Friday, November 21, 2008

Mary Queen of Scotland and the Isles

By Margaret George

I just started this book a few days ago, and it is the third of hers that I've read so far. The other ones I've read are Memoirs of Cleopatra and Mary, Called Magdalene. So far I've liked Cleopatra the most.

I like Margaret George's books for a few reasons. First - this is exactly the kind of genre I really enjoy. A novel based on historical fact. She does thorough research on her subjects and gets as many facts together as she can, then fills in the details. With Cleopatra, she did not have much to go on, and ended up writing the majority of the book on how she felt Cleopatra would have been like. She was kind to her, and I liked reading about that side of such an infamous character. with Mary Queen of Scots, George had a plethora of information, including letters, biographies, poems, and first-hand accounts. She was still able to develop the character of Mary into someone who is headstrong, quick to action, and sensitive.

The second reason I like George's books is that at the end of the story she explains what she pulled from fact, and details out what she embellished. I always find myself reading these when I'm only 100 pages in or so, and sometimes there are spoilers, but I can't help it! I like knowing what's fact and what's fiction while I'm reading.

The third reason I like George's books is that they are LONG. I love really big books! I like it when I can get really deep into the book, and read and read and read for days on end. Cleopatra was nearly 1,000 pages. Mary Called Magdalene was over 600. Mary Queen of Scots is 870. I just can't get enough.

Also - I just finished reading A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khalid Housseini (sp). This is his follow up to The Kite Runner. A lot of reviews I have heard is that Thousand is not as good as Kite Runner. After reading both I find I can relate to Thousand much more. First there's the obvious reason that Thousand is a story about two women. The other reason is that I found Kite Runner's ending to be too far fetched and fiction-like. The whole rescue of the little boy from his father's childhood rapist, with all the violence and the big escape was just a bit much for me. It ruined the pace of the story. In contrast, Thousand is a bit more realistic, and heart-wrenching. Especially when you consider the time period the book is placed. The story spans the mid-70's to current day, and when I was reading about what these women were going through in 2000 and 2001, it just broke my heart. A Thousand Splendid Suns is a must-read in my opinion.

Next up (in a couple of weeks): The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Host

I'm starting The Host by Stephanie Myers. She wrote the Twilight Series geared towards young adults but even Kristin Armstrong loves it so don't knock me k?. The Host is geared to adults and as soon as this cold busts through and takes I hike I will sit down and read it. For the moment every time I sit down I fall asleep much less actually read and comprehend anything.

What are you guys reading?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I have a confession

I read the end of the books first. I do, I can't help it. Sometimes the last chapter, sometimes the last page or just the last sentence. OK, I could probably help it but I don't. I just don't like surprises. I am much more comfortable reading a book that has a predictable ending then it being a surprise. Throughout my life I have proven to friends and family that surprises for are a big no no. I don't like them unless I have NO idea its coming. Then it had better be REALLY GOOD!

So don't give me a bad time about reading the end of the book (Mom). I'll do my best not to let loose any spoilers. But for me... the book is so much more enjoyable if I have that ace up my sleeve.

Off the Ground

Having a bit of trouble getting this off the ground. I thought I would add a twist. I think that as we read books we can post "our" reviews here for others to check out. Still pick a book, maybe when things slow down after the marathon, to discuss over a 8-12 mile long run once a month and debrief here. Still take turns picking and leading the discussion. Still being a book club but with the benefit of using each others readings to help us decide what personally we can read next. My favorite part of finding a book is discussing it with a friend first to find what she loved or hated about it. What do you think girls?