Friday, May 22, 2015

Five on Friday

I'm joining in with Amy at Love Made My Home and others for Five on Friday.  Running late this week, my piano tuner was here this morning and I got behind.  But my piano sounds wonderful again.  We talked about me getting a baby grand, which I want, but just not yet.
This week's Five has to do with books, surprise, surprise.  I'm a big fan of books about English history and culture,  both nonfiction and fiction.

My first real introduction to English history was through a series of books written by Thomas B. Costain a Canadian  author who began writing historical novels when he was 57.  He wrote, among others, The Silver Chalice, The Black Rose, Below the Salt, and the ones that hooked me on English history: The Conquering Family, The Magnificent Century, The Three Edwards and The Last Plantagenets.   This is where my deep fascination with Richard III began.

Another series that I've read, reread and read again is The Camulod Chronicles a fictionalized account of King Arthur by Jack Whyte.  It begins long before Arthur's birth with Merlin.
The legend of King Arthur has fascinated me all my life and I think this is the best series ever written about him.

The third, and again, one that I've read and reread is T. H. White's The Once and Future King .  Another retelling of the Arthurian legend.  Disney adapted this book to make The Sword in the Stone, but this book is so much better than that.

The fourth is Bill Bryson's Mother Tongue, how English became English.  When I become frustrated with how words are pronounced I reread this one and have a chuckle of two.  Bill Bryson is among my favorite authors.

And the fifth is William Manchester's 3 volume  The Last Lion, a 3 volume biography of Winston Churchill.  The first volume was over a 1,000 pages and I found it utterly fascinating.  It went from his birth to the 1930's.  I'm getting ready to start the second volume that will carry through the second world war.

These books represent just a small part of my obsession with England.  Click on the icon below to see the others who are blogging on Friday.


  1. Fabulous choices!!! I love Bill Bryson too, although I think that must be one of the few of his books that I haven't read! Hope you enjoy playing your newly tuned piano!! Thank you so much for joining in. I hope that you have a great weekend! xx

  2. This wonderful list is enough to get me back to historical fiction, which I used to read a great deal. And like you, it was English history that drew my interest.

  3. I can recall [barely] reading Costain when I was in high school--books from my uncle's shelf. I think I should be checking Alibris for copies to read again. Thanks for the reminder.


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