More birthday books

And yet another gratuitous photo of more birthday books! Or… well. Today is my birthday and I went to the bookstore yesterday with the firm intention of getting two of the books on the left. Then there was a darn 4 for 3 sale and I’d just got back some income tax money and well… there was a lovely hardcover in the history section about Charles II! So today I sat outside on the balcony, browsing through my guide to historical fiction, drinking raspberry juice out of a tea cup and nibbling on violet macarons. Isn’t it a lovely day?

(And the required disclaimer: I’ve not been posting as often this past week because my husband is now at home on sick leave until he gets his surgery, which we just found out won’t be until the end of August. So I’ve been worrying and feeling stressed and spending more time with him. I probably won’t be posting a review of First Love by Ivan Turgenev for the Russian tour tomorrow, since I’ve just been trying to keep calm and do that carrying on thing.)

I’ll probably join the Royal Mistress Challenge, since I’ve got several books about Charles II’s mistresses to read about now. I’m excited to read more historical fiction and to explore new time periods. This morning my husband and I watched Stage Beauty together, set in the Restoration theatre of 17th century England and I read an excerpt from Pepys’ diary in an old university anthology. I’m also excited to read a few Restoration plays and to learn more about this naughty, exuberant time period! Louis XIV also reigned for most of the 17th century in France, so perhaps I can read about him for Paris in July.

8 thoughts on “More birthday books

  1. Miss Moppet says:

    Hi Carolyn, glad you’re thinking of joining the challenge and hope you enjoy your books! In addition to the official Royal Mistress titles, I can recommend Forever Amber by Kathleen Winsor, with a fictional heroine who sleeps her way to the top at Charles II’s court. I’ve also heard Rose Tremain’s Restoration recommended many times, although I’ve never actually read it.

    • Carolyn says:

      I’m reading Restoration by Rose Tremain right now, it’s really well written but I’m getting a bit bored with the main character. Although Robert Downey played him in the movie, so that’s a perk me up!

  2. Claire (The Captive Reader) says:

    Happy Birthday!!! Sounds like you had a near perfect day, though now I’m desperate to know where you got the violet macarons. And it didn’t rain – surely that alone is reason for celebration after the weather we’ve had lately!

    I’ve read almost no historical fiction set in Restoration England, though I remember being intrigued after seeing Stage Beauty. I’ll look forward to seeing what titles you end up picking!

    Sorry to hear that the surgery date is so far away, but at least you know now and that’s some uncertainty dealt with (my infernal optimist strikes again – feel free to lash out if you need a good angry rant, I know that’s sometimes more enjoyable and cathartic).

    • Carolyn says:

      Thanks, Claire! 🙂 It’s so nice to see the sun again.

      Restoration by Rose Tremain is the one I’ve started with and I do recommend it, it’s quite well written and colourful. I’m looking forward to reading more historical fiction this way, since the novel didn’t really get started until the 18th century, so there aren’t many novels actually written in the 17th century to read (except Don Quixote I suppose), just poems, plays, diaries and essays. Leaves more room for the imagination in a way.

      Yes, it’s nice to know, but we were hoping it would be a month sooner! I’m glad my husband is home and resting, but it’s still a constant worry.

    • Carolyn says:

      I’m not usually so extravagant in what I eat while I read (a glass of water is often about it), but it was my birthday and it was lovely.

      Thank you for your kind thoughts. I think things are starting to look up, as far as coming to terms with waiting goes and deciding to enjoy the summer in the meantime.

    • Carolyn says:

      Wow, thank you! I’m hoping to find more of your books (only for some reason The French Mistress was the only one carried by the Canadian bookstore Chapters, the rest weren’t even on their website!), especially the other two about Charles II’s mistresses.

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