Two Histories: A Parisian Scandal and the Time-Old Tale of Women and Power

I love history that digs into something that was absolutely massive during its day and now is essentially unknown and forgotten. It always makes me wonder what the same things will be from our era. Sarah Horowitz's The Red Widow: The Scandal that Shook Paris and the Woman Behind it All (September 6, Sourcebooks) does... Continue Reading →

“The Undercurrents” of Berlin

British-American art history writer Kirsty Bell relocated from New York to Berlin, where she and her German husband later bought an apartment on the Tempelhofer Ufer along the Landwehr Canal to raise their two sons. The significance of this location is impressive: "The building has stood on the banks of the canal since 1869, its... Continue Reading →

Sinclair McKay’s Biography of Berlin

Berlin: Life and Death in the City at the Center of the World, by Sinclair McKayUsed or new @SecondSale.com Throughout the twentieth century, Berlin stood at the centre of a convulsing world. It alternately seduced and haunted the international imagination. The essence of the city seemed to be its sharp duality: the radiant boulevards, the... Continue Reading →

Recent Russia Reads in Minis

Sadly, Russia's war of aggression in Ukraine just passed its 100th day. Although Russia is forever one of my favorite reading topics, I had been pretty measured about it in recent years. Wanting more information about what's going on led me to push a few titles off my backlist, plus some in-translation new releases. I'm... Continue Reading →

Curry and Khabaar

Given my obsession with Indian food and curries of all kinds it only seemed fitting to learn more about them. Madhushree Ghosh's memoir-in-essays Khabaar: An Immigrant Journey of Food, Memory, and Family (April 4, University Of Iowa Press) weaves together fragments of her life, both brighter and darker ones, loosely linked through food. It includes... Continue Reading →

The “Dark Legacy” of the Nazi Billionaires

Nazi Billionaires: The Dark History of Germany's Wealthiest Dynasties, by David de Jong (published April 19, 2022 by Mariner Books) In the newly released and fairly jaw-dropping Nazi Billionaires, Dutch journalist David de Jong, a Bloomberg News reporter on wealth and finance, profiles five German-Austrian families (the Quandts, Flicks, von Fincks, Porsche-Piëchs, and Oetkers) whose... Continue Reading →

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