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Austen to Zafón

Reading widely since 1972.

Currently reading

A London Family, 1870-1900: A Trilogy
Molly Hughes
The Cellist of Sarajevo
Steven Galloway
Lives of a Cell: Notes of a Biology Watcher
Lewis Thomas
All the Names
José Saramago, Margaret Jull Costa
A History of the World in 100 Objects
Neil MacGregor
Down the Garden Path
Beverley Nichols
Virtue Betray'd, Or, Anna Bullen
John Banks
Year of Wonders
Geraldine Brooks
Swallows and Amazons
Arthur Ransome
Illusion in java
Gene Fowler
Queen's Own Fool - Jane Yolen, Robert J. Harris The story of Mary Queen of Scots, told from the perspective of a 12-year-old girl employed as the queen's own personal entertainer. I read this in two sittings and was up until 2 am finishing it last night. It certainly is a page-turner and Nicola doesn't disappoint as an independent, passionate, and funny observer of the events around Mary's stint as Queen of Scotland. I don't know how accurate it is, although Yolen seems to be a thorough researcher. The queen did have a fool named Nicola, but I think that's all we know. It does have suggestions that a servant girl was certainly not safe amongst many of the powerful men of the time, with several of them trying to push themselves upon her, but there is nothing too graphic and they never get farther than trying to push a tongue into her mouth. There were some slightly more graphic details about the hangings and beheadings of traitors. My 6-year-old son is certainly not ready for this (I was pre-reading for him), but I think in time he'll enjoy it. There was a lot of detail about the dress, customs, and lifestyles of the time and it made me want to read more historical information about the time and people.