Book Review of “What Girls are Good For: A Novel of Nellie Bly” by David Blixt. Anyone who has studied journalism, or is interested in historical women who were pioneers in their fields, will probably have heard of Nellie Bly, aka Elizabeth Cochrane. Nellie was famous mostly for getting herself admitted to an insane … Continue reading A Female Journalistic Pioneer
2018: The year of “only by a whisker” books. Yes, the time has come once again for me to give you all my roundup of my favorite books published over this past year. I have to warn you however, I’m going to cheat a tiny bit with my non-fiction book this year. See, although … Continue reading My Top 5 Favorite Books of 2018
Book Review of Temptation Rag: A Novel by Elizabeth Hutchison Bernard. Back in the late 19th century in America, the latest rage was ragtime music. While the first name that might come to mind for us today is Scott Joplin, the origins of this musical genre predated him by quite a bit. In the … Continue reading The Rise and Fall of Ragtime
Book Review of A Light of Her Own by Carrie Callaghan. Judith Leyster lived in Holland in the 17th century, during a time when such things as painting, needlework and music, were acceptable as feminine pastimes. For example, artist Frans De Grebber taught all his children to paint, including his daughter Maria, and he even … Continue reading A Dutch Treat
Book review of The Kennedy Debutante by Kerri Maher This biographical, historical fiction novel, by debut author Kerri Maher, focuses on the life of Kathleen “Kick” Kennedy, later known as Kathleen Cavendish, the Marchioness of Hartington. Before she became a Marchioness, Kick was the fourth child and second daughter, of Joseph and Rose Kennedy, who … Continue reading Home Again, Kathleen
Book Review of "Ecstasy: A Novel of Alma Mahler" by Mary Sharratt Part of the blurb for this book on Goodreads says “Coming of age in the midst of a creative and cultural whirlwind, young, beautiful Alma Schindler yearns to make her mark as a composer. A brand-new era of possibility for women is dawning … Continue reading An Eve or a Lilith?
I recently heard about Eric Houston's memoir "The Lost Artist: Love Passion War (Part 1)" and was immediately intrigued. While I couldn't fit this book into my reading list, I decided instead to feature this work here, by asking him one question. Here's his answer to: What was one of the most interesting experiences … Continue reading Q&A with Eric Houston, author of The Lost Artist: Love Passion War (Part 1)
Book Review of "The Noise of Time" by Julian Barnes Barnes’ latest novel is a fictional documentation of the life of the Russian composer, Dmitri Dmitrievich Shostakovich, who lived under both the Bolshevik and Communist regimes of the USSR, until his death in 1975. Shostakovich was at turns both adored and reviled by both his … Continue reading Music and Silence
Book Review of "I was Anastasia" by Ariel Lawhon. For over five decades there were unending, international court battles, rumors and intrigue surrounding a woman called Anna Anderson, who claimed to be Anastasia, the sole surviving child of Tsar Nicolas II of Russia, who was famously executed during the Russian Revolution along with his … Continue reading A Majestic Clash
Book Review of "Alias Grace" by Margaret Atwood In 1843, Grace Marks and James McDermott were both convicted of the murders of Nancy Montgomery and Thomas Kinnear. While McDermott was executed for these crimes, Grace received a commuted sentence, and ended spending nearly 30 years in incarceration, first in an insane asylum and then later … Continue reading Duplicity or distortion?