April and May 2013 Recommended Reads

April May Recommended Readsa

I got a little behind on sharing my reading list!  Three months behind in fact.

In April and May with all of our traveling, wedding cake buffet, college graduation, I didn’t read as much as I usually do.

I also read a really BIG book – 900 pages big and that took a while!

But better late than never – today I will share April and May.  I apologize for you non-history fans but the list is pretty history heavy.  With our trip to England I got on a real English history kick the last few months.

Even though I didn’t finish Sarum until June I read the majority of it in April so I will include it here.  If I didn’t there would only be one other book in April and it would be lonely!

April 2013 Recommended Reads

Sarum, The Novel of England  by Edward Rutherfurd follows the fortunes and losses of five families from the Stone Age through the present time.The story takes place in and around Stonehenge and Salisbury and covers 10,000 years.  It’s a long book.  But it reads like a novel rather than a text book and definitely held my interest and attention.  I especially found it fascinating as I visited the areas where the story took place on our trip.  If you would like to learn more about the history of England I highly recommend the book.

9780517223543

4 stars

Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel was the second book I read in April.  It is another long one, over 600 pages.  It too deals with English History and is the story of King Henry VII and his first wife, Catherine of Aragon in the 1500′s.  Remember this time period was a violent and brutal time and that is reflected in the story.  Although I enjoyed the book from a historical standpoint I found the story somewhat difficult to follow and really had to force myself to finish it.  There were way too many people named Thomas during this time period!

wolf_hall

3 stars

May 2013 Recommended Reads

I love it when I am introduced to a new author.  When I find an author I like I have a tendency to read everything they wrote.  Our book club read the book The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley in May and I loved it.  It was a really enjoyable, easy read.  Especially after Sarum and Wolf Hall!  It is a historical fiction piece and set in the present day but goes back in time to Scotland in the early 1700′s during the Jacobite rebellion. I have now read 3 of Kearsley’s books and they all are modern gothic novels that blend historical adventure and modern-day suspense with romance and a touch of something spooky.  They are a nice clean read too!

th

4.5 stars

Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett is another English history novel that takes place in the twelfth-century and the story deals with the building of a mighty Gothic cathedral.  Although it takes place in a fictional town, the story is based on Salisbury and the cathedral there.  Please remember this was a violent and barbaric time and the story reflects that.  There is some sex in the book and a rape scene.  But from a historical perspective it was very interesting.

Pillars-of-the-Earth

3.5 stars

I promise I will get off my English history kick soon!  Bringing up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel is the sequel to Wolf Hall and deals with King Henry VII’s marriage to Anne Boleyn. We all know what happens to poor Anne when she can’t produce a male heir so the story ends with Anne’s trip to The Tower of London from which she never returns.  There are a few more wives to go so maybe there will be a few more sequels.  I almost hope there aren’t any sequels because I think I’m pretty much done with old Henry!  I enjoyed Bringing up the Bodies a bit more than Wolf Hall and the story was easier to follow.  A few less Thomas’ I think!

bring-up-the-bodies-review_320

3.5 stars

 So what have you been reading lately?  Please share in the comments.

To check out some of my other recommended reads go here:

January 2013 Recommended Reads

February 2013 Recommended Reads

March 2013 Recommended Reads

 

 

Enjoy!

Leigh Anne

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Comments

  1. says

    Loved Pillars of the Earth… long but well written and engaging. The sequel is very good as well, World Without End.

    Always enjoy your reading lists!

    ¤´¨)
    ¸.•´¸.•*´¨) ¸.•*¨)
    (¸.•´ (¸.•`¤… Jennifer
    Jenn’s Random Scraps

  2. Christy Keyton says

    Thanks for the recommendations — think I will read The Winter Sea. I just finished the new Beth Hoffman book, Looking for Me. It was an easy read and a touching story, but I did not love it like I loved Saving CeeCee Honeycutt.

    • says

      Definitely read The Winter Sea – I have been reading several of her other books and really enjoy them. I will check out Looking for Me. I really enjoyed Saving CeeCee Honeycutt too.

  3. Marm says

    Thanks for posting your list. We were in England just a week or two before you were and I enjoyed the history I learned. I wish I would have read some of the books you talked about before the trip, but I’m sure I will still enjoy them. I had tried Wolfe Hall, but finally gave it up. I’m glad to hear I wasn’t the only one who had a hard time following it. Thanks for the post.

  4. says

    The Fault in Our Stars is a 5-star book. It’s about a two teens that meet at a cancer survival support group and follows their friendship. It is very well written and real. The book addresses their thoughts and feelings about having cancer. This isn’t a syrupy book, it takes a frank, honest look at cancer. It isn’t bleak or maudlin though, just extremely interesting.

  5. Dawn says

    Leigh Anne, I am reading The Kitchen House and it is excellent. I also just read Tell the Wolves I’m home and I loved it. Also, there is a slight difference between the book title and the book cover you posted. Bones or bodies?

    • says

      I enjoyed The Kitchen house too but haven’t read Tell the Wolves – will check it out. Sorry about the typo – it is Bring up the Bodies!!

  6. says

    I have loved every book I’ve read by Susanna Kearsley. I just got The Firebird from the library today, it is the only one of her books I had not read. They are all so wonderful I can’t pick a favorite of hers, but The Rose Garden would be at the top.
    I enjoy a variety of books but if you love historical fiction/romance a couple great reads are The Bronze Horseman (very deep, tragic and touching; WW2 story of survival and love – slightly graphic) and Revolution (takes place during the French Revolution and has a time travel aspect).
    I also loved The Snow Child – it was one of those books that stayed with me for so long after I read it. It is about a childless couple in Alaska with a magical element to the story. My favorite read this year.
    thanks for all your recommendations. I just made my reading list for vacation next week and I appreciated your reviews and suggestions.

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