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Mailbox Monday #594

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

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

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

Here’s what we received:

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

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

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

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

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

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

In Berlin, 1943, compassion is a crime.

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

But some things are not meant to be.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What did you receive?

Mailbox Monday #496

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

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

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

Here’s what we received:

The Teahouse Fire by Ellis Avery purchased through Audible.

The fates of two women, one American, one Japanese, become entwined in this sweeping novel of 19th century Japan on the cusp of radical change and Westernization.

The Japanese tea ceremony, steeped in ritual, is at the heart of this story of an American girl adopted by Kyoto’s most important tea master and raised as attendant and surrogate younger sister to his privileged daughter, Yukako.

Unrelenting by Marion Kummerow, a Kindle freebie.

Berlin, Germany 1932.

In a time of political unrest and strife, one man finds the courage to fight back…

Dr. Wilhelm “Q” Quedlin, chemical engineer and inventor, lives for his science. A woman is not in his plans—nor is it to be accused of industrial espionage.

But things get worse from there.

Watching Hitler’s rise to power spurns his desire to avoid yet another war that will completely destroy his beloved country. Q makes the conscious decision to fight against what he knows is wrong, even if working against the Nazis could mean certain death for him— and anyone he loves.

Hilde Dremmer has vowed to never love again. But after encountering Q, she wants to give love a second chance.

When Q discloses his resistance plan, it’s up to Hilde to choose between her protected life without him or the constant threat of torture if she supports him in his fight against injustice.

She has witnessed enough of the Nazi government’s violent acts to be appalled by the new political power, but will this be enough for an ordinary girl to do the extraordinary and stand beside the man she loves in a time of total desolation?

This World War II spy story is based on the true events of one couple’s struggle for happiness while battling a war against their own leaders.

This book is a must-read for everyone wondering how an entire nation could slide from democracy to totalitarian dictatorship ultimately killing millions of “undesirables” whose only crime was having a different faith, skin color or political opinion.

In Good Conscience: The Final Adventure by Cat Gardiner, which I purchased.

The third and final adventure in The Conscience Series

No man has loved a woman as much as Fitzwilliam “Iceman” Darcy loves his wife Elizabeth. His love is indestructible, insatiable, and his Achilles’ heel.

Since the whirlwind and dangerous adventure in Paris and Moscow in Without a Conscience, life at Pemberley has been a combination of idyllic repose and focused preparation and defense. Darcy’s enemy is still out there—a hair’s breadth from delivering revenge for his father’s assassination.

When the enemy strikes first, Iceman’s world comes crashing down kick starting a firestorm. How far will the gelid warrior go to protect all his loved ones? Just how much is the former Navy SEAL willing to sacrifice? Is his attritional warfare blind rage?—or are his extreme actions in good conscience?

This emotional, wild ride will take you on a breathless, white-knuckle international journey from heartbreak and revenge to survival and enduring bliss because …

No woman has loved a man like Elizabeth Darcy loves her husband Fitzwilliam. Her love is invulnerable, unyielding, and her strength.

What did you receive?