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?

October recap

Hi all! Hope you are doing well out there. I haven’t had the best of months in October. Some stressy situations at home and at work at the same time, and all the while the world is still going crazy. So this had an impact on the amount of time I could devote to reading. Also the fact that I started with high expectations on a certain book that I struggled to finish at the end didn’t help. But here’s my recap.

Read(ing)

I managed to finish three books in October and when you are reading this I will have finished ‘Sovereign’ also. I enjoyed both Valhalla and The revolt as they tell the story of two formidable queens: Mary of Teck and Eleanor Of Aquitaine. I expected a solid gothic novel from ‘The confessions of Frannie Langton’ but it turned out this wasn’t a book for me. Especially the writing put me off. Too bad!

To avoid a reading slump, I started ‘sovereign’. And yes, this is again so good. I like the setting of this Shardlake mystery: the summer progress in the north in 1541 when Henry VIII is married to his fifth queen Catherine Howard. Although I do know what will happen, I’m still intrigued by the murder mystery and all the other plot lines.

Number of pages read: 1.274
Number of books finished: 3
Favorite read: Valhalla by Alan Robert Clark
Centuries visited: 12th century, 16th century, 19th century, and 20th century
Countries visited: England, France and Jamaica
Currently reading: I’m at page 501 of Sovereign by C.J. Sansom
Next up: The gates of Athens by Conn Iggulden

Reviewed

Added to my TBR

I bought one Kindle book that made it to my TBR this month:

I’m behind reading all of your reviews so I didn’t add any other books to my list. Strange, I know. But it has been a tough month.

Watched

  • I enjoyed some Disney classics and live action movies such as Beauty and the beast, Tangled, Up and The Nutcracker and the Four Realms.
  • Hamilton of course, on repeat on Spotify and Disney+. I already know some songs by hard :D.
  • The boyfriend and I are still watching Knightfall and are in the middle of season 2 of Peaky Blinders.

Links I enjoyed

How was your October?

September recap

It’s so strange September is already at an end. I’m not ready for Autumn yet, luckily we still had some sunny days in Belgium. But I also had a though time at the office being buried beneath my to-do list :D. Everyday’s hustle has made me read less than I wanted to.

This is my first monthly recap! The plan is to look back at every month in more or less the same format. So let me know what you think.

Read(ing)

At the beginning of the month I showed you my library haul and I managed to read all three of them. I struggled a bit with ‘the last hours’ as it wasn’t quite what I expected. I also read one Netgalley book ‘the testimony of Alys Twist‘ that was set in Tudor England.

Number of pages read: 1.746
Number of books read: 4
Favorite read: The passion of Artemisia
Centuries visited: 14th century, 16th century and 17th century (twice)
Countries visited: England and Italy
Currently reading: Valhalla about queen Mary Of Teck

Reviewed

I reviewed four books of which ‘The poison bed’ is definitely my favorite story.

Added to my TBR

Here I will add a list of books that made it to my TBR this month. I’m quite picky on which books make it to my list. And I also have a personal rule that I never may have more books on my TBR than books I’ve read in total. So this are the books that convinced me they are worth reading.

  • Flowers of darkness by Tatiana De Rosnay. As she’s one of my favorite authors and I just read everything she publishes. This one seems different from her previous work.
  • Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell. I waited a long time to add this one, as a lot of reviewers indicated that it’s not really about Shakespeare and more about the loss of a child. But now it has won the Women’s Prize for Fiction and I read a few more positive reviews I must read it some day.
  • The girl in Hyacinth blue by Susan Vreeland. I liked her book of Artemisia and this is Vreeland’s even more famous book about Johannes Vermeer.
  • The fire court by Andrew Taylor. I was a bit disappointed by ‘the ashes of London’ but a lot of reviewers indicate that the second book will be better. So I will give this series another chance.

Watched

  • Disneyplus has finally arrived in Belgium and the boyfriend and I immediately took a subscription for a year (he’s a Star Wars fan). It will be great to (re)watch my favorite Disney classics during Winter and discover some new favorites.
  • We have started watching season 1 of Knightfall on Netflix. It’s about templars looking for the Holy Grail in 14th century Paris. Right up my alley :). It’s entertaining so far.

Some of my favorite links

  • I have become Inge’s BFF on her blog The Belgian reviewer. You will get a look into my life and library so you must check it out. Inge is such a nice person.
  • I discovered the term ‘vintage fiction’ in Davida’s discussion’s post about defining historical fiction. Interesting!
  • And this is a Dutch only link but it’s about how young people read less these days not because they don’t want to read, but because they read the wrong books. The article states that non-fiction books full of productivity hacks are topping the bestseller lists but that they don’t have the power to sweep you away as only fiction books can. ‘It doesn’t matter what you read, as long as you read’ is the final conclusion of this article. I couldn’t agree more.

How was your reading month?