Tag Archives: Second World War

Books of the Week #36

Merde, It’s Not Easy to Learn French: A Story In Easy French with Translation Volume 1 by France Dubin

Reading a book in French can be difficult, even for advanced students. French novels are usually full of idiomatic expressions. They use complicated tenses, complex sentence structures, and often slang. This book is in simple French. It’s about the joys and the frustrations of an adult learning French. It includes a good dose of humor, a few exercises, and illustrations.

The book has two sections, allowing more levels of French students to enjoy it.
Section 1 has the story written completely in French, and includes grammar exercises.
Section 2 contains a list of the more difficult vocabulary translated into English and the complete text in English so students can check their comprehension.

https://books2read.com/u/4DyPd7

Der Tote im Strandkorb (Die Inselkommissarin 1) (German Edition) by Anna Johannsen

Auf Amrum, der kleinen nordfriesischen Insel, wird der Leiter eines Kinderheims tot am Strand aufgefunden. Die örtliche Polizei geht von einer natürlichen Todesursache aus, bis das Landeskriminalamt die Obduktion des Leichnams veranlasst und Ermittlungen einleitet. Hauptkommissarin Lena Lorenzen wundert sich darüber, dass Kriminaldirektor Warnke ausgerechnet ihr diesen Fall überträgt. Wenige Monate zuvor hatte er sie noch wegen eigenmächtiger Ermittlungen aus einer Sonderkommission abgezogen und ihre Herunterstufung beantragt.

Lena, die auf Amrum geboren und aufgewachsen ist, holt die Erinnerung ein: Sie hat die Insel vierzehn Jahre zuvor im Streit mit ihrem Vater verlassen. Während der Tage auf Amrum trifft sie ihre herzliche Tante Beke wieder und läuft schon am ersten Tag Erck über den Weg, ihrer einstigen großen Liebe.

Der Fall erweist sich als kompliziert. Nicht nur die Personen aus dem unmittelbaren Umfeld des Toten geraten unter Verdacht, sondern es tauchen auch mysteriöse Kontakte auf. Erst nach und nach wird Lena klar, warum ihr Chef ausgerechnet sie nach Amrum geschickt hat.

https://books2read.com/u/4Azv5e

Blancanieves y los siete enanitos: Un cuento de los hermanos Grimm (Mundo de cuentos) (Spanish Edition) by Karla S. Sommer (Author), Wolfgang Looskyll (Illustrator)

Espejito, espejito mágico… Cuando la malvada madrastra ve a Blancanieves en casa de los siete enanitos reflejada en su espejo, se llena de rabia y toma la decisión de ir al bosque y ofrecer a Blancanieves una manzana envenenada.

– Un cuento de los hermanos Grimm para leer- Magníficas ilustraciones- Para niñas y niños mayores de 4 años

https://books2read.com/u/47rgAj

Rose of Sarajevo by Ayse Kulin

Ever since Nimeta was a child, she’d done exactly what was expected of her. She married a responsible man she met in college, had two children, and established a busy journalism career—and there was no reason to think anything would ever change. Then one day, while reporting on a protest in Zagreb, Nimeta’s life takes a dramatic turn. Not only does she lay eyes on a handsome reporter who captures her heart, but a little-known politician by the name of Slobodan Milosevic delivers a speech fanning the flames of long-dormant Serbian nationalism. As her love affair intensifies and political tensions build, Nimeta is forced to reconsider everything she thought she knew about family, love, loyalty, and humanity itself. Navigating both the new landscape of her heart and that of her beloved war-torn city, Nimeta must draw upon her deepest reserves of inner strength to keep her family safe. A moving drama set against the backdrop of the crisis that rocked the Balkans in the 1990s, Rose of Sarajevo reveals the tremendous lengths people will go to in the name of love.

https://books2read.com/u/bwvrpP

The Scribe by Antonio Garrido

The year is 799, and King Charlemagne awaits coronation as the Holy Roman emperor. But in the town of Würzburg, the young, willful Theresa dreams only of following in the footsteps of her scholarly father—a quiet man who taught her the forbidden pleasures of reading and writing. Though it was unthinkable for a medieval woman to pursue a career as a craftsperson, headstrong Theresa convinces the parchment-makers’ guild to test her. If she passes, it means access to her beloved manuscripts and nothing less than true independence. But as she treats the skins before an audience of jeering workmen, unimaginable tragedy strikes—tearing apart Theresa’s family and setting in motion a cascade of mysteries that Theresa must solve if she hopes to stay alive and save her family.

A fugitive in the wilderness, Theresa is forced to rely on her bravery, her uncommon education, and the compassion of strangers. When she encounters Alcuin of York, a wise and influential monk with close ties to Charlemagne, she believes her luck might have finally changed. But the biggest secret lies between Charlemagne and her father. Theresa moves ever closer to the truth, bent on reuniting with her beloved father, only to discover that her family’s troubles are inextricably entwined with nothing less than the fate of an empire.

https://books2read.com/u/3LDNp0

The Museum of Abandoned Secrets by Oksana Zabuzhko

Spanning sixty tumultuous years of Ukrainian history, this multigenerational saga weaves a dramatic and intricate web of love, sex, friendship, and death. At its center: three women linked by the abandoned secrets of the past—secrets that refuse to remain hidden.

While researching a story, journalist Daryna unearths a worn photograph of Olena Dovgan, a member of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army killed in 1947 by Stalin’s secret police. Intrigued, Daryna sets out to make a documentary about the extraordinary woman—and unwittingly opens a door to the past that will change the course of the future. For even as she delves into the secrets of Olena’s life, Daryna grapples with the suspicious death of a painter who just may be the latest victim of a corrupt political power play.

From the dim days of World War II to the eve of Orange Revolution, The Museum of Abandoned Secrets is an “epic of enlightening force” that explores the enduring power of the dead over the living.

https://books2read.com/u/4XX0jL

Anns Krieg – Verrat (German Edition) by Hannah Howe (Author), Sandra Puhl (Translator)

Die Krimireihe Anns Krieg ist eine Reihe aus fünf Erzählungen, die in den Jahren 1944 bis 1945 spielen. Jede Geschichte ist circa 15.000 Wörter lang und beinhaltet einen in sich abgeschlossenen Fall. Die Geschichten sind: Betrayal (Verrat), Invasion (Invasion), Blackmail (Erpressung), Escape(Flucht) und Victory (Sieg). Der Handlungsbogen wird über die gesamte Reihe aufgebaut und findet seinen Abschluss im fünften Buch, Victory.

Verrat

Während ihr Mann auf einer streng geheimen Mission ist, macht sich Ann Morgan für einen weiteren Tag als Sekretärin in Trevor Bowmans Detektivbüro bereit. Aber dieser Tag wird alles andere als alltäglich werden. Innerhalb von 24 Stunden wird Anns Leben auf den Kopf gestellt, denn sie findet eine Leiche, trifft den gut aussehenden Witwer Detective Inspector Max Deveraux und stellt den Mörder in einer Geschichte voller Versuchungen und Lügen.

Books of the Week #32

The Promise of Provence (Love in Provence Book 1) by Patricia Sands

On the evening of her twenty-second wedding anniversary, Katherine Price can’t wait to celebrate. But instead of receiving an anniversary card from her husband, she finds a note asking for a divorce.

Fifty-five and suddenly alone, Katherine begins the daunting task of starting over. She has her friends, her aging mother, and her career to occupy her, but the future seems to hold little promise—until, after a winter of heartbreak, Katherine is persuaded to try a home exchange holiday in the South of France.

In Provence, bright fields of flowers bloom below medieval hilltop villages with winding cobblestone streets. Charmed by the picturesque countryside, the breathtaking Côte d’Azur, and the enchantment-filled boulevards of Paris, Katherine feels life opening up once again. Lavender perfumes the air, and chance encounters hint at romance and passion. But memories of heartbreak and betrayal linger—and her former life waits for her back home. Can she find the courage to begin again?

https://books2read.com/u/3nvpL9

The Ragged Edge of Night by Olivia Hawker

Germany, 1942. Franciscan friar Anton Starzmann is stripped of his place in the world when his school is seized by the Nazis. He relocates to a small German hamlet to wed Elisabeth Herter, a widow who seeks a marriage—in name only—to a man who can help raise her three children. Anton seeks something too—atonement for failing to protect his young students from the wrath of the Nazis. But neither he nor Elisabeth expects their lives to be shaken once again by the inescapable rumble of war.

As Anton struggles to adapt to the roles of husband and father, he learns of the Red Orchestra, an underground network of resisters plotting to assassinate Hitler. Despite Elisabeth’s reservations, Anton joins this army of shadows. But when the SS discovers his schemes, Anton will embark on a final act of defiance that may cost him his life—even if it means saying goodbye to the family he has come to love more than he ever believed possible.

https://books2read.com/u/31GrzD

The Beast, the Emperor and the Milkman: A Bone-shaking Tour through Cycling’s Flemish Heartlands by Harry Pearson

Every nation shapes sport to test the character traits it most admires.

In The Beast, the Emperor and the Milkman, committed Belgophile and road cycling obsessive Harry Pearson takes you on a journey across Flanders, through the lumpy horizontal rain, up the elbow juddering cobbled inclines, past the fans dressed as chickens and the shop window displays of constipation medicines, as he follows races big, small and even smaller through one glorious, muddy spring.

Ranging over 500 years of Flemish and European history, across windswept polders, along back roads and through an awful lot of beer cafes, Pearson examines the characters, the myths and rivalries that make Flanders a place where cycling is a religion and the riders its lycra-clad priests.

https://books2read.com/u/4XXXZ6

My Grandmother Sends Her Regards and Apologises by Fredrik Backman

Everyone remembers the smell of their grandmother’s house.
Everyone remembers the stories their grandmother told them.

But does everyone remember their grandmother flirting with policemen? Driving illegally?Breaking into a zoo in the middle of the night? Firing a paintball gun from a balcony in her dressing gown?

Seven-year-old Elsa does.

Some might call Elsa’s granny ‘eccentric’, or even ‘crazy’. Elsa calls her a superhero. And granny’s stories, of knights and princesses and dragons and castles, are her superpower. Because, as Elsa is starting to learn, heroes and villains don’t always exist in imaginary kingdoms; they could live just down the hallway.

As Christmas draws near, even the best superhero grandmothers may have one or two things they’d like to apologise for. And, in the process, Elsa can have some breath-taking adventures of her own . . .

https://books2read.com/u/bzooBL

El honor de la familia: Un misterio de Sam Smith (Spanish Edition) by Hannah Howe

Cuando el mayor mafioso del país te hace una oferta que no puedes rechazar, ¿qué deberías hacer? En mi caso, decidí aceptar la oferta que me hizo el Sr. Vincent Vanzetti. Vanzetti me contrató para encontrar a su hija desaparecida, Vittoria, enfrentándome a la amenaza de represalias si fracasaba en mi tarea. Mientras buscaba a Vittoria, tuve que tratar con otros miembros del clan Vanzetti: Sherri, la segunda mujer de Vanzetti, de la misma edad que Vittoria, Sherri era una «actriz», una estrella del porno cuya ambición era aparecer en un reality de televisión; Catrin, la exmujer de Vanzetti, dura como el granito, el poder detrás de su imperio criminal; y V. J. Parks, el novio de Vittoria, boxeador, un joven en plenitud entrenándose para intentar conseguir un título mundial.

Mientras tanto, en el terreno personal, era hora de que una servidora y su pareja, el Dr. Alan Storey, tomásemos decisiones. Alan tenía muchas ganas de casarse, mientras que yo todavía estaba aceptando mi pasado y los años de abuso físico. ¿Sería capaz de encontrar el coraje para, por fin, dejar a un lado los fantasmas del pasado y comprometerme a un futuro con Alan?

El honor de la familia, la historia de un mafioso y su familia, la historia de un dilema moral. ¿Debería matar en nombre de la justicia o debería dejar que un delincuente quedara libre? Al responder a tal pregunta descubrí mucho sobre mí misma y sobre la persona que quería ser.

https://books2read.com/u/m0OONy

Books of the Week #27

The Shadow of the Cross: Imprisonment by Dmitry Yakhovsky

1243, near Carcassonne, France

Shrouded in darkness is the history of a time of terror. A time when people lived in fear, were divided, conquered and enslaved. The state was the church, and the church was the law; when justice was the tool of the self-seeking, and when imprisonment and poverty weren’t enough to satisfy the enemy’s appetites…

Featuring the stunning artwork of Dmitry Yakhovsky, this debut graphic novel is a bold undertaking. The novel is a complex and visually inspiring epic based in history, and will thrill with its masterful depth of imagery.

https://books2read.com/u/mla0zA

Tomten Saves Christmas: A Swedish Christmas Tale by Linda Liebrand

This gorgeous Nordic tale, in the tradition of Astrid Lindgren’s Tomten Tales and Ulf Stark’s The Yule Tomte and the Little Rabbits, will have readers of all ages believing in the magic of Christmas. This is one to pull out every year and treasure!

Grumpy old Farm Tomten just wants to stay at home and avoid the terrible Christmas celebrations altogether. His cousin, Yule Tomten, is up to his ears in Christmas presents and thousands of children waiting. With just two more days till Christmas, will an invite for Christmas coffee be enough to melt Farm Tomten’s grumpy heart so they can save Christmas together?

If you’re looking for a fun, Scandinavian Christmas tale with crunching snow, red cottages and the traditional Swedish character of the farm gnome, or tomten, you’ve found the right book. Tomten Saves Christmas will bring a smile to kids, young and old, and it reminds us that it’s never too late to change your old ways, with a little Christmas magic and the company of a good friend.

https://books2read.com/u/m2rGkj

Oranges for Christmas: A Berlin Wall Escape Novel by Margarita Morris

The war is over but the fight for freedom has only just begun.

Berlin. August 1961. The Cold War. When the Berlin Wall brutally divides East from West, Sabine is separated from her beloved brother, Dieter. Escape to the West is the only option if the family is to be reunited. But the Wall is guarded by soldiers operating a shoot to kill policy. And Sabine finds herself at the mercy of the Stasi and their brutal interrogation techniques. She must fight to escape. She must fight to survive.

Separated from his family by the Berlin Wall, Dieter teams up with a rebel group determined to rescue their loved ones from East Berlin. They have a plan. But it’s a dangerous mission, beset with difficulties at every turn. Who can they really trust? Who is friend or foe?

Shortlisted for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award, if you like authentic historical details, tenacious characters, and stories of hope in the face of tyranny, then you’ll love Margarita Morris’ emotional page-turner.

https://books2read.com/u/bM9j1B

A House in the Mountains: The Women Who Liberated Italy from Fascism by Caroline Moorehead

The extraordinary story of the courageous women who spearheaded the Italian Resistance during the Second World War

In the late summer of 1943, when Italy changed sides in the War and the Germans – now their enemies – occupied the north of the country, an Italian Resistance was born. Ada, Frida, Silvia and Bianca were four young Piedmontese women who joined the Resistance, living clandestinely in the mountains surrounding Turin. They were not alone. Between 1943 and 1945, as the Allies battled their way north, thousands of men and women throughout occupied Italy rose up and fought to liberate their country from the German invaders and their Fascist collaborators.

The bloody civil war that ensued across the country pitted neighbour against neighbour, and brought out the best and worst in Italian society. The courage shown by the partisans was exemplary, and eventually bound them together as a coherent fighting force. The women’s contribution was invaluable – they fought, carried messages and weapons, provided safe houses, laid mines and took prisoners. Ada’s house deep in the mountains became a meeting place and refuge for many of them.

The death rattle of Mussolini’s two decades of Fascist rule – with its corruption, greed and anti-Semitism was unrelentingly violent, but for the partisan women it was also a time of camaraderie and equality, pride and optimism. They had proved, to themselves and to the world, what resolve, tenacity and, above all, exceptional courage could achieve.

https://books2read.com/u/mKxnwv

The Christmas Thief (A Baba Treasure Chest story Book 1) by Ronesa Aveela

Seven-year-old Christopher is determined he is going to catch the Winter Monster who steals food from his family’s porch every Christmas. What he discovers instead is the meaning of sharing.

The Christmas Thief is a short story and coloring book. In the tradition of family togetherness, Baba Treasure Chest stories are geared toward the entire family: Adults reading stories to children, children and adults working together on coloring pages. Print copy contains activities and coloring pages.

https://books2read.com/u/m2rwJ7

Books of the Week #22

The Vine Witch by Luanne G. Smith

A young witch emerges from a curse to find her world upended in this gripping fantasy set in turn-of-the-century France.
For centuries, the vineyards at Château Renard have depended on the talent of their vine witches, whose spells help create the world-renowned wine of the Chanceaux Valley. Then the skill of divining harvests fell into ruin when sorcière Elena Boureanu was blindsided by a curse. Now, after breaking the spell that confined her to the shallows of a marshland and weakened her magic, Elena is struggling to return to her former life. And the vineyard she was destined to inherit is now in the possession of a handsome stranger.
Vigneron Jean-Paul Martel naively favors science over superstition, and he certainly doesn’t endorse the locals’ belief in witches. But Elena knows a hex when she sees one, and the vineyard is covered in them. To stay on and help the vines recover, she’ll have to hide her true identity, along with her plans for revenge against whoever stole seven winters of her life. And she won’t rest until she can defy the evil powers that are still a threat to herself, Jean-Paul, and the ancient vine-witch legacy in the rolling hills of the Chanceaux Valley.
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The House by the River by Lena Manta

From acclaimed Greek writer Lena Manta comes an emotionally powerful saga following five young women as they realize that no matter where life leads them, the only constant is home.
Theodora knows she can’t keep her five beautiful daughters at home forever—they’re too curious, too free spirited, too like their late father. And so, before each girl leaves the small house on the riverside at the foot of Mount Olympus, Theodora makes sure they know they are always welcome to return.
Having survived World War II, the Nazi occupation of Greece, and her husband’s death, Theodora now endures the twenty-year-long silence of her daughters’ absence. Her children have their own lives—they’ve married, traveled the world, and courted romance, fame, and even tragedy. But as they become modern, independent women in pursuit of their dreams, Theodora knows they need her—and each other—more than ever. Have they grown so far apart that they’ve forgotten their childhood home, or will their broken hearts finally lead them back again?
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Never Stop Walking: A Memoir of Finding Home Across the World by Christina Rickardsson

An extraordinary memoir of one woman’s fight to find her true self between the life into which she was born and the one she was given.
Christiana Mara Coelho was born into extreme poverty in Brazil. After spending the first seven years of her life with her loving mother in the forest caves outside São Paulo and then on the city streets, where they begged for food, she and her younger brother were suddenly put up for adoption. When one door closed on the only life Christiana had ever known and on the woman who protected her with all her heart, a new one opened.
As Christina Rickardsson, she’s raised by caring adoptive parents in Sweden, far from the despairing favelas of her childhood. Accomplished and outwardly “normal,” Christina is also filled with rage over what she’s lost and having to adapt to a new reality while struggling with the traumas of her youth. When her world falls apart again as an adult, Christina returns to Brazil to finally confront her past and unlock the truth of what really happened to Christiana Mara Coelho.
A memoir of two selves, Never Stop Walking is the moving story of the profound love between families and one woman’s journey from grief and loss to survival and self-discovery.
7D45B86C-0C62-4B2E-837E-3C2F8FD593EB

Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman

Andre Aciman’s Call Me by Your Name is the story of a sudden and powerful romance that blossoms between an adolescent boy and a summer guest at his parents’ cliffside mansion on the Italian Riviera. Each is unprepared for the consequences of their attraction, when, during the restless summer weeks, unrelenting currents of obsession, fascination, and desire intensify their passion and test the charged ground between them. Recklessly, the two verge toward the one thing both fear they may never truly find again: total intimacy. It is an instant classic and one of the great love stories of our time.
Now a Major Motion Picture from Director Luca Guadagnino, Starring Armie Hammer and Timothée Chalamet, and Written by James Ivory
WINNER BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY ACADEMY AWARD
Nominated for Four Oscars

22CD2D7D-C507-434C-9E5B-B6F6B0CCE966

Stardust: A Sam Smith Mystery (The Sam Smith Mystery Series Book 10) by Hannah Howe

Hired by multimillionaire Jeremy Loudon, my task was simple – find his missing briefcase. Loudon claimed that his briefcase held ten thousand pounds, his winnings from a poker game. However, as the trail unravelled and led to Europe my suspicions deepened. What was in Loudon’s briefcase, beyond the money? Why was he being so evasive? Why did he insist on no police involvement?
My search for the missing briefcase took me to pimps, pornographers, radical feminists, gun runners and the Red Light District of Amsterdam.
Meanwhile, my investigation held a mirror to my own life. Loudon had everything – more money than he could spend, a successful business and a beautiful lover. My business was doing well and my marriage offered plenty of love and happiness. Yet, encounters with my Dutch colleagues raised the question – should I ask for more out of life?
Stardust, the story of one woman’s dream and my hopes for the future.
Also available in Dutch.
9905B7D0-4916-4E53-B129-075842CF810C

Books of the Week #14

The Lines We Leave Behind by Eliza Graham

England, 1947: A young woman finds herself under close observation in an insane asylum, charged with a violent crime she has no memory of committing. As she tries to make sense of her recent past, she recalls very little.

But she still remembers wartime in Yugoslavia. There she and her lover risked everything to carry out dangerous work resisting the Germans—a heroic campaign in which many brave comrades were lost. After that, the trail disappears into confusion. How did she come to be trapped in a living nightmare?

As she struggles to piece together the missing years of her life, she will have to confront the harrowing experiences of her special-operations work and peacetime marriage. Only then can she hope to regain the vital memories that will uncover the truth: is she really a violent criminal…or was she betrayed?

https://books2read.com/u/mVr0yr

The Other Einstein: A Novel by Marie Benedict

A marriage of geniuses: In a time when most twenty-year-old women were wives, or trying to be, Mileva Maric was studying physics at an elite university in Zurich. Her rise from the relative backwater of misogynistic Serbia to all-male university classrooms in Switzerland was nothing short of meteoric. Her male peers could only try to keep up with her clever calculations. For Mileva, math was an easier path than marriage. Then, fellow student Albert Einstein took an interest in her and the world turned sideways. Their life together was a partnership of heart and mind. But could there be room for more than one genius in a marriage?

The other Einstein: Mileva Maric was a fascinating, brilliant physicist in her own right. She was, in fact, the other Einstein. In the world of physics, there’s much debate over the role she played in forming the theory of special relativity, one of her husband’s greatest works. Was she simply a sounding board, computing the complex mathematical equations? Or did she contribute something more?

https://books2read.com/u/bWBpBq

Sebastian (The Three Nations Trilogy Book 2) by Christoph Fischer

Sebastian is the story of a young man who, due to an unfortunate accident, has his leg amputated shortly before World War I. When his father is drafted to the war it falls to him to run the family grocery store in Vienna, to grow into his responsibilities, bear loss and uncertainty, and hopefully find love.

Sebastian Schreiber, his extended family, their friends and the store employees experience the ‘golden days’ of pre-war Vienna, the time of war and the end of the Monarchy, while trying to make a living and to preserve what they hold dear.

Fischer brilliantly describes life in Vienna during the war years; how it affected the people in an otherwise safe and prosperous location, the beginning of the end for the monarchic system , the arrival of modern thoughts and trends, the Viennese class system and the end of an era.

https://books2read.com/u/38EWqw

The Forest Feast Mediterranean: Simple Vegetarian Recipes Inspired by My Travels by Erin Gleeson

Erin Gleeson, New York Times bestselling author, returns with a gorgeously illustrated cookbook that will transport you to the Mediterranean coast.

For years, Forest Feast readers have been transported to Erin Gleeson’s picturesque cabin in the woods through her stunning photography of magical gatherings and vibrant vegetarian cooking. Now, Gleeson transports readers to Europe, with recipes inspired by her exploration of the cultures and cuisines of France, Portugal, Spain, and Italy during an extended family trip. Reimagining the flavors and signature dishes of this part of the Mediterranean, Gleeson presents 100 vegetarian recipes for creating effortless, unforgettable meals. Filled with atmospheric images of coastal villages, charming watercolor illustrations, and mouthwatering food photography, The Forest Feast Mediterranean is an irresistible escape from the everyday, no matter where you might live.

https://books2read.com/u/bM9z6a

Secrets and Lies: A Sam Smith Mystery (The Sam Smith Mystery Series Book 6) by Hannah Howe

Secrets and Lies – Suicide or Murder?

Most of the people I encounter are hiding a secret and many of them are adept at telling lies. However, how do you learn the truth about someone who’s no longer with us?
Author, Barclay Quinton wrote Fabringjay, the story of a man leading a secret life during the Second World War, which was well received by the critics, but was ignored by readers, and Illicit Lust, a book he hated and wrote purely to satisfy his agent and publisher. Illicit Lust became a bestseller, a fact that annoyed Barclay. However, its success did open doors and he set about researching his next novel, the story of an ageing mobster. Barclay’s research brought him into contact with many unsavoury types, including villains, shady private eyes and managers of strip clubs. The official report into Barclay’s death stated that he committed suicide. However, a close friend insisted that Barclay was murdered and I was hired to investigate.

Meanwhile, closer to home, I discovered a secret, and the truth, about my long-term partner. Was he the man of my dreams or was our relationship about to end?
Secrets and Lies – a story of love, of deceit, of the many faces we all possess – the public face, the private face and the deeply personal.

https://books2read.com/u/3npBWR

Books of the Week #4

A Vineyard in Andalusia by María Dueñas 

1861. A ruined silver-mine owner sets sail from Mexico City to seek his fortune in the New World.

Mauro Larrera has just four months to pay his creditors, or his bankruptcy will be revealed and his family’s honour will be in tatters. In magnificent Havana — home to beautiful women and dangerous men who deal in mysterious trades — he gambles what little he has left on what will become the greatest adventure of his life …

A Vineyard in Andalusia is a novel of glories and defeats; of silver mines, family secrets, vineyards, cellars, and splendid cities of faded grandeur; of unexpected passion, and love in the strangest of circumstances.

Below the Surface (Maria Kallio Book 8) by Leena Lehtolainen

When a woman’s body turns up in a lake—a bullet to the back of her head—Violent Crime Unit commander Maria Kallio, freshly back from maternity leave, is fast to get on the case. The victim is ID’d as Annukka Hackman, wife of a prominent publisher and author of an upcoming unauthorized tell-all book on Sasha Smeds, Finland’s celebrated racing rally driver.

Almost as soon as the inquiry starts, it goes off the rails, as those connected to Annukka—and to Smeds—seem to have more secrets than they have alibis. Was the journalist about to reveal a bombshell that someone was desperate to keep quiet? Or will it take some reading between the lines? The clues may be few, but the list of suspects is long. As she struggles to balance her home life, run a department tainted by career-threatening allegations, and catch a killer, Maria is shocked to find just what someone was willing to do in the name of love…or revenge.

https://books2read.com/u/bzWQeE

Where the Desert Meets the Sea: A Novel by Werner Sonne

An illuminating and heart-stirring historical novel set in post-WWII Palestine, where the boundaries of love and friendship are challenged by the intractable conflicts of war.
Jerusalem, 1947: Judith, a young Jewish survivor of the Dachau concentration camp, arrives in Mandatory Palestine, seeking refuge with her only remaining relative, her uncle. When she learns that he has died, she tries to take her own life in despair.

After awakening in the hospital, Judith learns that Hana, a Muslim Arab nurse, has saved her life by donating her own blood. While the two women develop a fragile bond, each can’t help but be drawn deeper into the political machinations tearing the country apart. After witnessing the repeated attacks inflicted on the Jews, Judith makes the life-changing decision to join the Zionist fight for Jerusalem. And Hana’s star-crossed love for Dr. David Cohen, an American Jew out of his element and working only to save lives, will put her own life in danger.

Then the political situation worsens. When tensions erupt, a shocking act of violence threatens Judith and Hana’s friendship—and the destinies of everyone they love.

https://books2read.com/u/4jel7X

Lives Other Than My Own: A Memoir by Emmanuel Carrère 

In Sri Lanka, a tsunami sweeps a child out to sea, her grand-father helpless against the onrushing water. In France, a young woman succumbs to illness, leaving her husband and small children bereft. Present at both events, Emmanuel Carrère sets out to tell the story of two families—shattered and ultimately restored. What he accomplishes is nothing short of a literary miracle: a heartrending narrative of endless love, a meditation on courage and decency in the face of adversity, an intimate and reverent look at the extraordinary beauty and nobility of ordinary lives.

Precise, sober, and suspenseful, as full of twists and turns as any novel, Lives Other Than My Own confronts terrifying catastrophes to illuminate the astonishing richness of human connection: a grandfather who thought he had found paradise—too soon—and now devotes himself to helping his neighbors rebuild their village; a husband so in love with his ailing wife that he carries her in his arms like a knight does his princess; and finally, Carrère himself, longtime chronicler of the tormented self, who unexpectedly finds consolation and even joy as he immerses himself in the lives of others.

https://books2read.com/u/mg0VXD

Stardust: A Sam Smith Mystery by Hannah Howe

Available in Dutch and English.

Hired by multimillionaire Jeremy Loudon, my task was simple – find his missing briefcase. Loudon claimed that his briefcase held ten thousand pounds, his winnings from a poker game. However, as the trail unravelled and led to Europe my suspicions deepened. What was in Loudon’s briefcase, beyond the money? Why was he being so evasive? Why did he insist on no police involvement?

My search for the missing briefcase took me to pimps, pornographers, radical feminists, gun runners and the Red Light District of Amsterdam.

Meanwhile, my investigation held a mirror to my own life. Loudon had everything – more money than he could spend, a successful business and a beautiful lover. My business was doing well and my marriage offered plenty of love and happiness. Yet, encounters with my Dutch colleagues raised the question – should I ask for more out of life?

Stardust, the story of one woman’s dream and my hopes for the future.

https://books2read.com/u/38EkEw