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review 2016-07-03 23:23
The Queen's Caprice by Marjorie Bowen
The Queen's Caprice - Marjorie Bowen

I had requested this book without realizing that it was by the same author as Dickon and before I had started Bowen's Richard III novel.. Both books inspired me to skim sections, but this one was an improvement over Dickon because it does not include the same false medieval language that was so annoying in that novel.

 

Mary as a protagonist was impossible for me to like or feel any sympathy for. She was selfish, vapid, and more concerned with sex than ruling her country. At no point did she invoke any positive feelings from me, which made this a difficult and boring read.

 

Bowen made a name for herself in historical fiction in her time, but I think I do not think her novels are for me.

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text 2016-07-03 23:09
June Reading Roundup
Fahrenheit 451: The Authorized Adaptation - Ray Bradbury,Tim Hamilton
A Trick of Fate (The Renaissance Sojourner Series Book 0) - Kristin Gleeson,Moonyeen Blakey
Sons of the Wolf - Paula Lofting
The Last Lion 3: Winston Spencer Churchill: Defender of the Realm, 1940-65 - Paul Reid,William Raymond Manchester
The Heretic's Daughter - Kathleen Kent
The Devil's Band (The Devilstone Chronicles) (Volume 1) - Richard Anderton
The Children of Henry VIII - Alison Weir
The Queen's Caprice - Marjorie Bowen

I'm behind on reviews but not reading. Though I decided that I am no longer going to review everything I read, there are still a couple of these that I need to review.

 

I won't be reviewing Fahrenheit 451 though I did enjoy reading it and discussing it with my daughter. Classics and mass market books are just not in need of my input. I will continue to review independently published novels, NetGalley ARCs, and books that I just feel like talking about.  ;-)

 

Reviews will be forthcoming for The Devil's Band and The Queen's Caprice.

 

Audiobooks:

Fahrenheit 451

Heretic's Daughter

The Last Lion

 

NetGalley:

The Queen's Caprice

 

Independent Authors:

A Trick of Fate

The Sons of the Wolf

The Devil's Band

 

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review 2016-06-05 17:35
The Bishop of Hell: Short Stories of a Ghostish Nature
The Bishop of Hell & Other Stories - Marjorie Bowen

First of all I have to note that this isn't the edition I read - I read it via ebook thanks to Gutenberg Australia:

 

The Bishop of Hell and Other Stories by Marjorie Bowen

On that page it tells you which collection each of the stories are originally printed in.

 

wikipedia: Marjorie Bowen

 

Take a moment to quickly look at Bowen's wiki page and how many books she's written. And some under different names - that was a list that probably took a bit to compile. I now feel weird for not knowing more about her - because I'm pretty sure I've read many of her short stories before - I have a collection of ghost story anthologies and I'll bet she's well represented in them.

 

What's interesting is that I didn't at all guess that she'd been writing on into the 1950s. Bowen's style definitely has some of that "earlier time," old fashioned feel to it - though most of the stories in the book were written between 1900 to 1930s. Note that I've only read her short stories - no idea what her many novels are like. Though one of 

 

If you're looking for something with loads of gore and hack and slash - nope, this is the type with more atmosphere, less blood. Which of course doesn't mean it's not tropey - lots of debauched noblemen types scampering about in here. And some "enjoy this bad person get his/her just desserts" types of stories. (You know anyone who disrespects/mistreats an old woman is In For It.) But then that's what you sign up for in the majority of ghost stories - justified revenge. We don't want to see the clever psychopath get away with his crime - that's a modern twist, playing for antiheroics - no, many of us are pleased to have that psychopath learn the hard way via ghostly vengeance. Though I should add here that there's not always a satisfying revenge-death in all of these - one or two have "wait, that seems unfair" deaths.

 

I can't easily quote without spoilers - but here's a snip from one of the more modern stories where a woman visits someone she thinks is an elderly collector of china - The Crown Derby Plate:

 

"Do you really do everything yourself here and live quite alone?" she asked, and she shivered even in her thick coat and wished that Miss Lefain's energy had risen to a fire, but then probably she lived in the kitchen, as these lonely eccentrics often did.

 

"There was someone," answered Miss Lefain cunningly, "but I had to send her away. I told you she's gone, I can't find her, and I am so glad. Of course," she added wistfully, "it leaves me very lonely, but then I couldn't stand her impertinence any longer. She used to say that it was her house and her collection of china! Would you believe it? She used to try to chase me away from looking at my own things!"

 

"How very disagreeable," said Miss Pym, wondering which of the two women had been crazy. "But hadn't you better get someone else."

 

"Oh, no," was the jealous answer. "I would rather be alone with my things, I daren't leave the house for fear someone takes them away—there was a dreadful time once when an auction sale was held here—"

 

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text 2016-06-01 15:26
June TBR
Sons of the Wolf - Paula Lofting
The Heretic's Daughter - Kathleen Kent
The Last Lion 3: Winston Spencer Churchill: Defender of the Realm, 1940-65 - Paul Reid,William Raymond Manchester
The Queen's Caprice - Marjorie Bowen
The Heretics of De'Ath (The Chronicles of Brother Hermitage Book 1) - Howard of Warwick
The Colour of Poison: A Sebastian Foxley Medieval Mystery (Volume 1) - Toni Mount
A Trick of Fate (The Renaissance Sojourner Series Book 0) - Kristin Gleeson,Moonyeen Blakey
Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy: Four Women Undercover in the Civil War - Karen Abbott
Fires of Faith: Catholic England Under Mary Tudor - Eamon Duffy
The Children of Henry VIII - Alison Weir

I completed a surprising amount of my May TBR. Research on Queen Mary was the key area where I fell short, so those books are on here again. This is mostly because I am going back through books I have already read for sections on her before I start these new ones, so Mary has not been completely neglected.

 

The club read for More Historical Than Fiction is A Bloody Field by Shrewsbury. This is not on my list because I have already read it, but I look forward to the discussion of Henry Hotspur Percy (and all those other Henrys). Join us!

 

Audio Books:

The Last Lion

The Heretic's Daughter

Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy

 

NetGalley:

The Queen's Caprice

The Heretics of De'ath

 

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text 2016-06-01 15:13
May Reading Roundup
How the Light Gets In - Louise Penny
Because We Are Called to Counter Culture: In a World of Poverty, Same-Sex Marriage, Racism, Sex Slavery, Immigration, Persecution, Abortion, Orphans, and Pornography (Counter Culture Booklets) - David Platt
Still Alice - Lisa Genova
Azincourt - Bernard Cornwell
Confessions of a Prayer Slacker - Diane Moody
Divine Collision: An African Boy, an American Lawyer, and Their Remarkable Battle for Freedom - Foreword by Bob Goff,Jim Gash
Band of Brothers: The Game's Afoot - Richard Foreman
Allegiant - Veronica Roth
Dickon - Marjorie Bowen
A Time to Grieve (Journeying though Grief, Book One) - Kenneth C. Haugk

My reading was all over the place this month in terms of genre and did not include anything I would categorize as amazing, but I did get a lot read. In addition to these 10, I finished Kenneth Haugk's 'Experiencing Grief' which did not impact me quite as much as the first book . . . . or maybe that's just where I am. Who knows.

 

Audio Books:

How the Light Gets In

Still Alice

Divine Collision

Allegiant

 

NetGalley:

The Game's Afoot

Dickon (DNF)

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