REVIEW: The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris

In brief: The true story of Lale, who was imprisoned in Auschwitz. He is the prisoner who tattoos the numbers on new arrivals, but one day he also falls in love… The good: It's a beautiful, but harrowing, story of loss and hope. The not-so-good: That these atrocities really did happen. Why I chose it:... Continue Reading →

The Memory Code by Dr Lynne Kelly

In brief: What does Stonehenge mean? How did people in non-literate culture memorise so many things? Dr Lynne Kelly shows us the link and how we can train our memories too. The good: Songlines really do work for memory (I tried it!) The not-so-good: I needed to concentrate a little more on this book –... Continue Reading →

London Under by Peter Ackroyd

In brief: A history of what exists under London's streets- much more than tube lines and pipes, there's bunkers and secret rivers. The good: A good overview, and some very interesting points about the London Underground. The not-so-good: Quite succinct in some places and enormous page borders. Why I chose it: I like reading about... Continue Reading →

Underground London by Stephen Smith

A quick rundown… What's under London's streets? Quite a lot it seems, from secret tunnels to bunkers. Strengths: Well researched and very interesting. Weaknesses: Some topics I was interested in more than others. Why I read it: Interested in what happens in London underground – from tubes to tunnels. Pages: 393 Published: 2004 Publisher: Abacus... Continue Reading →

The Debutante by Kathleen Tessaro

A quick rundown… Two stories running together: the story of Cate in the present, cataloguing the items of a deceased estate, and the Blythe sisters in the 1930s. Can Cate solve the mystery of the missing sister? Strengths: Interesting idea for a story, some interesting glimpses into fashion history. Weaknesses: Dreary, conjures up bleak images... Continue Reading →

The Red Thread by Dawn Farnham

A quick rundown… A tale of love in 1830s Singapore between a Chinese man and Scottish woman. Strengths: Tells the history of Singapore in a generally entertaining fashion. Weaknesses: Sometimes the history is a bit dry. Why I read it: Like to pick up a local book to read when I'm on holidays. Pages: 328... Continue Reading →

The Street Sweeper by Elliot Perlman

A quick rundown… A saga of several characters, seemingly unconnected, that transcends time and moves from WWII to the present day. Strengths: Excellent historical research, particularly in relation to Auschwitz. Weaknesses: The explanation at the end about what was true and what wasn't; threads of characters took a long tied to get tied up. Why... Continue Reading →

The Secret of Chanel No. 5 by Tilar Mazzeo

A quick rundown… A history of one of the world's favourite perfumes – certainly not all glamour and flowers. Strengths: Very interesting, even though I don't wear this perfume. Weaknesses: Strictly about the perfume, minimal details about Chanel's other ventures. Why I read it: $5 sale pile Pages: 304 Published: 2010 Publisher: Harper Setting: Around... Continue Reading →

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