Books & Study Life

What I’ve been reading

This post comes a little sooner as I have lots of things to talk about at the end of the month, with us being away at some amazing events and on a short holiday.

It’s unlikely I will finish another book by the end of the month anyway. As I finished 4 books this month, it brings the total of books read this year to 30. I had no idea I will read so much this year. I’m watching less TV and I also spend less time online, so it’s great. Not that watching TV or staying online is a bad thing, but I think I have a better ratio at the moment. Reading before bedtime helps me sleep better too.

 The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory

The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory

The story of Mary, the other Boleyn girl, but in fact the first of the two Boleyn sisters to have a relationship with King Henry VIII. I loved the book, Mary is a likeable character, while Anne and George are portrayed less than nice. While someone who likes Anne might have difficulty with the image she has in this book, for me the book is perfect.
Mary is a lovely girl, in search for love, but manipulated by her family. She was married, but, even so, she had two children with Henry before he started his affair with Anne and put Mary aside. She married her second husband, William Stafford, in secret and they had a wonderful relationship. He was a second son, without any lands or wealth. They loved each other, she trusted him and he was in love with her. It’s a beautiful story.

I looked into the history of Mary and their love story seems like it was real. Mary wrote in a letter addressed to Thomas Cromwell: “I had rather beg my bread with him than to be the greatest queen in Christendom. And I believe verily … he would not forsake me to be a king.”. Heartwarming, isn’t it?

03 The Boleyn Inheritance by Philippa Gregory

The Boleyn Inheritance by Philippa Gregory

In this book, Philippa writes the story of Anne of Cleves, Katherine Howard and Jane Rochford, told by themselves. At the beginning of a chapter it’s the name of the one telling the story and the date. This is the first book written this way and I liked it a lot.
Anne of Cleves is an interesting character. She had a unpleasant childhood and she hoped for a better life in England. She was married to the King for only 6 months. She was afraid for her life even after her divorce from Henry. I think that is realistic, with Henry’s disposition of killing his wives, even a divorcee might be at risk. I liked her a lot.
Katherine is presented as a silly child. She was a child when she married Henry, merely a teenager without the proper education for a Queen of England. Her story is sad and the real story is sad too.
Both Anne and Katherine were overwhelmed by Henry’s sickness, the smell, his size, his less than good potency. This is told many times in the book, but this is what makes it realistic. It’s something that would have bothered them every day.
The last is Jane Rochford, the sister in law of Anne Boleyn. She is presented as mad, looking for reasons to justify her actions. All of them are so different and it was an exciting book to read.

04 The Taming of the Queen by Philippa Gregory

The Taming of the Queen by Philippa Gregory

This is the story of Kateryn Parr, the last wife of King Henry VIII. At the beginning I didn’t like Kateryn as much as I liked other characters in the previous books by Philippa, like Anne de Cleves. After around 50 pages, I’ve started liking Kateryn. Henry is acting differently with Kateryn and I liked their story. It’s a book I’ve enjoyed, but I wouldn’t read it again.

05 Prisoners with Dilemmas and Dominant Strategies. Game theory by Jordi Deulofeu

Prisoners with Dilemmas and Dominant Strategies. Game theory by Jordi Deulofeu

I thought I will read this book so fast. Well, it took much longer because I stopped and thought of the games. This only shows how much I’ve enjoyed it. This is the book I mentioned in my post about Ancient Egypt.
Game theory is a branch of mathematics that deals with decision making. Some of the applications involved a party’s manifesto and that sparked a discussion with my husband, with the recent election. Another application involves the growing of the company in relation to the perceived economic growth, again another discussion with my husband about it. It’s a very interesting book, one of my favourites in the series.

2 Comment

  1. I keep meaning to read some of the Philippa Gregory books, it was such an interesting period of history!

  2. I read a book about the different wives of Henry the 8th and I really liked Katherine Parr- she seemed really clever and wise! I must read a Phillippa Gregory book some day!

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