Wednesday, June 1, 2016


Even if a book was written a long time ago, it does not mean that it does not deserve a review today.

This week I am going to present two of my favorite books from my younger years.

The first one is titled After You, Marco Polo by Jean Bowie Shor. It was published by McGraw-Hill in 1955. Just as the title suggests it is about a young married couple who follow the route of Marco Polo. The political, social, and economic regions of 1949 had changed since Marco Polo made his journey some 700 hundred years earlier.

    This wonderful book was given to me by my beloved aunt when I was about 14 years old. I adopted Aunt Arleigh because she epitomized all that I wanted to be. She told me this book would open my eyes and heart to the world as no other. She was right. As I think about the situation in those regions now it saddens me and makes me all the more grateful that I can "travel" in Marco Polo's footsteps through the writings of Ms. Shor.

Here are some quotes from Amazon reviews:

In 1949, however, some of the territory this pair covered was virtually uncharted since Polo's day. That makes this book a timeless masterpiece!

This is about the best nonfiction book I have ever read.

You will want to read it over and over. I treasure my copy and have bought several others as I have found them for gifts to friends and family.

A modest and beautifully written work that flows so easily that it can be enjoyed in just a few sittings.

Desiree by Annemarie Selinko was published by the William Morrow Company in1953 and it is the second book I want to highlight today. I first read it in the late 1950's as a high school senior and have reread it many times over. It is a historical biography about Napoleon and his first love, Desiree. She is but 14 years old, a commoner, and he is about to engage in one of France's most famous battles leading him to fame. What happens to their love will change history.
My grandmother gave me this book when I was also a young teenager. From the first paragraph to the end it held my attention just as it does today no matter how many times I have read it.

Quotes from reviews on Amazon:

 ...history of France in the 1800's. A great story about a very courageous woman of her time.

Read this book as a teenager and it is still good 50 years later.

"Désirée's story brought me to tears on several occasions with its raw emotion... a beautiful and triumphant piece of historical fiction." - Reader for Life

"Delightfully enchanting... This is one of the best historical fiction novels I have read. " - Rundpinne

                       Both books are available on Amazon in paperback or Kindle format.ésirée-Bestselling-Story-Napoleons-First-ebook/dp/B0040RKX4W/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1464294122&sr=1-1&keywords=desiree+by+annemarie+selinko

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