July 1, 2014 at 11:47 pm #453469
Hotel du Lac by Anita Brookner
Brilliant, hilarious, heartbreaking.July 2, 2014 at 12:32 am #453470
I finished reading the Divergent trilo by Veronica Roth. Shakespeare they are not, but it does have a strong female lead(s) and it is surprisingly true to what’s happening today. Imo, they are not as entertaining as The Hunger Games series, although the writing is about the same level.
I’m back to my history books. Currently reading Anna Whitelock’s The Queen’s Bed; An Intimate History of Elizabeth’s Court. This is the first time a historian has keyed on Liz’es inner circle of women in her bed and privy chambers. She avoids any mention of probable “closer family ties” within that circle, but it’s a great approach. Nobody knew the Queen’s “body politic and mortal” than those women, who were mostly from her mother’s side of the family. Good for her.
Also reading Philippa Langley and Michael Jone’s “The Search for Richard III, The King’s Grave”. I’ve seen the doc on this subject and will probably find this book intriguing, but I always stop reading any cousin’s war stuff just before what happens to him. Unless it’s something new, I dont enjoy going there all that much.July 3, 2014 at 8:02 am #453471
Double Cross by James Patterson: This isn’t perfect but it’s a really engrossing novel because of the twists and turns that happenJuly 6, 2014 at 9:46 pm #453472
Finished Anna Whitelock’s The Queen’s Bed and as a text book, it’s quite good, although nothing in it was revelatory imo. Also finished Conn Iggulden’s War of the Roses, “Stormbird”. It’s book one, with no sign of book two anywhere yet. From the very first page, where he describes Henry VI as “the pious and gentle….lamb”, when imo he was a weak, sadistic, incompetent monarch who should never have come to the throne, I suspected this to be pro Lancastrian, which, with the exception of John of Gaunt, I am not a fan of. He begins with Margaret of Anjou as a preteen and then a 14yr old, which is fine, but he doesnt even mention Jacquetta Duchess of Bedford, a puzzling omission, other than she became an important inlaw of the Yorks.
Lancastrians and their supporters= good
Yorks and their supporters=arrogant, sense of entitlement, covert and overt murderers.
I will definitely read the second in the series but I’m hoping he takes a more balanced look at both sides.July 7, 2014 at 8:51 am #453473
Continuing my James Patterson trend, I am reading “I, Alex Cross”. These novels are pretty addictingJuly 7, 2014 at 9:02 am #453474
“The Interestings” is excellent! I’ll wrap this one up soon.July 9, 2014 at 7:04 am #453475
While @ my schools winter-break party my poetry professor handed me a book he had bought for me, I was surprised but graciously accepted “A
Secret Gift”. Exhaustion has kept me from reading this book sooner but I
plan to start it today. I hope it’s good!July 9, 2014 at 11:03 am #453476
I’m almost at the end of Philippa Langley and Michael Jone’s “The Search for Richard III, The King’s Grave”.. This was the book I was leaving for “last”, and damned if it isnt the best history book I’ve read this year so far. Even though we know the outcome, it’s a fascinating read and one which I am finding very satisfying. Alll of the reasons why I am “Ricardian”, is illustrated by the authors. Philippa misses nothing, and I certainly admire her knowledge, research, and where she’s coming from.
Highly recommended, even though the subject is very esoteric.July 9, 2014 at 2:39 pm #453477
I’m currently reading Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie.July 14, 2014 at 10:36 pm #453478
The Silkworm by “Robert Galbraith”July 22, 2014 at 5:28 am #453479
“IT” by Stephen King.
I had some problems with him jumping between past and present events in most of his stories for a long time, but now it does not bother me anymore.July 23, 2014 at 6:44 am #453480
MAN BOOKER PRIZE 2014 LONGLIST
Longlist 2014 announced
23 July 2014
To Rise Again at a Decent Hour, Joshua Ferris (Viking)
The Narrow Road to the Deep North, Richard Flanagan (Chatto & Windus)
We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, Karen Joy Fowler (Serpent’s Tail)
The Blazing World, Siri Hustvedt (Sceptre)
J, Howard Jacobson (Jonathan Cape)
The Wake, Paul Kingsnorth (Unbound)
The Bone Clocks, David Mitchell (Sceptre)
The Lives of Others, Neel Mukherjee (Chatto & Windus)
Us, David Nicholls (Hodder & Stoughton)
The Dog, Joseph O’Neill (Fourth Estate)
Orfeo, Richard Powers (Atlantic Books)
How to Be Both, Ali Smith (Hamish Hamilton)
History of the Rain, Niall Williams (Bloomsbury)
The first Man Booker prize to admit novels from across the globe as long as they are written in English has published its longlist. Following much discussion, the six judges chaired by philosopher Anthony Grayling chose 13 books by four Americans, six Britons, two Irish writers, and one Australian.
One former Man Booker winner. Howard Jacobson, is on the longlist along with two previously shortlisted authors, Ali Smith and David Mitchell. Also on the list are David Nicholls, whose previous novel, One Day, was filmed with Anne Hathaway, and the Anglo-Indian writer Neel Mukherjee.
The American writers longlisted include Richard Powers, Siri Hustvedt, Joshua Ferris, and Karen Joy Fowler.
Following extensive consultation the Man Booker trustees decided this year to change the rules which had previously allowed only British and Commonwealth authors to be considered for the prize. New Zealand author Eleanor Catton, winner of the 2013 prize, commented: “I think it’s a really great thing that finally we’ve got a prize that is an English-language prize that doesn’t make a distinction for writers who are writing from a particular country.”
The Man Booker, which is awarded to the best novel of the year in the opinion of the judges, is worth £50,000 to the winner. Previous winners include Hilary Mantel for Wolf Hall and its sequel Bring up the Bodies, and two novels where sales have topped two million copies each, Schindler’s Ark by Thomas Keneally and Life of Pi by Yann Martel.
The judges will meet again to reduce their longlist to a shortlist of six titles which will be announced on Tuesday 9th September. The winning novel will be revealed on the BBC television’s Ten O’Clock News direct from a black-tie dinner in London’s Guildhall on October 14.
The judges for this year’s prize are Sarah Churchwell, Daniel Glaser, Jonathan Bate, Alastair Niven, and Erica Wagner under the chairmanship of Anthony Grayling.
Ion Trewin, Literary Director of the Booker Prize Foundation
See more at: #sthash.2jOcnibV.dpufJuly 23, 2014 at 8:17 pm #453481
Just finished “The Interestings” by Meg Wolitzer. I can’t say enough of how much I loved this novel. I’m already envisioning casting decisions in my head for the six main characters, b/c this is going to be made into some type of film adaptation before long. I was completely invested in this expansive story/saga from beginning to end, and I didn’t want this to narrative to end with the final page. Feeling so many different emotions right now, and I’m in awe that a book can still affect me like this.
Next up is “Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn (trying this one again).July 23, 2014 at 8:42 pm #453482
Thanks for posting that long list.
I’ve read “The Royal Stuarts: A History of a Family that Shaped Britain”, by Allan Massie. The author truly loves his subject(s), and he is one of the only historians I’ve come across who has consistently good things to say about James VI/!. I found it an interesting, passionate read.
I’ve also finished “Queen Elizabeth I and the Wars of Religion: Heretic Queen, by Susan Ronald. I’ve read one of her other novels and found it both informative and entertaining. Ronald is also the owner of a film production company and a screenwriter. It shows, but her knowledge about Liz’s Secret Service is really thorough.
I stayed with underground espionage of the same era and read “The Watchers”, A Secret History of The Reign of Elizabeth 1, by Dr Stephen Alford. The guy is exceptionally thorough, but he’s arrogant in tone and I caught a grammatical error early on in the book. He also doesnt know as much as he could about the Stuarts or some of the players in Elizabeth’s court. It always intrigues me how individual historians have some deep knowledge in some areas, and rely on convention in others.
I needed a break from these heavy reads so I read “Princesses Behaving Badly; Real Stories From History without the Fairy-Tale Endings”, by Linda Rodriguez McRobbie. It’s almost equivalent to a history comic book, but it was still an enjoyable read and mentions some royal women I’ve either never heard of(Lakshmibai) or know very little about. It might lead me to do some deeper reading on several of the mentions.
I’m just beginning The Last White Rose; The Secret Wars of the Tudors, by Desmond Seward. I’m far more interested in reading something new on the last white rose, rather than reading about the Tudors again, but I’ll see.