From the library I had Alison Weir's The Lady Elizabeth about the life of Elizabeth the I up until her becoming queen. Another perspective on a story I know well, and historian Weir really throws a doozy into the story, bringing in a 500 year old rumor and presenting it as fact, which she freely admits makes writing historical fiction sometimes more fun than non-fiction. Loved it!
I stayed up all night to read Wenchby Dolen Perkins-Valdez cover to cover. I really enjoyed this story of four women slaves who become friends as they visit a northern resort with their masters each summer, but I wasn't as fascinated and didn't have my thoughts provoked as much as I had thought I would. So many people were comparing Wench to The Help, which I adored, and the thoughts it brought up, that I was expecting another literary revelation. Maybe it was for many, but while I was fairly ignorant of domestic life in the early 1960s in Mississippi, I already had some background on the resorts for the free blacks and the slave owners who brought their slave concubines north to play house in the summer. Wench put a face to the players, and is an excellent book for everyone, especially those who know little about this aspect of slavery.
The Next Thing on My Listpresents itself as light chick-lit, and while I did totally crack up through the book at the sarcasm and similes, especially when June tries to write a letter about how thankful she is for her older brother, I think it's a lot more thought-provoking that people would expect from the title, cover, and summary. It's definitely a great one for a book club and would bring up lots of discussion.
Actually got around to reading one of my own books, Pope Joanby Donna Woolfolk Cross, and loved it as I expected. Whether a reader believes that Joan actually existed or not, it's a fascinating story of life in the dark ages, and the early government of the Catholic Church.
The Exodus Quest, and I am proud to say that I have already written the review for it!
In addition to The Exodus Quest, I got reviews written for Men and Dogsby Katie Crouch (hysterical, in stores today!), Beautiful Peopleby Wendy Holden (also hysterical!), and The Foundingby Cynthia Harrod-Eagles (awesome historical family saga). They'll all be posted in the next 2 weeks.
I only have 4 left, and 3 of them don't have to be done until May! Hopefully I won't procrastinate them for too long.
All of that reading helped me to finish the 2010 Pub Challenge and the Mystery and Thriller Challenge, too!
What's the best book you read this week? How are you doing on your challenges? Do you have a big pile to review, or do you get them done as soon as you finish the book?