This month I’ve read a lot of books, 8 in total, a cold paired with an issue with my laptop that took a bit of time to solve made me have more time for reading. It’s annoying to have problems with the laptop, especially as I wasn’t able to work.
I finished the second series by Philippa Gregory – the Tudor court, just in time for her next book “The last Tudor” which will be launched next month.
Next month I have some pretty difficult books on my list, as I took a few psychology books from the library. I’m excited about them.
I also wanted to talk on my blog about a book my husband has read. The book is called The God Delusion by Richard Dawkings and I think it’s fascinating, a must read for all faiths or no faith. I read bits from it and we talked so much about while he was reading it that it would be pointless for me to read it.
Aussie Grit: My Formula One Journey by Mark Webber
I didn’t know much about Webber before reading the book. I saw him on F1 TV shows and I hardly remember him when I was watching F1. I stopped watching F1 in 2005, after things changed in my life and I was annoyed on the rules put in place. I started watching again in 2014. Webber’s last season in F1 was in 2013.
I know that it will sound harsh, but I don’t like Mark Webber after reading this book. I think he showed a lot of immaturity, he left Europe because he was homesick, when he was trying to build a racing career with a lot of help from Ann and others. When his mother found out he is involved with a woman 13 years older than him, Ann, he left her because his mother wanted grandchildren. When I read these things I immediately thought of James Hunt; that is more the image of an F1 driver I have in my mind. Anyway, after 6 months they got back together and now they are married. Without her, Webber wouldn’t have achieved what he did.
When it comes to racing, it’s a lot of moaning. I don’t think Red Bull deliberately made his car worse than Vettel’s, why would they do that. If things were so bad, why not move to Ferrari when a contract was all but signed.
I would recommend the book to someone that already knows a thing or two about Webber and they like him. The book begins with a great description of how it feels to be in a F1 car, it was fascinating. I think any F1 fan would love to read that.
The Queen’s Fool by Philippa Gregory
The story is of Hannah, the Queen Mary’s fool. Hannah’s character is fictional. She is a Jew that fled from Spain with her father. She is likeable and her story is beautiful. She is a teenager and, like most teenagers, can have conflicted feelings. I also loved the story of Mary and her struggles, her convictions and her determination to save England. Princess Elizabeth is presented as a young woman ready to use men to gain advantage. I imagine that is close to the reality considering the scandals Princess Elizabeth was involved in with Thomas Seymour (her step-father) and Prince Philip II of Spain (Mary’s husband), both mentioned in the book.
I enjoyed the book a lot. It was interesting to see how others were persecuted for their faith, not only Catholics and Protestants.
The Virgin’s Lover by Philippa Gregory
As the name suggests, the book is about Queen Elizabeth I and Robert Dudley. The story begins in 1558 and finishes soon after Dudley’s wife died on 8th September 1560. Before starting to read Philippa’s books, I though Elizabeth I was a great queen, she encouraged artists like Shakespeare, the country had a period of progress. But she, as a queen and a woman, wasn’t as great as I thought initially. After the scandals I mentioned from the previous book, her passion for married men continues, this time with Robert Dudley. I knew something about their story from my visit to Kenilworth Castle.
In her book Phillipa says Amy, Robert’s wife, was killed at the orders of Elizabeth and William Cecil, her advisor. I imagine that is highly likely to have happened, considering both of them mentioned the day of her murder before Amy dying. The death was ordered so that Dudley would be an unsuitable husband for Elizabeth. Their love story continued for many years.
I loved the book, so I would have liked for the story to go on, maybe until he married a second time, the granddaughter of Mary Boleyn, Anne’s sister.
The Other Queen by Philippa Gregory
The story of Mary, Queen of Scots from 1568 to 1572 with the last chapter from 1587. The story is told by three characters: Mary, Queen of Scots, Bess of Hardwick – Countess of Shrewsbury and her husband George Talbot, the 6th Earl of Shrewsbury. It’s a beautiful book, I like all of them and I’ve read it so fast, I couldn’t put it down.
Mary’s life was so sad, imprisoned for many many years because Elizabeth was too scared to let her go, away from her child. During that time, there was an upraising of the North to put Queen Mary back on the throne, but wasn’t successful. She was betrothed with Thomas Howard, Queen Elizabeth’s cousin. Queen Elizabeth ordered his death for treason, just as her father, Henry VIII, killed his father, Henry Howard, for treason. That was surprising, considering that Thomas Howard, father of Henry, was the uncle of Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard.
It’s lovely to read Philippa’s interpretation of what Mary might have been like. When I visited Edinburgh Castle last year, I saw the room where Mary gave birth to James and knowing some of the places in the book makes them even more beautiful. I would love to visit Hardwick Hall too, the home Bess made for herself, another amazing woman.
When Straight Lines become Curves : non-Euclidean geometry by Joan Gomez Urgelles
The first thing I learned from this book is that taxicab geometry does exist. Another thing that foci is the plural of focus. I have to admit I had no idea focus has a plural. I like the book a lot, it explains the difference between the three basic types of geometry: Euclidean, hyperbolic and elliptical. As with the other books in the Our Mathematical World series, it makes me think and I learn a few things in the process.
Wonder Cats. True stories of extraordinary felines by Ashley Morgan
It’s a fun and heartwarming book to read. Most stories have a page or two, so the book is perfect for a quick read, as you can stop when you want. I learned about Simon, the only cat to receive PDSA Dickin Medal for bravery for his action in war back in 1949. Unsinkable Sam managed to survived the sinking of three military ships in less than 1 year, 1941. A bear at Berlin Zoo has a cat friend called Muschi. There are many other beautiful stories, from cats that protected their humans to just being cute and friendly. I’ve read a similar book about dogs and this one is just as exciting.
The Forgiveness Project by Marina Cantacuzino
I saw the book on the shelf in the library while I was waiting for my husband to choose the books he wanted to read, so I wasn’t sure about the subject of the book.
The book is about compassion and empathy. It made me realize that I don’t have as much empathy as I though I did. The book is a compendium of real stories told by the people who lived them. The stories range from victims of the IRA and other terrorist organisations ,to people hurt by their own family. I enjoyed it a lot and I would recommend the book.
The book of Hygge. The Danish art of living well by Louisa Thomsen Brits
I must have been the last lifestyle blogger in UK to read a book about Hygge. I thought I knew what it means, but I didn’t understand everything before reading the book. I love the concept of living in a simple way, searching for warmth and peace within and with the others. By peace I mean less noise, less controversy, less hostility.
The book talks about six chapters: Belonging, Shelter, Comfort, Wellbeing, Simplicity, Observance. All of them are lovely explained and there are a few pictures in each chapter. It’s a nice book to read.
I would recommend this book and I will get a couple more books about Hygge as I find it very interesting.