Dear Scott, Dearest Zelda: The Love Letters of F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald

Dear Scott, Dearest Zelda: The Love Letters of F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald

Dear Scott, Dearest Zelda: The Love Letters of F. Scott and Zelda FitzgeraldDear Scott, Dearest Zelda: The Love Letters of F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald by F. Scott Fitzgerald

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Dear Scott, Dearest Zelda: The Love Letters of F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald” book combine survived Fitzgeralds’ letters that Scott and Zelda have exchanged from the time they have met and thru Scott’s death.

For me, as a newbie to Scott and Zelda’s love story, this book was a phenomenal information source that explained very thoroughly Fitzgeralds’ relationship and reasons that drove Scott to alcoholism and Zelda to insanity.

One thing that fascinated me the most was their dedication to each other. Even in the period of Zelda’s first breakdown, Fitzgeralds were able to sustain their alliance despite the fact they have blamed each other for their failures. It was an interesting fact to see that while apart – Fitzgeralds’ lead calmer lives, but once together – their worlds would collapse with rapid speed.

While reading Fitzgeralds’ letters – I often caught myself thinking: how different their lives would become if they would never be married, or separated once their marriage problems have begun. Would Zelda lose her sanity? Would Scott’s alcoholism be prevented?

In the end, I find Fitzgeralds’ story love story passionate and romantic. Two highly intelligent people hopelessly in love, whose remarkable personalities clash once together, but remained devoted to each other thru their best times and worst. Their story is inspirational but tragique at the same time.

Thank you, NetGalley for an advanced free copy of the book.

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Queen Victoria: Twenty Four Days That Changed Her Life

Queen Victoria: Twenty Four Days That Changed Her Life

Queen Victoria: Twenty-Four Days That Changed Her LifeQueen Victoria: Twenty-Four Days That Changed Her Life by Lucy Worsley

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It was a very long book to start my 2019 reading year. However, Queen Victoria did live a very long and sensational life.

I’ve always admired Queen Victoria. England went thru many great changes during her reign. She is known as a woman who redefined British monarchy. Thankfully to this book, I’ve learned many new facts about Victoria. I was not aware of “baby race” prior to this book. And it was great to learn more about her parents, her relationship with uncle Leopold. And there were many new details about her favorite attendants: Munshi and John Brown. Her relationship with Disraeli and Lord Melbourne. Also, this book confirmed my theory about Albert and Victoria’s marriage and bond.

This book is a great introduction to the Queen’s life. However, just keep in mind that this book is not about Victoria’s twenty-four specific days that have changed her life, the writer has divided her life into twenty-four periods. In my opinion, the book is very well written, thoughtfully sorted, each chapter of the Queen’s life is covered equally. It is quite captivating. I really like Lucy Worsley’s style of writing. She makes it into a fascinating story instead of just counting Victoria’s biography facts.

Thank you NetGalley and MacMillan publisher for a free copy of this book.

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Hitler’s Last Day

Hitler’s Last Day

Hitler's Last DayHitler’s Last Day by Richard Dargie

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I picked up this book, with hopes to learn a little more of Hitler’s actual last day. The story in the book opens up broader to the whole story behind Hitler’s history.

I enjoyed the book, and author’s writing. It reminded me a lot of the book I’ve read earlier this year called “Five Days That Shocked the World” by Nicolas Best. Unlike the first book, this story is introduced in a lighter and less bald way. While telling the story of Hitler’s last day, the author trails back to the earlier days of Nazi’s leader. The book introduced me to a few brand new details, for example, Hitler’s relationship with women, a history behind it, his WWI experience and new facts/rumors from that time. And most importantly Stalin’s point of view on Hitler’s suicide. Many other facts were already known to me, however, it was a nice way to refresh the memory.

“Hitler’s Last Day” is a wonderful, short, very informative story of Nazi’s leader. Wonderful read and definitely a gift for any history lovers. Thank you, NetGalley for a free copy of the book, and Richard Dargie for a fascinating story.

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Abandoned In Berlin

Abandoned In Berlin

ABANDONED IN BERLIN: A TRUE STORYABANDONED IN BERLIN: A TRUE STORY by John R. Cammidge

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

As you all already know, I am a little bit obsessed with WWII history. Therefore when I saw the title of the book – I knew I had to read it. The book is based on the true story.

The story itself is heartbreaking. As we already know the history, prior and during the WWII many Jewish owned businesses were eliminated by German laws. In this particular book, we are introduced to a wealthy family that eventually were forced to sell their business and home and run away to England, Japan, and the US to avoid Nazi concentration camps.

Unlike many others, Hilda’s family were able to survive and built better life outside of their homeland. And one fine day, Hilda uncovers the truth of why her mother and grandmother were forced to leave their family home. Will she be able to get back the property that legally belongs to her?

“Abandoned in Berline” is a short novel, great for a great any history lover. Thank you John Cammidge for a lovely read and NetGalley and Gatekeeper Press publisher for a free copy of the novel.

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Paris On The Brink

Paris On The Brink

Paris on the Brink: The 1930s Paris of Jean Renoir, Salvador Dali, Simone de Beauvoir, Andre Gide, Sylvia Beach, Leon Blum, and Their FriendsParis on the Brink: The 1930s Paris of Jean Renoir, Salvador Dali, Simone de Beauvoir, Andre Gide, Sylvia Beach, Leon Blum, and Their Friends by Mary McAuliffe

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Very informative and compelling book that contains stories about a set of brilliant individuals that found themselves in the city of light between the Wall Street Crash and German occupation.

Because of this incredible book, I was able to find myself in a circle of Gertrude Stein, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Gide, Marie Curie, Picasso, Stravinsky, the fabulous Coco Chanel, and Elsa Schiaparelli, sassy Josephine Baker, my hero Sylvia Beach, James Joyce, Man Ray, and Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, also Renoir, Dali. This book provides many more interesting facts about each character’s life, their friendships, and struggles. The book’s purpose is to focus on each individual’s lives during the late 1920s and thru 1940, however, the reader is also given an opportunity to learn a bit more of their backgrounds prior to 1929.

Mary McAuliffe did a brilliant job of researching the facts and putting everything together into an astonishing novel. Thank you Rowman & Littlefield Publishers and NetGalley for a copy of this amazing book.

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Lincoln’s Last Trial: The Murder Case That Propelled Him to the Presidency

Lincoln’s Last Trial: The Murder Case That Propelled Him to the Presidency

Lincoln's Last Trial: The Murder Case That Propelled Him to the PresidencyLincoln’s Last Trial: The Murder Case That Propelled Him to the Presidency by Dan Abrams

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As a person who has never heard of Lincoln’s last murder case, I found this book very informative. Not only Abe Lincoln was yet again proven to be a great leader but he had an amazing ability to win a case that was set for failure from the beginning.

For those who do not know the case, Peachy Quinn Harrison had stabbed Greek Crafton during a fight. Days earlier the two had another clash during town’s gathering and both made treats against each other. The night of the horrific incident, Peachy pulled the knife and stabbed Greek in self-defense. Well, that’s what he’s been repeating since that dreadful night. As new evidence regarding fight details came to light together with Greek Crafton’s deathbed confession, Peachy Quinn Harrison was released and Abe Lincoln gained admiration, popularity, and well-deserved recognition.

The story was very well written, short and straight to the point. It was an easy and captivating read. I was lured into the pages of the book and could not get enough of the case. I even did a little research on this case online, and surprisingly, was not able to find any new facts that I have not read in the book. Thank you, Dan Abrams and David Fisher for this phenomenal book and story.

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Victoria: The Widow and Her Son

Victoria: The Widow and Her Son

Victoria: The Widow and Her SonVictoria: The Widow and Her Son by Hector Bolitho

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’m very interested in English monarchy history, however, I never had a chance to read more of Queen Victoria. I was very pleased to come upon this book on NetGalley. This is not only my very first book about Queen Victoria, but it’s my first book written by Hector Bolitho. Fantastic writing followed by a fair introduction of two English sovereigns.

The book begins right after the passing of Victoria’s most Dear Angel – Albert. As we already know, Victoria grieved the death of her husband for the rest of her days. The author mentions her heartbreak, however, the main focus of this book is on Victoria’s reign after the passing of Albert and her mentorship of the next King of England.

At the beginning of this book, Victoria is portraited as a grieving widow who lives in the shadow of her departed husband, Albert. But years pass by and Victoria learns to separate her sorrow from running her kingdom. Her relationship with her children improves as they grow older. As one of the longest-lived British monarchs, thru 64 years of her reign, Queen Victoria had built a strong Empire. The United Kingdom not only went thru changes in industrial, cultural, political, scientific, and military fields but also expanded its territory. This book is another proof that Queen Victoria was an incredibly smart and very patient monarch.

Queen Victoria’s successor, Prince Albert Edward, followed his mother’s footsteps. He had no choice but to grown up fast and dedicate his life to the English throne. In this book we learn that he was a people’s prince, he took a great part of improving education, health reforms, and social welfare.

Wonderful book, filled with many details of Queen Victoria and Prince Edward’s personal and political lives. One other part that I loved about the book – it includes parts of Queen Victoria letters. I’ve become fond of Hector Bolitho’s writing and would love to read more of his books in the near future.

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