Another month, this year is going by fairly quickly! I am just not looking forward to summer, it is my least favorite. But alas. I did read more books this month than last month, which isn’t hard to do. Like I said, school comes in handy for my challenge goals. Here is what I read in April!
Queen’s Own Fool by Jane Yolen & Robert J. Harris – Called La Jardiniere, a resourceful and clever jester to the queen’s court, Nicola was a most unlikely person to end up “fool” and friend to Mary, Queen of Scots. But Nicola isn’t an ordinary comedian clowning before the court; her sharp tongue is rare amongst the fawning nobles. As fate takes Mary from France to Scotland, and into confrontations with rebellious lords and devious advisors, Nicola remains deep in the queen’s inner circle. But when the Scots start to turn on Queen Mary, Nicola struggles to find something-anything-that she, just a fool, can do to save her friend.
What I thought: I thought this was a great story. It’s different than other Queen of Scots stories we have read which was nice. I liked that it wasn’t one that you expect certain things to happen.
Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon – For twenty years Claire Randall has kept her secrets. But now she is returning with her grown daughter to Scotland’s majestic mist-shrouded hills. Here Claire plans to reveal a truth as stunning as the events that gave it birth: about the mystery of an ancient circle of standing stones …about a love that transcends the boundaries of time …and about James Fraser, a Scottish warrior whose gallantry once drew a young Claire from the security of her century to the dangers of his ….
Now a legacy of blood and desire will test her beautiful copper-haired daughter, Brianna, as Claire’s spellbinding journey of self-discovery continues in the intrigue-ridden Paris court of Charles Stuart …in a race to thwart a doomed Highlands uprising …and in a desperate fight to save both the child and the man she loves….
What I thought: It had been years since I read the first book. But after watching the series on tv I decided to read the rest of the books. They take me a while since I don’t have as much time to read anymore. I definitely liked the first book better, but this explains quite a few things. I do like how the show kept pretty close to the books..
Our House by Louise Candlish – On a bright January morning in the London suburbs, a family moves into the house they’ve just bought in Trinity Avenue.
Nothing strange about that. Except it is your house. And you didn’t sell it.
When Fiona Lawson comes home to find strangers moving into her house, she’s sure there’s been a mistake. She and her estranged husband, Bram, have a modern co-parenting arrangement: bird’s nest custody, where each parent spends a few nights a week with their two sons at the prized family home to maintain stability for their children. But the system built to protect their family ends up putting them in terrible jeopardy. In a domino effect of crimes and misdemeanors, the nest comes tumbling down.
Now Bram has disappeared and so have Fiona’s children. As events spiral well beyond her control, Fiona will discover just how many lies her husband was weaving and how little they truly knew each other. But Bram’s not the only one with things to hide, and some secrets are best kept to oneself, safe as houses.
What I thought: I thought this sounded interesting when I first got it! It just didn’t have that oompf to be a favorite, but it was still a decent read. I couldn’t imagine being in the position, but I just wish part of the book went a different way.
Napoleon’s Buttons by Penny Le Couteur & Jay Burreson – Napoleon’s Buttons is the fascinating account of seventeen groups of molecules that have greatly influenced the course of history. These molecules provided the impetus for early exploration, and made possible the voyages of discovery that ensued. The molecules resulted in grand feats of engineering and spurred advances in medicine and law; they determined what we now eat, drink, and wear. A change as small as the position of an atom can lead to enormous alterations in the properties of a substance-which, in turn, can result in great historical shifts.
With lively prose and an eye for colorful and unusual details, Le Couteur and Burreson offer a novel way to understand the shaping of civilization and the workings of our contemporary world.
What I thought: I was intrigued with a lot of the book. The stories were neat. The actual chemistry part was….eh. I guess I just like more story, less actual science, lol. But the things that were mentioned were fun to read about!
Shakespeare: The World as Stage by Bill Bryson – William Shakespeare, the most celebrated poet in the English language, left behind nearly a million words of text, but his biography has long been a thicket of wild supposition arranged around scant facts. With a steady hand and his trademark wit, Bill Bryson sorts through this colorful muddle to reveal the man himself. His Shakespeare is like no one else’s—the beneficiary of Bryson’s genial nature, his engaging skepticism, and a gift for storytelling unrivaled in our time.
What I thought: I enjoyed reading some of the book. After a while it all seemed kind of repetitive in a way. I did finish it though.
Macbeth by William Shakespeare – In 1603, James VI of Scotland ascended the English throne, becoming James I of England. London was alive with an interest in all things Scottish, and Shakespeare turned to Scottish history for material. He found a spectacle of violence and stories of traitors advised by witches and wizards, echoing James’s belief in a connection between treason and witchcraft.
In depicting a man who murders to become king, Macbeth teases us with huge questions. Is Macbeth tempted by fate, or by his or his wife’s ambition? Why does their success turn to ashes?
Like other plays, Macbeth speaks to each generation. Its story was once seen as that of a hero who commits an evil act and pays an enormous price. Recently, it has been applied to nations that overreach themselves and to modern alienation. The line is blurred between Macbeth’s evil and his opponents’ good, and there are new attitudes toward both witchcraft and gender.
What I thought: Really, it’s Macbeth…what can you say about it? 🙂 It was definitely hard to read aloud… But other than that we all enjoyed it.
Someday by David Levithan – Every day a new body. Every day a new life. Every day a new choice.
For as long as A can remember, life has meant waking up in a different person’s body every day, forced to live as that person until the day ended. A always thought there wasn’t anyone else who had a life like this.
But A was wrong. There are others.
A has already been wrestling with powerful feelings of love and loneliness. Now comes an understanding of the extremes that love and loneliness can lead to — and what it’s like to discover that you are not alone in the world.
In Someday, David Levithan takes readers further into the lives of A, Rhiannon, Nathan, and the person they may think they know as Reverend Poole, exploring more deeply the questions at the core of Every Day and Another Day: What is a soul? And what makes us human?
What I thought: Well, I am sure I liked the first one better. This one just kept going on and on. It really didn’t end for me. :shrug:
So that is what I read in April! I am hoping that I can stay ahead of the game for my reading challenge! I started another long book and it may take me a while to finish. What have you loved lately?