The Historical Fiction of Bucharest

Bucharest is a city near and dear to my heart. Between Fall 1994 and Spring 1996, while providing volunteer humanitarian service there, I walked the grey avenues, packed into crowded buses, licked summer ice cream in the parks, and cuddled orphans. Even after leaving Romania for my native California, I felt I had taken part … More The Historical Fiction of Bucharest

Discover Moscow Through Books

October is an important month for Russia, especially if you’re a communist! ‘The October Revolution’ which began in St. Petersburg on October 25, 1917 (O.S.), under the leadership of Vladimir Lenin, moved Peter the Great’s Tsarist capital in St. Petersburg back to the original capital of the Russian state: Moscow. Spurred on by the philosophies … More Discover Moscow Through Books

5 Great Literary Sites in Istanbul

We are currently reading Last Train to Istanbul by Ayse Kulin as our June pick for the bookclub Travel Europe Through Books; the country of our current focus is Turkey! Kulin is an author of international renown whose works have been frequently published in English, but most foreigners will be unfamiliar with the majority of … More 5 Great Literary Sites in Istanbul

The Face of a Genius: Mozart’s Death Mask

On December 5th, 1791, around 1:00 am in the morning, the great composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart passed away at just 35 years old. He had lived a prolific musical career, creating operas, concertos and symphonies–often for royalty–and around 800 works in every musical genre of his time. His influence is still widely felt throughout the … More The Face of a Genius: Mozart’s Death Mask

Vienna is my Muse

To me, Vienna has always been the most beautiful city in the world, since I was 10 years old and read a historical novel called Vienna Prelude. Other kids wanted to visit Narnia or Avonlea, I hankered after Vienna. To me, it was a city of beautiful steeples, a million kinds of coffee, opulent opera balls and music. … More Vienna is my Muse

An Interview with British Author Maggie Holman

In our online book club ‘Travel Europe Through Books,’ we travel to a new European country every month through its literature. This month we’ve been focusing on the literature, culture, and landscape of Great Britain by way of Thomas Hardy’s classic romance, Far From the Madding Crowd. As we round off this month, I thought … More An Interview with British Author Maggie Holman