Welcome to Mailbox Monday, the weekly meme where book lovers share the titles they received for review, purchased, or otherwise obtained over the past week. It is now being hosted at the Mailbox Monday blog.
Here’s what I added to the shelves:
Determined by Avraham Perlmutter — from the author
In 1938, the Nazis arrive in Avraham’s hometown of Vienna, Austria. Desperate to help their son survive, his parents send him to the Netherlands. But the invading German army soon follows. During the ensuing war-torn years, young Avraham braves harrowing captures, daring escapes, torturous hiding, and heartbreaking losses. Yet he also experiences the goodness of humanity through the strangers who help him. Surviving the Holocaust takes ingenuity, guts, and sheer determination — all of which he calls on again, when he fights to establish the State of Israel during its War of Independence. And when mere existence isn’t enough, Avraham moves to the United States to continue his education and pursue his dreams. Determined takes the reader on an unforgettable journey filled with suspense and danger. But it is more than just a remarkable story of survival — it is a testament to human kindness, even in the darkest of hours, and to the achievements made possible through relentless perseverance. This unique autobiography will inspire readers of all ages — spanning fans of historical memoirs to readers seeking an uplifting perspective on a life fulfilled. (publisher’s summary)
Christmas gifts from Serena and family:
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel. In a mining town in Germany, the orphan Werner grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments, a talent that wins him a place at a brutal academy for Hitler Youth, then a special assignment to track the resistance. More and more aware of the human cost of his intelligence, Werner travels through the heart of the war and, finally, into Saint-Malo, where his story and Marie-Laure’s converge. Doerr’s “stunning sense of physical detail and gorgeous metaphors” (San Francisco Chronicle) are dazzling. Deftly interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner, he illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another. Ten years in the writing, All the Light We Cannot See is a magnificent, deeply moving novel from a writer “whose sentences never fail to thrill” (Los Angeles Times). (publisher’s summary)
Messenger of Truth by Jacqueline Winspear
London, 1931. On the night before the opening of his new and much-anticipated exhibition at a famed Mayfair gallery, Nicholas Bassington-Hope falls to his death. The police declare it an accident, but the dead man’s twin sister, Georgina, isn’t convinced. When the authorities refuse to conduct further investigations and instead close the case, Georgina takes matters into her own hands, seeking out a fellow graduate from Girton College: Maisie Dobbs, psychologist and investigator. The case soon takes Maisie to the desolate beaches of Dungeness in Kent, and through the sinister underbelly of the city’s art world. But to solve the mystery of the artist’s death, she will have to remain steady as the forces behind his fall come out of the shadows to silence here. Messenger of Truth is another vivid, thrilling, and utterly unique episode in the life of Maisie Dobbs. (publisher’s summary)
My War: A Love Story in Letters and Drawings by Tracy Sugarman
On December 7, 1941, when the Japanese were bombing Pearl Harbor, Tracy Sugarman was a young man studying to be an illustrator — and falling in love with a tawny-haired girl named June. But for Tracy, as for all Americans, everything changed that December dawn. Two years later, now married to June, Tracy was on a troopship bound for England, part of the massive Allied buildup for the liberation of Europe. On D-Day he landed on Utah Beach, one young ensign in the greatest military invasion in history. But Tracy Sugarman was not only a sailor. He was also an artist, who chronicled every aspect of his war in watercolors and sketches and in more than four hundred letters to his wife, who carefully saved everything her new husband sent her. Fifty years later, June Sugarman astonished her husband by showing him his long-forgotten pictures and words: lush watercolors and pen-and-ink drawings set down with breathtaking immediacy in the midst of war, and letters in which the young man poured out his feelings — about the terror and tedium of battle, his own ideals and hopes…and always, his love for his wife. Here, selected from this treasure trove, are the drawings and watercolors that best portray the war Tracy Sugarman experienced. Interspersed throughout are excerpts of his loving and poignant letters home and, as the capstone of this extraordinary book, the single surviving letter from June to her husband. My War is a luminous, powerful account of a world at war — and a beautifully touching love story. (publisher’s summary)
The Berlin Stories by Christopher Isherwood
First published in 1935 and 1939, the two related novels, The Last of Mr. Norris and Goodbye to Berlin, which make up The Berlin Stories are recognized today as classics of modern fiction. A charming city of avenues and cafés, a grotesque city of night-people and fantasts, a dangerous city of vice and intrigue, a powerful city of millionaires and mobs — all this was Berlin in 1931, the period when Hitler was beginning his move to power. Here Mr. Norris, the improbable old debauchee mysteriously caught in the struggle between Nazis and Communists; plump Fräulein Schroeder, who thinks an operation to reduce the scale of her Büste might relieve her heart palpitations; the Landauers, a distinguished and doomed Jewish family; Sally Bowles, whose misadventures in the demimonde were popularized on the American state and screen by Julie Harris in “I Am a Camera” and by Liza Minelli in “Cabaret.” (publisher’s summary)
Pride and Prejudice: Darcy Chooses Prequels by Gianna Thomas
Pride and Prejudice: Darcy Chooses Prequels is a collection of two prequels to the novel Pride and Prejudice: Darcy Chooses in the Darcy and Elizabeth Series, plus two scenes from Darcy Chooses for a peek at the novel. Pride and Prejudice: Darcy and Bingley is a prequel that relates Darcy’s and Bingley’s first encounter, some of their history together and their current activities a few days before the start of the novel. It also answers the question of how these two disparate personalities could form such a strong friendship. The question that remains is: ‘will this friendship survive the events of the near future?’ Pride and Prejudice: Attending a Ball is a prequel that recounts the three days before the beginning of the novel from Elizabeth Bennet’s perspective and portrays the Bennets and Elizabeth’s friends: Charlotte Lucas and Melanie Farrington. It also gives extra insight into the Bennet family members. (publisher’s summary)
Pride & Prejudice on Mars by Jane Austen and Charles Perkins
From Longdome to Landingtown, in ballrooms and pressure rovers, via emails and long walks in access tunnels, follow the classic story on a new world. The characters and plot are the same, the dialogue is faithful; only the setting is far removed in time and space. (publisher’s summary)
When I’m With You (Jane Austen Academy, Book 3) by Cecilia Gray
Kat is destined to be a star and her big break has arrived at last! As the assistant to a celebrity classmate on the set of a feature film, she’s going to show everyone she has what it takes. That is, until she discovers pursuing her dreams may mean forfeiting her heart. Unless she can find a way to have both… (publisher’s summary)
Pride and Prejudice: Your Backstage Pass to Jane Austen’s Novel and the Making of the BBC TV Series, Starring Colin Firth by Jessica Long
Like Downton Abbey and Call The Midwife, the BBC adaptation of Jane Austen’s classic novel, Pride and Prejudice took the world by storm in 1995. Pride and Prejudice is one of the much-loved novels written by Jane Austen about an era where social standing was everything, and marrying well was something that young girls and women would dream of constantly. The 1995 BBC TV adaption of Pride and Prejudice brought this story to life and into the hearts of a new legion of fans. Who will forget the infamous ‘wet shirt’ scene as Colin Firth’s character Darcy emerges from the lake and strides across the lawn dripping wet? The series set Firth down as probably the best Darcy there has been and launched his career into the stratosphere. But was Jane Austen’s depiction of women’s lives in the early 19th century accurate? Pride and Prejudice: Your Backstage Pass to Jane Austen’s Novel and Making of the BBC TV Series Starring Colin Firth shares with you the story of Pride and Prejudice, the background into its making as well as delving back in time to take a look at what life really was like. You will learn: The seven of levels of social class that dominated the lives of people during this era How men and women conducted their courtships at a time when intimacy prior to marriage wasn’t allowed What life was like for those at the other end of the class scale Background information to the making of the BC TV series including costume details A plot synopsis of Pride and Prejudice (publisher’s summary)
What books did you add to your shelves recently?
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