In My Mailbox

Is it just me or did the week go by super fast?  I can’t believe we are here again and I am digging through the books that came in this week by mail, by Library, or uhhh….. by me purchasing….  Thanks as always to Kristi at Story Siren who hosts this weekly adventure into the mailbox!

So here is what has entered my home this week…


One terrible night. One outraged act. What price will people pay to hold their homes and dreams together?

When Kate and Stuart Kinzler buy a run-down, historic house in Ann Arbor, Michigan, they’re looking for a decent remodeling investment and a little space in which to rekindle their troubled marriage. Instead they discover that their home was the scene of a terrible crime many years ago—a revelation that tips the balance of their precarious union.

When a mysterious man begins lurking around her yard, Kate—now alone—is forced to confront her home’s dangerous past. Hers is not the only life that has crumbled under this roof. But the stranger who has returned to this house—once his own childhood home—is in search of something Kate may never fully understand.

Featuring a diverse cast of characters and building to an unforgettable climax, Dream House embraces the volatile issues of race and class to chart the concentric effects of one fateful decision—a moment of rage that will echo forever within these four walls.

Doesn’t this book just look good?


Two sisters of opposing temperaments but who share the pangs of tragic love provide the subjects for Sense and Sensibility. Elinor, practical and conventional, is the epitome of sense; Marianne, emotional and sentimental, the embodiment of sensibility. To each comes the sorrow of unhappy love: Elinor desires a man who is promised to another while Marianne loses her heart to a scoundrel who jilts her. Their mutual suffering brings a closer understanding between the two sisters — and true love finally triumphs when sense gives way to sensibility and sensibility gives way to sense.

I know… I feel like I am the last person on the earth who has not read this book!



You’d think Polly Martin would have all the answers when it comes to love—after all, her grandmother is the famous syndicated advice columnist Miss Swoon. But after a junior year full of dating disasters, Polly has sworn off boys. This summer, she’s going to focus on herself for once. So Polly is happy when she finds out Grandma is moving in—think of all the great advice she’ll get.

But Miss Swoon turns out to be a man-crazy sexagenarian! How can Polly stop herself from falling for Xander Cooper, the suddenly-hot skateboarder who keeps showing up while she’s working at Wild Waves water park, when Grandma is picking up guys at the bookstore and flirting with the dishwasher repairman?    No advice column can prepare Polly for what happens when she goes on a group camping trip with three too many ex-boyfriends and the tempting Xander. Polly is forced to face her feelings and figure out if she can be in love—and still be herself.

Sounds interesting!


Seventeen year old Veronica “Ronnie” Miller’s life was turned upside-down when her parents divorced and her father moved from New York City to Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. Three years later, she remains angry and alientated from her parents, especially her father…until her mother decides it would be in everyone’s best interest if she spent the summer in Wilmington with him. Ronnie’s father, a former concert pianist and teacher, is living a quiet life in the beach town, immersed in creating a work of art that will become the centerpiece of a local church.

The tale that unfolds is an unforgettable story of love on many levels—first love, love between parents and children — that demonstrates, as only a Nicholas Sparks novel can, the many ways that love can break our hearts…and heal them.

Ok… Sparks has been on a role lately so I can’t let this one pass by!  Giveaway coming up on this as well in the next few days!



David Marion and the Freyl family return in a page-turning story of international suspense and intrigue by award-winning author Joan Brady.

I know right?  The description is awful – but that’s what I find on-line to describe it.  In reality it looks like a smokin’ good book!


A champion trainer and true horse whisperer, Dr. Lew Sterrett has used patience and a firm but gentle hand to earn the trust of more than 3,500 horses.

Ok this is another poor description from on-line.  This book is more about the whispering to horses…  (I am cracking myself up here…) it is also about life and well, it sounds good!


On the outside, Nick O’Reilly has it all: a high-flying legal career, as a partner of an elite Wall Street law firm, and financial security, with an apartment overlooking Central Park. Having grown up in a working-class family, as far back as Nick can remember this was his dream. But at the age of thirty-six, after several years of sacrificing his personal life for professional gain, Nick has started to ponder his future and consider the mark he wants to leave on society both professionally and personally—his legacy.

After being chastised in the press for turning a cold shoulder to the community, the firm calls upon Nick to help rehabilitate its image by handling its first pro bono case. Nick is asked to represent Dawn Nelson, a domestic violence victim who is fighting for custody of her young son, Jordan. A far cry from Nick’s specialty of defending the misdeeds of Corporate America, it is up to Nick to set Dawn and Jordan on a path to a better life. But Nick gets much more than he signed on for, as Dawn forces him to reassess his life choices and, ultimately, be true to himself. Only when Nick finally realizes what is truly important in life does he face his toughest—and possibly final—challenge: a battle for his own survival.

Ok now this is a book description!  I really like the cover on this one – it is peaceful!


Fun, approachable book that helps in conversations with kids about poor body image, self confidence, negative self-talk and bullying. As parents, we are always looking for good resources to help us raise our kids from the inside out. “Do These Pants Make Me Look Fat” by Andrea Zimmerman is a fun, easy read with whimsical, full color illustrations that addresses negative self-talk, poor body image and bullying. What’s especially wonderful about this book is that engages both kids and adults. The book includes a helpful discussion guide that could be used by parents with their kids or in group settings such as Girl Scouts, health classes or other groups that focus on building self-confidence, good body image and positive thinking.

While this book looks cute and fun – it is also sad that young girls do really suffer from lack of confidence in their body image.  This book is a lighthearted way to look at this up closely and address it in a way that builds girls up.  I am so glad I am able to review this book!


Purchased Books

In the opening pages of Jamie Ford’s stunning debut novel, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, Henry Lee comes upon a crowd gathered outside the Panama Hotel, once the gateway to Seattle’s Japantown. It has been boarded up for decades, but now the new owner has made an incredible discovery: the belongings of Japanese families,left when they were rounded up and sent to internment camps during World War II. As Henry looks on, the owner opens a Japanese parasol.

This simple act takes old Henry Lee back to the 1940s, at the height of the war, when young Henry’s world is a jumble of confusion and excitement, and to his father, who is obsessed with the war in China and having Henry grow up American. While “scholarshipping” at the exclusive Rainier Elementary, where the white kids ignore him, Henry meets Keiko Okabe, a young Japanese American student. Amid the chaos of blackouts, curfews, and FBI raids, Henry and Keiko forge a bond of friendship–and innocent love–that transcends the long-standing prejudices of their Old World ancestors. And after Keiko and her family are swept up in the evacuations to the internment camps, she and Henry are left only with the hope that the war will end, and that their promise to each other will be kept.

Yes you do see three books!  This is our Bookies Book Club choice for February and a couple of the girls asked me to order theirs as well.  This one will be going to Florida with me – our book club meets the day I return to Brainerd!


British social comedy examines a young heroine’s struggle against Victorian attitudes as she rejects the man her family has encouraged her to marry and chooses, instead, a socially unsuitable fellow she met on holiday in Italy.

As part of the Gilmore Girls Challenge – this is one of the books on the list.  I have purchased two so I am able to have a giveaway on the other!


If a miracle happened to you, wouldn’t you tell everyone? What if they thought you were crazy?

Poor in health but rich in faith, Gina Merritt—a young, broke, African-American single mother—sits in a pew on Ash Wednesday and has a holy vision. When it fades, her palms are bleeding. Anthony Priest, the junkie sitting beside her, instinctively touches her when she cries out, but Gina flees in shock and pain. A prize-winning journalist before drugs destroyed his career, Anthony is flooded with a sense of well-being and knows he is cured of his addiction. Without understanding why, Anthony follows Gina home to find some answers. Together they search for an answer to this miraculous event and along the way they cross paths with a skeptical evangelical pastor, a gentle Catholic priest, a certifiable religious zealot, and an oversized transvestite drug dealer, all of whom lend their opinion. It’s a quest for truth, sanity, and grace . and an unexpected love story.

Does this book sound amazing?  I think it does!  This book is for a Round table discussion that will take place the end of February.  Watch for more details!


Library Books


The bonds linking family and the lines separating enemies have become very blurry for 17 year old Robert. With his father away fighting for the Union, Robert must decide to act alone in order to help his ailing mother, extricate his injured Confederate Uncle, and bring relief to his cousin, Emily.When he unwittingly gets entangled in a Confederate escape plot, Robert must forge his anger and shame into a new determination to save his family. And, perhaps, he must also realize that the saving might not be entirely up to him.Honor and duty to God and country aren’t as clear-cut as he hoped them to be.

I think this is another one that looks good and yeah – I am getting my use out of that new library card 🙂

So that is what is in my mailbox this week!  How about you?  I would love to hear about what you had arrive in your mailbox!



60 thoughts on “In My Mailbox

  1. I’ve just started The Hotel On The Corner of Bitter And Sweet but I’m not in far enough to have an impression of it yet. I love A Room With A View!

  2. Cori

    I love A Room with a View too! So good.

    And how awesome is the cover of Dream House? I mean seriously. That’s rad.

  3. I have The Hotel on the Corner of Bittersweet-I purchased it when my flight was delayed at xmas and then had great seatmates.

    I have never read Sense and Sensibility.

  4. Looks like a bunch of great reads. I don’t know how I feel about the Miley Cyrus cover – not a big fan of her. Despite this, I’m really looking forward to the movie!

    1. Not a Miley Fan either Reagan. 🙂 I actually prefer the old cover of this book – and in fact usually prefer most of the covers on books before they are movies and they switch it up.

  5. You always have such a great mix of books! ‘The Life O’Reilly’ and ‘Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet’ have caught my attention – what great titles and great cover art both of these have…

  6. Hi, Sheila! Again, I am so envious on the books you received and bought this book. And I can’t wait to read your review of Sense and Sensibility. I haven’t read an Austen novel myself.

  7. I really liked The Last Song. You should enjoy it! My list of purchases are up on my blog for this last week, I’m loving the B&N 75% off tables this year!

  8. Oh, so many of these sound awesome! I keep passing “The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet,” but now I have to add it to my list! “Dream House” captured my interest as well.

    Alas…so many books, so little time! But at least we can try to read as many as possible, right?

  9. I haven’t read Sense and Sensibility either, if that makes you feel any better. lol And just a few months ago I read Pride and Prejudice, which I loved. Better late than never!

    I look forward to your review on “Do These Make Me Look Fat.” My niece is almost 10 and, you’re right, it is sad such body image issues that girls have to deal with these days.

    You have your reading cut out for you, definitely!

    1. Lynne I have Pride and Prejudice almost finished….. uggghhh… I know – I was reading it and enjoying it and then got sidetracked around Christmas and havent picked it back up yet. Embarrassing – really…. 😉

  10. Ooh I’m so jealous of Hotel on the Corner of BItter and Sweet – that’s been climbing the ranks in my TBR list lately. And have fun with Sense and Sensibility, definitely a worthwhile read!

  11. Wow, you got so many great books this week! Have had my eye on The Hotel On The Corner of Bitter And Sweet, and Dream House looks promising.

    I’m with you in preferring original covers to the updated movie tie-in covers.

    Enjoy!

  12. librarypat

    Don’t feel bad, I haven’t read Jane Austen either,unless I read some in school and don’t remember. (Don’t tell my boss, she is an Austen fanatic.) Dream House looks interesting. Venom has possibilities.
    I Have Seen Him In The Watchfire went immediately to my get it for the library list and read it before putting it on the shelf list. One of the advantages of working at a library.

    1. Pat I just love our library conversations and I really do want to interview one of these days for a post here. I love the “inside scoop” of how things are ordered and I love that you read my blog! 🙂

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