Saturday, 5 May 2012

April 2012 Something New Reading Challenge: Historical Fiction

For the month of April, I had challenged myself to read something from the historical fiction genre. I chose Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel.

 It's a book I had been putting off reading for such a long time. I was hesitant for two reasons. First, the previous Booker Prize winner I had read was The Gathering by Anne Enright, and it was such a woe-is-me sob fest. I was expecting something lyrical - like The Inheritance of Loss and The God of Small Things. Somehow, I felt like Wolf Hall was going to be either hit or miss in that category, because - secondly, I read Mantel's Beyond Black, due to my tendency of reading backlist titles before reading a widely talked about novel. Beyond Black just did nothing for me. It just dragged on and went nowhere.

Thankfully, Wolf Hall did not, despite the book's sheer volume. It was such a pleasure to read Mantel's characterisation of Thomas Cromwell, as well as that of King Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn, and the rest of the players in the Tudor court. It only slightly jarred me to see Mary Boleyn portrayed under such a different light compared to Philippa Gregory's The Other Boleyn Girl. However, I am no expert with regards to the notorious Boleyns - my only exposure aside from the two books mentioned is the tv series The Tudors, so there you go.

Much to my delight, Wolf Hall's sequel Bring Up the Bodies shall be out soon! Hurrah! Hopefully, it will be as sumptuous as its predecessor.

Next up for this month is the crime genre. For all those doing any reading challenges, good luck, and happy reading!


  1. Glad Wolf Hall was a great read! I haven't heard of this book- but based on your review I may want to give it a try. :)

  2. I actually picked up Wolf Hall the other day in the bookshop but I didn't buy it. I have to admit, the size of it put me off a bit. I love The Other Boleyn Girl though so I reckon I'll like Wolf Hall too.

    Guess what book I did buy though...? Fifty Shades of Grey!! I'm reading it at the moment and HATING it!! It's gotta be voted as worst book ever written. I'm so over Anastasia saying 'oh my' all the time and listening to Christian 'gasp'. What kind of leading man gasps? He comes across as a little feminine... it's weird. Some sentences actually have me laughing and I can't believe it was published. I literally roll my eyes with every page!

    1. I'm soooo psyched to pick up Bringing Up The Bodies which is out tomorrow. Eeeek! I have a feeling my goal for this month shall be pushed further aside. Really don't feel like reading crime at the moment. :P

      And yes, isn't it complete drivel, the way its written? I don't know why I was so absorbed with it. *sigh*

      Laters baby. ;)

  3. I think Wolf Hall sounds very interesting. I really liked The Other Bolyen Girl and have read other books by Philippa Gregory about the same time period. From what you said- Wolf Hall is a different perspective. I would like to read it!

  4. So glad that you loved Wolf Hall enough to be itching for the sequel.

  5. Crime? Are we talking Grisham-like mystery thrillers?