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 recently:
Alfonso by Félix Calvino — from the author
Alfonso is a gentle yet searching exploration of a Spanish migrant’s feelings and experiences in the country Australia used to be more than forty years ago. Félix Calvino infuses the stuff of everyday life with tenderness and magic. He recovers a lost time and sensibility. The past shimmers back to life. — Venero Armanno (publisher’s summary)
A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson — from Little, Brown
Kate Atkinson’s dazzling Life After Life explored the possibility of infinite chances, following Ursula Todd as she lived through the turbulent events of the last century again and again.
Atkinson’s new novel tells the story of Ursula’s beloved younger brother Teddy — would-be poet, RAF bomber pilot, husband, and father — as he navigates the perils and progress of the twentieth century. For all Teddy endures in battle, his greatest challenge is facing the difficulties of living in a future he never expected to have. The stunning companion to Life After Life, A God in Ruins explores the loss of innocence, the fraught transition from war to peacetime, and the pain of being misunderstood, especially as we age. (publisher’s summary)
Painting the Moon (Chilton Crosse, Volume 1) by Traci Borum — from the author
When Noelle Cooke inherits a quaint English cottage and an art gallery from her famous Aunt Joy, she welcomes a departure from her San Diego routine. But the lure of the Cotswolds, combined with a locked cottage room and a revealing journal, entice her to stay and discover more, including a way to save the gallery from financial ruin. And that means remaining in England. When her childhood sweetheart, Adam Spencer, begins work on a restoration project in Noelle’s village, their friendship blossoms. But as her feelings for Adam deepen, she struggles with memories of what might have been and yearns for a future once thought lost. Faced with a life-altering revelation Aunt Joy took to her grave and a wrenching choice regarding the man she loves, Noelle could lose far more than her heart. (publisher’s summary)
Finding the Rainbow (Chilton Crosse, Volume 2) by Traci Borum — from the author
Holly Newbury’s life is on hold in the cozy English village of Chilton Crosse. While her friends are marrying, having children, and embarking on successful careers, Holly is raising her three younger sisters and working part time at the village art gallery. Her life feels incomplete, but family is more important to her than anything. Then a film crew’s arrival galvanizes the community, and Holly becomes fast friends with Fletcher Hays, the movie’s love-shy American writer.
The production of an Emma film isn’t the only drama in town, though. Their father makes a choice that threatens everything she gave up her dreams for. Holly’s sisters endure growing pains. And Fletcher plans to return to America as soon as filming is over, ruining any chance of their relationship blossoming further. After years of sacrificing for others, Holly must find the courage to take a risk on a future she never dared to expect. (publisher’s summary)
Bianca’s Vineyard by Teresa Neumann — from the author
Bianca Corrotti’s vineyard is more than a piece of mouthwatering real estate in Tuscany. It’s an inheritance; a storehouse harboring the secrets of her Uncle Egisto, world-class sculptor, and his troubled wife — a woman whose destiny converges with Mussolini’s when World War II overtakes them all. Based on a true story, Bianca’s Vineyard follows a devoted family of strong-willed men and lion-hearted women waging an epic battle against a gathering storm intent on destroying their lives. (publisher’s summary)
Born Survivors by Wendy Holden — from Harper
Among millions of Holocaust victims sent to Auschwitz II-Birkenau in 1944, Priska, Rachel, and Anka each pass through its infamous gates with a secret. Strangers to each other, they are newly pregnant and facing an uncertain fate without their husbands. Alone, scared, and with so many loved ones already lost to the Nazis, these young women are privately determined to hold on to all they have left: their lives and those of their unborn babies.
That the gas chambers ran out of Zyklon B just after the babies were born, before they and their mothers could be exterminated, is just one of several miracles that allowed them to survive and rebuild their lives after World War II. Born Survivors follows the mothers’ incredible journey — first to Auschwitz, where they each came under the scrutiny of Dr. Josef Mengele; then to a German slave-labor camp where, half-starved and almost worked to death, they struggled to conceal their condition; and finally, as the Allies closed in, their hellish train journey with thousands of other prisoners to the Mauthausen death camp in Austria.
Sixty-five years later, the three “miracle babies” meet for the first time at Mauthausen for the anniversary of the American liberation. In Born Survivors, Wendy Holden brings all three stories together for the first time, to mark their seventieth birthdays and the seventieth anniversary of the ending of the war. (publisher’s summary)
Orhan’s Inheritance by Aline Ohanesian — from Algonquin
When Orhan’s brilliant and eccentric grandfather, who built a dynasty out of making kilim rugs, is found dead in a vat of dye, Orhan inherits the decades-old business. But his grandfather’s will raises more questions than it answers. Kemal has left the family estate to a stranger thousands of miles away, an aging woman in a retirement home in Los Angeles. Her existence and secrecy about her past only deepen the mystery of why Orhan’s grandfather would have left their home to this woman rather than to his own family.
Intent on righting this injustice, Orhan boards a plane to Los Angeles. There, over many meetings, he will unearth the story that eighty-seven-year-old Seda so closely guards — the story that, if told, has the power to undo the legacy upon which Orhan’s family is built, the story that could unravel Orhan’s own future.
Moving between the last years of the Ottoman Empire and the 1990s, Orhan’s Inheritance is a story of passionate love, unspeakable horrors, incredible resilience, and the hidden stories that haunt a family. (publisher’s summary)
The Jumbies by Tracey Baptiste — from Algonquin Young Readers
**This isn’t my cup of tea, so I’ll be passing it along to a family friend**
Corinne La Mer isn’t afraid of anything. Not scorpions, not the boys who tease her, and certainly not jumbies. She knows that jumbies aren’t real; they’re just creatures parents make up to frighten their children. But on All Hallows’ Eve, Corinne chases an agouti all the way into the forbidden woods. Those shining yellow eyes that follow her to the edge of the trees, they couldn’t belong to a jumbie. Or could they?
Corinne begins to notice odd occurrences after that night. First she spots a beautiful stranger speaking to the town witch at the market. Then this same beauty, called Severine, turns up at Corinne’s house, cooking dinner for her father. Danger is in the air. Sure enough, bewitching Corinne’s father is the first step in Severine’s plan to claim the entire island for the jumbies. Corinne must call on her courage and her friends and ancient magic to stop Severine and to save her island home. (publisher’s summary)
William Shakespeare’s The Phantom of Menace by Ian Doescher — from Quirk
**This isn’t my cup of tea, so I passed it along to Serena**
Join us, good gentles, for a merry reimagining of Star Wars: Episode One as only Shakespeare could have written it. The entire saga starts here, with a thrilling tale featuring a disguised queen, a young hero, and two fearless knights facing a hidden, vengeful enemy.
‘Tis a true Shakespearean drama, filled with sword fights, soliloquies, and doomed romance…all in glorious iambic pentameter and coupled with twenty gorgeous Elizabethan illustrations. Hold on to your midi-chlorians: The play’s the thing, wherein you’ll catch the rise of Anakin! (publisher’s summary)
What books did you add to your shelves recently?
© 2015 Anna Horner of Diary of an Eccentric. All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce or republish content without permission.