You may have seen the move Woman in Gold with Helen Mirren and Ryan Reynolds. If you haven’t, I highly recommend it. I watched it before my trip to Vienna, and I love it even more now that I’ve returned. I knew nothing about the story, and in fact didn’t even know it was based on a book until my grandmother handed it to me. I’m so glad she did because this book provided more detail and insight into the whole situation.
There’s a little coffee shop in Waco called Bru. It’s located in an old elevator, all brass and crimson and Deco, just to the side of a marble lobby in the Praetorian building. The setting is amazing, and the coffee is the best I’ve ever had. But, I keep going back because one of the girls who works there is delightful. We talk about books and writing and coffee, and she always asks me what to read. I was reading this book when I realized that World War II seems to be my 2017 theme. I told her I needed to shift topics, and she told not to apologize for reading what I want. So I won’t.
A while back, I read Kilmeade’s book on George Washington’s spy network during the Revolutionary War, and I was fascinated by the view of a forgotten (or overlooked) piece of history. I heard that Kilmeade wrote another book, and knew I had to read it.
If you look this book up, it is described as a story about a blind girl and a German boy in World War II France. And that’s true. But it’s also the story of a town called Saint Malo – how it is occupied, destroyed, and rebuilt. It’s also a fairy tale of the old school, full of darkness and evil and danger and goodness and redemption. And yes, it is a story about a girl and boy who live a world turned upside down.
The Admirals is a non-fiction book about Admiral Nimitz, Admiral Halsey, Admiral Leahy, and Admiral King. Borneman looks to their families, childhood, and time at the US Naval Academy in an attempt to understand what made these men so remarkable. He then explores their career paths, culminating in their roles in ending World War II.
I started reading this book last month, and it was the sort of non-fiction book that made me want to read a pulpy fiction book at the same time. I took a trip to Barnes & Noble to get book number 2 in Rick Riordan’s Magnus Chase series and walked out $100 lighter. Always a hazard in my world. This book was so very dry that I actually started reading three other books since I started it.
Dead Wake tells the story of the Lusitania, a civilian luxury liner that a German U-boat sank in 1915. The story follows not just the ship and select passengers, but also the story of the German U-boat and its crew. Larson also adds a global perspective to the incident with his reading of its impact on President Wilson and the eventual entry of the United States into World War I.
The Secret Life of Violet Grant is two stories in one. Story number one follows Vivian Schuyler, a 1960’s socialite who bucks the system in pursuit of journalism career. Early on in her story, she mistakenly receives the suitcase of Violet Grant, her long-lost aunt. Thus begins the second story the parallel second story.
Did you know that Germany placed secret agents in the United States during World War I? And that they carried out terrorist actions on U.S. soil? I certainly did not. But it happened, and it is better than fiction.