Book Review: Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
4 Stars , Fiction , Latest Posts / March 30, 2011

I bought this book. My rating for Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet – 4 About: “Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet” by Jamie Ford (Website | Twitter) is a fictional book set during a volatile time in American history. Jamie Ford has created intriguing characters telling an extraordinary story. 301 pages Publisher: Ballantine Books ISBN: 0345505344 Pur­chase “Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet” through the ManOfLa­Book affil­i­ate account on: Ama­zon |Book Depos­i­tory US | Book Depos­i­tory UK Thoughts: “Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet” by Jamie Ford is a very good book, easy to read, written in cinematic detail and vividness. The characters of Henry and Keiko are memorable and very likable. The book touches on a part of American history which is rarely talked about, the internment camps built for Japanese Americans (not Italians or Germans mind you) during World War II. Those who were put in the camps lost all their possessions, wealth, businesses, social standing etc. The story is multi-dimensional, and explores the relationship between a first and second generation Chinese Americans (Henry and his father), second and third generations (Henry and his son) and of course the love…

Book Review: And The Show Went On by Alan Riding
4 Stars , Non-Fiction / January 14, 2011

The ambiguities and complexities which are presented in this book when it comes to the artists resisting the occupation are astounding. A famous anti-Semite kept insisting after the war that he hated the Germans as well. The Paris nightclubs made a killing amusing German soldiers.

Book Review: The Losing Role by Steve Anderson
4 Stars , Historical Fiction / December 27, 2010

Max Kaspar, a.k.a. failed German-American actor Maximilian von Kaspar, is fighting on the Eastern front when he is drafted by the SS for an unknown mission. Soon Max discovers that he has been recruited to impersonate American officers and cause havoc behind enemy lines.

Book Review: The First Wave by James R. Benn
4 Stars , Fiction , Historical Fiction / November 8, 2010

I bought this eBook. My rating for The First Wave – 4 About: “The First Wave” by James R. Benn is second book in the fictional Billy Boyle series.  In the Billy Boyle book (review) we meet the young Boston cop who has been enlisted as a special investigator to his uncle in Washington during WWII.  Only that his uncle is Ike, and he takes Billy with him overseas. Thoughts: While the first book in the series I considered historical-fiction, this book is more of a crime story which happens during war time. The history is there, but it there are far too many liberties taken with time-line and the story-line does not deal with any specific occurrences (such as Operation Jupiter from the last book). The author did make this clear at the end notes, otherwise my rating would dropped.That being said, I like the fact that the stories revolve around little known events of World War II instead of the big ones we all learned about. In “The First Wave” Billy has matured, he has seen devastation, revenge, backstabbing and some more of the acts men do in war time.  Much like Billy, so has Mr. Benn’s narrative…

Book Review: The Unlikely Spy by Daniel Silva
5 Stars , Fiction , Historical Fiction / September 8, 2010

Vicary is a spy catcher – he does his job well until realizing that a small group of German sleeper agents trained by Abwehr officer Kurt Vogel are still in Britain. The threat is that the German agents could discover the secrets to the invasion and allow the Germans to setup a proper defense line (or call the invasion off) and the invasion would fail.

Book Review: Billy Boyle: A World War II Mystery by James R. Benn
4 Stars , Historical Fiction / August 27, 2010

The story centers on Operation Jupiter, the allies plan to free Norway from the Nazis.  Only that Operation Jupiter, a real event, was a fake plan to draw Nazi forces away from the real fronts.  Of course, Lt. Boyle does not know that.  He is brought into General Eisenhower’s staff because of his experience as a police officer and being Ike’s relative doesn’t hurt either.  As a former Boston cop, Boyle plays a fish-out-of-water in England. 

Book Review: A Long, Long Time Ago and Essentially True by Brigid Pasulka
5 Stars , Fiction / August 16, 2010

I borrowed this book from the local library. “A Long, Long Time Ago and Essentially True” by Brigid Pasulka is a fascinating fictional book tells the stories of two generations of the same family in Poland. The chapters alternated between the grandparents’ experience in WWII war years & beyond, and their granddaughter’s life in the mid 1990’s living their dream in Krakow after leaving Half-Village, the rural home. I found the story of the grandparents more interesting. The golden handed “Pigeon” who falls in love with the beautiful Anielica (who looks like Veronica Lake) and builds her parents a new house in their small hamlet before he asks for her hand, only for their future to be interrupted by the impending German invasion. The author fashions the tale in an almost fairytale like narrative spiced with European / Yiddish humor which I found hilarious. The chapters about the granddaughter, Beata, reveal to the reader the new Poland; while Beata’s own life is being put on hold. Instead of harsh rural life it’s a harsh city life where the Germans invade as tourists and the only thing the English try to liberate are women’s underwear. Along the way the reader gets…

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