13 June 2005
I've been tagged...

I've been tagged by Lora with a book meme. Here goes...

Total books owned, ever: I have no idea. A lot. I'm a book junkie and almost always buy instead of borrow.

Last book(s) I bought: I bought a bunch of books at the end of last month. See
here for details.

Last book I read: I just finished
Letters of the Queens of England by A. Crawford. It was pretty good; letters from the wives of English monarchs, from the Norman conquest to Henry VIII. Each entry was accompanied by an historical overview of the period; I particularly liked this because I wasn't familiar with some of the Norman and Angevin queens.

Five books that mean a lot to me: Click on the *** to read more.

1. Anything by Alison Weir. She's awesome. She's an historian specializing in mid to late medieval England. She writes social history, rather than military or political, and has a writing style that keeps you engaged and interested. The human side of history shines through, and you find yourself actually caring about people who lived 500 or more years ago.

2. Anything by Bill Bryson. Again, he's awesome. He's an American who went on a backpacking trip to
Europe as a young man, met a woman in England and stayed. I first found him when I read The Mother Tongue: English and How it Got That Way--a very ambitious, and hilarious, history of the english language. He's also written some great travel books: Notes from a Small Island, where he attempts to travel round Britain by public transport, stands out as the best in my mind.

The Poisonwood Bible, by Barbara Kingsolver. This is one novel that I can reread until the cows come home. It grips you and drags you in; you end up truly feeling for the girls. It's set in the Belgian Congo in the late 50s, about a evangelical Baptist preacher and his four young daughters and wife. They're sent to a mission in the Congo for a year, then get caught up in the political upheaval and due to some poor decisions by the father, can't escape. The father is the family's dictator and cannot cope with the changes the Congo forces in his life. What makes it interesting is how the author switches voice from daughter to daughter, and how she develops the girls' characters as they grow. Favorite opening line: "We came from Bethlehem, Georgia, bearing Betty Crocker cake mixes into the jungle."

4. The
Outlander series, by Diana Gabaldon. A light, entertaining read--5 books so far, with another due out this year. The series starts just after WWII, then moves back in time to the Jacobite rising of 1745 in Scotland. The main characters end up emigrating to America through the series, and are now awaiting the beginning of the revolutionary war. An interesting mix of hist. fiction, great storytelling, and a bit of fantasy thrown in. It also has one the honor of the most sought after male lead--he has several fan clubs of his own. Warning--a hefty dose of suspension of disbelief required to enjoy these books. Excellent escapist reading.

Ok, I know it said 5 books, but I figured I'd rambled on enough! I'm not going to tag anyone, cause the last time I did I managed to make some people really mad! So, if you feel like doing this one, just comment and let me know and I'll come check it out!

posted by Julie at 1:22 PM 2 comments


Blogger Lora said...

Oh I thought this was more fun the that last meme. Thanks for playing.

I really like Barabra Kingsolver but I haven't read The Poisonwood Bible.

Alison Weir like a historial that I would enjoy. I'll keep her name in mind.

Wed Jun 15, 06:30:00 AM GMT+1  
Blogger Jen said...

I loved THE POISONWOOD BIBLE as well. Even as a Christian, I didn't find it offensive, because you could take lessons from the father on how he was totally missing the point...which I think many do.

And I always enjoy Bill Bryson.

The rest of your choices were too highbrow for me! Hee hee!

Wed Jun 15, 09:26:00 AM GMT+1  

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