My Review of The Boleyn Inheritance by Philippa Gregory
1. Much Ado About Nothing – 5/5 – Will always be one of my favourite Shakespeare plays as I am a hopeless romantic
2. Henry VIII – 3/5 – I’m interested in the period but this didn’t completely overwhelm me
3. Macbeth – 4/5 – Always a classic and one I haven’t read before. Definitely recommended though!
1. Diary of a Nobody by George Grossmith – 2/5 – Meant to be really interesting for history students as it shows the beginnings of interest in the history of ‘everyday lives and people’, but failed to capture my interest
2. The Diplomat’s Wife by Pam Jenoff – 5/5 – Acts as a sequel to one of my favourite books ‘The Kommandant’s Girl’, following resistance member Marta post WWII as she falls in love, experiences heartbreak, marries for convenience and ends up spying on Communists.
3. The Ambassador’s Daughter by Pam Jenoff – 5/5 – The prequel to the Kommandant’s Girl uses some of the familiar characters I love so much in their younger years, such as the Kommandant himself and Krysia. Whilst Jenoff’s first in this series is set in WWII, this one focuses on the fall out in the Treaty of Versailles post WWI. You get to see how all of the older characters came to act the way they did and you find out the mysterious backstory to the Kommandant’s late wife Margot.
4. The Things We Cherished by Pam Jenoff – 4/5 – Jenoff is quickly becoming a fascination of mine, and this book is as intriguing and engaging as her others I’ve read. This follows a modern day trial against an elderly man accused of assisting the Nazi’s and bringing about the death of his brother. But two investigators find that there is more to the story than that.
5. The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory – 5/5 – So it’s kind of a given that I love the Tudor era, and this book actually takes some of its ideas from Warnicke’s theories and studies on Anne Boleyn and her relationship with the King leading to her death. I could not put this book down, the film does it no justice.
6. The Wreck of the Zanzibar by Michael Morpurgo – 3/5 – I read this book as a 9/10 year old in Primary School for Literacy, and decided to revisit it. Although it’s insanely short, it brought back great memories.
7. War Horse by Michael Morpurgo – 4/5 – Decided to foray into a bit more Michael Morpurgo, and after seeing the movie I knew this would be a book I wanted to read. Heart-warming and beautiful, great for all ages.
8. The Guilty One by Lisa Ballantyne – 4/5 – I love a bit of crime fiction and this one was especially eerie, it made me think quite a bit about children’s behavioural problems, abusive environments and manipulation. It also reminded me somewhat of the tragic James Bulger case which we hear so much about in the media.
9. The Casual Vacancy by J.K.Rowling – 4/5 – This book didn’t really do it for me in places but I loved following Krystal’s story and the dramatic ending that unfolds. Will still never beat Harry Potter for me though!
10. The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux – 3/5 – Hard to follow in places but a generally good read. I definitely prefer the book to the film as I feel the film romanticises the phantom a lot more than the book does.
11. The Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbovsky – 3/5 – My friend Amy hated this book, my opinion is not as strong as that, I find myself a tad ambivalent towards it. Nothing special but nothing too terrible either.
12. Malleus Malefcarium (The Witches Hammer) – 2/5 – A really trying read which was ok but quite dull in places and hard to follow. However, it was very intriguing to see medieval opinions of witchcraft.
13. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey – 3/5 – I was a bit ambivalent towards this book too despite the hype that seems to revolve around it. However, I love the concept that madness is a social construct or a label forced upon individuals rather than a genuine problem.
Am currently in the process of reading War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy and have about 100 pages left. All I can say is although the characters are very interesting, I don’t think I can stretch myself to a review because of how long and boring I found the majority. A very tedious read that will probably be 2/5 from me 🙂
I realised I’ve read rather a lot in the two months I’ve been away, I’m not sure how long this will last due to the fact I’m running out of books to read and also that I have exams and an internship to focus on 🙂 But I’m sure it won’t matter too much as I’m already way over half way through my 2013 Reading Challenge Goal of 50 books.
Am hoping to post on here tomorrow with an idea that came to me last night whilst talking over twitter with my good friend Amy. It will focus on how I personally make time to read and how I get through as many books as I do on top of everything else 🙂
Date Finished: 16th February 2013
Book Challenge 2013 Number: 13
Finished on: 25th January 2013
6th Book of my 2013 Reading Challenge
Rating: 4 stars
I always thought that Shakespeare had written this play, before doing a bit of research and realising that it was probably written by a multitude of writers, of which Shakespeare may very well have been one of.
This review will probably be a short one as I am totally useless at reviewing Shakespeare. I only started this today, but as it’s such a short play, I finished it rather quickly, especially after getting so into it.
It’s a period of history I adore and a historical individual I admire. Sir Thomas More, starting out his career in law and politics before becoming Lord Chancellor to Henry VIII, later executed for opposing Henry VIII’s changing of the church and his divorce from Catherine of Aragon.
The language, especially that which leads to his death, is so emotive and powerful. I want to share with you my favourite passage that I found towards the end, where he is imprisoned and awaiting death for high treason:
Finished on the 16th January 2013
3rd Book of my 2013 Reading Challenge
This book begins in a cold winter of 1963, in a tiny hamlet in Derbyshire called Scardale. 13 year old Alison Carter has gone missing in strange circumstances, her dog being found tied up close by. No one can figure out who is responsible, was it an outsider who didn’t know their way around the village? Or someone closer to home? A person is convicted through the dedication of the team of police officers led by George Bennett. 35 years later, journalist Catherine Heathcote is determined to write a tell-all book about the case with George Bennett, a gritty true crime text. But a new lead emerges, and Bennett tries to stop the story, leading Catherine determined to find out the truth about the Carter case.
Let me just say how AMAZING this book is. At first I was a bit, ‘okay it’s a tragic story but…’. But then it got intriguing, so intriguing that I managed to finish the book yesterday instead of today. When it got to the 35 years later bit, I seriously couldn’t put it down. It’s got everything you could possibly want from a mystery novel; tragedy, disturbing events, the blame game, family suspicion, rumours, ghosts, abuse, cover-ups, genuinely everything. I was seriously impressed by the ending, even I did not see that coming!
Val McDermid has definitely outdone herself with A Place of Execution, it’s truly an easy-read yet so perfectly written for the genre. It has loveable characters with a wide variety of personalities, such as the secretive yet community minded and practically all related members of Scardale, the loveable rogue Tommy Clough, the dedicated George Bennett and the headstrong Ma Lomas. I love the continuity throughout the book and how all of the events seem quite straightforward at the beginning but then intertwine to shock you with the conclusion. Thoroughly recommended, definitely, 100%.
Finished on: 10th January 2013
2nd Book of my 2013 Reading Challenge
My Rating: 3 stars
This crime thriller begins in St Andrews in the 1970’s, with the violent murder of barmaid Rosie Duff. Four students; Ziggy, Weird, Mondo and Gilly (nicknames obviously), discover her body and are immediately labelled as guilty and suspicious with blood on their hands. Facing the media and public opinion, they face the wrath of Rosie’s disgruntled and rather thuggish brothers, Colin and Brian. Time progresses to when the students are in their 40’s, and someone is out for revenge.
It saddens me that I have given a three star rating to one of the books written by my favourite author. It just didn’t have the sparkle that her other books possess, and the twist and turns you expect from a crime novel. I like to be kept guessing with crime thrillers, if not until the very end as far through the book as I can. You always have some idea who the killer is, but you question yourself with every page. Pretty early on you fill in the blanks and have a sneaking suspicion who was responsible for Rosie Duff’s murder and the murder of those suspected of killing her. McDermid valiantly tries to lead you to believe that it is a cut and dry answer to the question, but when is crime fiction ever about who obviously committed the crime? In fact, it would have actually shocked me if the obvious suspects were responsible for the murder. Without giving away spoilers, you get the sense when the true killers are revealed that you actually knew all along.
However, McDermid’s writing remains as familiar as ever to me, and I found this an easy-read and in places quite intriguing. I guess I am just wising up too much to the methods of crime fiction and am longing for something that will keep me guessing until the very last minute. Thus far, few books have ever accomplished it. I guess we shall see, given that I’m terrible for overanalysing a mystery to death. I suppose that is why one of my favourite books is McDermid’s Tony Hill/Carol Jordan series, as it delves into psychological themes and many unknown characters who remain mysterious. The problem with storylines such as this is that the perpetrators would have a personal motive rather than a random sexual one, which limits the suspect pool and the intrigue.
I’m going to start either ‘A Place of Execution’ or ‘The Vanishing Point’ by Val McDermid next, and I hope they will deliver for me what ‘The Distant Echo’ failed to.
Finished on Monday 7th January 2013