This week, I’ve been reading about the psychology of success, scandalous fictional flappers, and the real-life terrors of Nazi-era Germany. Join Phryne Fisher as she meets Picasso in Paris, or pick up Erik Larsen’s In the Garden of Beasts.
Pressed for time? Take a quick quiz to reveal your odds of success, or listen to a fun podcast.
On Your Kindle
Murder in Montparnasse, by Kerry Greenwood
My favorite of the Phryne Fisher mysteries, this book returns the intrepid flapper detective to her World War I roots: A murder case that began in Paris in 1918, when Phryne was part of an all-female ambulance brigade. Many period luminaries, including Pablo Picasso and Gertrude Stein, make cameo appearances in this installment of a much-beloved Australian series.
These novels were adapted for Australian television and are now available on Netflix under the title Miss Fisher’s Mysteries, which has earned Greenwood some criticism for her heroine’s feminine wiles.
On Your Smartphone
Do you have grit? In this interesting article from the nifty website Brainpickings, journalist Maria Popova describes the “grit” research of Angela Duckworth, a highly regarded positive psychology scholar, who examined the qualities of successful people and learned that determination often matters more than intelligence. Want to learn more? Watch the included video.
On a Podcast
Busy with Thanksgiving preparations? Take a few minutes to listen to this fascinating NPR segment on Thanksgiving food from the first Americans—Native Americans. Author Erdich’s Original Local cookbook features traditional and fusion recipes from her Ojibwe family, which add unexpected elements to seasonal standards like corn.
Larsen, the author of the bestseller The Devil in the White City, takes another look at chilling historical evil with this book on Nazi-era Germany. His focus is on the American ambassador William Dodd and his scandalous daughter, who arrived in Berlin in 1933. The pair were ill-prepared to deal with what Larsen calls “the gathering darkness” in German daily life.