Young American Male Overseas.

Book Review for “The Boys Next Door: A Novel of the Beatles” by Dan Greenberger. Summary: “Alan Levy is a college student who, in the fall of 1960, spends a semester abroad in Hamburg, Germany. There, he has the misfortune to rent a room next door to an up-and-coming rock and roll band from the … Continue reading Young American Male Overseas.

Perching in Perilous Pockets.

Book Review for “Cher Ami and Major Whittlesey” by Kathleen Rooney. Official blurb: From the green countryside of England and the gray canyons of Wall Street come two unlikely heroes: one a pigeon and the other a soldier. Answering the call to serve in the war to end all wars, neither Cher Ami, the messenger … Continue reading Perching in Perilous Pockets.

Four and a half minutes.

Book Review for “At the Stroke of Nine O'clock” by Jane Davis. Summary: On the 12th of August 1949, Big Ben was prevented from chiming at 9pm by four and a half minutes because a flock of starlings perched on the minute hand. This event initially panicked the British public, who didn’t know that it … Continue reading Four and a half minutes.

That should be plural …

Book Review for “The Queen’s Secret: A Novel of England's World War II Queen” by Karen Harper. This biographical, historical fiction novel is about the woman most of us knew as the “Queen Mother,” the woman who is the mother of Queen Elizabeth II, and who stood by her husband, King George VI after he … Continue reading That should be plural …

Lady Bastion of Beer.

Book Review for “The First Emma” by Camille Di Maio. When Otto Koehler brought his brand-new wife Emma to San Antonio to run the beer brewery there, he was both very much in love and very ambitious. Thirty years later, Otto has been dead for many years – killed by one of his mistresses – … Continue reading Lady Bastion of Beer.

Bly Eyes the Lobby Guy – #ShortStorySunday.

Book Review for “Clever Girl: A Nellie Bly Novella” by David Blixt “Tell a story to catch a story,” that’s what Nellie Bly does to write her investigative reports. In this case, the story she tells is that she’s woman who only wants a bill to not get passed by the New York legislature. She … Continue reading Bly Eyes the Lobby Guy – #ShortStorySunday.

Net and Let.

Book Review for “Hamnet” by Maggie O’Farrell For those who don’t know, Hamnet was the name of William Shakespeare’s only son, who died at the age of 11. In O’Farrell’s latest novel, she takes up the scholarly presumption that there was a direct connection between his son’s death and his play “Hamlet.” To do this, … Continue reading Net and Let.

Resistance in Red Lipstick.

Book Review for “Code Name Hélène” by Ariel Lawhon Nancy Wake was an ex-pat Australian, working as a freelance journalist in France sending stories to the Hearst papers in the US, when she fell in love with the wealthy businessman, Henri Fiocca. That was in 1936, and Nancy had already witnessed the beginnings of the … Continue reading Resistance in Red Lipstick.

The Highest of Serene Societies.

Book Review for “The Girl in White Gloves” by Kerri Maher. Grace Kelly was a young woman on the rise in Hollywood, already with an Oscar award, when she met Rainier, the Prince of Monaco, which led her on a path she never would have scripted for herself. It is a Cinderella, fairy-tale story with … Continue reading The Highest of Serene Societies.

A Sheepishly Pseudo Autobiography.

Book Review for “The Lost Diary of M” by Paul Wolfe. This book is written as if it is the diary of Mary Pinchot, an American painter who was murdered October 12, 1964, shot twice at close range, and whose death remains an unsolved mystery to this day. What makes her murder so significant is … Continue reading A Sheepishly Pseudo Autobiography.