Tag: Bernard Cornwell

What I’ve Been Reading

The last time I posted what I was reading, it was the end of April and I had just finished up several books on Richard III and also read several Mrs. Pollifax spy novels.

In the three months since then, I’ve read thirteen more books! That sounds like a lot, but many were more of the Mrs. Pollifax series. They are short and enjoyable – I can finish one off in about two and a half days – perfect reading for stressful times.

Mrs. Pollifax on Safari
• Mrs. Pollifax on the China Station
• Mrs. Pollifax and the Hong Kong Buddha
• Mrs. Pollifax and the Golden Triangle
• Mrs. Pollifax and the Whirling Dervish
• Mrs. Pollifax and the Second Thief
• Mrs. Pollifax Pursued
• Mrs. Pollifax and the Lion Killer

Author Dorothy Gilman creates wonderfully vibrant and memorable characters in the Mrs. Pollifax series. Unfortunately, I only have two more Mrs. Pollifax books to read and then I will be done with the series. She has written other books, though, so perhaps I shall have to try one of those.

I did finish Richard Castle’s Heat Wave, but while I enjoy the series, the book was not as exciting, perhaps because there wasn’t the visual of Nathan Fallon playing Richard Castle! In any case, I decided not to read the second in the series.

Another author that I have come to enjoy is Elizabeth Chadwick. She writes historical romances, mostly centered around the 1100s and 1200s of England, or at least those that I have read so far have been in that time frame. The Marsh King’s Daughter and Shields of Pride were excellent reads and I can’t wait to tackle more of Chadwick’s books.

Other books that I finished were Jack Weatherford’s Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World and Bernard Cornwell’s The Burning Land. Weatherford’s biography of Genghis Khan and the succeeding two generations of Mongol rulers was extremely interesting. If the Mongols did only half of what Weatherford attributed to them as positively impacting the modern world, then they were truly a remarkable people, even while they were violent and ruthless. Cornwell’s The Burning Land is the fifth book in The Saxon Series, which brings the readers up to near the end of King Alfred of Wessex’s reign. I have enjoyed the series, although they are quite violent and I am getting tired of the non-stop battle scenes.

In my April post I mentioned that I was reading Was it something you ate? Food intolerance: what causes it and how to avoid it by John Emsley and Peter Fell. I have not progressed any further with that book and have set it aside to maybe tackle again at a later date.

Two books that I am currently reading are Fifty Is the New Fifty by Suzanne Braun Levine and Eat to Live: The Amazing Nutrient-Rich Program for Fast and Sustained Weight Loss by Joel Fuhrman, M.D. Braun’s books is a continuation of her “women in second adulthood” theme that she covered in her first book Inventing the Rest of Our Lives. I am not very far into the book yet, so I’ll don’t really have any comments/reviews on it yet. Fuhrman’s book is very interesting! Here’s from the back cover:

Eat to Live offers a highly effective and scientifically proven way to lose weight quickly. The key to Dr. Fuhrman’s revolutionary six week plan is simple:

health = nutrients / calories.

When the ratio of nutrients to calories in the food you eat is high, you lose weight. The more nutrient-dense food you eat, the less you crave fat, sweets, and high-calorie foods.

Eat to Live will help you live longer, reduce your dependence on medications, and improve your overall health dramatically. It will change the way you want to eat.

Joel Fuhrman, M.D., is a board-certified family physician and nutritional researcher who specializes in preventing and reversing disease through nutritional and natural methods. His other books include Eat for Health and Disease-Proof Your Child. He lives and maintains a private practice in Flemington, New Jersey. For more information visit Dr. Fuhrman’s websites at http://www.drfuhrman.com/ and http://www.diseaseproof.com/.

I will definitely be posting a review of this book when I have finished it. He goes into a lot of science and scientific studies in the first several chapters, wanting his readers to really understand how the body uses the nutrition is receives so that they will understand the basic premises of his new way of eating. Stay tuned!

Book Review – The Grail Quest Trilogy

I recently discovered historical fiction author Bernard Cornwell and he is now added to my favorite authors list! His characters have depth, passion, color and are all too human. It is easy to lose oneself in his stories, only occasionally coming up for air and food!

I have been rotating between two series, The Grail Quest Trilogy and The Saxon Novels, as they have come available on Paperback Swap. It’s been a bit of a mental stunt. The Grail Quest books take place mostly in France during the beginning years of The Hundred Years War (the first book beginning in 1342) while the Saxon books cover the reign of King Alfred of Wessex (England), the first book beginning in 866, and chronicles the fight for England between the Saxons and the Danes. Both are very interesting time periods, but very different times and places. One aspect is similar; they were times of warfare. Battle scenes have always been something that I tend to skim over, not really following all the maneuvers and machinations, but Cornwell is able to describe these so that I do not lose interest and follow the battle scenes to their end.

The Archer’s Tale, Vagabond, and Heretic are the three books comprising the Grail Quest Trilogy. The Archer’s Tale begins with Thomas of Hookham witnessing the slaughter of his father and the rest of his small English coastal village in a raid by an unknown black-clad knight. In his journey to avenge these deaths, he becomes the key figure in the search for the Holy Grail, a search that leads him to France as an English archer, the battle of Crecy, the Inquisition, and the chance to solve the mystery of his family’s past. Of course, there are beautiful women to rescue and love, friendships to make and lose, and questions of loyalty and religion to resolve. Long before the end of the first book, you are glad there are at least two more books in which you can follow Thomas and his adventures!