A few years ago, I got the ‘ancestry bug’, an overwhelming desire to find out more about my family tree. Not knowing where to start, and too impatient to do much reading into the best ways to start a family tree, I signed up to Ancestry.com.
I’m still on there – though my initial energy for finding out more has died down a bit, mainly because there are so many records and so many hints being flagged for me, I feel overwhelmed.
The Unofficial Guide to Ancestry.com promises to help people like me find their way around the site and get the most out of their searches, something I think I need if I’m every to finish my family tree.
I love beauty products. I can’t help it. I have a Birchbox subscription and excitedly wait each month to see what samples I’m being sent to change my life, to turn me into the soft, wrinkle-free and glowing beauty I know I am inside. They never work but it doesn’t stop me trying.
Dr. Anjali Mahto, tries to do just that in The Skincare Bible, or at least make me more aware of what I’m putting on my skin and what is likely to work and what isn’t. Starting with an introduction to just what the skin is and how it works, it then takes me through all I need to know to deal with a range of skin issues including acne, rosacea, enlarged pores, freckles and liver spots.
Non-fiction books are a wonderful way to learn more about the world and the people who live in it. In The Feather Thief, I learnt more than I thought was possible about the world of fly-fishing, or more specifically fly-tiers who have a passion for Victorian fly tying designs and a commitment to recreating them.
It’s a passion that led to one man, Edwin Rist, breaking into the British Natural History Museum and steal over 200 rare birds specimens. Scientists consider the specimens priceless. And, while Rist said that the theft had nothing to do with money and was all about his art, he ended up making thousands of pounds from the brightly coloured feathers he harvested and sold on.
Margaret Tudor was the oldest sister of Henry VIII and the wife of James IV of Scotland. For someone who is more than a bit fascinated by the Tudors, I realised on seeing this book up for review, I knew nothing about her – something I immediately felt the need to rectify.
What I found was a woman who seemed to be passionate, determined, and unable to not make the wrong choices (so when her husband died, his will said that she would be regent for their baby son as long as she didn’t remarry – which is what she went and did pretty much straight away, spending the next decade then fighting for her right to rule and to see her son).
So this is it, the final countdown to Christmas is one day away – time to dig out the advent calendars and start shopping earnest! I am officially getting excited (it helps that it has snowed here today, and I love snow). I’m not sure what the season will do to my reading and blogging but I imagine for a lot of us it will start to slow down as we focus on other things. November, though was a good reading month (bar a mini-slump half way through). Here’s what I liked, loved and just weren’t for me this month…
For a history buff, I know very little about Georgian Britain. I have seen a few TV shows and films but that’s about it. So, in a effort to stretch my brain cells a bit, and increase my knowledge, I picked up a copy of Queens of Georgian Britain by Catherine Curzon, which had the added bonus of being about women embroiled in politics and fighting to gain meaningful power – another favourite subject of mine.
I find it fascinating to see how women were treated and how they were seen if they behaved in any way which saw them stepping outside the norm; it always makes me feel very lucky to be living when I am (though, given recent events, maybe attitudes to women haven’t changed as much as I had thought?).
So it’s bye, bye, October and hello November, with the dark nights now fully here and the cold weather making itself known, it’s the perfect time of year to snuggle down with a good book – well, at least it is in my part of the world! Thankfully, I’ve had some good books this month and have the promise of more to come (yay!). Here’s what I liked, loved and just weren’t for me this month…
This is officially my favourite time of year. First, you have Halloween. Then, it’s Bonfire Night. As a child, living in a small village, we would have a real community bonfire, with potatoes baking in the embers and a small – but perfectly formed – fireworks display. I don’t know how many of these type of events exist anymore. Our local bonfire is a huge affair, run by the local council and so many fireworks it makes your head spin. There is no more baking potatoes – or kids wandering the streets asking for a “penny for the guy” (and how much does a penny get you nowadays?).
For all of this love of Bonfire Night though, I know very little about the man himself – no more than the legend that has grown up around him and the plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament. Which is why I wanted to read The Real Guy Fawkes by NIck Holland, especially as I was promised the truth about the man behind the myth.
The first thing I want to say about Herbs is how gorgeous it is – even as an ebook. From the cover through the photos that are generously shared throughout the book – each one makes me want to grow herbs and then eat the food made with them.
To be fair, Hann was pushing on a bit of an open door as I have been trying for the last few years to do just what she is looking to help me achieve – a herb garden, one that I can use year round and comes back year on year.
So far, I haven’t been very successful, and my herb garden (now that the summer is over) consists of one surviving plant – sage (which seems to still be going strong). That doesn’t meant that what I planted didn’t grow well this summer, they did, they just didn’t hang around. Reading Herbs, it looks like I’ve made a few rooky mistakes there (choice of soil being the biggest one), but there isn’t anything I can’t fix next year and nothing scary.
Morning all and welcome to another Sunday – I hope you’ve had a good week. Mine was good, pretty relaxing. And the sun shone, which was nice to see, even when the days were cold. I’ve been trying to winterise the garden – taking advantage of the lack of rain – and am pretty much done. I have maybe a day left so keep your fingers crossed for me that my luck continues!
Other than that, there hasn’t been much going on, which feels kind of nice. I got a fair bit of reading done, stuck to my plan to not pick up any new books this week (avoiding NetGalley like the plague), and caught up a little on the reviews I was behind on. I should be completely caught up by the end of next week if I can keep the reading rate up but we’ll see.
This meant last week I got three reviews posted…
It was nice to have three so different books as well. Lie to Me by J. T. Ellison is a psychological thriller, so right up my usual reading street. It was a good read, keeping me guessing right to the end as to just what was happening. It had a bit of a sense of humour too, which you don’t normally find in this type of book, and I liked that.
The Flexible Vegetarian by Jo Pratt is a cookbook (probably obvious but I like to be clear), one that shows you how to make meatless meat with meat if needed to meet the needs of a variety of tastes. It worked well in my house where I’m the sole veggie. I made two recipes from it, one of which I can safely say was one of the best soups I have ever eaten – making the book a winner for me!
Queens of the Conquest by Alison Weir is the first of four books looking at the Queens of England / Britain. This one focuses on medieval queens – a lot of whom (all?) seem to be called Matilda. I found the fact that so many of them had the same name but other than that really enjoyed this book, which was well research, well written, and shed light on a group of women I knew very little about but whose actions helped shape my country.
And that’s it for me this week. How about you – how was your week, reading and otherwise? Let me know, I’m nosey!
This week, I’m linking in with Kimba at the Caffeinated Book Reviewer and her Sunday Post and with Katherine at Book Date for It’s Monday, What Are you Reading? Head over by clicking on their badges below to see what other bloggers have read, written about or just added to their shelves.