Sunday, 19 April 2009

The Other Queen - Review

The Other Queen... A story focussing on Elizabeth Tudor and Mary, Queen of Scots, told from the point of view of Mary, Bess of Hardwick, and her husband George Talbot, who were Mary's jailers during the time she was kept in England.

Although I did enjoy the book, it is not as good as previous Tudor novels, such as The Constant Princess. There is a good story to it, but I found each of the characters to be a bit repetitive - Mary constantly goes on about freedom, Bess about money, and how she's a self made woman, rare in that time period, and George about honour.

George Talbot is the Lord High Steward of England, one of the highest posts in the land - but England is not how it used to be. There is suspicion everywhere, and almost anything can get you accused of treason.

He is newly married to Bess of Hardwick, who was a farmers daughter, who has managed to marry wisely, to raise herself through class ranks to marry the Earl of Shrewsbury (George), bringing with her a good fortune and lands, which is very rare for a woman to acquire in that time.

Mary, Queen of Scots, is being held in England against her will, while Elizabeth struggles to try and accuse her of some wrongdoing, or risk losing her throne to the enchanting foreigner. She cannot actually put her to death, as Mary is of royal blood. She assigns her to the care of the Shrewsburys, and leaves them to keep watch over her. George falls in love with her, as do most men who encounter the queen, and Bess is not pleased at this outcome.

This is a good story, and I did enjoy it - just not as much as the previous Tudor books. In a Q&A session from Philippa Gregory's website, which is printed in the book, she states that she is working on a series about the Plantagenets, who ruled before the Tudors. I will definitely be watching out for this!!

Thursday, 16 April 2009

This Charming Man - Review

This book is FANTSTIC!! I couldn't put it down, and managed to read it in two days - no mean feat, considering its almost 900 pages long.

My first attempt at it was actually by listening to it on audiobook, and I really struggled with it. Possibly because of trying to listening to it at odd times, and not really managing to focus on it properly, but I gave up after around the other night.

I've been a fan of Marian Keyes for a while, so I saw the book on offer in Waterstones, and decided to give it another try, and I'm so glad I did!

It starts off like a fairly typical 'chick-lit' kinda story. Lola's boyfriend, politician Paddy de Courcy, has announced he's getting married... but the bride isn't Lola! She leaves Dublin to lick her wounds, and the story is told from the point of view of Lola, Grace, Marnie and Alicia. All know Paddy, and all have a dark secret related to him.

This is a very well told story. I did find some parts, particulary Marnie's, hard to read, as she is descending into alcoholism. This is something that Marian Keyes has struggled with herself, and those parts of the story are very hard hitting.

I would recommend this book to anyone, but it is not as light-hearted as it may seem, none of Marian Keyes's books are! Critics seem to have a tendency to write them off, but many of them deal with serious issues, albeit in a humourous way. I found many parts of this book extremely funny, but it had a lot of impact also.

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Stephen King Goes To The Movies - Review

This is a good intro to Stephen King, a collection of 5 of his short stories that have been adapted into films. To tell the truth, I was expecting a bit more, but I think thats down to the fact that I've already read all of Stephen King's short stories (apart from The Mangler, which was really creepy!)

Stephen King does an intro to each story, giving some background about how it got made, who made it, and any thoughts he had about it, positive and negative. Its interesting to see what he says about them, as he's not shy to be negative about them! The intros are only a page or so each though, so they're not as in-depth as I would have liked really.

I would definitely recommend this to people who maybe aren't massive fans of Stephen King, as its a good introduction. For anyone who's already a fan, chances are you have already read the stories!

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Stuck in an elevator with Stephen Fry

Stephen Fry
He's interesting, and I would love the chance to meet him!

Michael MacIntyre
To give us a laugh while we're stuck!

an elevator technician
To get us out quickly.. Hey, you only get four hours of oxygen in there!!

New blog... first time for everything!

Hello everyone!!

This is my first attempt at a blog - I love reading, so I thought I'd focus on that! I read a fairly wide range of books, and I'd love to get people's input on what i'm reading, what they think of my opinions, and even suggestions for what they think I should read next!!

Here goes nothing....!