Here are some of Don's favorite books:
After attending the dying Queen Elizabeth I, Frances returns home to her family home, content with the management of the estate and, especially, collecting herbs and creating healing remedies. Against her wishes she is summoned to the court of James I where she will be an attendant of the King’s daughter. Frances’s reputation for healing proceeds her, and she soon finds herself under suspicion in the King’s campaign to rid the kingdom of witches.
Historian Tracy Borman is a natural storyteller, creating historical fiction that is both believable and compelling.
This novel is about the pull of the Alps and the relationship of a family and two friends to their Italian landscape. The heart of the novel is the interplay and contrast of the narrator, Pietro, coming to the mountains from the city of Milan in summertime, and Bruno, a resident not just of a mountain town but of the mountains themselves. - Don
A gray, windy winter is an appropriate climate for the first in a highly acclaimed crime series set in 1930s Italy, featuring the taciturn Commissario Ricciardi. The atmosphere, plot, and characterizations are superb. This first novel, and the series, will appeal to crime fans as well as historical fiction readers. - Don
Reading with Patick is a true story of compassion, of giving the best part of oneself, and finding out the heartbreaking truth that it might not be enough.
What a terrific historical novel. The Women in the Castle brings fully to life the end of WWII and the attempt to live in the aftermath. The three women, who are brought together in a formerly great manor house, are compellingly portrayed, and their stories make the novel entertaining and rewarding.
This volume collects three lovely books previously published individually. In each of the three sections Larsson's paintings are used to illustrate the idyllic life he and his wife Karin attempted to fashion. Each image is accompanied by a description pointing out features of the painting or details about the Larsson's lives.
Each two page spread features a postcard written by Adele to her mother. In her note she mentions an item Simon has lost on their trip around China with their uncle. McClintock's illustrations combine storytelling details with beautiful representations of important historical sites as the brother and sister experience them in the early 20th century.
This is a book for anyone who loves logic puzzles and philosophy. Sorenson explains logic concepts and has fun giving the reader plenty of riddles and stories that illustrate what he is talking about. Every sentence of the book is packed with food for thought and plenty of levity.
Smith's amazing novel describes a collision of lives over two paintings, one a masterpiece by an overlooked female Dutch master and the other a master forgery by an overlooked female art student. This is the kind of deftly writtne book that will make you want to track down everything written by the author and should propel Smith to the top of many reading lists.
Readers know from the beginning that this will be a bittersweet tale. But the care Nick Jans takes in telling this unique story of Romeo, a wolf that occupies a "singular world" between man and nature, on his own terms, makes reading the book a rewarding experience.
Mary Norton’s writing is so good that readers are immediately convinced of the existence of Borrowers. It is as if she draws from personal experience. If you haven’t read Norton’s books, treat yourself to the discovery of childrens books that can truly be described as literary.
Van Booy’s delicate touch is turned to the relationship between orphaned Harvey and her uncle, Jason, a man no one could expect to be the right choice as guardian. Van Booy uses the plot structure of a series of Father’s Day gifts given to Jason from the now adult Harvey to reveal more than either of them realized about the life they have shared as adoptive father and daughter, as well as the heartbreaking truth of how they came to be a part of each other’s lives. Father’s Day is Van Booy at his most poignant, showing how redemption can arise from heartbreaking circumstances.
Reading this book is a submersion into Shakespeare's world: creative geniuses and political players; theater and court politics; and the fascinating details of ordinary life and the actions and intrigues of great men and women. It is an enthralling journey into history and drama.
Lucia is determined to live the broken life she has inherited with integrity and without breaking her own rules. The upside is that we get to see how smart and funny she is. The down side is that she is trying to create and maintain this personal code while shouldering heartbreaking loss and the disillusionment of adolescence. She is at a critical point, and author Jesse Ball is not giving her any free passes.