#AtoZChallenge M: MyHeart Is My Own: The Life of Mary Queen of Scots by John Guy

#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary blogging from A to Z challenge letter

The Blogging from A to Z April Challenge  is for bloggers who wish to participate by publishing a blog post every day in April except for Sundays. Each blog post will focus on a letter of the alphabet. For example April 1 will be A, April 2 will be B and on it goes. By the end of April, a blog post for every letter of the alphabet will have been posted.

Summary

This book is a biography of Mary Queen of Scots, however it reads like a novel of intrigue and drama.  She had such a life! The way her life is assessed, depends of your point of view. Some would say she was a traitor, an adultress and a murderer. But then again, some would say that she was a courageous heroine, who stuck to what she believed. She could even be considered to be a martyr.

This is an extremely well researched book, using historical documents from the archives to build the story of the life of Mary Queen of Scots. The truth is told about the myths that have been created around her.The author says she is the most charismatic but also the most unlucky monarch in British history.

My Thoughts

I found this true story to be incredible and riveting.  As I was reading, I would find myself forgetting that the events outlined are actually true, and not the figment of an author’s imagination in a novel. Mary Stuart was crowned Queen of Scotland at nine months of age and Queen of France at age 16 and on it goes. There are so many highlights and low lights to her life that make this book an absolute page turner. I couldn’t put it down.

Recommendation

“A triumph of biography, artistry, and a historical detective work. A masterpiece full of fire and tragedy. This book will be required reading for years to come” – Amanda Foreman

“Absorbing…..meticulously researched……scholarly and intriguing….the book will not disappoint” – Peter Ackroyd, The Times

My Rating:  ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

About The Author

John Guy

 

John Guy is the author of many English histories, including Tudor England which has sold more than a quarter of a million copies. He is a fellow at Clare College, Cambridge, and also lectures in the Faculty of History. He became a Honorary Research Professor at the University of St. Andrews in 2003.

 

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Published in 2004 by Fourth Estate
Paperback 573 pages including imdex

 

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#AtoZChallenge K – K is for Keating by Kerry O’Brien

#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary blogging from A to Z challenge letter

 

The Blogging from A to Z April Challenge  is for bloggers who wish to participate by publishing a blog post every day in April except for Sundays. Each blog post will focus on a letter of the alphabet. For example April 1 will be A, April 2 will be B and on it goes. By the end of April, a blog post for every letter of the alphabet will have been posted.

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Summary

Paul Keating was Prime Minister of Australia, during the most significant period of political and economic reform in the history of Australia. Twenty years later, there hasn’t been an autobiography published, and Keating has never spoken about this period. There has been no memoir from this ex Prime Minister who was always considered to be a supreme political storyteller. 

This book fills that gap. Well known journalist and TV interviewer, Kerry O’Brien knew all the players, lived the history and has spent many hours with Keating teasing out the stories and testing his memories.

The result is this great book of anecdotes, insights, reflections and occasional admissions from one of the most loved and most disliked political leaders in our time. The format of this book is question and answer interview style.

My Thoughts

I first came across this book when I attended a session at The Bendigo Writers Festival, where Kerry O’Brien was discussing his book Keating, which had only recently been published. I attended this session because I was a fan of Kerry O’Brien but I never expected to read the book as I thought it would be too political and too heavy for me. But after hearing O’Brien speak, I couldn’t wait to get started.

Even though Keating is based on politics, it isn’t a dry text book type read as the style is very conversational. I really enjoyed reading Keating‘s view on events that occurred during his time as Prime Minister and the preceding years.

I remember Paul Keating as being a colourful character with a wonderful way with words. He always seemed to be able to cut his opponent in half with his words.  I love to see old footage of him when he was speaking in Parliament. If only politicians today were so clever with their words.

I did love this book, and I felt it was my privelege to read it. Despite it’s many pages, once I started reading, I coudn’t put it down. It was both serious and very humorous. I was surprised to read that this great, seemingly confident leader suffered with his own insecurities and moments of doubt at times. As well as delving deeply into events during Keating’s time as Prime Minister, this book shows a human side to the man that little is known about.

My Rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

About the Author

Kerry O’Brien is one of Australia’s most respected journalists, with six Walkley awards, including the Gold Walkley and the Walkley for Outstanding Leadership in journalism. In a 50 year career, he has worked for newspapers, television, a wire service, and as a foreign correspondent.

Thirty three of those years have been at the ABC, where he was the host of many current affairs programs including Four Corners. He has interviewed most of the influential leaders of his time including Nelson Mandela, Barack Obama, Mikhail Gorbachev, Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair. He was a press secretary to Prime Minister, Gough Whitlam, in the early days of his career.

Published in 2015 by Allen & Unwin
794 pages including notes, photos, sources and a comprehensive index

Have you read this book. If so, I’d love to hear your thoughts. I promise to always reply to comments made in the section below.

To keep up with the latest book reviews, please pop your email into the box in the side bar. This will ensure you are notified of all updates.
Find me here: Facebook and Instagram and Goodreads
#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary badge

This blog has been nominated for the Bloggers Bash Awards in the category of Best Book Review Blog. If you would like to vote for me click on the link below and scroll down to the Best Book Review Blog Section. You will find Best Bookish Blog there. I do appreciate you taking the time to vote.

https://annualbloggersbash.com/2019/04/10/the-annual-bloggers-bash-awards-2019-vote-is-live/

Image: Goodreads