Monday, July 13, 2015

Book Review Snippets

It's been awhile since I've offered a review of a book and its not because I haven't been reading.  Just never got around to reviewing and posting here.  So rather than review a single book I'll give you snippet reviews of three books I've read recently.  You can then read more about them elsewhere and decide if they're of interest to you.

1. Here is Where - Discovering America's Great Forgotten History by Andrew Carroll
The author criss crosses the US writing about places and the important events that have been almost lost to history.  For instance did you know that the Spanish flu pandemic started in the midwest? Did you know that Robert Todd Lincoln was saved from certain death after falling in front of an oncoming train?  Did you know that a 14 year old farm boy dreamed up what we now take for granted: television?  This is the kind of book that you can read over a long period of time.  I kept it at my bedside to read a chapter at a time.  Interesting stuff.  [There is even a volunteer organization now to mark some of these historic sites.]

2. A Week in Winter by Maeve Binchy
This was the last book written by this author before she died.  Set in the present day each chapter is devoted to one character's story and then woven into the overall story of an old house being converted to a holiday house.  Chicky's story starts it off as she returns home to Ireland and a new life renovating the house and serving as the hostess.  It sounds like it would be a difficult read but Binchy pulls it off easily and you get wrapped up in each character's story and look forward to whether Chicky's endeavor will work out.

3. Some Girls, Some Hats and Hitler by Trudi Kanter
A friend pointed me to this book.  It's a memoir of survival during WWII.  The author successfully leaves Austria for England as the Nazis begin their reign of terror on the Jews.  She's a milliner with quite a reputation for her hats.  She writes simply but clearly tells her story.  The book was originally self published and only rediscovered by an editor recently and republished.  The sad part is that Trudi had no children and the publisher has not found anyone to give the royalties to.  A quick read, but well worth it.

Here are some other book titles to explore that I enjoyed reading in the last weeks:

The Curve of Time by M. Wylie Blanchett

Vintage by Susan Gloss

Girl on the Golden Coin - A Novel of Frances Stuart by Marci Jefferson

The Strange Case of the Rickety Cossack by Ian Tattersall

Sweetest Hallelujah by Elaine Hussey

What have you been reading?


  1. Those look like interesting titles. Nice of you to share. Greetings!

  2. Oh, I'm a fan of Maeve Binchy so naturally I will have to look this one up. And, I've been reading a lot of WWII books just lately so that is of interest as well.

  3. Oh, I'm a fan of Maeve Binchy so naturally I will have to look this one up. And, I've been reading a lot of WWII books just lately so that is of interest as well.


  4. I am a fan of Maeve Binchy also. Great list of books to read, I will look them up. I just finished China Doll. I really enjoyed that book.

  5. Waiting for Blueberry Wine to come in the mail, should have that by today.

  6. I have another Maeve Binchy to read in my stack from the library - "The Copper Beech". Must decide between that and "The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessey" (goes with "The Unlikely Pilgrimmage of Harold Frye") and "The Mill River Recluse".

    Glad you enjoyed China Dolls, Anne.

  7. Wow, Marcia, what a great list of books! Loved reading the thumbnail sketches of each, and have to tell you, that first one looks like it will be a favorite of mine...have to get it! The others all look interesting too, especially the Maeve Binchy. I've read The Copper Beech and really enjoyed it, and a couple of others of hers. Some Girls, Some Hats & Hitler also sounds so interesting, as well. And it would be cool if you reviewed a few of the others from your list at a later time....that is, unless they get get bumped aside by new reading. :-) You are quite a prolific reader! I always enjoy your reviews, and am thrilled to see so many titles cross your shelf! Thanks again for participating!

  8. Just looked up The Curve of Time and Sweetest Hallelujah...HAVE to read both!!!!

  9. Thanks for all the praise, Marie. I opted to start Mill River Recluse. It's a bit soap opera-like but since it takes place in VT and my daughter lives in NH I thought I give it a go. I'm almost half way through after several hours reading this afternoon (my usual reading time.) i'll read Copper Beech next with your recommendation.

  10. Some good recommendations - I have wanted to read the Maeve Binchy novel and 'Some Girls, Some Hats and Hitler'. Interesting background to that book, too. Thank you for the great reviews! - Karen


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