First of all Happy New Year! May 2014 bring you all you desire! As for me the only way is up I can safely say that 2013 was an awful year. But unlike public history personal history is something I believe we should ignore and keep looking forward.
This is first blog of 2014 I thought I would look over the books I read last year and say the good and the bad.
The first book I want to shout about was Sarah Dunant, Blood and Beauty
This was a great romp looking at the lives of the infamous Spanish Papal Family the Borgias. In many ways they were the original crime family.
The book was well written and apart from a couple of overly gory bits involving a hunt and a battle it was an excellent romp. There is I believe a part two going to be written!
The second book I want to Shout out and say I loved was Joanne Harris, Peaches for Monsieur Le Curie
This was the third novel featuring Vivian Rocher from Chocolat. I will be frank The Lollipop Shoes (part 2) didn’t do anything for me but this book I could not put it down. I know it was not a new novel last year, I only realised what it was when I saw the paperback in a bookshop window.
The book looks at the religious and cultural changes that have been happening in France and how it affects smaller communities. In cities multi culturalism is less shocking as people in general don’t know one and other, they are busier, but when change happens in smaller suburban communities the impact is shown in this beautiful story and its lovely to meet familiar characters. Joanne please can we have more!
The Third book I feel in love with was P D James, Death Comes to Pemberly.
I read this book on the back of a programme by Lucy Worsley and a recommendation by @Clairemaxim1. I have been reading through Poirot Novels by Agatha Christie but have never really indulged in other crime novels unless they were historic (Ie Susanna Gregory & Ellis Peters)
People writing sequals and prequals to classic books can either be very good or very bad this definitely falls in to the very good category! I was lucky enough to read it quite near the end of the year before the TV adaptation. THE BOOK IS BETTER THAN THE TV VERSION!
Another great book was Andrea Zuvich, His Last Mistress
The subject of my MA dissertation I wrote about the life times and death of The Duke of Monmouth the eldest illegitimate son of Charles II. I feel in love with this manipulated spolit handsome man and his tragic tale is beautifully written By Andrea who got the historic events accurate without loosing any of the story. Popular authors could learn a lot from Ms Zuvich!
In other good book news I discovered a great historical author called Paul Doherty, if you like monks, crime and medieval London, the brother Athelstan books are a good read.
Author Marina Fiorato was recommended to me by fellow Venice enthusiast @hypo_man. The two books I have read The Venetian Contract and The Glassblower of Murano were both 5* recommendations!
I finished all the Matthew Bartholomew & Brother Michael Books by Susanna Gregory and now have to wait with everybody else for the new one! I started The Thomas Chaloner series als by Gregory and they are great as they are set in a part of London I know well.
The one big disappointment of the year was from Philippa Gregory.
The White Princess had been eagerly awaited by me. The Plantagenet series of books by Gregory had both Good and bad books but unfortunately this book fell firmly into the last category. I was relieved to learn on twitter I was not the only one to find the conspiracy and sensational historical rumour rather than fact ruined this book. Until Gregory moves on to a different period then I think I will be avoiding her books.