Entertainment Magazine

This Week’s Books (12/01/14)

Posted on the 12 January 2014 by Donnambr @_mrs_b

Michel Faber – The Crimson Petal & the White (2002)Crimson

Sugar, 19, prostitute in Victorian London, yearns for a better life. From brutal brothel-keeper Mrs Castaway, she ascends in society. Affections of self-involved perfume magnate William Rackham soon smells like love. Her social rise attracts preening socialites, drunken journalists, untrustworthy servants, vile guttersnipes, and whores of all kinds. 

Verdict: A delightful narrative make this book well worth your time, despite its length. 4/5

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Mark Haddon – The Sea of Tranquillity (1996)

He borrowed library books and read about astronauts walking in space, orbiting the earth, and flying around the moon. Every night the little boy hoped and hoped that one day astronauts would land on the moon. And then, one cloudless night, they did. . . . “Haddon captures the profound thrill of being witness to the moon landing better than any other picture book.”–”School Library Journal”

Verdict: Pleasant enough tale about childhood dreams of space. 3/5

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Richard J. Evans – The Coming of the Third Reich (2004)

Coming of Third Reich

There is no story in twentieth-century history more important to understand than Hitler’s rise to power and the collapse of civilization in Nazi Germany. With The Coming of the Third Reich, Richard Evans, one of the world’s most distinguished historians, has written the definitive account for our time. A masterful synthesis of a vast body of scholarly work integrated with important new research and interpretations, Evans’s history restores drama and contingency to the rise to power of Hitler and the Nazis, even as it shows how ready Germany was by the early 1930s for such a takeover to occur. The Coming of the Third Reich is a masterwork of the historian’s art and the book by which all others on the subject will be judged.

Verdict: Insightful opening to the trilogy detailing the Nazi rise in a disillusioned post-WWI Germany. 4/5

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Tell Tale Heart
Edgar Allan Poe – The Tell-Tale Heart (1843)

Do your students enjoy a good laugh? Do they like to be scared? Or do they just like a book with a happy ending? No matter what their taste, our Creative Short Stories series has the answer.We’ve taken some of the world’s best stories from dark, musty anthologies and brought them into the light, giving them the individual attention they deserve. Each book in the series has been designed with today’s young reader in mind. As the words come to life, students will develop a lasting appreciation for great literature.

The humor of Mark Twain…the suspense of Edgar Allan Poe…the danger of Jack London…the sensitivity of Katherine Mansfield. Creative Short Stories has it all and will prove to be a welcome addition to any library.

Verdict: Well-written but dark tale of murder and crumbling sanity. 4/5

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Richard J. Evans – The Third Reich in Power (2005)

third reich in power

The definitive account of Germany’s malign transformation under Hitler’s total rule and the implacable march to war. 

By the middle of 1933, the democracy of the Weimar Republic had been transformed into the police state of the Third Reich, mobilized around the cult of the leader, Adolf Hitler. If this could happen in less than a year, what would the future hold? Only the most fervent Nazi party loyalists would have predicted how radical the transformation ahead would be. 

In The Third Reich in Power, Richard J. Evans tells the story of Germany’s radical reshaping under Nazi rule. Every area of life, from literature, culture, and the arts to religion, education, and science, was subordinated to the relentless drive to prepare Germany for war. His book shows how the Nazis attempted to penetrate and reorder every aspect of German society, encountering many kinds and degrees of resistance along the way but gradually winning the acceptance of the German people in the long run. 

Those who were seen as unfit to be counted among the German people were dealt with in increasingly brutal terms. The Nazi regime took more and more radical measures against the racially “unfit,” including Germany’s Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals, mentally ill, “asocial” and “habitual” criminals. After six years of foreign policy brinkmanship that took the Nazi regime from success to success, Hitler’s drive to prepare Germany for the war he saw as its destiny reached its fateful hour in September 1939. The war he unleashed was to plunge the world into a maelstrom of genocide and destruction. The Third Reich in Power is the fullest and most authoritative account yet written of how, in six years, Germany was brought to the edge of that terrible abyss.

Verdict: Inferior to the first installment but still an absorbing read all the same. 4/5

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black cat
Edgar Allan Poe – The Black Cat (1842)

The Black Cat is a short story by Edgar Allan Poe. It was first published in the August 19, 1843, edition of The Saturday Evening Post. It is a study of the psychology of guilt.

Verdict: Another great read, maybe my favorite by Poe so far. 4/5

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