Friday, July 31, 2020

Goodbye... Paris in July

Au revoir!


Goodbye Paris
by Anstey Harris
Chick-lit, France, Paris | Goodreads

Grace once had the beginnings of a promising musical career, but she hasn’t been able to play her cello publicly since a traumatic event at music college years ago. Since then, she’s built a quiet life for herself in her small English village, repairing instruments and nurturing her long- distance affair with David, the man who has helped her rebuild her life even as she puts her dreams of a family on hold until his children are old enough for him to leave his loveless marriage.

But when David saves the life of a woman in the Paris Metro, his resulting fame shines a light onto the real state of the relationship(s) in his life. Shattered, Grace hits rock bottom and abandons everything that has been important to her, including her dream of entering and winning the world’s most important violin-making competition. Her closest friends—a charming elderly violinist with a secret love affair of his own, and her store clerk, a gifted but angst-ridden teenage girl—step in to help, but will their friendship be enough to help her pick up the pieces?


* image source: vintage au revoir

* part of Paris in July (here)

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Murder in Clichy by Cara Black

Murder in Clichy
(Aimée Leduc Investigation #5)
by Cara Black

Published: 2005
Publisher: Soho Crime
Genre: Mystery, France, Paris
Hardback: 320
Rating: 4
Goodreads | Website

First sentence(s):
In the storefront Cao Dai temple under the red lanterns, her foot asleep, pins and needles up and down her legs, Aimée Leduc struggled to keep her spine straight, thumb and pinky together, in the half-lotus position.

Aimée Leduc, private investigator specializing in computer security, has been introduced to the Cao Dai temple in Paris by her partner René Friant. He urges her to learn to meditate: she could use a more healthful approach to life. The Vietnamese nun Linh has been helping Aimée to attain her goal, so when she asks Aimée for a favor—to go to the Clichy quartier to exchange an envelope for a package—René prompts Aimée to agree. But the intended recipient, Thadée Baret, is shot and dies in Aimée’s arms before the transaction can be completed, leaving Aimée with a wounded arm, a check for 50,000 francs, and a trove of ancient jade artifacts.

Whoever killed Baret wants the jade. The RG—the French secret service; a group of veterans of the war in Indochina and some wealthy ex-colonials and international corporations seeking oil rights are all implicated. And the nun, Linh, has disappeared.

Since the incident in which she was temporarily blinded (Murder in the Bastille), Aimée has promised to avoid danger. But somehow, it continues to seek her out.

My two-bits:

This story ventures into some history between Vietnam and France. The historical and descriptions of Parisian neighborhoods continues to draw me to this series.

Action and a touch of romance troubles keep Aimée on the move in this Leduc mystery series.


* author binge (series): Cara Black

* part of Paris in July (here)

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Mystery and France

Sacré bleu!


The 7th Woman Frédérique Molay, translated by Anne Trager (Paris Homicide #1)
Mystery, Thriller, Crime, France, Paris | Goodreads

There's no rest for Paris's top criminal investigation division, La Crim'. Who is preying on women in the French capital? How can he kill again and again without leaving any clues? A serial killer is taking pleasure in a macabre ritual that leaves the police on tenterhooks. Chief of Police Nico Sirsky—a super cop with a modern-day real life, including an ex-wife, a teenage son and a budding love story—races against the clock to solve the murders as they get closer and closer to his inner circle. Will he resist the pressure?

The story grabs you by the throat and doesn’t let go until the last page, leading you behind the scenes with the French police and into the coroner’s office. It has the suspense of Seven, with CSI-like details. You will never experience Paris the same way again!

Crossing The Line Frédérique Molay, translated by Anne Trager (Paris Homicide #2)
Mystery, Thriller, Crime, France, Paris | Goodreads

The Book Artist by Mark Pryor (Hugo Marston #8)
Mystery, Thriller, France, Paris | Goodreads

Hugo Marston, head of security for the U.S. Embassy in Paris, puts his life in danger when he investigates the murder of a celebrated artist, all the while fending off an assassin looking to settle an old score against him.

Hugo Marston accompanies his boss, US Ambassador J. Bradford Taylor, to the first night of an art exhibition in Montmartre, Paris. Hugo is less than happy about going until he finds out that the sculptures on display are made from his favorite medium: books. Soon after the champagne starts to flow and the canapes are served, the night takes a deadly turn when one of the guests is found murdered.

Hugo lingers at the scene and offers his profiling expertise to help solve the crime, but the detective in charge quickly jumps to his own conclusions. He makes an arrest, but it's someone that Hugo is certain is innocent. Meanwhile, his best friend, Tom Green, has disappeared to Amsterdam, hunting an enemy from their past, an enemy who gets the upper hand on Tom, and who then sets his sights on Hugo.

With an innocent person behind bars, a murder to solve, and his own life in danger, Hugo knows he has no time to waste as one killer tries to slip away, and another gets closer and closer.

The French Widow by Mark Pryor (Hugo Marston #9)
Mystery, Thriller, France, Paris | Goodreads
release date: September 15, 2020

The Godmother
by Hannelore Cayre, Stephanie Smee (Translator)
Crime, Mystery, France | Goodreads

Inspiration for the major motion picture Mama Weed; translated from the international bestseller La Daronne, winner of the European Crime Fiction Prize and the Grand Prix de Littérature Policière, France’s most prestigious prize for crime fiction

Meet Patience Portefeux, a fifty-three-year-old, underpaid Franco-Arab interpreter for the Ministry of Justice who specializes in phone tapping. Widowed after the sudden death of her husband, Patience is now wedged between university fees for her grown-up daughters and nursing home costs for her aging mother. Happening upon an especially revealing set of police wiretaps ahead of all other authorities, Patience makes a life-altering decision that sees her intervening in — and infiltrating — the machinations of a massive drug deal. She thus embarks on an entirely new career path: Patience becomes The Godmother.

This is not the French idyll of postcards and stock photos. With a gallery of traffickers, dealers, police officers, and politicians, The Godmother casts its sharp and amusing gaze on everyday survival in contemporary France. With an unforgettable woman at its center, Hannelore Cayre’s bestselling novel reveals a European criminal underground that has rarely been seen.


* image source: Place de Clichy by Eugene Galien Laloue

* part of Paris in July (here)

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Foodie and France



VISIT: cheese shop

La Fromagerie de SoMa, First Street (here)
Selected the cave aged Gruyere (pic below with croissant).

VISIT: bakery

La Boulangerie, Pine Street (here)
Organic Artisan Breads and Pastries
Croissant is a must.

VISIT: pastry shop

b.patiserrie, California Street (here)
...modern French style pastries along with American flavors and local influences
Sweet treat - Chocolate Caramel Toffee Mousse


Vanessa Yu's Magical Paris Tea Shop
by Roselle Lim
Romance, Magical Realism, France, Paris | Goodreads
Release date: August 4, 2020

Become enamored with the splendor of Paris in this heartwarming and delightful story about writing one’s own destiny and finding love along the way.

Vanessa Yu never wanted to see people’s fortunes—or misfortunes—in tea leaves.

Ever since she can remember, Vanessa Yu has been able to see people’s fortunes at the bottom of their teacups. To avoid blurting out their fortunes, she converts to coffee, but somehow fortunes escape and find a way to complicate her life and the ones of those around her. To add to this plight, her romance life is so nonexistent that her parents enlist the services of a matchmaking expert from Shanghai.

The day before her matchmaking appointment, Vanessa accidentally sees her own fate: death by traffic accident. She decides that she can’t truly live until she can find a way to get rid of her uncanny abilities. When her eccentric aunt, Evelyn, shows up with a tempting offer to whisk her away, Vanessa says au revoir to America and bonjour to Paris. While working at Evelyn’s tea stall at a Parisian antique market, Vanessa performs some matchmaking of her own, attempting to help reconnect her aunt with a lost love. As she learns more about herself and the root of her gifts, she realizes one thing to be true: knowing one’s destiny isn’t a curse, but being unable to change it is.


* part of Paris in July (here)

Monday, July 27, 2020

Films and France pt2



WATCH: Netflix

Puerto Ricans in Paris (2015)
Director/Writer: Ian Edelman
Writer: Neel Shah
Stars: Miriam Shor, Luis Guzmán, Edgar Garcia
Comedy, France, Paris | imdb | my rating: 4

Two Puerto Rican NYPD detectives head to Paris to track down a stolen handbag.

HILARIOUS moments with American perspective and sleuthing in Paris.

WATCH: virtual theatre

Radioactive (2019)
Director: Marjane Satrapi
Screenplay: Jack Thorne
Based on book by: Lauren Redniss
Stars: Rosamund Pike, Yvette Feuer, Mirjam Novak
Biography, Drama, Romance, France, Paris | imdb | my rating: 5

Pioneer - Rebel - Genius. Radioactive is incredible, true-story of Marie Curie and her Nobel Prize-winning work that changed the world starring Rosamund Pike and Sam Riley.

WONDERFUL spotlight on Madame Curie's life, loves and science. So driven.


* image source: Théâtre du Gymnase, boulevard de Bonne-Nouvelle by Eugene Galien Laloue

* part of Paris in July (here)

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Lovely Books and Things - 7.26.20

Lovely Books and Things
My Weekly Books and Films Update

Linking up with:
Sunday Post (details)
Mailbox Monday (details)



1. Deciding on and going to french related places for Paris in July theme this month - mostly food inspired.

2. Yummy new recipe and new (to me) spice: Za'atar Roasted Chicken Breast (here)

3. Covid themed rock garden spotted during walk



Death Comes In Through The Kitchen
by Teresa Dovalpage
Mystery, Food, Havana | Goodreads

Library: ebook

Murder in Clichy
by Cara Black
Mystery, France, Paris | Goodreads


Virtual Author event: hosted by NY Times Books
See archive of this on instagram igtv (here)

The Beauty in Breaking
by Michele Harper
Memoir, Health-medical field | Goodreads

Virtual Author event: hosted by Booksmith
Listen to archive of this and check out their calendar for future free author events (here)
Tune in Tuesdays 11am pst VIRTUAL: ZYZZYVA & The Booksmith Present: Lockdown Lit @ Lunch
A conversation between:

Exile Music
by Jennifer Steil
Historical, WWII, Jewish, Bolivia | Goodreads

Daughters of Smoke and Fire
by Ava Homa
Contemporary, Iran | Goodreads

Virtual Author event: hosted by Book Passages
Listen to archive of this and check out their calendar for future free author events (here)
A conversation between: John Muir Laws and Amy Tan

How to Teach Nature Journaling: Curiosity, Wonder, Attention
by John Muir Laws, Emilie Lygren
Art, How-to, Nature | Goodreads

A conversation between: Mark Nepo and Brooke Warner

The Book of Soul: 52 Paths to Living What Matters
by Mark Nepo
Spirituality | Goodreads


AND watched: SFFilm online preview screening

Boys State (2020)
Director: Amanda McBaine, Jesse Moss
Stars: Steven Garza, Ben Feinstein, René Otero, Robert Macdougall
Documentary | imdb | my rating: 5

A thousand 17-year-old boys from Texas join together to build a representative government from the ground up. Filmed at UT Austin in June 2018

POLITICS at play with future leaders in the making.

Speedo (2003)
Director: Jesse Moss
Stars: Ed 'Speedo' Jager, Linda Jager, Anthony Jager
Documentary, Sport, on vimeo | imdb | my rating: 5

A film about Ed “Speedo” Jager, a Long Island demolition derby champion.

PASSION for demolition derby that Speedo has really drives this story which drew me in.


* comment and TELL me what you have acquired for your shelves recently

*** THANKS to those on the front line during these times ***
Shelter In Place - Day 132, Week 20

Stay healthy! Be safe!

Thanks for stopping by :-)

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Yarn Along: July

Yarn Along
hosted by small things
details | July links

On the first Wednesday of each month, knitters, and a few crocheters as well, link up and share what they are knitting along with what they are reading. The link up remains open all month long.



With a french theme for Paris in July, I pulled out my mini loom from a past Mollie Makes magazine craft kit to do some weaving with scrap yarn. Decided to turn the piece into a mini chic purse with macrame purse strap and affixed a cameo-like button.

Then, finished a Mollie Makes hand sewn zippered purse kit with a french exclamation. And, from a stationery stitchery kit, I embroidered a french greeting. et voilà!


Paris by Edward Rutherford
-Historical, France, Paris | Goodreads

From Edward Rutherfurd, the grand master of the historical novel, comes a dazzling epic about the magnificent city of Paris. Moving back and forth in time, the story unfolds through intimate and thrilling tales of self-discovery, divided loyalty, and long-kept secrets. As various characters come of age, seek their fortunes, and fall in and out of love, the novel follows nobles who claim descent from the hero of the celebrated poem The Song of Roland; a humble family that embodies the ideals of the French Revolution; a pair of brothers from the slums behind Montmartre, one of whom works on the Eiffel Tower as the other joins the underworld near the Moulin Rouge; and merchants who lose everything during the reign of Louis XV, rise again in the age of Napoleon, and help establish Paris as the great center of art and culture that it is today. With Rutherfurd’s unrivaled blend of impeccable research and narrative verve, this bold novel brings the sights, scents, and tastes of the City of Light to brilliant life.

Working my way little by little through this.

Friday, July 24, 2020

Picnic in Provence by Elizabeth Bard

Picnic in Provence
A Memoir with Recipes
by Elizabeth Bard
narrated by author

Published: 2015
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Genre: Memoir, France, Recipes
Hardback: 384
Rating: 5
Goodreads | Website

First sentence(s):
I don't, as a rule, introduce myself to cows.

Ten years ago, New Yorker Elizabeth Bard followed a handsome Frenchman up a spiral staircase to a love nest in the heart of Paris. Now, with a baby on the way and the world's flakiest croissant around the corner, Elizabeth is sure she's found her "forever place." But life has other plans.

On a last romantic jaunt before the baby arrives, the couple take a trip to the tiny Provencal village of Céreste. A chance encounter leads them to the wartime home of a famous poet, a tale of a buried manuscript and a garden full of heirloom roses. Under the spell of the house and its unique history, in less time than it takes to flip a crepe, Elizabeth and Gwendal decide to move-lock, stock and Le Creuset-to the French countryside.

When the couple and their newborn son arrive in Provence, they discover a land of blue skies, lavender fields and peaches that taste like sunshine. Seduced by the local ingredients, they begin a new adventure as culinary entrepreneurs, starting their own artisanal ice cream shop and experimenting with flavors like saffron, sheep's milk yogurt and fruity olive oil.

Filled with enticing recipes for stuffed zucchini flowers, fig tart and honey & thyme ice cream, Picnic in Provence is the story of everything that happens after the happily ever after: an American learning the tricks of French motherhood, a family finding a new professional passion, and a cook's initiation into classic Provencal cuisine. With wit, humor and scoop of wild strawberry sorbet, Bard reminds us that life-in and out of the kitchen-is a rendez-vous with the unexpected.

My two-bits:

This story tells the tale of the transition of big city Paris to small town Provence living. Also, the trials and tribulations of starting a small business, ice cream.

Peek into the french culture and family essence are captured well.

Loved the food focus with its descriptions, bit of history and recipes.


* Listened to audiobook version.

* part of Paris in July (here)

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Falling For Provence by Paulita Kincer

Paulita Kincer

on tour

July 20-31


Falling for Provence

Falling For Provence

(women’s fiction, romantic suspense, family life)

Release date: June 5, 2020
at Oblique Press

245 pages

Author’s page


Running a French B&B isn’t all wine and smelly cheese, Fia Jennings discovers as she tries to create a new life for herself and a smooth path for her teenage twins, while not—absolutely not – falling into a new romance. But she didn’t anticipate a handsome stranger showing up on her doorstep and sucking her into an art caper with dangerous overtones.

Can she make a new life in France or will she retreat to the States and her broken marriage?


Paulita Kincer

Paulita Kincer has an M.A. in journalism from American University. She and her husband moved to southern France in 2018. She teaches college English online and ESL to adorable Chinese children.

Visit her website
and her blog at
or follow her on Twitter @paulitakincer
Instagram, or Pinterest
Like her Facebook page at Paulita Kincer Writer.

BUY the book here:

You can enter the global giveaway here or on any other book blog participating in this tour.
Visit/Follow the participating blogs on Facebook/Twitter, as listed in the entry form below, and win more entry points!


Tweeting about the giveaway everyday of the Tour will give you 5 extra entries each time!
[just follow the directions on the entry-form]

Global giveaway open to all
5 winners will receive a copy of this book



Falling for Provence Banner




My two-bits:
Rating: 4

First sentence(s):
The Paris hotel room had seemed bright and welcoming when I entered moments before, but as the bathroom door clicked closed behind the tall man, a wave of fear swept over me along with a tilting dizziness inside my head.

Amongst family interactions and drama at a B&B in Provence, the protagonist affectionately known as Fia encounters some shady shenanigans. She gets drawn into an adventure and mystery beyond the scope of daily maintenance at the B&B which kept my attention to the end.

The story also gets into Fia's background, family history and recent past dealings regarding pilfered art.

There are trips to Aix on Provence and around town to give a good sense of the place that had me noting for a future visit. And, a weekend jaunt into Paris is an added treat.

Love and romance is also thrown into the mix to move this story along.

Loved reading about Fia's daily morning visits to the bakery for fresh bread and croissants.

Got me thinking about the relationship of art and ownership.


* part of France Book Tours (here)

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Jaunt out of Paris



The Reader on the 6.27
by Jean-Paul Didierlaurent, Ros Schwartz (Translator)
Contemporary, Books, Travel, France | Goodreads

An irresistible French sensation - Mr Penumbra's 24-hour Bookstore meets Amelie - The Reader on the 6.27 explores the power of books through the lives of the people they save. It is sure to capture the hearts of book lovers everywhere. Guylain Vignolles lives on the edge of existence. Working at a job he hates, he has but one pleasure in life ...Sitting on the 6.27 train each day, Guylain reads aloud. And it's this release of words into the world that starts our hero on a journey that will finally bring meaning into his life. For one morning, Guylain discovers the diary of a lonely young woman: Julie. A woman who feels as lost in the world as he does. As he reads from these pages to a rapt audience, Guylain finds himself falling hopelessly in love with their enchanting author ...

The Safe Place
by Anna Downes
Thriller, Mystery, France | Goodreads

Emily is a mess.

Emily Proudman just lost her acting agent, her job, and her apartment in one miserable day.

Emily is desperate.

Scott Denny, a successful and charismatic CEO, has a problem that neither his business acumen nor vast wealth can fix. Until he meets Emily.

Emily is perfect.

Scott offers Emily a summer job as a housekeeper on his remote, beautiful French estate. Enchanted by his lovely wife Nina, and his eccentric young daughter, Aurelia, Emily falls headlong into this oasis of wine-soaked days by the pool. But soon Emily realizes that Scott and Nina are hiding dangerous secrets, and if she doesn't play along, the consequences could be deadly.

Death in Provence
by Serena Kent
Mystery, France | Goodreads | my review | my rating: 5

The first entry in a clever, lighthearted mystery series set in modern Provence—a delightful blend of Agatha Christie and Peter Mayle—featuring the irrepressible Penelope Kite, a young-at-heart divorcee with a knack for stumbling across dead bodies.

It’s love at first sight when Penelope Kite sees Le Chant d’Eau—The Song of Water—the stone farmhouse tucked high in the hills above the Luberon valley, complete with a garden, swimming pool, and sweeping mountain vistas. For years, Penelope put her unfaithful ex-husband and her ungrateful stepchildren first. Since taking early retirement from her job in forensics at the Home Office in England, she’s been an unpaid babysitter and chauffeur for her grandchildren. Now, she’s going to start living for herself. Though her dream house needs major renovations, Penelope impulsively buys the property and moves to St. Merlot.

But Penelope’s daydreams of an adventurous life in Provence didn’t include finding a corpse floating face down in her swimming pool. The discovery of the dead man plunges her headlong into a Provençal stew of intrigue and lingering resentments simmering beneath the deceptively sunny village. Having worked in the forensics office, Penelope knows a thing or two about murder investigations. To find answers, she must carefully navigate between her seemingly ubiquitous, supercilious (and enviably chic) estate agent, the disdainful chief of police, and the devilishly handsome mayor—even as she finds herself tempted by all the delicacies the region has to offer. Thank goodness her old friend Frankie is just a flight away . . . and that Penelope is not quite as naïve as her new neighbors in St. Merlot believe.


* image source: Chair Car by Edward Hopper

* part of Paris in July (here)

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

The Black Swan of Paris by Karen Robards

The Black Swan of Paris
by Karen Robards
narrated by Nancy Peterson
Published: 2020
Publisher: MIRA
Genre: Historical, WW2, France
Hardback: 480
Playlist on Spotify - get in the mood
Rating: 4
Goodreads | Website

First sentence(s):
When the worst thing that could ever happen to you had already happened, nothing that came after really mattered.

A world at war. A beautiful young star. A mission no one expected.

Paris, 1944

Celebrated singer Genevieve Dumont is both a star and a smokescreen. An unwilling darling of the Nazis, the chanteuse’s position of privilege allows her to go undetected as an ally to the resistance.

When her estranged mother, Lillian de Rocheford, is captured by Nazis, Genevieve knows it won’t be long before the Gestapo succeeds in torturing information out of Lillian that will derail the upcoming allied invasion. The resistance movement is tasked with silencing her by any means necessary—including assassination. But Genevieve refuses to let her mother become yet one more victim of the war. Reuniting with her long-lost sister, she must find a way to navigate the perilous cross-currents of Occupied France undetected—and in time to save Lillian’s life.

My two-bits:

Good mix of historical, romance and some thriller set in WWII Paris. Got different perspectives for this resistance story.


* Listened to audiobook version.

* part of Paris in July (here)

Monday, July 20, 2020

WW2 and France



The Paper Girl of Paris
by Jordyn Taylor
Historical, WW2, YA, France | Goodreads

Sixteen-year-old Alice is spending the summer in Paris, but she isn’t there for pastries and walks along the Seine. When her grandmother passed away two months ago, she left Alice an apartment in France that no one knew existed. An apartment that has been locked for more than seventy years.

Alice is determined to find out why the apartment was abandoned and why her grandmother never once mentioned the family she left behind when she moved to America after World War II. With the help of Paul, a charming Parisian student, she sets out to uncover the truth. However, the more time she spends digging through the mysteries of the past, the more she realizes there are secrets in the present that her family is still refusing to talk about.

Sixteen-year-old Adalyn doesn’t recognize Paris anymore. Everywhere she looks, there are Nazis, and every day brings a new horror of life under the Occupation. When she meets Luc, the dashing and enigmatic leader of a resistance group, Adalyn feels she finally has a chance to fight back. But keeping up the appearance of being a much-admired socialite while working to undermine the Nazis is more complicated than she could have imagined. As the war goes on, Adalyn finds herself having to make more and more compromises—to her safety, to her reputation, and to her relationships with the people she loves the most.

The Dressmaker's Gift
by Fiona Valpy
Historical, WW2, France | Goodreads

Paris, 1940. With the city occupied by the Nazis, three young seamstresses go about their normal lives as best they can. But all three are hiding secrets. War-scarred Mireille is fighting with the Resistance; Claire has been seduced by a German officer; and Vivienne’s involvement is something she can’t reveal to either of them.

Two generations later, Claire’s English granddaughter Harriet arrives in Paris, rootless and adrift, desperate to find a connection with her past. Living and working in the same building on the Rue Cardinale, she learns the truth about her grandmother – and herself – and unravels a family history that is darker and more painful than she ever imagined.

In wartime, the three seamstresses face impossible choices when their secret activities put them in grave danger. Brought together by loyalty, threatened by betrayal, can they survive history’s darkest era without being torn apart?

The Book of Lost Names
by Kristin Harmel
Historical, WW2, France | Goodreads | my review

Inspired by an astonishing true story from World War II, a young woman with a talent for forgery helps hundreds of Jewish children flee the Nazis in this unforgettable historical novel from the international bestselling author of the “epic and heart-wrenching World War II tale” (Alyson Noel, #1 New York Times bestselling author) The Winemaker’s Wife.

Eva Traube Abrams, a semi-retired librarian in Florida, is shelving books one morning when her eyes lock on a photograph in a magazine lying open nearby. She freezes; it’s an image of a book she hasn’t seen in sixty-five years—a book she recognizes as The Book of Lost Names.

The accompanying article discusses the looting of libraries by the Nazis across Europe during World War II—an experience Eva remembers well—and the search to reunite people with the texts taken from them so long ago. The book in the photograph, an eighteenth-century religious text thought to have been taken from France in the waning days of the war, is one of the most fascinating cases. Now housed in Berlin’s Zentral- und Landesbibliothek library, it appears to contain some sort of code, but researchers don’t know where it came from—or what the code means. Only Eva holds the answer—but will she have the strength to revisit old memories and help reunite those lost during the war?

As a graduate student in 1942, Eva was forced to flee Paris after the arrest of her father, a Polish Jew. Finding refuge in a small mountain town in the Free Zone, she begins forging identity documents for Jewish children fleeing to neutral Switzerland. But erasing people comes with a price, and along with a mysterious, handsome forger named Rémy, Eva decides she must find a way to preserve the real names of the children who are too young to remember who they really are. The records they keep in The Book of Lost Names will become even more vital when the resistance cell they work for is betrayed and Rémy disappears.


Red Mistress
by Elizabeth Blackwell
Historical, WW2, France | Goodreads
Release date: July 21, 2020

In the wake of the Russian Revolution, a determined young woman breaks with her past to become a spy in 1920s Paris, where shadowy intrigues and a dangerous romance put her loyalty to the test.

In the spring of 1914, Nadia Shulkina, the daughter of Russian aristocrats, looks toward a bright future. She has no premonitions of war, let alone the revolution that is about to destroy her comfortable world.

Her once-noble family is stripped of every possession, and more terrible losses soon follow. To save what’s left of her family and future, Nadia marries a zealous Bolshevik in an act of calculated reinvention.

It won’t be her last.

When she agrees to work undercover for the Soviets in 1920s Paris, Nadia is drawn into a beautiful yet treacherous world of secrets and deceit. Beset by conflicting loyalties and tested by a forbidden love affair, she becomes embroiled in a conspiracy that ends with a shocking murder. What chances will she take to determine her own fate?


* image source: Place de la Madeleine by Eugene Galien Laloue

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Lovely Books and Things - 7.19.20

Lovely Books and Things
My Weekly Books and Films Update

Linking up with:
Sunday Post (details)
Mailbox Monday (details)



1. Working on french themed craft projects to post for Yarn Along July post for later this month.

2. Zucchini spaghetti - who knew it could be so tasty and pasta-like ;-)

3. Been seeing this stencil around from unknown artist. I'm calling it the Covid Kiss - new scavenger hunt while walking.


Library: audiobook

The Black Swan of Paris
by Karen Robards
Historical, WW2, Paris | Goodreads

Freebies: from Free Little Library

The Jane Austen Marriage Manual
by Kim Izzo
Chick-lit, Jane Austen theme | Goodreads

For Review:

Engaging The Heiress
by Juli D. Revezzo
courtesy of author -Thanks!
Romance, Historical | Goodreads


Virtual Author event: hosted by Booksmith
Listen to archive of this and check out their calendar for future free author events (here)
Tune in Tuesdays 11am pst VIRTUAL: ZYZZYVA & The Booksmith Present: Lockdown Lit @ Lunch
A conversation between:
What We Inherit: A Secret War and a Family's Search for Answers by Jessica Pearce Rotondi
Memoir, History | Goodreads

Book of the Little Axe by Lauren Francis-Sharma
Historical | Goodreads

Virtual Author event: hosted by Reese's Book Club
Check it out via instagram (here)

A conversation between:

The Guest List by Lucy Foley
Mystery, Thriller | Goodreads

One By One by Ruth Ware
Mystery, Thriller | Goodreads

Virtual Author event: hosted by Green Apple Books
Check out their calendar for future free author events (here)
A conversation between:
A Good Family by A.H. Kim
Mystery, Korean American | Goodreads

River of Stars by Vanessa Hua
Literary, China | Goodreads

A conversation between:
Sex and Lies: True Stories of Women's Intimate Lives in the Arab World by Leila Slimani
Essays, Feminism, Morocco, France | Goodreads

Three Women by Lisa Taddeo
Feminism | Goodreads

Virtual Author event: hosted by Book Passages
Listen to archive of this and check out their calendar for future free author events (here)
A conversation between: Kate Schatz, Miriam Klein Stahl and Kate Hudson
Rad American History A-Z: Movements and Moments That Demonstrate the Power of the People (Rad Women)
by Kate Schatz
illustrated by Miriam Klein Stahl
History, Illustrated | Goodreads

A conversation between:
French Like Moi: A Midwesterner in Paris by Scott Dominic Carpenter
Memoir, Travel, France | Goodreads

The Way of Wanderlust: The Best Travel Writing of Don George by Don George
Travel | Goodreads

A conversation between: Miss Manners and Liam Mayclem
Minding Miss Manners: In an Era of Fake Etiquette by Judith Martin
Guide, Etiquette, USA | Goodreads


AND watched: virtual theatre for SFFILM Hong Kong Cinema (here)

Twilight's Kiss (2019)
Suk Suk (original title)
Director/Writer: Ray Yeung
Stars: Tai-Bo, Ben Yuen, Patra Au
Drama, Hong Kong | imdb | my rating: 5

SUK SUK is a quiet portrayal of a gay relationship between two men in their twilight years. PAK, 70, a married taxi driver who refuses to retire meets HOI 65, a retired single father. Although both are secretly gay, they are proud of the families they have created through hard work and hardship over the years. HOI is a member of the Mature Tongzhi Society, a social group, which caters for gay men who are over 60. The group is planning to attend a public forum to request the government to create senior citizen homes dedicated exclusively for gay people. However, due to the fact that most men in the group are in the closet, there is no one who is willing to voice their opinions in the public forum. HOI supports the notion of a gay senior citizen home and considers speaking in the public forum. However when HOI begins to wonder whether his son WAN suspect he is gay, his attitude shifts. As PAK and HOI fall in love they contemplate a possible future together. SUK SUK studies the subtle day-to-day moments of the two men as they struggle between conventional morals and their personal desires.

BEAUTIFUL, gentle, sad love story. Also, learned a bit of the LGBTQ situation in Hong Kong.


* comment and TELL me what you have acquired for your shelves recently

*** THANKS to those on the front line during these times ***
Shelter In Place - Day 125, Week 19

Stay healthy! Be safe!

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