Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Eleanor of Aquitaine

I finished "Eleanor of Aquitaine" by Marion Meade. It was 355 pages and I finished it in 3 days. I couldn't put it down.

Eleanor was one of the richest and most powerful women of her time. She was the wife of two kings and the mother of two kings. She was very politically astute; she could manouver with the best of them. She joined her husband on the Second Crusade. In a time when you were lucky to live to 50, Eleanor lived into her 80's.

Eleanor was probably born in 1122. Records of her life are spotty at best. At that point in time women were unimportant and her story has to be deduced from the history of the men in her life. She was born to William X, the Duke of Aquataine, one of the richest territories in the world. Upon his imminent death, her father appointed her care and her land to King Louis VI until a proper husband was found. The king seized the opportunity to join Aquataine to France and gave Eleanor to his son, Louis VII to marry. However, 15 years and no sons later this marriage was annulled and Eleanor married Henry II of England.

This marriage eventually led to The Hundred Year War in which the French finally forced the English to give up all claim to the French throne. This marriage also produced two sons who would become kings; Richard the Lionhearted and King John.

I've always found Eleanor an intriguing character. You know the old dinner party question---if you could invite anyone, living or dead, to a dinner party who would it be? Eleanor, Jesus Christ and Jack the Ripper are the only people I choose every time.

Friday, March 16, 2007

New Books

I've done it again. Gone book-shopping. I picked up 4 yesterday. I found a biography of Eleanor of Aquitaine at the Dusty Cover for $6.50. It was printed in 1977 and sold for $12.95. It's in great shape and the miraculous detail is it still has a dust cover. I'm pretty happy with that. I got "Elizabeth I" at Best Buy but I didn't watch it because I spent 6 hours reading "Eleanor of Aquitaine." I'm not sure at what point in my life I decided I couldn't read and watch TV at the same time. I used to.

I also went to Barnes and Noble and picked up the story of the Essex. It's called "In the Heart of the Sea." It's the true story of the whaleship that was sunk by a whale. "Moby Dick" was based on this story. I'm looking forward to readng this one.

I also picked up "The Secret Life of Bees" and "Vanity Fair." I have a TBR list but I keep on getting new books and just ignore the stack I've got piled up on an endtable. If this keeps up, I'll never get to read "The Other Boleyn Girl."

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Three Fast Reads

I've managed to put away three quick books so far this month. The first was "A Shot in the Dark" by Gale Copeland. It's about police photography. It has some realy gruesome pictures. The second was a Time-Life book about Pompeii. Both of these I got at the library.
The third book was "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone". I picked it up at The Dusty Cover for three bucks. It seemed to me it was just like the movie so I'm wondering if it is just a movie tie-in version or if the filmmakers followed the book that closely. At any rate, it didn't increase my appreciation of Harry Potter. Cute series, but no great shake.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

A New Meme

I got this from Stephanie , who got it from Ms. Literary Feline ,who it from Bookfool. Apparently if you read it, you are automatically tagged! So, I guess that means if you are reading MY list, then you are tagged as well!!Look at the list of books below: *Bold the ones you’ve read* Italicize the ones you want to read* Leave blank the ones that you aren’t interested in*. And my own personal touches:*Books from my book clubs*Books on my TBR list* And books I already own waiting for their turn on TBR.*And, finally books I read so long ago I need to reread. If you are reading this (and haven't participated yet), tag, you’re it!
1. The DaVinci Code (Dan Brown)
2. Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
3. To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
4. Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell)
5. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien)
6. The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien)
7. The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (Tolkien)
8. Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery)
9. Outlander (Diana Gabaldon)
10. A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry)
11. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling)
12. Angels and Demons (Dan Brown)
13. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling)
14. A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)
15. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)
16. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Rowling)
17. Fall on Your Knees (Ann-Marie MacDonald)
18. The Stand (Stephen King)
19. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Rowling)
20. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
21. The Hobbit (Tolkien)
22. The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger)
23. Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
24. The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)
25. Life of Pi (Yann Martel)
26. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams) Alternate TBR
27. Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)
28. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis)
29. East of Eden (John Steinbeck)
30. Tuesdays with Morrie (Mitch Albom)
31. Dune (Frank Herbert)
32. The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks)
33. Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)
34. 1984 (Orwell)
35. The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley) Alternate TBR
36. The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)
37. The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)
38. I Know This Much is True (Wally Lamb)
39. The Red Tent (Anita Diamant)
40. The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
41. The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel)
42. The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)
43. Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)
44. The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom)
45. The Bible (Actually, I've read a bunch of the books....never all at once)
46. Anna Karenina (Tolstoy)
47. The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)
48. Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt)
49. The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)
50. She’s Come Undone (Wally Lamb)
51. The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)
52. A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens)
53. Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card)
54. Great Expectations (Dickens)
55. The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)
56. The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence)
57. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling)
58. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough)
59. The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood)
60. The Time Traveller’s Wife (Audrew Niffenegger)
61. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
62. The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)
63. War and Peace (Tolstoy)
64. Interview With The Vampire (Anne Rice)
65. Fifth Business (Robertson Davis)
66. One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
67. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (Ann Brashares)
68. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
69. Les Miserables (Hugo)
70. The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
71. Bridget Jones’ Diary (Fielding)
72. Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez)
73. Shogun (James Clavell)
74. The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje)
75. The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett)
76. The Summer Tree (Guy Gavriel Kay)
77. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith)
78. The World According to Garp (John Irving)
79. The Diviners (Margaret Laurence)
80. Charlotte's Web (E.B. White)
81. Not Wanted On The Voyage (Timothy Findley)
82. Of Mice And Men (Steinbeck)
83. Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier)
84. Wizard’s First Rule (Terry Goodkind)
85. Emma (Jane Austen)
86. Watership Down(Richard Adams)
87. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
88. The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields)
89. Blindness (Jose Saramago)
90. Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)
91. In The Skin Of A Lion (Ondaatje)
92. Lord of the Flies (Golding)
93. The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck)
94. The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)
95. The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum)
96. The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton)
97. White Oleander (Janet Fitch)
98. A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)
99. The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)
100. Ulysses (James Joyce)

Some of these I'm not familiar with. If I were there would be more of them italicized.