Welcome to Mailbox Monday, the weekly meme where book lovers share the titles they received for review, purchased, or otherwise obtained over the past week. It is now being hosted at the Mailbox Monday blog.
I can’t believe it’s been over a month since I last posted my new books! This is what I’ve added to my shelves since then:
Auschwitz: A Doctor’s Eyewitness Account by Dr. Miklos Nyiszli — purchased at used bookstore with birthday money
When the Nazis invaded Hungary in 1944, they sent virtually the entire Jewish population to Auschwitz. A Jew and a medical doctor, the prisoner Dr. Miklos Nyiszli was spared death for a grimmer fate: to perform “scientific research” on his fellow inmates under the supervision of the man who became known as the infamous “Angel of Death” — Dr. Josef Mengele. Nyiszli was named Mengele’s personal research pathologist. In that capacity he also served as physician to the Sonderkommando, the Jewish prisoners who worked exclusively in the crematoriums and were routinely executed after four months. Miraculously, Nyiszli survived to give this horrifying and sobering account.
Auschwitz was one of the first books to bring the full horror of the Nazi death camps to the American public. Although much has since been written about the Holocaust, this eyewitness account remains, as the New York Review of Books said in 1987, “the best brief account of the Auschwitz experience available.” Of Bruno Bettelheim’s famous foreword Neal Ascherson has written, “Its eloquence and outrage must guarantee it a permanent place in Jewish historiography.” (publisher’s summary)
Darcy’s Passions: Pride and Prejudice Retold Through His Eyes by Regina Jeffers — purchased at used book store with birthday money
Darcy’s Passions captures Austen’s style and wit as it tells the familiar story of Darcy’s resistance to the charms of Elizabeth and his later efforts to win her affection from a not-so-familiar angle. This version reveals the origins of Darcy’s pride, reaching behind his aloof exterior to expose his longing for Elizabeth — independent, impossible, and inconceivable as a match for the high-born, well-bred master of Pemberley. Readers will finally see the vulnerability and turmoil within Darcy, the internal struggle between his duty and his heart’s desire.
The author lovingly revisits all the memorable scenes — Darcy’s snub of Elizabeth at Lucas Lodge, his tortured proposal at Rosings Park, rekindled hopes at Pemberley — and fills in the missing pieces with new conversations and correspondence. For the first time, readers are immersed in Darcy’s world, privy to his first impressions of his bride-to-be, his hopes for their union, and his thoughts upon being rejected. Characters both maddening and beloved are seen in new light, from the pretentious Mr. Collins, the thoughtless young Bennet sisters, and the foolish Mrs. Bennet to Darcy’s dear sister Georgiana, his friend and cousin Colonel Fitzwilliam, and his overbearing aunt, Lady Catherine de Bourgh. And we finally learn the truth about Darcy’s role in preventing the scandalous affair between Georgiana and Captain Wickham — and how he saves the silly Lydia from the same fate. (publisher’s summary)
Hitler’s Secret by William Osborne — a Christmas gift from The Girl
Otto and Leni thought they were safe: They escaped — barely — from war-torn Europe and are living as refugees in England. But now the Crown has recruited them: Great Britain wants them to go back to Germany. As spies!
Dropped behind enemy lines, Otto and Leni embark on a top-secret operation. Code name: Wolfsangel. Their mission? Capture the one person who can defeat the ultimate evil of Nazism. Will Hitler’s final legacy lie in their hands? (publisher’s summary)
Once We Were Brothers by Ronald H. Balson — a Christmas gift from Serena and family
Elliot Rosenzweig, a respected civic leader and wealthy philanthropist, is attending a fund-raiser when he is suddenly accosted by Ben Solomon and accused of being a former Nazi SS officer named Otto Piatek, the Butcher of Zamość. Although the charges are denounced, his accuser is convinced he is right and engages attorney Catherine Lockhart to bring Rosenzweig to justice. Solomon reveals that the true Piatek was abandoned as a child and raised by Solomon’s own family, only to betray them during the Nazi occupation. But has Solomon accused the right man?
Once We Were Brothers is the compelling tale of two boys and a family who fight to survive in war-torn Poland, and a young love that struggles to endure the unspeakable cruelty of the Holocaust. Two lives, two worlds, and sixty years converge in an explosive race to redemption that makes for a moving and powerful tale of love, survival, and ultimately the triumph of the human spirit. (publisher’s summary)
After Dunkirk by Milena McGraw — a Christmas gift from Serena and family
At the threshold of World War II, Wayne Luthie is the leader of the Wonders, an inexperienced British flight squadron. While his crew adapts to war from a safe distance, Luthie ponders the delights and puzzles of his childhood in India and falls in love. But soon the escalating war draws near, with great consequence, and tranquil memories are tinged with remembered violence and riddles are revealed as insidious secrets. (publisher’s summary)
Citadel by Kate Mosse — from William Morrow for review
Combining the rugged action of Labyrinth with the haunting mystery of Sepulchre, Kate Mosse’s eagerly awaited Citadel is a mesmerizing story of daring and courage, set during World War II, in which a group of determined women fighting for the Resistance will risk their lives to save their homeland…and protect astonishing secrets buried in time.
France, 1942. In Carcassonne, a colorful historic village nestled deep in the Pyrenees, a group of courageous women are engaged in a lethal battle. Like their ancestors who fought to protect their land from Northern invaders seven hundred years before, these members of the resistance—codenamed Citadel—fight to liberate their home from the Nazis.
But smuggling refugees over the mountains into neutral territory and sabotaging their German occupiers at every opportunity is only part of their mission. These women must also protect an ancient secret that, if discovered by their ruthless enemies, could change the course of history.
A superb blend of rugged action and haunting mystery, Citadel is a vivid and richly atmospheric story of love, faith, heroism, and danger—and a group of extraordinary women who dare the impossible to survive. (publisher’s summary)
Last Train to Paris by Michele Zackheim — from Europa Editions for review
Inspired by the true story of a distant cousin’s kidnapping in Paris in the 1930s, Michele Zackheim’s sweeping historical novel centers on Rose Manon, a small-town girl from the American West who spent her youth dreaming of a larger, more exciting life. When she learns of an opening for a staff reporter in New York City, she heads east to pursue her dreams.
As the summer of 1935 unfolds, Rose proves she has the right mixture of talent and ambition to succeed in a male-dominated newsroom. She also uncovers the truth about her Jewish heritage, an identity her parents took pains to keep secret. And even though New York City in the 1930s is endlessly exciting for an intrepid young journalist, Rose takes a cue from renowned war correspondent Martha Gellhorn and sets her sights even further afield, this time across the Atlantic Ocean.
Over the next few years, Rose’s ambitions take her to Paris and then Berlin. Along the way, she lives a charmed existence, falling in love with an artist/revolutionary and rubbing shoulders with such luminaries as Colette and Janet Flanner. But as the Third Reich gains momentum and influence, critical events begin unfolding at a heart-stopping pace. Rose quickly finds herself caught in an inescapable web of terror, and decades later she must come to terms with the consequences of a heart-wrenching decision that irreparably changes the course of her life. (publisher’s summary)
Sophia’s War: Lies and Allies (Volume 2) by Stephanie Baumgartner — from the author for review
When Sophia agreed to Diedrich’s conditions, she hadn’t counted on the domineering behavior from her cousin that would ensue. In spite of her promise to return to America if she broke even one of his stipulations, Sophia finds herself trying to see how far she can push her limits — especially when it comes to her friend, Adrian.
Soon after Germany’s invasion of Poland, Sophia finds herself wondering who she can trust. Her innocent curiosity is replaced with fear and doubt, especially upon learning that a stranger has been peeking in her windows at night.
Will Sophia find a way to stay in Germany and uncover the identity of the mysterious stranger? Or will Diedrich force her to leave before she has the chance? (publisher’s summary)
Alias Thomas Bennet by Suzan Lauder — from Meryton Press for review
When Fitzwilliam Darcy attends the Merton assembly, he befriends a quiet, intelligent gentleman. In frequent visits to his friend’s home, he becomes acquainted with the Bennet family of Longbourn. Yet Mr. Darcy is distracted by a strange feeling of having met some of them before.
This is a different Bennet family from the cleverly crafted one in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. This Mr. Bennet is a responsible gentleman who takes an active role in the education and upbringing of all five of his daughters, manages Longbourn to be prosperous, and displays loving guidance toward Mrs. Bennet — a gentle, caring mother and wife.
There is a mystery lurking at Longbourn — a secret unknown even to Elizabeth Bennet — and Mr. Darcy is entangled in its extraordinary revelations. (publisher’s summary)
Return to Tradd Street by Karen White — from NAL for review
Facing her future as a single mother, psychic Realtor Melanie Middleton is determined to be strong and leave her past with writer Jack Trenholm behind her. But history has a tendency of catching up with Melanie, whether she likes it or not…
Melanie is only going through the motions of living since refusing Jack’s marriage proposal. She misses him desperately, but her broken heart is the least of her problems. Despite an insistence that she can raise their child alone, Melanie is completely unprepared for motherhood, and she struggles to complete renovations on her house on Tradd Street before the baby arrives.
When Melanie is roused one night by the sound of a ghostly infant crying, she chooses to ignore it. She simply does not have the energy to deal with one more crisis. That is, until the remains of a newborn buried in an old christening gown are found hidden in the foundation of her house.
As the hauntings on Tradd Street slowly become more violent, Melanie decides to find out what caused the baby’s untimely death, uncovering the love, loss, and betrayal that color the house’s history — and threaten her claim of ownership. But can she seek Jack’s help without risking her heart? For in revealing the secrets of the past, Melanie also awakens the malevolent presence that has tried to keep the truth hidden for decades… (publisher’s summary)
A Lasting Love Affair: Darcy & Elizabeth by P.O. Dixon — from the author for review
Darcy was not looking to fall in love. He thought he had it all: wealth, privilege, and ardent passion for his sport. Then he meets Elizabeth Bennet, and soon thereafter he knows that she is the woman with whom he is destined to spend his life.
Having suffered a traumatic loss, Elizabeth knows the pain of heartache. She is determined to shield herself against forming strong attachments so she might never feel that way again. Then Mr. Darcy comes along, and he has a way of melting all her defenses. (publisher’s summary)
Amidst the Shadows of Trees: A Holocaust Child’s Survival in the Partisans by Miriam M. Brysk — from Gihon River Press for review
Miriam Brysk’s story of ghetto life in Lida in Belarus and partisan life in the nearby Lipiczany Forest sheds light on Jewish activism during the Nazi Holocaust. It also tells the story of a lost childhood and of challenging years disguised as a partisan “boy” accompanying her father and mother in the resistance. Dr. Chaim Miasnik, Miriam’s father, was chief of staff and lead surgeon in a forest hospital and later received the Order of Lenin for his work with partisans. Miriam and her family survived until liberation and later came to the U.S. and constructed normal lives. Miriam herself became an accomplished scientist. This book sheds light on Jewish participation in resistance during World War II and in saving other Jews. It is also a testament to the resilient powers of youth and to the power of survivor memory many years after the events. (publisher’s summary)
The Stones Weep: Teaching the Holocaust Through a Survivor’s Art by Miriam M. Brysk and Margaret G. Lincoln — from Gihon River Press for review
Welcomed by educators, artists, students, historians as well as the Holocaust community, The Stones Weep by Miriam Brysk and Margaret Lincoln is a uniquely engaging and effective Holocaust Education book that combines multiple aspects of a survivor’s art — emotional, expressionistic digital creations — with teacher-created and tested lesson plans that meet State and National Core Curriculum Standards, including an online lesson available in Moodle. In so doing, this book provides new perspectives for teaching and learning about the Holocaust.
The rare partnership of Holocaust survivor, artist, author, and professor, Miriam Brysk, PhD, along with Library of Congress American Memory Fellow and District Librarian at Lakeview, Michigan schools, Margaret Lincoln, PhD, affords an unprecedented opportunity to explore the Holocaust in both singularly personal and global historic contexts.
The Lesson Plans: In a Confined Silence * The Plight of Jewish Children During the Holocaust * The Einsatzgruppen and Bystanders * Warsaw Ghetto Uprising and Resistance * Children of Lodz-Chelmno and Perpetrators * Man’s Need to Testify, Remember, and Transcend Language * Personal Journey (publisher’s summary)
The Tattered Prayer Book by Ellen Bari, illustrated by Avi Katz — from Gihon River Press for review
The Tattered Prayer Book is a gentle introduction to the Holocaust for children ages 6-10. Ruthie discovers a secret about her father while looking through a box of mementos from “the old country.” As her father tells his surprising story, Ruthie learns a slice of Jewish history and the circumstances under which the family fled Nazi Germany. A burnt prayer book taken in secret from a destroyed synagogue after Kristallnacht offers solace to a young boy at the most difficult time in his life. Once safely settled in America, he tries to bury the prayer book along with his painful past. Many years later, sharing the story with Ruthie allows father to heal and daughter to grow. (publisher’s summary)
The Yellow Eyes of Crocodiles by Katherine Pancol — from Penguin for review
When her chronically unemployed husband runs off to start a crocodile farm in Kenya with his mistress, Josèphine Cortès is left in an unhappy state of affairs. The mother of two — confident, beautiful teenage Hortense and shy, babyish Zoè — is forced to maintain a stable family life while making ends meet on her meager salary as a medieval history scholar. Meanwhile, Josèphine’s charismatic sister Iris seems to have it all — a wealthy husband, gorgeous looks, and a très chic Paris address — and yet, Iris is beyond bored.
At dinner one evening, Iris charms a famous publisher into offering her a lucrative deal for a twelfth-century romance. Then Iris offers her sister a deal of her own: Josèphine will write the novel and pocket all of the proceeds, but the book will be published under Iris’s name. All is well — that is, until the book becomes the literary sensation of the season.
Addictively readable, slyly funny, and unmistakably French, The Yellow Eyes of Crocodiles is the ultimate upmarket escapist read and the perfect bonbon for discerning readers everywhere. (publisher’s summary)
The Memory of Lost Senses by Judith Kinghorn — a surprise from NAL
Cecily Chadwick is idling away the long, hot summer of 1911 when a mysterious countess moves into the large, deserted country house on the edge of her sleepy English village. Rumors abound about the countess’s many husbands and lovers, her opulent wealth, and the tragedies that have marked her life. As Cecily gets to know her, she becomes fascinated by the remarkable woman — riveted by her tales of life on the Continent and of the famous people she once knew. But the countess is clearly troubled by her memories and by ruinous secrets that haunt her…
Staying with the countess is a successful novelist and dear friend who has been summoned to write the countess’s memoirs. For aspiring writer Cecily, the novelist’s presence only adds to the intrigue of the house. But it is the countess’s grandson, Jack, who draws Cecily further into the tangled web of the countess’s past, and sweeps her into an uncertain future… (publisher’s summary)
Deutschland by Martin Wagner — from Jeanne (thank you!)
Spending their summer holidays at their grandparents’ house by the sea, Sam and her two brothers play a series of dangerous games, pitted against each other yet united in their secrecy from the grown-ups. But when they discover a fierce dog mysteriously trapped in an electrical substation, they face their first real challenge, one from which they cannot walk away.
Meanwhile, on a long weekend in Germany with their aunt, Kate, and her new lover find themselves playing games of their own. in the red-light district of Munich, will Kate’s surprising challenge for her boyfriend strengthen or destroy their relationship?
Many years ago, Sam’s grandfather, Richard, also played an unusual game, encouraged by a stranger, as part of a scientific experiment. The choices he made then have haunted him ever since. As Sam delves into her grandfather’s secret she discovers that where free will turns to blind obedience, true horror lies. (publisher’s summary)
The First Christmas Night by Keith Christopher, illustrated by Christine Kornacki — won from (Live and) Dream a Little Dream
This lyrical retelling of the birth of Jesus on that joyous night in Bethlehem is modeled after the classic “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.” The poem begins with the arrival of Mary and Joseph in Bethlehem and moves through Christ’s birth, the angels’ appearance to the shepherds, and the visit by the wise men. The simple yet elegant verses will appeal to little ones and are accompanied by the rich oil paintings of Christine Kornacki. (publisher’s summary)
Unravelled by M.K. Tod — won from Suko’s Notebook
In 1935, Edward Jamieson’s memories of war and a passionate love affair resurface when an invitation to a WWI memorial ceremony arrives. Though reluctant to visit the scenes of horror he has spent years trying to forget, Edward succumbs to the unlikely possibility of discovering what happened to Helene Noisette, the woman he once pledged to marry. Travelling through the French countryside with his wife Ann, Edward sees nothing but reminders of war. After a chance encounter with Helene at the dedication ceremony, Edward’s past puts his present life in jeopardy.
When WWII erupts a few years later, Edward is quickly caught up in the world of training espionage agents, while Ann counsels grieving women and copes with the daily threats facing those she loves. And once again, secrets and war threaten the bonds of marriage.
With events unfolding in Canada, France, and England, Unravelled is a compelling novel of love, duty and sacrifice set amongst the turmoil of two world wars. (publisher’s summary)
Miss Buncle’s Book by D.E. Stevenson — free ebook
Who Knew One Book Could Cause So Much Chaos?
Barbara Bunde is in a bind. Times are harsh, and Barbara’s bank account has seen better days. Maybe she could sell a novel … if she knew any stories. Stumped for ideas, Barbara draws inspiration from her fellow residents of Silverstream, the little English village she knows inside and out.
To her surprise, the novel is a smash. It’s a good thing she wrote under a pseudonym, because the folks of Silverstream are in an uproar. But what really turns Miss Bunde’s world around is this: what happens to the characters in her book starts happening to their real-life counterparts. Does life really imitate art?
A beloved author who has sold more than seven million books, D. E. Stevenson is at her best with Miss Buncle’s Book, crafting a highly original and charming tale about what happens when people see themselves through someone else’s eyes. (publisher’s summary)
Fall for You: A Jane Austen Academy Novel by Cecilia Gray — free ebook
To say Lizzie and Dante are polar opposites is the understatement of the century. He’s a snooty Exeter transfer with more money than Google. She’s a driven study-a-holic just barely keeping up with tuition. It’s obvious that Dante thinks he’s way too good for Lizzie. And Lizzie knows Dante is a snob with a gift for pressing her buttons.
But things are changing fast this year at the Academy. And when Lizzie’s quest to stop those changes blows up in her face, taking her oldest friendship with it, she has nowhere else to turn but to Dante, with his killer blue eyes, his crazy-sexy smile, and his secrets… Secrets Lizzie can’t seem to leave alone, no matter how hard she tries… (publisher’s summary)
Jane Austen and Food by Maggie Lane — free ebook
What was the significance of the pyramid of fruit which confronted Elizabeth Bennet at Pemberley? Or of the cold beef eaten by Willoughby on his journey of repentance to see Marianne?
Why is it so appropriate that the scene of Emma’s disgrace should be a picnic, and how do the different styles of housekeeping in Mansfield Park relate to the social issues of the day?
While Jane Austen does not luxuriate in cataloging meals in the way of Victorian novelists, food in fact plays a vital part in her novels.
Her mainly domestic plots are deeply imbued with the rituals of giving and sharing meals. The attitudes of her characters to eating, to housekeeping and to hospitality are important indicators of their moral worth. This culminates in the artistic triumph of Emma, in which repeated references to food not only contribute to the portrait of her world, but provide an extended metaphor for the interdependence of a community.
In this original, lively and well-researched book, Maggie Lane not only offers a fresh perspective on the novels of Jane Austen, but illuminates a fascinating period of food history, as England stood on the brink of urbanisation, middle-class luxury, and a revolution in the role of women.
Ranging over topics from greed to gender to mealtimes and manners, and drawing on the novels, letters and Austen family papers, she also discusses Jane Austen’s own ambivalent attitude to the provision and enjoyment of food. (publisher’s summary)
What books did you add to your shelves recently?
© 2014 Anna Horner of Diary of an Eccentric. All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce or republish content without permission.
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