Saturday, January 30, 2010

Annette Vallon A Novel of the French Revolution

Readers can tell when an author has put time and love and care into a novel. I have read far too many books that lack in craft and are merely to make ends meet.This of course separates the meat from the gristle, but you cannot always tell that by the cover, the reviews, or when you flip open the book at random and begin to read. I think it's fair to say that we all have wasted our money on a book that is not even worthy of the shelf. Perhaps it would be best relocated to the used bookstore?

This book had very good reviews and a history channel icon on its spine/cover. Was it the mark of a good book? Perhaps. I had read a fair amount about the French Revolution, both fiction and non. I had been disappointed by the lack of historical novels on this terrible and fascinating period of France's history. (yes I know there are some books out there, but they lacked authenticity and fully developed and genuine period characters.) It was pretty exciting to find that an English-literature professor had delved into the topic as well as into the topic of one of the more romantic love affairs, that of William Wordsworth and Annette Vallon. I ordered it from Amazon and was waiting on tenter hooks for UPS to deliver it. Finally! It arrived!

I'm not so far in, but the tenderness that the author takes to tell the story, to realize the characters and scene, to fill in the gaps between what is known and not known of these two free spirits, the pacing of the story, is noteworthy. I plan to take my time with this novel, reading it at leisure and enjoying it as the story unfolds.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Readings for 2010

I do love a good piece of fiction, historical, literary, even a mystery here and there. But this year I'd like to read as much Historical Fiction and Nonfiction as I can. I suppose this is a kind of warm up exercise for writing. Mayhap I will try my hand, lord knows I have read enough to write plenty.

Reading, for me, is more about learning. I like a good romance, like the next girl, but only when I am on vacation. And sadly that does not happen nearly often enough.  I cut my teeth on romance in high school and as my age advances toward forty I find that I like a good bit of fat to chew in my everyday life.

 These are in no particular order and by no means is it a complete list.

Mary Queen of Scotland & The Isles: A Novel by Margaret George
Nell Gwyn:  Mistress to a King by Charles Beauclerk
A Splendid Century: Life in the France of Louis XIV by W.H. Lewis
Seven Ages of Paris by Alistair Horne
Athenais: The Life of  Louis XIV's Mistress-The Real Queen of France by Lisa Hilton
The Affair of the Poisons: Murder, Infanticide, and Satanism at the Court of Louis XIV
Annette Vallon A Novel of the French Revolution by James Tipton
Wuthering Heights Charlotte Bronte
Emma by Jane Austen 

As I finish each one I will post my thoughts on the books. If you have any titles you would like to share please do not hesitate to drop me a comment. I am a voracious reader. I am always up for referrals!