The Empress of Tears (The Autobiography of Empress Alexandra Book 2)

Kathleen McKenna Hewtson - 2016
    Having given birth to daughter after daughter after daughter, she becomes desperate and turns to the first of her mystical advisors, Msgr. Philippe, who persuades her, among other things, that she is invisible.And then comes the moment of her greatest triumph with the birth of her son and the heir to the throne of all the Russias, the Tsarevich Alexei.All four volumes are (planned) as follows:1. 'The Funeral Bride' 1884-1894 - published November 20152. 'The Empress of Tears' 1895-1904 - published March 20163. 'The Pride of Eagles' 1905-1914 - to be published by November 20164. 'No Greater Crown' 1914-1918 - to be published by April 2017

A Concubine for the Family: A Family Saga in China

Amy S. Kwei - 2012
     It also explores the circumstances surrounding the true-life event of my grandmother's gift of a concubine to my grandfather on his birthday to enhance the chance of an heir to the Family.

Sweet Offerings

Chan Ling Yap - 2009
    It is not just a fictional story of the events that ripped one family apart, but a taste of Malaysia's historical political and cultural changes during its transition from colonial rule to independence and beyond.

Empress Dowager Cixi: The Concubine Who Launched Modern China

Jung Chang - 2013
    She ruled China for decades and brought a medieval empire into the modern age. At the age of sixteen, in a nationwide selection for royal consorts, Cixi was chosen as one of the emperor’s numerous concubines. When he died in 1861, their five-year-old son succeeded to the throne. Cixi at once launched a palace coup against the regents appointed by her husband and made herself the real ruler of China—behind the throne, literally, with a silk screen separating her from her officials who were all male.In this groundbreaking biography, Jung Chang vividly describes how Cixi fought against monumental obstacles to change China. Under her the ancient country attained virtually all the attributes of a modern state: industries, railways, electricity, the telegraph and an army and navy with up-to-date weaponry. It was she who abolished gruesome punishments like “death by a thousand cuts” and put an end to foot-binding. She inaugurated women’s liberation and embarked on the path to introduce parliamentary elections to China. Chang comprehensively overturns the conventional view of Cixi as a diehard conservative and cruel despot.Cixi reigned during extraordinary times and had to deal with a host of major national crises: the Taiping and Boxer rebellions, wars with France and Japan—and an invasion by eight allied powers including Britain, Germany, Russia and the United States. Jung Chang not only records the Empress Dowager’s conduct of domestic and foreign affairs, but also takes the reader into the depths of her splendid Summer Palace and the harem of Beijing’s Forbidden City, where she lived surrounded by eunuchs—one of whom she fell in love, with tragic consequences. The world Chang describes here, in fascinating detail, seems almost unbelievable in its extraordinary mixture of the very old and the very new.Based on newly available, mostly Chinese, historical documents such as court records, official and private correspondence, diaries and eyewitness accounts, this biography will revolutionize historical thinking about a crucial period in China’s—and the world’s—history. Packed with drama, fast paced and gripping, it is both a panoramic depiction of the birth of modern China and an intimate portrait of a woman: as the concubine to a monarch, as the absolute ruler of a third of the world’s population, and as a unique stateswoman.


Alexandre Shirvanzade - 1885
    A play about the ill fate of two lovers who were engaged by their families to each other since childhood, but because of violations of namus (a tradition of honor), the girl was married by her father to another person.

The Body in the Graveyard

Jack G. Hills - 2016
    Inspector Rudolph Riley is one of the many people enjoying a day out and the spell of good weather, until the two ice-creams, which he’s just purchased from the pop-up kiosk, are sent flying from his hands by a young man who seems hell bent on getting as far away as possible from the crowds. But if losing his much anticipated ices isn’t bad enough, his day off is soon completely ruined by the unexpected arrival of his sergeant and half the Fleetmouth police force, who have descended upon the abbey in response to a report that there is a body in the graveyard. An event, which normally wouldn’t be thought too unusual… but as the police soon discover, this corpse is lying on top of the gravestone, rather than six feet underneath it. As the subsequent investigation begins to unfold, it transpires that the murder victim could be involved in the illegal importation and distribution of anabolic steroids that seemed to be flooding the town through a network of bars and gymnasiums… whilst the spot in the graveyard where the body was found, is a hotspot for the ghostly sighting of a woman, who locals and experts alike call the Spanish Lady… a woman of noble birth who died of the plague some four hundred years earlier around the time of the Spanish Armada. Intrigued by the possibility of a ghostly apparition stalking the corridors of Fleet Abbey, DC Eleanor Jenkins sets about trying to learn more about the woman in question and whether the discovery of her skeleton could have any connection to the present day murder. What she uncovers during the course of the investigation, are rumours of a fabulous jewelled crucifix and a hoard of gold coins, which were taken from a captured Spanish galleon by Sir Richard Drew and buried somewhere on the estate by his father, who was the sixteenth century ancestor of Cedric Drew… who himself was the last surviving member of the Drew dynasty and the unfortunate victim found in the graveyard. Of course Riley doesn’t see the connection and doesn’t believe in coincidences. For him there’s a much more rational explanation that lies in the present day and one that peddles drugs to unsuspecting fools who are hell bent on improving their bodies at any price… and anyway, he has a new chief superintendent to impress and a chief constable to prove wrong… But if all that isn’t sufficient to turn his hair grey and make him a candidate for early retirement, the local businessman he suspects of being involved with the drug smuggling, has his boat stolen right from under the noses of the police… a theft which confounds the investigation, and sends Sergeant Thomas off on a dangerous voyage of discovery into unchartered waters. Away from work, but still helping to move the investigation along in her own inimitable way is Dolly… Riley’s not so silent partner, and a parrot with more attitude than most detective constables and more to say than is usually prudent.

The Long Journey Home

Wendy Robertson - 2003
    However the advancing Japanese army soon leads to a mass evacuation of the island but, as Sylvie's family begins to board their ship, there is no sign of Sylvie. Somehow, in the confusion, Sylvie finds refuge with her governess, Virginia Chen. But neither Virginia nor her family believe they will escape the Japanese internment camps, where Virginia may have to pay the ultimate price for Sylvie's survival.For ten-year-old Sylvie Sambuck, Singapore seems a long way from the fighting of the Second World War. However the advancing Japanese army soon leads to a mass evacuation of the island but, as Sylvie's family begins to board their ship, there is no sign of Sylvie. Somehow, in the confusion, Sylvie finds refuge with her governess, Virginia Chen. But neither Virginia nor her family believe they will escape the Japanese internment camps, where Virginia may have to pay the ultimate price for Sylvie's survival.

Somewhere Beautiful

Kay Bratt - 2016
    Though she is used to being forgotten, she’s grown tired of being labeled as unwanted. The years have been hard on her, making it impossible to get close to anybody, except for her best friend Kai who has made it all bearable. When bureaucracy threatens to tear them apart, Willow and Kai make a run for it. The only problem is, they aren’t alone. They’ll have to figure out if their excess baggage—a sassy girl who holds an extra chromosome—will be the glue that keeps them together as they navigate street life, or the obstacle that jeopardizes their new found freedom. A fascinating look into modern day orphanage life and what it’s like to feel as though you belong to no one, Kay Bratt’s novel, Somewhere Beautiful, is the first in the two-book Life of Willow series. In Somewhere Beautiful, Bratt weaves a story of loss and loyalty that will have you following three teens as they battle their way through life’s obstacles in the search for the always elusive happily ever after.

God's Chinese Son: The Taiping Heavenly Kingdom of Hong Xiuquan

Jonathan D. Spence - 1996
    At the center of this history of China's Taiping rebellion (1845-64) stands Hong Xiuquan, a failed student of Confucian doctrine who ascends to heaven in a dream and meets his heavenly family: God, Mary, and his older brother, Jesus. He returns to earth charged to eradicate the "demon-devils," the alien Manchu rulers of China. His success carries him and his followers to the heavenly capital at Nanjing, where they rule a large part of south China for more than a decade. Their decline and fall, wrought by internal division and the unrelenting military pressures of the Manchus and the Western powers, carry them to a hell on earth. Twenty million Chinese are left dead.

Trespassers on the Roof of the World: The Secret Exploration of Tibet

Peter Hopkirk - 1982
    The lure of this mysterious land, and its strategic importance, made it inevitable that despite the Tibetans' reluctance to end their isolation, determined travelers from Victorian Britain, Czarist Russia, America, and a half dozen other countries world try to breach the country's high walls.In this riveting narrative, Peter Hopkirk turns his storytelling skills on the fortune hunters, mystics, mountaineers, and missionaries who tried storming the roof of the world. He also examines how China sought to maintain a presence in Tibet, so that whenever the Great Game ended, Chinese influence would reign supreme. This presence culminated in the Chinese invasion of Tibet in the 1950s, and in a brief afterword, Hopkirk updates his compelling account of the gatecrashers of Tibet with a discussion of Tibet today--as a property still claimed and annexed by the Chinese.

Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks Summary & Study Guide

BookRags - 2010
    51 pages of summaries and analysis on Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks.This study guide includes the following sections: Plot Summary, Chapter Summaries & Analysis, Characters, Objects/Places, Themes, Style, Quotes, and Topics for Discussion.

Near and Dear

Pamela Evans - 1997
    But their wonderful lifestyle comes to a dramatic end when Mick's business runs into trouble and he suddenly disappears. Faced with poverty and homelessness, Jane discovers she has unexpected strengths and is capable of being more than just a housewife...

As if it were yesterday: An old fat man remembers his youth as a Marine in Vietnam

Lee Suydam - 2017
    I try to tell what it was like for me and my brother Marines without fanfare or bravado and give the reader a vivid description of my 13 months.

BAC SI: A Green Beret Medic's War in Vietnam

Jerry Krizan - 2014
    Their job was to recruit indigenous people, train and house them, and make them ready for combat.

Restless Empire: China and the World Since 1750

Odd Arne Westad - 2012
    The largest and most populous country on earth and currently the world's second biggest economy, China has recently reclaimed its historic place at the center of global affairs after decades of internal chaos and disastrous foreign relations. But even as China tentatively reengages with the outside world, the contradictions of its development risks pushing it back into an era of insularity and instability—a regression that, as China's recent history shows, would have serious implications for all other nations.In Restless Empire, award-winning historian Odd Arne Westad traces China's complex foreign affairs over the past 250 years, identifying the forces that will determine the country's path in the decades to come. Since the height of the Qing Empire in the eighteenth century, China's interactions—and confrontations—with foreign powers have caused its worldview to fluctuate wildly between extremes of dominance and subjugation, emulation and defiance. From the invasion of Burma in the 1760s to the Boxer Rebellion in the early 20th century to the 2001 standoff over a downed U.S. spy plane, many of these encounters have left Chinese with a lingering sense of humiliation and resentment, and inflamed their notions of justice, hierarchy, and Chinese centrality in world affairs. Recently, China's rising influence on the world stage has shown what the country stands to gain from international cooperation and openness. But as Westad shows, the nation's success will ultimately hinge on its ability to engage with potential international partners while simultaneously safeguarding its own strength and stability.An in-depth study by one of our most respected authorities on international relations and contemporary East Asian history, Restless Empire is essential reading for anyone wishing to understand the recent past and probable future of this dynamic and complex nation.