Bookish Discussions

January Reading Wrap-Up:

Considering how terrible some reading months were terrible in 2019, we’re off to a good start in 2020. I’ve managed to kick my reading slump and get through eight books! I started some series I’ve been putting off, I’ve read a lot of non-fiction and I got through some of my most anticipated paperback releases of the year…

Here’s what I read in January 2020:

Victoria the Queen: An Intimate Biography of the Woman who Ruled an Empire by Julia Baird / 5 stars

–  The Furies by Katie Lowe / 4 stars

–  The Commmunist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels /  3.5 stars

–  Things in Jars by Jess Kidd / 3.5 stars

–  The Odd Women by George Gissing / 5 stars

–  A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin / 4 stars

–  Wakenhyrst by Michelle Paver / 2 stars

– The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper by Hallie Rubenhold / 5 stars

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Bookish Discussions

Victoria: The Queen


I started my new year off with an “intimate” look into the woman who ruled an empire: Queen Victoria. Julia Baird has written an excellent, truthful and well-researched book on the monarch who was the figurehead of a progressive era and a huge empire in a time where women were often seen and not heard.

*really* enjoyed this look into Queen Victoria – possibly my favourite historical figure of all-time.

All my knowledge of Victoria stems from the ITV show, reading Victorian novels and self-research. I didn’t have a deep understanding of her.  Victoria: The Queen is said to be “the definitive biography” on Victoria, exploring her lonely children to her happy marriage right through to her death. It’s brief, in a sense, the woman reigned for 63 years, but it focused on all the important stuff:

The Kensington System, her cruel uncles, Melbourne, Albert, her nine children, politics, her growing Empire, the many PMs, and so on.

I understand her so much better now.

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Bookish Discussions

Non-Fiction November | Recommendations:


I’m not actually participating in Non-Fiction November – I have very little non-fiction on my shelves here in Liverpool – but I wanted to get involved nonetheless. I’ve read quite a lot of non-fiction in the past couple of years, and have stumbled across a couple of new favourites, so I wanted to share them with you.

Now, I must say, these are either Victorian-themed or war-themed. I’m not very diverse in my non-fiction reading. I’m set in my ways, so I’d really appreciate it if you dropped some recommendations yourself in the comments. I’m always on the look out for new books!

Let’s start with the Victorian non-fiction…

First is Ruth Goodman’s How to be a Victorian, which is an excellent study of how the Victorians went through life, from waking up to going to work to falling asleep. Goodman looks at all their rituals, traditions and pastimes. There’s so much enthusiasm and warmth to the book that you can’t but get caught up in Goodman’s passion for the Victorians. It was such a pleasant read.

It wouldn’t be me with mentioning the Brontës now, would it?

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