Tag Archives: The Red Queen

April Reading List

We’re cruising right along in this book challenge (and in 2014). It’s hard to believe we’re into April already. The theme for April’s reading is “Month of Humor” (thanks to April 1 being April Fool’s Day). For this month, we’re reading funny books by funny people – which should prove to be a welcome break from some of the heavier selections we’ve picked up recently (I mean, The Red Queen was excellent, but not very funny). We’re already well into the month, finishing up our last selection for March and first for April, Tina Fey’s Bossypants.

So here’s the list! I hope you’ll pick one (or more) and read along with me, and join in each week for my review, and a book discussion in the comments!

April 6 – 12: Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim – David Sedaris

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We’ve already tackled a book by Sedaris during this book challenge (see: Holidays on Ice in December’s “Month of Holidays” readying). Sedaris has already proved to me that he can be not only funny, but slightly dark, sometimes twisted, and very sentimental. I’m looking forward to tackling another of Sedaris’s books. Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim is a collection of short stories, so prepare for a bunch of laughs!

 

April 13 – 19: Dad is Fat  – Jim Gaffigan

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I LOVE JIM GAFFIGAN. I can’t express this fact enough. He is so funny. I have watched all his specials. I love that his comedy is about realistic things – family issues, food, home births. When I found out he wrote a book (and titled it Dad is Fat… hilarious!), I knew I had to read it. April’s “Month of Humor” theme was a great time to work this book into my reading schedule. If it’s half as funny as Gaffigan’s comedy specials, it’ll prove to be an excellent choice.

 

April 20 – 27: Two for the Dough – Janet Evanovich

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Our favorite bounty hunter, Stephanie Plum, is making a second appearance on our reading list. Last month we read One for the Money, and I was pleasantly surprised by how downright funny Evanovich’s novel was. Stephanie is a really funny leading lady, and reading about her (mostly failed) attempts in bounty hunting is non-stop entertainment. This book will fit wonderfully into our “Month of Humor” theme, and will be the second time in the entire book challenge that we’ve picked up a book that is a second in a series. If you haven’t read One for the Money yet, I recommend picking that up this week, and catching up with Two for the Dough at a later date.

 

April 28 – May 4: The Restaurant at the End of the Universe – Douglas Adams

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Speaking of tackling a “second book in a series”… We’re doing to wrap up our “Month of Humor” and segue into May’s “Month of the Apocalypse” reading by tackling The Restaurant at the End of the Universe by Douglas Adams. This book is the second in his Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series. We read the first book, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, back in November, when our theme was “Month of Travel” (you know… travel the galaxy). How does this fit in with the “Apocalypse?” Well, the Earth literally ends in the first book, so we’re going to find out what happens next, while hopefully laughing our butts off.

So there you have it – our very carefully selected books for April’s “Month of Humor” themed reading. I hope you’ll pick one (or more), follow along, and tell me your thoughts in our “book-club-like discussion” at the end of each week.

Happy Reading!

 

 

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Book Review: “The Red Queen”

This month’s reading theme, “Month of Women,” has been exceptionally interesting, and introduced me to a lot of new female authors, books, and characters. The idea was, in honor of National Women’s Month, to read books for women, by women, about women. This week, I read Philippa Gregory’s historical fiction novel, The Red Queen.

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The Red Queen is the second in Gregory’s “The Cousin’s War” series, which follow characters throughout the infamous Cousin’s War in England in the Middle Ages. We read the first book, The White Queen, in January, and it was one of my favorite books of the challenge. The Red Queen had a lot to live up to, in my opinion, but Gregory hit a home run with her second book in the series! Where The White Queen followed the York queen Elizabeth Woodville, The Red Queen followed the founding mother of the opposing family, the Lancasters. Born as a cousin to the King of England, Margaret Beaufort was raised as a pious, regal young woman. She was forced married to a Tudor, and at the ripe old age of 13 birthed her only child, Henry Tudor, who would become heir to the throne of England. With usurpers and decades of battle, Margaret grows from a young mother dedicated to her “true king,” to a queen mother on the warpath to win her son the throne.

The Red Queen is absolutely fascinating. Margaret is a really powerful female lead, and one can’t help but allow their heart to go out to the woman who faces every misfortune on her rise to power. Unlike Elizabeth in The White Queenwho lives a rather fortunate life on her way to power, and needs to face a downfall, Margaret takes the opposite journey – struggling and desperate on her rise to power (or her son’s power), and finally successful later in her life. Gregory weaves a very successful and exceptionally interesting story, allowing readers to related to the character, feel for her disappointments, and enjoy her successes.

I found myself a bit distracted when reading this novel, trying to match up the timeline to that of Elizabeth’s story in The White Queen. Their stories run parallel to one another, and I feel like I can better understand parts of Elizabeth’s story by understanding Margaret’s. These novels tie together so neatly. Gregory’s historical edge is captivating. I am a fan of historical fiction, and her novels remind me of why. While reading her novels, I feel inspired to research the era and the families more completely. Elizabeth and Margaret are the grandmothers of the infamous king, Henry VIII, and great grandmothers to Elizabeth I. Margaret was the matriarch of the famous Tudor dynasty. I love that I learn while reading these novels, and I can’t wait to pick up the next one.

We’ve read the first of a few series during this book challenge, but this is the only time we’ve picked up a second book from a series. There is a reason – I have really enjoyed these novels, and find myself thinking about them well after they’re done (I even had a dream that I was watching the final battle of The Red Queen take place), and inspired to learn more.

So how about you? Did you read along? Have you read The White Queen or The Red Queen? Are you a Gregory fan? Share your thoughts about this novel!

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Week 30 Reading: “The Red Queen”

Wow! I can’t believe we’re onto our 30th book in the challenge! Even if you’re only reading along periodically, or simply collecting recommendations for future reading, I thank you for taking part in this reading adventure! This week we’re keeping with our “Month of Women” theme (book for women, by women, about women), and picking up Philippa Gregory’s The Red Queen.

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The Red Queen is the second in Gregory’s The Cousin’s War series. We read the first book back in January (see: Book Review: “The White Queen”). If you haven’t read that one yet, I recommend you pick it up and catch up with the story before picking up The Red Queen

I have been looking forward to this book since I finished The White Queen in January!! Gregory has a way with storytelling, and infuses just the right amount of mystery, history, and magic in her historical fiction series. I hope The Red Queen continues on the path of excellence Gregory started with her first novel in the series! This novel follows the same story line told through a different point of view, and I just can’t wait to crack it open and get more of this series!

I hope you’ll join me this week! Remember, at the end of the week, you are encouraged to share your thoughts, arguments, criticism, or giddy feelings about any of the readings (and if you hate my opinions, you are free to let me know). We’re going for a “book club” atmosphere, and I hope you’ll join in the fun!

Happy Reading!

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March Reading List

I can’t believe it’s time to release the March reading list!! 2014 seems to be flying by!

March’s theme is “Month of Women,” so we will be tackling books by women, for women, about women. I chose this theme in honor of the National Women’s History Month which takes place each year in March. I think we have a good selection, and I hope you’ll pick at least one (and hopefully more) to read along with me!

March 2 – 8: The Thirteenth Tale – Dianne Sutterfield

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The Thirteenth Tale came as a recommendation from my great friend Alyssa! The book is our fiction selection for the month, and the book description suggests that there is a mysterious story-within-a-story. The story follows two women authors, and will prove to be an excellent selection for our “Month of Women” theme. I bought this book at the used book store a few months, and have been anxiously waiting to crack it open!

 

March 9 – 15: The Paper Woman – Suzanne Adair

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The Paper Woman is a book I am very excited to read! I was given an ebook copy of the novel personally by the award winning author – Suzanne Adair (hi Suzanne!) – who is a very kind and interesting woman. The novel takes place during the American Revolution, and is the first in a series called the “Mysteries of the American Revolution Trilogy.” Historical fiction is my favorite reading genre, and a good mystery is great way to make history even more interesting! You may have a hard time finding this book, but you can easily get your hands on an ebook copy at Smashwords.

 

March 16 – 22: One for the Money – Janet Evanovich

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This book was given to me years ago by a good friend (who actually shares one character’s name: Joe Morelli). One for the Money is the first of a series about a female bounty hunter – Stephanie Plum – and is written by a bestselling female author – Janet Evanovich. It’s about time I read this novel, which has been sitting pretty on my shelf for over four years!

 

March 23-29: The Red Queen – Philipa Gregory

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The Red Queen is the second of the “Cousin’s Wars” series, the first of which we read in January (see: The White Woman). This is the first time we have read a book that is the second in a series, and I have to admit, I loved Gregory’s writing and story enough to want to pick up the second book! Another bestselling female author, writing historical fiction about a strong female character!

 

March 30 – April 5: Bossypants – Tina Fey

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Bossypants meets the themes for both March and April – it is a book by a woman (Tina Fey), and a comedy novel by a very funny woman (April’s theme is “Month of Humor”). I am a big fan of Tina Fey, and am very much looking forward to being entertained by her again through her book. I would watch anything Fey touches, and will certainly read her book!!

So there you have it, our “Month of Women” reading list! I hope you’ll choose one – or more – of the selections, and join in every week to not only read my reviews, but discuss your opinions and thoughts about the reading!

Happy reading!

 

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