Ok, I have been really quiet this month. My endometriosis is acting up again – a LOT – and one of my writing clients is upping my workload significantly. Plus, M needed to go to the eye doctor, my cat died, and M’s disability insurance was being difficult (not really their fault, it was actually a “dealing with Italian time” thing). Needless to say, it’s been a wild month. However, on trains, late at night, or when I couldn’t make words happen anymore, I did manage to read a few books (like 25).
I read the first 20 last month, and reread the rest of the series (somewhere around 20 books) this month, and seriously, it holds up over time. The books are just plain good. Sometimes it felt like the author had planned a certain storyline for a character, and then went in a different direction rather abruptly, but it also made it feel more real – like in real life, you run into someone and then don’t see them again. If you’re a history fan, or if you have kids that you want to get more interested in history, I’d strongly recommend these.
Another re-read. This book tells the story of Anne of Cleves, Katherine Howard, and Jane Boleyn, and how the legacy of Anne Boleyn affected them. It’s quite frankly amazing that Henry VIII managed to keep finding wives, seeing as how he kept killing them. The book does a great job of exemplifying just how young Katherine Howard was, which makes her story all the more heart-breaking. It’s a really good read, so if you haven’t picked it up yet, you should.
I haven’t read this book in years, and coming off of the Boleyn Inheritance, I wanted to remember how much I liked it. I didn’t as much. For one, Anne Boleyn is portrayed as particularly calculating. I think she could have been calculating, but I just find it hard to believe that she was on this level, based on non-fiction accounts I’ve read. In addition, the book has a fair amount of inaccuracies that change the story some. I like Phillipa Gregory’s writing, but this isn’t one of her best, despite the fact that it got made into a movie.
Ok, a new Phillipa Gregory book! At least to me. This one covers Katherine Parr’s marriage to the king and it was really good. Most books about the Tudors paint Henry VIII as selfish, violent, even a bit crazy, but this one is the first I’ve really seen that portrays him as flat-out insane and sadistic. I also think that portrayal is more accurate. Frankly, by the time Parr became his wife, it’s shocking she managed to survive that marriage for four years. He went through wives faster than I go through paper towels! Gregory did a great job showing the fear that must have been rampant in court at the time. If you’re a history buff, it’s definitely worth a read. If you’re not, it may be a bit slow-moving – Parr was also one of the least eventful wives.
So that’s my August book reviews! Next month, I’ll be moving out of history, I believe, but I’m not sure how much reading I’ll get done as my workload has increased some. But expect to see some NaNoWriMo posts soon – only two months away!