Tuesday, August 12, 2008

July Reading Round Up

For some reason I didn't read much last month.

The drowning tree / Carol Goodman
Juno McKay is about to begin the delicate restoration of an historic stained glass window. She's restoring it with the help of her friend, Christine Webb, an art historian. Then Christine is found dead in a boating accident which eerily echoes the fate of the Lady of Shalott. ~ From the blurb. Quite enjoyed this one, and it kept me guessing until the end about the murderer which is always good. Interesting issues with mental illness and it's treatments, perception and attitudes.

The Grenadillo box / Janet Gleeson
Nathaniel Hopson, journeyman for Thomas Chippendale, the famous 18th-century English furniture designer, finds himself a reluctant detective when a lord of the realm and a cabinetmaker's assistant are found dead on the same night. ~From the blurb. I found this book a bit hard going in places. I had to re-read parts of it to remind myself of events. Okay.

The omnivores dilemma / Michael Pollan
An ecological and anthropological study of eating offers insight into food consumption in the twenty-first century, explaining how an abundance of unlimited food varieties reveals the responsibilities of everyday consumers to protect their health and the environment. ~From the blurb. Must read for any thinking person who is concerned about what they eat. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Although it's non fiction, Pollan writes in an easy to read manner. The topic is one close to my heart and his book engrossed me.

The Boleyn Inheritance / Phillipa Gregory
The year is 1539 and the court of Henry VIII is increasingly fearful at the moods of the ageing sick king. With only a baby in the cradle for an heir, Henry has to take another wife and the dangerous prize of the crown of England is won by Anne of Cleves. She has her own good reasons for agreeing to marry a man old enough to be her father, in a country where to her both language and habits are foreign. Although fascinated by the glamour of her new surroundings, she senses a trap closing around her. Katherine is confident that she can follow in the steps of her cousin Anne Boleyn to dazzle her way to the throne but her kinswoman Jane Boleyn, haunted by the past, knows that Anne's path led to Tower Green and to an adulterer's death. ~from the blurb. I always enjoy Philipa Gregory's treatment of historical figures and this is no exception. The Tudor period is one of my favourites since I studied it at school so I feel like I know a bit about it. I liked the way she gave the different characters their own voice and perspective. Great read.

The botany of desire / Michael Pollan
Another one by Pollan, but this one is about the relationship between plants and humans and their co-evolution. Very interesting read. Again, his style makes for easy non fiction reading and the 4 different plants - apples, potatoes, tulips and marijuana - tie together the different themes he's conveying very well. Recommended for those of you who garden or are interested in plants. Like me.

(As for layouts, I've not kept track for July but I've done about 4-5 I think.)


  1. I now have a Tudors addiction and I am currently reading Margaret George's "A Novel, The Autobiography of Henry VIII with notes by his fool: Will Somers". I know its a mouthful but an interesting perspective.

  2. Anonymous9:07 pm

    think I've read one of Phillipa Gregorys other books.

  3. Oh well you've read more than me! :-)

  4. LOL, I bet you get first dibs on all the new books where you work? I'm jealous.

    Thanks again for doing this Penny. :)

    Used to go to a book group at our library but too hard to get there anymore so you're monthly lists are awesome to keep me up to date.

    Just started reading a Carsen McCullers book last night. Can't believe I'd never heard of her before! She is brilliant.

  5. Not into historical stuff so Phillipa Gregory is not one of my faves. But... I, too, have been into the non-fiction this month. Read a book on that little girl in Aussie Sophie (de-something) who lost both legs in the daycare car crash/fire thing. One on Photoshop Elements, and others on Executive Coaching (The Complete Guide to Coaching at Work - Zeus and Skiffington) and Action Learning Groups (which were for my work but I'm really into the coaching work I do so it wasn't a chore).

    Bring on some fiction. Just about to start another Isobel Allende one that I found in the library- thought I had read all hers.