May Reading List

Warning: this month’s list is shorter than usual!

I, Coriander by Sally Gardner


Yes, this is a children’s book. I am not above reading children’s literature, and try to read one every month. It’s good to mix things up!

This is a magical fairytale, set during the time when Oliver Cromwell has had King Charles I executed, and the heir to the throne has fled to France in exile. Stripped of its king, London has become a dismal place. Like in Narnia, the river freezes over and Christmas has been banned.

Coriander lives with her successful father and mother in a large house on the bank of the Thames, complete with their own servants. On her birthday, a mysterious pair of silver boots arrive for her, yet her mother hides them away, refusing to let Coriander put them on.

Where did these beautiful boots come from? Why is her mother afraid of them? Coriander puts them on and soon finds out, as she is spirited away to another world, with fairy queens, a talking crow, and mysterious travelers who seem to know all about Coriander and her mother.

Set firmly during actual events, the story nevertheless transports the reader to magical places, and neatly weaves the historical and the fictional together.

Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow


I saw Hamilton the musical in London recently, and wanted to know more about Hamilton the actual man. My coworker let me borrow this book, but at a hefty 800 pages it’s a challenge… no matter how engaging the story, this will take me a few months to finish.

Prince by Matt Thorne


I don’t usually read two books alongside each other, but as Hamilton is such a big book, I’m making an exception. This book about Prince was written before his sudden death, but as the tagline on the cover says, this is the definitive work on the man.

I’m a big Prince fan and have read other books about him before. He was a musician unlike any other, and this book tells his story, album by album.

I loved the first half of the book, but had lost interest by the end, when it focussed more on Prince’s less successful latter day output.

Previous book-related posts are here.

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