Fun Facts Friday: Maria Dermoût
Latest Posts / June 15, 2018

Maria Dermoût (15 June, 1888 – 27 June, 1962), was a novelist who is considered to be of the most important writers in Dutch indies literature. Books by Maria Dermoût* She was born on the island of Java, in the Dutch East Indies as Helena Anthonia Maria Elisabeth Dermoût-Ingerman. Her parents were descendants of employees of the Dutch East India Company. Most of Ms. Dermoût’s childhood was spent on a sugar plantation. The author was educated in Holland and continued writing in Dutch. When visiting the writer Johan van der Woude in 1949, Ms. Dermoût showed him some of her writings. He immediately put her in contact with his publisher. Even though Ms. Dermoût wrote all her life, most of her writings were published after she was in her early 60s. The author was awarded with immediate success (if you can call 60 years of writing “immediate”) with her first publication. During the 1960s she had many short stories published in magazines. Ms. Dermoût’s son died in a Japanese prisoner of war camp. The translation of The Ten Thousand Things (1958) was named by Time Magazine as one of the best books of the year (together with Breakfast at Tiffany’s…

Fun Facts Friday: Hilda Gerarda van Stockum
Latest Posts / February 9, 2018

Hilda Gerarda van Stockum (9 February, 1908 – 1 November, 2006) was a writer and artist from the Netherlands. Ms. van Stockum is known for her book The Winged Watchman. Books by Hilda Gerarda van Stockum* 1)      She was born in Rotterdam to a Dutch Royal Navy officer. 2)      Her grandfather, Charles Boissevain, was the editor of an influential Dutch newspaper. 3)      Her brother was famous mathematician Willem Jacob van Stockum, not only was he a pioneer of the then new theory of gravitation (general relativity), he also volunteered to be a pilot for the Allies in WWII where he unfortunately found his death during a bombing run. 4)      Her husband, Ervin Ross Marlin, was a friend of her brother. Together the couple had six children. 5)      As a child she lived in the Netherlands and Ireland. Later she lived in the US, Canada, and England for many years. 6)      A Day on Skates: The Story of a Dutch Picnic (1935), was Ms. van Stockum’s first book and won honors from the Newbery Medal committee. 7)      Her best known book, The Winged Watchman, describes true events of how windmills were used for signaling the Dutch Resistance during World War II. 8)      In 1983 she was elected to the Honorary Council of the Royal Hibernian…

Book Reivew: Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier
3 Stars , Fiction , Historical Fiction , Latest Posts / January 15, 2013

About: Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier is a historical fiction novel taking place in 17th Century Holland. The book has fascinating descriptions of the times, how people lived and behaved. 256 pages Publisher: Plume; Deluxe edition (August 30, 2005) Language: English ISBN-10: 0452287022   My rating for Girl with a Pearl Earring – 3 Buy this book in paper or in elec­tronic format*  More Books by Tracy Chevalier  Thoughts: Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier (website | Facebook | @Tracy_Chevalier)was neither here nor there. The story seems like an episode of the old British drama “Upstairs Downstairs” set in Holland with a coming of age story neatly tucked in it as well. The plot is somewhat interesting with one well developed character (Griet) and none others I cared about. The book is written very well but nothing happens and for awhile I was actually bored. Some of the characters are well developed but I was hoping for Johannes Vermeer’s character to  be more in depth. To my disappoint Vermeer played a minor (yet important) part in the book. However, the descriptions of 17th Century Holland, the class system and mercantile society were excellent, which by itself was worth finishing the book. The descriptions of how the paintings were…

Book Review: The Secret Servant by Daniel Silva
5 Stars , Fiction , Latest Posts / August 22, 2012

Article first published as Book Review: The Secret Servant by Daniel Silva on Blogcritics. About: The Secret Servant by Daniel Silva brings back Israeli spy Gabriel Allon in this seventh installment. This time we find Allon as a weary, tired agent ready to hang up his holster and, unwillingly, accept his fate in management. 385 pages Publisher: Putnam Adult Language: English ISBN-10: 0399154221 My rating for The Secret Servant – 5 Buy this book in paper or elec­tronic format More Books by Daniel Silva Thoughts: I found The Secret Servant by Daniel Silva (web­site) to be a more current, at least in atmosphere, of the Gabriel Allon series. As usual with the rest of the series, the book is difficult to put down, a fast paced adventure and thriller which brings back familiar characters. The characters age with the books, which I like. None are superheroes, but people with issues and problems who only justify their acts to themselves by holding a high moral ground. However, this high moral ground must be broken from time to time which leaves them feeling confused and filled with regrets. The book is filled with many characters, bumbling politicians, Islamic extremists, non-extremists Islamic people and other hot button issues from current day world. However,…

Book Review: Pegasus Falling by William E. Thomas

Captain Stanley Adam Malcom Parker, known as Sammy (S.A.M. Malcom), is a British captain in the Parachute Regiment during World War II. During operation Market he was captured but after attacking an SS officer, was sent to spend the rest of the war in a concentration camp. The same impulsiveness which has gotten him to the camp also helped him to survive.

Book Review: John Quincy Adams by Paul C. Nagel
4 Stars , Biographies & Memoirs , Non-Fiction / October 18, 2010

I borrowed this book from the local library. I set a goal to read, in order, all of the biographies of the presidents of the United States who have passed away. 466 pages ISBN-10 : 0674479408 Publisher : Harvard University Press Language : English My rating for John Quincy Adams: A Public Life, A Private Life – 4 About: “John Quincy Adams: A Public Life, A Private Life” by Paul C. Nagel is a biography of the sixth president of these United States. JQA, as he referred to himself to be distinguished from his prominent father, was a melancholy politician who would have rather been a man of letters, than the lawyer / diplomat / politician he turned out to be. The book is based mostly on JQA’s diary which spanned an amazing seven decades – arguably the “most valuable historical and personal journal kept by any prominent American”. Buy this great book here, even if you won’t read it – it looks great on the shelf*   Thoughts: As the author mentions in the preface, this book is more of a character study of a person thought to be an elitist and out of touch, than a historical biography….

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