Mailbox Monday #7

 I had a beautiful weekend of seeing family and remembering my uncle together. As a family, we tried to make a joyous occasion out of it, despite distancing etc. Then I spent my Sunday finishing Aliya Whiteley's Skyward Inn, which I will be reviewing in the next few days. A beautiful book! But today is all about what's new!

Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists. It is hosted weekly over at Mailbox Monday and every Friday they do a round-up of some of their favourite, shared reads!

Also, they're currently looking for someone to help with hosting MM, here is their message:

As for MM, we’re looking for someone to volunteer to take over MM duties in May. We’re unsure what is going on with Leslie, but we have not heard from her since November 2020. We need someone who is familiar with Mr. Linky and the WordPress platform. Sunday evenings are when we post MM for overseas participants and BTCOE posts go up on Friday afternoons. If you have interest please email: savvyverseandwit [at] gmail [dot] com.

If you're interested and have the time to join, do reach out to them! 

Summer in the City of Roses by Michelle Ruiz Keil (Soho Press, 07/06/2021)

Inspired by the Greek myth of Iphigenia and the Grimm fairy tale "Brother and Sister," Michelle Ruiz Keil's second novel follows two siblings torn apart and struggling to find each other in early '90s Portland.
All her life, seventeen-year-old Iph has protected her sensitive younger brother, Orr. But this summer, with their mother gone at an artist residency, their father decides it’s time for fifteen-year-old Orr to toughen up at a wilderness boot camp. When their father brings Iph to a work gala in downtown Portland and breaks the news, Orr has already been sent away against his will. Furious at her father’s betrayal, Iph storms off and gets lost in the maze of Old Town. Enter George, a queer Robin Hood who swoops in on a bicycle, bow and arrow at the ready, offering Iph a place to hide out while she tracks down Orr.

Orr, in the meantime, has escaped the camp and fallen in with The Furies, an all-girl punk band, and moves into the coat closet of their ramshackle pink house. In their first summer apart, Iph and Orr must learn to navigate their respective new spaces of music, romance, and sex-work activism—and find each other before a fantastical transformation fractures their family forever.

Told through a lens of magical realism and steeped in myth, Summer in the City of Roses is a dazzling tale about the pain and beauty of growing up.

I'm so excited to start this book! I adore magical realism and anything that brings in Greek myth and the Grimms' Fairy Tales has me guaranteed as hooked.

Dream Girl by Laura Lippman (Faber and Faber, 07/01/2021)

How can a woman who never existed come back to haunt you?

Gerry Anderson has been having trouble sleeping. He's unwell - bed-bound - and has only his night nurse and his personal assistant for company. But what's really troubling him are the phone calls. Phone calls from a woman claiming to be the 'real' Aubrey.

But that can't be. Aubrey's just a character Gerry made up in a book, years ago.

Can Gerry see past the ever-blurring lines of fact and fiction and figure out who is threatening him, or has his long-overdue moment of reckoning finally arrived?

'As if one of Philip Roth's complicated men stumbled into a razor-sharp Stephen King plot . . . The sharpest, clearest-eyed take on our #metoo reckoning yet. Plus: enthralling.' Megan Abbott

I am so ready for whatever Laura Lippman has in store for me. This is how I'm going to be unwinding in between classes and essays and deadlines!

The Coward by Stephen Aryan (Angry Robot, 06/08/2021)

Who will take up the mantle and slay the evil in the Frozen North, saving all from death and destruction? Not Kell Kressia, he's done his part...

Kell Kressia is a legend, a celebrity, a hero. Aged just seventeen he set out on an epic quest with a band of wizened fighters to slay the Ice Lich and save the world, but only he returned victorious. The Lich was dead, the ice receded and the Five Kingdoms were safe.

Ten years have passed Kell lives a quiet farmer's life, while stories about his heroism are told in every tavern across the length and breadth of the land. But now a new terror has arisen in the north. Beyond the frozen circle, north of the Frostrunner clans, something has taken up residence in the Lich's abandoned castle. And the ice is beginning to creep south once more.

For the second time, Kell is called upon to take up his famous sword, Slayer, and battle the forces of darkness. But he has a terrible secret that nobody knows. He's not a hero - he was just lucky. Everyone puts their faith in Kell the Legend, but he's a coward who has no intention of risking his life for anyone...

I love me some deconstructed hero worship! This one sounds really intriguing and will probably provide all the escapism I might need.

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern (Vintage, 08/06/2020)

Are you lost or are you exploring?

When Zachary Rawlins stumbles across a strange book hidden in his university library it leads him on a quest unlike any other. Its pages entrance him with their tales of lovelorn prisoners, lost cities and nameless acolytes, but they also contain something impossible: a recollection from his own childhood.

Determined to solve the puzzle of the book, Zachary follows the clues he finds on the cover – a bee, a key and a sword. They guide him to a masquerade ball, to a dangerous secret club, and finally through a magical doorway created by the fierce and mysterious Mirabel. This door leads to a subterranean labyrinth filled with stories, hidden far beneath the surface of the earth.

When the labyrinth is threatened, Zachary must race with Mirabel, and Dorian, a handsome barefoot man with shifting alliances, through its twisting tunnels and crowded ballrooms, searching for the end of his story.

You are invited to join Zachary on the starless sea: the home of storytellers, story-lovers and those who will protect our stories at all costs.

This one I bought for myself because I've been dying to get my hands on it. It just sounds beautiful and my copy is absolutely stunning as well!

What was in your mailbox last week? And these books look appealing to you as well?


  1. Hi Juli,

    We too, had a busy end of week / weekend. We both got our second jabs, it was our 42nd wedding anniversary, my mother-in-laws 90th birthday, and we met up with our niece for an outside meal as she has been mentally struggling with working during Covid.

    Back to the sanity of my books today, although no amount of reading time is going to help me make a dent in my review pile!

    I really like the sound of the Laura Lippman book. I have come across her name so many times on various sites, but I have yet to read any of her work. It sounds as though you always enjoy her stories, so I might join you in reading 'Dream Girl'

    Have a great week and happy reading :)

    1. Ooh yes, that is a very busy weekend indeed but it sounds like it was all good things :) And same here, this will be my first Laura Lippman book although I've heard of her before! Thanks for dropping by :)

  2. Thanks so much for sharing the MM message, Juli. You have some good looking books. The Coward gets my interest. Have a great week and Happy Reading!

    1. My pleasure! And I'm very exciting to get started with The Coward! Thanks for dropping by :)

  3. Hi Juli! Glad to hear you had a good weekend! Summer in the city of roses sounds really good.

    I've enjoyed The Starless Sea, but not as much as The Night Circus. But Starless Sea was still definitely worth the read.

    Enjoy the rest of your week!

    Elza Reads

    1. I haven't actually read The Night Circus yet either, although its definitely on the list! Thanks for dropping by :)

  4. Nice mailbox!!

    Love Laura Lippman.

    ENJOY all of your books and your week.

    1. Can't wait to dig into my first Lippman book! Thank you for dropping by :)

  5. Nice looking books. I also thing the Laura Lippman will be good.
    Thank you for stopping by my blog.

    Have a great week!

  6. All your new books sound great. I enjoy Laura Lippman. I will keep an eye out for her new book. Enjoy your reading!

  7. Laura Lippman's Dream Girl looks interesting. And I have The Starless Sea, just need to find the time to listen to it (esp now I no longer have a commute time; I've been working from home for over a year & there's really no good chunk of time to throw on an audiobook...) Happy reading!

  8. Summer in the City of Roses has a stunning cover! It's been a while since I've read Laura Lippman, but this one sounds good. Hope you had a great week and thank you for stopping by my blog!


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