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?

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 CastiliĂ« 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?

What do I want to read in 2021?

I’m not the kind of person who sets a fixed TBR for each year, season or month. I love the
spontaneity of just grabbing an interesting read in the library. But because of that, it might occur that the books on my shelves, Kindle and wishlist are being neglected by library reads. A TBR can help to prioritize the books I really want to read. So, this is an experiment to see if a yearly TBR with a limited number of highly anticipated books (already on my shelves) will help me pick these up sooner.

So I decided to select this 10 books I would like to finish in 2021:

  1. First of the Tudors by Joanna Hickson

This one was also on my autumn TBR, but I chose ‘Queen of the north’ over this one. However, I do want to read more of Hickson’s books. And this one about Jasper Tudor is next.

2. Amenable women by Mavis Cheek

A dual timeframe novel about Anne Of Cleves that I bought at a library sales. It has been on my shelves for more than a year now and I hope this to be an entertaining and easy read.

3. Revelation by C.J. Sansom

The next Matthew Shardlake is set during Henry VIII’s last marriage with Catherine Parr. I won’t wait long to read this.

4. World without end by Ken Follett

I have bought this one for my boyfriend as a Christmas present. We both enjoyed Pillars of the earth a lot, but the books are huge and I hope having a physical copy will help to prioritize this series. The third book, a column of fire, is already on my shelves ;).

5. A book from C.W. Gortner

This can either be the Vatican princess that tells the story of Lucrezia Borgia or The Romanov Empress about Maria Feodorovna (I own both). I love his writing.

6. The scarlet Contessa by Jeanna Kalogridis

The first kindle book I bought but still haven’t read. It always gets snowed over by other books, but I do love the story of Catherine Sforza. It feels like I’m saving this one for the perfect moment, but as perfect doesn’t exist, I do want to read it this year.

7. Warriors of the storm by Bernard Cornwell

This is the next installment in the Saxon series about Uthred of Bebbanburg. I loved the cliffhanger of the previous book, the empty throne.

8. Of price and blood by Patricia Bracewell

I’m not good at finishing trilogies if I wait to long with starting the second book. But I don’t want this to happen with Bracewell’s book. The first novel about Emma Normandy was one of my top 2020 reads, so I just have to read ‘the price of blood’ in 2021.

9. A thousand ships by Nathalie Haynes

Let this be my next Greek retelling fix! It has been on my radar for more than a year now.

10. The Essex serpent by Sarah Perry

Another one I can borrow from my boyfriend that neither him nor I’ve read. I have no clue why I’m waiting to start this one. It seems like the perfect autumn read.

What will you be reading in 2021?

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 BrontĂ« fix :D.

Links I enjoyed

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