My 300th Post – Review of a Modern Classic

Book review of "Catch-22" by Joseph Heller. Joseph Heller published this best-selling novel in 1961, and it is the only book I’ve ever read more than once. It is also one of the first books that come to mind when someone asks me to name my favorite book of all time (along with Ondaatje’s novels … Continue reading My 300th Post – Review of a Modern Classic

Unraveling the Complexes

Book review of The Alice Network by Kate Quinn. During the first World War, the British government employed many people as spies in German-occupied Europe, and many of them were women. One of those women was code-named Alice DuBois (who preferred to be called Lili), and became their "Queen of Spies," managing an underground slew … Continue reading Unraveling the Complexes

Reconstructing Music

Book Review of "The Prague Sonata" by Bradford Morrow. The publishers describe this book as follows: In the early days of the new millennium, pages of a weathered original sonata manuscript—the gift of a Czech immigrant living out her final days in Queens—come into the hands of Meta Taverner, a young musicologist whose concert piano … Continue reading Reconstructing Music

The Scale of a Family

Book Review of "Moonglow by Michael Chabon. Readers of Michael Chabon's novels know that he has a wonderful way of mixing reality and fiction, to the extent that the lines can feel very blurred. I noticed this in his "The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay," which won him the Pulitzer. Although that novel, (which … Continue reading The Scale of a Family

Women witnessing WWII

Book Review of "The Race for Paris" by Meg Waite Clayton. Near the end of When World War II, journalists and photojournalists from allied countries had only one thing on their minds - to be the first ones to document the victory of retaking Paris. Among them were women who braved life and limb to … Continue reading Women witnessing WWII

Devotion en masse

Book Review of "The Atomic Weight of Love" by Elizabeth Church. Meridian is very smart, and she wants to become an ornithologist, something very unusual for a girl growing up in post-WWI in America. With the support of her mother, and knowing she has the blessing of her late father she begins that journey. However, … Continue reading Devotion en masse

Włodawa’s Wars

Book Review of "In the Land of Armadillos" Short Stories by Helen Maryles Shankman. If you think that yet another book about the Holocaust is just too much, when it comes to this collection of eight short stories, I'll have to disagree - both emphatically and respectfully. No, this book doesn't take place in any … Continue reading Włodawa’s Wars

Two World Wars, Two Women, Thousands of Letters

Book review of Letters from Skye by Jessica Brockmole. In March 1912, David Graham is a University student in Urbana, Illinois. He's just read a book of poetry by Elspeth Dunn, who lives on Scotland's Isle of Skye. Impressed, he decides to write to her, and thereby begins a correspondence that will change both their … Continue reading Two World Wars, Two Women, Thousands of Letters

Stitching together Thessaloniki’s story

Book Review of "The Thread" by Victoria Hislop. During the 20th Century, the seaside Greek city of Thessaloniki saw it all – fires, wars and earthquakes. This is the backdrop of Victoria Hislop’s novel The Thread. In it, we get to know the story of this city through a fictional cast of characters. As the … Continue reading Stitching together Thessaloniki’s story

The Calm within the Storm

Book Review of "Restless" by William Boyd. Ruth Gilmartin is a single mother, working on her Master’s Thesis and teaching English as a Second Language in Oxford. Her mother, Sally, has decided to write down the story of her experiences during WW2 and give them to Ruth. This is when Ruth discovers that the woman … Continue reading The Calm within the Storm