Saturday, June 28, 2008

Summer Reading

InsideCatholic has a list of books great for summer reading. I am pleased to say that Trianon is among those recommended, thanks to Mary Jo Anderson, who writes:
Trianon: A Novel of Royal France, written by Elena Maria Vidal, sweeps one into the streets of Revolutionary France. This sympathetic portrayal of Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI has been meticulously researched, yet its history is offered as lightly as a one of Proust's Madeleines. Marie and Louis lean on their faith, grow in courage, and provide images of love and hope in a time of unremitting horror. This historical novel is suitable for older teens, too.
It is highly probable that Mary Jo's Scottish ancestors and mine fought beside Robert Bruce at Bannockburn. She is certainly in the front lines of the culture war today. Her book would also make great summer reading. Especially if one plans to conjure up any lively debates with one's left-wing relatives, while visiting on the porch, drinking margaritas, then have the book on hand (or better yet, commit it to memory!) Seriously, this is a summer before a general election. Now's the day and now's the hour.

There are some novels and biographies which I am looking forward to dipping into this summer for the first time, including Ron Hansen's Exiles, Regina Doman's The Midnight Dancers, C. W. Gortner's The Last Queen, and Alison Weir's The Children of Henry VIII.

Currently I am plowing through The Fate of the Romanovs by Greg King and Penny Wilson. Anyone interested in the controversial end of the last Tsar and his family should read it. Even if one does not agree with all the authors' views and conclusions, their research is highly compelling and sheds light on the humanity of the most enigmatic and tragic of royals. The book should convince once and for all that snippets in the mainstream press are no place for gaining reliable information about the circumstances of the infamous murder. Many facts have been romanticized and glossed over throughout the years so that few media representations about the case are reliable.

If anyone has other books to recommend that would be good for reading on vacation, let me know. Share


Anonymous said...

Thank you for the kind words.

I heaven there will be enough rocking chairs and time to read whole libraries!

elena maria vidal said...

I can't wait.

Anonymous said...

If you could get Agatha Christie's autobiography---I think you'd find it fascinating, esp because of its first person account of the late Victorian period in England (the relationship between her mother and father is sweet beyond words) and the manner in which she took up writing.
Enjoy your vacation!

elena maria vidal said...

Thanks, SF, I will look for Agatha Christie's autobiography. Funny you mentioned that since I just finished the most delightful Agatha Christie binge. It had been so long since I had read some of the novels that I could not remember the plots and so was always surprised by the endings.

Dymphna said...

I don't think I could stand to read the Romanov book. When I think of how terrified the Tsar's children must have been it makes me ill.

elena maria vidal said...

Yes, it is very disturbing and unutterably sad.

Unknown said...

I recommend ‘Katherine’ by Anya Seton and ‘Joan of Arc’ by Mark Twain.

elena maria vidal said...

Those are both excellent suggestions. I need to read "Katherine" again one of these days.