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Monday, March 28, 2016

Paris Is Always A Good Idea by Nicholas Barreau

After Robert Sherman's mother dies, he is at a loose end. He doesn't want to work as a lawyer for the family firm and he is pretty tired of his nagging girlfriend. When he is offered a job in Paris, he remembers his mother saying that ''Paris is always a good idea'. However, he turns up only to find that his story has been plagiarised!

Rosalie Laurent, a pretty young postcard-shop owner thinks that her financial crisis is over when she illustrates 'The Blue Tiger' but now she is confronted by this mad American who says that the story is stolen!

This is an enchanting, fairy-tale like novel, redolent of the atmosphere of Paris, with lovely characters. I love Nicholas Barreau's books!

Saturday, March 26, 2016

A Girl's Got To Breathe. The Life of Teresa Wright by Donald Spoto

No one who has seen Teresa Wright's performance as the daughter in The Little Foxes  could ever forget it. She was rewarded for her gift at a young age when she won an Academy Award in her twenties.

Wright was a born actress and showed her talent at school. She had to overcome a dreadful childhood to get anywhere at all, apparently. Her mother was a prostitute and deserted her when she was very little. Her father was largely absent but he sent her to a good school. This trial made Teresa Wright tough which helped her in her career. Surprisingly, it didn't make her bitter and she was a lovely person and extremely kind and mentoring.

This book is an interesting analysis of Wright's career and her personal life. It is recommended for anyone interested in old Hollywood.

I received this book free fromNet Galley in exchange for an honest review.


Friday, March 18, 2016

Mayflowers for November by Marlyn Bromfield

Avis is unhappy with her simple life as a baker's daughter so when she is asked to work at court as the lovely Madge Shelton's maid, she seizes her chance. The trouble is that she has 'the sight' which brings her into contact with Anne Boleyn, a haunting and tragic experience for pretty Avis...

This was well-researched and atmospheric with lots of old English words that  I had to look up, but I found it rather grim and depressing, so I would think twice before reading any more books by this author.

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

50 Places in Rome, Florence and Venice Every Woman Should Go: Includes Budget Tips, Online Resourc

Did you know that Michelangelo based the stunning Mary of his beautiful Pieta on his mother or that Raphael was engaged but he kept a mistress who was a baker's daughter from Trastavere? This book is full of such interesting information. It is a great companion for your travels in Italy and a delight to read!

As well as including the famous sights and churches, Susan Van Allen also suggests cafes and restaurants and out-of-town trips. She also tells you how to get to them. She has short lists of books on particular subjects too. I will certainly read some of them!

I received this book free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.


Saturday, March 05, 2016

Relationship Dynamics (The Revolution in Personal Evolution) by Steven DeSalvo

This book is full of excellent advice, but it's always hard to remember and apply the information in these self-help books.

DeSalvo emphasises the importance of self-observation, understanding your motivations and not hanging on to your past mistakes. This is a good way to shift the focus from ego-centred living. I know that this has been written many times, but it helps to do this if you think of your life as a story or a movie.

He also writes about the ten elements of healthy relationships, including trust, communication and compromise. DeSalvo suggests ways to show respect to others and be honest. He also includes useful sections on difficult relationships.

This is well-worth reading if you want to improve your understanding of other people.

Friday, March 04, 2016

Life Class by Chris Wadsworth

The 'axe man', the 'knob man' and the 'sculpture man' were just some of the many eccentric characters who visited the art gallery at Castlegate House near the beautiful Lake District. The man with the axe terrified  Chris Wadsworthbut he turned out to be a farmer who had just bought it for practical reasons. The knob man fixed up the mismatched knobs. The man with the sculptures was difficult to get rid of, however - he insisted on setting up his awful works in the garden!

This is a fascinating tale of how Chris transformed a neglected house into a bustling and well-respected art gallery. She had to cultivate shy artists, hold art exhibitions, and become much more assertive about deterring people with dreadful works. It certainly wasn't all glamour!

I did feel that she was rather pleased with herself at times, but it was certainly a wonderful achievement!