FRIDAY FINDS and BOOK BEGINNINGS (Jan. 24)

FRIDAY FINDS

FRIDAY FINDS
showcases the books you ‘found’ and added to your To Be Read (TBR) list…

whether you found them online, or in a bookstore, or in the library — wherever!
(they aren’t necessarily books you purchased).

So, come — share with us your FRIDAY FINDS!
Click on the logo to add your link

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Today, I’m presenting the last 3 available titles added to my Goodreads TBR, with the synopsis copied from Goodreads as well.

FICTION

Pride and honourEurope, in the year of the Lord 772
The extraordinary novel, Pride and Honour, is a completely revised and rewritten version of the surprise initial success of the novel Honour and Glory by Nathaniel Burns. The author took many of his readers‘ tips, reviews and advice to heart to make his fascinating tale about Charlemagne and the Saxon King Widukind an even better read. Take this suspenseful, captivating and exciting journey back into Europe’s Dark Ages to meet the pivotal figure of Charlemagne and one of his greatest adversaries.
Like a bloody storm, Charlemagne’s armies ravage early medieval Europe, leaving devastation and misery in their wake. They have subdued the kingdom of the Langobards, defeated the duchy of Bavaria; they threaten the Moors in the west and, in the south, the pope in Rome.
Yet Charlemagne has even more ambitious plans: he covets the Saxon territories in the north. The Saxons put up an unexpectedly fierce resistance. When Charlemagne’s troops destroy the Irminsul shrine, the Saxon holy of holies, there ensues a struggle to the death. Led by the legendary Duke Widukind, for decades the Saxons fight savagely for their beliefs and their independence. And they will have their revenge…
Pride and Honour will transport the reader right into the heart of this legend-shrouded part of the Early Middle Ages. With his story, Nathaniel Burns has woven a a rich, dark tapestry of one of the pivotal periods in medieval European history. His historically accurate descriptions rich in authentic detail bring this remote, strife-ridden world to life again before your very eyes.
Go ahead, stoke the fire in the hearth, draw your armchair closer and dive into this wonderful historical novel full of royal intrigue, warriors, and battles of a bygone Europe…

Kindle Edition, 408 pages
Published October 23rd 2013 by Heiken Marketing
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Whispers of vivaldi

Venice, 1745—an age of reckless pleasures, playful artifice, and baroque excess. An accident has reduced Tito Amato’s glorious singing voice to a husky croak. A tragedy— but also an opportunity. The once celebrated male soprano is now determined to prove himself as a director. With the theater losing subscribers to a rival company headed by an unscrupulous impresario, San Marco’s Maestro Torani charges Tito with locating the perfect opera to fill the seats in time for the opening of Carnival.
Surprisingly, a second-rate composer provides the very thing—an opera so replete with gorgeous melodies the public speculates it was written by the late Antonio Vivaldi. Even more disconcerting are the rumors swirling around Angeletto, a male soprano imported from Naples to sing the lead. Is the singer truly a castrato or a female soprano engaging in a daring but lucrative masquerade?
Both matters lead the perplexed Tito into dangerous waters that turn murderous when Maestro Torani undergoes a series of increasingly vicious attacks ending in his death. And Tito is the prime suspect. His own life as well as the future of Teatro San Marco now depend on his skills as a sleuth…

Hardcover, 250 pages
Published January 7th 2014 by Poisoned Pen Press

 

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NONFICTION

Open World

 

His vision is a remarkably consistent one and the same elements recur again and again—rocks, sea, mist, gulls and the natural world. The sheer range of influences reflect the extraordinary range and depth of his reading—Rimbaud, Nietzche, and Whitman amongst many others—and it is a measure of the strength of his work that such a personal voice emerges. The book is arranged chronologically and many of the poems are appearing in English for the first time. Notated and introduced by the author, this collection for the first time presents his poetry as a coherent and cross-referenced whole.

Paperback, 708 pages
Published August 1st 2003 by Birlinn Ltd

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HAVE YOU READ ANY OF THESE BOOKS?
WHICH ONE IS YOUR FAVORITE
OR SOUNDS MORE APPEALING TO YOU?

***

Book BeginningsPlease click on the logo to join Rose City Reader every Friday
to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading,
along with your initial thoughts about the sentence,
impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.
Please remember to include the title of the book and the author’s name.

The KabbalistClick on the cover to read more about it

“It was late. A lone monk, clad in a brown habit from head to toe, was making his way down the stairs, cautiously clinging to the railing. Having reached the end of the stairway, he opened the heavy library door, entered and flipped a switch, flooding the spacious hall with light.
The library walls were densely covered with book laden shelves. A rectangular timber table stood at its center, surrounded by wooden benches.”

Fascinating historical mystery on the the Kabbalah, the Templars, and maybe more. There’s a lot going on right now, not sure where everything will converge yet. Unfortunately the art cover art does not do justice to the book. Glad I was approached by the author before seeing the cover!

WOULD YOU KEEP READING?
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FRIDAY FINDS and BOOK BEGINNINGS (Jan. 17)

FRIDAY FINDS

FRIDAY FINDS
showcases the books you ‘found’ and added to your To Be Read (TBR) list…

whether you found them online, or in a bookstore, or in the library — wherever!
(they aren’t necessarily books you purchased).

So, come on — share with us your FRIDAY FINDS!
Click on the logo to add your link

***

Today, I’m presenting the last 3 available titles added to my Goodreads TBR, with the synopsis copied from Goodreads as well.
I think from now on, I will stick to 3 books for this meme, 2 fiction and 1 nonfiction; plus the one for Book Beginnings.

FICTION

Mistress of FranceA renaissance novel of destiny, love and power.

Mistress of France is an intriguing story of love and lust, jealousy and ambition, magic and murder set in the glorious palaces and chateaux of Renaissance France.

When Diane de Poitiers welcomes home the young princes of France, held as hostages in Spain for four years, she quickly gains their trust and sparks a passion that will endure a lifetime.

Bartered as a bride in the complex power struggle of three kingdoms, 14-year-old Catherine de Medici soon arrives in France to marry Henri duc d’Orleans, the second son of glamorous King Francois. From hostage to the royal palaces of France both Catherine and her new husband must put the trauma of their childhood aside and try to find a place in the most glittering court of Christendom. But Catherine quickly realises she will have to use all her Medici cunning to shine while her marriage is whispered as a misalliance, and she is called the ‘Grocer’s daughter’. Her only ally is the disturbing Italian sorcerer, Cosimo Ruggieri, a man prepared to use the dark arts to manipulate her destiny.

The eerie unearthing of an Egyptian talisman with untold powers sends Henri’s confidante the beautiful Diane on a quest to fulfill the mysterious prophesy of her destiny – She will rise higher than a queen. But the elegant widow attracts the jealousy of the king’s spiteful mistress and the court begins to fracture.

ebook, 698 pages
Published November 10th 2013 by Self published

 

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The French Orphan

The year is 1640, and Louis XIII is on the French throne. However, as far as you’re concerned, this is all pretty meaningless. After all, as a teenage orphan living in a monastery school in Reims, all you have to worry about is dodging the unpleasant advances of a few unsavoury monks and looking forward to a life of penniless and celibate servitude in a religious order.

After a childhood and adolescence plagued by a constant longing to know who he really is, orphan Pierre has not the slightest idea that his questions are about to be answered. But you know what they say – be careful what you wish for…

Suddenly finding out who you are can bring with it not only happiness and fortune, but danger, friendship and the sort of swift education that the monastery could never have provided! The discovery of who Pierre really is affects not only Pierre and his friends, but has ramifications for the French nobility, the English crown, and most dangerous of all, the machinations of Cardinal Richelieu and his fierce ambition for the Church and for himself.

Paperback
Published (first published June 12th 2012)

 

 

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NONFICTION

a Political Education

André Schiffrin was born the son of one of France’s most esteemed publishers, in a world peopled by some of the day’s leading writers and intellectuals, such as André Gide, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. But this world was torn apart when the Nazis marched into Paris on young André’s fifth birthday.

Beginning with the family’s dramatic escape to Casablanca—thanks to the help of the legendary Varian Fry—and eventually New York, A Political Education recounts the surprising twists and turns of a life that saw Schiffrin become, himself, one of the world’s most respected publishers. Emerging from the émigré community of wartime New York (a community that included his father’s friends Hannah Arendt and Helen and Kurt Wolff), he would go on to develop an insatiable appetite for literature and politics: heading a national student group he renamed the Students for a Democratic Society—the SDS . . . leading student groups at European conferences, once, as an unwitting front man for the CIA . . . and eventually being appointed by Random House chief Bennett Cerf to head the very imprint cofounded by his father—Pantheon.

There, he would discover and publish some of the world’s leading writers, including Noam Chomsky, Michel Foucault, Art Spiegelman, Studs Terkel, and Marguerite Duras.

But in a move that would make headlines, Schiffrin would ultimately rebel at corporate ownership and form his own publishing house—The New Press—where he would go on to set a new standard for independent publishing. A Political Education is a fascinating intellectual memoir that tells not only the story of a unique and important figure, but of the tumultuous political times that shaped him.

Hardcover, 225 pages
Published January 1st 2007 by Melville House

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HAVE YOU READ ANY OF THESE BOOKS?
WHICH ONE IS YOUR FAVORITE
OR SOUNDS MORE APPEALING TO YOU?

***

Book BeginningsPlease click on the logo to join Rose City Reader every Friday
to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading,
along with your initial thoughts about the sentence,
impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.
Please remember to include the title of the book and the author’s name.

Anvil of GodClick on the cover to read more about it

“God’s will be done,” Carloman whispered as the forward line closed on the enemy. One hundred and fifty men across, they moved in syncopated march–left foot first to support their four-foot shields, the right behind for power and balance. With each forward step, the Frankish line shouted, “Hyuh!” while the rebels relied on drums to keep their men in formation..

Very good historical fiction on 8th century France.

WOULD YOU KEEP READING?
SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS  IN A COMMENT PLEASE

FRIDAY FINDS and BOOK BEGINNINGS (Dec. 20)

FRIDAY FINDS

FRIDAY FINDS
showcases the books you ‘found’ and added to your To Be Read (TBR) list…

whether you found them online, or in a bookstore, or in the library — wherever!
(they aren’t necessarily books you purchased).

So, come on — share with us your FRIDAY FINDS!
Click on the logo to add your link

***

Today, I’m presenting the last 5 titles added to my Goodreads TBR, with the synopsis copied from Goodreads as well.

FICTION

The Widow TreeIn the fall of 1953, three teenagers find a clutch of long-lost Roman coins while clearing vegetables from a government field, and they argue over what to do with this new-found wealth. Nevena insists they should be turned over as they rightfully belong to the country. János wants to keep them. And Dorján walks the line between the two. The decision to conceal their discovery turns disastrous when János disappears.

Dorján and Nevena are left to question everything they believed to be true, while the mother of the missing boy, a widow named Gitta, slowly unravels. Has János used the money to escape the home that stifles him? Or has something much more sinister taken place?

The Widow Tree is a compelling, richly layered story of fatal plans and silent betrayals in a tightly knit Yugoslav village, where the postwar air is simultaneously flush with hope and weighted with suspicion. Amidst an intricate web of cultural tensions, government control, family bonds, and past mistakes, the truth behind many closely guarded secrets is revealed—with life-altering consequences.

Paperback, 320 pages
Published October 5th 2013 by Douglas & McIntyre

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Murder in Montmartre

Aimée’s childhood friend, Laure, is a policewoman. Her partner, Jacques, has set up a meeting in Montmartre with an informer. When Laure goes along as backup, Jacques is lured to a rooftop, where he is shot to death. Laure’s gun has been fired, gunpowder residue is on her hands, and she is charged with her partner’s murder.

The police close ranks against the alleged cop killer. Aimée is determined to clear Laure’s name. In doing so, she encounters separatist terrorists, Montmartre prostitutes, a surrealist painter’s stepdaughter, and a crooked Corsican bar owner, and learns of “Big Ears”—the French “ear in the sky” that records telephonic and electronic communications for the security services. Identifying Jacques’ murderer brings her closer to solving her own father’s death, which still haunts her. She cannot rest until she finds out who was responsible.

Paperback, 306 pages
Published March 1st 2007 by Soho Crime

 

 

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Blinding

Part visceral dream-memoir, part fictive journey through a hallucinatory Bucharest, Mircea Cărtărescu’s Blinding was one of the most widely heralded literary sensations in contemporary Romania, and a bestseller from the day of its release. Riddled with hidden passageways, mesmerizing tapestries, and whispering butterflies, Blinding takes us on a mystical trip into the protagonist’s childhood, his memories of hospitalization as a teenager, the prehistory of his family, a traveling circus, Secret police, zombie armies, American fighter pilots, the underground jazz scene of New Orleans, and the installation of the communist regime. This kaleidoscopic world is both eerily familiar and profoundly new. Readers of Blinding will emerge from this strange pilgrimage shaken, and entirely transformed.

Kindle Edition, 380 pages
Published November 12th 2013 by Archipelago

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NONFICTION

The Discoverers

An original history of man’s greatest adventure:
his search to discover the world around him.

Paperback, 745 pages

Published February 12th 1985 by Vintage

 

 

 

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How I Learn Languages

KATO LOMB (1909-2003) was one of the great polyglots of the 20th century.
A translator and one of the first simultaneous interpreters in the world,
Lomb worked in 16 languages for state and business concerns in her native Hungary.
She achieved further fame by writing books on languages, interpreting, and polyglots.

Polyglot: How I Learn Languages, first published in 1970,
is a collection of anecdotes and reflections on language learning.
Because Dr. Lomb learned her languages as an adult,
after getting a PhD in chemistry,
the methods she used will thus be of particular interest to adult learners
who want to master a foreign language.

Hardcover, 215 pages
Published by Tesl-Ej (first published 1970)

HAVE YOU READ ANY OF THESE BOOKS?
WHICH ONE IS YOUR FAVORITE
OR SOUNDS MORE APPEALING TO YOU?

***

Book BeginningsPlease click on the logo to join Rose City Reader every Friday
to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading,
along with your initial thoughts about the sentence,
impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.
Please remember to include the title of the book and the author’s name.

Degrees of CourageClick on the cover to read more about it

 

The morning of July 31, 1901, was just the beginning of another day as the sun rose over the European continent and filled the sky with its presence. Only in Sopron, a small gem of a mid-size town on the border where Austria and Hungary mingled together did the sun decide it was not a day for it to shine.

Plodding along in this memoir/historical fiction set in Hungary, a country dear to my heart. The characters are very enjoyable, and it’s a great way of reviewing what I know of 20th century European history.

WOULD YOU KEEP READING?
SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS  IN A COMMENT PLEASE