I had a nice well-rounded month of reading. I read a few novels, finally finished Better Than Before, and read a very insightful non-fiction book.
A Man Called Ove by Frederik Backman
I actually read this last month for Bonnie’s February Book Club. It is about an old man named Ove, who is very grumpy after his wife dies of cancer. At the book club, we kind of agreed that he was like Carl from Disney’s Up. I didn’t like him at all. He was grumpy, judgmental, and a bit of a stick in the mud. I did begin to feel sorry for him and like his back story a bit as we got to know him more and more. However, I would have loved to have known more about his wife. The ending wrapped up all nice and sweet and perfectly, and I thought it was ok. We don’t always have to have a tragic ending or one that ends with a bang. But, you do have to be in a good mood to read it since Ove is rarely in a good mood.
Rival to the Queen by Carolly Erickson
The author has spent a lot of time devoted to researching the Tudor era and has written a lot of history books, as well as historical fiction, on the subject, so she definitely knew her material. (I hope to be the same way eventually one day.) It is about Lettice Knollys, “cousin” to Elizabeth I. Elizabeth’s mom, Anne Boleyn, was famous for her marriage to Henry VIII after he divorced his first wife and left the Catholic Church. Well, not many people realize that she had a sister named Mary Boleyn, who was the king’s mistress. There is a known bastard son between them, but it is hinted that Lettice is also Henry VIII’s granddaughter through Mary Boleyn. In this novel, Lettice is more beautiful than Elizabeth, and she is always jealous, especially when Robert Dudley (whom historians love to analyze Elizabeth and Dudley’s “affair”) marries Lettice.
Obviously, I was enraptured by the story, loving the Tudor era as I do. However, I didn’t like how the author described Elizabeth. I know Elizabeth had her own personality issues, but she was described as a flighty, mentally ill woman, whereas I believe she used her “womanly wiles” with purpose during her reign. It was also a little boring at some times, being more historic than novel. But, I really liked the plot and story itself.
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain
Check here for the full review!
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What books did you read this month?