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Ms. Bernardi (Italy/California)

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The Lost Museum
The Lost Museum
by Hector Feliciano
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating and compellingly written, 17 Dec 2013
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This review is from: The Lost Museum (Hardcover)
Those who wish to understand better how the Nazis, governments and private individuals profited by the theft and sales of fine art in France and other parts of Europe during WWII should consider this an essential reference.


The Surgeon and the Shepherd: Two Resistance Heroes in Vichy France
The Surgeon and the Shepherd: Two Resistance Heroes in Vichy France
by Meg Ostrum
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars Riveting!, 23 Feb 2013
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Over a year ago a friend gave me a copy of the Villa Air Bel, the story of the American Varian Fry working for the International Rescue Committee in Marseille who was able to assist hundreds of eminent scientists, writers and artists escape certain detention and death at the hand of Nazi Germany. While following the bibliography this book A Hero of Our Own: The Story of Varian FryEscape through the PyreneesVilla Air-Bel: World War II, Escape, and a House in Marseille and others written about the European resistance in Europe, I decided to order The Surgeon and the Shepherd about two resistance heroes in France. With the eye of a sociologist, the heart of an artist, Meg Ostrum's book is an example of what it means to be a detective and an oral historian. She has painted such a complete picture of both heroes, wildly different in background and worldly success but both courageous in ways that few men and women are and were in Europe during WWII, that one cannot read this book and forget a whit of the story. From elegant Brussels to the Basque country border between France and Spain, Ostrum demonstrates a cultural sensitivity rare even in the best trained social scientist. A book nearly twenty years in the making and begun by happenstance while on a hiking trip in the Basque mountains, it reads like a novel yet yields, for any historian, professional or amateur, a "living" picture of what it meant to survive and resist under the control of Vichy France and its German masters. An unheralded book, it warrants reading by anyone interested in what it means to be heroic. Ms.Ostrum has written an outstanding book.


Chicago PopOut Map (Popout Maps)
Chicago PopOut Map (Popout Maps)
by PopOut Maps
Edition: Map
Price: 3.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential!, 11 Feb 2013
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For a quick trip to Chicago, this pocket/purse size map is easy to use and well worth the price I paid for it. If you have trouble reading small print, though, it may not be your best choice.


The Queen of Versailles [DVD]
The Queen of Versailles [DVD]
Dvd ~ Lauren Greenfield
Offered by Dogwoof Ltd.
Price: 9.99

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shocking example of American consumption, 11 Feb 2013
Although this movie was rented not purchased (which, by the way is the manner I suggest it be seen), it was definitely worth the rental price. A tour de force example of American consumption on the part of one family, one understands the impact of a driven man (and woman, in the end) to achieve the "American dream" and the corrupt practices of banks to allow actual and personal "bankruptcy". Notwithstanding the reality show approach to the movie and the seeming desire of the lady of the house to exhibit her beauty (most of which is man made, by the way), one cannot help but like this family and, in a way, feel sorry for them. It was amazing to us that they allowed all of their flaws (of which there are a substantial number) to be most openly shown. The ultimalte stars of the movie are the servants, the older son, and the children who, despite having everything they want and more still end up being likable. Word on the street is that there is some kind of lawsuit pending between the family and the director. Absolutely worth a view.


FCE Practice Tests Extra: EIGHT Practice Tests for the Cambridge ESOL First Certificate in English [With CDROM and CD (Audio)]
FCE Practice Tests Extra: EIGHT Practice Tests for the Cambridge ESOL First Certificate in English [With CDROM and CD (Audio)]
by Felicity O'Dell
Edition: Paperback
Price: 23.72

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but no answer key!!!, 21 Oct 2012
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This book was recommended by my daughter's English teacher in Italy. It does have very clear example exams for the First Certificate. Although I am a native English speaker and can assist my daughter with the practice tests, I do not recommend this book to anyone who would like to have a way in which to correct their tests and learn from their mistakes. I consider this a grave oversight on the part of the publisher. For the price of this book I believe that the answers should have been included. For this reason I do not recommend the book for anyone who has limited English and thus I am rating it with only three stars.


The Kashmir Shawl
The Kashmir Shawl
by Rosie Thomas
Edition: Paperback

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A love story in Colonial India, 6 Dec 2011
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This review is from: The Kashmir Shawl (Paperback)
Lightweight but well written, this book contained some wonderful passages about the beauty of Kashmir and India while addressing aspects of colonial India and the impact of WWII relatively unknown to this American outside of the novels of Ruth Prawer Jhabvala. Although the book was easy to read (definitely a book for the beach or in front of the fireplace when you are relaxing), certain characters are, in a way, caricatures....the arrogant Indian prince, the innocent wife taken in by a closet homosexual military man, etc. That said, the story of tracing the shawl's origin unravelled while spanning two time periods and more than two countries, proved to retain my interest. This is a classic woman's read, relaxing while offering a bit of history and an appreciation of the challenges and bounties of the Kashmiri people.


The Life of Irene Nemirovsky: 1903-1942
The Life of Irene Nemirovsky: 1903-1942
by Patrick Lienhardt
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 22.42

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Tough going, 11 Nov 2010
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Having read numerous books by Nemirovsky, I was certainly anticipating this book. Composed by using secondary materials including excerpts from her books, this "biography" is a heavy read and not worth that hard cover price of the book. Frankly, after a number of months of reading a chapter or a portion of a chapter at a time, I am still trying to finish it. Not worthy of an exceptional writer.


Just Kids
Just Kids
by Patti Smith
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 12.91

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An elegy for Maplethorpe, 11 Nov 2010
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This review is from: Just Kids (Hardcover)
Simply written yet eloquent, Smith has honored her friend, soulmate and fellow muse with a wonderful book about their relationship and artistic development. The New York scene for "kids" was scrappy if you arrived with no money, job or place to live. The conditions in which they survived in the early stage of their relationship, the hustling for food,sleeping in Central Park, street living at its worst, was shocking. That both Smith and Maplethorpe were able to find influential people to support and believe in them despite the crude living conditions, demonstrates how much talent they must have exhibited early on. This is not a biography of Maplethorpe, nor of Smith, but essential for understanding how each contributed to the successful artistic maturation of the other. New York in the 60's and seventies is the third subject of this book. In the hands of Smith, modestly recounted (unlike a similar book by Edmund White in which he mostly honors himself, his sex life] and his intelligence!)[City Boy: My Life in New York During the 1960s and 1970s], one can only consider this an elegy to Maplethorpe and a gift to any reader or lover of Maplethorpe's art.


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