Recent Reads

The books have been piling up on my desk with the overzealous idea of posting about them.  They were all going to have a separate post.  Ha!  Not as if anyone cares that much what I’ve been reading.  So here’s the abbreviated version of the idea…because you should care what I’m reading!  What if I were to become corrupted from reading all these things without any feedback from you…GASP!

Let me just start by saying I am a big sucker for historical fiction about royalty, particularly queens (not of the drag variety)…and I also am easily drawn in by novels marked for Young Adults.  If you want to psycho-analyze why that is…go ahead.  But it’s probably just because they are an easy read.  Larger print, larger margins, short duration, relatively uncomplicated plot lines.  They are a perfect breather in between the more intense books.

The Bad Queen by Carolyn Meyer.  (Ok, I’ll admit it.  It actually said “Teen” instead of “Young Adult”).  I read this book after reading a review of it on one of my favorite sites (Read it Here) .  The book is about Marie Antoinette.  I believe I may have read another book about Marie Antoinette before, but this one might have been better (forgive me, it’s been a long time).  This book was told from Marie Antoinette’s point of view.  It gave some idea how she became the type of queen who seemed oblivious to the effect of her extravagance on her subjects.  Incidentally, this author claims that Marie Antoinette never did say those infamous words attributed to her, “Let them eat cake”.  I’m not really sure how the author can claim that, but her mentioning of it probably is reflected in her style of writing. 

Just two random things I found interesting in the book:

Those gigantic contraptions the women wore on their hips were called panniers (at least in this book).  You probably find that an incredibly boring detail…unless you are a bicyclist…that’s what the bags are called that bicyclists carry on the sides of their bikes.  Talk about saddlebags on your butt!!!

I found it fascinating that when Marie Antoinette was sent off to be married that before she entered her new country, she was required to leave EVERYTHING behind…including the clothes on her back.  She had to strip down in front of an audience at the borders of the country.  Then she was dressed in the new wardrobe.  The audience was there to ensure that she was not bringing anything with her.

 

Her Highness’ First Murder by Peg Herring.  I was a little surprised that this was not labeled young adult because it read like one.  This certainly wasn’t my favorite of the historical fiction books that I’ve ever read, but I should probably mention that I don’t care for mysteries to begin with.  In fact, this is probably the only mystery that I’ve ever finished reading (or got through more than three chapters of, if you must know).  It came off a little like a medieval Nancy Drew.  So, if you like that sort of thing, you might enjoy this book.  It remains to be seen if I will be sucked into another book in this series.

 

Duchessina by Carolyn Meyer.  I decided to read another book by this author since that is the genre that I like.  This one is about Catherine de’ Medici.  She was married to King Henri II.  I enjoyed this book because it showed what some of the arranged marriages were really like (no fairy tales here).  I don’t know much about Catherine de’Medici, but apparently in her later years she gained a bad reputation.  This book focuses mostly on the years prior to that.  It becomes apparent, once again, how it was that royalty could become so tainted.   

 

Now for books out of that genre (and age-range 😉 ):

Loose Girl by Kerry Cohen.  It’s a memoir of how and why a young girl became promiscuous.  This would be a good book for parents of teens (both girls and boys) to read.    The book was probably cathartic for the author, who is now a psychotherapist, and it is an enlightening book for anyone else who works their way through it.  When I was in my teens and early twenties I had quite a few friends who fell into the category of being “loose” (that being one of the nicer terms), so I heard a lot of these same kinds of ideas that this author puts out there (sorry, no pun intended). 

Even though the author reveals a lot and touches on the reasons behind her behavior, I still got the impression that she is protecting her parents and went easy on them in the blame department.  Maybe that’s a good thing.  Maybe it’s a bad thing.  But it leaves you wondering if she has told herself the whole story…and if she has…is she protecting her parents because she has reconciled with them?  I kind of felt like there was more of the story that needed to be told. 

I think, in the end, though, she really did drive home the point that having sex with someone will not make them love you.  That was probably the intention of the book.  As for why parents would benefit from reading this book?  I think that the book encourages parents to be diligent in their relationships with their children…no matter how tough it gets to communicate with them.

 

Here’s the Deal, Don’t Touch Me by Howie Mandel.  It’s been awhile since I’ve read a biography of a celebrity.  I’ve always thought Howie Mandel was hysterical in his hidden videos.  And I’d heard about his germ-a-phobia and I always like stories that involve the human psyche.  So, when I saw the book on display at the library, I figured, “what the heck, why not?”

If you are at all offended by foul language and dirty stories, you might want to refrain from reading this book.  The book starts out with a story about Howard Stern, so that might give you an idea right there.  But it’s a very relevant story, so you might just want to stick with it.  At first, when I read that particular beginning, I thought, “well, I’m pretty sure I’d have been freaked out too…I think most people would be”, but as the book progresses, you can see that Howie Mandel does suffer from a debilitating disorder.  It’s pretty amazing to watch him function on television after having read this book.

I liked that he ‘fessed up to a couple of things that he was truly ashamed of doing.  Takes guts.  I won’t give it away.  Wouldn’t want to ruin a good read for you (and it would take too long and it would probably be plagiarized).    So go read it for yourself.  It’s a pretty quick read.  And I think, as celebrity biographies go, it was pretty good.  Interesting at least.

 

So, I think that covers most of the books I’ve finished recently.  There’s one more, but I think I’ll save that for it’s own post…after I read it again.  Oh, and don’t be surprised if I end up posting about all the books that didn’t get finished!  Don’t ask me why I would do that to you!  It’s just an urge I have, okay?!

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2 Responses to Recent Reads

  1. Now, why are discriminated against drag queen literature?

    I’m sure there are some fine tomes out there.

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