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May Reading Round-Up

Compared to April, my reading in May was shameful. I read a total of four books, two of them being very short and the other two jam-packed with text right up to the margins. After having shunned non-fiction books for a while I found myself craving them so the two latter books were historical accounts. And that was my failing – although I absolutely loved the first it was very long, and the last didn’t live up to my expectations at all so I trailed through it at snail pace. But it’s taught me more than ever that what I want to read may not always be what I should read.

The Books

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Alison Weir: The Princes In The Tower – Alison Weir looks at all the contemporary evidence afresh to come to a conclusion as to whether or not Edward V and his brother were killed by their uncle, Richard III. Or so says the book – in reality this is an incredibly biased account full of selfish assumptions by a woman who should know better. Useful for the source information but if you’re wanting to know about the events there are plenty of other books to choose from and personally I’d recommend you do that.

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Lisa See: On Gold Mountain – Lisa See presents the story of her Chinese-American family’s rise to business success from the initial journey of her great-grandfather to America in the late 1800’s to the present day situation of his descendents. A fabulous tale of adventure, hardship, forbidden love, antiques and lingerie sharing the same space, and the birth of modern-day America written with the poetic language of a novel.


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C S Lewis: The Horse And His Boy (The Chronicles Of Narnia) – A child runs away with a talking horse to find the land in which the horse grew up. Along the way they meet a princess who is also running away to Narnia with her own talking horse. Together they must get past the obstacles between them and their destination. A nice short story to add to the series, but skip-able.

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C S Lewis: Prince Caspian (The Chronicles Of Narnia) – Narnia has changed a lot since the four children from our world ruled there. Caspian, the rightful king, must find a way to win back the land from his usurping uncle – and about his person is Queen Susan’s horn which, when blown, will summon the sovereigns of old to his aid. A very different Narnia but still compelling.

The best of the bunch was On Gold Mountain – I’ve been raving about it to anyone who’ll listen. It was so different to See’s Peony In Love which you may remember I didn’t like too much. I’ve reached the point in The Chronicles Of Narnia where the series starts to lose it’s appeal to me but I will carry on until the end.

Quotation Report

If you use Shasta of The Horse And His Boy as your case of reference you will never explore the area to the south of your home because if you go just a little way, a little little way, south, and find it uninteresting then surely further south will be just as boring. Of course this does not apply to you if you live by the sea – exploring the sea would be interesting, and possibly fatal. And while the majority of the world’s population would agree that when you’re dead that’s it, Lasaraleen of Calormen, the country south of Narnia, thinks that a good course of action is to kill a traitor and then, afterwards, feed them only bread and water. Edmund, the King of Narnia, at the time of Prince Caspian, shows us that the phrases we think are modern aren’t always so when he says “it will be more of a sucks for him if I win, and less of a let-down for us all if I fail”. And Lucy points out that girls don’t have maps in their heads like boys because their minds have a bit more substance.

So I had a lot of willing this month, I just didn’t place it well. I’ve lined up some easier reads for June.



June 1, 2010, 11:07 am

I’m looking forward to your review of On Gold Mountain, it sounds like a great read!

Charlie: I’m just editing it now, it’ll be one of the next two posts. I’m looking forward to posting, I definitely think it needs more publicity.

Jackie (Farm Lane Books)

June 2, 2010, 4:21 pm

I still haven’t read anything written by Lisa See. I own a few of her books, but for some reason they never seem to make it to the top of the pile. I haven’t heard of On Gold Mountain before so it is good to know that is worth raving about!

Charlie: So our situations were quite similar! I’ve only read two, this one and Peony In Love, but I’d say if you’ve got Peony leave it back until you’ve read another. You might love it of course, but personally I found it dragged.



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