Mailbox Monday #13

 Happy Monday! It's June... how is that even possible? Happy Pride Month! The year is literally flying by, as is this academic year. A few more weeks and then the summer holiday begins. It'll be my first proper, more than one-week long, holiday in years and I can't wait to read, sleep in, and cuddle with my cat. Speaking of the cat, he gave me a minor heart-attack on Friday when it looked like he was getting an eye infection, but he took care of it himself over night and is all good!

I also posted two reviews this weekend, both of books that I read ages ago and yet, somehow, never reviewed! Does this ever happen to you, that writing the actual review slips your mind? The books were:
 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!

The Ottomans: Khans, Caesars, and Caliphs by Marc David Baer (Perseus Books; 10/5/2021)

A major new history of the Ottoman dynasty, revealing a diverse empire that straddled East and West 
The Ottoman Empire has long been depicted as the Islamic, Asian antithesis of the Christian, European West. But the reality was starkly different: the Ottomans’ multiethnic, multilingual, and multi-religious domain reached deep into Europe’s heart. Indeed, the Ottoman rulers saw themselves as the new Romans. Recounting the Ottomans’ remarkable rise from a frontier principality to a world empire, historian Marc David Baer traces their debts to their Turkish, Mongolian, Islamic, and Byzantine heritage. The Ottomans pioneered religious toleration even as they used religious conversion to integrate conquered peoples. But in the nineteenth century, they embraced exclusivity, leading to ethnic cleansing, genocide, and the empire’s demise after the First World War.  
The Ottomans vividly reveals the dynasty’s full history and its enduring impact on Europe and the world. 

Although I'm a Medievalist, a lot of my education has focused on Western Europe specifically, so the Ottomans are still a bit of a mystery to me. Can't wait to get educated this summer!

Las Biuty Queens: Stories by Iván Monalisa Ojeda (Astra House; 6/1/2021)

In this acclaimed story collection, Chilean transgender performer and author Iván Monalisa Ojeda delivers an irreverent, honest and full-throated love song to New York City from the perspective of a group of trans Latinx immigrant friends who walk the streets, get high, compete in beauty contests, look for clients on their impossibly high heels, and fall prey to increasingly cruel immigration policies.

Drawing from his/her own experience as a trans performer, sex worker, and undocumented immigrant, Iván Monalisa Ojeda chronicles the lives of Latinx queer and trans immigrants in New York City. Whether she is struggling with addiction, clashing with law enforcement, or is being subjected to personal violence, each character choses her own path of defiance, often responding to her fate with with irreverent dark humor. What emerges is the portrait of a group of friends who express unquestioning solidarity and love for each other, and of an unfamiliar, glittering and violent, New York City that will draw readers in and swallow them whole.

On every page, Iván Monalisa's unique narrative talent is on display as he/she artfully transforms the language of the streets, making it his/her own -- rich with rhythm and debauchery. This bold new collection positions Ojeda as a fresh and necessary voice within the canon of world literature.

I really need to make an effort to further diversify my reading again! When I get busy I go back to the old familiar which means I miss out on exciting voices like Ojeda's. Can't wait for the stories in here!

The Cottage by Daniel Judson (Thomas & Mercer, 11/2/2021)

When Kate Burke is awakened one night by a sound outside her window, her PTSD is triggered. Was it simply a deer crossing her secluded backyard? Or was it intruders? Because Kate still lives with the dreadful memories of her husband’s murder during a seemingly random home invasion two years before, she knows the answer can mean the difference between life and death.

But when she discovers the unsettling ways her property has been vandalized the next day, Kate is forced to conclude the worst: someone is watching her.

Kate decides to rent out her estranged sister’s onetime cottage, which sits on her property, for the summer. Another set of eyes around the place won’t hurt. And with additional support from friends and family, Kate should be feeling safe.

Instead, the vandalism is escalating. So are the anonymous late-night calls and texts, each one more disturbing and violating than the last. Whoever is targeting Kate, whatever their motive or terrifying endgame, the footsteps in the dark are getting closer.

Of course I need a little bit of suspense as well! I love the slanted cover and hopefully, in the bright summer light, the idea of someone watching you won't be as scary!

Bibliophile: Diverse Spines by Jamise Harper, Jane Mount (Chronicle Books; 10/19/2021)

This richly illustrated and vastly inclusive collection uplifts the works of authors who are often underrepresented in the literary world. Using their keen knowledge and deep love for all things literary, coauthors Jamise Harper (founder of the Diverse Spines book community) and Jane Mount (author of Bibliophile) collaborated to create an essential volume filled with treasures for every reader:

• Dozens of themed illustrated book stacks—like Classics, Contemporary Fiction, Mysteries, Cookbooks, and more—all with an emphasis on authors of color and own voices

• A look inside beloved bookstores owned by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color

• Reading recommendations from leading BIPOC literary influencers

Diversify your reading list to expand your world and shift your perspective. Kickstart your next literary adventure now!

EASY TO GIFT: This portable guide is packed with more than 150 colorful illustrations is a perfect gift for any booklover. The textured paper cover, gold foil, and ribbon marker make this book a special gift or self-purchase.

DISCOVER UNSUNG LITERARY HEROES: The authors dive deep into a wide variety of genres, such as Contemporary Fiction, Classics, Young Adult, Sci-Fi, and more to bring the works of authors of color to the fore.

ENDLESS READING INSPIRATION: Themed book stacks and reading suggestions from luminaries of the literary world provide curated book recommendations. Your to-read list will thank you.

I love book stacks, I love book illustrations and I love Chronicle Books, so obviously Bibliophile would be a no-brainer! It will hopefully also help me in my mission to diversify and to discover bookstores to visit once I get to travel again!

What's in your Mailbox?


  1. You have a book for every reading mood! I hope you enjoy them all and have a lovely week.

    1. Hahaha I really do! I think this is why I always read multiple books at a time, so there's something for whatever mood I'm in! Thanks for dropping by and I hope you have a lovely week :)

  2. I like the look of The Cottage! Enjoy your books and your week, and thanks for visiting my blog.

    1. Nothing like the isolation of a cottage to make the mind work overtime! Thanks for dropping by and I hope you have a lovely weekend :)

  3. The Cottage looks interesting. Enjoy your week of reading.

    1. The slanted angle on the cover had me straight away, it's going to be an intriguing read I think! Thanks for dropping by and I hope you have a lovely week :)

    2. I got it off NetGalley. I hope it's as good as it sounds.

    3. Ooh yaay! Do let me know what you think once you've had a chance to read it!

  4. The Cottage does sound like good suspense. And the Bibliophile book looks interesting too. I note that you get interesting history books. Enjoy all of your reading!

    1. I do try to mix some history/non-fiction in between the thrillers and fantasy! Working towards a healthy literary diet xD Thanks for dropping by and I hope you have a lovely week!

  5. THE COTTAGE caught my eye.

    Enjoy all of your books and your week.

    1. I can't wait to get into that one! Thanks for dropping by and have a lovely week :)

  6. Replies
    1. Thank you! Thanks for dropping by and have a lovely week :)

  7. The Cottage sounds good. I hope you enjoy it and your other books. Happy reading!


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