So here we are (finally!) with my reading wrap-up! It’s a little bit late, but that’s ok, because I read a whopping 16 books this month, and guess what, most of them weren’t picture books! I will skip the Dutch picture book and the re-reads, as most of you wouldn’t be able to get it or read it (fun fact: most of my readers are American!).
So let’s get started.
Books read: 16 (picture books: 2, non-fiction: 8, detective: 1, classic: 2, children’s: 3)
Re-read: 1 (Edwardian Fashion)
Pages read: 2397
Stars: 1 (0), 2 (1), 3 (7), 4 (8), 5 (0)
the Message in the Hollow Oak by Carolyn Keene
I did enjoy this Nancy Drew, but it wasn’t anything special. It was also very disrespectful to Native American graves which made me very sad. It was incredibly casual about actual human body’s, and at one point people even used a skeleton to “hide” behind, how that even works I don’t know, but it was weird?? Mind you, the original books were written in the 1930s, the edition I’m currently reading are the reissued books from the 1950s, so I’m not surprised it’s like that, that doesn’t mean it’s ok though. I did think the archaeology aspects was interesting, but I just wish it wasn’t so casual with humans. Do I recommend this one? No, not really. If you are reading all of them (like me!) then yes, but if you are a casual reader who just wants to try out Nancy Drew, this one isn’t for you.
I gave it 3 stars on Goodreads.
Vintage Hollywood Knits by Bill Gibb
In case you haven’t realised by now, I love vintage fashion, and I actually taught myself to knit just so I could make more vintage style clothing for myself! This book was a gift from my parents for Christmas, and it’s great! It has some lovely patterns in it for men (woohoo!) and women. You get a little background info on the famous people the patterns are inspired by, which is really cute. I haven’t knitted anything from the book yet (I’m trying to give myself enough courage to start knitting my first sweater!)but they are great. I really recommend it if you love vintage fashion and love to knit!
I gave it 4 stars on Goodreads and you can get your copy here.
I do! I do! by Susan Waggoner
No, I’m not engaged, but I do love me some fashion history! This book is incredibly interesting. I absolutely loved it! I learned so much about wedding traditions and that’s what I read non-fiction for. The book used a lot of a vintage photos from weddings and couples, and in my opinion there were a bit too many pictures, just because I wanted more text to learn from. Nevertheless, this book is great, whether you are getting married or you just love fashion history, this book should really be read! I just wish it was a tad longer, just because I wanted a little bit more from it.
I gave it 4 stars on Goodreads.
Halibut Jackson by David Lucas
I loved this picture book! It’s about Halibut Jackson, and he’s very shy. He doesn’t like to be noticed but one day he makes a mistake, and people notice him… I absolutely loved it! I’m very, very shy myself, and I don’t like getting any attention, so this book really resonated with me. I love how it doesn’t make the shyness a Big Problem, you know, what some children’s and picture books do. The shyness is a way to get the story going, but it isn’t here to be “fixed” which is great for kids, so they know that being shy is ok!
I gave it 4 stars on Goodreads and you can get yours here.
Styling the Stars by Angela Cartwright and Tom McLaren
This is a really interesting book if you love old Hollywood and fashion. You can really see the differences per era, which is highly interesting. A lot of famous movies were used (like the Sound of Music) which was a lot of fun. I just really wished it had more text to it! It was interesting, but about 90% of this book is just photos. Interesting if you love old Hollywood, but not that interesting if you want to actually learn something from this book, you know what I mean? I’m glad to have it, because it’s beautiful, but it’s mostly just to have a browse through.
I gave it 3 stars on Goodreads and you can get your copy here.
Queen Victoria’s Children by John Van Der Kiste
Ok, so, “van der Kiste” is a Dutch name and in Dutch, “van der” should not be written with capital letters, so it’s really strange to do so now, haha! This was a very interesting book, there are tons of books on Victoria and even on Edward, but there aren’t many on all of the kids. I liked it, the author really enjoys the subject which is always a fun read. I just felt like the author really jumped from event to event and from person to person. Victoria was still in the center stage, and as soon as children got married, they weren’t really in the picture anymore, which is a shame. It felt like the author was editing this book and tried to add as many fun facts to it as possible. You can tell the author really loved writing this book ,but it just became a little messy. Interesting, but not the best, basically!
I gave it 3 stars on Goodreads and you can get yours here.
the Taming of the Shrew and Julius Caesar by Andrew Matthew and Tony Ross
Here we are again with some Shakespeare! I love him. He’s great. But I can’t read his plays, but I really do want to read them! These little books are really perfect for it. They tell the story, but in a way children would understand it. It really gives the essence of the play. Now, I do really love them, but I noticed a grammatical error in Julius Caesar which annoyed the hell out of me. English isn’t my first language, so if even I can notice it… That’s why Julius Caesar got 2 stars from me. The Taming of the Shrew got 3 stars! You can get your copies here.
the Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
I LOVE Oscar Wilde. He’s amazing. He’s funny, he’s witty, his writing is amazing, I love him. I just didn’t love the Picture of Dorian Gray. Even worse, I really disliked it. I didn’t expect this, at all! I thought I would love it as much as his short stories! I thought I would laugh and have a good time, but I didn’t. I do understand why other people love it, but it just isn’t for me. Which is a shame, because if there was one book I thought I would love by him, it would be this. It has all the elements I love, but I just didn’t care for it, at all. That doesn’t mean I’m giving up on mister Wilde!! I’m going back to his short stories.
I gave it 2 stars on Goodreads.
Anne of Avonlea by L. M. Montgomery
I really loved Anne of Green Gables, and I’ve been wanting to read the rest of the series for years and I finally did! However, I didn’t like the first 60% of the book. It was a bit slow, and it was strange to me, as I was a teacher and au pair, so you would think I would enjoy that the most! I’m really glad I pushed through though, because the last 40% really changed for me, and I really enjoyed it! It really felt like Anne of Green Gables again with weird shenanigans and things happening that can only happen to Anne! I really want to read the rest of the series and I can’t wait.
I gave it 3 stars on Goodreads and you can get your copy here.
Vintage Fashion Knitwear by Marnie Fogg
I mistakenly bought this book thinking it has patterns in it. But it doesn’t! It’s a very interesting book about knitwear through the years, covering almost 100 years of trends. It’s interesting, and I enjoyed it, but it’s only a book if you are really into fashion history. The photos are really amazing as well, so that’s another reason to get it, let’s be real, haha. I gave it 3 stars on Goodreads and you can get yours here.
Women in the Second World War by Neil R. Storey and Molly Housego
I really enjoyed this one! Shire Library is a great way to start reading into certain subjects, and this one was a lot of fun. I learned a bit from it (I read a lot on this subject, so if I learn anything new from books it’s impressive!) and you can tell the authors really love the subject. It’s just a shame that certain parts were recycled from Neil R. Storey’s other books. If you want to learn more about the Second World War I really recommend this one! I gave it 4 stars on Goodreads and you can get yours here.
Mrs Beeton’s Guide to Embroidery, crochet and knitting by Isabella Beeton
Mrs Beeton was THE authority on housekeeping in the Victorian Era, which in itself was funny, as she didn’t really know what she was talking about. This little book is about all kinds of patterns in embroidery, crochet and knitting (what’s in a name…). Really interesting if you enjoy history or fashion history, but that’s all about that’s interesting about it. I gave it 3 stars on Goodreads and you can get yours here.
Excellent Intentions by Richard Hull
Finally a detective written by a man that I enjoyed!! I have read a lot of detectives and so far all the ones I’ve read written by a man have been shite, but this one is GREAT. I really enjoyed it! It took it a whole different route, which I really liked. The story was basically told backwards, we are in the courtroom and we get the story through witnesses, which was so interesting! I didn’t guess who it was, which is also a lot of fun to me. It wasn’t perfect, but it was a great time. It was a hilarious time, that’s for sure. One of the funniest detectives I’ve read! I gave it 4 stars on Goodreads and you can get yours here.
That’s it for this month!! What did you read this month?