French History

Whether it is just the chunk of the Boxall list I am working through at the moment, or the random books I am choosing from my Goodreads list–for some reason I seem to be reading a lot of French literature lately.

Or trying to.

I am getting really frustrated, because I am not enjoying the books as much as I want to. Either they are taking way too long to read, or I just find them excruciatingly boring. Mauprat wasn’t bad, but I am into my second Dumas novel, and I think I have figured out why I hate him so much.

Dumas writes about real events–his books are basically James Bond books of the 1800s. They are about espionage and war and real kings. Maybe the heroes are fictional, but all the history is real.

And I do not know that history, so I am COMPLETELY lost. Hence my frustration! I know all about British history, because I’ve been reading about it for years…but French? Nada. I know there were rough relations with the Spanish for awhile, but I don’t know if they ever went to war. And I know there was a revolution with Napoleon…which I think is what this book is talking about. But without Googling it, I couldn’t even tell you what happened there. It has been years since my World History class in high school.

So. Dear readers. I need your help. Enlighten me. I need more French History. What are your favorites? Biographies. Period histories. Fact-based historical fiction about real people (you know the kind I like…I’m not talking romance novels here). Give me some good stuff that I can read up on the kings and queens and drama.

And don’t worry…I probably will use Google. But reading in depth is so much better! Thanks for your help!

WWW Wednesday 9/3/2014

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We’re starting to get rolling, and I’m starting to feel better about my reading choices and blogging abilities. I’m definitely back in the swing of things now. Here’s what’s up this week:

 

What are you currently reading?

Throne of Glass by Sarah Maas

 

What did you just finish reading?

The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas

 

What do you think you’ll read next?

The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway (It’s driving me mad that I haven’t finished that collection yet.)

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling

Winter’s Tale by Mark Hellprin

Justine by Lawrence Durell

Whatcha Reading?

While I was traveling/moving, I was in love with my Kindle and my tablet. My books were packed up, and Kindle Unlimited had just been announced. I had also just got several books from my library’s ecollection that had been on hold forEVER. I thought it was perfect timing, because I was going to have so much downtime on vacation and no physical books to read.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

I hardly read AT ALL.

I maybe read 3-4 books in 3 weeks. Ridiculous. Horrendous. But I was SO busy. We had a blast on vacation, and saw so many amazing people. And pretty much collapsed at the end of every day. And then we moved. And well, you know how moving is.

And I read that horrible Dumas novel. Ugh.

And so now I have unpacked all of my pretties…and have a bazillion electronic books to read. Which is not such a terrible thing, but my fingers are tingling every time I look at my bookshelves…which since they are in my home office…is every day. I may have to start alternating!

Here are the two books I am currently reading:

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Anna Karenina I have been listening to since April. That is nothing new. It is one of the most tedious books I’ve ever read. I am not a fan of Russian Lit. It’s SO FORMAL. But, it gets me through chore-doing. And it’s starting to pick up a little bit, and the plot is thickening as much as Russian Lit can. I know it’s a big important classic….it’s just very slow.

Throne of Glass was a little slow to start for me, and I’m not sure how I feel about it yet. My blogger buddies really love this one, but I’m not sure it’ll be a favorite for me. We’ll see.

The Three Musketeers

I started to write my WWW Wednesday post this morning, and realized that absolutely nothing had changed since last week. UGH. That just ticked me right off.

There’s nothing worse than a book that is taking way too long to come to a conclusion. Alexandre Dumas’ The Three Musketeers was just that book this week. I was so ready to start blogging again, and couldn’t get to the end!

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This book was utterly ridiculous to me, which was very disappointing. I grew up with the legend of the Musketeers, and I am absolutely loving the BBC series, but I had never read the original story and figured it was about time I did. Now, I wish I hadn’t. I think this book must be were we Americans get our exaggerated stereotypes (see stereotypes…I don’t actually think this is true) of the French–constant adultery, snobbish about food and wine, and “SACREBLEU!” every two seconds.

I was expecting heroic duels and romance, more knighty type showings of chivalry like I find in my British novels from the same time period. But this was just a foolish, horribly written mess. And maybe it’s just Dumas. I don’t think I’ve read much French literature, so I don’t mean to discredit France and French literature as a whole here. I just really hated this book. The Musketeers were not dashing at all, they were kind of lazy, actually. They wanted to lay around eating chocolate breakfasts and beg wine from married women. And heaven forbid if someone gave them Anjou wine instead of Champagne, oh my goodness.

The only really interesting character was Milady de Winter, and she was just an absolute nutcase. She had about 12 different personalities, but because of Dumas’ terrible writing, it’s hard to tell if she’s a psychopath and she’s in control of herself, or if she has absolutely no idea what’s going on and is just trying to stay alive.

I really wanted to follow this up by reading Man in the Iron Mask…but I don’t think I could stand it. I loved that movie, but ugh. I think reading any more Dumas would just ruin it for me. I’ll just rent the movie again.

WWW Wednesday

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Oh my gosh you guys, I’m back. Finally. I warned you, the last month has been absolutely insane, and for those of you who haven’t completely abandoned me, I thank you for sticking around. I fully plan on ramping back up to regular blog posts, challenges, etc going into September. We are unpacking our stuff this week, which means bookshelf organization! I always get really excited about my books about that time so who knows what I’ll post. Keep an eye on the Instagram…there’s bound to be some fun stuff there.

 

What are you currently reading?

The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas

 

What did you just finish reading?

Hollow City by Ransom Riggs

Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by JK Rowling

 

What do you think you’ll read next?

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling

Throne of Glass by Sarah Maas

Horns by Joe Hill

Winter’s Tale by Mark Hellprin

Justine by Lawrence Durell