Book Review: A Short History of Spaghetti and Tomato Sauce by Massimo Montanari

My thanks to Europa Editions and NetGalley for a review copy of this book. A Short History of Spaghetti and Tomato Sauce is a short, readable, interesting and well-researched account of how Italy’s most iconic dish, described by some as the ‘premier Italian dish’, came to be. The author, Massimo Montanari, a professor of mediaeval…

Book Review: William of Orange and the Fight for the Crown by Brian Best

My thanks to Pen & Sword and NetGalley for a review copy of this book England in the seventeenth century saw a period fraught with religious and political tensions, the replacement of the monarchy on not one but two occasions and various changes which are reflected in the modern world. The execution of Charles I…

Book Review: Etta Lemon: The Woman Who Saved Birds by Tessa Boase

My thanks to Aurum Press and NetGalley for a review copy of the book. Etta Lemon: The Woman Who Saved Birds tells the story of Margaretta ‘Etta’ Lemon, who worked for around five decades to bring an end to a cruel practice—the slaughter of millions of birds every year, simply for the millinery industry—and who…

Book Review: The Gilded Cage on the Bosphorus by Ayşe Osmanoğlu

My thanks to BooksgoSocial and NetGalley for a review copy of the book. Imagine living in an opulent place, with rich furnishings, delicious, decadent dishes to eat, beautiful tailored clothes in the best of fabrics to wear, your every want satisfied, a retinue of people to attend you at all hours. But also imagine, never…

Book Review: Meet the Georgians by Robert Peal

My thanks to William Collins and NetGalley for a review copy of the book. The Georgian Era or the period between 1714 and the 1830s when the four Georges ruled England, as the author Robert Peal tells us, was set apart from the preceding Stuarts and succeeding Victorians, both sterner and duller (at least on…

Book Review: Condemned: The Transported Men, Women and Children Who Built Britan’s Empire by Graham Seal

My thanks to Yale University Press, London and NetGalley for a review copy of this book. Condemned is an account, as its subtitle pretty much reveals, of the men, women and children who were ‘transported’ in the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries (also of ‘migrant’ children sent ostensibly for better opportunities in life even in…

Book Review: The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys

My thanks to Penguin Random House Children’s UK and NetGalley for a review copy of this compelling and heart-rending read. Spain in the 1950s, the Spain of General Franco provides the setting for this young adult novel. This was a regime where Franco ruled supreme, those that conformed could get by but those that ‘dared’…

Book Review: London and the Seventeenth Century by Margarette Lincoln

My thanks to NetGalley and Yale University Press for a review copy of this excellent telling of the story of London in the 1600s. London in the seventeenth century was the London of Shakespeare and Francis Bacon, of diarists John Evelyn and Samuel Pepys, of Guy Fawkes and the gunpowder plot, of the popular rebellion…

Book Review: Galileo’s Daughter by Dava Sobel

This book is more the story of Galileo than his daughter, but anchored for the most part around the correspondence between the two, or rather what has survived of it which is only her letters to him but not his to her (These I think were destroyed by her order because of the controversy surrounding…

Book Review: The Six Wives of Henry VIII by Alison Weir

I started this book rather late in May as part of my ‘Kings and Queens’ theme that month but didn’t end up reading very much of it for lack of time. Despite every intention of finishing it in June, I got caught up with challenge and group reads and didn’t pick this up at all…