Sunday, 31 May 2020

A Month In Books - May 2020

Welcome to May's Month In Books roundup. I celebrated my birthday on the 3rd, but don't actually feel any older so I guess that's good?

My daily yoga habit is now at about 8 continuous weeks and I'm really starting to see improvements in my strength and flexibility. I even managed my first good Chaturanga pose (one that requires serious arm and core strength!) on Friday morning which I am sure is due to my new-to-me 1970s-inspired leggings from the excellent Zon Boho Vintage Etsy shop in Sweden! Anything this vivid has to be motivational, right?

Pic from Etsy listing - this is Not me! 

Regular blog series:
In May I blogged another African WorldReads, this time from Rwanda. This month's Cover Characteristics collection featured Bicycles and my 5 Books, 1 Theme quintet were all Shakespeare Retellings because I was feeling envious of all the theatre broadcasts we can't see. I also shared my favourite Bookish Etsy Finds.
I'm now up to date on State of the ARC which I am very pleased about though I may have hauled Too Many New Books.

Now, on with this Reading Roundup!
I have linked up with Nicole's WrapUpRoundUp over at Feed Your Fiction Addiction.

(Clicking each cover image will take you directly to my Literary Flits review or Spotlight page)

My Reviews

(Click the cover images to visit their reviews)




My Book Of The Month could have been Elizabeth Wein's The Enigma Game or Wasteland by Terry Tyler - both eagerly awaited and I loved reading them, but for me Braiding Sweetgrass is just too important a book not to sweep the accolade.

I hope you have found some books to tempt you in this selection! You can keep up with my daily book posts on Literary Flits plus there's now loads of Book Spotlights and Cover Reveals blogged on Stephanie Jane. Don't forget to keep up with my Giveaway Listings too!

Saturday, 30 May 2020

Women of Power in Anglo-Saxon England by Annie Whitehead

Women of Power in Anglo-Saxon England by Annie Whitehead
Published by Pen And Sword on the 30th May 2020.

How I got this book:
Received a review copy from the publisher via NetGalley

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Many Anglo-Saxon kings are familiar. Æthelred the Unready is one, yet less is written of his wife, who was consort of two kings and championed one of her sons over the others, or his mother who was an anointed queen and powerful regent, but was also accused of witchcraft and regicide. A royal abbess educated five bishops and was instrumental in deciding the date of Easter; another took on the might of Canterbury and Rome and was accused by the monks of fratricide. Anglo-Saxon women were prized for their bloodlines - one had such rich blood that it sparked a war - and one was appointed regent of a foreign country. Royal mothers wielded power; Eadgifu, wife of Edward the Elder, maintained a position of authority during the reigns of both her sons. Æthelflaed, Lady of the Mercians, was a queen in all but name, while few have heard of Queen Seaxburh, who ruled Wessex, or Queen Cynethryth, who issued her own coinage. She, too, was accused of murder, but was also, like many of the royal women, literate and highly-educated. From seventh-century Northumbria to eleventh-century Wessex and making extensive use of primary sources, Women of Power in Anglo-Saxon England examines the lives of individual women in a way that has often been done for the Anglo-Saxon men but not for their wives, sisters, mothers and daughters. It tells their stories: those who ruled and schemed, the peace-weavers and the warrior women, the saints and the sinners. It explores, and restores, their reputations.

I had been looking forward to reading Women Of Power in Anglo-Saxon England because it's an era of British history that I don't know a lot about. However it turns out that this, for most of the Royal women anyway, is because authentic source material isli limited or doesn't even exist. Here Annie Whitehead breathlessly recounts anything recorded, with far too much reliance on presumed and imagined ideas to fill in the many gaps.
The result for me was too many names jumbled up together, mostly without enough (or any!) background information to enable me to establish each person in my mind before the text moves on to someone else. The book might be meaningful as an overview to historians who already know the era and recognise these people, but unfortunately it wasn't a good choice for me.
DNF at 20%.

Etsy Find!
by Elluminations Art in

Click pic to visit Etsy Shop

Search Literary Flits for more:
Books by Annie Whitehead / History books / Books from England

Friday, 29 May 2020

State Of The ARC - May 2020

I saw this State of the ARC meme over at Avalinah's Books blog in January 2018 and thought it would be fun to join in. It's temporarily being hosted at All The Book Blog Names Are Taken.

The idea is to keep track of all the ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) books I've got awaiting reading and reviewing, and to make headway through the overdue pile. For my State of the ARC, I am including all books sent to me for review whether they are pre-publication copies (as ARCs should be) or simply review copies of books already available publicly. I don't include books that I have purchased myself, book exchange swaps, or free downloads.

In May I blogged my reviews of these ARCs:
(Click the cover images to visit their reviews)

(My review of Women Of Power in Anglo-Saxon England will be blogged tomorrow)

Here's my State of the ARC numbers as of today:

Awaiting Reading

Read / Reviewed / Blogged




1 R / 1 RRB


From Authors


1 R


Blog Tours




From Publishers




RRB (Read, Reviewed and Blogged) essentially means those book reviews are completed and I'm just waiting for their scheduled blog post date. None overdue!

No State Of The ARC would be complete without checking out the additions to my ARC stash: a slightly overwhelming 21 new books this month. Oops! I think book hoarding must be my emotional comfort blanket!

Here are May's new arrivals

If you want to join this State of the ARC meme check out This Page at Avalinah's Books.