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WWII

WWII Drama, the Romanov Family and a Deadly Mystery

in Pop Culture by

Dear Reader, The Silent Woman takes place during the summer of 1937. King Edward had abdicated to marry Wallis Simpson, and Adolf Hitler was building planes and conscripting an army—in violation of the Treaty of Versailles—with barely a hint of this activity being reported in the newspapers. England was headed to war, but her citizens didn’t know it. An interesting time, indeed! My hope is The Silent Woman will transport you back to this tumultuous time for Britain and for the world. I’m giving away five copies of The Silent Woman.   Write to me at [email protected] for a chance to win. Please mention Author Buzz Contest in the subject line. The Silent Woman Dear Reader, Did one of the…

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Tall Poppies Review: ‘Daughters of the Night Sky’ Pays Homage to WWII Female Pilots

in Fiction by

When I sat down with this book, I knew nothing about the Night Bomber Regiment in the Red Army—a group of all-female Russian pilots that bombed Germany during WWII. I quickly found myself captivated by this band of determined women, who not only wanted to save their country from invasion and protect their sweethearts at the front, but longed to shatter the age-old expectations surrounding their sex. Katya Ivanova is a sympathetic protagonist with a fiery spirit to match her fiery hair. Her young girl’s dream of escaping the poverty shaping her existence takes root in the airplanes that she sees flying over her mountain home. In school—and later during her intensive military training—she quickly rises in the ranks, becoming…

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Q&A with David Plante, Author of ‘American Stranger’ and ‘Difficult Women’

in Fiction by

Brought up in a secularized Jewish household on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, Nancy Green knows little about her parents’ past. She knows they were World War II Jewish refugees who were able to escape Germany with precious family heirlooms that are constant reminders of a lost life and a world about which Nancy knows very little. In David Plante’s novel, American Stranger, (Delphinium Books; January 9, 2018) the main character, Nancy, has a longing for some kind of spiritual connection that first leads her into an encounter with a Hasidic Jewish man who, unable to find meaning in his own religion, has taken vows to become a monk. She then becomes romantically involved with Yvon, a Catholic college student in…

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‘Strong to the Bone’ is Jon Land’s Most ‘Introspective’ Book in Series

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In September, author James R. Hannibal (The Fourth Ruby) gave an outstanding review of Jon Land’s latest in the Caitlin Strong series, Strong to the Bone, which was released today.  Here we revisit Hannibal’s review of what he calls Land‘s most “introspective” and deeply “insightful” book in the series.   Rape. Racism. White Supremacy. These are hard words to read, and even harder to write. It feels risky, dangerous even to offer such evil the permanence of ink on paper. In Strong to the Bone author Jon Land refuses to shy away from that risk, exposing those evils with the right blend of delicacy and rage, while still bringing the intense action and thrills readers of his Caitlin Strong series have come to expect.…

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Messineo’s ‘The Fire by Night’ Sheds Light on Nurses During Wartime

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Though all wars result in the same atrocious outcome, they are hardly similar in their origins. They often start with an incident, a provocation, appearing to be insignificant, but releasing long-supressed emotions. This can be a process which may take years to burn out. On May 8, 2017, we celebrated the official end of WWII, and though the conflict has been over for more than 70 years, it still continues to consume us on intellectual and spiritual levels. We still try to comprehend how atrocities of this magnitude are possible. We remember the main perpetrators, their names synonymous with locations, whereas all the forgotten heroes and sacrificed populations are collectively remembered as the ‘casualties.’ Even in memory, wars and history…

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‘The Woman Who Smashed Codes’: An Interview with Author Jason Fagone

in Non-Fiction by

Journalist Jason Fagone has tapped into a little-known piece of history with his latest book, The Woman Who Smashed Codes.” Fagone’s book tells the story of Elizebeth Friedman, whose ability to crack codes in language and writings for the National Security Agency (NSA) during World War II made her an invaluable asset to the nation. Her husband, William had long been recognized by NSA as the “founder of the science of modern American cryptology,” but Elizebeth’s reputation as a master codebreaker is what bought them both the most notoriety. Taking place at a time in history where women’s contributions to STEM fields and other areas where the most intricate knowledge and skills must be applied, Elizebeth was often left out…

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Before She was a Chef, Julia Child was…a Spy?! A New TV Show Looks at Child’s Early Life

in Non-Fiction by

Before she was a TV chef and cookbook author, Julia Child was a … World War II spy? Yep, you read that right. And in a recent announcement from Deadline, ABC revealed plans for an upcoming dramedy series based on Child’s double life. Helmed by executive producers Benjamin Brand and Adam Goldworm (Aperture Entertainment) and set for weekly one-hour slots, Julia will imagine a fictional scenario in which Child, after finding culinary fame, is drawn back to her career at an intelligence agency. While Child never did return to the world of covert operations, the show will draw from her real-life experiences during World War II. News of Child’s shocking history hit the media back in 2008 when the National…

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Historic Wonder and What-if’s Bring James Mauro’s ‘Twilight’ to Life

in Non-Fiction by

I’m not a big fan of non-fiction… but with all those topics to choose from, surely I could find something I wanted to read about. I got the book at the library down the street. I needed to read Twilight at the World of Tomorrow because Mauro is a friend of mine. I was a little nervous because I didn’t know what I was going to say if I didn’t like it. I couldn’t imagine Jim writing anything mediocre – he was, after all, once an editor of the now defunct but iconic SPY magazine in Manhattan – but what if? The “what-if” went away pretty quickly- by the time I finished reading the author’s note at the beginning of the…

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Books That Go Great with Barbecue on Father’s Day

in Fiction by
father's day books

Father’s Day is Sunday, June 18, and it’s officially time to decide what you’re going to buy the men in your life. Whether it’s your own father, your partner, or even a friend, this is the time of year to celebrate everything that dads do for us. From raising cool kids to always knowing the weather, fathers definitely deserve to be recognized and appreciated. But as much as we want to give them the world, it doesn’t help that they can be notoriously hard to buy for. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. After all, everyone loves a good book, right? This Father’s Day, why not treat the dads in your life to the always-awesome gift of reading? Here are four…

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‘Sophie and the Rising Sun’ Kicks Up Our Love for World War II Romances

in Romance by

I have a huge weakness for romances set during World War II. It may have started with my obsession over The Bronze Horseman (Best. Book. Ever.), or maybe after I watched The English Patient all the way back in high school. But now I am officially, one hundred percent hooked. There’s just something about the nostalgia, the romance, and the heightened sense of danger that pulls me in every time. Which is why I jumped for joy when I heard that Augusta Trobaugh’s charming novel, Sophie and the Rising Sun, was being made into a movie. Set in Georgia in the early 1940s, Sophie tells the story of a lonely widow who falls for Mr. Oto, a mysterious Japanese man…

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Books Capturing the Romance and Heartbreak of ‘The Light Between Oceans’

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The Light Between Oceans comes out in theaters Friday, September 2 and We. Can’t. Wait. And not just because it stars Michael Fassbender (though, yum). Originally a book written by M.L. Stedman in 2012, The Light Between Oceans is one of those heart-wrenching stories that stays with you long after you finish it. If you haven’t read the novel, get yourself to a bookstore ASAP. But in the meantime, here’s the movie’s lusciously-beautiful trailer: Doesn’t it look so good? Fassbender stars as Tom Sherbourne, a WWI soldier who returns from war and falls madly in love with Isabel Graysmark (Alicia Vikander). The two move out to a remote lighthouse where they live in near-isolation. After a few failed pregnancies, Isabel is desperate…

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On the 70th Anniversary of V-J Day, a WWII Hero Looks Back

in Non-Fiction by

August 15 marks the 70th anniversary of V-J (Victory over Japan) Day. For many of us this date may be no more than another Saturday filled with afternoon barbecues and summer fun. For others, it is a day of much greater significance. It was on this date in 1945 that the surrender of Japan was announced around the world and World War II ended. While the official surrender ceremony would not occur for another two weeks aboard the USS Missouri, the effects were felt immediately. Planes were called back from bombing and strafing runs, troops were ordered to cease fire and navy ships were ordered back to port. Around the world, particularly in the Pacific, an uneasy peace began to…

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