Showing posts from February, 2015

(Review) The Last Jews in Berlin by Leonard Gross

Publication Date: January 20, 2015.
Publisher: Open Road Media.
Genre: Holocaust, World War II, Berlin, Germany.
Pages: 245.
Source: Free copy from NetGalley, and Open Road Media in exchange for a review.
Rating: 5 stars for excellent.

Link @ Amazon: The Last Jews in Berlin. 

Additional link to read more information on Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party.

Adolf Hitler became the chancellor and later Fuhrer of Germany beginning in 1933. Hitler and the Nazi Party (National-sozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei) had become the political force. In 1933, there were 160,000 Jews living in Berlin. At the end of World War II, there were less than 1000 Jews living in Berlin. Leonard Gross interviewed and studied the testimonies of Jews who survived living in Berlin during the entire war. An important rule was the life stories had to be validated.

My Thoughts:
The Last Jews in Berlin answered two questions I'd had for many years: Were there Jews who survived living in Berlin during WW…

Future Reviews


War and Peace Read-a-Long, Week Two

Link for the host page of War and Peace Read-a-Long. 
Our reading schedule of War and Peace Read-a-Long. 

1) Do you feel that the tone of the novel has changed this week? Has that affected your enjoyment?
The tone of the novel has changed in that book two is (mainly) focused on the war. There is a brief section of romantic moments. 

2) Do you feel comfortable telling other people that you're reading War and Peace? 
I am comfortable talking about any book I read. Most people do not ask, not even my husband. Family rarely asks what I'm reading. On a rare occasion a friend asks what I'm reading. I am the only person in my little world who reads classics, and who reads as many books in a year as I do. I almost scratched that entire paragraph because I feel like I'm bragging. Pardon me if it appears this way. 

3) How do you feel about Helene and Pierre's marriage? Happily ever after or mildly doomed? 
All marriages have a point when reality strikes. War is a big reality check …

(Review) Mist of Midnight, Daughters of Hampshire, Book One by Sandra Byrd

Publication Date: March 10, 2015.
Publisher: Howard Books/Simon and Schuster.
Genre: Fiction, Victorian England, India, Gothic romance, mystery.
Pages: 384.
Source: Free copy from Howard Books and CBA Tours in exchange for a review.
Rating: 5 stars for excellent.

Link @ Simon and Schuster/Howard Books.
Link @ Amazon. 
Link @ Barnes and Nobles. 

In the first of a brand-new series set in Victorian England, a young woman returns home from India after the death of her family to discover her identity and inheritance are challenged by the man who holds her future in his hands. Rebecca Ravenshaw, daughter of missionaries, spent most of her life in India. Following the death of her family in the Indian Mutiny, Rebecca returns to claim her family estate in Hampshire, England. Upon her return, people are surprised to see her...and highly suspicious. Less than a year earlier, an impostor had arrived with an Indian servant and assumed not only Rebecca's name, but her home and incom…

(Review) A Fine Summer's Day: An Inspector Ian Rutledge Mystery by Charles Todd

Publication Date: January 6, 2015.
Publisher: William Morrow/HarperCollins Publishers.
Genre: British murder mystery, pre-WWI, WWI, detective story.
Pages: 368.
Source: Free advanced reader ebook copy from HarperCollins in exchange for a review.
Rating: 5 stars for excellent.

A Fine Summer's Day is book 17 in the Inspector Ian Rutledge Mystery books.

Link @ Amazon. 

To read a sample:

It's late June 1914. Detective Ian Rutledge is in his early years of detective work for Scotland Yard. His superintendent is Bowles, a man who is often difficult to comprehend, he's moody and sullen. Rutledge is sent on an assignment for a murder case. Meanwhile, Rutledge becomes engaged to the lovely Jean Gordon. Their engagement comes on the day of the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand and his wife Sophie. Talk of war begins immediately in Europe. Rutledge hopes the talk will not proceed Great Britain's involvement. Jean's father is a military man and she has vainglorious …

Week One: War and Peace Read-a-Long

The link to read the first week at the host site:

I signed up to read War and Peace, February 5th. I was able to manage reading book one (117 pages) in a couple of days. My copy of War and Peace is The Modern Library Classics edition, translated by Constance Garnett, and with an introduction by A.N. Wilson.
The questions for this week:

What pre-existing ideas did you have about War and Peace? I did not have any bad pre-existing ideas about the story. It is long. The war is between France and Russia, the Napoleonic Wars. There is a love story. It is an epic story. A study of Russian aristocracy, it's culture and society. On that note, is it as bad as you'd expected? No. I am enjoying the story. What strategies are you employing? I have a post-it-note at the end of each book. It is normal for me to place a post-it-note at every 100 pages when I'm reading a lengthy book. My goal at one sitting is to r…

War and Peace Read-a-Long

The host for the challenge is @

On February 8th we'll go over book one!

Join us!

(Review) Determined: The Story of Holocaust Survivor Avraham Perlmutter by A. Avraham Perlmutter, Ph.D.

The International Holocaust Remembrance Day was on January 27, 2015. This was also the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau.
Yom HaShoah, Remembrance Day for Holocaust and Heroism, begins the evening of April 15 and ends the evening of April 16, 2015.
HBO showed a documentary on the Holocaust, January 27. The title of the film is Night Will Fall. I don't have HBO, this is one of those times I wish I did.
For more information on the film-from The Jewish Week. 

Publication Date: December 1, 2014.
Publisher: Mascherato.
Genre: Biography, Holocaust.
Pages: 168.
Source: Free copy from Avraham Perlmutter, Ph.D. in exchange for a review.
Rating: 4 stars for very good.

Link @ Amazon: Determined. 

Determined shares a chronicle of the life of Avraham Perlmutter.
Avraham, sister Dorothea, and their parents, lived in Vienna, Austria. Both of Avraham's parents came from Orthodox Jewish parents. In early 1938, the Nazi's took control of Austria. Less than a yea…

(Review) Ingrid by Lynnette Kraft

Publication Date: June 12, 2014.
Publisher: New Wrinkle Publishing.
Genre: Fantasy fiction reading challenge 2015.
Pages: 412.
Source: Free ebook copy from Lynnette Kraft in exchange for a review.
Rating: 4 stars for very good.

Link @ Amazon: Ingrid.

The book has its own website: Ingrid. 

Link to listen to the music. The composer is Jared Kraft.
The download of the music if FREE. I have enjoyed listening to the music! It's ethereal, relaxing.

Ingrid is a beautiful but mute teenage girl. She is lovely outwardly and inwardly. She lives with her parents and several older brothers in the community of Scot. We are not told where Scot is located. The story is fantasy fiction so the location of Scot is the fantasy land of the author's creation. My guess is Scot is a land similar to Ireland or Scotland. The time period is a mystery. My guess is the medieval period. Ingrid's best friend is Adair Pole. Adair is slightly older than Ingrid. Both Adair and Ingrid grieve for …

(Review) The Hunchback of Notre-Dame by Victor Hugo

Publication Date: Originally published in 1831. My copy published in 2008.
Publisher: Barnes and Noble.
Genre: French Romantic/Gothic novel.
Pages: 544.
Source: self-purchase.
Rating: 2 stars for okay.

Link @ Barnes and Nobles.
Link @ Amazon.  

This book was read for The Back to the Classics Challenge 2015-A Classic in Translation/French, and for The Classics Club.

To read more information about this novel:
She Reads Novels
You, Me, and a Cup of Tea

The novel begins January 6, 1482. This day is the Day of Epiphany, and the Feast of Fools Day. Quasimodo, the bell ringer at Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris, has been proclaimed "Pope of the Fools." His disfigurement in body is compared to a "cyclops". French citizens believe he is bedeviled and they are a bit frightened of him. On the other hand, his duty as bell-ringer and his longevity from living in the Cathedral make him a mascot of sorts. When Quasimodo was a baby, he was left abandoned at the Cathe…

A Poetic Introduction to February

"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." by Maya Angelou, 1928-2014.

XLIII Sonnets from the Portuguese
"How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace.
I love thee to the level of every day's
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death." Elizabeth Barrett Browning, 1806-1861.

"Winter is in my head, but eternal spring is in my heart." Victor Hugo, 1802-1885.

A Red, Re…