I’ve been watching a new Lifetime show , Kim of Queens and I am currently doling out y’alls like a southern belle. Apologies for that :).
Last night I finished yet another book and realized I haven’t kept my lovely bloggies abreast of any of my summer reads! THE HORROR. So, in true fourth-grader fashion, here’s what I read this summer.
50 Shades Darker by E.L James
I’m not really that ashamed to admit I read the entire 50 Shades Trilogy. For whatever reason, I had to find out what happened with Miss Steele and Christian. It also helped that I found them all at Goodwill for $2 – because – let’s be real – nobody wants to be seen buying these at Barnes & Noble (although, I probably would have).
50 Shades Freed by E.L James
I can sum up this trilogy, if we’re calling it that in ONE word: sex. There is really not much more to these books than that. I suppose one could call them educational in a way? Whatever. And yes, I am seeing the movie.
The Boleyn Inheritance by Philippa Gregory
Oh, Philippa. How I love your writing. I think I may have enjoyed this book even more than The Other Boleyn Girl AND The Favored Child. This book focused on two of Henry VIII’s lesser known wives, Anne of Cleves and little Katherine (Kitty) Howard. After his subsequent marriages to Anne Boleyn and Jane Seymour (both dead), Henry decided to wed Anne of Cleves to form an alliance with her country and family. But girlfriend was prude and Henry wasn’t having it. He got rid of Anne so that he could marry the young Katherine Howard (who was young enough to be his grand daughter) but this relationship quickly crumbled and Katherine ended up on the chopping block too.
Unlike The Other Boleyn Girl, I liked seeing the older, grosser version of Henry VIII. He was waaay past his prime, with a rotten leg and a horrible disposition, but the women and men of court continued to throw themselves at him, showering him with compliments and praise. He had no idea that he was this putrid, sorry excuse for a human being because nobody would dare tell him so.
The Paris Wife by Paula McLain
I touched on this book in an earlier post, but never described how much I loved it. Have you ever read something that you loved so much, that you read each page twice simply because you didn’t want it to end? THAT, my friends, is how I felt about The Paris Wife.
Basically, this book is about Ernest Hemingway and his first wife, Hadley, their life in Paris and their inevitable separation. First of all, this book made me want to read everything by Hemingway (or Hem, as I refer to him now). Although this book is technically fiction, the author brings Ernest completely to life through Hadley, and highlights his point of view in a very interesting and poignant way.
Hadley is just awesome. She’s awesome. She is smart, practical yet also fun, and incredibly perceptive. She has a deep, true love for Ernest throughout the entirety of the book, despite his alcoholism, fighting and crazy antics. She loves him even when his wandering eye gets the best of them both. She lets him go and it is sad, so sad. But it’s also wonderful, in a way. I just fell in love with both these people and can’t wait to discover more.
U is for Undertow by Sue Grafton
This book I plucked from the shelves of the “library” (i.e four rickety shelves of books) at our remote honeymoon resort in Lovina, Bali. I was desperate and there were probably 10 titles all together written in English.
I do lurve a good mystery every now and then, though. I have to admit I kept thinking of that episode of The Office where Phyllis tries to get Sue Grafton to be in Dunder Mifflin’s commercial and she comes back all distraught. teehee. This book was exactly what you’d expect from a hugely successful mystery writer. What I found to be most interesting is how she describes literally EVERYTHING happening. Pick up any Grafton and I’m sure you’ll notice this too.
Overall, it was enjoyable! A great, mindless read for the pool and on the plane.
Marie Antoinette, The Last Queen of France by Evelyne Lever
Not sure if any of y’all remember, but a few years ago I went to Paris with my family and we spent a day at Versailles!! My Mom, sister and Dad were all pooped from touring the palace and didn’t have the energy to go out into the gardens and meadows by the Petit Trianon, so I went by m’self. It was honestly, the SINGLE most amazing thing I’ve ever done – and I think the reason why I loved it so much was that I was all alone, with only my thoughts. I even scampered off the designated “pathways” and frolicked (YES) in the meadows as I’m sure Marie Antoinette and her daughter, Maria Therese had done 300 years ago!
Tangent, sorry! Needless to say, I have ALWAYS been obsessed with Versailles, Louis, Marie Antoinette, macarons and petticoats. I decided to read this book no matter how boring it got, and yeah, it DID get boring. But I also learned SO much. Like how everyone at court was in the room when Marie Antoinette gave birth to her daughter, so that everyone knew she actually had it and it was hers. Like, WOW – how awful would that be?
Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walters
Ok, SO. This book is simply amazing. I would recommend this one to anyone – any walk of life, age, sex, whatever, it is that good. Also, sidenote: the author lives in SPOKANE. Like, who knew that kind of talent could come out of Spokane, WA? Crazy. The plot is very tricky to explain but it reminds me a little of Love Actually. Where there’s a bunch of different little stories that all somehow weave together, although these stories stretch back some forty years, which gives them a depth you will have to read to believe.
And that’s it for me! What should I read next?? Let me know in the comments!