Monday, August 23, 2010

It's Monday, What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading, a bookish meme hosted by One Person's Journey Through a World of Books (and brought to my attention by A Simple Love of Reading), is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week. It is a great way to network with other bloggers, see some wonderful blogs, and put new titles on your reading list. So hop on over to Journey and join in...and leave a comment here so I can check out what you're reading. Here's mine:

Books Read Last Week: The Big Bounce (Elmore Leonard); Dress Her in Indigo (John D. MacDonald); Dune Messiah (Frank Herbert)

The Book I'm Reading Now: Mary Queen of Scots (Antonia Fraser)
The tragic life of Mary, Queen of Scots has long fascinated students of history and dreamy young girls alike. In this scholarly, comprehensive, and moving biography, Antonia Fraser skillfully guides the reader through the genealogical labyrinths and convoluted intrigues of the Scottish, English and French courts. Born in 1542, six days before the death of her father, Mary Stuart is crowned Queen of Scotland in her infancy and begins her life as the pawn of the powerful who surrounded her. Raised in Catholic France and married at fifteen to France's young dauphin in alliance against the Protestant English, Mary becomes Queen of France at sixteen and a widow at eighteen. Returning to Scotland, Mary - culturally a Frenchwoman - faces the challenges of ruling an unpredictable, fractious, still militantly Protestant society. Her determination to remain a Catholic furthered distances her from her subjects and antagonizes her cousin and nemesis, Queen Elizabeth of England, who is intensely aware of Mary's legitimate place in the English succession. Eventually Elizabeth imprisons Mary and later orders her execution. In lucid prose, Antonia Fraser examines and interprets the complex drama of one of history's most compelling figures, her transformation, significance, and paradoxical victory. (synopsis from

I'm only about 1/8 of the way through this, and I must say that so far it is boring me silly. I'm reading it for my Birth Year Challenge and the biggest questions in my mind is "Why did Antonia Fraser have to publish this in 1969?" and "What made me put it on my challenge TBR list?" Actually, I can answer that last one...I've always been fascinated by the history of the British Isles and I'd heard about this book long ago and far away. When it popped up on a list of books for my birth year, I thought it would be a good addition to my quest. The front of the books says: "A book that will leave few readers unmoved." The movement I'm most tempted to make at the moment is to throw the book out the window. And that is NOT typical book-handling behavior for me. I'm hoping that once we get the background history taken care of and get more into the life of Mary Queen of Scots, that I'll change my mind.

Books that spark my interest this week: Death Is a Lonely Business (Ray Bradbury); The Man Who Was Thursday (G. K. Chesterton); The Interpretation of Murder (Jed Rubenfeld); This Mortal Mountain (Roger Zelazny). All of which are waiting impatiently in the wings while I try to make my way through the Mary book. I may have to take a break from non-fiction and give in to the siren call of one of these....


heather said...

I vote for moving on if you really can't get into it. There are too many good books out there to suffer through that one.

Bev Hankins said...

Well...I would if I hadn't claimed this as one of my Birth Year Challenge books. I've already had to replace a fair number of books on the list simply because I couldn't find them.

Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

Woo hoo! Thanks for joining in in the meme :D I was out of town or I would have been here sooner! I love historical fiction and hope you are enjoying Mary Queen of Scots.

Have an awesome week!