Like the Vietnam War a generation or so later, the Spanish Civil War was a localized conflict that took on global resonance. Major Western powers adopted an official hands-off policy toward the Iberian struggle between socialists and fascists, afraid to upset the fragile diplomatic balance in the uneasy Europe of the 1930s. Still, the bloody hostilities gained the wider public’s attention and sympathies, in no small part due to a coterie of impassioned journalists and intellectuals who took up the cause of Spain. In her meticulously researched and beautifully told new book, Hotel Florida, Amanda Vaill refracts the turbulent events that took place between July 1936 and March 1939 through a prism of six such determined believers.
Two excellent crime novels and a polished memoir on dying make for great listening.
This month's Whodunit column spotlights a standalone from Nesbø, a mystery in the French countryside, a mother's bloody return and the second adventure from Daniel Friedman's octogenarian hero.
Three excellent novels from 2013 are now available in paperback, perfect for sparking discussion in your reading group.
Tea drinkers, clever crafters and gardeners will love this month's Lifestyles column.
This month's best new romances feature murderers, ladies in disguise and plenty of sparks.