The Creation of Anne Boleyn
by Susan Bordo
I really enjoyed this fresh look at Anne Boleyn. Bordo brings all sorts of things to light, things that Tudor aficionados may know already but maybe never put together completely, and things that are accepted as fact that just aren’t true. It’s hard to look backwards without using today as a lens, but Bordo does what seems to me a fine job here.
It was fun to read about the various books, movies, plays, and television shows about Anne, and how she was portrayed. I liked the first, more historical section of the book as well. The photo plates were great, showing me a few portraits I’d never before seen.
I enjoyed the afterword perhaps most of all, where Bordo brings us into the reasons why she chose to write this book.
If you’re a Tudor junkie, this is not to be missed.
Ali in Wonderland and Other Tall Tales
by Ali Wentworth
My sister-in-law recommended this to me, so I picked it up. I had no idea who Wentworth was before I did so. She’s got a funny voice, and it didn’t matter that I didn’t know of her- I just went along for the ride and grinned. It’s mostly memoir, but not strictly chronological. Her mother is an interesting character, maybe more interesting than Wentworth herself. Fun book.
by Philip Norman
Norman gives what appears to be a fairly evenhanded treatment of Jagger’s life to date, though he seems obsessed with the “Mars Bar incident” and refers to it way too many times after initially debunking it. This is a really long book that doesn’t even begin to be exhaustive- Jagger’s life has been so full of women, of song, and of wine (where wine= any mind altering substance) that there’s hardly room to cover half of it. My favorite parts were the chapters concerning the Rolling Stones tours that I have attended. I also found reading about Jagger’s relationship with his kids purely fascinating. Yeah, I’m a fangirl.
It was interesting that it seemed to me that Norman started off with what seemed to me sort of an attitude that was anti-Mick, pro-Marianne, then in the middle of the book he seemed more or less on Mick’s team, but by the end of the book was very pro-Jerry. Um, I sort of sound like E! Weekly, don’t I? The narrator had just the proper poncy British accent which added to my delight.
If you’re a Jagger fan, don’t miss this.
by Julia Fox
I found this purported biography of Anne Boleyn’s sister-in-law Jane to be wildly erratic. First of all, there is little verifiable known about Jane’s life and the author spends a lot of time speculating. The first “if Jane were there, she would have” was barely noticeable, but by the middle of the book it was clear that nobody really can ever know what Jane Boleyn thought, said, or did beyond what’s already documented. I didn’t like the imagined Jane. I also didn’t like what felt like clear bias against the Boleyn clan as a whole. I did like the meticulously researched, historically verifiable parts. But mostly I didn’t like it.