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Saturday, March 28, 2020

A First Book of Verdi by David Dutkanicz

These pieces are easy for beginners, but they retain the spirit and beauty of Verdi's music.  This is an excellent book to buy for any lover of opera music who is starting to play the piano.

I received this free ebook from NetGalley in return for an honest review.

Code Name Hélène Based on the thrilling true story of Nancy Wake, 'The White Mouse' by Ariel Lawhon

Nancy Wake was a shining heroine of the French Resistance, awarded many medals and a recipient of the greatest French honour.  Although she came from a poor background in NZ and Australia, she bluffed her way into a job in journalism in the UK by pretending to read ancient Egyptian, and then reported on the rise of the Nazis. She even interviewed Hitler! She married the charming and handsome Henri Fiocca, but she didn't want to become the bored wife of a wealthy man, and the war was calling. She began secretly helping British escapees, eventually becoming a leader of the Maquis and the famous 'White Mouse,' hunted by the Nazis...

Ariel Lawhon captures Nancy's brazen and courageous personality, and spins an exciting and moving story about her 'adventures' in the French Resistance, and her love affair and marriage with Henri.  The red-lipstick wearing young woman was widely admired by the men she led, and Lawhon's other characters (most of which are real) are also well-drawn and memorable, especially Ian Garrow.  His story would also make a good novel! I found the constant jumping back-and-forth between the past and the present a bit confusing at times, but this was a great novel, and an excellent tribute to Nancy. I found it difficult to read in ebook format, however, because it is such an epic novel. (I read all the biographies years ago, but I will probably read the Braddon one again!)

I received this free ebook from NetGalley in return for an honest review.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Lady Clementine A Novel by Marie Benedict

Marie Benedict brings the independent and feisty Clementine Churchill to life in this lovely epic novel. Surprisingly, although Clementine was aristocratic, she came from a very troubled background and she had to work for a living, as well as cope with strange parents and early family tragedies. This probably gave her the strength to become Winston Churchill's 'rock,' and help her handle his constant demands on her and exceedingly dominant personality.

Benedict captures the significance of the historical times, and makes readers aware of quite what an admirable woman Clementine Churchill really was. For example, during the Second World War, she would tour bombed-out sites practically every night, and she made it her mission to make air-raid shelters more comfortable, as well as doing a lot of other war work.  I was imagining Kristin Scott-Thomas in the movie about Clementine, instead of Winston, while reading this book!

It's certainly an inspiring and enjoyable book to read during these extremely stressful times. I look forward to reading Marie Benedict's other books.

I received this free ebook from NetGalley in return for an honest review.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Unravelled Knots: The Teahouse Detective by Baroness Orczy

When the young woman journalist sees her old friend, the teahouse detective, in the cafe, she wants to avoid him. However, this strange creature with baggy trousers, horn-rimmed glasses and claw-like hands exerts a strange fascination with his mystery tales, and she can't help listening again...

Although, Baroness Orczy was one of the pioneers of women's detective stories, and these are well-written and meticulous, her Scarlet Pimpernel books are really the ones to read.  These became rather dry, repetitive and detailed.  I liked some of them, but I am not sure whether I will read any more of these books.

I received this free ebook from NetGalley in return for an honest review.

Friday, March 13, 2020

How to Wash the Dishes by Peter Miller

This is a very useful book if you want to improve your washing-up. Mine seems to need more work
according to the book. When I have more time, I will write lists of what I should buy and study this again.
The author also suggests ways to relax while washing-up.

I received this ebook from NetGalley in return for an honest review.