Book Reviews

A Cineaste’s Bookshelf

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ACCENT: The Allure of the East

As I have said in past posts, I am an unabashed Orientalist – though, not, perhaps, as Edward Said meant it. I am truly fascinated by those ancient civilizations and I look upon them with respect and admiration. These two books, …
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REVIEW: DEAD WAKE by Erik Larson

In Larson’s latest, he manages to bring tension worthy of The Hunt for Red October or Das Boot to a pivotal day in May 1915. Two vessels, unaware of their fates, barrel toward an outcome the reader knows all too well. Despite …
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GIVEAWAY: LES MISERABLES by Victor Hugo

  Thanks to the fine folks at Penguin Classics, I have one copy of a new translation of Victor Hugo’s classic to giveaway.       To enter: 1) Share this giveaway. 2) Leave a comment, with a link to your …
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ACCENT: AMERICAN GHOST by Hannah Nordhaus

I am very lucky to have a grandmother and a father who are very into genealogy and ancestry. She held on to family quilts and dug up photos of relatives long since gone. I have the strange privilege of looking …
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ACCENT: LOST IN TRANSLATION

So many times, even the best writers among us, are at a loss for words. It’s why we turn to idioms and metaphors. We attempt to construct something that will convey what we are thinking. And that is usually because …
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ACCENT: THE TURNIP PRINCESS

  The archetypal story of untapped treasure has been proven possible again. Erika Eichenseer discovered thirty boxes of von Schonwerth’s manuscripts just waiting to be uncovered. Hoping to find such a trove, Eichenseer brought to light what had been stored …
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REVIEW: BLACK DIAMONDS by Catherine Bailey

Anyone with a penchant for the tension between the past traditions and the coming future (a la Lord Grantham in Downton Abbey) and historical nonfiction should pick up Black Diamonds. Catherine Bailey, author of The Secret Rooms, has once again …
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ACCENT: THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN by Paula Hawkins

Comparisons to Gone Girl are inevitable so let me start there. Yes, this is a suburban suspense, with a (perhaps) unreliable narrator at the heart of it. She views her old home from the commuter train everyday. My head leaning against …
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Parisian Art Heists

  Unbecoming by Rebecca Scherm In a dusty corner of Paris, Grace works in an antique repair shop. She fixes the tiny baubles on chandeliers, the cracking of gilt frames and the prongs of antique jewelry. But Grace is not …
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REVIEW: MR MAC AND ME by Esther Freud

Freud has imagined the summer of 1914 for Charles Rennie Mackintosh and his wife through the eyes of Thomas Maggs, a thirteen-year old boy who lives on the Suffolk Coast. The artist couple takes a cottage in the small town, …
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ACCENT: A PLEASURE AND A CALLING by Phil Hogan

  It is every bit as creepy as the cover implies. Mr Heming is a quiet realtor in a tiny English town. Many of his neighbors couldn’t tell you his name, if they noticed him at all. He goes about …
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REVIEW: DID SHE KILL HIM?

Stuck in the airport? Stuck with the in-laws? Feeling a bit murderous? Escape with this engrossing true (mainly unsolved) crime from Victorian England, with its roots in the American South. Florence Chandler, every inch the southern belle, took a steamer from …
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ACCENT: MISSING REELS by Farran Smith Nehme

Nehme, author of the acclaimed classic film blog Self-Styled Siren, has written a novel. Drawing on her extensive and joyful knowledge of old Hollywood, and her actual time living in NYC in the 1980s, she created a naive but likeable protagonist …
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READS for your winter break

A few days off mean more time to read. Right? Even between all the travel, parties and meals, we bibliophiles can usually find a few secret hours to read. Here are my suggestions on what to read (and what to …
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ACCENT: FOXCATCHER by Mark Schultz

In the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, Mark Schultz won a gold medal in wrestling. His brother, Dave, won as well in a higher weight class. The Schultz brothers represented a dynasty in that part of the athletic world. From the world …
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