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Chapter 10 - Lit Chat

As you all know not only do I read a lot but I also have a penchant (learned that word through reading!) for new books. January and February were killer book months for me as it was either too cold, too rainy, or there were too many good books that came my way. My reading has been all over the board from memoirs to history to contemporary fiction. A few of the books were recommended by friends and customers, others got great reviews so I put them on my list.

I read about 21 books in those two months. I say about 21 because as I am writing this it is still February and I am almost finished another and I have almost a week left in the month. Below are some of the terrific books I have read so far.

Eyewitness to World War II: Unforgettable Stories From History's Greatest Conflict by Stephen G. Hyslop - I picked up a copy of this nonfiction book at a local bargain store and became a fan almost immediately. The book details the war from the beginning and walks the reader through every major campaign offering vignettes from those who were there. It is readable, understandable, and has given me better insight into some of the events I was a little sketchy on.

When We Were Young & Brave by Hazel Gaynor - Hazel Gaynor writes historical fiction and this book, a World War II story, takes place in Japanese occupied China. Elspeth Kent has left England to become a teacher at a boarding school for the children of diplomats and missionaries in China. After Japan declares war on America and Britain, it takes control of the school. As the children and faculty as shuttled from one incarceration camp to another, the story unfolds with Elspeth at its center.

The Magnolia Palace by Fiona Davis - I have always enjoyed Fiona Davis's work as she uses well known New York City places on which to build her story. This latest is a tale of The Frick House, home of the oil magnate Henry Frick. Frick, originally from Pennsylvania, decided to buy art works and to eventually leave his home as a museum to NYC. A personal assistant to Helen Frick gets caught up in intrigue as the tale moves back and forth between the early 1900s and the 1960's.

The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner - This book was just released in paperback so a little less costly to get ahold of. The story starts with a woman in London celebrating her 10th wedding anniversary alone. She goes "mudlarking" and finds an old bottle with etching on it and decides to dig into its past. This is definitely a woman's story of finding your own voice.

The Maid by Nita Prose - Published in early January, Prose's book is a story of a young woman who is a maid at the Regency Grand Hotel. The reader finds out early on that Molly is not like most people and has difficulty in reading social cues. When she finds a dead man in the penthouse suite, Molly is swept up in a storm of accusations and assumptions.

Do you have any really good books you've read lately? Please share.

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