Well everyone, will this rain ever stop?
All I want to do this gloomy Saturday is curl up with a mug of tea and a good book, however the house work has been calling. But I have taken a break to work out another book to read for the Summer Reading Challenge.
This prompt is: Actually want to read: read a book that has been on your Want To Read Shelf for more than a year.
My Want to Read shelf on Goodreads started in 2012 so there are rather a lot of books to choose from.
I have decided to pick one from each year and choose from there.
2012: The Man in the Iron Mask by Alexandre Dumas
In the dark recesses of the Bastille, a young prisoner known only as Phillipe has spent eight years of his short life. When Aramis, posing as his confessor, bribes his way into the prison, the truth about the man’s identity is brought to light. It is a secret which, if revealed, could bring down the King of France, Louis XIV, whose corrupt rule is destroying the well-being of his country.
The ensuing jailbreak and the consequent struggle for power brings the musketeers into swashbuckling action, taking us back to the days of chivalry and making The Man in the Iron Mask one of the most enthralling historical romances in literature.
I love Dumas so would be very happy to read this book over the summer, but it is very weighty and maybe be a bit on the long side for a summer read.
2013: The King’s Curse by Philippa Gregory
The final novel in the Cousins’ War series, the basis for the critically acclaimed Starz miniseries, The White Queen, by #1 New York Times bestselling author and “the queen of royal fiction” (USA TODAY) Philippa Gregory tells the fascinating story of Margaret Pole, cousin to the “White Princess,” Elizabeth of York, and lady-in-waiting to Katherine of Aragon.
Regarded as yet another threat to the volatile King Henry VII’s claim to the throne, Margaret Pole, cousin to Elizabeth of York (known as the White Princess) and daughter of George, Duke of Clarence, is married off to a steady and kind Lancaster supporter—Sir Richard Pole. For his loyalty, Sir Richard is entrusted with the governorship of Wales, but Margaret’s contented daily life is changed forever with the arrival of Arthur, the young Prince of Wales, and his beautiful bride, Katherine of Aragon. Margaret soon becomes a trusted advisor and friend to the honeymooning couple, hiding her own royal connections in service to the Tudors.
After the sudden death of Prince Arthur, Katherine leaves for London a widow, and fulfills her deathbed promise to her husband by marrying his brother, Henry VIII. Margaret’s world is turned upside down by the surprising summons to court, where she becomes the chief lady-in-waiting to Queen Katherine. But this charmed life of the wealthiest and “holiest” woman in England lasts only until the rise of Anne Boleyn, and the dramatic deterioration of the Tudor court. Margaret has to choose whether her allegiance is to the increasingly tyrannical king, or to her beloved queen; to the religion she loves or the theology which serves the new masters. Caught between the old world and the new, Margaret Pole has to find her own way as she carries the knowledge of an old curse on all the Tudors.
One of the rare Gregory novels I have not read, a definite contender.
2014: Jaws by Peter Benchley
Smashing together, they crush bones and flesh and organs into jelly.
The jaws of a giant killer shark that terrorizes a small holiday resort on Long Island.
Private feuds, lusts and jealousies take second place to a relentless duel, almost unbearable in its suspense and danger…
What a good book to read on the beach? I must admit I do want to go snorkeling whilst away, but this might make me change my mind.
2015: The King’s Sister by Anne O’Brien
1382. Daughter of John of Gaunt, sister to the future King Henry IV, Elizabeth of Lancaster has learned the shrewd tricks of the court from England’s most powerful men. In a time of political turmoil, allegiance to family is everything. A Plantagenet princess should never defy her father’s wishes. Yet headstrong Elizabeth refuses to bow to the fate of a strategic marriage. Rejecting her duty, Elizabeth weds the charming and ruthlessly ambitious Sir John Holland: Duke of Exeter, half-brother to King Richard II and the one man she has always wanted. But defiance can come at a price. 1399. Elizabeth’s brother Henry has seized the throne. Her husband, confident to the usurped Richard, masterminds a secret plot against the new King. Trapped in a dangerous web, Elizabeth must make a choice. Defy the King and betray her family. Or condemn her husband and send him to his death. Sister. Wife. Traitor. She holds the fate of England in her hands.
I have owned this book for a very long time. I met the author and had it signed when I bought it. Anne O’Brien was taking part in a book day at Berrington Hall a National Trust property and she was a lovely lady who I had a very long chat with.
2016: While you were Sleeping by Kathryn Croft
Yesterday your life was perfect. Today you’ll find out that was all a lie.
Tara Logan adores her perfect little family: husband, Noah, and two children, teenager Rosie and eleven-year-old Spencer.
But her happiness is shattered when she wakes up one morning in her neighbour’s bed, with no memory of how she got there or what happened between them. And worse – he has been stabbed to death.
Convinced she didn’t kill Lee and scared of losing everything she cares about, Tara flees home and stays silent, holding her breath as the investigation grips the neighbourhood.
But as her daughter spirals out of control, and her husband becomes increasingly distant, Tara starts to wonder if someone in her life knows what really happened that night. When the police turn their questions towards her, Tara realises she has to find out.
But what will it take to uncover the real story, and can she survive the truth?
This has been sat on my Kindle for far too long and needs to be read.
2017: Apple Tree Yard by Louise Doughty
Yvonne Carmichael has worked hard to achieve the life she always wanted: a high-flying career in genetics, a beautiful home, a good relationship with her husband and their two grown-up children.
Then one day she meets a stranger at the Houses of Parliament and, on impulse, begins a passionate affair with him – a decision that will put everything she values at risk.
At first she believes she can keep the relationship separate from the rest of her life, but she can’t control what happens next. All of her careful plans spiral into greater deceit and, eventually, a life-changing act of violence.
Apple Tree Yard is a psychological thriller about one woman’s adultery and an insightful examination of the values we live by and the choices we make, from an acclaimed writer at the height of her powers.
This book has been sat on my bookshelf for way too long and another strong contender.
2018: Red Sister by Mark Lawrence
At the Convent of Sweet Mercy young girls are raised to be killers. In a few the old bloods show, gifting talents rarely seen since the tribes beached their ships on Abeth. Sweet Mercy hones its novices’ skills to deadly effect: it takes ten years to educate a Red Sister in the ways of blade and fist.
But even the mistresses of sword and shadow don’t truly understand what they have purchased when Nona Grey is brought to their halls as a bloodstained child of eight, falsely accused of murder: guilty of worse.
Stolen from the shadow of the noose, Nona is sought by powerful enemies, and for good reason. Despite the security and isolation of the convent her secret and violent past will find her out. Beneath a dying sun that shines upon a crumbling empire, Nona Grey must come to terms with her demons and learn to become a deadly assassin if she is to survive…
I won this book on a Goodreads giveaway at the beginning of 2018 and it has been sat on my TBR shelf ever since. Really like the sound of the storyline and was very pleased to win the book.
So that is my list to choose from, I will have a good think and see what I come up with. If anybody has any advice about the books it would be gratefully received.
The List so Far:-
Good as Gold:- The Casual Vacancy by J.K Rowling
The Book is Better: – The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
Short and Sweet:- The Turn of the Screw by Henry James
On the Bandwagon:- The Handmaid’s Tale