I have touched on this recently...how I would think that someone like me would grow tired of the Tudors, as I have been reading books and watching sho...moreI have touched on this recently...how I would think that someone like me would grow tired of the Tudors, as I have been reading books and watching shows and films about them faithfully for years...and how honestly I thought I was starting to feel a bit less enamored in recent days. However, this author has such a spot on voice when it comes to writing about the Tudors. Queen Elizabeth I is arguably my most favorite Tudor figure and the depiction of her in this book is exactly as I imagine she was in life. This book has gone a step further by giving us a glimpse of Elizabeth had she been a mother via her interaction with her cousin and ward, Mary Shelton. However, in her dealings with Mary, as with any sovereign who is also a parent, she can't quite get past her queenly duties and responsibilities to do what is right and expected.
It would seem that Elizabeth's ultimate aim for her 'ladies' would be to remain marriage-less, like herself. However, if they did decide to marry they must have her exclusive permission and often Elizabeth would arrange a powerful match for them. When she does so with Mary, trying to match her with Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford, Mary balks, as she finds him to be a cruel lecher. Instead, she falls in love with a man of low circumstance (comparably) and Elizabeth refuses to allow the marriage. What happens next is the explosion of Elizabeth's wrath and the resulting plight of serious danger for the newly married couple. Again, we are reminded that times were perilous with the Tudors. Whether you lived in the time of Henry VIII, Queen Mary or Elizabeth herself, the political intrigue and dangers knew no bounds. The author brings this across beautifully in her well-researched prose.
This is not the first time I have recommended a book by Ms. Barnhill and I'm sure it certainly will not be the last. If you want to read historical fiction about the Tudors, her books are the ones you want. (less)
(This would actually be a 4 1/2 star review, if it was an option)
Sadly, I have yet to read Dickens' Oliver Twist (it's on my endless to-be-read pile),...more(This would actually be a 4 1/2 star review, if it was an option)
Sadly, I have yet to read Dickens' Oliver Twist (it's on my endless to-be-read pile), but who hasn't heard the story, or seen the many screen adaptations? I have, of course, so I felt I knew the story well enough to read Christine Pilz's Fagin's Boy...and I'm so glad I did.
I have read several of Dickens' great works and let me just say that Pilz has masterfully captured his tone in her writing. As with Dickens, the reader experiences the palpable sorrow of downtrodden characters and when these characters find happiness/redemption, the heart soars.
Oliver's story is one that stays with us and to read such a worthy continuation of his story is a true delight. It's quite impressive that this is Pilz's first novel. It's exciting to anticipate just what she will come up with next. I, for one, can't wait!(less)
This book came highly recommended from my friend, Amy. She was not wrong. This story cannot simply be categorized as historical fiction. It is that, b...moreThis book came highly recommended from my friend, Amy. She was not wrong. This story cannot simply be categorized as historical fiction. It is that, but it is also literary fiction at its finest.
Starting out in the 16th century and spanning time and the globe from Spain during the inquisition to the Ottoman Empire through WWII Paris and on to present day America, the book shows us how we all come from somewhere and truly have lived many lives through our ancestors. It also shows that love transcends time and that sometimes things do not turn out quite the way we would wish them to, but it's the little things that make life worth living and cherishing.
I found myself especially drawn to the characters. I felt an emotional connection and their triumphs and tragedies really struck at the heart. Sometimes a story comes along that is just right and this is that story.
I can't recommend this book highly enough. It is a remarkable debut novel and I'm really looking forward to Ms. Dweck's next book.
When I read about this book, I immediately thought to myself, "I really need to read that." I have been struggling to write and finish my own first no...moreWhen I read about this book, I immediately thought to myself, "I really need to read that." I have been struggling to write and finish my own first novel for years now...with a ton of starts and stops...and self doubt. Amir states in the book that you have to have the right attitude/mindset if you're planning on pursuing a career as an author and one major component of that mindset is optimism. I feel I do have that. So, one step ahead. However, Amir outlines in this terrific book that we must be open to every aspect of the process of becoming a successful author. Not just the writing of the book itself, but the business side of the book. The book proposal for agents/publishers (yes, you even need one for fiction authorship), as well as finding out if what you are writing about is going to sell. Will people want to read what you are writing? Now this all may sound too structured or business-like for the more creative brains out there, but the concept she outlines in the book is solid.
After the introductory section of the book which introduces the concepts, you then move on to chapters that are 'steps' in the manual. After that, there are exercises to help you complete each step and a section of samples (book proposals, etc.). I haven't had a chance to work through the entire book yet, but you can bet that I will be starting now. That's is a major concept in the book..."define your success and set your goals" and "create a plan for your goals" and break those goals down into "signposts" or "landmarks" by adding a timestamp. For example: "Publish my first novel with a traditional imprint by May 31, 2016."
In my opinion, The Author Training Manual is an essential tool for any writer's toolbox. I can't wait to get to work on what Amir has outlined in this inspiring book!