Category Archives: Non-Fiction

Contains all non-fiction book posts.

Soaring in Style – Review

Litercurious Book Review

Soaring In Style: How Amelia Earhart Became
a Fashion Icon
by Jennifer Lane Wilson
TitleSoaring In Style: How Amelia Earhart Became
a Fashion Icon
AuthorJennifer Lane Wilson
IllustratorLissy Marlin
PublisherCapstone Editions (February 1, 2022)
FormatHardcover
Pages32
GenreChildren’s Literature, Historical Non-Fiction
LanguageEnglish
ISBN 10/131684464285 / 978-1684464289

AUTHOR

Author Jennifer Wilson Image and bio.

If you would like to learn more about Jennifer Wilson, check out her website here.

ILLUSTRATOR

Illustrator Image and bio.

Lissy Marlin is an award winning illustrator and character designe from the Dominican Republic. She has worked on many projects and has illustrated on a plethora of titles. Learn more about this fantastic artist here.

SYNOPSIS

Soaring in Style is the little known side story of Amelia Earhart. This story not only tells the tale of her becoming a woman pioneer of aviation, but also a pioneer of women’s fashion. It details the motivation behind the aviation icon and what drove her into fashion design.

CONCLUSION

Soaring in Style is a simple story for young girls 8-10 years old. It describes the hardships that women endured in the early 1900’s in a man’s world. Although the story is uncomplicated, it is inspiring for young girls who want to chase their dreams. Amelia Earhart not only breaks down barriers in the aviation industry, but she bucks the system in women’s clothing design as well.

Although I knew quit-a-bit about Amelia the aviator, I had no knowledge of Amelia, the designer. This book introduces a whole new dimension to the aviation icon.

Soaring in Style is brilliantly illustrated. Lissy Marlin’s use of color and design is breathtaking. The images may be simplistic in nature, but they are provocative, they describe the story well and they are just the right type for young audiences.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

I would like to thank Jennifer Lane Wilson, Capstone Editions, and NetGalley for affording me the opportunity to review Soaring In Style: How Amelia Earhart Became a Fashion Icon.

FREE TO READ NOW ON KINDLE UNLIMITED

Let’s Go On A Hike, by Katrina Liu is currently free-to-read on KindleUnlimited. Discover all the wonders of nature with this beautifully illustrated book all about a little boy on a hike with his dad, mom, and Archie, the corgi. Great for children ages 2 to 8.

Charles Dickens – Review

Litercurious Book Review

Little People, BIG DREAMS Charles Dickens by Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara
Little People, BIG DREAMS Charles Dickens by Maria Isabel Sánchez Vegara
TitleLittle People, BIG DREAMS Charles Dickens
AuthorMaria Isabel Sánchez Vegara
IllustratorIsobel Ross
PublisherFrances Lincoln Children’s Books
FormatHardcover, Kindle
Pages32
GenreChildren’s Non-Fiction, Children’s European
Books, Children’s Historical Biographies
LanguageEnglish
ISBN 10/130711258961 / 978-0711258969

AUTHOR

Maria Isabel Sánchez Vegara, born in Barcelona, Spain, is a writer and creative director in constant search of new concepts for children’s books. Working for more than fifteen years for clients in top advertising agencies, her books combine creativity with learning, aiming to establish a new and fresh relationship between children and pop culture.

ILLUSTRATOR

Isobel Ross is originally from Bath, UK.

Studied at the Arts University Bournemouth, graduating with a BA (hons) in Fine Art.

SYNOPSIS

Charles Dickens is a micro biography staring the eponymous man himself. Charles Dickens is part of the hugely popular Little People BIG DREAMS Series. Vegara has focused on one of Englands favorite authors. Only one other author ever came close in popularity, that being Sir Arthur Conan Doyle the writer of Sherlock Holmes.

In this monograph Vegara writes to her audience of 4-7 year olds. Simple sentence structures and short paragraphs make up the concise history of Dickens.

The book begins well, however the end comes too quickly and lacks detail of the latter part of his life. Vegara did include a more formal chronology at the close. This short chronology is accompanied by plates of Charles Dickens as he aged.

CONCLUSION

Charles Dickens by Maria Isabel Sánchez Vegara and illustrated by Isobel Ross is a brief partial history of the great man.

It is age appropriate and the illustrations enhance the readers overall experience. The illustrations were both informative and fully supported the written narrative. They are fun and add color to the story.

Overall, Charles Dickens is a good read for younger children. It is brief enough to be read at bedtime.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I would like to thank Maria Isabel Sánchez Vegara, Frances Lincoln Children’s Books, and NetGalley for affording me the opportunity to review Little People, BIG DREAMS Charles Dickens.

OTHER WORK BY THIS AUTHOR

Aircraft of World War II – Review

Litercurious Book Review

Aircraft of World War II: 300 of the World's Greatest Aircraft 1939-1945 by Chris Chant
Aircraft of World War II: 300 of the World’s Greatest Aircraft 1939-1945 by Chris Chant
TitleAircraft of World War II: 300 of the World’s
Greatest Aircraft 1939-1945
AuthorChris Chant
PublisherAmber Books (February 1, 2022)
FormatFlexibound
Pages320
GenreAviation History, Aircraft of WWII, Warplanes
LanguageEnglish
ISBN 10/131838861904 / 978-1838861902

AUTHOR

Chris Chant is a successful writer on aviation and modern military matters. He has more than 90 titles to his credit and more than 15 co-authored titles. You can learn more about Chris on his blog.

SYNOPSIS

Aircraft of World War II: 300 of the World’s Greatest Aircraft 1939-1945 comprises a brief detail and the specifications of wartime aircraft during WWII. The introduction describes the aviation role in war and the evolution of the fighter plane. After the introduction each page has an airplane listed in alphabetical order, with a very brief description of the plane, its use and its specifications.

CONCLUSION

Aircraft of World War II is a very basic book. There are only three real pictures of aircraft in the entire book. Each aircraft described has only a profile depiction available to the reader. The information provided is short and concise.

As a military pilot I love books about airplanes, pilots, and especially fighter pilots. I have been fascinated with aviation since I was a child and love to read about pilots and aircraft. However, this book leaves a lot to be desired. The information is very basic, there are drawings instead of pictures and there is no scale in the depictions.

The author did a pretty good job trying to cover 300 airplanes in such a short book, but I would rather have 150 airplanes with more information and pictures. This book would have been better served if it were cut into factions and the airplanes given much more attention.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I would like to thank Chris Chant, Amber Books, and NetGalley for affording me the opportunity to review Aircraft of World War II: 300 of the World’s Greatest Aircraft 1939-1945.

SPITFIRE!-REVIEW

Spitfire is an exceptionally researched historical account of 19 Squadron and the Battle of Britain. The information contained within its pages is in-depth and vast. From the different types of airplanes the RAF used from WWI through the beginnings of WWII, to the political infrastructure and bickering that took place.

WOLVES AT THE DOOR – REVIEW

Wolves at the Door: The True Story of America’s Greatest Female Spy is a very good book. It details the life of Virginia Hall and her contributions to the war effort. Virginia is a remarkable woman with a dedication and drives that far exceeds the average man.

The Moth and the Mountain – Review

The Moth and the Mountain: A True Story of Love, War, and Everest is the story of a troubled WWI veteran and his trek to find solace and meaning in his life.

WARRIOR’S RANSOM – Review

Litercurious Book Review

Warrior's Ransom, Jeff Wheeler
Warrior’s Ransom written by Jeff Wheeler
TitleWarrior’s Ransom – The First Argentines
AuthorJeff Wheeler
Publisher47North (May 18, 2021)
FormatKindle, Paperback, Audiobook, Audio CD
Pages411
GenreHistorical Fantasy, Coming of Age Fantasy,
Sword & Sorcery Fantasy (Books)
LanguageEnglish
ISBN 10/131542027381 / 978-1542027380

Currently Warrior’s Ransom is Free-to-Read on Kindle Unlimited

AUTHOR

Jeff Wheeler is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He majored in History at the San Jose State University. He worked at Intel while attending college but retired early to write full time. Learn all about Jeff, his books, and his new projects on his website here.

SYNOPSIS

Warrior’s Ransom starts where Knight’s Ransom ended. Sir Marshall Barton, A.KA. Ransom, is on a pilgrimage to the “Chandleer Oasis.” There he hopes to discover some answers about his extraordinary abilities. He wants to find out if he is genuinely “Fountain Blessed.”

Ransom discovers that not only is he “Fountain Blessed,” but he has been chosen to defend the Argentine line. The Lady of the Fountain presents him with a scabbard with immense restorative powers to aid him in his quest.

Once Ransom arrives back in Kingfountain, he is quickly put in the service of King Devon the Elder. What follows are more deceit, rebellion, war, intrigue, battles, death, and love. How will Ransom fare? Read the story and find out!

CONCLUSION

Warrior’s Ransom is another fantastic tale. In book two, we resume Ransom’s journey as a Knight and Lord. The story is brilliantly concocted with plenty of loyalty, action, suspense, intrigue, love and betrayal.

Once again Jeff Wheeler has done a great job of mixing fantasy with history. He’s taken some historical events and employed them as a backdrop to design this world in which Ransom lives. The picture he depicts is so effectively presented that I can visualize the scenery in my mind without any issues. The castles, the battles and the environment are all described in exquisite detail.

Another incredible book from Jeff Wheeler. I heartily recommend this book to all readers who enjoy historical fantasy. If you like Knights, chivalry, ancient kingdoms, intrigue, betrayal, fantasy, suspense and massive battles, then is the book for you.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

OUR OTHER REVIEWS OF BOOKS BY THIS AUTHOR

Knights Ransom - Jeff Wheeler

KNIGHT’S RANSOM – Review

Knight’s Ransom is a truly awesome book! It is full of Knightly Honor, sword play, jousting, loyalty, and betrayal. It has plenty of suspense, thrills, intrigue, and action. Written to please the fantasy reader, Knight’s Ransom has just the right amount of history mixed with magic and fantasy.

Keep reading

THE KILLING FOG – Review

The Killing Fog is the first in The Grave Kingdom series. Magic, mystery, intrigue and betrayal are all included in this fantasy. Bingmei must use all her wit, skill, and abilities to stay ahead of the ancient entity determined to capture and kill her. With the help of her friends and colleges, she embarks on a mission of survival.

Keep reading

THE BURIED WORLD – REVIEW

This book continues Bingmei’s quest for survival. With the help of her friends, she continues a mission to evade the evil she unwittingly released in the first book. She has many adventures, experiences great loss and witnesses more unspeakable horrors.

Keep reading

WILDCAT – REVIEW

Litercurious Book Review

Wildcat: The Untold Story of Pearl Hart, the Wild West's Most Notorious Woman Bandit Joh Boessenecker
Wildcat: The Untold Story of Pearl Hart, the Wild West’s Most Notorious Woman Bandit John Boessenecker
TitleWildcat: The Untold Story of Pearl Hart, the Wild
West’s Most Notorious Woman Bandit 
AuthorJohn Boessenecker
PublisherHanover Square Press (November 2, 2021)
FormatKindle, Hardcover, Audiobook, Audio CD
Pages385
GenreHistory of Southwestern United States, Criminal
& Memoirs of Criminals
LanguageEnglish
ASIN # B08QZHQZZT

AUTHOR

Author John Boessenecker

True West magazine, in 2011 and 2013, named Boessenecker Best Nonfiction Writer. He received a prestigious Spur award from Western Writers of America and Best Book award from Westerners International. He has appeared frequently as a historical commentator on PBS, The History Channel, A&E, and other media.

SYNOPSIS

John Boessenecker breathed new life into an old case; the case of Lillie N. Davy known by the noms de guerre of Pearl Hart. Drawing upon his research skills, he’s removed the fallacies, the myths, the lies and revealed in extraordinary detail the life and times of Pearl Hart. She was one of the most notorious late 19th Century female criminals of the old West. Pearl was a cross-dressing female with a flare for making herself incognito when the need arose. Her endless dalliances with numerous men doesn’t mark her as unique however, her need to control situations was unique for a woman of that time. At a period in history where women were meant to be housebound homemakers; meek, submissive, barefoot and pregnant; Pearl railed against the expected norms and challenged the mores of the time. 

What John Boessenecker has presented in Wildcat is the unoccluded view of a female recidivist from child to adulthood. His research is as exceptional as it is detailed and he comingles them into a completely engrossing narrative. Boessenecker artfully recounts Pearl’s story from her parents brief courtship to her birth and on. He details ad infinitum her early years as the daughter of an indigent, semi-literate, workshy child molester and petty criminal in Canada. We follow her itinerant lifestyle across  many years and locations culminating with the pinnacle of her criminal enterprise; a coach robbery. 

Throughout the book we discover Pearl’s life of bitter poverty, abuse, and abysmal parenting culminating in a damaged woman bereft of morals, dignity or honesty. Like many women in those historic days, she was often forced to make difficult decisions just to survive. After viewing her circumstances in the round one cannot help but be sympathetic.

Boessenecker reveals the uncompromising world that Pearl lived in and the uncompromising woman that it birthed. From his detailed accounts, she owned the ‘Wildcat’ nickname. She lived life her own way, loved risk taking and took the punishment where she found it. She was intelligent and ‘street smart,’ a potent combination for an erstwhile career criminal.

Living in a time where women rarely left the home once they were betrothed and were kept in check by societal and socio-cultural norms, Pear turned the world on its head to live her own way. She seamlessly integrates into the criminal underclass not as a woman, but as a boy and later a man. She would alter her outer appearance by cutting her hair and affecting a manly stride. She was often found in the company of the criminal class sharing or gleaning useful information for future criminal activities. Peal, we discover, took things to a whole new level when she began utilizing firearms. Weapons that no doubt added to her sense of safety and security, especially due to the company she would often keep. 

She is such an outrageous character, that it is amazing that her story has been lost in time until now. It seems strange that she is forgotten but characters like Big Nose Kate still hold a semblance of allure for many Western History fans. If I were to compare the two, I would say that Pearl’s story has far more impact than the latter. 

The review of Wildcat would not be complete without mentioning Katy Davy, Pearl’s younger sister. An outrageous character every bit as unique as her older sibling. Katy Davy, who used the sobriquets of Millie Davy has an incredible nerve and was talented physically and mentally. Both sisters were, without-a-doubt, survivors; Katy even more so. At thirty-six-years-old, in the 1890’s, Katy became an ascensionist and a descensionist. She took a rest from being a fille de joie started parachuting from a balloon at a thousand feet. Following a near fatal accident she retired, but not for too long. The many tales of prison escapes, her years as a teenage madam and rescuing her husband from prison, Katy appears to have an unending skill in creative problem solving. They sisters even made it into Cosmopolitan magazine, the nations most popular women’s publication at that time. The sisters were walking contradictions for women of their time.

CONCLUSION

John Boessenecker’s writing style is compelling from the very beginning. His research is second to none, and his narrative is fascinating throughout.

The book is entertaining, inspiring, alarming and touching in equal measure. The main characters are mentally re-created. Boessenecker did an exceptional job in breathing life back into the long dead. He avoided tainting the account with his own opinions and simply reported the facts previously occluded by time, myth, disinformation and lies. Overall, John Boessenecker created a fair illustration of the characters, the time period and the environment in which they lived. He’s managed to inject new life in the antics and life of Pearl Hart and her sister. It is a superior read. Some of the material discussed will remain with you long after you have read it.

I highly recommend Wildcat to all adults and children over the age of sixteen. It is entertaining, heartbreaking, outrageous and so much more in-between. If you enjoy reading about true survivors of extreme circumstances, look no further because Wildcat is the story of two consummate survivors.

Wildcat will resonate with you if you are an avid reader of Western History of the United States, Criminal Biographies or Women in History. This it is a rip-roaring tale. You know that if Pearl were alive today, she would be down at Cancún during Spring Break doing whatever she wants whilst engaging in some nefarious activity. You are left with the feeling that she was mad, bad and dangerous to know, but that she was also probably huge fun. 

Why not give it a read yourself? Be prepared, it’s quite a ride; remember to hold on to your hat!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

I would like to thank John Boessenecker, Hanover Square Press and NetGalley for affording me the opportunity to review Wildcat: The Untold Story of Pearl Hart, the Wild West’s Most Notorious Woman.

OTHER BOOKS BY THIS AUTHOR

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Jubilee – Review

Litercurious Book Review

Jubilee K T Johnston
Jubilee by K T Johnston
TitleJubilee: The First Therapy Horse
and an Olympic Dream
 
AuthorKT Johnston
IllustratorAnnabella Ortiz
PublisherCapstone Editions (February 1, 2022)
FormatHardcover
Pages32
GenreChildren’s Literature, Historical Non-Fiction
Equestrian competition,
LanguageEnglish
ISBN10/13168446255X / 978-1684462551

AUTHOR / ILLUSTRATOR

K. T. Johnston Author

Learn all about KT Johnston, her works and her upcoming books on her website.

Annabella Ortiz Illustrator

Annabella Ortiz is a freelance illustrator and designer. Learn all about her on her website.

SYNOPSIS

Jubilee is the story of a Danish woman named Lis Hartel. As a young girl Lis was always around horses. She trained and later competed in dressage competitions. In 1943 she became the National Champion of Denmark. However, a year later she was struck down with Polio.

Fearing she might never walk again, Lis was determined to ride again. Eventually she started working with young gentle horse named Jubilee. Together they worked and trained. Although Lis was handicapped, she never gave up and through her determination and Jubilee’s good nature they started competing again. Not only did she have to overcome her disabilities, but she had to overcome the male dominated sport. She and Jubilee qualified for the 1948 Olympics. However, women were not allowed to compete in the Olympic dressage competition at that time. In 1952 women were allowed to compete and she and Jubliee won the Silver Medal!

CONCLUSION

Jubilee: The First Therapy Horse and an Olympic Dream is a book about courage, determination, overcoming insurmountable obstacles, and a love for horses. This book is an inspiration to all those who not only love horses, but to those who are undergoing extreme hardships.

Lis is a heroine to all young girls! She teaches them to never give up, keep working for what you believe and love. Through hard work and determination, anything is possible.

The story itself, while inspirational, is a little choppy. I feel as if the story has been condensed a little too much. While all the main points are covered, there is much more to her story.

The illustrations are very good and age appropriate. Annabella Ortiz did a wonderful job depicting the horses, the people and the riding attire.

I enjoyed the Author’s Note at the end of the book. It was here that I learned more about Lis Hartel and Jubilee, although I wish this information was included in the book itself.

A great and inspirational story! I highly recommend this book to everyone who loves horses or needs some inspiration to get through a rough time in their lives.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I would like to thank KT Johnston, Capstone Editions, and NetGalley for affording me the opportunity to review Jubilee: The First Therapy Horse and an Olympic Dream.

OTHER BOOKS BY THIS AUTHOR

Railway Jack by K. T. Johnston
Railway Jack by K. T. Johnston

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Prince of Ponies – Review

Zofia was a young girl in Poland when the Germans invaded. Many years later she has the opportunity to help another refugee from a war torn country. Mira loves horses and Zofia takes her under her wing and mentors her to become a wonderful horsewoman.

Keep reading

HORSES – Review

Horses, by Paula Hammond is a stunningly illustrated, beautifully narrated and skillfully written work. Containing 200 high definition, highly colored, rich, photographs that paint an evocative image of the species. So powerful in fact, that you can almost smell the leather, sweat, and soil that is so familiar to horse lovers everywhere.

Keep reading

BEAUTIFUL HORSES – REVIEW

Beautiful – Equus ferus caballus (Horse)

Complete with stunning images and an illuminating forward Beautiful Horses is written with equine aficionados in mind.

From the humble working horse to the fanciful show horse, you’ll not be left disappointed by this gorgeous display of 40 of the world’s finest equine beauties.

Keep reading

HOLBEIN: Capturing Character – REVIEW

Litercurious Book Review

Holbein capturing character Ed. Dr Anne Woolett
Holbein: Capturing Character Ed. Anne Woolett et al
TitleHolbein: Capturing Character
EditorDr. Anne Woolett et al
PublisherJ. Paul Getty Museum (October 19, 2021)
FormatHardcover
Page192
GenreIndividual Artistic Monographs, Art Portraits, Calligraphy Guides
LanguageEnglish
ISBN#10/131606067478 / 978-1606067475

EDITOR

Dr. Anne Woollett is curator of paintings at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, California, USA.

SYNOPSIS

HOLBEIN: Capturing Character was edited primarily by Dr. Anne Woolett. Her collaborator’s include: Ulrich Hans BirkmaierAustėia MackelaitėPeter van der Coelen, and John T. Qillen. This work is a comprehensive monograph of the work of Hans Holbein The Younger (1497/98–1543). This compact Gallery Book was published to accompany the exhibition of the 16th Century renaissance Master Hans Holbein The Younger. The exhibitions at the J. Paul Getty Centre on October 19, 2021, – January 9, 2022; and continuing at the Morgan Library & Museum from February 11, 2022, to May 15, 2022. 

HOLBEIN: Capturing Character, although petite at just 9×12 inches, contains a genuine treasure trove of ultra high quality plates that depict:

  •  a selection of Holbein The Younger’s most valued paintings, 
  • blockcutts, 
  • woodcut illuminations,
  • chalk illustrations “Trois Crayons” (three chalks), 
  • oils on panel, 
  • engravings, 
  • jewelry, 
  • hat badges, 
  • medallion designs on paper, 
  • arabesque ornament designs on paper, 
  • silverpoint by Hans Holbein the Elder (1460/70-1524), 
  • designs for a stained glass window, 
  • cartouches
  • paintings from tempera and oil on panel, 
  • oil on canvas, 
  • oil on paper glued to panel, 
  • mixed technique1,  
  • a selection of ornamental lids,
  •  page drafts, 
  • tempera on unprimed canvas, 
  • an example of a rundel portrait, and 
  • studies pen and brown ink, brown and black ash ink wash and highlights of white gouache and black chalk on paper. 

Anne Woolett and her associates have produced a invaluable asset for anyone who wants to study Holbein or those who simply enjoy his amazing talents.  

Each listing is individually numbered and contains essential details relating to the image containing information on:

  • the artist, the subject where available, 
  • the date, the material used, 
  • the dimensions of the original, 
  • its current location, and 
  • the current owner if known.

Hans Holbein was an artist with unsurpassed levels of observation and the ability to translate his vision to oil on panel or many other mediums.

Additional information included in the book are:

  • an impressive Forward that sets the context for the reader
  • a detailed list of Illustration Credits
  • a list of short biographies covering the most notable figures who sat for Holbein
  • a chronology of each of the more significant works
  • an extensive bibliography
  • a list of Lenders to the exhibition, and 
  • acknowledgements 

1(a method originally accredited to Leonardo da Vinci. It involved tempera and oil, called tempera grassa, to try and extend the limitations of the medium. He would use one part egg yolk mixed with one part linseed oil to form the binder for his pigments.)

CONCLUSION

The plates in this work are exquisite in their reproduction being large, high quality, full-color images of the Master’s works. They are accompanied by comprehensive pertinent details relating to each work of art. The Editor and her collaborators excelled at the presentation, format, and underpinned these with exquisite insights to the zeitgeist of the times.  

Holbein: Capturing Character is a catalogue that is engaging, entertaining, informative and an accomplished illumination worthy of the Great Master. The subject is handled masterfully and is impeccably researched. There are extensive and detailed notes for each chapter, and in addition a short comprehensive Bibliography. Holbein: Capturing Character proved to be an addictive read.    

It is often said that a thing of beauty is a joy forever and so it is for this pocket-sized library of perfection. 

Rating: 5 out of 5.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I would like to thank Editor Dr. Anne Woolett, et al. , J. Paul Getty Museum, and NetGalley for affording me the opportunity to review HOLBIEN: Capturing Character.

OTHER WORKS FROM J. PAUL GETTY MUSEUM

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MONKEYS: Apes, Gorillas and Other Primates – REVIEW

Litercurious Book Review

Monkeys Apes, Gorillas and other Primates by Tom Jackson
TitleMonkeys: Apes, Gorillas and other Primates
AuthorTom Jackson
PublisherAmber Books (November 2, 2021)
FormatHardcover
Pages 224 
GenreNatural History, Zoology, Primatology
LanguageEnglish
ISBN# 10/131838861009 / 978-1838861001

AUTHOR

Tom Jackson

SYNOPSIS

Monkeys: Apes, Gorillas and other Primates by Tom Jackson is a photo illustrative catalogue of primates. This monograph contains 150 high quality full color plates of the worlds monkeys, apes and other primates. The images are presented with concise descriptions or details about the relevant primate. Perfect for all those young and old who find monkeys fascinating.

CONCLUSION

Monkeys: Apes, Gorillas and other Primates from Amber Books, my favorite publisher of picture books in the industry, satisfies every expectation. Within its 224 image filled pages there is a plethora of different kinds of primates. Tom Jackson did an excellent job of collating the information regarding their anatomy, behaviors, family structures, and relatives. This work completes the circle and enlightens the mind and the soul. An ideal gift that will keep on giving for anyone of any age.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I would like to thank Tom Jackson, Abrams Press, and NetGalley for affording me the opportunity to review Monkeys: Apes, Gorillas and other Primates .

OTHER BOOKS BY THIS AUTHOR

AN EARLIER TOM JACKSON REVIEW

SPITFIRE!-REVIEW

Litercurious Book Review

Spitfire by Dilip Sarkar
Spitfire by Dilip Sarkar
TitleSPITFIRE! The Full Story of a Unique Battle of Britain Fighter Squadron
AuthorDilip Sarkar
PublisherPen & Sword Air World (August 29, 2019)
Pages296
GenreAviation History, Military Aviation History
LanguageEnglish
ISBN 10/131526732815 / ‎978-1526732811

AUTHOR

Learn more about Dilip Sarkar.

SYNOPSIS

Spitfire is a new version of the original book with the same title. The author has updated it with a ‘wider context including social, political, aviation and military history.’ It tells the tale of the British Royal Air Force (RAF) from its inception through the Battle of Britain and a little beyond. Its primary subject is Squadron Leader Brian John Edward “Sandy” Lane DFC; fighter pilot and flying ace of the RAF.

Mr Sarkar has written this book as a tribute to Squadron Leader (SL) Lane DFC; and all of the men and women, on both sides, that took part in the Battle of Britain. The book covers the RAF from WWI through the many changes into WWII. He explains the politics and tactics of the time used in defending England in the late 1930’s and early 1940’s. He further discusses the men and women who made up the RAF, their jobs, and family lives. He tells the harrowing tales of the real life live-or-die dogfights that took place over England and the Channel. Mr Sarkar includes personal recollections, pictures, and stories from the real people that took part in this time of historic conflict.

The book is filled with the actual logbook entries of the pilots. Sarkar also includes the letters and diary entries of the actual people who participated in the action. Sarkar discusses the individual players, their lives, their careers, and for the survivors their post-war lives.

Although the book is focused on SL Brian Lane DFC, Sarkar incorporates 19 Squadron and all the key personal: the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF’s), the ground crews, the pilots, the decision making leadership, and of course the politicians. He further discusses the technology of the time and how it was used in the defense strategy.

The author thoroughly covers the Spitfire; from its inception through the many models and modifications. We discover the shortcomings of some models that have catastrophic consequences for the pilots that flew them. We learn just how the Spitfire stacked up to the Messerschmitt ME 109 and its different variants. Finally, Sarkar discusses the Spitfire against the Focke-Wulf  FW 190.

CONCLUSION

Spitfire is an exceptionally researched historical account of 19 Squadron and the Battle of Britain. The information contained within its pages is in-depth and vast. From the different types of airplanes the RAF used from WWI through the beginnings of WWII, to the political infrastructure and bickering that took place.

I found the book to be a bit confusing at times. My epub copy didn’t differentiate from the story to the photo captions causing confusion when the story just changed mid-sentence to photo caption. This issue occurred throughout the entire book. However, if you can get past that little inconvenience, the information contained within its pages is priceless.

Overall, I found this book a little difficult to read at times due to the jumping around from person to person and the photo captioning intermixed with the main text. However, I immensely enjoyed learning the history of Squadron Leader Brian Lane DFC, and all of the men and women who took part in the book. I definitely enjoyed reading all about the Spitfire and the dogfights that the pilots flew.

I do recommend this book to anyone interested in Aviation History, the Battle of Britain, or the historic account of the Royal Air Force.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

I would like to thank Dilip Sarkar, NetGalley, and Pen & Sword Air World for affording me the opportunity to review SPITFIRE! The Full Story of a Unique Battle of Britain Fighter Squadron.

THE KING’S PAINTER – REVIEW

Litercurious Book Review

The King's Painter: The Life of Hans Holbein by Franny Moyle
The King’s Painter: The Life of Hans Holbein by Franny Moyle
TitleThe King’s Painter: The Life of Hans Holbein
AuthorFranny Moyle
PublisherAbrams Press (October 5, 2021)
FormatHardcover
Pages400
GenreArt History, Artist & Architect Biographies, Great
Britain History
LanguageEnglish
ISBN 10/131419749536 / 978-1419749537

#Artist & Architect Biographies, #Art History (Books), #Great Britain History (Books)

AUTHOR

Granny Moyle Author of The King’s Painter Author Section

Franny Moyle is the author of The King’s Painter. She is a Cambridge educated art historian and biographer.

SYNOPSIS

The King’s Painter: The Life of Hans Holbein written by Franny Moyle is a long-awaited full biography of the great German Artisan. Moyle presents her research and analysis into his life, times and work. Moyle posits that Holbein was arguably the greatest renaissance Master painter in Northern Europe with a wide repertoire during the 1530’s until his death. Holbein was exalted by his peers as comparable to the German artist Albright Dürer and indeed there are some similarities in their style of painting. Nicholas Bourbon compared him to Apelles of Kos. Others have described him as a multifaceted genius, humanist, political propagandist and a satirist. A man who’s deft work consisted of loosely concealed symbolism and allusion, hidden in plain sight. Moyle’s focuses upon the period of Holbein’s life from the 1520s until his death and the administration of his will. 

The King’s Painter begins with the unique and close relationships that Hans Holbein enjoyed with King Henry Vlll of England. Holbein is at the height of his power, and his talent was known around Northern Europe. He was arguably the most notable painter in Europe during the Reformation and the Dissolution of the Monasteries in England.  

Moyle’s research puts flesh on the bones of Hans Holbein the Younger. He was the son of Hans Holbein the Elder, also a painter famed for creating The Martyrdom of Saint Sebastian. Holbein the Younger earned his accolades through his skill, commitment and hard work. He aligned himself with wealthy patrons, principal amongst them: Erasmus of Rotterdam, Thomas Cromwell, Anne Boleyn, and King Henry Vlll of England.

The book begins in the 1530s; Holbein was an exalted artist enjoying the fruits of his labors. He had a wealthy clientele, fame and riches; all forged on his talent of creating realistic likenesses for his patrons. Such was his success that he was one of the few who could engage with King Henry Vlll in private, a very rare honor indeed. 

The gravitas of Holbein’s fame as Northern Europe’s most heralded painter comes into stark contrast when one considers his contemporaries. His peers during the period were: Leonardo da Vinci who was working in France at the time; Michelangelo who was painting the Sistine Chapel for Pope Paul lll; and the Venetian artist Titian da Cadore, also know as Tiziano Vecelli,, who was creating work for King Charles V The Holy Roman Emperor and Archduke of Austria.

Hans Holbein the Younger worked during some of the most tumultuous times in history. Times that were resplendent with great artists. His work was held in the highest esteem due to the verisimilitude of his portraits. He was respected and valued by the political elite, religious, and other connoisseurs.

It is difficult for us to imagine today just how popular Holbein’s art was during the late 16th Century’s European Renaissance period. When he released a new work, there was a frisson of excitement so powerful it was palpable. Holbein’s projects were considered to be a luxury. At a time before modern photographic processes, his paintings were seen as a way of passing down your visage to history and your decedents. At no time since Apelles had an artist been so able to depict his subjects with unfettered verismo.

By the end of Holbein’s life, he had accrued wealth and notoriety. Moyles posited that his sad demise was due to the plague. However, the absence of an identifiable resting place or his remains leave us with an enduring mystery.

CONCLUSION

The King’s Painter is a detailed history of 16th Century England, the Monarch Henry VIII and a testimony to the verisimilitude of the portraits painted by Holbein. Moyles book will be popular with those interested in; Hans Holbein the Younger, art history and those who wish to understand Holbein’s work through the context of his life and times. The King’s Painter is an authoritative dive into Hans Holbein’s past. It enlightens those of us who are fortunate to still enjoy the great artists work today. 

The King’s Painter is not a gallery book filled with images of either the artist or his works. Instead, Moyle has produced an academic examination of Hans Holbein, his associations and challenges. Moyles writing is exceptional and she maintains the readers attention with her deft narrative.

The King’s Painter is engaging, entertaining, informative and accomplished. The subject is handled masterfully and is impeccably researched. There are extensive and detailed Notes for each chapter and in addition a short, Selected Bibliography. The King’s Painter proved to be an addictive read.    

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I would like to thank Franny Moyle, Abrams Press, and NetGalley for affording me the opportunity to review The King’s Painter: The Life of Hans Holbein.

OTHER BOOKS BY THIS AUTHOR

Turner: The Extraordinary Life and Momentous Times of J.M.W. TurnerBy Franny Moyle
Turner: The Extraordinary Life and Momentous Times of J.M.W. Turner By Franny Moyle

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