book round-ups, books on offer, Recommendsday

Recommendsday: September Kindle Offers

Another month, another batch of Kindle offers for you all to enjoy.

Let’s start with one I’ve recommended already this year: A Fatal Crossing by Tom Hindle is 99p – I suspect to coincide with that paperback release which I mentioned the other day in Books in the Wild. In things I read, but longer ago, there is The Ex Hex by Rachel Hawkins, Rodham by Curtis Sittenfeld and former Book of the Week V for Victory by Lissa Evans – although as that’s the third of three connected novels, you’ll get the most out of it if you read the others first. Recommended even longer ago is Rosie Effect by Graeme Simision – which has reminded me that I need to read the final book in that trilogy too!

There are a couple of other recent releases too – I’ve read Infamous by Lex Croucher*, which is billed as Bridgerton’s rowdy little sister – but I haven’t got to Ten Years by Pernille Hughes yet, although it is waiting on my kindle. Also waiting on my kindle is The Funny Thing about Norman Foreman by Julietta Henderson which came out last year originally.

In old favourites, there’s one of my very favourite Katie Fforde books at 99p this month Stately Pursuits must be nearly 20 years old now, but a lot of the tropes you’ll find in it are still among my favourites: a grumpy brooding hero, something that needs saving (in this case a big old house) and a heroine who just throws herself into tackling any problem in her path.

In series I love, Tales from the Folly by Ben Aaronovitch – the short story collection that ties in to Rivers of London is 99p this month, and I don’t remember seeing it this cheap before. In other series with books on offer, MC Beaton Death of a Bore in the Hamish Macbeth series is 99p. I’ve only read a few JD Robbs, but I know they’re hugely popular and the series is really long – so always good to pick them up on offer. This month it’s Judgement in Death, the 11th in the series

Some of the Georgette Heyer novels now seem to be dropping out of copyright and appearing in random editions (or at least I think that’s what they are) but in terms of the editions that I know are proper and well formatted etc, this month it’s Spanish Bride on offer for 99p. This is one of the less traditional Heyers – it’s got all the battle description that I find the least interesting bit of Infamous Army and is based on a true story. Spoiler: The marriage happens very early. The £1.99 Heyers are the aforementioned Infamous Army, Pistols for Two (the short stories collection), my beloved Devil’s Cub and another slightly more obscure one – Beauvallet.

And finally in non fiction, Andrew Lownie’s The Mountbattens is 99p – I haven’t read this yet, but I very much enjoyed his book Traitor King this time last year. And Burnout by Emily Nagoski is also on offer. I read this before the pandemic, but I think the help and advice it offers is needed more now than ever.

Hopefully there’s something here for you somewhere. Have a good Wednesday.

book round-ups, Recommendsday

August Quick reviews

There’s definitely not as much to write about this month – because I’ve already written about so many books that I read in August! Still I have scared up three books to tell you about today so, yay me.

Quick Curtain by Alan Melville

I talked about a bunch of theatre-set books of various types in August – and here’s another which was part of my haul from the conference book sales. Alan Melville’s murder mystery is another that sees an actor murdered on stage in front of an audience. Where it differs from the Ngaio Marsh novels with a similar premise is the satirical slant it takes on the detecting. On that front it’s closer to Nancy Spain’s Cinderella Goes to the Morgue, although this does care about solving the crime! A very nice way to spend an afternoon.

Femina by Janina Ramirez*

This is a fascinating look at the Middle Ages via the lives of writings and artifacts left behind by some of the women who lived through the period. Some of the names were people I had heard of, but I knew very little about any of them except for Margery Kempe. This is easy to read, but incredibly well researched and has plenty of pictures of the artifacts being talked about. It also has a huge bibliography at the back if you want to go and read more about any of the women. Well worth a look, even if you don’t usually do books on the Middle Ages. I mentioned this on publication day and it’s taken me a while to finish – but that’s because my brain has been fried and I only had the concentration for small bursts. Luckily it’s broken down into nice bite-sized sections!

Knit to Kill by Anne Canadeo

This is more of a lesson in doing more research than a review, because I picked this up on Kindle Unlimited thinking it was a first in series – because it says it is in the title but when I started reading it it really confused me because it didn’t read like introducing a new set of characters. So off to Goodreads I went where I discovered it was actually the first since a change of publishers – and actually the ninth book about this set of characters. Then things made more sense. Remind me to research the KU stuff the same way I do the rest of the books in future!

And in case you’ve forgotten, here’s all the other books I talked about in August: Piglettes, A Time to Dance, Thank you for Listening, Husband Material, A Twist of the Knife, the Sadler’s Wells Series, Swallows and Amazons series, London Celebrities series, Amory Ames series, books set in theatres, late summer romances and Actor Memoirs.

Happy Wednesday!

book round-ups, memoirs, Recommendsday

Recommendsday: Actor Memoirs

This Recommendsday post has been a long time in the making, but actually really fits in with the theme of this month in a way – I’ve written about the theatre and careers on the stage a fair bit – but also featured a children’s film starring one of the actors in it!

Forever Young by Hayley Mills

So lets start with that one – Hayley Mills is the star of my favourite version of The Parent Trap, but was also the biggest child star of her day. She was born into an acting family – her father was Sir John Mills, her Mother Mary Hayley Bell and her sister Juliet is also an actress. She won a Bafta for her first film role and was signed by Disney. This book takes you through her childhood career and what happened when she grew up. It’s got plenty of Old Hollywood and British Acting Royalty detail in it as well as all the sorts of thing you want to know about being a child star and what sort of effect it has on you. It doesn’t talk a lot about her life after the mid-1970s, but given that most people are probably reading this because they’ve watched her juvenile performances, and by that point she’s all grown up and married, that’s probably a reasonably wise decision unless the book was going to be much longer. The good news is that I came out of the end still liking her, although some of the decisions she made in her early adulthood were not the best!

Home Work by Julie Andrews

From the star of one of my favourite childhood films to the star of two of them! This is the second memoir that Julie Andrews has written – and the first of them, Home, finishes just before she becomes a major star. So as the Sound of Music and Mary Poppins are among my favourite movies, I was looking forward to reading this to see what the experience of making them was like for her. And that is in there – but just not in as much detail as I was expecting. Andrews and her co-writer, her daughter Emma, rattle through 30 years of her career and personal life at breakneck speed and without ever really letting you in on what Andrews was thinking or feeling. She’s been in psychoanalysis since the 1960s, so you would assume that she has more insight into what was going on than she is telling you, but she’s definitely keeping you at an arms length and preserving that Old School Hollywood aloofness that some old school stars like her have cultivated since the early days of their career. Now whether some of her reluctance to talk about what must have been the very real difficulties of her second husband’s prescription drug dependence are because she was writing this not long after his death (or even before) and she doesn’t have the perspective yet, I don’t know. But for all that the details of making Mary Poppins and SoM are satisfying (in as much of them as you get, and I’m not sure there’s masses here I didn’t already know) the lack of everything else holds this back.

I Was Better Last Night by Harvey Fierstein

Most of us probably first saw Harvey Fierstein in Mrs Doubtfire – or heard his voice in Mulan, but Fierstein is something of a Broadway legend – he wrote the play Torch Song Trilogy, the book for the musical version of La Cage aux Folles and won a Tony as the original Broadway Edna in Hairspray. His memoir follows him through growing up in 1950s Brooklyn through all those big moments and achievements. It’s a long and hard journey – with addiction and loss along side spectacular highs but as well as being a personal story, it also shows the development and evolution of New York theatre in the last third of the twentieth century and the changing face of gay culture.

Mean Baby by Selma Blair

At the other end of the spectrum to Julie Andrews is Selma Blair’s memoir. Blair doesn’t hold anything back – her drinking from an incredibly young age, her fraught relationship with her mum, her self destructive behaviour – it’s all here along along with the professional successes you already know about, or at least that you know about if you’re my age – Legally Blonde, Cruel Intentions, Hellboy – and her activism after her diagnosis with MS three years ago. It’s a story of resilience through adversity and proof that no matter how someone’s life might look like on the outside – movie roles, front row seats at fashion shows – you never know what is going on in secret and the struggles that are going on behind the scenes.

And that’s your lot for this post. I do have several more actor memoirs sitting on the pending self, so there may well be a follow up at some point, but who knows when that might be given my current track record!

Happy Humpday everyone!

book round-ups, fiction, Recommendsday

Recommendsday: (Late) Summer Holiday Reading

Yes, this is very late now, but it’s a bank holiday weekend coming in the UK this week and last week I had three nights away from home so I *finally* pulled my finger out and read the rest of the books that I had been thinking about for this post. I know – I started writing this in late June, but I got distracted by the rereads and exciting new series. And some of the books I was going to put into this ended up in other posts, or as books of the week (Acting Up I’m looking at you) I am such a mood reader. I don’t even know why I try to make lists and plans of what to read when. And yes, this is all romance or romantic comedy or adjacent genres, but that is what I like to read on a sun lounger. Sue me. As usual, if it has an * next to the title if came from NetGalley, otherwise I paid for it with my very own money. And you’ll be glad to know I’ve already started on the Christmas reading post. Maybe I’ll get that one done on time…

Beach House Summer by Sarah Morgan*

Sarah Morgan‘s summer novel this year follows the ex-wife of a TV chef in the immediate aftermath of his death in a car crash. Stay with me, I know that sounds like it might be miserable, but don’t worry. To return to the plot: Joanna’s marriage to Cliff was dysfunctional to say the least and carried out in the glare of the media spotlight. So when she finds out that there was a young woman in the car when it crashed and that the woman is pregnant, Joanna knows she has to help her. The two women head to Joanna’s house in the town that she grew up in to hide from the paparazzi. Joanna hasn’t been there since she ran away with Cliff in the aftermath of a breakup with her high school boyfriend and she’s soon going to have to face the past and the community she left behind. Ashley needs space to plan her and the baby’s future – but there are still a few secrets to come out… This is a delightful sun lounger read, if you can just get past the death-y bit at the start, which I did – but that’s why it was on the list for a couple of weeks! It’s basically a small town, second chance romance with relatively low peril.

The Friendship Pact by Jill Shalvis

On to another regular author of mine and Jill Shalvis’s summer ‘22 book is a second chance romance for two characters who have been damaged by their childhoods. Tae spent her childhood worrying about money and about her mum’s attempts to find a man to make them a family. Riggs’ dad was an alcoholic who liked to hit his kids. But the two of them were friends in high school – until they weren’t. Now Riggs is back in town to visit his brother and his company providing adventures for athletes with disabilities and wounded veterans. Tae’s events planning company is organising their summer programmes. The two of them reconnect, but there are obstacles to a happy ending for them. I read it in 24 hours and was nearly late back from my lunch break because I was enjoying it so much. There’s a testimonial for you!

In a New York Minute by Kate Spencer*

Franny Doyle is already having a bad day before her dress catches in the subway door: she’s just been made redundant. But now her dress is ripped but even worse – the whole subway can see her bum and her knickers. luckily fellow passenger Hayes lends her his jacket to save her blushes. That would be the end of it – except someone has posted what happened to their Insta stories and now they’re viral sensations – #SubwayQTs. Their new found fame (notoriety?!) means they end up seeing each other again, and again, and again: but is there more there than just a hashtag? This has a buttoned up and awkward hero who comes off as aloof and a creative heroine with a tight knit group of friends. If I hadn’t had to do actual things, I could probably have read this in one giant sitting – it’s light and fluffy and endearing.

Donut Fall In Love by Jackie Lau

And finally, this isn’t a summer new release (it came out in October last year!), but I’m giving it a quick shout out because it feels like it would be a fun read if you were on a sun lounger. This has a Hollywood star and a normal person pairing (which I like – see Olivia Dade!) and it’s also got a bakery and a baking show. What’s not to love.

book round-ups, Recommendsday, reviews

Recommendsday: July Quick Reviews

I’ve already written about so much this month and there were so many re-reads that I was worried I wouldn’t have a lot to write about that I liked and hadn’t already. But I’ve managed to pull three books out of my hat so well done me!

That Woman by Anne Sebba

My interest in the Abdication crisis is well known at this point. This has been on the list for a while as it is meant to be one of the more definitive ones and I picked this up second hand in the nice charity shop near work a few weeks back and got to it promptly so that I can lend it to mum! It’s interesting, but there’s not a lot of focus on her post war life. I think Andrew Lownie’s Traitor King has more on her post war life than this does – and that’s focussed on him! But it is good on her childhood and pre-duke life as well as her potential motivations.

Lumberjanes/Gotham Academy by Chynna Clugston Flores et al

My love for Lumberjanes is also well known, and well publicised on here, so I’m not quite sure how I’d missed that there had been a Lumberjanes and Gotham Academy crossover book. But there was and it came out in 2017 so I’m well behind the times as I filled in the gap in the series. I haven’t read any Gotham Academy, but that didn’t matter as this is essentially a two schools run into each other, are rivals and then have to work together to defeat a baddie story. And it’s got a possessed house and 1980s theme so it’s a lot of fun.

Shipped by Angie Hockman

And finally a quick mention for this one. It was billed as “The Unhoneymooners meets the Hating Game” with a marketing manager for a holiday firm forced to go on a cruise with her work arch-nemesis and I love an enemies to lovers romance, but didn’t quite work for me as well as I wanted because it hit some of my “why are you acting like this” buttons and the heroine really, really annoyed me. But I know that a lot of that is a me thing, so people with a higher (lower?) embarrassment threshold will probably love it. However, if you want a book with a cruise ship and a romance (even if the romance is a bit secondary) then try The Unsinkable Greta James.

And finally, a reminder in case you need it of this months Books of the Week: Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow; Mendelssohn and Murder; The Incredible Crime and the aforementioned Unsinkable Greta James, which I actually read right at the end of June but was reviewed in July. The series posts were: the Affair of… series; The Grantchester series, Vicky Bliss and a revist of the Phryne Fisher books. And finally the Recomendsdays were novels about Friendships and mysteries with Vicars.

Welcome to August everyone!

book round-ups

Favourite not-new books of first half of 2022

So yesterday we did the new releases, and today I’m back with my other favourite books of the year so far – the ones that aren’t new, but that I’ve read for the first time this year. And it’s a slightly random mix of the nearly new and the really old.

I’m going to start with the really old – and that’s two of my Persephone subscription picks. I’ve had five of my six books through now and read three of them and A House in the Country by Jocelyn Playfair and The Young Pretenders by Edith Henrietta Fowler both got five stars from me. The Two Mrs Abbotts got four stars – and that was mostly because I wanted more Barbara herself and even as I write that I wonder if I was being too harsh and I should upgrade it! All three of them – and the other two Miss Buncle books are great if you want low peril reading in your life at the moment – and who doesn’t to be honest.

Then there are two nearly new books that I’ve given five stars as well so far this year – there’s Greg Jenner’s Ask a Historian answering fifty questions about history that people have asked Greg. And then there’s very recent BotW pick Acting Up by Adele Buck, which is a theatre-set romance which I loved so much I immediately bought the next book in the series. Honestly June was such a good month of reading for me.

Close behind these there is also Emily McGovern’s Bloodlust and Bonnets if you want a gothic-spoof graphic novel – I mentioned Julia Quinn’s Miss Butterworth… in Quick Reviews the other day and they’re actually quite and interesting pair. Or there is Roomies by Christina Lauren if you want another hit of theatre-set romance after Acting Up. And an honourable mention to to Julia Claibourn Johnson’s Better Luck Next Time and Stephen Rowley’s The Editor.

It’s been a good year in reading so far folks.

book round-ups, reviews, stats

Best new books of the first half of 2022

As promised, here is part one of my favourite books of the year so far – and we’re starting with new releases. I’ve already read 200 books this year, so I’ve got plenty of books to chose from but it’s no surprise that I’ve already written about most of these at some length.

I haven’t read a lot of nonfiction this year and not much of it is new-new but I have read Stories I Might Regret Telling You by Martha Wainwright and it’s such a good one. As I said in my BotW review back in April, this is one of the most unvarnished memoirs I’ve read. Martha Wainwright is as clear eyed about her own faults and her life as you will find someone and is prepared to put it out there in a book. Even if you don’t know her msuic, this is well worth reading – especially if you’re interested in the effects of famous paretns and/or competitive siblings and/or life in the music industry and particularly life in the music industry as a woman. And it turns out to be easier to get hold of than I thought it would be.

On to fiction and most of my favourite reads (that aren’t in series) are either romance or romance adjacent. There is the fabulous and sunny Book Lovers by Emily Henry and the redemptive and ultimately hopefuly Mad About You by Mhairi MacFarlane. They have very different plots, but they also both have heroines who know what they want in life and what they deserve. Mad About You has darker moments than Book Lovers, but you will come away from both with a big happy smile on your face.

Then there are two books that I have read in the last couple of weeks. I actually finished Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus and The Unsinkable Greta James by Jennifer E Smith one day apart and then had a massive book hangover from two of my favourite books of the year so far. Greta is this week’s Book of the Week so you can read all about that there, and Lessons in Chemistry was the top review in Quick Reviews yesterday – and wasn’t actually that quick a review.

And as I mentioned earlier – there have also been a few really good new entries in series that I like – there is The Prize Racket – the latest in Isabel Rogers’ Stockwell Park Orchestra Series, the latest Rivers of London book, Amongst Our Weapons by Ben Aaronovitch, and the latest Vinyl Detective novel Attack and Decay by Andrew Cartmel.

And lets finish with a couple of honourable mentions – all the books above got five stars from me on Goodreads, but there are a couple of really, really good books nipping at their heels – like Jill Shalvis’s The Family You Make and Harvey Fierstein’s memoir I Was Better Last Night which I still haven’t written about here but will undoubtedly figure in my long planned actor memoir recommendsday post, just as soon as I read the other actor memoirs I have on my shelf!

So that’s half a year done – fingers crossed that the new books in the second half of the year are as good. Tune in tomorrow for my favourite new-to-me books of 2022 so far!

book round-ups, Recommendsday

Recommendsday: June 2022 Quick Reviews

I read a lot of books last month. But there were also a lot of rereads, and I do have this terrible tendency to have already written about al lot of books by the time we get to this point in the months. But I have a plan to try out for that in July, so I’ll keep you posted…

Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus

Cover of Lessons in Chemistry

Elizabeth Zott is a scientist. The trouble is that it is America in the 1960s and women apparently women aren’t meant to be scientists. Her Nobel nominated colleague Calvin can see that she’s a scientist and a lot more and the two of them start a relationship. But three years later Elizabeth is a single mother and is presenting the world’s most unconventional cooking show on regional TV. I need to give you a warning serious sexual assault early in this book and a death a little while after, but if you can cope with that once you get out the other side you’re ok. And we all know that I’ve had trouble with dealing with stuff like that recently and I was find with this. Elizabeth is an brilliant character – she knows what she wants to do and refuses to understand people who tell her no or change what she’s doing if she thinks she is right. The book is told from various different character’s perspectives, including her dog and her daughter and it’s just a delight. Six Thirty is the smartest of us all. This s Bonnie Garmus’s debut novel and it’s such a delight it was nearly BotW yesterday. It’s had a lot of buzz so you should be able to get it really easily – and if you are going on holiday, it was definitely in the airport bookshops when we were there!

Miss Butterworth and the Mad Baron by Julia Quinn and Violet Charles

This is much referenced in the later Julia Quinn novels, and now we finally have (a graphic novel version of) Miss Butterworth! In the books it’s a romantic and gothic novels – much play is made of its outlandish plot – a character is pecked to death by pigeons for example. And it’s everything you would expect – utter, utter madness, beautifully illustrated by Quinn’s sister Violet Charles. I enjoyed this and I’m so glad it got published – for reasons that will become clear if you read to the end.

The Intoxicating Mr Lavelle by Neil Blackmore

Benjamin and Edgar Bowen head out into Europe on a Grand Tour that their mother has devised for them to help them meet People of Quality so they can come back with an enhanced social standing to help the family. But when Benjamin meets Horace Lavelle, the brothers’ paths and goals diverge. This came out in 2020 – I got a copy from the work book sale a few weeks back and then realised that I had it in the NetGalley backlog as well. Oops. Anyway, I liked the premise and the writing style, but it was a bit too bleak for me in the end. I don’t do well with books that are hurtling towards disaster at the moment, even if they are dealing with expectations and society and judgment and constructs and stuff that I am interested in. I wanted it to be ok for Benjamin; but I knew it wouldn’t be. But historical fiction isn’t always neat and happy, and may be that is the point. I suspect that pre-pandemic I would have been more enthusiastic about it – so I suspect other people who are not in need of neat resolutions and/or happy endings at the moment may really enjoy it.

Paper Lion by George Plimpton

So this was one of the longest of the long runners on the still reading pile. And that’s partly because it was a paperback so didn’t go in the work rucksack but mostly because I managed to lose it for ages! Anyway, this is a legendary book about American football in the 1960s when a journalist managed to persuade the Detroit Lions to let him join their preseason training camp as a quarterback. Obviously a lot has changed in professional football since then, but this is a fascinating glimpse of how sportsmen trained and lived at the time as well as the workings of an NFL team. If you like sport it’s definitely worth looking out for.

Enjoy!

book round-ups, Recommendsday

Recommendsday: June Kindle offers

I’m trying a new thing this month, and doing a round up of good books that are on offer on Kindle in the UK at the moment. Now this will only work if there are books that I’ve read on offer, so who knows if it’ll be a regular thing!

Cover montage

First up is recent release Book Lovers, which I did a post about the day it came out, and which is now 99p. Perfect for reading on a sun lounger. And if you’re into Bridgerton and have already read the whole series, Just Like Heaven, the first book in Julia Quinn’s Smythe Smith series is 99p. I bought the paperback back when it first came out – in my pre-Kindle let along pre-blog days. The series is is about a group of young ladies who play in a string quartet – most of whom are oblivious to the fact that the music they play sounds terrible. Honoria is the exception – she knows they’re awful and she’s determined to get married so she doesn’t have to play any more. The hero is her brother’s best friend who is meant to be looking out for her and keeping her out of trouble…

I wrote about Paula Byrne’s biography of Barbara Pym a few months back and now the first Barbara Pym novel I read is on offer – ok the Kindle edition of Excellent Women isn’t as pretty as my designer hardback, but for 99p you don’t expect it to be. In other books I’ve mentioned recently, the first Nicola Upson Josephine Tey novel An Expert in Murder is 99p as well as Dear Little Corpses, the latest.

In other books I have recently mentioned, Curtis Sittenfeld’s Prep, which came up in my books set in schools post, is also 99p, as is Three Sisters, Three Queens which one of the later Philippa Gregory Tudor books that I haven’t read yet! You’ll probably have noticed Sarah Morgan’s Beach House Summer on my in progress list – but it’s 99p at the moment as well if you want to try and finish it before me!

In past books of the week that are on offer, T J Klune The House in the Cerulean Sea was one last year, Lyssa Kay Adams’s The Bromance Book Club was one in 2019. In Authors who I like, but who I haven’t read *this* one of – there’s Ian Mortimer’s A Time Traveller’s Guide to Medieval Britain – I’ve listened to the Elizabethan and Restoration ones of these on audiobook and they’re lovely, but I’ve never read (or listened to) this one.

There’s almost always a Terry Pratchett book on offer – that’s how I’ve picked up my Kindle copies to supplement my hard copies. This month it’s Eric (which I haven’t read in ages) and the very first one, the Colour of Magic, which as I explain in Where to start with Terry Pratchett isn’t actually where I tell people to start usually! Sadly the deal on Wee Free Men was a one day one, but it will come around again I’m sure.

In books I own but haven’t read yet, there is The Strawberry Thief, the fourth in Joanne Harris’s Chocolate series. Charlie Homberg’s The Paper Magician – which is the first in the series is 99p, books 2 and 3 are £1 each and only book 4 is not on offer (and the whole series is in Kindle Unlimited ). Rose Tremain’s The Gustav Sonata, is one of two of hers sitting on the tbr shelf I think! Harriet Evans’ latest The Beloved Girls is 99p again too – I bought it last time it was on offer! There’s also Labyrinth by Kate Mosse, which I really need to read as I have a hard copy I borrowed from a friend about a year ago sitting on my bureau…

I read Umberto Eco’s In the Name of the Rose as part of my history degree, and I think £1.99 is a bit of a bargain for it, plus the latest cover is gorgeous. It was adapted for TV the other year, which was an interesting watch as it was much more violent than I remembered!

And finally, because this post has got super long, in books I mention because other people liked them but I didn’t, (and really didn’t in this case) there is Claire Lombardo’s The Most Fun We Ever Had, which was even long listed for the Women’s Prize, which just goes to prove everything I’ve ever said about me and award nominated (or winning) novels!

Enjoy – I hope I haven’t cost you all too much money

book round-ups, historical

Platinum Jubilee: Royal-related books…

As I said yesterday, it’s the Platinum Jubilee holidays here this (long) weekend, so today I thought I’d do a recap of the various royal related books I’ve talked about here over the years. I’m going to try and work my way back in time rather than split this into fiction and non-fiction. We’ll see how that goes…

I took this on Wednesday in my favourite Italian deli when I was buying lunch. It just tickled me!

To start with, I did a post about books featuring the Queen back on the actual anniversary of her accession. Then from the pre Elizabeth II half of the twentieth century we have in non-fiction: Andrew Lownie’s Traitor King about Edward VIII after his abdication, Mary S Lovell’s The Riviera Set which also features the Duke and Duchess of Windsor in the background. In fiction there is TP Fielden’s Stealing the Crown mystery set in Buckingham Palace during World War II, the Royal Spyness series of mystery books and Deanna Raybourn’s Veronica Speedwell books have more than one royal connection across the series so far. Oh and don’t forget my beloved Gone With The Windsors by Laurie Graham – what would Maybell say if I didn’t mention her experiences with Wallis Simpson and Edward VIII?

Back into the nineteenth century now and I have a whole post about books related to Queen Victoria’s Dynasty and there’s more on Hannah Pakula’s An Uncommon Woman about Princess Victoria, Queen Victoria’s eldest daughter and wife of Kaiser here as well. There’s also Greedy Queen about the food that Queen Victoria ate. Daisy Goodwin’s The Fortune Hunter features Empress Sisi of Austria and a cameo from Queen Victoria and John Brown. Pre Queen Victoria there’s a royal connection in Georgette Heyer’s Regency Buck. Honorable mention to the Pink Carnation series, which features Royalist plots, the Napoleonic Empire and Sultans at various points so could rightly be considered Royal Related. In fantasy novels, both Zen Cho’s Sorcerer to the Crown and V E Schwab’s Shades of Magic trilogy are set in alternate universe Regency Londons as is a lot of Gail Carriger’s Parasolverse.

Pre-nineteenth century I’ve written about a lot less royals – here at least, although there are reviews of more over on my Goodreads profile if you can find them. But there’s still Simon Sebag Montefiore’s The Romanovs (I’m still not past the Napoleonic era), David Starkey’s Elizabeth about Elizabeth I, yesterday’s post about Philippa Gregory’s Tudor novels and some of Shakespeare’s various Kings get a mention in my post about Sir Antony Sher. I really should try and write some more here about of it. After all I was a history student at university and I’ve read a lot on the French Revolution, the French monarchy, and the Stuarts – even if not all of it is royal related. I must pull my socks up and do better in future. I think I’ve got at least half a dozen bits on the to read shelves virtual and physical at the moment that could fit in this post- including more than one about Charles II and about the Bourbon Kings.

I also did a whole post of Royal Romances – which covers a whole bunch of different time periods so I’m putting it on the end, but there’s also Talia Hibbert’s The Princess Trap which is a contemporary romance. I also wanted to mention Tomi Adeyemi’s Children of Blood and Bone set in a West Africa inspired magical world which has a heroine fighting the monarchy to return magic to the people.

And if this doesn’t break WordPress’s little brain with all the links back to my own blog, I don’t know what will. Have a great weekend everyone!