. Children will discover how animals hide by ingeniously adapting to their environment. From stick insects hiding on branches to the extraordinary owl butterly with wing patterns which resemble the eyes of an owl, the simple text and beautiful illustrations reveal the secrets of this spectacular world.

The unique design of the book allows children to discover a “hidden“ image by holding the page up to a bright light. For children aged 3 and up, this is the perfect introduction to the hidden mysteries of the natural world.

On the Space Station by Carron Brown & Bee Johnson, which I purchased for our daughter from Usborne Books.

What is life like on a space station? Shine a light behind the page and see . . . What do the astronauts do in space? What do they eat? Where do they sleep? What do they wear? Each page-turn will take you another step forward on this exciting tour of a space station.

The Human Body by Carron Brown & Rachel Saunders, which I bought for our daughter from Usborne books.

Discover the secrets of the human body with the newest beautiful, educational, and fun title in the Shine-A-Light series. Hold a light behind the pages to see muscles flex, watch as food travels through the digestive system, and take a peek at the skeleton holding you upright.

Raccoon on the Moon and Other Tales, also purchased from Usborne books.

***If you’re interested in Usborne books, I’ll be hosting an online Facebook party in October. Send me an email and I’ll get you invited. They have books for young kids, middle schoolers, and teens.***

What did you receive?

Mailbox Monday #392

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:

Fun with Stichables! by Suzy Ultman from Quarto Knows books.

Fun with Stitchables introduces young crafters to the fun of simple embroidery. Quick and easy cross-stitch sewing cards are included with punched holes for easy stitching, as well as a 16-page project book with instructions for designing your own unique stitching patterns and color combinations. A project gallery shows examples of what the hand-stitched cards can become once they are complete: everything from ornaments to greeting cards! The simple stitching patterns taught in this book promote growth and development, hand-eye coordination, as well as creativity and imagination. Fun with Stitchables will entertain and delight crafters of all ages and inspire a lifelong love of embroidery.

A Matter of Chance by L.L. Diamond from Anna (borrowed)

When single-mother Lizzy Gardiner meets William Darcy, he doesn’t make the best of impressions. Can the two of them leave their pasts behind and find love with each other, or will the ghosts of the past return to keep them apart?

 

 

Field Guide to the End of the World by Jeannine Hall Gailey, my autographed copy has arrived. I LOVED this book.

Field Guide to the End of the World, winner of the 2015 Moon City Poetry Award, delivers a whimsical look at our culture’s obsession with apocalypse as well as a thoughtful reflection on our resources in the face of disasters both large and small, personal and public. Pop-culture characters—from Martha Stewart and Wile E. Coyote to zombie strippers and teen vampires—deliver humorous but insightful commentary on survival and resilience through poems that span imagined scenarios that are not entirely beyond the realm of possibility. The characters face their apocalypses in numerous ways, from strapping on rollerblades and swearing to taking notes as barns burn on the horizon. At the end of the world, the most valuable resource is human connection—someone holding our hands, reminding us “we are miraculous.”

Just One Thing! by Nancy Viau, illustrated by Timothy Young, an unexpected surprise from Schiffer Publishing.

Every child about to enter middle school will be able to relate to this heart-warming, funny story. Anthony Pantaloni needs to figure out one thing he does well one thing that will replace the Antsy Pants nickname he got tagged with on the first day of fifth grade, one good thing he can own before moving up to middle school next year. It seems that every kid at Carpenter Elementary has a claim to fame: Marcus is Mr. Athletic, Alexis is Smart Aleck, Bethany has her horse obsession, and even Cory is known as the toughest kid in the school. Ant tries lots of things, but nothing sticks! It doesn t help that there are obstacles along the way a baton-twirling teacher, an annoying cousin, and Dad’s new girlfriend, to name a few. Just One Thing! is chock full of hilarious adventures that will keep young readers cheering until the very end. For ages 8-12.”

Mabel and the Queen of Dreams by Henry, Joshua, and Harrison Herz, illustrated by Lisa Woods from Schiffer Publishing for review.

Little Mabel is an expert at not going to sleep. She knows all the best bedtime-avoiding excuses. “I’m thirsty.” “I need to use the bathroom.” “Will you tell me a story?” Luckily, Mom’s quiver of bedtime tales includes the story of the Fae Queen, who paints children’s dreams and can only visit when their eyes are closed. Inspired by Mercutio’s soliloquy in Romeo & Juliet, in which he details how the tiny fairy queen influences people’s dreams as she passes by in her flying chariot, the soothing story evokes images of an ant in a worn gray coat and a hazelnut-shell chariot with a roof of grasshopper wings. Told in lyrical language that adults will also appreciate, the story helps parents get their kids to sleep. For ages 0-6.

The Fortress by Danielle Trussoni, an unexpected surprise from Dey Street Books.

From their first kiss, twenty-seven-year-old writer Danielle Trussoni is spellbound by a novelist from Bulgaria. The two share a love of jazz and books and travel, passions that intensify their whirlwind romance.

Eight years later, hopeful to renew their marriage, Danielle and her husband move to the south of France, to a picturesque medieval village in the Languedoc. It is here, in a haunted stone fortress built by the Knights Templar, that she comes to understand the dark, subterranean forces that have been following her all along.

While Danielle and her husband eventually part, Danielle’s time in the fortress brings precious wisdom about life and love that she could not have learned otherwise. Ultimately, she finds the strength to overcome her illusions, and start again.

An incisive look at romantic love, The Fortress is one woman’s fight to understand the complexities of her own heart, told by one of the best writers of her generation.

What did you receive?

Mailbox Monday #391

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:

Parasite by Mira Grant, which I borrowed from the library’s digital collection.  I really enjoyed her Newsflesh Trilogy.

A decade in the future, humanity thrives in the absence of sickness and disease.

We owe our good health to a humble parasite – a genetically engineered tapeworm developed by the pioneering SymboGen Corporation. When implanted, the tapeworm protects us from illness, boosts our immune system – even secretes designer drugs. It’s been successful beyond the scientists’ wildest dreams. Now, years on, almost every human being has a SymboGen tapeworm living within them.

But these parasites are getting restless. They want their own lives…and will do anything to get them.

Edgar Allan Poe Adult Coloring Book by Odessa Begay for review from Sterling Publishing.

Dive into the macabre, mysterious world of Edgar Allan Poe’s chilling tales with popular coloring book artist Odessa Begay (Little Birds). Inspired by Poe’s beloved stories, Begay has created images that reference settings, motifs, and details that fans will recognize.

What did you receive?

Mailbox Monday #390

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:

Field Guide to the End of the World by Jeannine Hall Gailey from the publisher for review.

Field Guide to the End of the World, winner of the 2015 Moon City Poetry Award, delivers a whimsical look at our culture’s obsession with apocalypse as well as a thoughtful reflection on our resources in the face of disasters both large and small, personal and public. Pop-culture characters—from Martha Stewart and Wile E. Coyote to zombie strippers and teen vampires—deliver humorous but insightful commentary on survival and resilience through poems that span imagined scenarios that are not entirely beyond the realm of possibility. The characters face their apocalypses in numerous ways, from strapping on rollerblades and swearing to taking notes as barns burn on the horizon. At the end of the world, the most valuable resource is human connection—someone holding our hands, reminding us “we are miraculous.”

The A.B.C. Murders by Agatha Christie purchased from Audible as it is the next book club selection.

There’s a serial killer on the loose, bent on working his way through the alphabet. And as a macabre calling card he leaves beside each victim’s corpe the ABC Railway Guide open at the name of the town where the murder has taken place. Having begun with Andover, Bexhill and then Churston, there seems little chance of the murderer being caught – until he makes the crucial and vain mistake of challenging Hercule Poirot to frustrate his plans.

What did you receive?

Mailbox Monday #389

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:

Strange Monsters: A Music and Words Collaboration by Peter Brewer & Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam, a giveaway win from Guiltless Reader.

What did you receive?