Yet more readings…

Just trying to catch up on the reading quest

15. The Six Wives of Henry VIII by Alison Weir

The crappy local mall bookstore went out of business many months back, and so, when the stock was getting priced lower and lower, I went and picked up a few books that looked interesting. This was one.

Henry VIII was an absolute giant in his own time. He solidified the English monarchy when it had bounced all over the place. And he had problems with women, specifically those he married. My father had taught me the basic story as a boy: six wives– divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived. And in a nutshell, that’s it.

But there’s so much more depth here. The incredible scheming, the religious paranoia, and lots of humanizing touches– like the claim that Henry never consumated his marriage to Anne of Cleves because she smelled bad. Considering that this was the 1500s, I assume that everybody probably smelled like a garbage dump, so that Anne of Cleves must have been one noxious lady. I also enjoyed the story of Katherine Howard’s father, of whom little information survives, except a letter where he complained to someone that a medication he had taken had caused him to “bepiss my bed.”

Weir wrote a very interesting and fair look at a complicated time, and at six women and one man who would change the world. It was long… but enjoyable.

16. The Monkees: The Day-by-Day Story of the ’60s Pop Sensation by Andrew Sandoval

I had high hopes for this book. I dug the Monkees during their late 1980s rerunnings. I thought the book would be a nice chance to learn a little more about the Semi-Fab Four. Unfortunately, Sandoval’s book is only useful for the superfan. I don’t care that on July 18, 1968, Mike recorded a song called “Tapioca Pudding” with his friend, Bill Noname on backing vocals, and that the other Monkees didn’t like it, but after seven remixes, it was eventually placed on a 1990s Rhino album. Yeck. Slow, slow, slow reading… and by the end, I feel much less warm and kind toward the Monkees. They were handed pop success, and instead wanted to record their own rambling crapola.

17. A Lion Called Christian by Anthony Bourke and John Rendall

I can tell you about this book, or this story. Or just show you the video which put it in print. I’m not watching it again, because it seems like somebody keeps slicing up onions about 2/3 of the way through the video. At least, that must be what it is. Yeah.

And turn your speakers down, unless you want deafened by Whitney Houston.

Henry VIII 656
Monkees 288
Christian 256

So now… my totals 16.2 books, 6,058 pages.
To be on pace for the goals of 50/20,000: 16.3 books, 6,521 pages.

Ouch. So the book count is almost right on, but I have fallen about 470 pages behind pace. Might be time for that giant John Lennon book, or the giant Abe Lincoln book.


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