WWW Wednesday: 15/06/2022

WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

The rules are answer the questions below and share a link to your blog in the comments section of Sam’s blog.

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you will read next?

Hello!

I hope everyone is having a good week so far. I am really enjoying this gorgeous weather we are currently having but sadly I have not managed as much reading as I would like.

What I am Currently Reading

I can’t seem to settle with my reading at the moment and have started yet another book. Three books at once is very unusual for me, as I usually prefer to read one book at time but to be honest I am so tired at night that I keep falling asleep whilst reading Dombey and Son, and so I have chosen a lighter book to read, which is The Diary of a Bookseller. The Greek Myths book was because I was missing a nonfiction read. I quite like reading nonfiction in the morning for some reason.

What I have Recently Finished Reading

Sadly, no books finished this week. Instead I just keep starting more!

What I Think I will Read Next

I am hopefully going on holiday soon so I will need to choose some suitable reading material but not sure yet. But I will not be starting any new books till I have finished one of my current reads.

Please drop me a comment with your WWW Wednesday and I will head over for a visit.

Happy Reading

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome by Professor Mary Beard (Review)

SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome by Professor Mary Beard

Blurb

By 63 BCE the city of Rome was a sprawling, imperial metropolis of more than a million inhabitants. But how did this massive city—the seat of power for an empire that spanned from Spain to Syria—emerge from what was once an insignificant village in central Italy? 

In S.P.Q.R., Beard changes our historical perspective, exploring how the Romans themselves challenged the idea of imperial rule, how they responded to terrorism and revolution, and how they invented a new idea of citizenship and nation, while also keeping her eye open for those overlooked in traditional histories: women, slaves and ex-slaves, conspirators, and losers. 

Like the best detectives, Beard separates fact from fiction, myth and propaganda from historical record. She introduces the familiar characters of Julius Caesar, Cicero, and Nero as well as the untold, the loud women, the shrewd bakers, and the brave 

jokers. 

S.P.Q.R. promises to shape our view of Roman history for decades to come. 

100 illustrations; 16 pages of colour; 5 maps

Review

I will be honest I did not read this very quickly but I still absolutely loved it. I love how Beard explains things and could easily read her books all the time. I don’t find her writing too in depth or complicated to read but find it informative, interesting and rather funny at times. 

Beard’s focus in this book is how Rome grew not how Rome fell. The book begins at around 63BCE with Cicero uncovering the plot of Catiline. By uncovering this plot by Catiline, Cicero basically saves the state. Although Beard is explaining about the beginnings of Rome she starts in 63BCE because there are more historical records that exist from that period. The Romans very kindly left us a lot of written material.

I found this book a refreshing take on the Roman history because it focuses on Rome’s advancement, how it grew and developed rather than its decline which a lot of books focus on. Beard talks about consuls, senators, generals, emperors and even the middle classes, the poor and slaves. Having studied Classics I know that there is very little written about the lower classes in Rome or in fact women because the people who were writing in Ancient Rome were mainly rich men and that is what they focused on in their writing, they didn’t really bother with the lower classes or women. The fact that Beard has bothered to include the lower classes and women in her book is brilliant and very enjoyable to read about. 

The maps and illustrations both colour and black and white work brilliantly within the book and I found them very helpful with the text. I found the maps particularly useful and the colour illustrations very beautiful. 

I know that some people take issue with this book and I know it is nowhere near a definitive history of Ancient Rome but I found it a highly enjoyable read and not a stale read like some books I have read on Ancient Rome or Greece. I give this book 5 out of 5 Dragons. 

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Purchase Links

Book depository | Foyles | Waterstones | Wordery

(All purchases made using one of the above affiliate links gives a small percentage of money to myself with no extra cost to yourself. All proceeds go towards the upkeep of this blog. Thank you ever so much, your support is gratefully received.)

About the author

Mary Beard is a Professor of Classics at the University of Cambridge, a Fellow of Newman College and Classics editor of the TLS. She has world-wide academic acclaim, and is a fellow of the British Academy and a foreign member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. 

The Classics Club: Spin #30 – Results

Hello!

So the results of the latest spin are in and the number is 5. For my list for Spin #30 the post is here. Number 5 on my list is Scenes of Clerical Life by George Eliot.

A collection of three stories. The Stories take place in and around the fictional town of Milby in the English Midlands. Each of the Scenes concerns a different Anglican clergyman, but is not necessarily centred upon him. Eliot examines, among other things, the effects of religious reform and the tension between the Established and the Dissenting Churches on the clergymen and their congregations, and draws attention to various social issues, such as poverty, alcoholism, and domestic violence.

I haven’t read much George Eliot so I am looking forward to reading this book. Hopefully I can finish it by August 7th.

Now I have started reading classics again my TBR pile is growing as there are so many I want to read.

Please drop me a comment if you are doing the Classics Club challenge or if you have taken part in the Spin Challenge.

Happy Reading

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

The Weekly Brief

Hello!

I hope everyone has had a good weekend so far. I have had a busy weekend with work so sadly not much reading done.

Posts this Week

Currently Reading

Sadly not much reading of either of these but hopefully I will have a better week next week.

Happy Reading

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

The Classics Club: Spin #30

Hello!

It is time for another spin event from The Classics Club. I really enjoyed the last one I did, because it chose me an absolutely brilliant book that I think I would have left to the end of the challenge. So here are my 20 books, whichever number gets picked on the 12th June I will read and review the book before the set date of 7th August 2022.

  1. Silas Marner by George Eliot
  2. The Woodlanders by Thomas Hardy
  3. Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
  4. Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
  5. Scenes of Clerical Life by George Eliot
  6. Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne
  7. Under the Greenwood Tree by Thomas Hardy
  8. Three Men in a Boat by Jerome. K. Jerome
  9. The Vicar of Wakefield by Oliver Goldsmith
  10. Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte
  11. North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
  12. The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot
  13. Evelina by Frances Burney
  14. The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins
  15. Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
  16. Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift
  17. Lorna Doone by R. D. Blackmore
  18. The Runaway by Elizabeth Anna Hart
  19. The Way We Live Now by Anthony Trollope
  20. Candide by Voltaire

I’m really looking forward to what the random selection will be and I hope I will be able to read the book within the time frame. 

Wish me luck!

Please drop me a comment if you are taking part in the Spin event or if you have read any of the books on my list.

Happy Reading

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

WWW Wednesday: 8/06/2022

WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

The rules are answer the questions below and share a link to your blog in the comments section of Sam’s blog.

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you will read next?

Hello!

I hope everyone is having a good week so far. I have had a much better week reading which has been really nice.

What I am Currently Reading

I am still plodding away with Dombey and Son, some days I read more than others. I started The Greek Myths that Shape the Way we Think yesterday and I am really enjoying it.

What I have Recently Finished Reading

I have finally finished the SPQR by Mary Beard, I have been reading it on and off for about 8 months. The two books about the Queen I read over the Jubilee bank holiday weekend.

What I Think I will Read Next

I think it will most likely be the next Expanse book as I am really enjoying the series at the moment but it always depends on what mood I am in.

Please drop me a comment with your WWW Wednesday and I will head over for a visit.

Happy Reading

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

Top Ten Tuesday: Books With a Unit of Time In the Title

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and now hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. For more info please check out Jana’s blog.

Hello!

I will be honest I struggled with the prompt this week but I have managed to find a mix of books that I have read and books on my TBR list. The ones in italics are the ones I have read.

  1. Desperate Hours by David Mack
  2. Tom Brown’s Schooldays by Thomas Hughes
  3. One Day in Winter by Shari Low
  4. Shakespeare for Everyday of the Year edited by Allie Esiri
  5. Women of Holy Week by Paula Gooder
  6. A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle
  7. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  8. The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro
  9. Twenty Years After by Alexandre Dumas
  10. In Evil Hour by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Please drop me a link with your Top Ten Tuesday and I will head over for a visit. Also please feel free to leave a comment if you want to chat about any of the books.

Happy Reading

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

Goodreads Monday: 6/06/2022

Goodreads Monday is now hosted by Budget Tales Book Club.  All you have to do is show off a book from your TBR that you’re looking forward to reading.

Hello!

I hope everyone has had a good start to the week so far. My chosen book this week is by another favourite author of mine.

In 1844, Alexandre Dumas published The Three Musketeers, a novel so famous and still so popular today that it scarcely needs introduction. Shortly thereafter he wrote a sequel, Twenty Years After. Later, toward the end of his career, Dumas wrote The Red Sphinx, another direct sequel to The Three Musketeers that begins a mere twenty days afterward. Picking up right where the The Three Musketeers left off, The Red Sphinx continues the stories of Cardinal Richelieu, Queen Anne, and King Louis XIII—and introduces a charming new hero, the Comte de Moret, a real historical figure from the period. Dumas wrote seventy-five chapters of The Red Sphinx, but never quite finished it and the novel languished for almost a century. While Dumas never completed the book, he had earlier written a separate novella, The Dove, that recounts the final adventures of Moret and Cardinal Richelieu. Now for the first time in one cohesive narrative, The Red Sphinx and The Dove make a complete and satisfying storyline—a rip-roaring novel of historical adventure, heretofore unknown to English-language readers, by the great Alexandre Dumas, king of the swashbucklers.

Purchase Links

Book Depository | Foyles | Waterstones | Wordery

(All purchases made using one of the above affiliate links gives a small percentage of money to myself with no extra cost to yourself. All proceeds go towards the upkeep of this blog. Thank you ever so much, your support is gratefully received.)

Please drop me a comment if you have taken part in Goodreads Monday and I will head over for a visit.

Happy Reading

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

The Weekly Brief

Hello!

I hope everyone has had a good weekend. I am back at work tomorrow after half term and although I have still worked a little bit over the week it will be a shock to be back full swing from tomorrow.

Posts this Week

Currently Reading

I had a little break from this over half term to read some books linked to the Jubilee and to finish another book that I have been reading for a very long time. However, I am back to reading it now so hopefully I will make some head way this week.

Happy Reading

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

There Once is a Queen by Michael Morpurgo (Review)

There Once is a Queen by Michael Morpurgo

Blurb

“There once is a Queen ever constant to her people…”

From the Nation’s Favourite Storyteller Sir Michael Morpurgo comes a poetic celebration of our Queen and longest reigning monarch, beautifully illustrated in watercolour by acclaimed artist Michael Foreman.

There once was a little girl, a princess, who became a queen, our Queen Elizabeth. Now, seventy years later, her reign as the longest serving female monarch in history has seen her stand steadfast through triumph and tribulation, and through the monumental changes that have shaped our world, as this remarkable queen has remained devoted to crown, to country… and a corgi or two!

Beginning with the queen as a little girl, planting an oak tree with her father, There Once is a Queen follows her incredible story in a way that will bring this historic reign vividly to life for readers around the world, big and small. An exquisite gift book and commemoration of the Platinum Jubilee, it marks a unique moment in our shared history and will be a treasured keepsake for generations to come. 

Review

I really enjoyed how straight away Morpurgo links his story book to The Faerie Queen by Edmund Spenser which was an epic poem written for Queen Elizabeth I. Thankfully, Morpurgo’s book is not as long as Spenser’s poem.

This little book is the life of the Queen starting with her as a little girl planting an oak tree, then a princess and then as a queen. But whenever the queen wanted some peace and quiet she always returns to that oak tree she planted with her father. I loved the link of the oak tree because an oak tree can live to a vast age and is a symbol of endurance and that is what our queen is also a symbol of. 

The book is set almost as a fairytale but still puts across how hardworking, kind and beautiful our Queen is. The beautiful illustrations by Michael Foreman also really add to this beautiful little book. 

The main thing this book does though in my opinion is show children that the Queen once was a little girl, she once was a child who had the same dreams and thoughts as a child. It shows the Queen as a human rather than a mythical lady who lives in palaces. 

Morpurgo puts the life of the Queen in language that is perfect for children and adults alike and keeps it short and snappy enough for children not to lose concentration or interest in the book. The book makes a beautiful gift edition and keepsake for adults and children who want to remember the Jubilee. Overall, I give this book 3 out of 5 Dragons. 

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Purchase Links

Book Depository | Foyles | Waterstones | Wordery

(All purchases made using one of the above affiliate links gives a small percentage of money to myself with no extra cost to yourself. All proceeds go towards the upkeep of this blog. Thank you ever so much, your support is gratefully received.)

About the author

Michael Morpurgo has written over 130 books, many of them award winning. His best known work is War Horse which has also been turned into a stage play and a film. In 2003 he was made Children’s Laureate. He set up a charity with his wife called Farms for City Children and in 1999 he was awarded an MBE for his charitable work. In 2017 he was awarded a Knighthood for his charitable work and literature.

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you