Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Hitler's Last Plot The 139 VIP Hostages Selected for Death in the Final Days of World War II

Hitler's Last Plot The 139 VIP Hostages Selected for Death in the Final Days of World War II
File Size: 36706 KB
Print Length: 327 pages
Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0306921553
Publisher: Da Capo Press (April 16, 2019)
Publication Date: April 16, 2019
Sold by: Hachette Book Group
Language: English

In April 1945, as Germany faced defeat, Hitler planned to round up the Third Reich's most valuable prisoners and send them to his "Alpine Fortress," where he and the SS would keep the hostages as they made a last stand against the Allies. The prisoners included European presidents, prime ministers, generals, British secret agents, and German anti-Nazi clerics, celebrities, and officers who had aided the July 1944 bomb plot against Hitler--and the prisoners' families. Orders were given to the SS: if the German military situation deteriorated, the prisoners were to be executed--all 139 of them.

So began a tense, deadly drama. As some prisoners plotted escape, others prepared for the inevitable, and their SS guards grew increasingly volatile, drunk, and trigger-happy as defeat loomed. As a dramatic confrontation between the SS and the Wehrmacht threatened the hostages caught in the middle, the US Army launched a frantic rescue bid to save the hostages before the axe fell.

Drawing on previously unpublished and overlooked sources, Hitler's Last Plot is the first full account of this astounding and shocking story, from the original round-up order to the prisoners' terrifying ordeal and ultimate rescue. Told in a thrilling, page-turning narrative, this is one of World War II's most fascinating episodes.

My Thoughts

I have been studying this book and the depth of detail is somewhat overwhelming.  

The book begins with a detailing of the history of the Prominenten ( 139 high profile prisoners Hitler ordered the SS to take from the camps)  and their locations before they were used as bargaining chips. 

Sayer and Dronfield team together to bring us a novel of connections and to make us witness to many things, among them are the interactions between the Prominenten and the SS / SD.  

The characters and locations are skillfully described and cleverly interlinked against the backdrop of World War II

Yes, there was some leniency by the SS, but if the thought of a very possible execution didn't make the Prominenten think twice, I'm sure the idea of an arthropod giving them an infection that caused internal bleeding would. 

Neither thought was inescapable due to fact guards with machine pistols lined the roads and it was well known there were areas surrounded with bleak barbed-wired enclosures, riddled with poor sanitation, and close human contact.

In closing, I felt this was a well-researched book which depicted the inconceivable life of the Prominenten, who were heralded by peasants, helped by partisans and in the days after the official surrender, rescued by US forces. 

I received a copy of this book through the generosity of Quinn Fariel/ Marketing Manager/ Hachette Books

Friday, May 17, 2019

Library House Books & Art

If you want to step back in time a great place to start is in Grand Rapids, Ohio, at Library House Books and Art.

This independently owned used bookstore is located only a short walk from the Maumee River. 

Library House Books and Art isn't your average used bookstore. As you enter the shop with original hardwood floors you'll find multifaceted collection of books, paintings, prints, and animals. 

This is a store a bookworm, like me, loves.  The atmosphere is delightful and the shelves are filled with inexpensive books. 

For those of us who like to set and read a while, there are comfy velvet chairs at the front of the store, and there's a large wooden library table adorned with a lilac centerpiece just beyond the cash register. 

While the store specializes in history, art, and poetry they also have a  decent selection of all categories.  

I found their children's section at the back of the store offers a treasure trove of colorful picture books and there's even a room off to the side that has a small table for children to sit around.

At Library House Books & Art the collection was filled with vintage and modern books and art and my purchases this beautiful spring day was a lovely collection of gardening books.

Once you have purchased your selections, the village itself is full of shops and galleries filled with unique gifts such as fine art, vintage clothing, and more bookshops.

There are restaurants where you can enjoy a sit-down meal or shops where you can purchase delectable treats of ice cream or old fashioned sauces and candies.

The village is also home to the Ludwig Mill. You can take a Canal boat manned by costumed workers and they'll provide you with details of the 1800's country river life. 

Friday, May 3, 2019

Purple Pup

  • Purple Pup
  • Karl Stream 
  • File Size: 8809 KB
  • Print Length: 214 pages
  • Publication Date: November 23, 2016
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01N45OIQ2

“Everyone has a place in the world, and a purpose for their life. It’s not always easy to figure out what they are, but once you know, it changes everything.”

Purple Pup is a story of action, friendship, and suspense. If you enjoy stories that are told from an animal's perspective, this should be at the top of your reading list. 

Purple Pup contains over 90 illustrations, created by artist Joshua Lagman. These images combined with Karl Steam’s fast paced storytelling have created a book that even reluctant readers will enjoy.

My Thoughts

Most of you know I love canines having 4 of them myself. 

It was interesting to read this story told from the animal's point of view. 

This book offers a thought-provoking storyline. 

Imagine having genetically altered animals with different coat colors and heightened senses.

Illustrated in black and white by Joshua Lagman this book will be great for discussions about the pro and cons of genetically modified animals as one can address the ability to understand and to imagine Lav and the other animals' experiences and why they don't want to live with humans.

This book was provided for review by the generosity of the author.

About the Author
Karl Stream was previously a junior high school teacher, Karl is now the author of the Kids vs. Nature series. Other works include Purple Pup and How Santa Changed. He lives in the Upper Midwest, with his wife and four children.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

April 2019 Loft Reads

Our Magnolia bloomed this month and April showers flooded many streets and highways throughout our area. We watched as authorities evacuated nearby neighborhoods by boat, muttering, "turn around, don't drown." 

Not only has the heavy rain affected neighborhoods in town, but it's also affected farmers who are usually starting to get into their fields to plant. Due to the weather, it is now estimated that it will be the middle of May, or the first part of June before they can think about getting into the fields.


This has been another busy month with very little time for reading.  I did make it to one library book sale to purchase these books to the left. You can read more about that here.

 I read 3 books this month.

Ladysitting: My Year with Nana at the End of Her Century.

  I received this book and soon became swept up in this story of interlinked lives.

Smoothies and Juices is a book I picked up because I have been gravitating to blueberries with greek yogurt and chia seeds in the morning and thought many of the recipes looked delicious.

Journey to Mount Athos Greek and Russian Orthodox. I received a copy of this lovely memoir via Tiffany T. Cole on behalf of Thomas Jesse Roach. I enjoy exhibits of historic artifacts & relics, some exhibits include the Eucharist, relics, bishops and the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception and other items. I did enjoy this read.

The top 5 audience of April was from the United States, Germany, Austria, Italy, and Ukraine.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Library Book Sales

Are you looking for a good buy and a great way to help out the library? Well, then you might check out a  Library Book Sale.

The proceeds from a  library book sale normally go towards supplementing a wide range of activities, this can include, Library materials and summer reading programs, charitable causes such as adult literacy programs, or purchases such as new furniture or computer equipment.

The library book sales I attend typically have tables of books stacked so the spine is readable and occasionally there will be magazines, CD's, DVDs and albums available too.

I like that these sales give me the opportunity to browse a selection of gently used interesting-looking books by writers that I may have not heard of before and sometimes I find a book I've been searching for - for a while.

Most of my trips have offed paperbacks at only 50¢ and hardcovers for a $1 but this spring I was able to purchase the collection of 8 books shown above for $3.00.

This Month's Top 10 audience has been from the United States, Russia, Germany, Ukraine, France, Canada, United Kingdom, Spain, Philippines and Sweden

Friday, April 26, 2019

Ladysitting: My Year with Nana at the End of Her Century

Ladysitting: My Year with Nana at the End of Her Century 
Lorene Carey
Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1 edition (May 7, 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0393635880
ISBN-13: 978-0393635881
Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1 x 8.5 inches
Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)

From cherished memories of weekends she spent as a child with her indulgent Nana to the reality of the year she spent “ladysitting” her now frail grandmother, Lorene Cary journeys through stories of their time together and five generations of their African American family. Brilliantly weaving a narrative of her complicated yet transformative relationship with Nana—a fierce, stubborn, and independent woman, who managed a business until she was 100—Cary looks at Nana’s impulse to control people and fate, from the early death of her mother and oppression in the Jim Crow South to living on her own in her New Jersey home.

Cary knew there might be some reckonings to come. Nana was a force: Her obstinacy could come out in unanticipated ways—secretly getting a driver’s license to show up her husband, carrying on a longtime feud with Cary’s father. But Nana could also be devoted: to Nana’s father, to black causes, and—Cary had thought—to her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Facing the inevitable end raises tensions, with Cary drawing on her spirituality and Nana consoling herself with late-night sweets and the loyalty of caregivers. When Nana doubts Cary’s dedication, Cary must go deeper into understanding this complicated woman.

In Ladysitting, Cary captures the ruptures, love, and, perhaps, forgiveness that can occur in a family as she bears witness to her grandmother’s 101 vibrant years of life.

My Thoughts

This year, I elected to read more memoirs so I was happy to receive the gift of Ladysitting: My Year with Nana at the End of Her Century. 

This well-written memoir provides a critical analysis of a  family's history and a look at the life of a centenarian.  

We see Carey's mind mapping of everyday interactions while providing an illustration of human growth, helped her observe and gather the information that assisted her in reacting to many of the situations that arose. 

 I soon became swept up in this story of interlinked lives.

In closing, I felt Carey's use of visible bodily actions to communicate open-hearted responses throughout the telling of this story were brilliant. This allowed me to recognize that Nana and family did not just shuffle through life, they paid great attention to what was going on at the moment.

About the Author

Lorene Cary was born in Philadelphia, PA, in 1956. In 11th grade, she enrolled in the formerly all-white, all-male St. Paul's School in New Hampshire. Cary tells the story in Black Ice, which reviewers have called “brutally honest” and “stunning.” Her first novel, The Price of a Child, fictionalized the story of a female fugitive from slavery and was selected in 2003 as the inaugural One Book, One Philadelphia choice. Cary’s other works include a girlfriend novel, Pride; FREE! Great Escapes from Slavery on the Underground Railroad, for young readers; and If Sons, Then Heirs, a family saga with love, land, and lynching at its center.

The founder of Art Sanctuary and has twice received the Provost’s Award for Distinguished Teaching at the University of Pennsylvania where she teaches Creative Writing. Cary wrote scripts for the videos at President’s House memorial on Independence Mall, and she has received the Philadelphia Award and six honorary doctorates.