I’m in the middle of reading a couple of things right now, which is a bit unusual for me. This week I started reading an advance copy of The Swan Thieves, by Elizabeth Kostova (author of The Historian, which I enjoyed). I’m really struggling through it, because it is one tedious slog. I’m only about 200 pages in, and seriously considering not finishing. I’m just not connecting to any of the characters, none of which are believable or compelling. Elizabeth Kostova is also fond of advance-the-plot mechanisms.
On the other hand, I’m reading a Victoria Holt novel, Bride of Pendorric, and enjoying it very much. Holt’s stories are always creepy—a bit campy, too, but that’s the fun of it.
Also finished this week were The Emperor, the 11th book in the Morland Dynasty series; The White Horse King, by Benjamin Merkle (a biography of Alfred the Great, though it’s not so much a biography as an exposition of Anglo-Saxon England); and The Plantagenets: A Pride of Kings, by Juliet Dymoke. The last is the first in a series of six historical novels about the Plantagenet monarchs, as told through the eyes of the people who surrounded them. A Pride of Kings is told from the vantage point of William Marshal, about Henry II and his sons. Enjoyable, but I still prefer Elizabeth Chadwick’s The Greatest Knight and The Scarlet Lion.
I’ve also spent a part of the weekend watching Lark Rise to Candleford, the BBC series based on the Flora Thompson book. Very, very good—can’t wait for season two to come out on DVD, as I’ve finished the first ten episodes of the series and am left wanting more.
We’ve also had our first snowfall of the winter yesterday! I’m sitting by the fire as I’m writing this, enjoying a quiet day.
How was your week?