Saturday, July 11, 2009

THE OTHER QUEEN- A Book Review


Royalty and chivalry would have to be one of the most popular subjects that stories are told. No wonder stories like Snow White, Cinderella, and Sleeping Beauty and their Prince Charmings will never cease because they have captivated many. Stories simple as it seems but grand because of Royalty and chivalry.

"Some days you hear one story of Mary Queen of Scots, some days another. What you will never, never hear, even if you listen a hundred times, even when the story is told by her adoring admirers, is the story of a woman who consults her own interest, thinks for her self, and marries for her best advantage. But since in this life a woman is a piece of property, she does well to consider her improvement, her sale at the best price, and her further ownership. What else? Shall she let herself tumble down?"
-Elizabeth Talbot; Countess Shrewsbury

This is how this current read of mine starts. A story that a lot of people then and now have been captivated. All captivated by the beauty of Queen Mary of Scots and her downfall, in a novel by Philippa Gregory; “The Other Queen.”
Stories of royalty, of Kings and Queen with their vast Kingdoms has always been intriguing, no doubt. And this novel based on the life of Queen Mary I on her exile to her death on the scaffold in British soil is captivating. I have always been drawn to stories based on history and I must admit that The Tudor is one of my favorite. This novel a mixed between history and fiction blended together makes it perfect. I think it is brilliant to put words behind this famous history. The novel itself will retell history with all its deadly plots and conspiracies, rugged escapes, rebellion, spies, Earl and Duke, from a barren queen to a whore with a crown. All of these make this novel an indulgence.

This would be the first novel that I have read from Philippa Gregory’s novels, “The Other Boleyn Girl” as the most popular. I know this would not be the last. I think to write fiction based on a nonfiction story is a gift, and she has that.

For people drawn to history this is a MUST READ!!

I give this novel a four out of five star rating.




Mary Queen of Scots




M.

Monday, July 6, 2009

The Story of Edgar Sawtelle- An Opinion

I am not writing a book review with the book that I just finished reading because I did not finish reading it. I don’t think it would be fair for the author or for the readers of this blog to think that I am making a book review out of assumption, on something that I haven’t finish reading. So I am writing an opinion instead.

I don’t want to drag everything on what book it is. The book that I just read, which I stopped halfway through, is David Wroblewski’s “The Story of Edgar Sawtelle”. This book came highly recommended by Oprah’s Book Club, so of course I was intrigued. I must say that one of my references in looking for must reads aside from New York Times best sellers list is Oprah’s book recommendations. And this is on top of her list. Okay so why did I drop the book? As simple as….so dragging to the extent of getting boring. Mind you it is my opinion. The book is about this special boy – Edgar- who is mute and his love for dogs. The thing that makes the book boring is it makes you wait for the main problem to rise. I was searching for it, and I gave it five days of reading it and yes I have to wait for five days to get to half of the book, about 250 pages read to find it. I got tired after that. Now that the problem arises the story drags again. I know the author wants to incorporate the lives of the dogs to the tragedy of Edgar’s life but still there are too many details that I surely don’t want to know. I mean GET TO THE POINT. I must say I really did try my patience, I told myself that as soon as I know the problem of the story then I know I can finish the book. Then the dragging part begins again, so sadly I said ENOUGH of it and moved on to my next book.

I must say I am very disappointed because I did expect a lot from this novel. But I think avid dog lovers will love reading this book (no wonder Oprah loves it). Well if you have patience and eager to know the subject then the book is worth the read. But if not then I suggest you rethink before reading it.

I won’t be giving my rating for this book for as I mentioned this is not a book review but my own opinion of the matter.

One thing is for sure my next read…. IS NOT BORING!

M.