August recap

So summer is over, but I still need to look back at August. As you might have guessed from my 20 books of summer recap, this was a successful reading month. But in the end, this summer didn’t work out as I wanted in some way. We had so much bad weather, some troubles were on my mind and my boyfriend got sick during our the few days we would go on holiday. But well, here’s what I read :D.

Read(ing)

I stared off with my classics club spin result ‘Treasure island’, which I enjoyed but the language was a bit too difficult for me at times. Then I finally got to ‘The scarlet contessa’, a novel about Catherina Sforza, one of my favourite historical figures.

My library haul just before my holidays included ‘Captive queen’, ‘A thousand ships’ and ‘Dit leven is van jou’ (the newest book of Tatiana De Rosnay in Dutch, translated from French. The book is not out yet in English, so I’ll not review it for the moment. But it was great, I finished it in one day!).

Number of pages read: 1.922 pages
Number of books finished: 5
Favorite read: A thousand ships
Centuries visited: Ancient Greece, 12th century, 15th century, 18th century and 21st century
Countries visited: England, France, Italy and Greece
Currently reading: ‘Lolita‘ for the classics club and ‘The collector’s daughter‘ (an e-arc I received via Netgalley).
Next up: I might finally start ‘World without end’ as this was on my 20 books of summer list but I didn’t manage to pick it up.
20 books of summer: 14/20

Reviewed

Blogged

Watched

  • I watched the BBC docuseries ‘The Boleyns, a scandalous family’. I liked the focus on Thomas Boleyn and his politics. I disliked the framing of Mary as the victim and Anne as the scheming one. Mary’s absence at the French court and her lying with the French king make for a whole different story. Also no mention of her two children whose father possibly was Henry VIII.

Added to my TBR

I was looking for some more Greek myth retellings #sorrynotsorry.

Do you have any other Greek myth recommendations?

July recap

I almost forgot to write this, as I didn’t realize another month has passed. I don’t really have a summer feeling, apart from the fact that my 20 books of summer challenge is going great. We experienced some grave floods and a lot of people lost their homes. It made me extremely sad. 😢

But August is my favorite month with my summer holidays, birthday and this blog’s first anniversary apparently :D.

Read(ing)

In terms of reading this was my best month so far as I’ve finished 5 books. All lighter entertaining reads that I enjoyed a lot. My favourite was ‘The city of tears’, closely followed by ‘The last daughter’. But I can’t say anything bad about the other books either. Great reading month!

Number of pages read: 2.016 pages
Number of books finished: 5
Favorite read: The city of tears
Centuries visited: Ancient Greece, 14th century, 15th century and 21st century
Countries visited: England, France and Greece
Currently reading: I’ve started my spin result ‘Treasure island’
Next up: One of my kindle books, but I’m not sure which one yet
20 books of summer: 9/20

Reviewed

Blogged

Added to my TBR

Watched

  • ‘Luca’ at Disney+ while recovering from my second Pfizer shot. It was great!

How is your summer reading going?

June recap

Hi everyone! How are you? I can’t believe we’re already halfway 2021! I don’t feel the summer yet, as it’s raining in Belgium at least for two more weeks. 🙄 I really hope I can soon read in the garden under my favourite walnut tree for hours at an end. 🙏

It also seemed a sad month. Lucinda Riley passed away, being only in her fifties. The news from Hungary broke my heart. Love is love ❤️🏳️‍🌈.

The good news is I got vaccinated with the first dose and I al looking forward to the second (however strange this is to say). 🙌

Read(ing)

I again had a great reading month. Still going strong with my 20 books of summer challenge. Although of course I actually don’t hope to come anywhere near those 20. I’m silently aiming at 15. But 12 or 13 would already be nice.

I have a clear favourite this month. ‘Cecily’ is still to come out in July but it tells the story of one of the most interesting women that played a part in the Wars of the Roses. I do hope Annie Garthwaite is here to stay as a historical fiction author.

I also have a clear disappointment and it’s Thomas Hardy’s famous ‘Far from the madding crowd’. It was one of the hardest reviews to write, because I know so many people love it and Hardy is such a great writer. But I just couldn’t stand the characters and didn’t like the plot at all. So this was hard to enjoy, despite the beautiful sentences. I’m sorry. Now you already know you can skip my review coming up if this is one of your favourites :D.

Number of pages read: 1.866 pages
Number of books finished: 4
Favorite read: Cecily
Centuries visited: 14th century, 15th century, 17th century and 19th century
Countries visited: England, France, Ireland and the fictional county of Wessex (England)
Currently reading: I’m finishing ‘Daughters of Sparta’, Claire Heywood’s Greek myth retelling of the lives of Helen and Clythemnestra of Sparta. I’m enjoying it.
Next up: Probably ‘City of tears’ by Kate Mosse
20 books of summer: 4/20

Reviewed

Added to my TBR

Watched

  • I loved ‘Raya and the last dragon’, a classic Disney story but with a modern female main character, no classic princess. And a lot of diversity in the characters. One of my new favourites!
  • We’ve also started the fifth season of Outlander to take us through summer.

What have you been reading? Any summer plans?

May recap

Finally, the sun has arrived! I was so tired of all the cold and the rain. I’ll also have a week off at work in June, so I’m looking forward to reading in the sun in my garden. But rain or no rain, May was a great reading month. I read some fantastic books and am eager to share them with you.

Read(ing)

I stranded at 4 books this month. First of the Tudors was the first one I finished and I’m already sure this will be in my top list at the end of the year. I really enjoyed learning more about the Welsh culture and the Tudor perspective so early in the Wars of the Roses. But actually, I loved every book I read in May. The burning chambers was a lovely surprise and would have made to my favorite in a normal month, but well Joanna Hickson grabs that spot this month.

Number of pages read: 2.026 pages
Number of books finished: 4
Favorite read: First of the Tudors
Centuries visited: 15th century, 16th century, 17th century and 18th century
Countries visited: England and France
Currently reading: The vanishing with by Karen Maitland, the first book for 20 books of summer!
Next up: The crimson ribbon and afterwards I want to read my next classic.

Reviewed

Blogged

Added to my TBR

Links I enjoyed

How was your month?

April recap

Time for another monthly recap. It was a great reading month. Goodreads tells me I’m already 5 (!) books ahead of schedule which is great, especially when I’ve also read 5 classics so far.

Read(ing)

I finished 5 books in April, although I already read the bulk of Winter Pilgrims in March. I also believe Winter Pilgrims was my favorite read, together with Protector, the newest Conn Iggulden coming out this month (us edition)!

I already finished my classics club spin ‘Lady Chatterley’s lover’ and will publish my review about it in May. But I can already say that it didn’t turn out as I expected. I believe that books written at the beginning of the 20th century aren’t my favorites.

Number of pages read: 1.554 pages
Number of books finished: 5
Favorite read: Protector by Conn Iggulden
Centuries visited: 1st century B.C., 15th century, 17th century and 20th century
Countries visited: England, Norway and Greece
Currently reading: I’ve just started ‘First of the Tudors’ by Joanna Hickson
Next up: No idea yet actually :D.

Reviewed

Blogged

Added to my TBR

  • The puritan princess by Miranda Malins, because I keep seeing it everywhere and it has an interesting premise
  • Mrs England by Stacey Halls. I loved her previous books so she has become a mustread author for me.
  • Same story with The metal heart by Caroline Lea. I loved The glass woman.
  • I want to try Karen Maitland’s books, The vanishing witch seems an excellent introduction to her work.
  • I wasn’t sure at first to continue the kingmaker series but in the meantime I still think back to the story of Winter Pilgrims, so Broken faith is on my list now.

Links I enjoyed

  • I’m a huge England lover and I also love the English royals. So I was a bit sad to learn about Prince Philip’s death. He was such an interesting man: his Greek relatives, having fought during WWII… I read a lot of articles about his life but I didn’t keep any links :). I do recommend reading ‘Before the crown‘ though.
  • 11 books to put you out of a reading rut

What was your favourite read this month?

March recap

Hi there, I can’t believe it’s already April. I love spring, it seems like the world is waking up and I’m longing for a rather ‘normal’ summer. In Belgium, we are again in a four-week ‘lockdown’, but in the beginning of March I still managed to go to the office and visit the library, hooray!

Read(ing)

Number of pages read: 1.518 pages
Number of books finished: 4
Favorite read: Warriors of the storm by Bernard Cornwell
Centuries visited: 10th century, 16th century, 17th century, 20th century and 21th century
Countries visited: England and America
Currently reading: I’ll finish Winter pilgrims by Toby Clemens somewhere this week
Next up: The mercies, I could finally get my hands on this one in the library

I finished the strange adventures of H at the beginning of the month and enjoyed it. I’ll keep an eye on any new books from Sarah Burton. Then I started Amenable women from my 2021 TBR, but it turned out a huge disappointment. Luckily, the adventures of Uhtred in 10th century England enhanced my spirits again. Warriors of the storm is the 9th installment in the saxon series, but every bit as good as the first one. I read the color purple for the classics club and finished it in less than a week. Such an important story to be told.

Reviewed

Blogged

Watched

  • The boyfriend and I finally started the first season of The Crown. Late to the party, we know.

Added to my TBR

  • The flame bearer by Bernard Cornwell. No explanation needed here, I guess :D.
  • After having read so many great reviews of ‘Daughters of the night’, I want to try this series myself. And I’d start off with the first book Blood and sugar.
  • The damask rose by Carol McGrath about Eleanor of Castilië will be published in April.
  • When looking for Toby Clemens in the library, I came across Catherine Clemens’ ‘the crimson ribbon‘. A story set during the English civil war. I didn’t take it home this time, but I might during one of my next visits.

Links I enjoyed

What was your favourite March read?

February recap

February always feels like a waiting month. I’m waiting for longer days, better weather, spring… and this year also an end of the lockdown. But well, in terms of reading it was another great month.

Read(ing)

Number of pages read: 1.479 pages
Number of books finished: 4
Favorite read: The true queen by Alison Weir
Centuries visited: 16th century, 18th century, 20th century and the near future
Countries visited: England and France
Currently reading: The strange adventures of H by Sarah Burton. I’m almost finished!
Next up: I guess Amenable women by Mavis Cheek (it’s on my 2021 TBR) but I may pick up something different.

It seems as if I’m reading a lot of stories set in England and France these days. They are my favorite settings after all, but I hope to visit some other countries also. It was difficult to choose my favourite this month. The Alison Weir book received the highest rating, but I also enjoyed Flowers of darkness and the girl from Versailles a lot. Howard’s End was a classics club book which I also read in less than a week. I liked the story but found the characters a bit flat.

Reviewed

Blogged

Watched

  • We’re in the middle of Black sails season 4. But for the rest, I’m just reading :D.

Links I enjoyed

Do you like February?

January recap

Hi there,

Time for my first recap of 2021. I had a great reading month, starting of my classics club challenge with a bang. At the moment, I’m in the midst of Tudor England enjoying Catherine Of Aragon’s story.

Read(ing)

Number of pages read: 1.659 pages
Number of books finished: 3
Favorite read: The tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë
Centuries visited: 17th century and 19th century
Countries visited: England and France
Currently reading: Katherine Of Aragon, the true queen by Alison Weir. I’m on page 318.
Next up: Flowers of darkness by Tatiana De Rosnay

Reviewed

Blogged

Added to my TBR

  • The king’s evil by Andrew Taylor. I’ve decided to read on with this series as I love the setting (alas, more than the characters).

Watched

  • Not so much as I focused on reading and doing some at home pilates in the evenings. I’m still enjoying ‘Once upon a time’ though.
  • After finishing the tenant of Wildfell hall, I started watching the Jane Eyre BBC miniseries again with Toby Stephens. I could use another Brontë fix :D.

Links I enjoyed

How was your January? Did you finish some great books?

December recap

Time for the last recup of 2020. I’m not quite sad that this year’s over. I think we are all looking forward to better times.

Read(ing)

I finished 4 books in December. Of which I mostly enjoyed Queen of the North and Milady.

Number of pages read: 1.550 pages
Number of books finished: 4
Favorite read: Milady by Laura L. Sullivan
Centuries visited: 8th century, 14th century, 17th century and 20th century
Countries visited: England and France
Currently reading: The tenant of Wildfell hall by Anne Brönte for the Classics club. I’m at 40%.
Next up: Not sure yet

Reviewed

Blogged

Added to my TBR

  • I bought a physical copy of Anne O’ Brien’s tapestry of treason, even before starting ‘Queen of the North’. Now I’ve read that one and already came across Constance Of York, the book’s main character, I’m curious if I will enjoy it or not. As I didn’t like Constance from Elizabeth Mortimer’s perspective. We’ll see.
  • The shadow king by Maaza Mengiste because I was told it offers a female perspective on the Ethiopian invasion. I almost never read a book that is set in Africa. So this might be a good start.
  • The bell in the lake by Lars Mytting. After reading Helen’s wonderful review, I’m convinced this book will be straight up in my alley. A book set in a closed community in Norway and about church architecture. Bring it on!
  • The animals of Lockwood manor by Jane Healey, because I saw this one on several Dutch blogs. It’s a gothic-like mystery that is framed as Jane Eyre meets Night at the museum. This just seems like a nice story in-between more difficult books. And a new-to-me author to discover.

Watched

  • The first season of The Spanish princess on Starz (it was free to watch online in the last week of December). It’s historically even worse than Philippa Gregory’s books (and that’s hard to exceed). But I just love watching this kind of series, okay?
  • Once upon a time has arrived at Disney Plus in Belgium. I have started the first of seven seasons. Fairytales, beautiful costumes, Jamie Dornan. Perfect series for a cold Winter day!

Links I enjoyed

Did you enjoy the Christmas holidays?

November recap

I can’t believe it’s already December. In Belgium, there will be no Christmas parties with people outside your own household. I’m not exactly a Christmas person and don’t have a big family, so I don’t mind (a chill Christmas holiday will be fun). But I know it will be a difficult time for a lot of people, especially if you’re single (there’s a rule in Belgium that when you’re single you can see two extra people instead of one – as is the case for households).

What did I read in November?

Read(ing)

I finished my Goodreads Reading Challenge of reading 35 books. The Fabergé secret was my 35th book. I hope to finish around 38 books this year. It was quite a good reading month. I loved the ending of Sovereign, enjoyed the gates of Athens and also the Fabergé secret was a surprising good read! But I wasn’t able to read everyday, as I had some big deadlines at work and some concentration problems when reading because I was sooo tired.

Number of pages read: 1.005
Number of books finished: 3
Favorite read: Sovereign by C.J. Sansom
Centuries visited: 1st century B.C., 8th century, 16th century and 20th century
Countries visited: England, Greece and Russia
Currently reading: I’m at page 203 of A time for swords
Next up: I’m not sure yet, but probably ‘The forgotten orphan’ as it’s my last Netgalley read for this year.

Reviewed

Blogged

Added to my TBR

The boyfriend and I are maybe a bit obsessed with the Hamilton musical and you may see that in the books I added this month. I was looking for historical fiction books and authors about Hamilton/the American Revolution. If you have any recommendations, let me know in the comments.

Watched

  • HAMILTON ❤
  • Black sails season 3 (after having watched the first two seasons more than once)

Links I enjoyed

What was your favorite read in November?