Book review: The French Sultana – I love France #150

And maybe you do too!
If you have recently read a good book in connection with France,
or watched a movie, read an article on France, etc,
please mention it in the comment section
and add a link to your blog post if you have one.
I will regularly post a recap of all the links mentioned.
If it’s a book review, why not enter it in the 2015 French Bingo?



The French Sultana
(The Veil and the Crown #2)

The French Sultana


The French Sultana
Zia Wesley

Publisher:  self-published by the author
Pages: 210
Publication date: July 2014

Genre:  Historical fiction
Source: Received for review


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In full compliance with FTC Guidelines,
I received this ebook for free in exchange for a fair and honest review.
I was in no way compensated for this post as a reviewer, and the thoughts are my own.

This book counts for the following Reading Challenges

 French Bingo 2015 logo  2015 HF Reading Challenge Button_FINAL 

  2015 ebook New Authors 2015



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Following fellow book bloggers on their site, on Goodreads, signing up to NetGalley or even to judge novels, you sometimes stumble upon gems. The French Sultana is definitely a gem, and I am glad I found it. Imagine: it’s a historical novel focusing on a page of French history I had basically never heard of!
Click to continue reading

WWW Wednesdays (Dec. 11)

www wednesdays
Click on the logo to join the fun!

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

Please click on the book covers to access the Goodreads synopsis, my review, or virtual book tours.

What are you currently reading?


Received this book from the author.
Historical fiction set in South Dakota.
Stunning beauty of the landscapes,
but wow there are some really tough passages…


What did you recently finish reading?

Becoming Josephine

Stunning historical fiction
on Josephine,
her first and 2nd husband.
Excellent first novel
by Heather Webb.

Be sure to visit France Book Tours,
as this book will be on tour Jan 2-11,
there will be great reviews,
an interview,
and many opportunities
to win giveaways!


What do you think you’ll read next?

Degrees of Courage

Received this book
for a virtual book tour.
Historical fiction in Hungary,
it’d better be good,
as it is written very small,
and it’s 574 pages…




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.



At the age of 14 Georg Koves is plucked from his home in a Jewish section of Budapest
and without any particular malice, placed on a train to Auschwitz.
He does not understand the reason for his fate.
He doesn’t particularly think of himself as Jewish.
And his fellow prisoners, who decry his lack of Yiddish, keep telling him, “You are no Jew.”
In the lowest circle of the Holocaust, Georg remains an outsider.
The genius of Imre Kertesz’s unblinking novel lies in its refusal to mitigate the strangeness of its events,
not least of which is Georg’s dogmatic insistence on making sense of what he witnesses
–or pretending that what he witnesses makes sense.
Haunting, evocative, and all the more horrifying for its rigorous avoidance of sentiment,
Fatelessness is a masterpiece in the traditions of Primo Levi, Elie Wiesel, and Tadeusz Borowski.

Paperback, 262 pages
Published December 7th 2004 by Vintage (first published 1975)



The Sleepwalkers
With his epic trilogy, The Sleepwalkers,
Hermann Broch established himself as one of the great innovators of modern literature,
a visionary writer-philosopher the equal of James Joyce, Thomas Mann, or Robert Musil.
Even as he grounded his narratives in the intimate daily life of Germany,
Broch was identifying the oceanic changes that would shortly sweep that life into the abyss.
Whether he is writing about a neurotic army officer (The Romantic),
a disgruntled bookkeeper and would-be assassin (The Anarchist),
or an opportunistic war-deserter (The Realist), Broch immerses himself in the twists of his characters’ psyches,
and at the same time soars above them,
to produce a prophetic portrait of a world tormented by its loss of faith, morals, and reason.
Paperback, 656 pages
Published January 30th 1996 by Vintage (first published 1932)



Parnassus On Wheels

“I warn you,” said the funny-looking little man with the red beard,
“I’m here to sell this caravan of culture,
and by the bones of Swinburne I think your brother’s the man to buy it.”
Christopher Morley’s unforgettably weird classic tale of adventure
on a traveling bookstore called Parnassus,
drawn by a steed called Pegasus.
Not to be missed.
Paperback, 152 pages
Published by (first published 1917)




an American bride in Kabul

Few westerners will ever be able to understand Muslim or Afghan society unless they are part of a Muslim family.
Twenty years old and in love, Phyllis Chesler, a Jewish-American girl from Brooklyn, embarked on an adventure that has lasted for more than a half-century.
In 1961, when she arrived in Kabul with her Afghan bridegroom, authorities took away her American passport.
Chesler was now the property of her husband’s family and had no rights of citizenship.
Back in Afghanistan, her husband, a wealthy, westernized foreign college student with dreams of reforming his country, reverted to traditional and tribal customs.
Chesler found herself unexpectedly trapped in a posh polygamous family, with no chance of escape.
She fought against her seclusion and lack of freedom, her Afghan family’s attempts to convert her from Judaism to Islam, and her husband’s wish to permanently tie her to the country through childbirth.
Drawing upon her personal diaries, Chesler recounts her ordeal, the nature of gender apartheid—and her longing to explore this beautiful, ancient, and exotic country and culture.
Chesler nearly died there but she managed to get out, returned to her studies in America, and became an author and an ardent activist for women’s rights throughout the world.
An American Bride in Kabul is the story of how a naïve American girl learned to see the world through eastern as well as western eyes and came to appreciate Enlightenment values.
This dramatic tale re-creates a time gone by, a place that is no more, and shares the way in which Chesler turned adversity into a passion for world-wide social, educational, and political reform.

Hardcover, 256 pages
Published October 1st 2013 by Palgrave Macmillan


Cells to Civilizations

Cells to Civilizations” is the first unified account of how life transforms itself–from the production of bacteria to the emergence of complex civilizations.
What are the connections between evolving microbes, an egg that develops into an infant, and a child who learns to walk and talk?
Award-winning scientist Enrico Coen synthesizes the growth of living systems and creative processes, and he reveals that the four great life transformations–evolution, development, learning, and human culture–while typically understood separately, actually all revolve around shared core principles and manifest the same fundamental recipe. Coen blends provocative discussion, the latest scientific research, and colorful examples to demonstrate the links between these critical stages in the history of life.

Coen tells a story rich with genes, embryos, neurons, and fascinating discoveries.
He examines the development of the zebra, the adaptations of seaweed, the cave paintings of Lascaux, and the formulations of Alan Turing.
He explores how dogs make predictions, how weeds tell the time of day, and how our brains distinguish a Modigliani from a Rembrandt. Locating commonalities in important findings, Coen gives readers a deeper understanding of key transformations and provides a bold portrait for how science both frames and is framed by human culture.
A compelling investigation into the relationships between our biological past and cultural progress, “Cells to Civilizations” presents a remarkable story of living change.

Hardcover, 322 pages
Published May 27th 2012 by Princeton University Press




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.

Becoming JosephineClick on the cover to read more about it,
as Heather Webb will be on tour at France Book Tours in January!

“The missive arrived in the night. I paced from bed to bureau and back again, finally pausing to open the velvet drapes. The moon cast a ghostly glow on the dogwood blooms and barren rose gardens. My gardens of paradise. Others had intended it to be my prison, but I found it a hard-earned refuge. A place of safety after a lifetime of flight,a heavy crown, and the deaths of so many I held dear.”

I’m almost done with this upcoming amazing historical fiction -to be released on the last day of December. I enjoy the descriptions of Martinique, the way the author related the events of the Revolution, and how she describes the characters of Josephine, her first husband and then the famous one!