"Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed."

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

May Books


Beautiful Little Fools by Jillian Cantor -- The author writes from the points of view of the women - Daisy, Jordan, Catherine - from The Great Gatsby. An interesting, entertaining book! I liked it.

Katharine Parr: The Sixth Wife by Alison Weir -- I think this was offered online when it was new, and I put it in my "books to read" list and ordered it recently from the library. It was over 500 pages, but quite interesting so I read it within a couple of days. Now I'm going to have to find more books by this author as I'd like to learn more about wives 1-5. As you'd suspect by the title, this book dealt with King Henry VIII's sixth wife: a bit about her childhood and much about her adult years, and even her short time as the King's wife and beyond. (Spoiler alert: he died while married to her so no more wives for him!) I enjoyed this one!

Nanny Dearest by Flora Collins -- This book alternates between present-day Susanna, age 25, who meets up with her old nanny, and the "old nanny," Anneliese (really forty-something), as things were back when Suzy was nearly 3 years old, and Annie her young nanny. An OK story.

Katherine of Aragon: The True Queen by Alison Weir -- First in the Six Tudor Queens series that I started with book 6 (above.) This is the first of the six, and it had just over 600 pages. I liked it pretty well, but got a bit tired of the continued chapters about the king's Great Matter. I know it was what consumed Queen Katherine's life at that point, but reading about it made me really sad for her, made me greatly dislike Anne Boleyn, and made me really disappointed in and dislike Henry VIII.  I admire Katherine's conviction and devotion to her faith and being right before God. I was going to say how much I hated her obedience to her husband and how she mostly refused to do anything to displease him (such as visit her own daughter!!!), but then the author made a note at that end about our modern feminist sensibilities not being a thing back then so I was like, eh.

Little Souls by Sandra Dallas -- There were a couple faults I had with this book (an age discrepancy and "salt" was used for "said" one time), but overall it was an easy read. NOT easy in subject matter and that was rather hard, but it was a quick book for me to get through. Helen and Lutie (short for Lucretia) are sisters who moved from Iowa to Colorado. While Helen stays busy nursing people infected by the Spanish flu, Lutie draws ads for an upscale department store. The sisters take in their downstairs tenants' daughter when the mom dies of influenza, and the dad is sent packing for mistreating his family. Pretty good story!

The Other Family by Wendy Corsi Staub -- When Keith gets a job transfer, Nora and the teenaged daughters decide to follow along. The job is only for a year, and how bad can it be in New York City after living in California? Stacey and Piper are adjusting well when the family learns that a triple homicide took place in the house they are renting. Sure, it was decades ago, but still... how spooky! This book is told in the alternating voices of Stacey, Nora, and Jacob.  Pretty good!

As the Wicked Watch by Tamron Hall -- this book is "The First Jordan Manning Novel" which makes me believe they hope to have a series featuring this investigative journalist, a thirty-ish, Black woman from Texas who lives in Chicago, covering - in this book - the disappearance of a teenager, Masey James. Pretty interesting look at the life of a TV journalist. I'm guessing the author speaks from personal experience in several matters in this book.

Wish You Were Here by Jodi Picoult -- This book takes place right when covid was shutting down schools, churches, stores and most everything in the US. Diana and her boyfriend Finn live in New York City where Finn is a resident surgeon at a local hospital. Soon he is coming home with stories about covid cases in the city. The couple were supposed to leave for a bucket list destination, Gal├ípagos, but Finn encourages Diana to go ahead and go while he stays home to care for his patients. A rather weird book for me to start the day that marked 8 months since my uncle died from covid, but it was sort of interesting to read how covid was in the early days and how it affected people (and still does somewhat, I guess.) 

Not In It to Win It: Why Choosing Sides Sidelines the Church by Andy Stanley -- Andrew recently heard a podcast about this book and expressed interest in reading it so I ordered it for his birthday. It was an easy, fast read though the subject matter is rather weighty, I suppose. A good reminder that the greatest among us serves and that we aren't here to win politically, but to show Christ's love and truth by how we act and react to others.

Anne Boleyn: A King's Obsession by Alison Weir -- Book 2 in the Six Tudor Queens series. After reading this book and the previous one, I have very little good to say about Anne Boleyn. I don't recall feeling this way after reading other books about Anne, but based on how she's presented in this book and the previous one (above), I just am not a fan. I must say that I did feel a bit sorry for her in the latter weeks of her life because if things happened as written in this book, she was falsely accused and killed for crimes she hadn't committed.

The Maid by Nita Prose -- A pretty good story about Molly Gray, a stickler for cleanliness who doesn't cut corners. When she discovers a dead body in one of the rooms she regularly cleans, she becomes part of the investigation. I enjoyed this one.

The Lost Summers of Newport by Beatriz Williams, Lauren Willig, and Karen White -- A pretty interesting story alternating between three generations of ladies in Newport, Rhode Island: Andie, the modern-day TV host with a love of old houses; Lucky who finds life difficult with her perpetually-drunk-and-cheating husband Stuy; and Ellen Daniels who is hiding from her old life as the music teacher for Maybelle who is supposed to be ready to charm and marry an Italian prince.