Hello my fellow bookworms, I hope you are all well. November has rushed by for me with my full time return to work and two weekends away: first for a reunion with my new friends from my Amalfi holiday and the second down to south coast to see my mum and stepdad for their birthdays. With all that going on, here’s what I read over the month:
The Golden Antilles by Tim Severin (1970) ***
First, I finished the riveting non-fiction, The Golden Antilles by Tim Severin, that illuminated the dangerous obsessive search for the fabled city-of-gold, El Dorado; the promises of easy riches in this new world; and the ensuing power struggle between Spain and England. A fascinating history which I found as descriptive and flowed as well as any historical adventure!
Sanditon by Jane Austen (1817) **
Next, I zipped through the unfinished classic, Sanditon by Jane Austen, that set up the scene for young Charlotte Heywood’s visit to the new, bathing resort of Sanditon. A good if teasingly cut-short read, which had the potential for more of Austen’s trademark wit and romance, but also perhaps a glimpse into the more decadent and potentially seedier side to Georgian England’s pleasure towns.
Stalin: A Very Brief History by Mark Black (2013) *
Also, one lazy Sunday morning, I polished off the political history, Stalin: A Very Brief History by Mark Black, an interesting, quick, easy read; which taught me the basics of the life and rise to power of the notorious leader of the Soviet Union, and the horrific outcomes and stats of his cruel regimes policies.
The Virgin of the Wind Rose by Glen Craney (2014) [DNF]
Sadly I then had to make the tough decision, at 45%, to give up on the mystery-thriller The Virgin of the Wind Rose by Glen Craney. While at first it was a fun, light read, eventually the typos and anachronisms got too much for me. The final straw being a glaring mistake about the queen dropping two crumpets in her tea rather than one… You shouldn’t be dropping any thick, flat savoury cakes in your tea! My first DNF of the year – Such a shame because the premise had such promise.
Margaret Tudor by Melanie Clegg (2018) ***
Finally, on the last day of the month, I finished a third non-fiction, Margaret Tudor by Melanie Clegg, an interesting history of the eldest daughter of Henry VII; wife of James IV of Scotland; mother to James V; and grandmother of Mary, Queen of Scots. A figure often overlooked and obscured in the long shadow of her more infamous brother, Henry VIII. I have never read anything about Margaret before, so I learnt a lot and it was really entertaining too.
Altogether that is five books read, although with the DNF that actually brings my total down to four, which has been my average amount for the last couple of months. So thankfully my DNF didn’t affect my numbers too bad. It was a mixed month of reading, however I think my pick of month has to go jointly to The Golden Antilles by Tim Severin and Margaret Tudor by Melanie Clegg.
During the month I also started reading science-fiction classic, War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells. Unfortunately, while my reading numbers haven’t dropped, my busy month has not left me much time to blog. So I am sorry it has been quieter around her and you have quite a lot of reviews to look forward to!
You may also have noticed my reading has been very non-fiction heavy, which was all encouraged by me taking part in Nonfiction November 2019: the popular, yearly reading event, that celebrates and gets us discussing our non-fiction reading. As well as inspiring my reading, it got me posting each week on different topics too: Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4 and Week 5.
Now over to you: Have you read any of these books? What did you read in November?