The Lady Queen: The Notorious Reign of Joanna I by Nancy Goldstone

In 1348 twenty-two year old Joanna, Queen of Naples (part of Italy at the time) and granddaughter of famed ruler Robert the Wise, stood before the Pope to answer the charges of murder in the brutal death of her husband, and it wasn’t the last time Joanna would have to … Continue reading

A Treasury of Royal Scandals: The Shocking True Stories of History’s Wickedest, Weirdest, Most Wanton Kings, Queens, Tsars, Popes and Emperors: by Michael Farquhar

“All I say is, kings is kings, and you got to make allowances.” -Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry FInn Continue reading

The Sisters: The saga of the Mitford family by Mary S. Lovell

It’s a good thing I bought this completely clueless of it’s content at the bookstore because I’d be headed back out to go buy it right now if not. Who were the Mitford sisters and what is their place in history? I had never heard of these women who were talked about world-wide in the periods before and after the second world war, but immediately upon delving in I couldn’t put it down. It is hard to believe these women from the same family were at the crucial points in history that fate placed them. They each took the restraining leash on women of their time and broke it to suit their own personalities. What follows is a quick run-down of four of the sisters paths. The rest as they say, is history. Continue reading

Peter the Great: by Robert K. Massie

A large book even by my standards- 928 pages in paperback, I’ve finally finished my journey in Russia: Peter the Great. Peter was one of the top three? I’m going to say, most interesting historical figures I’ve ever read about. Believing it was the story of a tyrant, instead I found an utterly dynamic and fascinating individual who can literally be called the forefather of modern Russia. I made that up though so don’t quote it. Continue reading

Désirée: The Bestselling Story of Napoleon’s First Love by Annemarie Selinko

I was excited to learn about Desiree, Napoleon’s first love as described by himself in his memoirs. Do his memoirs actually exist? I haven’t checked. Like many fictional historical novels it was a bit disappointing to wonder how much was real and how much imagination. I had to refer to Wikipedia a lot, and I wanted to just enjoy the book. So I only peeked three times.
Eugenie Desiree Clary began as a silk merchant’s daughter in the southern French city of Marseilles near the end of the 18th century, and ended as a Crown Princess, then a Queen in her own right who started a dynasty in Scandinavia. Continue reading

Stolen Lives: Twenty Years in a Desert Jail by Malika Oufkir with Michele Fitoussi

April 22nd 1987 while the rest of the world was going about its business, four siblings stumbled through the streets of Tangier, Morrocco looking for anyone, anyone at all to help them. Barefoot and starving they searched everywhere for succor. Strangers, former friends, even relatives turned them away. They had just escaped fifteen years of confinement, torture so deeply scarring mentally, emotionally and physically they could never recover.

April 22nd 1987 while the rest of the world was going about its business, four siblings stumbled through the streets of Tangier, Morrocco looking for anyone, anyone at all to help them. Barefoot and starving they searched everywhere for succor. Strangers, former friends, even relatives turned them away. They had just escaped fifteen years of confinement, torture so deeply scarring mentally, emotionally and physically they could never recover. Abdellatif, the youngest was 18. He had been incarcerated since he was three years old. Maria, one of the sisters weighed barely 66 pounds. Malika, the narrator and her siblings had dug for years with spoons, hiding the dirt at night like in some kind of Hollywood movie. Yet this was their life. What had they done to deserve this imprisonment and animalistic treatment? Nothing at all. Continue reading