This is a fantasized look inside the real world of the Romanov family and their clandestine worship of the anointed spiritual demigod known as Rasputin. To Russian peasants and nobility alike he became a fearsome and loathsome martyr as told through the eyes of his eldest daughter. Rasputin’s daughter tumultuously races against time and the elements to uncover the assassination plot against her father, the most controversial figure among many dark and convoluted forces. The death of Rasputin sets in motion the impetus for the downfall of the Russian empire and the chaotic rise of the Bolshevik revolution.
Ignore the title (an acronym for Failed in London/Tried Hong Kong) – this is a wonderful character study of Sir Edward Feathers, a archetypal English barrister and judge, from when he’s a lonely small child sent to England to be raised away from the tropical ailments of Malaya, to his final days in as a wealthy expatriate returned to England.. The moving account of his life as a child and man of the British Empire parallels much of the 20th century's history. First of a wonderful trilogy about Feathers; the second novel being the story of his wife Betty; and the third the story of their friend/rival Veneering.
The Royal Spyness series takes place in 1930’s London, centering on young, single, Lady Georgiana Rannoch, an impoverished royal relative of Queen Mary. Being fond of her pluck and intelligence, Mary often sends “Georgie” on private missions. Georgie bravely makes her own way in the world despite her family wanting to marry her off to a titled European. Peopled with cameos of the era’s celebrities, this is a fun series of the British cozy genre. First book in the series is “Her Royal Spyness”.
I found Christopher Moore’s writing to be laugh out loud funny in this witty yarn about the great French masters in the last decade epoch of the 19th century. The book, described as “part mystery, part history…sort of”, indulges readers into a sublime foray of impressionist painter Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and his aspiring painter / accomplice’s wild romp through the seedy cabarets and brothels of Paris’ famed Montmartre district. A fun read for aficionados of art history looking for something out of the ordinary.
Set in the 1790’s, and narrated by two different females with a strong bond, it tells the story of Tall Oaks, a plantation in Virginia. Lavinia, a white indentured servant at the age of 7, lost her parents on a ship bound for America. Belle, a slave in charge of the kitchen house, takes Lavinia under her wing and teaches her how to cook, clean and take care of the kitchen. As she grows, Lavinia realizes that she is not like the slaves, but her strong bonds with the family make it difficult for her to leave the plantation so that she can become an educated woman of society. Meanwhile, Belle is struggling with her life and a new child. Misunderstandings, drug abuse, drinking and mismanagement of the plantation all lead up to a captivating ending
We are introduced to an unassuming mother of two living in Berkeley, California in the spring of 1942 as she reads a posted notice about relocation. As she methodically prepares to leave her home of two decades for an unspecified period, she dispenses with the family pets, hides her valuables, does her best to allay her children’s fears, and makes arrangements to have her home rented. She eagerly reads censored letters from her husband who was seized in the night and imprisoned. His crime is that he is of Japanese descent. Her family’s nightmare is about to begin as they are forced to live behind barbed wire in deplorable conditions for the duration of World War II. A vivid portrayal of a dark period in our country’s history when we were ruled by prejudice and fear.
As I had already seen the movie, I was hesitant to then listen to the audio book. I was really afraid that my having viewed the movie would lessen the experience of the listening to the audio book, but this was an awesome book to listen to/read. Collins brings the characters to life. I couldn’t wait to get back into my car and on the road to hear more - and I already knew what was going to happen! This book is for anyone who likes to stay on the edge of their seat. Whether you read it or listen to it, you are sure to enjoy every last minute of the story.
There is something about this very sad book that makes it impossible to put down even if you think you would rather be reading something lighter. It takes place in Iran in the time from the eighties to the present. It is a disjointed set of stories of the families of those who were imprisoned or even killed for disagreeing with the Iranian governent. There are children raised with cousins by grandparents, children who remember their parents being taken away, and children whose parents never return. As adults they try to lead "normal" lives, but their experiences in Iran in the eighties color everything. A truly compelling read.