20 January 2013

In My Mailbox (103)

I have been slaaaaaaaaacking this week.  Crappy weather tends to do that to me.  I can handle a rainy day without much difficulty or loss to productivity, but six straight days of nonstop rain?  North Carolina's idea of winter weather puts a damper on things.  I am behind on reviews, have been late answering emails, and haven't written anything for my story or designed a single graphic for a week.  Just... depressing.

I'll tell you what isn't depressing, though, and that's the books I got this week.  I am so excited for each of these.

Researcher and thought leader Dr. Brené Brown offers a powerful new vision that encourages us to dare greatly: to embrace vulnerability and imperfection, to live wholeheartedly, and to courageously engage in our lives.

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; . . . who at best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” —Theodore Roosevelt

Every day we experience the uncertainty, risks, and emotional exposure that define what it means to be vulnerable, or to dare greatly. Whether the arena is a new relationship, an important meeting, our creative process, or a difficult family conversation, we must find the courage to walk into vulnerability and engage with our whole hearts.

In Daring Greatly, Dr. Brown challenges everything we think we know about vulnerability. Based on twelve years of research, she argues that vulnerability is not weakness, but rather our clearest path to courage, engagement, and meaningful connection. The book that Dr. Brown’s many fans have been waiting for, Daring Greatly will spark a new spirit of truth—and trust—in our organizations, families, schools, and communities.

I don't throw around the term "resonated deeply" very often but that's what's going on between me and Dr. Brown's work.  It resonates deeply with me.  And I think it would with anybody.  You can get a taste of what she's talking about by going here.

Four decades of peace have done little to ease the mistrust between humans and dragons in the kingdom of Goredd. Folding themselves into human shape, dragons attend court as ambassadors, and lend their rational, mathematical minds to universities as scholars and teachers. As the treaty's anniversary draws near, however, tensions are high.

Seraphina Dombegh has reason to fear both sides. An unusually gifted musician, she joins the court just as a member of the royal family is murdered—in suspiciously draconian fashion. Seraphina is drawn into the investigation, partnering with the captain of the Queen's Guard, the dangerously perceptive Prince Lucian Kiggs. While they begin to uncover hints of a sinister plot to destroy the peace, Seraphina struggles to protect her own secret, the secret behind her musical gift, one so terrible that its discovery could mean her very life.

In her exquisitely written fantasy debut, Rachel Hartman creates a rich, complex, and utterly original world. Seraphina's tortuous journey to self-acceptance is one readers will remember long after they've turned the final page.
I also bought an e-copy of Seraphina by Rachel Hartman.  I originally read this book when I checked it out at the library, but oh my gosh, Batman.  There are so many things I want to highlight in this book and I fear that I may end up just highlighting the entire thing because all of it is amazing!

what did you get in your mailbox?