Friday, May 29, 2009

Music Mix Friday...George Baker "Una Paloma Blanca"

In an act of familial conformity, I present to you Music Mix Friday... A few months ago, someone at my office mentioned this song to the rest of us and how much she had loved it when she was little. None of us had heard it so she decided to find it on youtube and play it for us. Somehow, this outrageously ridiculous song has since become our office theme song. Whenever it's too calm and quit or we're just working too hard or it's been a bad day someone will find it on youtube and play it for us all. And everything's instantly okay. There really just isn't enough recorder in today's pop music.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Plantagenet Prelude - Jean Plaidy

the plantagenet prelude
jean plaidy
c. 1976
432 pages
completed 5/12/2009

read for: plantagenet saga

*may contain spoilers*

This is the first novel in Jean Plaidy's Plantagenet Saga. This novel is broken into two parts, the first being the story of Eleanor of Aquitaine and her marriage and divorce to Louis VII of France. The second part focuses on Eleanor's second husband, King Henry II of England and his relationship with "frenemy" Thomas Beckett (I love that I get to use that word when talking about history!).

It's taken me a long time to review this book, and I've started reading several things since, so details may be a little fuzzy. I really enjoy Jean Plaidy as a historical fiction author. She's very detail oriented as well as character driven. The only problem I had with this book is...well, she kind of already wrote it. I mean, The Courts of Love (my very first and not very good review) was also the story of Eleanor of Aquitaine. Don't get me wrong, there were some differences. That novel was written as part of the "Queens of England" series and encompasses her whole life, whereas this novel is only up until the death of Thomas Beckett. And I guess this novel shifts its focus from Eleanor to Henry during the second half so it's more the history of England as opposed to just the history of Eleanor. But still. I had already read this story from this author, so I got a little bored. Once I get to something she hasn't written about before I'm sure I will enjoy the series more.

One problem I often find when reading historical fiction about real people...sometimes there's nobody likable in that part of history. Eleanor was selfish and stuck up and (let's be for real) kind of a slut, Louis was weak and lame, Henry was selfish and childish, etc. And there's nothing you can really do about that.


Friday, May 8, 2009

Gods Behaving Badly - Marie Phillips

gods behaving badly
marie phillips
c. 2007
292 pages
completed 5/4/2009

read for: TBR challenge

*may contain spoilers*

All the Greek gods, at least those who are not bound to a certain place (like Hades, Persephone, and Poseidon), are currently living together in a run down house in London. Apollo, god of the sun, is a TV psychic; Artemis, goddess of hunting and chastity, is a professional dog walker; Aphrodite, goddess of beauty, is a phone sex operator; etc. After years of living together and their powers slowly waning, a fight between Apollo and Aphrodite escalates until the Earth is almost destroyed. With the help of Artemis and Hermes, two average Londoners must brave the underworld to become the Hero's from the ancient stories and save the world.

To be honest, I was disappointed in this book. I'd heard a lot of good things about it, that it was so fresh and funny, and it didn't quite live up to expectations. I did think parts of it were funny, but some things just fell flat for me. Most of the characters were pretty unlikeable, including Alice and Neil the two humans. I just never quite got into it. Oh well.


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

She's going back to her roots...

Maybe this is a bad idea. I'm not sure. But I'm going to try to add a few more books to my plate. We'll see how this goes. I already know I'm way behind on some of my challenges, but I'm going to add just one more. Maggie Reads' Southern Reading Challenge! Between the May 15th and August 15th, read at least three books set in the South written by Southern authors. Visit Maggie's blog for ideas. My books will be...

1. Welcome to the World, Baby Girl - Fannie Flagg
2. Girls in Trucks - Katie Crouch
3. Miscarriage of Justice - Kip Gayden

This was a great challenge last year. I read two books that I just loved (and one not so much). I'm looking forward to my reading plan for this year!

It's Tuesday, where are you?

Angel Station, Islington
London, England

To be read...

I'm a little behind in getting this post up...

The Priory - Dorothy Whipple
The Heart of the Matter - Graham Greene
Going Down South - Bonnie J Glover
Q and A - Vikas Swarup
The Whistling Season - Ivan Doig
Shanghai Girls - Lisa See
The Septembers of Shiraz - Dalia Sofer
The Forgotten Garden - Kate Morton
Frenchman's Creek - Daphne du Mauier
Madapple - Christina Melorum
The Owl Killers - Karen Maitland
The Forgery of Venus - Michael Gruber
Dissolution - CJ Sansome
Fingersmith - Sarah Waters
Don't Stop Believing - Brian Raftery
The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down - Anne Fadiman
The Devil and Miss Prym - Paulo Coelho
The Traitor's Wife - Susan Higginbotham
Tea and Other Ayama Na Tales - Eleanor Bluestein
The Book Thief - Markus Zusak
The Good Mayor - Andrew Nicoll
Mistress of the Sun - Sandra Gulland
Open Me - Sunshine O'Donnell
Freakonomics - Steven D Levitt and Stephen J Dubner
People of the Book - Geraldine Brooks
The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks - E Lockhart
Catch Me if You Can - Frank W Abagnale

27 new books...