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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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!
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?
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.
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.
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.
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
Letter of 1941 discovered in Antwerp church. Four workmen wrote down some life lessons in 1941: “Make sure you stock your houses well, with rice, coffee, flour, tobacco, wheat, and grain, so you can feed yourself! Enjoy life while you can. Don’t wait to find another woman, and for those who are married, take care of your home! Cheers, lads!”
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.
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
I reviewed four books of which ‘The poison bed’ is definitely my favorite story.
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.
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.
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.