Friday, January 15, 2010


I read a lot. I tend to get in reading ruts. When I first started contemplating returning to school, I read every book on midwifery I could get my hands on. Then I branched out to nursing and the medical field more generally. While I will still read a book on the topic if it seems interesting, it's not something I actively seek out at the moment. I don't know how my mind decides to be saturated on a topic, but at some point something clicks and I don't have to read everything on the topic anymore.

My current obsession is English history. More specifically, Elizabethan English history (and the surrounding reigns). It all started when I saw the most recent Cate Blanchett movie about Elizabeth's reign: Elizabeth: The Golden Age. It occurred to me that while I knew a fair bit about the early part of her reign, I knew very little about the last years. So I read a biography about her. Then I read about her father, Henry VIII. Holy crap, if you want a fascinating historical character, he's the man. Normal life: you don't like your wife? Divorce her. Henry VIII alternate reality: you don't like your wife? Send her to a damp remote area and hope she dies/chop off her head/make her your "sister"/chop off her head.

What followed were biographies of his Queens: Catherine, Anne, Jane, Anne, Catherine and Catherine. I also read the biography of Mary, Queen of Scots (a contemporary of Elizabeth). Then I read a bunch of historical fiction about these, real, historical characters. Next was historical fiction about made up people living in the midst of these real characters, Elizabeth's daughter, the court jester, another random noble woman.

Now I've started a few books about Henry VII and his Queen, Elizabeth of York (Henry VIII's parents and Elizabeth's grandparents). What's the point of this post? I'm not really sure, except to say that it's funny how you get to where you are. Two years ago, I would have never guessed I would know so much about a country I don't live in or people who have been dead for centuries.

I tried to start some biographies of the founders of the U.S., but they just weren't interesting to me. I'm not sure if it's because their lives were so real or if it's because there were no really powerful interesting women during that time. I guess I'd rather learn about some wickedly intelligent women who rocked the boat a little (and sometimes paid for it with their lives).

So what are you obsessing over these days?

1 comment:

Becky said...

Sigh. Star Trek. I think I'm officially a Trekkie now.

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