And the Mountains Echoed: by Khaled Hosseini

People who were a little too squeamish to read ‘The Kite Runner’ but heard the hubbub, or were not as crazy about ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns’, rejoice. Hosseini’s newest novel ‘And the Mountains Echoed’ is a stirring, uplifting book; and not in the way that your soul is wracked with grief and the only thing left for you to do is tell people it was inspiring.
What I like best about Hosseini’s writings is two part. First he teaches me about Afghan history and culture in a way that humanizes the people. 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

Charlotte and Emily: A novel of the Brontes by Jude Morgan

Amazing amazing amazing. Those are my choice of words to describe the creative level of writing displayed by Jude Morgan here. I recently finished a certain book covered in another post that had won an award for being gloomy, I didn’t see the appeal. Charlotte and Emily was the kind of book I think should have awards. Why is there no gold star on this book? How come Oprah doesn’t want people to read it? Not violent enough, not immoral enough, not enough social issues. Bullcrap I cry. This is the sort of novel that should receive acclaim, for the simple virtue of the level of skill and talent in bringing writing to life.
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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