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review 2016-05-20 21:51
Buddenbrooks: The Decline of a Family
Buddenbrooks: The Decline of a Family - Thomas Mann,John E. Woods,T.J. Reed



Description: Michael Maloney and Barbara Flynn star in this story of an old Hanseatic merchant family fighting to keep their commercial supremacy in the changing world of 1840s Europe.

Four generations of Buddenbrooks try to sustain their inheritance - a once highly successful trading company in the port of Lübeck on the Baltic Sea - in a world where the old ways no longer seem to work. It's 1848, and the revolutionary tide running through Europe has finally reached Lübeck. Will the old merchant families hold on to power? Of the Buddenbrook children, only Tom remains to learn the business. Toni is in Hamburg married to Herr Grunlich, and Christian has gone to England but would rather be in Valparaiso. J Thomas and Gerda's son Hanno shows no aptitude for business, but may make a great musician.

Lovely to revisit this having just visited the beautiful hanseatic league town of Lübeck.

"An enormous brick-red, boiled ham appeared, strewn with crumbs and served with a sour brown onion sauce, and so many vegetables that the company could have satisfied their appetites from that one dish.

Lebrecht Kroger undertook the carving, and skillfully cut the succulent slices, with his elbows slightly elevated and his two long forefingers laid out along the back of the knife and fork. With the ham went the Frau Consul's celebrated " Russian jam" - a pungent fruit conserve flavoured with spirits."
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review 2015-04-06 06:22
One Summer: A Shelter Bay Novel by Ross, JoAnn (2011) Mass Market Paperback - JoAnn Ross

I liked the no-kill animal shelter and volunteering at foster kids camp but not much else.  Way to much repetitive ruminating, sometimes whole chapters mostly about hero's commitment-phobia.  I skimmed a lot and forced myself to finish.  War photographer Gabe takes injured abandoned dog to veterinarian Charity.

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review 2015-02-26 15:51
Athens: A Portrait of the City in its Golden Age by Christian Meier
Athens: A Portrait of the City in its Golden Age - Christian Meier


Description: The definitive account of Athens in the age of Pericles, Christian Meier's gripping study begins with the Greek triumph over Persia at the Battle of Salamis, one of the most significant military victories in history. Meier shows how that victory decisively established Athens's military dominance in the Mediterranean and made possible its rise to preeminence in almost every field of human commerce, science, philosophy, art, architecture, and literature. Within seventy-five years, Athens had become the most original and innovative civilization the ancient world ever produced.

With elegant narrative style, Meier traces the birth of democracy and the flourishing of Greek culture in the fifth century B.C., as well as Athens' slow decline and defeat in the Peloponnesian War. The great figures from politicians and generals like Themistocles and Alcibiades to the philosophers Socrates and Plato emerge as flesh-and-blood human beings, firmly rooted in their times and places. This is history in the tradition of Simon Schama and Barbara Tuchman: learned, accessible, and beautifully written.

I remember buying this in that cheap shop in John Frost Square just before meeting dear M and flitting away to Sweden. It must have been stored in mater's garage as there is some water marking at the top but entirely readable.

Translated from the French by Robert and Rita Kimber.

Opening: The Needle's Eye at Salamis: A Region Ventures into World Politics: In the late summer of 480BC, most likely towards the end of September, a dramatic, heartrending scene played out on the coast of Attica.

This book starts with its finish i.e. The Battle of Salamis, throws up some questions and then goes back to lead you through the centuries to give a build up to the battle. Pisistrates the tyrant (son of Hippocrates) was, well, rather like his name wasn't he.
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