The Goodreads Challenge 2017!

Now that it is officially summer, I’ve seen quite a few bloggers put up posts about books they will be reading for the next two months. I’ve found like two posts that basically inspired this blog post in a way and they are Emmie of Carpe Diem Emmie and Amie of The Curvaceous Vegan.

I also have another reason why I wanted to write this post. Last year I had to create a Goodreads account because the other site I was using was basically disappearing at the start of the year because more people were on there. So I had to make a whole new profile and figure out of the 300+ books I had on there which ones I wanted to keep in the bottom of my TBR list and I also wanted to keep track of the books I had read while I was in school. I want to say I had over 1,000 books in different shelves. Of course majority of them were located just in my to be read list.

One of the things I did last year, was make myself a goal of books to read for 2016. I had found a way out of my reading slump and I decided to give myself a chance and put in 7 books. I was pretty proud of myself for completing three books out of the seven, I even re-read the first Harry Potter book and I NEVER re-read books ever! It is literally once in a blue moon kind of deals! The other two books I read where Harry Potter and The Chamber Of Secrets by J.K. Rowling and Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard.

This time I only gave myself a fair shot. I didn’t want to go over my limit because I do blogging full-time and if anything happens within my family–like recently–I usually don’t read a whole lot anyways.  So I only put myself down for at least five books for 2017! I thought it is a pretty fair number for me and I’m moving slowly but I think that’s to be expected but I do have over 7 months left of the year so I think I can do it!

Completed: 

Elizabeth Of York by Alison Weir
The book is about the first Tudor queen. Elizabeth of York was the daughter of King Edward IV and Queen Elizabeth Woodville. She was also the niece of King Richard III and sister the missing Princes of the tower Edward V and Richard, Duke of York. She was also wife to Henry Tudor, future King after killing the last York king at the battle of Bosworth. She and Henry had a total of seven children: eldest son Prince Arthur married Spanish princess Catherine of Aragon before his death in 1502, King Henry VIII married her in 1509 and had a daughter Princess Mary, who became England’s first Queen. Elizabeth and Henry also had two daughters who lived into adulthood: Princess Margaret who married King James IV and Princess Mary was married to Louis XII of France, her second marriage was with her brother’s friend Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk.

The book was beautiful. It has tons of information about everything from the last of the War Of The Roses and her time as a York princess to Tudor queen, wife and mother. Some people have called her the forgotten princess/queen because she wasn’t into politics, but I don’t believe she was forced out of it, I just don’t think she wanted to associate herself in that area. She was way different from how she’s portrayed on Starz “The White Princess”.  If you love history and/or anything royalty, you’ll definitely love this book!

Me Before You by JoJo Moyes
This was my first ever book set in the life of somebody with a physical disability, Will Traynor is a quadriplegic  after being an accident, he cannot do anything for himself anymore and has to be constantly watched and cared for by others. Whereas Louisa Clark is a young woman, who lives with her family by choice and has a boyfriend that is obsessed with fitness. In the beginning she loses her job, one that she loves, and she tries to find something else that isn’t downgrading. As a last result, she finds an opportunity as a caretaker of Will Traynor, even though she has never cared for a person with a disability in her life.

This book deals with both disability and suicidal issues. I thought it was very informative of what really goes into our lives, meaning people like me who have physical disabilities. If you’re not familiar with that, I urge you to read it. It’s a nice contemporary book though, but yes it will make you bawl your eyes out!

I think I’ve finally figured a sort of reading schedule that I want to do to finish up. Unfortunately, when I took these pictures I went by the biggest to smallest because I figured they wouldn’t look right on film and if you’re wondering what the hell these three are in right now, they’re in a big foam box. I mostly use it as a movable desk. I’m very resourceful that way!

 

 What I’m Reading Now:

The Ring And The Crown by Melissa de la Cruz
On the back of the black, it says “Once, they were inseparable, just two little girls playing games in a formidable castle. Now Princess Marie-Victoria heir to the mightiest empire in the world, and Aelwyn Myrddyn, a bastard mage, face vastly different fortunes.

As the annual London season begins–a whirlwind of wealth and magic marked by lavish parties and gorgeous girls vying for the attention of young royals–the talk of the town is Ronan Astor, a social-climbing American with only her beauty to recognize her. After falling for a handsome rogue on the voyage over, she must balance her desire for love with her duty to save her family’s position.

Meanwhile, Isabelle of Orleans finds herself cast aside by Leopold, heir to the Prussian crown, in favor of a political marriage to Marie-Victoria. Isabelle is bent on reclaiming what is hers, but Marie doesn’t even want Leopold–she lost her heart long ago to a boy she will never be able to have.

Desperate to escape a life without love, Marie turns to Aewlyn, and the girls form a perilous plan that endangers the fate of the monarchy.

I thought this would be an interesting to continue on with the historical fiction vibe after finishing EOY in April. I should be done with it soon. I have the extended version so I can no longer go by what Goodreads says anymore as it doesn’t have this version. I’ve already started working on the book review.

What I’m Reading Afterwards:

Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard
Mare Barrow’s blood is red–the color of common folk–but her Silver ability, the power to control lightning, has turned her into a weapon that the royal court tries to control.

The crown calls her an impossibility, a fake, but as she makes her escape from Maven, the prince–the friend–who betrayed, Mare uncovers something startling: she is not the only one of her kind.

Pursued by Maven, now a vindictive king, Mare sets out to find and recruit other Red-and-Silver fighters to join in the struggle against her oppressors. But Mare finds herself on a deadly path, at risk of becoming exactly the kind of monster she is trying to defeat.

The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins
Every day the same. Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning and night. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she known them. Jess and Jason, she calls them. Their life–as she sees it–is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel goes to the police. But is she really as unreliable as they say? Soon she is deeply entangled not only in the investigation but in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?

I’m pretty sure I’ve had these last two in my possession the longest, and yet they’re the two I’ve chosen to leave last on my list. I am roughly 7% on TGS whereas I’m 3% on TGOTT. I do want to finish both books and I will, I just don’t know why I’m having such a hard time getting into the stories. I want to be able to get the third book of the Red Queen series that came out earlier this year and finally watch The Girl On The Train (and Me Before You) before the year is up!

I would like to finish this lineup so when it comes time for my birthday I can get some more books and have something to keep me busy for 2018! I know, I know I’m thinking way too ahead of myself but I want more historical books!

Here are some titles I’ve been looking into lately!

Mary, Queen of Scots by John Hale | Catherine of Aragon: The Spanish Queen of Henry VIII by Giles Tremlett | Margaret Pole: The Countess in the Tower by Susan Higginbotham | Red Roses: Blanche of Gaunt to Margaret Beaufort by Amy Licence | Stalking Jack The Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco | The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman | To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

What are you reading this year? Are there some interesting books you think I need to look into?

snowflake

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Book Review: Elizabeth Of York by Alison Weir

Back in November, I celebrated my birthday with a trip to one of my favorite places: Barnes & Noble. I hadn’t been there since 2012, so it had been a long time coming and even though I had a list of books that weren’t necessarily for pleasure, I still managed to find two books that I found interesting, one was The Kings and Queens of England by Ian Crofton and the other was Elizabeth Of York by Alison Weir.

If you remember, 2016 was the year where I watched a lot of documentaries and discovered the On-Demand button apparently! I watched The Tudors in the month of February and made a review and that June I watched The White Queen which is the story of Edward IV and his commoner wife Elizabeth Woodville and the lives of George, Duke Of Clarence, King Richard III, (brothers of Edward) Margaret Beaufort, Margaret Of Anjou, Henry V, Thomas Neville, “The Kingmaker” (cousin to Edward, George, and Richard) and his wife and daughters Isabella (later wife to George) and Anne (later wife and queen consort to King Richard III). I also reviewed the show on here after finishing the series.

I bought this book before I ever found out that they were continuing the TV series of Philippa Gregory’s books, what both shows were based off of, not Alison’s effort. I will say once I found out there was to be a show telling the reign of King Henry VII and Elizabeth of York, it did fuel my inspiration to finally read it. I started on it either before or on February 28, sometimes I read a lot in one sitting, but I am not sure when I actually started on it. On Goodreads, it states that the book is over 500+ pages long but the real last part of her story ends on 457! The rest of it explains references mentioned inside and Alison also gives you a list of some of her ladies-in-waiting, maid-of-honours, and gentlewomen.

If you were to read some of the reviews of this book on Goodreads, they might discourage you from ever purchasing it. Elizabeth of York wasn’t the type of queen who ruled the country through her husband, she wasn’t that type of person so most people think she was weak and maintained this goody-too-shoes attitude to her husband and the rest of the court, but I don’t think this is a bad thing! She was taught from a very young age what was expected of her as Queen of England and mother to her children. Despite the fact that she was a well-liked queen, some thought deserved to rule the kingdom than anybody else, but at the time no female had done that until her granddaughters Mary I, Elizabeth I and Mary, Queen of Scots.

So here are some sections you will learn inside the book!

Elizabeth Of York is the oldest daughter of King Edward IV and his Queen, Elizabeth Woodville. Her mother was originally a widow of soldier who fought with the House of Lancaster, her husband Sir Thomas Grey died on the battlefield. She already had two young boys, Thomas and Richard Grey. When the young King Edward met with them it was only to ask for her husband’s land back after they were confiscated when Sir Thomas died. They met under an oak tree and Edward was obviously very taken with her that he fought against his “Kingmaker” Thomas Neville and family’s wishes to not marry into royal blood.

Elizabeth was born in 1466, at that time they, of course, didn’t have ways to know whether or not the baby was going to be a male and heir to the throne. So when she was born, instead of her father being furious with her and his wife, he accepted her and hoped for heirs in the future. King Edward and Queen Elizabeth ended up having 10 children in all, but two of them died. There were three places that she and the royal family and court lived during her early childhood: Sheen, Greenwich and Westminster Castle. Her father had betrothed Elizabeth about five times, the first being to the Dauphin of France after he and his brothers were to go to war to fight back their lands against King Louis XI.

After the death of her father in 1483, her uncle Richard, Duke of Gloucester was named guardian of her younger brother Edward V and he was taken by force to The Tower; later he would be joined by their younger brother Richard where the rumors would fly for many decades about what really happened to them as “The Princess In The Tower”. Also at this time, Richard got Parliament to accept that Edward’s marriage to Elizabeth’s mother was invalid and that the children were bastards thus the Duke of Gloucester became King Richard III.

I’ve chosen to leave quite a bit out of this review for a reason–it would ruin the entire thing if I told you more! The book itself is a little intimidating because of the amount of pages it has, but there’s always a thrill of learning about a person’s life, especially if they’ve been dead for centuries! I am generally a fan of biographies, so I knew I’d enjoy it!

I will say I did have some favorite chapters! Chapter 5: “Her Only Joy and Maker” which talks about what would be expected of not only Elizabeth of York when she’s married but her sisters, what their roles of both wife and mother if their husband was of royal blood, Chapter 9: “Offspring Of The Race Of Kings” you will see the birth of King Henry VII and Elizabeth’s first child Prince Arthur! Chapter 11: “Bright Elizabeth” tells you about her coronation as Queen of England in great detail and Chapter 15: “The Spanish Infanta” is about when the Princess Katherine of Aragon finally married Prince Arthur of Wales and some unfortunate events happen afterwards!

I gave the book on Goodreads four stars I think! It would have been five stars, if I hadn’t ruined a bit for myself between watching The White Queen last year and scooping out little pieces of information on the internet… That’s how I knew what year she had died and how many kids she and her husband had together! Also, if you are wondering whether or not to read the book, do not look through the reviews! Keep yourself away from the spoilers and let yourself be open to the story of the forgotten Plantagenet-Tudor queen!

Have you read Elizabeth of York: A Tudor Queen and Her World yet? Are you watching The White Princess on STARZ? 

snowflake

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