The Girl on the Train: A Novel by Paula Hopkins

First, what is this new trend with sticking ‘A Novel’ on the cover, I mean, is that really necessary? I know it’s a novel. Second, I saw a trailer for this briefly and it looked intriguing enough that I downloaded a sample. Third, I read the whole thing in one … Continue reading

The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet: by David Mitchell

The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet is a curious book set at the end of the 18th century in Japan. The Dutch had an arrangement with the Japanese to trade but were not allowed onto the islands themselves except in rare circumstances. So the Dutch built little offshore islands … Continue reading

The Shadow Queen: A Novel of Wallis Simpson: by Rebecca Dean

At the beginning of the 20th century Wallis Simpson was just an ordinary girl from an affluent family in Baltimore. By the end of it she was a subject of infamy. The woman who stole the king/defamed the royal family/scandalized the nation/was connected to Nazis/caused the abdication of (current monarch … Continue reading

Queen Victoria’s Mysterious Daughter; A Biography of Princess Louise: by Lucinda Hawksley

Queen Victoria: the maternal dragon who gave name to the Victorian era had eight children and was none too fond of any particular one. In fact to one degree or another she managed to emotionally cripple each one well into adulthood. The child who may have given her the most … Continue reading

The Angry Tide: A novel of Cornwall 7: by Winston Graham

I’m going to keep this one short. Shorter than most of my posts by far! I think I’m still angry. As evidenced by the title, results are starting to pour in from all corners of the novel as sins of the characters’ past catch up with them. Despite, or because … Continue reading

The Four Swans: A Novel of Cornwall 6: by Winston Graham

‘The Four Swans’ is the SIXTH Poldark novel taking place in Cornwall, England just before the year 1800. At this point in the saga, everything could be going better. This novel is strange and dark, dealing with themes of adultery, despair, suspicion and jealousy. [Skip to the end if you’re … Continue reading

The Black Moon: A Novel of Cornwall 5: by Winston Graham

I know I said I was ‘over’ these books, but I’d already ordered this one in the mail and I had nothing else to read…and who am I kidding these are addicting like a soap opera. Winston Graham took a cruel twenty year break in the writing of the Poldark … Continue reading

Empress of Fashion: A Life of Diana Vreeland by Amanda Mackenzie Stuart

Diana Vreeland: the original Dragon Lady, fashion trendsetter, jet-setting socialite and notorious eccentric. Once called ‘a beacon of fashion for the twentieth century’, Diana Vreeland set her own boundaries on life, and lived it to the full. Born in 1903, she was a curious creature who helmed Harper’s Bazaar for … Continue reading