Tag Archives: Philippa Gregory

WWW Wednesday, 9-September-2015

9 Sep

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at Should be Reading and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

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The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


CloudAtlasCurrently reading:  Not much going on with Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. The middle is dragging for me again. I liked the middle of the first half and I’m hoping that if I get past this section, it will improve again.
I checked ou I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai again, but I’m probably not going to read it until Cloud Atlas goes away again.
More than halfway done with The Boleyn Inheritance by Philippa Gregory. I really like it. I hoped I would because Gregory’s books about the Tudors are usually my favorite.
About halfway through Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng. I like it enough, but it’s not my favorite. It’s very character driven, which is fine, but the flashback style isn’t working for me.

Invisible BridgeRecently finished: I finally finished  The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer! This one took me a while for a few reasons. Being interrupted a lot didn’t help, but I felt this one dragged a lot, especially at the beginning. I’ll write up a full review later, but know it won’t be glowing.

Just one book review in the last week. You can check out my thoughts on Jeannette Wall’s The Glass Castle. My book club recently met on that title so look for a book club reflection in the next few weeks.

Bird BoxReading Next: Still waiting on The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith on eAudio. After so many of you told me you enjoyed it last week, I’m looking forward to this one!
I’ve got another book club selection sneaking up on me so I’ll be reading Bird Box by Josh Malerman for our October meeting. It looks like a great creepy read!


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 2-September-2015

2 Sep

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at Should be Reading and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

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The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


Never ToldCurrently reading:  Slow going on Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. I don’t have a lot of time where I’m sitting on my phone now. Not as many doctor’s appointments. I guess that’s good?
I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai is still on hold.
Close to the end but not quite done with. The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer. I’m really close to the end and I’m thinking there’s no way this can end well.
I’ve just started The Boleyn Inheritance by Philippa Gregory. Not far enough into it yet to say something so look for more next week.
I’m waiting for an eAudio from the library but in the meantime, I’m starting Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng. This was a free Audible book from the Ford Audiobook Club, which is making a return so if you haven’t joined yet, I encourage you to! Free audiobooks!

Hold HandsRecently finished: Got through two! Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands by Chris Bohjalian was an audiobook I’d been excited to read. It wasn’t my favorite title by this author but was a solid story. The review will be out in a few weeks.
The second on was The Scorch Trials by James Dashner. It was a quick read and I sped through it over a weekend trip to the cabin. I wanted to read it before the movie comes out because I’m pretty sure I’ll see it even though I didn’t like the first book or first movie. I feel like they should just print money and charge me for it. Ugh.

One book review this past week. I’m not a big fan of Alice Hoffman and my review of The Museum of Extraordinary Things shows that. Take a look if you’d like.

SilkwormReading Next: I put a hold on The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith on eAudio. I hope it comes in soon!
I don’t have plans for any other books right now. I’ve got a few to get through before I start thinking of that.


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 26-August-2015

26 Aug

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at Should be Reading and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

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The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


ScorchCurrently reading:  I finally got Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell back on Monday. Woo! This won’t be the fastest progressing book I read, but I’m excited to make headway with it.
I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai is out, too. I just want one of these now and it’s seeming like that’s too much to ask.
I just got back to The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer after a week off to get through Dark Places. I hope to finish this up soon.
Just a little bit with Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands by Chris Bohjalian. Again, I’m close to finishing this one so I hope to get through it soon.
I decided to grab The Scorch Trials by James Dashner next. I’m hoping it’s a quick read and I can get it over with quickly and move on to some other books I’ve been looking forward to.

MiniaturistRecently finished: I finished The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton on Sunday. Review to come but in summary I’ll say this was a bit over-hyped in my opinion. Good, but not outstanding.
I finished Dark Places by Gillian Flynn on Monday. I don’t want to brag, but I half figured it out early on! I was so excited to see the story unfold. This one will be a high rating from me!

One review out this week, one you were all asking me about. Click to find my review of The Martian by Andy Weir! Please go check it out and let me know what you thought about this awesome book. I’m so excited for the movie.

Boleyn InheritanceReading Next: I think I’m going to finish up my When Are You Reading? Challenge next. I only have one book left and it’s on my shelves. So up next should be The Boleyn Inheritance by Philippa Gregory. I’m a big fan of Gregory and can only remember one or two books of her’s I didn’t enjoy. I’m looking forward to this one.


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 15-October-2014

15 Oct

Time for MizB’s WWW meme yet again! It’s safe to say progress has stalled.

www_wednesdays4The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently reading:  My ebook is still The Domesday Book by Connie Willis. I’ve only progressed another 5% to a total of 35% this week. I mean, its progress, right? I’ve finished the second section of Read Along #2The Space Between Us by Thrity Umrigar so no further progress to report. No progress on Misterio de La Guia de Ferrocarriles by Agatha Christie this week either. I’ve been reading my book club selection instead. Speaking of which, the book club book is Michelangelo and the Pope’s Ceiling by Ross King. Last week I said I could power through. This week, I’m not so confident. It’s put me in a bit of a reading slump. Though I’m making steady progress Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett on audio. I’m three disks in to the whopping 31 disk set, but at least I’m moving forward!

Recently finished: Nothing this week. But I did write two reviews, Canada by Richard Ford and The Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory.

Reading Next:  No change here. I’m still targeting The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver for my work book club.

Between moving this weekend and being in a reading slump, I’m not too optimistic about finishing anything this week. We’ll have to see. How is your WWW? Leave a comment and let me know and check out the original post on MizB’s blog!

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Book Review: The Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory (3/5). All this talk about fortune’s wheel is making me dizzy.

14 Oct

When trying to find a book set in the 1400s, I was ecstatic to see that there was a Philippa Gregory set in that time period! She is one of the writers that drew me to Historical Fiction in the first place and it’s always good to return to a writer you’ve enjoyed before.

Cover Image via Goodreads.com

Cover Image via Goodreads.com

The Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory

Summary from Goodreads:

Jacquetta, daughter of the Count of Luxembourg and kinswoman to half the royalty of Europe, was married to the great Englishman John, Duke of Bedford, uncle to Henry VI. Widowed at the age of 19, she took the extraordinary risk of marrying a gentleman of her household for love, and then carved out a new life for herself.

This book was exactly what I was looking for. On one hand, that’s a good thing because it means I found it wonderfully enjoyable, greatly written, and full of historical detail without being slow or bulky. On the other hand, it didn’t surprise me. Gregory’s Cousins War series has been hit or miss for me and I’ve read three of them, The White QueenThe Red Queen, and this title. I liked that this one ended right where The White Queen began with Jacquetta’s daughter, Elizabeth. Overall, I was happy with it, but it wasn’t as entertaining as The Queen’s Fool or The Virgin’s Lover or some of Gregory’s other, more notable books.

Gregory does an amazing job bringing historical figures to life. My favorite was the King. His insanity was entertaining and frightening at the same time.  The intricacies of court life were very interesting and I realized I’d rather not be a part of court life in the 1400s. I was amazed at how many times Jacquetta gave birth but it was more common in those times to have as many children as possible. I can’t imagine having a child and my mother giving birth a few months later! That was hard to wrap my head around.

Jacquetta was a great character. She was manipulated a lot by Queen Margaret, but she still stuck to her own. I thought it was very realistic that she was more concerned with her family and its safety than the Lancaster cause. I liked that Jacquetta was involved in the politics so that the reader knew what was going on in the War of the Roses but focused on Margaret. She was a really interesting character and I liked reading about her as well, but she was so disagreeable and unlikable that I couldn’t latch on to her. Jacquetta was much more agreeable.

Richard was always away from his family and doing what he was asked to do for the sake of his country. It seemed a lot like a modern job to me; being away from your family and working all the time with no vacation. I didn’t blame him at all for being almost relieved when he didn’t have to fight in France any more. It’s like how a company losing a contract can be a sort of relief for project managers when it means they can spend more time with their families. He was the most relatable to me.

I enjoyed the descriptions of the King’s insanity. They helped my sympathize with Margaret and understand where her power-hungry attitude came from. It was comical but not too much so. It was an overall tragic situation and was presented in a way so that the reader knew the King was suffering from a real mental handicap, but the things the said were still a good comic relief in comparison to the war around him.

Philippa Gregory Image via Amazon

Philippa Gregory
Image via Amazon

Jacquetta seemed whiney and weak to me during her first marriage to the Duke. I was actually hoping he would die quickly because I wanted to move on from his character. I didn’t like how he used Jacquetta for her innocence and he pushed her to ‘see’ things that sometimes she didn’t see. I, like Jacquetta, was looking to Richard to save her from her obsessive husband.

Like many of Gregory’s books, I saw a message of loyalty in this novel. Jacquetta had to align her loyalties to her house, her queen, and her husband at once and later had to keep in mind the loyalty of her son-in-law and the new King. She toyed a line between those in power and those she was loyal to. At the end, it almost felt as if she’d given up on loyalty and wanted to escape from all courtly devotions. I didn’t blame her, I was tired of the War by the end.

Writer’s Takeaway: Gregory does an amazing job of mixing historical fact with fiction and storytelling. I learned a lot about the War of the Roses reading this book, but I was still entertained by the story of Jacquetta and Richard and how they fought for the King and Queen. I think Gregory’s success in this genre is a sign that she’s a good example of historical fiction writing.

Overall good, but not outstanding. One of my favorite writers, but not my favorite book. Three out of Five stars.

This book fulfills 1400-1499 for my When Are You Reading? Challenge.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Related Posts: 
The Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory | The Mad Reviewer
The Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory | She Reads Novels

WWW Wednesday, 1-October-2014

1 Oct

Time for MizB’s WWW meme! This week was the jump that I was posed for last week.

www_wednesdays4The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently reading:  My ebook is The Domesday Book by Connie Willis and as expected, this is a long haul. I’m 23% of the way through which I’m actually pretty excited about. It’s farther than I expected to be. I’ve finished the second section of Read Along #2The Space Between Us by Thrity Umrigar. It was a really great section and I can’t wait to read the next! As expected, I’ve started my ‘Reading Next’ books. The first is  Misterio de La Guia de Ferrocarriles by Agatha Christie which I’ll be reading slowly. That might work against me, but I think I can keep up with the story. It’s the Spanish that will be a problem! The other book is  Michelangelo and the Pope’s Ceiling by Ross King for my book club. I started it and so far, its dense, but still reads well. Hopefully I can get into it a bit more. I began a new audiobook, The Compound by S.A. Bodeen, which is yet another recommendation from my book calendar last year. That thing is hopping!

Recently finished: Two this week! The first is the drawn out Canada by Richard Ford. I liked this one, but I didn’t love it. As I was told it would, I was reminded of John Irving.  The second is The Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory which I listened to in my car. Again, it was good, but it just didn’t blow me away.

One lonely book review this week. Check out my review of The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka.

Reading Next:  No new news on Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett. I’m holding out for a miracle! I also need to pick out something for my work book club. Hmm. I’ll be deciding on that today.

I don’t expect to finish anything this week, but there are always book miracles. How is your WWW? Leave a comment and let me know and check out the original post on MizB’s blog!

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 24-September-2014

24 Sep

Time for MizB’s WWW meme! No new progress this week, but it’s looking like there will be some soon.

www_wednesdays4The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently reading:  I made some respectable progress in Canada by Richard Ford over the last week. It was my main read last week, but life got in the way. My audiobook of The Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory is going well. I had a long car ride over the weekend and knocked out a few disks. My ebook is The Domesday Book by Connie Willis and as expected, this is a long haul. I’m 17% of the way through and that’s about 100 pages. Sit tight, we’ll be here for a while. The second section of Read Along #2 has begun and I’m working through Chapters 6 – 8 of The Space Between Us by Thrity Umrigar. I hope to finish it before Friday.

Recently finished: I’m sad to report there’s nothing new! I’ve made great progress in a couple, but nothing new for today. I may cry.

But book reviews! I’ve been doing pretty well on these so far. Check out my reviews for Under the Wide and Starry Sky by Nancy Horan and The Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline.

Reading Next:  No new news on Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett. It’s still waiting at the library and I’m waiting for a miracle to finally get it! Hoping I finish Canada by Monday, I’ll start Misterio de La Guia de Ferrocarriles by Agatha Christie. The English title is The ABC Murders. A co-worker gave it to me before he returned to Mexico and I want to start it soon because he’s coming back! My book club meets on Monday to talk about The Orphan Train so I’ll be starting our new title, Michelangelo and the Pope’s Ceiling by Ross King. I haven’t read a non-fiction in a while so this should be a good break.

Still trying to get through Canada. That’s my goal for next week! How is your WWW? Leave a comment and let me know and check out the original post on MizB’s blog!

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 17-September-2014

17 Sep

Time for MizB’s WWW meme! Not too much progress this week, but I suspected that would happen.

www_wednesdays4The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently reading:  I will be picking up Canada by Richard Ford again at lunch today. I hope to make a dent in it! My audiobook is The Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory. So far, this one isn’t disappointing. Gregory’s ability to throw in tons of historical detail and still move a plot is incredible. My ebook is The Domesday Book by Connie Willis and it’s moving as slowly as expected. I’m devoting a lot more time to it than I normally do to an ebook and I’m only at 13%. The race is off for Read Along #2 and I’ve finished the first section of The Space Between Us by Thrity Umrigar. I’m itching to start section two!

Recently finished: Only one finished this week. My book club selection for October is We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson and I finished it at lunch yesterday. This is one that was hard to read before bed because it was so creepy! Really good but not my normal style.

I’m banging out these book reviews lately. It’s been hard to catch up. Check out reviews for Beneath a Marble Sky by John Shors and Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt.

Reading Next:   Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett is still waiting on my library list. I don’t have much else waiting now because I just started so many! I wish it would come in soon, but I’m starting to give up a bit. If I can finish Canada, I want to read another one in Spanish and I’m likely to pick up Misterio de La Guia de Ferrocarriles by Agatha Christie. The English title is The ABC Murders. Has anyone read this one? It will be my first Agatha Christie and it will be in Spanish so it’s bound to be a good time!

Let’s see if I can get through Canada this week, but no promises! How is your WWW? Leave a comment and let me know and check out the original post on MizB’s blog!

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 10-September-2014

10 Sep

Time for MizB’s WWW meme! This week was full of finishing books, but I’ll be slowing down for a while I fear.

www_wednesdays4The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently reading:  I was able to read some of Canada by Richard Ford but I’m afraid it’s been put to rest again for a while. Poor thing. My new audiobook is The Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory. I’m a huge fan of Gregory and it’s made only more awesome that this book will fulfill the 1400s in my When Are You Reading? Challenge. My new ebook is The Domesday Book by Connie Willis which a co-worker recommended to me ages ago and I know my friend Katherine really enjoyed. It’s a clunker so expect to see that title on this list for a looooong time. The race is off for Read Along #2 and I’ve started in on the first section of The Space Between Us by Thrity Umrigar. So far it’s pretty darn awesome. My copy is autographed so it won’t leave the house (my rule) so this might be a bit slower than I’d read the sections otherwise, but it’s coming along nicely. And because that wasn’t enough, I started our new book club selection yesterday, We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson. I’m only a few pages in, but it’s really creepy! My guess is it only gets worse. Four new books started! Yay.

Recently finished:Three finished this week! I completed the audio of Under the Wide and Starry Sky by Nancy Horan and I’m glad to be done with it. I’m not a fan of the literary wives trend and read this because someone recommended it and I needed an 1800s book. It will be a less than glowing review when it comes out. I finished the ebook of The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka and I don’t think I can say enough good things about it. This short little book was really refreshing and I’m so glad I picked it up! I also finished  The Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline in three days. That’s really fast for me! But I loved it so much. My mom, grandma, and supervisor had all recommended it to me and it did not disappoint. What an amazing story.

I also got three book reviews posted! If you’re so inclined to read more than my one-sentence reviews here, you can check out my full reviews of Looking for Alaska by John Green, Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick, and The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien.

Reading Next:   Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett is still waiting on my library list. I don’t have much else waiting now because I just started so many! I know there will be more to come, but that’s for next week.

I’m not sure I’ll finish any this week, but I’ll try my darndest! How is your WWW? Leave a comment and let me know and check out the original post on MizB’s blog!

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 3-September-2014

3 Sep

Time for MizB’s WWW meme! This week was moderate progress but I’m still slugging through a few.

www_wednesdays4The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently reading:  I’ve stalled reading Canada by Richard Ford but i can almost see the light of when I can pick it back up. I think it’s in about a month? The audio of Under the Wide and Starry Sky by Nancy Horan is getting close to the end. I’m on the second-to-last disk and I can’t wait to finish it. I’m loving and making good progress on The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka. It’s written in a very compelling way, using a first person plural voice. I like it a lot. I’ve also just started  The Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline, which is my next book club selection. My mom recommended this a few months back and I was excited to see it on our book club list.

Recently finished: Just one this week,  Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt. I read this so fast it was never on my ‘currently reading’ section. A co-worker lent it to me and I read it in three days. I want to talk to her about it, but this is her vacation week. Dang it.

And one book review for you all! Check out my review of Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn that I put up yesterday.

Reading Next:  I’m still waiting on Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett to come in at the library. I asked about a library bounty hunter position, but I don’t think she realized I was serious. I’ve got the audio for The Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory in my car, ready to start as son as ‘Sky’ is done. This will fill in the 1400s for my When Are You Reading? Challenge and then I’ll only be one from finishing. Yay! Pretty soon I’ll be starting Read Along #2 and the book we’ve chosen is The Space Between Us by Thrity Umrigar. I met Umrigar about a year ago and she blew me away; what a wonderful woman. I’m excited to read this book! If you’re interested in joining the Read-Along, check out my post explaining what it’s all about and drop me an email.

Hopefully I can finish ‘Sky’ early this week. I’m ready for it to be over. How is your WWW? Leave a comment and let me know and check out the original post on MizB’s blog!

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!