While Trump claimed he had been vindicated – and therefore his Russian headache and cloud had lifted (fake news and alternative facts, as usual) … While Theresa May had created a big, huge, enormous splitting headache – for herself, her party, plenty voters who had supported her … I accidentally hit upon a very bad idea.
“The last diary of Tsaritsa Alexandra” is no novel, but a historical document. It is what its title suggest: one of Alexandra’s diaries. The book not only consists of the diary, but contains a small biography and other parts.
This book is not new. It first appeared in 2009 and went through several editions. The reason I became interested in it, was the recent lecture I attended. Its topic was the plight of elderly Jews in Nazi occupied Vienna, left behind by family members who managed to emigrate and escape.
“Histoire véridique de Napoléon Bonaparte et de Charles-André Pozzo di Borgo” is the book’s subtitle. This is not Marie Ferranti’s first book. Nor is it her first to receive a prize. It actually got two in 2012. But as readers know: not being awarded a prize does not mean a book is bad; while being awarded a prize does not mean a book is good.
The turmoil which followed the Brexit shows no sign of abating. The turmoil in British politics, I mean. Developments follow each other so fast, it is unbelievable. What seems to be the situation between breakfast and lunch, changes before lunch, again before dinner and kind of remains the situation between dinner and breakfast the next day.
This is an interesting biography, written by a daughter about her mother and family. So what? Well: nearly everybody is familiar with the husband and father. Hardly anybody is interested in the mother, wife, family of the man who tried to blow up Hitler.
Earlier this year, German author Hanns-Josef Ortheil presented “Die Berlinreise” as well as a new version of his “Der Blaue Weg”. From both books, he read excerpts. These had his audience in stitches, or moved it deeply. So when I visited a local German library for a totally different book and stumbled upon “Die Berlinreise” (The Berlin trip) it was this novel I took home.
“Since Maggie went away” is written by writer-journalist Jacqueline Nolan. The play is based on personal experiences and recently uncovered family history. Being familiar with press reports on its topic and having recently read “The Baby Thief”(see “Thief”), I attended an impressive performance.
In his introduction, the author mentions he visited places where Spinoza lived and worked. There is not much left. Spinoza’s portrait is fictional. The stone in a former graveyard, does not mark the exact place of his grave.
Unfortunately, this book is not fiction. This is a true story about adoption. Most of the babies and children were white, blue-eyed, blond. They nearly all came from one US state: Tennessee.
Barbara Bisantz Raymond describes events which took place between 1920 and 1950. Her story also deals with preliminaries and aftermath. It focuses on the legal – but mostly illegal – dealings of one person. It is hard to believe, at times horrifying to read, yet true. Worse: the illegal practises it describes continue in other parts of the world.