Monday, January 18, 2010

What I have been reading

I’ve been working my way through the pile from the library steadily.

The first book I finished was

Stuff White People Like: A Definitive Guide to the Unique Taste of Millions

I’ve followed the blog since early on so most of it was not new to me. I find it very funny. However it did confirm that, as I have long suspected, I am not the right kind of white people. The right kind of white people are liberal urban dwellers who shop at IKEA and Whole Foods and love the outdoors.  I am a moderate rural dweller who shops at Wal Mart and is outdoorsy in that I like getting drunk on patios. But I know the right kind of white people, so I find the book very funny.

Then I read

Secrets of the Tudor Court: Between Two Queens

Which is a fictional account of the life of Anne Basset, who was a real person and a maid of honor to Henry VIII’s 3rd through 6th wives and may have had a brief affair with him. Surviving documents show he had some degree of fondness for her. It’s a pretty good story. I enjoyed it for the most part. But Anne is a professional courtier and as such makes decisions that are not always the kindest. There are times when it is hard to feel much sympathy for her though overall I found her an interesting character.

I did prefer the first book in the series more.  I read it a few months ago

Secrets of the Tudor Court: The Pleasure Palace

It is the fictional story of Jane Popyncourt, also a real person, who joined the household of Henry VII as a child and became close friends with Princess Mary, Henry VIII’s sister.

And since I am on a Tudor theme I might as well mention

The Queen's Mistake: In the Court of Henry VIII

Which is a fiction account of the life of Katherine Howard, Henry VIII’s fifth wife, who was beheaded for having an affair with Thomas Culpepper while married to Henry. It’s a ok story. She gives Kat more intelligence than many authors do but there is depth lacking in her characterization and in the other characters of the book. They all seem rather flat.  A secondary character. Mary Lassells add some much needed emotion and motivation to the story & maybe had she been the main character the story would have been more compelling.

The most recent new book I have finished is

Murder on the Mauretania: A Mystery Featuring George Porter Dillman and Genevieve Masefield (A Shipboard Mystery Featuring George Porter Dillman & Genevieve Masefield)

It is a very enjoyable read about a couple of Cunard ship’s detectives who are on the maiden voyage of the  Mauretania and have to deal with a series of thefts, one of which leads to murder. This is the second in a series. The first was checked out when I discovered them & I am still waiting on it. I hate reading series’ out of order. But it was no real detriment to following this one. There is enough background info given to determine the two met in the previous book when she was passenger & by the end of it they had formed a romantic attachment & she had done so well helping him that Cunard offered her a job. There are 6 or so more in the series. I picked up books 3, 5, 7  and 8 today.

I am rereading an historical mystery series by Roberta Gellis that feature Magdalene la Batarde, a whoremistress in Southwark at the time of King Stephen. She runs a high class whorehouse or ‘house of ease’ which makes people I say that phrase to assume she owns a public bathroom.

Chains of Folly (Five Star Mystery Series)

I enjoy this series enormously & reread it a couple times a year. I first heard all 4 books on audio about 4 years ago, mostly listening in the car. Which meant the boys listened as well. Most of it was just “WHHAA WHHHA WHHHHAA” to them but some words did get through I had the pleasure of explaining to my 2 and 3 year old what a whore was, as well as what a knight, a bishop, a priory and a guild were. Fortunately all words seemed to be equally interesting and I’ve heard nothing about any of them since. The books are well written, with lots of period details, good plots and well drawn characters. It’s a pity there are only 4 of them. I’d love to know if Magdalene ever finds a blind girl to replace the one she los to marriage t & how things develop with her lover Bell. I highly recommend them if you can find them.

I’ll be working my way through the rest of the Shipboard mysteries in the coming weeks as well as trying out

Killer Cocktail (Molly Forrester Novels)

Which is supposed to be a humorous murder mystery that is something of a cross between Sex & the City and Stephanie Plum. I enjoy both of those, off and on, so I’m hoping to at least like the book enough to finish it. It too is the second in a series and the library does not have the first. This gives me some reservations but it worked out ok with Murder on the Mauretania, so I am taking the chance with this one.

What have you read lately?

8 comments:

Maria Ontiveros said...

Love your description of two kinds of white people! Haven't read the Tudor books, but I did get season 3 of The Tudors for Christmas and am loving it!
Rinda

Too Many Hats said...

I'm currently listening to Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell (it is a book about success and I never read books likes this, but it was recommended by a friend and I have to say it has been very eye-opening so far). I am reading The Adventures of Alice in Wonderland, which I have never read.

Love how outdoorsy you are - hahaha

ptooie said...

Last week I reread Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, and then read the rest of the series.
This week I'm working through the Kitty Norville series by Carrie Vaughn. Kitty is a werewolf. So far, pretty good books, if you like that sort of thing, which I do.

Rebekah said...

OH my, must read the White People book. I wonder where I fit in? Rural, never been to IKEA, but also hate Wal-Mart.

I'm reading The Help.

Creative Junkie said...

I love these reviews!

I just finished reading The Host by Stephanie Myer, only because it was the only thing available in my house (it's my 15 year old's book).

After reading it, I realized I would have been better off making a trip to the library instead.

humel said...

Interesting range, thanks for sharing :-) Not sure I'm the right kind of white people either though I probably know some... I do shop in Ikea occasionally but what is the outdoors exactly?

Rachel said...

Great reviews.

I'm on a book hunt right now -- looking for non-fiction. I'm normally a fiction girl, reading mysteries nearly every night. But, one of my goals this year is to bring more non-fiction, history, memoirs, etc., into my life. I feel like I need something to challenge my brain for awhile (I've been reading the same books over and over for YEARS).

Following In My Shoes

Rachel said...

Great reviews.

I'm on a book hunt right now -- looking for non-fiction. I'm normally a fiction girl, reading mysteries nearly every night. But, one of my goals this year is to bring more non-fiction, history, memoirs, etc., into my life. I feel like I need something to challenge my brain for awhile (I've been reading the same books over and over for YEARS).

Following In My Shoes