Monday, 18 October 2010

Stroyar, J.N. "The Children's War" and "A Change of Regime"


Stroyar, J.N. "The Children’s War" - 2001
Stroyar, J.N. "A Change of Regime" - 2004

When people say that Germany lost WWII, I always answer, the Germans didn’t lose the war, the Nazis did. Have you ever wondered what would have happened if the Nazis had won? Well, J. R. Stroyar gives us a pretty good idea. Little is known about the author. She is an American scientist who lives in Germany and has done extensive research on dictatorships around the world.

In her two books "A Children’s War" and "A Change of Regime" she draws a picture that couldn’t be more vivid if it was reality. She describes Europe (and the rest of the world) how it would be today if the war had ended differently. In her scenario, the Nazis won and are still reigning most of Europe. In her history, Hitler’s astrologer convinced him that attacking the Soviet Union was a bad idea, and the German nuclear weapons program saw better progress.

I can honestly say that this is one of the best books I have ever read. The story is completely intriguing, the characters are described in the best possible way, they really are characters, every single one of them, even the description of the landscape that usually is just added to the story is so interesting, you want to devour every single word. There are some very powerful scenes where you think you are part of this book, you can hardly put it down.

You won’t forget this story very fast, I’ve read it six years ago and I still think about it daily. The only bad part is that there isn’t a third book, actually!

From the back covers:

THE CHILDREN'S WAR
"'Peter has had more identities than he can remember and suffered pains and humiliations he longs to forget. But, whether spy or prisoner, slave or propaganda tool, none of his roles has brought the one thing he wants above all: freedom.'
Bad papers. That's how Peter's nightmare began. Living in contemporary Europe under Nazi domination -- more than fifty years after the truce among the North American Union, the Third Reich, and the Soviet Union -- Peter has struggled to make sense of the reign of terror that governs his world. Now, arrested for bearing a false identity, he is pulled full-force into a battle against Nazi oppression. The crusade for freedom that belonged to generations past is now Peter's legacy -- and his future depends not on running away, but on fighting back.
Escaping a Nazi prison camp and joining the Underground Home Army, Peter dedicates himself to breaking down the system that betrayed him. But by facing the evil at the heart of the Nazi political machine, Peter falls deeper into a web of intrigue and adventure that risks everything he holds dear -- in this life and for the sake of future generations.
A disturbingly real vision of what could have been, '
The Children's War' is a page-turning epic thriller with a mesmerizing premise and an unforgettable cast of characters. J.N. Stroyar's searingly authentic, impassioned vision of human triumph over the forces of corruption and cruelty stands as a powerful tribute to the millions who have sacrificed and died in the name of freedom."

A CHANGE OF REGIME
"The struggle against evil continues in 'A Change of Regime', with the characters introduced in J. N. Stroyar's award-winning, critically-acclaimed novel 'The Children's War'. The Third Reich lives on! Having carried out the assassination of his former tormentor Peter Halifax returns to the secret enclave of the anti-Nazi resistance to continue the fight against the regime with his wife Zosia. Emboldened by his success in overcoming his past, Peter returns to Berlin and dices with death to fulfill his dream: providing an escape route for the slave laborers of the Reich. Meanwhile Zosia's brother Ryszard continues his attack from within as he infiltrates, as S. S. Colonel Richard Traugutt, ever deeper into the core of Nazi power, even to within grasp of the ultimate prize: Fhrer of the Third Reich. But there are other forces at work and as Ryszard is forced into betraying Peter, his political enemies plot their own Armageddon. Based on meticulous research and real-life stories, painstaking attention to detail gives the story a brutal reality. The novel addresses the issues of today as the characters wrestle with mad dictators, terrorism, and their own desperate passions. A tale of espionage, of love and betrayal, of courage and collaboration."

Friday, 8 October 2010

Nobel Prize for Literature 2010 goes to Mario Vargas Llosa from Peru

I was going to start this blog with my favourite book ever but since the Nobel Prize for Literature has just been announced, I think I’d like to mention the author. Jorge Mario Pedro Vargas Llosa or Mario Vargas Llosa for short, Peruvian-Spanish writer, received the award “for his cartography of structures of power and his trenchant images of the individual’s resistance, revolt, and defeat.”
Contrary to some of the latest Nobel prize authors (including last year’s German writer Herta Müller), I did know this author and even read one of his books, “The Storyteller” (El Hablador). The main character leaves Western civilization and lives among the Machiguenga Indians in the jungle of Peru. He becomes their storyteller. The writing is unique, the style different, the story mystical and mythical. A very interesting novel. Since this is not the first book mentioned in any of the articles I have seen so far, I will look out for other works of this author.

I read “Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter” in the meantime, wonderful book.

Mario Vargas Llosa received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2010 "for his cartography of structures of power and his trenchant images of the individual's resistance, revolt, and defeat".
Mario Vargas Llosa received the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade (Friedenspreis) in 1996.

Photo by Goodreads.

I contribute to this page: Read the Nobels and you can find all my blogs about Nobel Prize winning authors and their books here

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Book Club History

Our International Book Club has been running since September 2001.
Here is a list of ALL the books we ever read (in chronological order)


Soueif, Ahdaf "The Map of Love" (Sep 02) # 7/02 - 2.75
McEwan, Ian "Atonement" (Nov 02) # 8/02 - 2.67
van Loon, Karel "A Father's Affair" (De passievrucht) (Dutch book) (Dec 02) # 6/02 - 3.00
Tademy, Lalita "Cane River" (Mar 03) # 3/02 - 4.00
Fuller, Alexandra "Don't let's go to the dogs tonight" (autobiography) (May 03) # 5/02 - 3.29
Eliot, George "Daniel Deronda” (classic) (Jun 03) # 2/02 - 4.33

Turner, Nancy E. "These is my words" (Oct 03) # 2/03 - 4.08
Wharton, Edith "The House of Mirth" (classic) (Mar 04) # 6/03 - 2.93
Lawson, Mary "Crow Lake" (Mar 04) # 1/03 - 4.31
Sawyer, Anh Vu "Song of Saigon" (autobiography) - discussion with the author (Apr 04) # 3/03 - 3.81
Chabon, Michael "Summerland" (children's book) (Apr 04) # 8/03 - 2.75
Clinton, Hillary Rodham "Living History" (autobiography) (Jun 04) # 5/03 - 3.67

Cullen, Bill "It's a long way from Penny Apples" (autobiography) (Sep 04) # 7/04 - 2.80
de Loo, Tessa "The Twins" (De Tweeling) (Dutch book) (Dec 04) # 4/04 - 3.79
Nichols, Peter "A Voyage for Madmen" (non-fiction) (Jan 05) # 5/04 - 3.33
Ghosh, Amitav "The Glass Palace" (Feb 05) # 3/04 - 3.83
Glover, Douglas "Elle” (Mar 05) # 11/04 - 2.00
Lamb, Christina "The Sewing Circles of Herat" (non-fiction) (May 05) # 1/04 - 4.00

Tolstoy, Leo "Anna Karenina" (classic) (Aug 05) # 3/05 - 3.86
Noble, Elizabeth "The Reading Group" (Sep 05) # 10/05 - 2.30
Golden, Arthur "Memoirs of a Geisha" (Oct 05) # 2/05 - 3.93
White, Colin; Boucke, Laurie "The UnDutchables" (non-fiction) (Nov 05) # 11/05 - 2.25
Dostoevsky, Fyodor "The Adolescent" (classic) (Dec 05) # 10/05 - 2.30
Austen, Jane "Persuasion" (classic) (Feb 06) # 6/05 - 3.39
Shakib, Siba "Afghanistan: Where God only Comes to Weep" (non-fiction) (Apr 06) # 5/05 - 3.40
Waltari, Mika "The Egyptian" (classic) (May 06) # 4/05 - 3.82

Mosse, Kate "Labyrinth" (Aug 06) # 2/06 - 4.00
Mason, Daniel "The Piano Tuner" (Dec 06) # 8/06 - 3.08
Wiesel, Elie "Night" (classic, autobiography) (Mar 07) # 5/06 - 3.35
Bender, Sue "Plain and Simple" (non-fiction) (Apr 07) # 8/06 - 3.08
Waltari, Mika "The Dark Angel" (classic) (May 07) # 4/06 - 3.73
Eliot, George "Middlemarch" (classic) (Jun 07) # 6/06 - 3.30

Pollock, David C., & Van Reken, Ruth "Third Culture Kids" (non-fiction) (Sep 07) # 8/07 - 3.09
Hosseini, Khaled "The Kite Runner" (Oct 07) # 1/07 - 3.94
Moggach, Deborah "Tulip Fever" (Nov 07) # 9/07 - 3.00
Urquhart, Jane "The Stone Carvers" (Feb 08) # 5/07 - 3.64
Hirsi Ali, Ayaan "Infidel: My Life" (Mijn Vrijheid) (autobiography, Dutch book) (Mar 08) # 2/07 - 3.75

Cather, Willa "My Ántonia" (classic) (Oct 08) # 2/08 - 4.00
Lessing, Doris "The Golden Notebook" (Jan 09) # 11/08 - 1.33
Picoult, Jodi "My Sister's Keeper" (Feb 09) # 5/08 - 3.71
Steinbeck, John "The Grapes of Wrath" (classic) (Mar 09) # 3/08 - 3.73

Gruen, Sara "Water for Elephants" (Sep 09) # 5/09 - 3.24
Buck, Pearl S. "The Good Earth" (classic) (Oct 09) # 1/09 - 3.95
Griffin, John Howard “Black like me” (non-fiction) (Dec 09) # 4/09 - 3.36
Woolf, Virginia "To the Lighthouse" (classic) (May 10) # 8/09 - 2.75

Lee, Harper "To Kill a Mockingbird" (Nov 10) # 1/10 - 4.13
Zusak, Markus "The Book Thief" (Jan 11) # 5/10 - 3.85
Hamsun, Knut "Pan" (Pan) (Mar 11) # 7/10 - 3.73

Chang, Leslie T. "Factory Girls" (non-fiction) (Dec 11)
Brontë, Charlotte "Jane Eyre" (classic) (Jan 12)
Steinbeck, John "East of Eden" (classic) (Sep 12)
Ling, Laura & Ling, Lisa "Somewhere Inside" (non-fiction) (Oct 12)
Brijs, Stefan "The Angel Maker" (Nov 12)
LeBor, Adam "City of Oranges" (non-fiction) (Jan 13)
Pamuk, Orhan "My Name is Red" (Feb 13)
Gowda, Shilpi Somaya "Secret Daughter" (Mar 13)
Ung, Loung "First they killed my father. A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers" (Apr 13)
Hannah, Kristin "Winter Garden" (non-fiction) (May 13)
Mahfouz, Naguib "Children of the Gebelawi (Children of our Alley) (Jun 13)
Jonasson, Jonas "The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared" (Aug 13)
Gillham, David R. "City of Women" (Sep 13)

We had a break of a little more than a year from September 2013 until December 2014.
Tanpınar, Ahmet Hamdi "The Time Regulation Institute (Saatleri Ayarlama Enstitüsü)"  (Dec 14)
Brown, Daniel James "The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics" (Jan 15)
Mann, Thomas "Buddenbrooks: The Decline of a Family" (Buddenbrooks) (Feb 15)
Dugain, Marc "The Officer's Ward" (La chambre des officiers) (Apr 15)
Patchett, Ann "The Patron Saint of Liars" (May 15)

Pagnol, Marcel "Jean de Florette" (Jean de Florette, L'eau des collines #1) (Oct 15)
Delacourt, Grégoire "The list of my desires/My Wish List" (La liste de mes envies) (Nov 15)
Zweig, Stefanie "Nowhere in Africa" (Nirgendwo in Afrika) (Jan 16)
Burton, Jessie "The Miniaturist"  (Mar 16)
Kulin, Ayşe "Rose of Sarajevo" (Sevdalinka) (Apr 16)
Schmitt, Éric-Emmanuel "Monsieur Ibrahim and the Flowers of the Koran" (Monsieur Ibrahim et les fleurs du Coran) (May 16)
Schmitt, Éric-Emmanuel "Oscar and the Lady in Pink" (Oscar et la dame rose)
(May 16)
Ali, Sabahattin "Madonna in a Fur Coat" (Kürk Mantolu Madonna) (Jun 16)
Worth, Jennifer "Call the Midwife" (Jul 16)

Oates, Joyce Carol "Carthage" (Nov/Dec 16)
Plath, Sylvia "The Bell Jar" (Jan 17)
Bâ, Mariama "So Long a Letter" (Une si longue lettre) (Feb 17)
Hansen, Dörte "This House is Mine" (Altes Land) (Mar 17)
Laker, Rosalind "The Golden Tulip" (Apr/May 17)
Vance, J.D. "Hillbilly elegy: a memoir of a family and culture in crisis" (Jun 17)

Koch, Herman "The Dinner" (Het Diner) (Nov 17)

The # and points indicate the place reached in our yearly voting and the exact result.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

My favourite books ever

Abdolah, Kader "The House of the Mosque"
Abulhawa, Susan "Mornings in Jenin"
Adichie, Chimamanda Ngozi "Americanah", "Half of a Yellow Sun"
Aitmatov, Chingiz "Jamilia" (classic)
Alcott, Louisa May "Little Women" Series (classic)
Atwood, Margaret "The Blind Assassin" "The Handmaid’s Tale"
Austen, Jane (any) (classic)
Bernières, Louis de "Birds Without Wings"  
Borchert, Wolfgang "Das Gesamtwerk" (complete works) (classic)
Bradbury, Ray "Fahrenheit 451", "The Martian Chronicles"
Bristow, Gwen "Plantation Trilogy" (classic)
Brontë, Anne "The Tenant of Wildfell Hall" (classic)
Brontë, Charlotte "Jane Eyre", "Villette" (classic)
Brumbeau, Jeff/de Marcken, Gail "The Quiltmaker’s Gift"
Buck, Pearl S. "The Good Earth", "The Mother",  "Peony" (classic)
Burton, Jessie "The Miniaturist
Bush, Catherine "Claire's Head"(about migraine)
Byatt, A.S. "Possession"
Camus, Albert "The Plague" (La Peste)
Chevalier, Tracy "Falling Angels", "The Virgin Blue"
Coelho, Paulo "The Alchemist"
Collins, Wilkie "Armadale", "The Moonstone", "The Woman in White" (classic)
Dickens, Charles "Bleak House", "Great Expectations" (classic)
Dinesen, Isak/Blixen, Karen "Out of Africa" 
Doerr, Anthony "All the Light We Cannot See"   
Dostoevsky, Fyodor "Crime and Punishment" (classic)
Eliot, George (any) (classic)
Eliot, George "Daniel Deronda", "Middlemarch"
Forster, E.M. "A Passage to India"  (classic)
Frazier, Charles "Cold Mountain" "Nightwoods", “Thirteen Moons
Fredriksson, Marianne "Hanna's Daughters"
García Marquez, Gabriel "One Hundred Years of Solitude" (Nobel Prize 1982)
Grenville, Kate "The Secret River" (about the first “settlers” in Australia)
Hagena, Katharina "The Taste of Apple Seeds"
Hamill, Pete "Snow in August"
Hamilton, Jane "A Map of the World"
Hansen, Dörte "This House is Mine"    
Hay, Ashley "The Railwayman's Wife" 
Hesse, Hermann "Siddhartha" (German Classic, Nobel Prize 1964)
Hislop, Victoria "Cartes Postales from Greece", "The Island", "The Last Dance", "The Return", "The Thread", "The Sunrise" 
Hornby, Nick "About a Boy"
Ingalls Wilder, Laura "Little House Books"
Karystiani, Ionna (Ιωάννα Καρυστιάνη) "The Jasmine Isle"
Kertész, Imre "Fateless/Fatelessness" (Nobel Prize 2002)
Kingsolver, Barbara (any)
Le Clézio, Jean-Marie Gustave "The African" (Nobel Prize 2008)
Lenz, Siegfried "Deutschstunde" (The German Lesson)
Lee, Harper "To Kill a Mockingbird"
Lippi, Rosina "Homestead"
Löwenstein, Anna "The Stone City"
Machfus, Nagib/Mahfouz, Naguib "Palace Walk" (بين القصرين/Bayn al-qasrayn), "Palace of Desire" (قصر الشوق/Qasr el-Shōq), "Sugar Street" (السكرية/Al-Sukkariyya) (Nobel Prize 1988)
Mann, Thomas "Buddenbrooks", "The Magic Mountain" (German classic, Nobel Prize 1929)
Mercier, Pascal "Lea", "Night Train to Lisbon", "Perlmann's Silence   
Mistry, Rohinton "A Fine Balance", "Family Matters"   
Morrison, Toni "Beloved", "Love", "Home" (Nobel Prize 1993)
Naipaul, V.S. "A House for Mr. Biswas", "A Bend in the River" (Nobel Prize 2001)
Paton, Alan "Cry, the Beloved Country" (novel about South Africa)
Powers, Charles T. "In the Memory of the Forest"
Proulx, Annie "The Shipping News"
Rhue, Morton "The Wave"
Roberts, Gregory David "Shantaram" 
Rosner, Elizabeth "The Speed of Light"
Rutherfurd, Edward "London", "The Forest", "Dublin", "Awakening", "Paris" 
See, Lisa "Peony in Love"
Sendker, Jan-Philipp "The Art of Hearing Heartbeats" 
Seth, Vikram "A Suitable Boy", "Two Lives"
Shaffer, Mary Ann & Barrows, Annie "The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Society"
Shakib, Siba "Afghanistan, Where God Only Comes to Weep", "Samira and Samir" (women's life in Afghanistan, first book more non-fiction)
Shields, Carol "The Stone Diaries"   
Shriver, Lionel "We need to talk about Kevin" 
Shute, Nevil "A Town Like Alice"
Smith, Zadie "On Beauty"
Soueif, Ahdaf "The Map of Love"
Spyri, Johanna "Heidi"
Steinbeck, John "East of Eden", "The Grapes of Wrath", "Of Mice and Men" (Nobel Prize 1962)
Stockett, Kathryn "The Help"
Stowe, Harriet Beecher "Uncle Tom’s Cabin" (classic)
Tademy, Lalita "Cane River", "Red River" 
Talshir, Anat "If I Forget Thee
Tartt, Donna "The Goldfinch"  
Tellkamp, Uwe "The Tower" (about living in GDR)
Trojanow, Ilija "The Collector of Worlds"
Trollope, Anthony "Barchester Chronicles" (6 novels), "The Way We Live Now" (classic)
Turner, Nancy E. "These is my words", "Sarah's Quilt", "The Star Garden", "The Water and the Blood"
Tyler, Anne "A Spool of Blue Thread
Vargas Llosa, Mario "Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter" (Nobel Prize 2010)
Walker, Alice "The Color Purple"
Waltari, Mika "The Egyptian" "The Dark Angel" (Finnish author)
Young, William Paul "The Shack"

Non-fiction:
Ackroyd, Peter "Thames. Sacred River"
Alexijewitsch, Swetlana (Alexievich, Svetlana) "Second Hand Time. The Last of the Sovjets"

Barnes, Valerie "A Foreign Affair. A Passionate Life in Four Languages"
Bryson, Bill (any) (travel and other non-fiction)
Chang, Jung "Wild Swans" (auto/biography)
Dallaire, Roméo "Shake Hands with the Devil" (genocide in Rwanda)

Du Bois, W.E.B. "The Souls of Black Folk" (Life of African Americans in the early 1900s)
Emcke, Carolin "Von den Kriegen. Briefe an Freunde" (Echoes of Violence: Letters from a War Reporter) - 2004

Garfield, Simon "On the Map. Why the World Looks the Way it Does" (aka: "On the Map: A Mind-Expanding Exploration of the Way the World Looks")
Griffin, John Howard "Black like me" (white guy disguising as a black in the Southern US during the 50s)
Hanff, Helene "84 Charing Cross Road" and and "The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street"
Ilibagiza, Immaculée with Erwin, Steve "Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust" 
Kristof, Nicholas D. & Wudunn, Sheryl "Half the Sky. How to Change the World"
Levy, Andrew "A Brain Wider Than The Sky: A Migraine Diary" (about migraine)
Logue, Mark & Conradi, Peter "The King's Speech: How One Man Saved the British Monarchy"
Mandela, Nelson "Long Walk to Freedom" (auto/biography)
Massaquoi, Hans J. "Destined to Witness" (Biography, WWII)
Mortenson, Greg; Relin, David Oliver "Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission To Promote Peace...One School At A Time." (American builds schools in Pakistan)
Seth, Vikram "Two Lives" (biography)
Stewart, Chris "Driving Over Lemons" (An expat in Spain)
- "The Six Wives of Henry VIII"
Wiesel, Eli "Night" (biography, WWII, Nobel Prize)

If you are interested in the German titles of "my" books, find a list here.

My favourite books 2011 and 2012  

My favourite books 2013   
My favourite books 2014    
My favourite books 2015     
My favourite books 2016     

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