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review 2017-02-21 18:05
At least it is not the Flies
Paris Under the Occupation - Jean-Paul Sartre,Lisa Lieberman
Sartre and I have a history. On the one hand, I have read No Exit in French, and quite frankly, you have never experienced life until you have seen a French Professor who is a nun search for the French word for nymphomaniac and then finish the sentence with like Blanche from the Golden Girls. On the other read, my boring college philosophy teacher talked about The Flies / Les Mouches every darn day. So it's a complicated relationship.

Like many of the Occupied French Sartre's relationship with the Germans was confused as well (I think all of Sartre's relationships are confused but that is just me). Yet, I think if you are trying to understand or to reach an understanding about France during WW II, you must read this essay. In particular with An Eye for an Eye.
 

 

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review 2017-02-21 03:54
PARIS LETTERS by Janice MacLeod
Paris Letters - Janice Macleod
  Janice MacLeod quits her job and moves to Paris. She travels through Europe but falls in love with the butcher in Paris. She tells of how she got there, what happened, how she fell in love, and the red tape to stay there and marry there.

This is not a book to read all at once. It should be sipped and read leisurely to truly appreciate it. It was fun to see what she had to do to quit her job and move. I enjoyed her solution to a "job."
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review 2017-02-18 18:37
Christmas in (Medieval) Paris
Of Witches, Whores and Alchemists (Mariana de la Mar Book 2) - Jim Hawkey

I was provided with a free copy of this book by the author

in return for an honest review.

 

Of Witches, Whores & Alchemists is Book 2 of the Mariana de la Mar series of novels set in the 1370s in Spain and France. It is preceded by two other books, The Rose of Sharon (Mariana de la Mar 1) and a prequel, Mariana la Loca, but it is the only one of the three that is a real Medieval Mystery, and is in my view the best one to start with. It is not only very much a stand-alone but the first two are both in a sense prequels to it. Mariana la Loca, the official prequel, tells of Mariana's childhood in the south of Spain, up to the point where, at the age of fourteen, and following the death of her father, she is abducted and sold into slavery. The Rose of Sharon (Mariana de la Mar 1) takes us from that point to her arrival in Paris.

 

Now she is in Paris and has fulfilled her dream of becoming a student at the university there. But her life is still beset with difficulties.

 

For a start, the university admits only boys and men to lectures, so she has to dress as a boy. On top of that, her self-appointed guardian, Ferchard (Sir Farquhar de Dyngvale), an old friend of her father's (who was a Scot living in exile in Spain) insists that she must now grow up and be the lady (Lady Marian MacElpin) she was born to be, and turn her back on the years spent as a prostitute in Spain and Avignon. But this, she finds, is not so easily done.

 

However, her experience of life and knowledge of the world is much greater than that of her peer-group of students and hangers-on, so it is to her they turn when one of their number is accused of murdering his uncle, a miserly alchemist reputed to have a horde of gold nuggets tucked away somewhere.

 

And no sooner has she agreed to do what she can to help discover who was really responsible for the death of the old man than she learns that another murder was committed that same night (Christmas night!), a murder closely connected with the first one.

 

As the title implies, the book is full of medieval witches and prostitutes – Mariana is more than a little of both herself –  but others Mariana meets and gets to know during the course of her investigations include the Holy Roman Emperor, an alchemist himself and in Paris for Christmas, his daughter Anna, soon to be the wife of Richard II and Queen of England, the one-armed Albanian King of the Paris underworld, the celebrated proto-feminist Christine de Pisan, then a girl of thirteen, and the legendary alchemist Nicolas Flamel.    

 

There are many so-called medieval mysteries about and feeling at home in the medieval period I have read most of them, but I want to say simply that there is more medieval magic and mystery in this one book than in any ten of the others. And more horror. Some scenes are more than gripping, they are mesmerising. Medieval Paris is unforgettably depicted and quite apart from that it is astonishing how this very male writer gets into the heart and soul of the all-female Mariana. (But then why not, when you think that Cadfael and Falco are both written by women?)

 

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review 2017-02-16 16:13
Behind Closed Doors - B.A. Paris
Behind Closed Doors - B. A. Paris,Georgia Maguire,Macmillan Audio

This is not a suspense book because you know everything pretty much from the beginning. It's not very realistic either, because there were quite a few far-fetched situations. It was also hard to believe Grace was such a great actress that no one, except for one single person noticed that something fishy was going on. Also, the story and the ending were nothing new, to be honest, but this book was still a good old thriller. I felt terrified from the moment I started listening and I was very close to stop listening because the emotions this book was generating in me were making me feel very anxious. Georgia Maguire does an excellent job at reading this book with just the correct amount of fear and despair, so she added a lot to the mix. I could feel the hopelessness Grace was feeling and I was honestly scared thinking about how many normal people you meet on the street may be like Jack or how many women are like Grace.
So even though technically it may not be a great book, it had me grabbed from the beginning and I could not put it down until I finished it. What an experience. Four stars!

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review 2017-02-16 04:51
Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris
Behind Closed Doors - B. A. Paris

I finished this book two days ago, and it's still in my head because it was such a "wow factor" book. Jack and Grace seem to have the perfect lives. Everyone with a mind knows there's no such thing as perfect. So why did only one person in this book pick up on the fact that something might be wrong with their relationship? If I see a relationship that is way too clingy, my instincts kick in and I automatically wonder if something is wrong or it they're just super in love. Thankfully it's always been the latter.

To say the least, this book made me extremely uncomfortable. I love books that can elicit that sort of emotion in me. The book jumps in between the past and the present that quickly builds up suspense in the most perfect, hand-wringing way. This is the sort of book that makes you say "I need more" and won't let you stop reading it until you've finished the very last line. By the time you get to the end of the book, you'll feel so mentally and emotionally drained you'll have to pick up a happy-go-lucky book just to feel some sort of happiness again.

DISCLAIMER: I received this copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions herein are of my own and are not swayed by any factors.

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