Hitler’s Last Witness –Rochus Misch

Hitler's Last Witness: The Memoirs of Hitler's BodyguardHitler’s Last Witness: The Memoirs of Hitler’s Bodyguard by Rochus Misch

After being seriously wounded in the 1939 Polish campaign, Rochus Misch was invited to join Hitler’s SS-bodyguard. There he served until the war s end as Hitler s bodyguard, courier, orderly and finally as Chief of Communications. On the Berghof terrace he watched Eva Braun organize parties; observed Heinrich Himmler and Albert Speer; and monitored telephone conversations from Berlin to the East Prussian FHQ on 20 July 1944 after the attempt on Hitler’s life. Towards the end Misch was drawn into the Fuhrerbunker with the last of the faithful . As defeat approached, he remained in charge of the bunker switchboard as his duty required, even after Hitler committed suicide. Misch knew Hitler as the private man and his position was one of unconditional loyalty. His memoirs offer an intimate view of life in close attendance to Hitler and of the endless hours deep inside the bunker; and provide new insights into military events such as Hitler s initial feelings that the 6th Army should pull out of Stalingrad. Shortly before he died Misch wrote a new introduction for this first-ever English-language edition. The book also contains a foreword by the Jewish author Ralph Giordano and a new introduction by Roger Moorhouse.REVIEWS [Misch s] memoir is full of details, asides and digressions, which allow the reader a rare and fascinating insight into the Third Reich s inner sanctum . . . Misch overheard conversations, watched the comings and goings and was a keen observer of events . . . He was as close to being a fly on the wall as one could get. Roger Moorhouse, author Berlin at War . . . convincing first-person testimony (of) the dictator s final desperate months, days and hours. Huffington Post The memoirs of Hitler s bodyguard and unquestioning servant who was one of the last people to see him alive. The Times(UK) Misch glorifies nothing, criticizes nothing and justifies nothing, not even himself. He has a sharp eye for detail, which despite the passage of the years he depicts in a credible manner. Gottinger Tageblatt An insignificant man, who experienced significant events. Neue Zurcher Zeitung”

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The world changed on the 30th of April 1945, when Hitler chose to take his own life. Most people know this and there have been tons of books written about it. This book, is not another copy of that event.

This is not the portrait of a man of power, nor is it the story of someone famous for knowing someone in power. This is a human story of a simple man, told from his viewpoint, in his own words–words that are both haunting and exciting for anyone interested in the history of war, the Nazis or Hitler.

Rochus Misch was not a Nazi. He never joined the movement. He lived until 2013 and was the last remaining member of the Fuhrerbunker. He was a man who through fate and as a result of a terrifying injury was sent to work closely with Hitler. This book is his story. Some of the events he recounted were surprising, some of them familiar. By his own admission, Hitler was “the boss.” He viewed him as simply an ordinary man that he worked for. Along the way, Rochus mentions several times that he was chosen to occupy the position simply because he did not cause trouble.

I found this book incredible. To listen to the actual viewpoint of Mr. Misch, telling his story in his own words rather than those of a third-party biographer was amazing. So many things accepted as fact in history have been recounted differently here.

This is a look inside the walls of a popularly misunderstood compound and at the lives of the men closest to Hitler. The human side of a man we tend to believe was nothing but evil is revealed in the course of this book, making it a very thought-provoking account.

From dealings with Eva Braun, to his duties for Hitler, Rochus Misch has allowed us entry into a world rarely glimpsed. Memories both fond and difficult to relay have been recorded through his writings.

If you are a fan of historical non-fiction, and are curious about the truth behind the stories, do yourself a favour and read this book. I was fascinated from the first page to the last.

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher, all opinions are my own.

The Moonlight Palace by Liz Rosenberg

The Moonlight PalaceThe Moonlight Palace by Liz Rosenberg

Agnes Hussein, descendant of the last sultan of Singapore and the last surviving member of her immediate family, has grown up among her eccentric relatives in the crumbling Kampong Glam palace, a once-opulent relic given to her family in exchange for handing over Singapore to the British.

Now Agnes is seventeen and her family has fallen into genteel poverty, surviving on her grandfather’s pension and the meager income they receive from a varied cast of boarders. As outside forces conspire to steal the palace out from under them, Agnes struggles to save her family and finds bravery, love, and loyalty in the most unexpected places. The Moonlight Palace is a coming-of-age tale rich with historical detail and unforgettable characters set against the backdrop of dazzling 1920s Singapore.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a lovely novel. The voice of the narrator is not only strong but makes you feel compassionate from an early point in the book. Those qualities, mixed with the exotic setting and torrid family history (although somewhat imagined–see chapter two) made this a very interesting book.

This was a story that I was sorry to see end. The main character is such fun and her observations about life and her family are often times hilarious. I felt like I was walking alongside a friend during this book and that made it special.

I loved the strong sense of family and culture in this novel. I never knew quite what to expect next as the story takes unexpected turns in places that I wouldn’t have imagined.

If you enjoy stories that come from true storytellers, this is a perfect example. The author has a gift for making you see pictures through her chosen words. I will happily read another book by this author and recommend that you check this out.

Really enjoyed it.

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher and provided through Netgalley. All opinions are my own.

The House We Grew Up In by Lisa Jewell

This is a SheReads.org selected book. If you have not heard about She Reads yet, or about all the wonderful things the ladies do, please take a moment to check out the website. You will find great books, new friends and a lot more!

The House We Grew Up In

The House We Grew Up In by Lisa Jewell

Meet the Bird family. They live in a honey-colored house in a picture-perfect Cotswolds village, with rambling, unkempt gardens stretching beyond. Pragmatic Meg, dreamy Beth, and tow-headed twins Rory and Rhys all attend the village school and eat home-cooked meals together every night. Their father is a sweet gangly man named Colin, who still looks like a teenager with floppy hair and owlish, round-framed glasses. Their mother is a beautiful hippy named Lorelei, who exists entirely in the moment. And she makes every moment sparkle in her children’s lives.

Then one Easter weekend, tragedy comes to call. The event is so devastating that, almost imperceptibly, it begins to tear the family apart. Years pass as the children become adults, find new relationships, and develop their own separate lives. Soon it seems as though they’ve never been a family at all. But then something happens that calls them back to the house they grew up in — and to what really happened that Easter weekend so many years ago.

Told in gorgeous, insightful prose that delves deeply into the hearts and minds of its characters, The House We Grew Up In is the captivating story of one family’s desire to restore long-forgotten peace and to unearth the many secrets hidden within the nooks and crannies of home.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

To be completely honest, I was lost in the first third or so of this book. The author kept switching time periods and I really wasn’t sure what to think. The good news is that there was a point to all that switching around and the book eventually makes perfect sense.

I grow weary of family stories sometimes for the fact that they all seem to turn out the same way. This book didn’t do that, and as the story progressed, I was really surprised by how much I enjoyed it and just how original it was.

This book is one that once you get to know the characters, it is hard to let them go. I was simultaneously curious about the ending and dreading getting to the last page, as I didn’t want the book to end.

The author did a beautiful job of writing lovely prose that sets you in the scene and allows you to experience everything her characters do. Atmospheric, beautiful and descriptive writing is what this book is all about.

If you haven’t had a chance to read Lisa Jewell yet, you are missing out.

This review is based on a complimentary copy from shereads.org and Netgalley. All opinions are my own.

 

A chance to win a free year of Scribd!

Harlequin has now joined forces with Scribd!

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Breaking News!

Fall in Love Again, and Again, and Again
with Harlequin + Scribd

Harlequin Partners with Scribd to Offer +15,000 Titles Exclusively
in their Ebook Subscription Service

[Giveaway opportunity below!]

We have exciting news to share for book lovers everywhere! Harlequin has partnered with Scridb, a subscription reading service, to make available 15,000+ titles.

Monthly subscribers to Scribd can now find titles from these Harlequin imprints:

Harlequin Series Romance
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They will feature novels from best-selling authors including Debbie Macomber, Robyn Carr, Susan Wiggs, Heather Graham, Shannon Stacey, and many more!

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See official press release below:

Harlequin Makes 15,000 eBooks Available On Scribd In Subscription Exclusive

TORONTO and SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 2, 2014 /CNW/ — Harlequin (www.Harlequin.com), one of the world’s leading publishers of books for women, today announced that it has entered into a one-year agreement with Scribd, the world’s largest digital library and book subscription service. Scribd will be the exclusive subscription partner for 15,000 titles from Harlequin’s extensive backlist. Titles from a variety of Harlequin imprints, including Harlequin Series Romance, HQN Books, MIRA Books and Carina Press, will be available through Scribd’s US $8.99 monthly subscription service and accessible on iPhone, iPad, Android devices, Kindle Fire, NOOK Tablet and web browsers. Featured bestselling authors include Debbie Macomber, Robyn Carr, Susan Wiggs, Heather Graham and Shannon Stacey. Scribd will also be making the full Harlequin catalog available for individual purchase in the Scribd retail store.
Harlequin logo.

“Harlequin prides itself on being an innovator in the digital space, so I am thrilled that this partnership with Scribd will help us to meet our readers where they are—whether on a mobile device, desktop computer or tablet,” said Craig Swinwood, Publisher and Chief Executive Officer of Harlequin. “With 80 million active users, the Scribd platform reaches a vast global readership that can now access some of the best in women’s fiction. And this innovative model, which combines traditional retail with a subscription offer to backlist titles, will benefit Harlequin authors through extended reach, increased discovery and improved royalty streams.”

“Our readers around the world have come to know Scribd as the leading destination for romance books, and we’re delighted to bring them even more of the content they crave,” said Trip Adler, CEO and cofounder of Scribd. “The subscription model is unlocking powerful changes in reading habits and this is most prominent within the romance genre. With this many Harlequin titles, available only on Scribd, we know our romance fans will read their hearts out.”

About Harlequin

Harlequin (www.Harlequin.com) is one of the world’s leading publishers of books for women, with titles issued worldwide in 34 languages and sold in 102 international markets. The company publishes more than 110 titles monthly and more than 1,300 authors from around the world. Harlequin is a division of HarperCollins Publishers, one of the largest English-language publishers in the world. Harlequin has offices in 16 countries, including offices in Toronto, New York and London. For more information, please visit Harlequin.com and Facebook.com/HarlequinBooks. Follow Harlequin on Twitter: @HarlequinBooks.

About Scribd

Scribd is the premier subscription reading service with more than 500,000 titles, including New York Times bestsellers, classics and reader favorites in every genre. Available in more than 194 countries and 80 languages via iOS, Android, Kindle Fire, NOOK Tablet and the web, Scribd also features millions of written works contributed by users around the world. Launched in 2007 by Trip Adler and Jared Friedman and backed by Y Combinator, Charles River Ventures and Redpoint Ventures, Scribd is one of the most influential websites in the world, reaching more than 80 million active readers every month. For more information, please visit http://www.scribd.com.

How to Climb the Eiffel Tower by Elizabeth Hein

How to Climb the Eiffel TowerHow to Climb the Eiffel Tower by Elizabeth Hein

A moving, surprisingly humorous, sometimes snarky novel about life, friendship… and cancer

Lara Blaine believes that she can hide from her past by clinging to a rigid routine of work and exercise. She endures her self-imposed isolation until a cancer diagnosis cracks her hard exterior. Lara’s journey through cancer treatment should be the worst year of her life. Instead, it is the year that she learns how to live. She befriends Jane, another cancer patient who teaches her how to be powerful even in the face of death. Accepting help from the people around her allows Lara to confront the past and discover that she is not alone in the world. With the support of her new friends, Lara gains the courage to love and embrace life. Like climbing the Eiffel Tower, the year Lara meets Jane is tough, painful, and totally worth it.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When I first read the blurb for this book I had my reservations about it. I am a cancer survivor as well and I was really hoping that this book would not fluff up the experience. It doesn’t and on top of that, it is just a genuinely well written and entertaining book. I later read the author bio and saw that the author is a cancer survivor as well, so I really felt like although this was fiction, she wrote it from a place of personal knowledge and that made it even better.

The things that the main character goes through in this story are written with sincerity and realistic qualities that make you feel close to her and her situation. She struggles to understand why the things that have occurred in her life have happened and comes to new understanding about herself throughout the course of the story.

This book will make you laugh, make you cry in places but also make you realise that no matter what adversity there is in life, there is a way to overcome it. The strong female characters in this book do not come off as abrasive or intentionally feminist. They represent real women with real lives.

I was impressed by the pace and flow of this novel as well as the way the author chose to end her story. If you enjoy women’s fiction and like books that border the line between fiction and reality, this would be a good one to choose.

Recommended.

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher and provided through Netgalley. All opinions are my own.

Consolations by Debut Author Sally Wolfe

ionia martin:

Debut author alert!

Originally posted on Julian Froment's Blog:

Consolations CoverBook Details

A beautiful and haunting story of forbidden love, “Consolations” portrays a woman’s lifelong struggle to reconcile her all-too-human feelings with her quest for the highest spiritual life.

It is 1951 and young Fiona Ingram is full of the fervor of a new convert. Following in the footsteps of her inspiration, Thomas Merton, she abandons a promising academic career and enters Epiphany Monastery, ablaze with the certainty that a life dedicated to seeking God alone is the great adventure – and that it is meant for her.

What she finds there is not what she expects: Rev. Nathan Woods, a Jesuit and professor of theology who comes to give the annual retreat. When their forbidden
affair ends abruptly, Fiona, now Sister Bridget, suffers a split in her soul. Under the guidance of the compassionate abbess, she tries to “reclaim her heart” and her lost fervor. She conforms outwardly as…

View original 128 more words

Mirror Interview with Tim Therien

“Mirror, Mirror on the ceiling…”

Now that I have your attention, I don’t actually have a mirror on the ceiling. In fact, the only mirror in my apartment is the one in the bathroom. I take a quick look at myself once a day to make sure I’m presentable to the world, other than that I avoid mirrors with the fervor of a vampire. After reading the clever, witty and intelligent “mirror interviews” featured her at “Readful Things” I have to admit to being a little intimidated. For starters I am not a big fan of tooting my own horn. If I took tooting my own horn I might just have to get that mirror for the ceiling. That said; let’s get on to the crux of it, shall we?

On Poetry

Poetry is very near and dear to me and perhaps I will always be a Poet first and a Writer second. I do make a distinction between the two. Both may be mediums of the written word, but I believe Poetry is more akin to Music than to Prose, especially in its connection to the soul. While Prose may be poetic, it does not make it Poetry.

I am a big proponent of writing in Form, or at least having the ability to do so. I don’t think someone should be able to call themselves a Poet without first being able to express themselves in at least one of the Fixed Forms of Poetry. I am not anti-Free Verse, in fact most of what I have written was without thought of form, but I do believe most Free Versed Poems would have been better served being put into Prose.

On Writing

I take writing very seriously, probably more seriously than I should. I was almost illiterate when I left school at age 15 and taught myself to read and write. I take great pride in that accomplishment. People have called me a “Natural Talent,” but they did not witness the long hard years I’ve dedicated to this craft. It has taken more than thirty years to get from barely being able to fill out a job application to penning these words you now read. This in my mind is not talent, but perseverance. Writing has been my Life’s Labour and my Life’s Love.

Writing is so much more than sitting in a room and putting pen to paper. That is only a small part of it. The bulk of writing is living life, experiencing things, seeing, hearing, touching, tasting and smelling. It is these things that allow the Writer to relate to the reader. If someone cloistered themselves off from the world and wrote, none but the humble hermit would identify to the words.

The best advice I’ve ever received concerning writing would have to be “write like you speak.” It was in applying this advice to my writing that I discovered my literary voice. If I were to impart this advice myself, I would expand upon it and say “write what you think, but write like you speak.” In my opinion, just as important as literary voice is to a writer so too is the ability to express the things that are oft not expressed. Also I would tell the would-be writer to challenge themselves in all things writing. Lastly, write with the Reader in mind, but write the story you want to read.

On Editing

I am not a big fan of editing and not too long ago I refused to edit anything I had written outside of spelling errors and typos. I wanted to remain as true to the essence of what I had written as I humanly could. I do believe a lot of the soul of a piece of writing can be lost in the editing process. I write from the heart and rely on my gut and editing in my mind puts both into doubt. Editing is a game of second guessing ourselves and our instincts.

I have since moved on that position, at least as far as prose is concerned, but I still try to keep as much of that original draft intact as I can. I would call what I do now “Shading” and not editing. It is more akin to the artist who works in charcoal, first outlining his form and then filling it in to give it depth and three dimensions. The original lines remain, even if they have been shaded over.

On Marketing

I think it’s ridiculous to think that a writer must personally interact with every reader and potential reader out there. Really, it is unrealistic for an author with even a modest bit of success to be at the beckon call of their target market. It puts too much pressure on a writer. It also takes up too much time, time which could be better used to relate to the reader the way a writer should relate to a reader, through the written word, through Storytelling and through Poetry.

Writing, for me, has never been about commercial success. Truth is I am resigned that my success, if I am to have it, will most likely come after I have departed from this world. Many great and beloved writers have been misunderstood, even loathed in their own lifetimes. For me, my success will be measured by the ability of my words to stand the test of time.

I am not a big fan of self-promotion. It is, I’m afraid, a necessary evil for the self-published author, but it still feels like I’m pimping myself out and prostituting myself when I engage in the practice. So how then to gain exposure without selling my soul? This is something I haven’t found an answer for. I have contented myself with the belief that if I write something and if I put it out there and if it is truly worthy it will find its way into the hands and hearts of the Reader. That is a lot of ifs, but Life is full of ifs.

On Future Works

Since my move back to Toronto, Ontario, Canada, after over a decade in the Eastern Townships in Quebec, things have been very hectic. I have spent most of the summer working on a book of Poetry (“Crossing Main”) and a Romance (“Forever: The First Epoch”) simultaneously and haven’t been getting very far with either. My life has settled down a little now and I have turned my focus to the Romance until November 1st when I will turn my attention to and again take part in NaNoWriMo to write the second installment of “The Scrolls of Sion.” I have also couple of other projects on the back burner that will see light at the first opportunity.

In 2015, at least two books can be expected from me. “The Scrolls of Sion: Broken Bloodlines” and “Forever: The First Epoch.” If at all possible I will also publish “Crossing Main.” Beyond that, I cannot say.

The opinions expressed here reflect the man in the mirror, me and no one else. In no way is what I say a reflection, or judgement of anyone else. In closing, I would like to thank Ionia for having me here on her wonderful blog.

Links to Books

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/434284

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-scrolls-of-sion-t-j-therien/1119459677

Links to Blogs

http://insidethepoetsmind.wordpress.com/

http://thescrollsofsion.wordpress.com/