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Wednesday, December 28, 2016


    How many of you love to read? I have been reading a lot of book blogs lately and daydreaming about spending more time reading.  (I have also daydreamed about letter writing, but have been unmotivated to pull everything out since my house is really clean right now.. ha ha. Anyone want to come over?)  I will often talk to people who tell me that they really dislike reading and I don't understand that at all. Reading relaxes me and exercises my brain. Being the nerd that I am, I often will read things that I will learn something from- memoirs, biographies, non-fiction, a text book here and there, historical fiction, etc. I also enjoy a good novel.  I have a whole bookshelf dedicated to my "to read" list.  Currently it is overflowing and there is a large stack of books next to it as well. In addition to loving books, I find that I often connect really well with other people who like to read.  So, I think I'm going to include a bit more about the books I read here on my blog.   I will not claim to have any great insight, but I often don't talk about my opinions of books so I figured I'd stretch myself a bit. I might also write about some of my other hobbies as well. I'd like to connect with more people this year.

Just Read: The Greatest Knight by Thomas Asbridge

 The Greatest Knight: The Remarkable Life of William Marshal, the Power Behind Five English Thrones
      William Marshal is a man who has always piqued my interest.  I was first introduced to William Marshal in Elizabeth Chadwick's book, also called A Place Beyond Courage. Chadwick has a series of books about William Marshal, and I have read all 3 of them. Knowing that the series written by Chadwick were classified as historical fiction, I didn't know how much about Marshal was true and how many of the stories were exaggerated or just good for entertainment. When I saw an unedited proof of the Asbridge book, I knew I had to read it.
    This book follows Marshal  through the reign of the 5 English kings he served- Henry II, The Young King Henry, Richard I, John and John's son, Henry III.  Surprisingly, many of the events and people in Asbridge's book had been mentioned in Chadwick's book so I was delighted to see how closely she followed his life.  The contrast between what we think of as knightly chivalry and common practices of that time period (like the punishment of prisoners in battles or what would happen to someone who went against the baron in charge of a certain area) was pretty eye opening. It examines chivalry and daily life during this period of history.  
     I was excited to learn more about this knight who seemed very influential in the lives of the kings he served as well as many of the noblemen of the area. The copy I read was an unedited proof so there were supplemental materials that would be included in the final book that were not in mine.  These include various maps and a "Who's Who" section, which would have been helpful since so many men named their heirs after themselves or other important people of that time.   One thing that I got slightly aggravated with was the constant mention of a biography of William Marshal which his eldest son, William II, commissioned to be  written less than a year after William's death in 1219. On one hand, I love knowing that the information that I'm reading is accurate and knowing the original source material something was taken from. On the other hand, it was mentioned so many times that it made me wonder if I should have been reading that instead. Then I realized that the original title of The History is "L'Historie de Guillaume de Marechal"  and was grateful that I now had access to this source since I don't speak French. 
     I would be very interested to read more from Thomas Asbridge. I found this book to be very interesting and I liked his style of writing. I gave this book 4 stars on Goodreads.


     As I was reading some blogs this week, many people mentioned NetGalley. Have any of you used it before? If so, what are your experiences?  Thanks!


1 comment:

  1. I always prefer bookworms to non-bookworm people too. ;) I think we are AMAZING CREATURES tbh. And yes I would like more reading time too haha, although right now I can't complain because I've spent much more time having Christmas holidays than reading lately. 😂 Ahem! Anyway, I'm glad you liked this book! I hadn't heard of it before but it does look intriguing. :D
    (I do like Netgalley but it barely ever approves me, blah.😂)