Not a sponsored post – just me enjoying books and birthday presents 😉
I’m an avid Elizabeth Chadwick fan; I don’t think I have yet read one that didn’t feel completely satisfying from start to finish – and she’s got a fair old number of them (and I’ve read them all) so that’s a reasonable achievement. She covers a part of history that was immortalised in my A Level history lesson on the very first morning. “The time up until the Wars of the Roses was thrilling ,exciting and interesting. We’re going to begin just after that, at the Tudors.” 🙄 Well done Mrs Armstrong. Killed it stone dead 😆 Chadwick’s books range from the time of the Norman Conquest up to and beyond the reign of King John (now THERE is a Bad King if ever I saw one!) and really add some fire and colour to a time that otherwise gets too ignored in my opinion.
Book #2 of the year is The Leopard Unleashed is a re-release, with some overhauling, of one of her earliest novels, from the time when she wrote of fictional characters within accurate historical periods of time. As such, her prefaces suggest she feels slightly embarrassed by these now, having moved on to real people from history but actually, so long as you remember hey are not as factual as others, they make a cracking read and are full enough of life, love, detail and colour to be a truly enjoyable way to spend a day. This one is the last part of a trilogy and concludes a story about a family living on the English edges of Wales. The strength is in the description of the life the ex-Normans had as they strove to be in charge and curtail the indignation of the English and Welsh, fighting for a place on the land while embroiled in their own internal court struggles. Does make you realise why we’re all so mixed up 😆
Book #3 is To Defy a King which, had I not had a Kindle, I would have had to wait for as I hate hardbacks and it isn’t out in paperback yet. This is the story of Mahelt Marshall, also known as Matilda among other things, daughter of William Marshall whose story is told inThe Greatest Knight: The Story of William Marshal which was the first of the book I read by Chadwick. It’s effectively the other side of the story to the second book about him The Scarlet Lion, with Mahelt married into the Bigod family (who lived at Framlingham). That’s a blog worth looking at btw, although googling for that particular entry last week, to check a pronunciation managed to be ‘one of those moments’ as it was written the day Freddie died.
With the emphasis being on the role of women in the major houses and how they were both vital for marriage and domestic running of castles but also almost helplessly buffeted by the forces of politics, it’s a book well worth reading. It’ll be a little while before they get handed on to Fran as they have some mild sex scenes which I don’t think she’d cope with yet but as living history, i really think both books are well worth a read.
Which leads me on to what I think of my Kindle.
Now obviously I expected to like it, or I wouldn’t have asked for one, but I’ve been really surprised by HOW MUCH I like it. I honestly, HONESTLY, can’t find a single thing about it that I don’t love. The most annoying thing about Amazon, really, is they never ever get it wrong 😆
The reading is perfect, just exactly like reading a book that magically turned into a glorified etch-a-sketch. The usability is effortless, certainly no damn harder than reading and holding a book. The 3G is quick, the Kindle shop is slick and easy to use. The buttons all make sense and the browser they have added is remarkably decent for something experimental. The feel is light and pleasant, the ability to change text size and font, line spacing and more is perfect for reading in different circumstances. The text to speech is quirky but would have uses, adding Audible to it is seamless and helpful. The ability to sort and organise is clever and makes sense.
And you will just keep looking at it and going “It’s just so… so… oooooh…. so weird but so… wow. I want one.”
I have nothing bad to say about it. Nothing at all. It’s beautiful and I love it. And I can read and knit. (Did I mention that already? 😉 ) I don’t even mind if it replaces books 😆
Max got me a Kindle Lighted Leather Cover too – it makes it a bit more book-like, which I like, and has a light, so you can read in bed – and that works very well. Very clever.
As an extra, one thing you can do is subscribe to blogs on it, for a fee. Now, I can’t see why anyone would do this (it’s about the only ‘eh?’ moment about Kindle I have had, but just for fun I added PoP to it, mainly as it made the girls laugh to see us for sale. If anyone fancied reviewing us, we’d really like it 🙂