At the same time Adolf Hitler was attempting to take over the western world, his armies were methodically seeking and hoarding the finest art treasures in Europe. The Fuehrer had begun cataloguing the art he planned to collect as well as the art he would destroy: "degenerate" works he despised. In a race against time, behind enemy lines, often unarmed, a special force of American and British museum directors, curators, art historians, and others, called the Monuments Men, risked their lives scouring Europe to prevent the destruction of thousands of years of culture. Focusing on the eleven-month period between D-Day and V-E Day, this fascinating account follows six Monuments Men and their impossible mission to save the world's great art from the Nazis.

It's the book the movie was based on. I really wanted to see the move, but couldn't get past my dislike of movies with George Clooney and/or Matt Damon.
A note about the movie: Among those leaked e-mails from Sony studios was one from Clooney (who directed as well as acted) apologizing for the movie not doing very well. My brother saw it on one of those "entertainment news" shows where they tried to make it seem like it was a bad thing, but my brother said: "If anything, it makes him seem like an even nicer guy than you hear about. that whole "gentleman George" thing,"

The book was interesting, if long & is one of those forgotten stories of World War 2 that more people should know about it. To that end, they have an official site about the real men (& women) behind the story. And there's a monuments men foundation to help preserve art that is in danger from armed conflicts today. they are also looking for info on missing cultural objects from WW2 & other wars.

I've read several books about little known or forgotten people & stories of WW2 & am convinced that if a movie studio just did movies about them, they could put out movies for at least a decade.

The Children of Alexandria series has the following premise: Due to the libarian/philosopher/teacher Hypatia mysteriously converting to Christianity after a debate with a mysterious figure, she is able to save the Library of Alexandria and avoid being torn apart by Christian monks. With this significant change in history, magic and magical creatures exist and continue to share a somewhat uneasy existence with the mortal world. (Magic users are accepted by the Hypatian Order, and this version of Christianity is slightly less horrible to non-Christians during this time period. Jews and other non-Christians are still confined in ghettoes but you get the feeling there are fewer pogroms.)


Read this review on Rena's Hub of Random on WordPress.


Summary: Genna Colon desperately wants to escape from a drug-infested world of poverty, and every day she wishes for a different life. One day Genna's wish is granted and she is instantly transported back to Civil War-era Brooklyn.

This is a hard book to read. It deals very intimately with racism and the different forms it takes, small and big, both in the present day and in 1863. The contrast between the two times was well done, showing how much things had changed or not changed, in some cases.

See the review at On The Nightstand.