Zi71bFS9nQHnivtvUJquhejTHIQ The Story Factory Reading Zone: July 2010

Saturday, 31 July 2010

My recent book activity

This past week or so has been one of those times when everything comes at once. Whilst I've had a chance to do some reading inbetween 'real world' and work, there's been no real times to post on my blogs and websites. And I've decided that, since this is unlikely to change any time soon, it would be best if I stopped doing reading challanges for the time being. So, I guess that means the end for my detailed Narnia posts this year.

On the plus side, I intend to keep making offline reviews of the books I read and post loads at once whenever I get the chance. I should also be able to keep track of what I buy and release in a similar way. So, look out for temporary post overloads, coming soon! Also, those of you who like to request books, should know that I'll probably be offering more of the books I read for sending out, as well as wild releasing at a slower rate. So, UK readers, request away (and I may even offer the ocassional EU/ international book as well)

For now, back to what I've been reading since my last post.
Well, I've continued to read The Chronicles of Narnia and have moved on from Prince Caspian to The Voyage of The Dawn Treader. The theology in this story got me slightly confused, especially where it seemed as if several of the characters could have represented God / Jesus / The Holy Spirit. I've decided that I definately need to start reading some books about the theology in the Narnia stories rather than just trying to work it out for myself.

Whilst The Chronicles of Narnia is a very good read, the version I've been using was far too heavy to carry out with me on a daily basis. So, I've also started reading 'Bombs on Aunt Dainty' by Judith Kerr- a book which was send to me as part of a BookCrossing ring. Its the sequel to 'When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit' and I'm also on the ring list to read the next book in the series. More about that when I've finished reading.

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Prince Caspian: My Introduction

A book and TV series, another memory from my childhood. To be honest both have blurred in my mind over time, allowing me to wonder at what I will discover when I re-read this story. Due to a busy schedule this story will probably take a bit longer for me to read than the others, but I hope that this will give me the time to ponder the subtle references which are often a feature of the Narnia series. Please do journey with me in this adventure.

The Horse and His Boy (A Review)

OK, so you've probably got fed up of me commenting on this book, but I promise this will be my last post on the subject (for now, at least).

I find this book a bit slow at first. The tale seemed simple and uninspiring, the biblical references obvious and inconsistant. However, once Aslan revealed himself the tale become more interesting. I started to look back and consider the forms in which he had appeared before. What was his purpose? Was there a grand design in the mind of the author? How did it compare with God's role in our own world? Worth reading as part of the Narnia serious, although still not as good as some of the other stories in my opinion.

The Horse and His Boy: Entering Narnia

The second thing that struck me about 'The Horse and His Boy' was the differing reactions that the main characters had on entering Narnia. I'm going to look at each of the four main character's reactions one at a time, and also the reaction of Rabadash, which is also very interesting.

Shasta enters Narnia in the dead of night without even realising it. He is guided to his destination by Aslan, who stops him falling off the trecherous paths which he must take. He seems unphased by his entry, as if it just had to happen at some point. And neither is he phased by meeting a talking hedgehog, despite never having encountered one before. In fact the only things that surprises him seems to be the centaurs. He is pleased with the new country, and even more pleased to find himself officially a part of it. He is relectant to take his rightful place as king, but only because it pushes Corin from the throne- he is a humble boy.

In contrast, Bree is a proud creature. She does not want to enter Narnia until she is as good as she can be. She does not want to seem less than the other horses in Narnia. She does not believe the tales that she is told, although she uses the language of Narnia. It is only when Aslan teaches her that her behaviour is foolish that she is ready to enter Narnia.

Avaris has been brought up to see Narnia as a dangerous place, and yet she is eager to get there. She wariness still remains in her attitude towards Aslan- since he is a lion, and lions are dangerous, he too must be dangerous! And yet she is ready to accept his reassurance that his paws are velvetted and will not hurt her.

Hwin has always longed to see Narnia, his home. He is not bothered how they arrive in  the country, he just wants to get there. And, knowing that Aslan is the deliverer of Narnia, he puts his life in his paws (literally), despite his fears.

Now let us take a look at Rabadash. Rabadash tried to conquer Narnia, to overcome the power of its army. Of course, all that happens is that he is made to look a fool. He will not learn to be humble and instead tries to scare away his enemies, he is unable to see when he is defeated. And so he leaves Narnia under the control of Aslan and all who follow him- tame, lowly and a fool. Aslan forces peace upon him and makes him rule his own country in a much humbler manner. He will never be allowed to set foot in Narnia again!

The Horse and his Boy: Meeting "Myself"

I was struck by how different the way Aravis, Shasta, Bree and Hwin met Aslan (also known as 'Myself') was from how characters met him in the previous two Narnia books I read. Aslan does not appear in all his glory, showing himself as king of Narnia. Instead he works in more subtle ways- changing the path that the children and horses follow, protecting them and teaching them lessons in the process.

Aslan is there at the tombs, allowing Shasta to sleep in comfort against his back. Then he appears as a domestic cat, meek and mild. And before Shasta actually sees Aslan, knowing that he is something alive is enough to persuade him to tell of his sorrows. He is there at times of needs without being called.

Aslan looked after Shasta as a child, delivering him safely from the sea. He drove away the jackels from the tomb. And he saved Narnia by making sure that the horses travelled fast enough to get Shasta to King Lune in time.

The Aslan of 'The Horse and His Boy' judge and prosecutor. He punishes Avaris for her actions, and makes her understand the true nature of them. He mets out justice against Rabadash. But he is not unfair in his judgement- his wounding Avaris serves a double purpose; he gives Rabadash every chance to repent and effectively allows him to go unharmed so long as he lives in peace with his neighbouring countries.

Ultimately, Aslan is simply himself. He cannot be defined by known concepts, his nature defies true explanation. It is clear that in this name of Aslan, C.S. Lewis echoes the description of the Old Testament god as 'I Am'.

Friday, 16 July 2010

The Horse and His Boy: My Introduction

Now, this is one that I don't think I've ever got to the end of before. I remember trying to read it quite a few years ago and feeling slightly lost at times. I think the problem was mainly the fact that its not taking place in Narnia, but across a series of other countries in the same world (if I remember rightly). Hopefully, now that I'm a bit older, it'll be easier to understand and I'll enjoy it more.

Not sure what I'll be focusing on yet for blog posts, I guess I'll just see what inspires me.

The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe (A Review)

I felt much more connected with this book than I did reading 'The Magician's Nephew'. I don't know if that's because the story is so much more familiar to me, or if there's something different about the characters or the writing style. I did love, however, when the reader was being addressed directly, it made it feel as if the story was written just for you. Maybe the reason for this was because, as it says in the dedication, it was written for C.S. Lewis' goddaughter, Lucy. The only thing that disappointed me was how quickly the story started. I felt that it could have done with more background setting, like in the adaptations I've seen. But maybe this is just a sign of the changing times.

Part 3 of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe: Even the Smallest.....

Whether its the mice freeing Aslan, Lucy healing the wounded or Peter leading his first battle, in the world of Narnia we are shown that even the smallest (or least unexpected) can make a difference. What is it that allows them to do this? Faith! Without it they become like Edmund before he knew Aslan- controlled by their desires and fears. Are we too like this, or as we willing to face the dangers that might make even the smallest decision the most important we have ever made?

Part 2 of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe- Meeting the White Witch

Having looked at the different ways characters reacted to meeting Aslan in 'The Magician's Nephew', I thought it would be interesting to study also how characters react to The White Witch. The events I describe take place up to the end of Chapter 13.

We have already seen a variety of reactions within 'The Magician's Nephew'. I won't go into great detail here (I don't want to spoil it for anyone who's not read that story'. Suffice to say that some saw great wonder and beauty in her, whilst others saw danger and deception. But how do the characters of 'The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe' react? For this, I will look at 5 different groups of reactions.

1. Edmund
When Edmund first meets the witch he has no idea who she is. He is impressed by her sledge, but at the same time worried about the way he looks at her. She reacts violently towards him at first, but he is soon too preoccupied with food, drink and promises to remember this. She tempts him and wins. Peter later says that the proceeding betrayal is partly his own fault because he had been so mean to Edmund. This may be partly the case, as Edmund has doubts when he returns to Narnia once more with his siblings. These doubts are pushed aside by anger towards his brother, often unjustified by blown up by ill-feelings. This ill-feeling is multiplied and projected onto his other siblings because of their rejection of the Queen whom he has convinced himself will give him power. But, all too soon, the true nature of the Witch is shown as he becomes useless once more. She breaks her promises and turns against her former prince in one move. Now she is something to be feared, but still he feels that he must do her will. It is only now that Edmund sees what he has lost by making his alliance.

2. Mr Tumlus
We are not present at the moment when Mr Tumlus meets the White Witch, but we do know a lot about his reaction to her. He promises to follow her and to give up any humans that come his way to her. Unlike Edmund, however, this does not seem to be so that he can gain rewards. In fact, if we are to believe what he tells Lucy, then the opposite is true. His actions are motivated by fear, fear that he will be killed, or worse, if he does not do what is ordered of him. It is easy because he has never met a human. Maybe he has heard tales of evil humans, as the beavers claim that there are both good and bad kinds, and is prejudiced against them (we shall never know). But when he sees the kindness in Lucy then he manages to break the Witch's grip over him, even though it means that she will destroy him.

3. Peter, Susan and Lucy
This meeting is passed over very quickly, but it is quite important. All three siblings have heard tales of the evil witch. We are told that they feel shudders running down their backs at the sight of her. And yet they do not run or hide. Why is this? Surely because they have Aslan with them.

4. The rescue party sent to Edmund
They rush in and seize Edmund, knocking the dagger out of The Witch's hand in the process. They have no fear of her! Surely this is true belief in the protective nature of Aslan. They have been sent to rescue Edmund and so they will complete that mission, there is no danger for them! What is interesting here is that just before this meeting the White Witch has been boasting about being able to turn Aslan's army to stone, and yet she hides from a simple rescue party. 

5. Aslan
Of course, this is not the first time Aslan has been The White Witch. When they met before she cowered and ran away. This time she is more confident- the world has been under her control! And yet Aslan also remains confident and sure. He allows her to come amongst his people (all be it unarmed). He talks with her in private. He makes deals with her which he believes she will keep, despite prior evidence. And he is ultimately in control! For he can send her running away with a roar dare she question him!

Part 1 of 'The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe'- Finding Trust and Narnia

Having read to the end of Chapter 6 and watched the movie up to the same point, the main difference that has struck me is the increased lack of trust shown by the children in the film version. The reasons for this are clearly set up- they have been evacuated in the middle of the Blitz, having already experienced a terrible air raid themselves. There father is at war and Edmund, in particular, is extremly fond of him. Much more is made of this than in the book, probably because of an expectation that the audience may not understand the background to events as the original reader would have. I do wonder however, whether the addition of Edmund's worries about his father are not a product of our blame culture, as if what he is going to do is simply a result of the terrible society in which he has grown up. Anyway, with this background in mind and combined with our modern fears, it is easy to see why the movie includes more trust issues.

Firstly, Mrs McCredie makes a big issue about not just interrupting her tours but a mirad of other things including not disturbing the professor. It is as if she cannot trust the children to behave without her direct instructions. Secondly, when Lucy meets Mr Tumlus it is not only the faun that is shocked but her as well. They both come across as a lot more scared. This gives an opportunity for the film Lucy to be reassured prior to an invitation to Mr Tumlus' house which, incidentally, she seems to be more hesitant about still. Thirdly, on a similar theme, Edmund needs to be saved by The White Witch before he trusts her enough to accept food, and then he only accepts said food after talking for a while. One wonders if these are the director's attempts to reinterate 'don't accept food from strangers'- the character has to be established as a possible friend before food can be taken. Fourthly, partly in reaction to Mrs McCredie's added warning, the Susan and Peter seem a lot more wary of talking to The Professor. In the book it is there choice to go to him and they talk freely with the reassurance that the story will be sent home if necessary. In the film they seem almost worried of being judged unable to look after their sister. They only talk to The Professor because they are forced to be Lucy's bumping into him, and then they do it hesitantly. Lastly, Peter and Susan's talk to The Professor seems to suggest that they agree with Edmund that little children often carry their imaginations too far. The only mention of madness, or that she could really believe what's happening, comes from the adult present and then only in passing. The implication is that it is totally reasonable not to trust strangers, adults you've only known a short while (even if they are officially caring for you) and young children (even siblings)- in short that it is natural not too trust others.

Interestingly, there is one difference between the movie and the book that does not fit this pattern! The final entry into the wardrobe in both versions is made when escaping from Mrs McCredie. But, in the book, this is simply because there is a tour going on which they've been told not to disturb. In the film not only are the children already in trouble for waking The Professor, they've also broken a window. I wonder if this increased impetus for running away does not reflect the difference in seriousness needed to reprimand children in today's society. To run away simply because they were happened upon is no longer enough- in such circumstances today could they not have simply stated that it was an accident there being there!

Anyway, back to the book.
I wanted to look at the different ways in which the children enter Narnia, referring to The Magicians' Nephew (which I recently read) and occassionally the film version as well.
  1. The first child to enter is Lucy. Lucy has no prior conception of Narnia when she enters, she simply wishes to explore (something that is lost in the film). Like Digory and Polly, she has to reassure herself that she will be able to get back home. But, like them,  she also has the childlike innocence that allows her to be open to new ideas. She has no issue with their being such things as fauns, in-fact she hardly seems surprised to come across Mr Tumlus. The movie portays this innocence beautifully when Lucy first sees the woods- and it is worth watching only for this moment. I couldn't help but think that this is what Jesus must have meant by entering the kingdom of God like a child. It is almost with sadness that I read about her beginning to doubt that it was real.
  2. The next to find Narnia is Edmund. He already found that he could not enter the other world when he was looking for it. He has told everyone that he doesn't believe Lucy and we are told that he enters the wardrobe only to tease her. However, we are also told that he is only a year older than Lucy and his teasing reminds me very much of that of a young boy who mocks something because he is scared to believe that it might be true. And whilst he's not prepared for the weather in Narnia, he doesn't seem to surprised to be there really. The book simply says that he was reluctant to admit that he had been wrong. Interestingly, he seems naturally afraid of the new place in a way that none of his siblings seem to have been. Is this, like Uncle Andrew, because he knows he's done something wrong?
  3. Finally, Susan and Peter enter Narnia. They too could not enter the other world when they were searching for proof. Is this C.S. Lewis' way of saying that if we search for proof of our faith then we will not find it? Eventually, when least expecting it, they do manage to get into Narnia. At this point they are not even considering what Lucy had said and even if they were, they have been prepared by The Professor to be more willing to accept the truth. Was that talk necessary to allow them entry into the other world?

The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe: My Introduction

The Magician's Nephew left us with a cliff-hanger that clearly naturally leads into the 'The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe' story. This is one of the stories that I've read many a time, seen in a TV series and watched the movie version of. However, it is quite a while since I last read it and so I'm looking forward to seeing how the dramatisations (both of which I've seen more recently) compare with it. My intention, therefore, it to watch the movie version alongside my reading and blog about the differences and any effect that this has on the story.

The Magician's Nephew: A Review

On the face of it a simple and charming fairytale, as with all of the Chronicles of Narnia there is a deeper meaning hidden within its pages. This is one of the things that I love about the Narnia series- the way in which, depending on what mood I'm in, I can take the stories on a variety of levels. The Magician's Nephew does not disappoint in this respect! I'm only surprised that no-ones made it into a movie yet!

Please do not request this book, as its a keeper!

Day 2 of The Magician's Nephew: Meeting Aslan

Having now read to the end of the book, I'd like to reflect on the different reactions characters had to meeting Aslan, as well as the world of Narnia itself. There seem to be five main types of reaction, ranging from that of The Witch at one end to that of Polly and the Cabbie on the other.

Reaction 1: The Witch
The witch's immediate reaction is to challenge Aslan. She believes herself stronger than him and able to conquer his will. When she finds that she cannot win a face-to-face battle she leaves silently, but with the intention of becoming stronger still and subverting his followers in the meantime. Aslan tells us here that her ploys have brought her what she desires, but not what is good for her. She is unable to see the bad side-effects however, and so would see no reason to repent. She seems to personify devil or even evil itself, but I wonder whether there isn't an element of her in some people as well. Is she the person who sees God and yet not only rejects him but actively argues that others should do so as well?

Reaction 2: Uncle Andrew
Uncle Andrew briefly sees the goodness in Aslan's song but, once presented with who is making the noise, refuses to hear it any longer. To him it becomes gibberish, non-sensical and dangerous. Aslan is simply an animal, and a dangerous one at that. The result of these beliefs is that he sees all the well-intentioned actions of the Narnians in a fearful manner and they become dangerous to him because he can longer communicate his wishes. As Aslan says, he blocks what he does not wish to see. Aslan can do nothing but give him rest as acceptance needs to come from within. This is probably the easiest character to see an equivilant of in our own world.

Reaction 3: Digory
Digory wants to believe, but finds it hard. He is fearful of Aslan at first because he knows that he has done wrong. Yet he is brave enough to confront him with the needs of another. Hedoubts himself, but finds reassurance through Aslan. He is faced with temptation and yet finds the determination in himself to overcome it and follow the will of Aslan. It is not an easy path for him and yet it is one that will ultimately bring protection to the whole of Narnia, as well as rewarding him with his greatest desire. Since this desire is at one with Aslan's, it is one which will also bring him true happiness. No doubt many Christians walk the path of Digory, so it should be conforting to remember that his actions unknowingly lead to the construction of rather special wardrobe

Reaction 4: Polly
Polly's reactions are probably the least stated in the story- they are very important however. Polly silently watches as Aslan completes his work. She is wary of him and seeks reassurances, yet she does not back away and answers at his bequest. She is the friend of Digory, helping him complete his work. She does not interfere when the Witch tempts him, knowing that it is not her place, but she is ready to be there once again when he needs her. How many Polly's do you know, silently striving to help others complete God's will?

Reaction 5: The Cabbie
 Probably the most interesting quotable passage has to be this one:
"Son", said Aslan to the Cabbie. "I have known you long. Do you know me?"
"Well, no, sir," said the Cabby. "Leastwise, not in an ordinary manner of speaking. Yet I feel somehow, if I may make so free, as 'ow we've met before"
"It is well," said the Lion. "You know me better than you think you know, and you shall live to know me better yet"
In this way, The Cabbie's meeting with Aslan is not a usual one. It seems to me that there are two possible interpretations of this passage: 1) C.S. Lewis is pointing on to us that the Cabbie knows God in our world and, since this is the case, he must also know Aslan; or 2) It is possible to know God in our world without realising it, i.e. without calling yourself a Christian or any other religion. Now it strikes me that the 2nd idea might be contraversal to some, but I put it out there as a possible intended interpretation.
Whatver the intended interpretation of the passage, the Cabbie's reaction to Aslan is clearly as the King of Narnia. He seems full of wonder, more awed than fearful. And he is ready to do Aslan's will, even if it seems beyond his abilities. He promises to do his best to everything that Aslan says, and is justly rewarded for his loyalty. He is to be the rock and the foundation of Narnia!

Day 1 of The Magician's Nephew

I've been surprised so far how much of this story I actually know. I could have sworn, prior to starting, that I'd never read the book or seen any commentary / TV series about it. Well, maybe I read it a long time ago, or maybe I've just picked up a lot from general Narnia commentaries. Whatever the reason, its interesting to find out how much I remembered and how much is new to me.

Reading chapters 1-6, I was struck by the way in which travelling to another world and the dangers it brings seems to be linked up with exploration into unknown places. In The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, the children find Narnia through playing Hide and Seek into a forbidden room, in  The Silver Chair Eustace and Jill are trying to escape through a locked door. There's also an element of trying to escape from everyday life, often from those everyday badies of non-sympathetic grown-ups or bullies.

Is it like this in our everyday lives? Do we try to escape the day to day problems by travelling into the unknown, only to find greater troubles? And is this a necessary process to find or own 'Narnia', or is 'Narnia' the way of getting out of situations we should not have put ourselves into in the first place?

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Narnia Reading Challenge: The Magician's Nephew

I've finally managed to get through all the BookCrossing rings and rays on my TBR pile and can start on The Chronicles of Narnia! Yipee!!!!!!!!

I'm reading the books using a complete Chronicles of Narnia and taken in the order they are presented in that edition- The Magician's Nephew; The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe; The Horse and His Boy; Prince Caspian; The Voyage of the Dawn Treader; The Silver Chair; and The Last Battle. Out of these it is The Magician's Nephew; The Horse and His Boy; and The Last Battle which I am least familiar with.

My intention, as I said in my introduction, is mainly to familiarise myself with those books that I remember least. This means that I aim to read at least the 3 stories mentioned above. In addition, I would like to re-read the other stories and compare them to the movie and TV versions which I have in my possession.

Anyway, on to The Magician's Nephew. I know very little about this story at the moment. The little I do know is from a study guide to biblical references in the chronicles. From what I remember there is a boy called Diggory and his uncle (although I may be confusing this with another story from the chronicles). I also believe that it concerns the early days of Narnia. It will be interesting to see how the story begins.

Anyway, look out for comments as I read along (hopefully), or at least a review when I finish. For now I must start reading

The Stars Like Dust by Asimov (A Review)

I'd heard a lot of praise for Asimov, but for some reason I had always felt that I would not enjoy this works. I think, maybe, I had the impression that it would be like Arthur C. Clarke- of whose books that I've read I only enjoyed the 2001: A Space Odyssey series so far. So I'm glad that I gave this BookCrossing ray a try, because I found that I really enjoyed this book. The plot twists kept the story alive and my brain engaged. And there was something about the writing style which I enjoyed (although I can't quite put my finger on it). If this is truly not the best of his work, as other reviewers have suggested, then I look forward to reading more of his stuff.

If you're interested reading this book then check out the ray on bookcrossing- new participants are still being accepted!

Just received- Joe, the only boy in the world

Yesterday, I received a wonderful gift as a thankyou for some voluntary work (how did they know I like reading, lol). The book is Joe, the only boy in the world by Michael Blastland.
Here's what the blurb says:
A little boy stops on a slide and sings, oblivious to the queue snapping behind him. In a hardware store, he plonks himself on a display toilet before crowds of shoppers and wees. He thumps crying babies. Joe is ten and mentally disabled. He lives in a bubble of misunderstanding and occasional calamity. He's funny, fascinating, maddening.
This remarkable book tells Joe's story, but it also argues something audacious: that until you know Joe's life, you can't fully understand your own; that his misadventures teach us 'nothing less than the people-ness of people
Through his strangeness, Joe makes normaity luminous: how we make sense of others, what we mean by guilt and innocence, how we perceive our surroundings. All of which invites an outrageous question: for of Joe sets humanity in such sharp relife, how is he still a part of it? The author who asks is Joe's father. Here is the answer
I'm always interested in books which show us a different way of viewing the world, whether they're in different cultures, or just experience life in another way. As the blurb of this book says, I too believe that the can be used to gain a deeper understanding of our own lives and social norms. I'm looking forward to reading this book and hoping that it reveals Joe to be not mentally disabled, but a person with a mental disability which sheds light on us all.

Since I read a lot of books about people with special needs, I'm considering making a book-box of them. If you're interested (and are a member of BookCrossing) please let me know and I'll put you on a list for if this ever happens (or for this book if I decide against the idea for finacial reasons)

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Women of Magdelene (A brief review)

I received this book as part of a bookcrossing ray!

The women of Magdelene are dying and no one seems to care, least of all the haughty Dr Kingston, the director of the genteel Ladies' Lunatic Asylum.
Set it the shattered post-Civil War South, Women of Magdalene is a beautiful tale of deception, betrayal, greed and self-sacrifice.  

My (brief) review:
Often deeply moving, I found this book hard to put down. It was extremly thought-provoking and gave a good insight into the time when it was set.

Saturday, 10 July 2010

The White Queen (A Review)

The copy that I read was part of a BookCrossing ring. Please don't request it from me- if you're interested in borrowing it then check out the ring at BookCrossing!

1464. Cousin is at war with cousin, as the houses of York and Lancaster tear themselves apart....
And Elizabeth Woodville, a young Lacastrian widow, armed only with her beauty and her steely determination, seduces and marries the charismatic warrior king, Edward IV of York.
Crowned Queen of England, surrounded by conflict, betrayal and murder, Elizabeth rises to the demands of her position, fighting tanaciously for her family's survival. Most of all she must defend her two sons, who become the central figures in a mystery that has confounded historians for centuries: the missing Princes in the Tower.
Set amid the tumult and intrigue of the Wars of the Roses, this is the first of a stunning new series, in which internationally bestselling author Philippa Gregory brings this extraordinary drama to vivid life through the women- beginning with Elizabeth Woodville, the White Queen

My review:
It took me a little while to get into this book, but I'm glad I persisted. The character of Elizabeth was complex and interesting. I feel as if I really understand the intrigues and differences of the period now.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

BookCrossing wishlists now working!

Having heard that BookCrossing wishlists are now working, I've just been over there to update mine. All books now listed are ones that I am hoping for! And I will now start adding books that I would like to read once more as well.

Monday, 5 July 2010

Narnia Reading Challenge

I used to love watching the TV series about the world of Narnia when I was little, and along side that I read several of the books. So, when I saw the Narnia Reading Challenge on the 'Reading to know' blog I thought it would be a great opportunity to read some of the less famous books. Plus, I may just get round to watching some of the series as well.

So, look out for posts about Narnia during July. And, if you're interested in Narnia, why not join in as well.
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