November 30th, 2008

book - pile

Book review

(Hey, look, an easy way to copy over reviews from Goodreads! Suddenly I find the idea of writing reviews there much more appealing...)

The Sunne In Splendour: A Novel of Richard III The Sunne In Splendour: A Novel of Richard III by Sharon Kay Penman
My review
Rating: 4 of 5 stars

I read this book because it came highly, highly recommended by a friend [kunstarniki -- thanks!], so maybe I was going into it with my expectations set too high. This is not to say I didn't enjoy it -- I did, very much. I hadn't realized that there was controversy over the common conception of Richard III, and I'm always interested in getting a different take on historical figures, especially when the new perspective is well-backed by the historical record. History is written by the winners, and Richard III was most definitely not a winner as far as the historical record goes.

The story was fascinating and engaging, well written, an excellent balancing act of dozens of characters. The only thing holding me back from five full stars: reams of exposition. Something like a quarter of the book is expository; to be fair, it's hard to cover some twenty years of eventful history without some level of exposition, but many places could have been pared or streamlined without affecting the story, and some segments would have been more effective if Penmen had detailed at least some of the action.

This is my only negative, though. Overall I would say this was a lovely book, and would recommend it to anyone with an interest in English history.
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It's a wrap

And so another November draws to a close. I did manage to blog every day, but I didn't feel terribly inspired by it most of the time. Probably because I got so mired down in the election during the first half of the month and work stress in the second half. I'm a little disappointed that I didn't get more fic written, although there are three WIPs that should appear sooner rather than later. I hope.

I have managed a nice lazy holiday weekend, which was good. Grocery shopping, the Ferry Building for lunch yesterday, and we've cooked every night -- although tonight we're just heating up some pre-made ribs, but I did make cornbread from scratch, and it smells yummy. Lots of reading, some good spacing out on TV; we caught Star Wars on TV on Friday (you are never going to get me to call it A New Hope), and The Empire Strikes Back is buffering up now. I always forget just how much I love those movies. I always meant to snap up the non-special edition trilogy when it came out on DVD, but I never got around to it. I should check and see if they're still available.

So that was my four-day weekend. I hope you all had a great one as well -- safe travel to all who have not yet returned home!