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Showing posts from March, 2012

Book Review: Lady Almina and The Real Downton Abbey by The Countess of Carnarvon

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What to do? What to do? Now that Downton Abbey is not on the teli?
I found a few books on this subject!
Lady Almina and The Real Downton Abbey by The Countess of Carnarvon
The House at Tyneford by Natasha Solomons
Up and Down Stairs, The History of the Country House Servant by Jeremy Musson
All the above books can be bought through Amazon for less than 11 dollars each. Each of them have a rank of 4-5 stars.

Published by Broadway Paperback which is Random House:
http://www.randomhouse.com/crown/catalog/index.php?page=1&view=&sort=pub_date&title_subtitle_auth_isbn=Lady+Almina+and+the+Real+Downton+Abbey
Published December 27, 2011
Inspiration for the PBS Downton Abbey series.


For more information see:
Highclere Castle
I highly recommend this site, stunning photographs of the castle and grounds.



This is a fascinating book of the illegitimate and wealthy heiress Almina that married Lord Carnarvon in 1895. I mentioned that her birth was illegitimate, only because during this time …

Book Review: Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

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"A Classic is a classic not because it conforms to certain structural rules, or fits certain definitions (of which its author had quite probably never heard.) It is a classic because of a certain eternal and irrepressible freshness." Edith Wharton
Have you read Rebecca? Maybe you've seen the 1940 Alfred Hitchcock movie with Joan Fontaine, Laurence Olivier, and Judith Anderson?
I recently bought the DVD, available @ Sam's Club for $6.98



This was the first time for me to read Rebecca. I've heard about the book, and probably watched the movie a long time ago. Daphne du Maurier also wrote: Jamaica Inn 1936, Hungry Hill 1943, My Cousin Rachel 1951, The Scapegoat 1957. Total of 28 fiction written (plays included) and 9 non-fiction books written. She lived an interesting life, married and had children. Yet, there is a hint of another life she lived. Rebecca is probably her most known work. She was born in London, England 1907 and died 1989. In 1969 Queen Elizabeth made …

Book Review: The War of Our Childhood, Memories of World War II by Wolfgang W.E. Samuel

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German Boy by Wolfgang W.E. Samuel is one of my favorite books from the World War II time period. I read this book in late 2010, link for my review is below. Recently when I was in the library I saw The War of Our Childhood also by Samuel---I could not pass it up.
Samuel interviewed 27 men and women that were children living in Germany, Eastern Prussia, and Czechoslovakia during World War II.
The book is divided in to 3 segments: War from the Sky, War on the Ground, Other Dimensions of War.
Many of their stories are similar: fear of Russian troops, fear of air-raid sirens, fear of bombs, fear of firestorm, fear of loosing their mother, fear of not having any food to eat, and fear of the unknown.
Also similar is that nearly all of them had little to no memory of their father's. Their father's had been in the war and he was to them only a photograph in their home. If their father's returned home after the war and after imprisonment, he was a stranger. In some cases their …

Book Review: In Harm's Way, The Sinking of the USS Indianapolis and the Extraordinary Story of its Survivors by Doug Stanton

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Reading In Harm's Way was personal to me. 
It was just recently that a dear friend of mine shared her testimony. She was married at age 17 to Charles Roberts, who did not survive the USS Indianapolis' sinking. She only knows that he was presumed dead on July 30, 1945. She does not want to know if he died on the ship, or in the water. It has been over sixty-six years and as she shared her story with me she shed tears just as if it had happened yesterday. For her, even though her life did eventually move on in marrying again and having children. Charles' memory has been an ever present companion.
Reading In Harm's Way was difficult. I paused often to walk around the room, and sometimes taking lengthier breaks. It was a difficult read only because it was a historical fact. It was difficult because I could state I know someone that was personally affected.
What the men aboard the USS Indianapolis endured was horrendous. To express in one word leaves an insufficiency. I…

Book Review: Nocturne, A Haunting Story of Forbidden Love by Syrie James

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Nocturne is not my usual read, no particular reason, just isn't. But, after reading Syrie James' book The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte, I made a trip to the library looking for more books by this author. I was specifically looking for her book Forbidden, but did not find it. Nocturne was available and I checked it out.

I have to admit from page one I was sucked in like a vacuum. I could not put the book down. In the beginning I was intrigued by Nicole Whitcomb's situation, in that she had spent a weekend with friends skiing and at a wedding in the beautiful mountains of Colorado. Nicole stayed an extra day and then left in a rental car headed back to the airport trying to make her plane schedule and trying to beat a snowstorm. Nicole lives in California and is not used to driving in hazardous winter conditions. The story was building and predicting that Nicole would be in a life-changing accident. After Nicole's serious encounter with black ice and a spinning ca…