Today is World Book Day!
And by World Book Day, I mean British Book Day. I don’t know why we call it World Book Day, when there’s already a World Book Day, and it takes place in April. I guess “school children dress up as book characters and they all get a free book token” day was a bit too clunky for a name.
But in honor of the day, I’m gonna chat about a few of the books on my shelves right now.
Maid at the King’s Court by Lucy Worsley
I actually just finished this one, and I have loads of thoughts. It’s the fictional story Catherine Howard’s cousin, who comes to Henry VIII’s court to be a maid to Anne of Cleves and gets caught up in all the chaos that follows.
Lucy Worsley is actually a curator at Hampton Court, which was one of Henry VIII’s favorite palaces, and where most of the key events in Catherine Howard’s downfall happened. So although the novel has a lot of invention, in terms of characters and plotpoints, the historical details are A+++.
Blood Rose Rebellion by Rosalyn Eves
I just started this! At first glance, it’s a pretty familiar set-up. Magic users are society’s elite. Non-magic users have less powers and rights. A revolution is brewing, and a teenage girl might just end up at the center of it. BUT one really cool element, which I didn’t realize until I started reading, is that it quickly moves away from London to 19th century Hungary. How many books have you read set in 19th century Hungary??? I don’t think I’ve ever read any. So I’m super intrigued. I’m only 25% into it, but I’m enjoying it so far!
Romantic Outlaws: The Extraordinary Lives of Mary Wollstonecraft & Mary Shelley by Charlotte Gordon
My new non-fiction book, to read first thing in the morning instead of obsessing over the news. After reading Frankenstein for the first time last Halloween (I know, I’m a bad English major), I looked up a bit about Mary Shelley, and I never knew how insane her life was. I’d heard the story of the ghost story competition with Shelley and Byron, but I didn’t know that was just one tiny bit of the epicness. And then her mother, Mary Wollstonecraft, was a major feminist writer and a total rebel as well.
Gem & Dixie by Sara Zarr
A new Sara Zarr novel! I loooove Sara Zarr’s stuff, but it’s been a few years since I picked up anything by her. I actually don’t even know what this book is about. I just know that it’s by Sara Zarr, so I needed it. And I’m pretty sure it’s going to break my heart. It can be my Literary Contemporary Fiction YA of the year, before I jump back into courts and magic and spaceships.
Sidenote: I miss Sara Zarr’s writing podcast so much. If you’ve never listened to it, you should definitely check it out.
Spindle by EK Johnston
The sequel to A Thousand Nights, which is an absolutely gorgeous feminist fantasy novel. I’ve been sitting on this for a couple of months, and I can’t wait to read it, but I’m kind of waiting until I’m in the right mood to properly appreciate it. I’ve learned not to read anything too similar to my own books around a book release, and since A Wicked Thing and Kingdom of Ashes are my take on Sleeping Beauty, I think I need to let my book release anxieties from Long May She Reign settle a bit before I delve into this. But I’m so excited to have this lined up and ready to read.