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

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

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns): by Mindy Kaling

Mindy Kaling is the wonderchild triple-threat of the hit show The Office. She writes, co-stars and directs. I had yet to jump on the bandwagon for reading memoirs of people that haven’t even died yet! That just seems weird to me. You’re 30 and have a life story? I’d better get on doing some cool sh*t. In the introduction to her book Mindy says “This book will take you two days to read…If you’re reading this book every night for months, something is not right.” So right away you know this is not heavy material, no soul-searching, no wisdom or sayings that go onto inspirational posters. Continue reading

Official Book Club Selection: A Memoir According to Kathy Griffin

Everyone knows who Kathy Griffin is. She’s been clinging onto Hollywood for decades like barnacles on a boat. I watched the sitcom “Suddenly Susan” with Brooke Shields and Kathy Griffin and she was pretty funny. I watched “My Life on the D-List” a few times, and again she was pretty funny, but I always thought there was something abrasive about her humor, and something off-putting about what seems like a desperate desire to be cool. When I saw her book I thought it at least would be interesting. I got my money’s worth and more.

I’ve been in a memoir-reading mood lately. I just finished up Mindy Kaling’s book and read the beginning of Tina Fey’s book. Here’s the surprising part: Kathy’s book immediately came across much more heartfelt and interesting than Tina’s. I know! I dropped Tina Fey’s book (and I love Tina) and took up reading Kathy’s book immediately, and didn’t put it down until the wee hours. Continue reading