Pre-Autumn Reads

Posted Thu, 09/10/09

I just finished reading two excellent books:

I actually bought the biography about Ted Kennedy a few weeks before he died last month, but when I received Mistress of the Monarchy in the mail there was no question which book would get my full attention.

As with many fans of the medieval-and-Tudor age, I read Katherine by Anya Seton many years ago. It was a rather dramatized account of the relationship between John of Gaunt and Katherine Swynford, from which descended Henry VII and thus the Tudor dynasty.

However, Alison Weir's account reveals there was actually little information available about Katherine Swynford, aside from accounting entries made by John of Gaunt's household and other official documents denoting their marriage. It might be a dry read for some, but I found Mistress of the Monarchy fascinating and informative. In typical Weir fashion, the research and reasonable conclusions thereof were thoughtful and intelligent, which is one of the reasons I enjoy her books so much.

The Last Lion was also a very good read. There are many things Ted Kennedy did for America that I wasn't aware of. Notwithstanding his passion for healthcare reform, he also had a hand in hundreds of acts that benefited people in the United States. The book also portrayed Kennedy's human side, noting the Senator was well aware of his own personal foibles and strengths.

Kennedy's autobiography True Compass, which he apparently completed shortly before his death, is supposed to be released sometime in September. I plan on reading that book as well.

Next? I'm on to finish Leap of Faith by Queen Noor of Jordan, with Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin not far behind.

Tags: Books & Reading