February 2016 Book Report
The Lady Elizabeth by Allison Weir: I started this back in late January but didn’t finish it until sometime in mid-February. It was fairly long and took a lot out of me! However, I really did enjoy it. The author has several historical fiction books of this era that I want to read at some point in time. What I liked about this book was that it followed the life of Elizabeth Tudor (Queen Elizabeth I) from about 3 years old until about 25 years old, when her sister Queen Mary died and Elizabeth became queen. The book picks up on the rumor that Elizabeth may have become pregnant from Thomas Seymour when she was about 14-15 and takes off with that storyline a bit. From my reading, that rumor seems to be unfounded. It’s an interesting thread, though.
The writing was done well and I found myself Googling various historical figures in the book as I went along. I will definitely read more of her books in the future.
The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown: I’ve been a Brene Brown fan for years now, long before she hit the popularity with TED talks. I just never got around to reading her books! I started this one back in early fall but never finished it. Finally, i took it with me to the gym and flipped through the last 1/3 that I had left. I definitely resonated with more of the first 1/2 of the book than the second half. If you struggle with perfectionism, either outwardly or inwardly, this book is worth reading. It deals not only with perfection but touches on shame, which is one of Brown’s biggies when she talks. Honestly, shame is a lot more related to emotions, feelings, and actions than I thought. It keeps coming up in so many readings and podcasts I listen to. While I don’t consider myself a perfectionist, there are some aspects on the creative front that I get in an all-or-nothing attitude with myself.
Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon: I’ve been rereading this with Elizabeth the last four to five months. We should be wrapping up this month before the second season of the tv show starts.
The Map of Lost Memories by Kim Fay: I was looking for something to read on my phone while Forest goes to sleep every night and this sounded good. Just started it.
The Hired Girl by Laura Amy Schlitz: This has been in my queue digitally for quite a while. I just came into the slot for my turn and I’m probably going to be switching to reading it first before I finish The Map of Lost Memories. However, once I downloaded it I realized it’s a YA novel. Not a bad thing, I like some particular YA novels as an adult, so we’ll see. It has quite a high rating on GoodReads and Amazon so I’m betting it’ll be worthwhile.
How to Live: A Life of Montaigne in One Question and Twenty Attempts at An Answer by Sarah Bakewell: I’ve been hearing about stoicism and the Stoics for the last six to eight months in various online venues. They’ve piqued my interest and I tried to find something digitally from one of the more famous philosophers of that time period but came up empty from the library. I’ll have to look elsewhere for something from the original Stoics. However, I found this book about this dude Michel Eyquem de Montaigne a philosopher from the French Renaissance who had influence from the Stoics. This particular book isn’t his writings directly, and is instead more of a biography. It has been interesting enough for me to want to find his writings. Montaigne is basically the person who got essays into being. If he was around now he’d probably have a very popular blog or column in a newspaper. He influenced the likes of Emerson and Woolf.
This is only on hold because I couldn’t renew my digital copy as someone else was in line for it. When it comes up again I’ll be reading it again.
Winter World: The Ingenuity of Animal Survival by Bernd Heinrich: This one I began as an audio book. I’ve found that I have difficulty getting into audio books if I don’t like the reader. I ended up finding this one in paper from the library and will be giving it a go from there.
Captive Queen: A Novel of Eleanor of Aquitaine by Allison Weir: I jumped into another long historical fiction too soon after The Lady Elizabeth. Only a few pages in, I couldn’t read it and the Montaigne book at the same time. I let it lapse and will get it again another time. It’s promising, though!
What are you reading?