|The King's Speech: How One Man Saved the British Monarchy|
After a lot of Christmas visiting, and a horrible post-Christmas cold, I have been spending my time reading some wonderful books that Santa brought for me. This is the best part of the holidays for me, anyway, watching movies with my men or curling up with a book on my own.
The book above, a tie-in with the current theatrical release, The King's Speech, tells virtually the same story as the film. This was co-written by Mark Logue, grandson of Lionel Logue, the Australian speech therapist (played by Geoffrey Rush) who helped King George VI (played by Colin Firth) overcome his stammer and inspire his country in wartime. Partly based on the diaries of Lionel Logue, this one will be a great read. I probably would have started with this one if I hadn't already seen the film before the holidays.
|At Home: A Short History of Private Life|
I am totally addicted to Bill Bryson. This is the one I am now reading, as I blow my nose trumpet style while wearing my jammies and robe. Although not as funny as some of his travel writing, this one has lots of English and American history as it relates to our homes. Perfect to curl up with, it gives history as it should be taught, in a conversational style, with lots of anecdotes and related to modern day things and places. This one is a winner and I am now half way through it.
|Behind Closed Doors: At Home in Georgian England|
This one I asked for because I saw Amanda Vickery's saucy new television program called At Home With the Georgians. Rather like Bill Bryson, she wanders through historic Georgian period homes (1714-1830) telling tales of who the Goergians were and how they lived. Again, the story telling aspect of the way she looks at history takes all the boring bits out and leaves us feeling like Peeping Toms or gossip mongers. Rather fun and infinitely interesting. Vickery is a professor of Modern History at Queen Mary, University of London, and I would go to a lecture of hers anytime. This one is still waiting for me, but I look forward to her cheeky style of writing.
|The Fry Chronicles: An Autobiography|
This one my hubby (aka The Squire) picked up on a whim at our local Chapters bookstore, because he knows I love Jeeves and Wooster with Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie (as Bertie Wooster and his wonderful valet, Jeeves). He leafed through and saw lots of photos of my hero Emma Thompson, and so bought it for me. Not sure why I started reading this one first (possibly the photos) but it was a quick and interesting read. If you don't know about Stephen Fry he is highbrow graduate of Cambridge University (where he met Emma and Hugh) and has been a writer, comedian, actor and even quiz show presenter. You either love him or you hate him, as he can come off as a snooty wind-bag, but I find him charming and interesting. Lots of good stories...
If you have never seen Stephen Fry and Emma Thompson together, here is a hilarious clip from his quiz show QI...(p.s. it really only makes sense if you know that Stephen Fry is gay).