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TheAliceEvers

TheAliceEvers

Joined January 2017

History with Creative Writing student London 🇬🇧 insta: @thealiceevers
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The Secret History by Donna Tartt
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Spare | Prince Harry the Duke of Sussex
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This was fascinating to read. As I‘ve seen many mention, the middle section can get a bit tedious and repetitive but overall it was very engaging, simple writing and short, quick snippets of stories. Occasionally I would have wanted more detail, his lifestyle is so unique sometimes it‘s difficult to picture, but a great, broad stroke through his life and very touching and emotional in many places! Glad I read it and got to understand him more.

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The Midwife | Tricia Cresswell
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A Victorian story following two timelines; a woman who‘s lost her memory but can remember how to deliver babies and tend to wounds and a male midwife in London treating high society women. The eventual link between the two is satisfying and intelligently interwoven. The medical descriptions are also fascinating and well researched. The only let down is the very end which feels a little rushed and not fully explored. But a good read nonetheless!

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Let Me Count the Ways | Deborah Bosley
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Written in 1996, Let Me Count the Ways follows Frances, a complicated, multi-faceted woman, as we witness the aftermath of the failure of her marriage. A complex story and unfolded well through the structure, beginning almost at the end, then going back to find out exactly what really happened, and then coming back again to see the final complexities satisfyingly play out. This book has a lot of sadness and depth and heart.

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Mehso-so

Young, former lovers Frances and Bobbi become entangled with an older, married couple and messiness ensues. I didn‘t like this one as much as Normal People but it was still an enjoyable read if ever so slightly tedious and cliche. Most of the characters were fairly unlikeable but there was also a realistic element to it, especially the modern communication and relationship building.

BarbaraBB Lovely picture! 3w
TheAliceEvers @BarbaraBB Thank you 😊 3w
31 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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This book is completely engrossing and novelistic. It‘s incredible how intertwined the lives of these women were, presented well by the structure of the book. I didn‘t know much about Catherine de Medici before but I have a new appreciation for her fierceness and ability to stand toe to toe with Elizabeth (my favourite). However these women are never pitted against each other, but rather allowed to magnificently stand as their own people.

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This was a really thorough and fascinating look at the queens during the crusades, starting with the formidable Eleanor of Aquitaine. It looked at their lives before marriage (where possible), their relationships with the kings, their relationships with each other (very interesting!), motherhood, their political actions, their deaths and legacies. All very different women and fascinating in their own rights.

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The Return of Martin Guerre | Natalie Zemon Davis, Martin Guerre, Arnault Du Tilh
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This is a fantastic telling of a true tale from 16th century France of a man who abandons his family, returns 9 years later and is welcomed back by his village, but 3 years after that his family and his village claim he isn‘t actually the man who left. Davis fully interrogates the cultural context and builds a substantial image of peasant village life in this microhistory.

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Just for December | Laura Jane Williams
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I fancied a quick, easy Christmas read as a break from academic texts. This was perfect for that! An author who‘s book is being adapted into a movie meets the famous, leading man on set and they don‘t immediately get on. A colloquial writing style and easy flowing plot makes this a cheesy but enjoyable, easy-going Christmas read.

24 likes1 stack add
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Mehso-so

Unfortunately I think this book was too hyped up for me and I had too high expectations going in. It was enjoyable and a unique story but the writing felt too simplistic verging on bland and I wasn‘t particularly captivated by any of the characters. The ending also felt a bit anticlimactic. I think for me the whole thing just lacked a bit of depth. But I do think I would have enjoyed it more had I had lower expectations going in.

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The Nightingale | Kristin Hannah
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I‘ve read some criticisms about the accuracy of this book and I understand the point but I still really enjoyed it. Some of the language was a bit cheesy and dramatic but it still got me choked up at numerous points. 2 sisters in France during WWII, one battling home life in a occupied village and the other joining the resistance. The characters were really deep and complex and flawed.

DimeryRene Love this cover. I‘ve never seen it! 2mo
TheAliceEvers @DimeryRene I got this copy in a charity shop! 🥰 2mo
30 likes2 comments
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Verity | Colleen Hoover
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Mehso-so

My second attempt at reading Hoover and I think that‘ll be it for me. Much of what I didn‘t like was the same as the last one. Again I felt like she spent the start telling us who these characters were and then had them act nothing like that the whole rest of the book with no explanation. The twist didn‘t feel enough like a twist to be a psychological thriller for me which is what I was expecting when I went in. A quick read with simple writing.

Amiable I‘ve heard pretty much the same things about her work from other people I know, which has made me decide not to pick up her books. 2mo
TheAliceEvers @Amiable The right decision I think, there‘s so much better stuff out there 2mo
29 likes2 comments
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Piranesi | Susanna Clarke
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This is one of my favourite books that I‘ve read recently! Brilliantly innovative and the world building is exquisite. I truly felt like I was in the grand halls and seeing the ocean and the statues, I didn‘t want the story to end. I‘ve also read some reviews of people finding the descriptions too much and Piranesi‘s constant documentation tedious but I love that kind of ordered confusion. I wish I could read it for the first time again! Recommend

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Wolf Hall | Hilary Mantel
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A really beautiful episode on BBC2 tonight from a series a few years ago to remember Hilary Mantel. Such a lovely woman with a fascinating life and mind. It was wonderful to hear her talk about her life, processes and influences as well as hear others talk about the affect of her work too. It will be on BBC iPlayer for catch up. RIP Dame Hilary Mantel ❤️

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Another book suggested for my uni course and this was a great introduction to some of the most well known poetic forms like sonnets, villanelles, sestinas, ballads, etc. This book includes really nice, simple explanations of the poetic form, a short history of the form and then numerous examples of the form used well. A very useful book and nice, easy introduction.

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Mrs England | Stacey Halls
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I didn‘t enjoy this one as much as The Foundling but I still thought it was very good. Very slow burn but the characters and setting are so enticing that I didn‘t mind. Lots of tension and suspense that was very well maintained throughout. I think Stacey Halls is one of my favourite authors at the moment and I will be eagerly awaiting her next book.

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This book felt really original. I think it might be the almost stream-of-consciousness writing style but also the interwoven timeline felt right, like things from the past were revealed at just the right time. This book deals with a lot; racism, addiction, depression. I especially liked the exploration of Gifty reconciling her religious and scientific lives.

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Vinegar Girl | Anne Tyler
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Panpan

I picked this up because I really enjoyed A Spool of Blue Thread and a modern day retelling in Taming of the Shrew sounded really interesting. Unfortunately for me this book didn‘t deliver. Everything seemed basic and simple. The characters were 2-dimensional and stereotypical and yet behaved completely against their characters with no justification. Also none of them were likeable. The story line was boring. At least it was short and quick.

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It Ends With Us | Colleen Hoover
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Mehso-so

I‘m a bit torn with this one. I can see why it‘s so popular; it is a good story and I appreciate the originality to not tell a typical love story. However some aspects I felt were slightly simple or juvenile, like the writing style and the weird names? Some of the things the characters said and did didn‘t ring true for me. Some of them also felt underdeveloped for me. It left me feeling icky but maybe that means it was effective? I don‘t know.

BriannaT I felt the same way after reading it! 6mo
TheAliceEvers @BriannaT Glad it‘s not just me! 😅 6mo
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Pickpick

Another book for my uni course. This was very useful, includes great exercises and lots of inspiration. Naturally engagingly written with entertaining anecdotes. A useful, quick read.

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Medieval Europe | Chris Wickham
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This was a book for my uni course. It was really impressive, very useful for my essays and really informative. To start with I found it quite jargon heavy with very long, complicated sentences which made it difficult for me to understand. I ended up getting 1/3 through and starting again making notes on everything to make sure it went in 😂 that helped massively and by the end I was used to the heavily academic writing style. Impressive book!

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The Foundling | Stacey Halls
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The second book by Stacey Halls and I enjoyed this even more than The Familiars which is saying something! The structure and point of view change work really well to keep you guessing at the characters‘ next moves. The whole storyline of a woman giving up a baby and then going back years later to collect her and she‘s already been collected, is brilliant. Easy to empathise with all the characters despite their being morally grey. Recommend!

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I love visiting the Institute of Historical Research 🥰 the books are so beautiful and the atmosphere is magical 🥰

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A murder mystery taking place at a drama school. It was slightly predictable but I enjoyed the premise, the characters and the details and having been to drama school myself certain bits were very funny! A fun, easy read!

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Girl, Woman, Other | Bernardine Evaristo
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This book follows the lives of several black, British women over different generations. I loved it! It felt so unique and candid. I could instantly see and understand the characters, they were so nuanced and detailed and flawed and relatable. A beautiful book and I‘m really glad I read it!

SamAnne Reading right now and loving it, esp. the humor and snarkiness! 1y
46 likes1 comment
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This book was really fascinating! It started with a brief overview of some impressive female rulers before 1300 and then went chronologically, showing how their powers evolved and grew and how they interacted with each other. Some really fascinating women I‘d never even heard of too! Brilliant book!

TheAliceEvers The author chose to refer to these rulers as female kings because the definition of queen is wife of a king and these women were more than that, they ruled themselves, with it without husbands, as kings. 2y
DivineDiana Female Kings does seem right. 👑 2y
Lcsmcat Beautiful globe! 2y
36 likes1 stack add3 comments
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TheAliceEvers
Medieval Europe | Chris Wickham
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Jury service isn‘t too bad when you get to catch up on your reading 🥰😂

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This was a brilliant book about a lesser known suffragette called Kitty Marion. She was one of the most violent suffragettes; blowing up buildings, trains and homes. She was force fed in prison more than any other suffragette; 232 times in 4 months. And after having to leave the UK at the start of WWI because she was born in Germany, in America she became a key campaigner for sex education and contraception. This book also goes into why 👇🏻

TheAliceEvers We haven‘t heard much about Kitty Marion and the cover up after the suffragette movement to not portray these women as violent or sex positive. It‘s so nice her story is now being told. Apart from a few grammatical errors I really loved reading this! Highly recommend reading her story! 2y
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Now I‘ve finished reading the books it‘s time for another marathon of the movies 😂👑

JazzFeathers I need another marathon too 😏 2y
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The final Lord of the Rings! The ending makes me cry so much 😂 the goodbyes are so pure and heartbreaking 💔

JazzFeathers How does it do it. Every. Single. Time? 2y
TheAliceEvers @JazzFeathers so glad it‘s not just me! (edited) 2y
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I really enjoyed this! I don‘t know why I‘d never before considered why or how or when Rome began. Beard is very thorough and covers all aspects like myths, politics, relationships and analyses why sources are or aren‘t reliable and what archeological discoveries can tell us. Obviously some answers we‘ll never know but she paints an intriguing and detailed picture!

Crazeedi I've have this on my shelf for a few years, I really need to read 2y
39 likes1 comment
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When you trip and spill your tea ☕️🤦🏼‍♀️

*instant heart-break*

maich 😥😥 2y
TrishB Oh no 😞 2y
Lmstraubie 😔 2y
39 likes3 comments
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A present from my mum 😍 a book on key statistics through history; the tallest building in the ancient world, the average wage in the Mughal empire, the bloodiest-ever ritual human sacrifice etc. Can‘t wait to dig into this and annoy people later by spewing cool facts 😏

RachelAmphlett I love Schotts Miscellany for this reason, so I‘ve stacked your recommendation! 2y
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Pickpick

The second Lord of the Rings book and they just get better and better! 😍 so action packed and filled with such beautiful language and imagery!

JazzFeathers I'm about to start It 😍 2y
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The Gifts of Reading | Robert Macfarlane
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This was a lovely little read exploring the gifts of books given to this author that changed his life and the book gifts he‘s given that have gone on to influence others and how the benefits of a gift of reading or a gift of a book just carry on giving. I have to admit I was a little teary at the end!

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My first time reading LotR (though I adore the films). As I expected, I loved it! The descriptions of the landscapes and the details of the world 🤤

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Cilka's Journey | Heather Morris
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Mehso-so

Before I start reading I decided to keep in mind the controversies and protests of Cilka‘s family but to keep an open mind to the story.

I found I didn‘t enjoy it as much as her first one unfortunately. I think the story in itself is incredible and these are the types of stories we should hear about but I thought the writing was very flat and that each character spoke in the same voice, no one had a unique voice. I was disappointed.

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Nancy Wake | Russell Braddon
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Nancy Wake was one of the most notorious spies of WWII and #1 most wanted by the Gestapo. She was smuggled out of France to London and then parachuted back in to fight right in the heart of the French resistance.

There‘s lots of different books about Nancy. This one was written in 1956 and Braddon interviewed Nancy and her colleagues extensively. I thought he sometimes dragged out details about her clothes and beauty regimes but glossed over 👇🏻

TheAliceEvers some major battles. Perhaps that‘s the way Nancy told her story. Despite this it was still incredible to read her story and he managed to get across her fantastic and funny and cheeky character which was lovely. I‘ll definitely read another about her story though to see what other details other writer focused on. 2y
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I‘ve never learnt about the crusades and this was recommended to me by a history professor and it did not disappoint!

A fascinating subject with twists and turns I‘d never heard of! Asbridge tells the tale very well, citing sources and inaccuracies and offering plausible explanations.

The event as a whole is strange to process, the way the crusade grew and moved is incredible to comprehend. I‘d definitely like to do more reading on the subject.

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One Day | David Nicholls
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This was a fantastic palette cleanser! I loved the detail and related a lot to the characters! I‘m glad I read this one!

Ncostell I read this one this year as well and really enjoyed it too. 2y
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Pickpick

This book was a fantastic look at all aspects of life in medieval England! Everything possible was covered from what to wear, what roads to take, etiquette, keeping time, and politics and courts. It went from the lowest peasant to the king.
Mortimer has a deep respect for the medieval people and doesn‘t patronise or imply stupidly but looks at them in their own time as we would look at ourselves in our time.

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Speaking Volumes | Gordon Griffin
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Another present from my dad is this memoir from a British actor going from starting his career, voice overs, theatre, film all the way up to being awarded an OBE. Should be interesting!

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Beautiful poems and songs at the end of this book! One of my favourite parts:

She had strongholds on her headlands
And brave galleys on the sea
And no warlike chief or Viking
E‘er had bolder heart than she
[...]
The armies of Elizabeth
Invaded her on land
Her warships followed on her track
And watched by many a stand
But she swept her foes before her
On the land and on the sea
And the flag of Grace O‘Malley
Waved defiant, proud and free

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Another Grace O‘Malley read also by Anne Chambers but this one is more substantial than her other, shorter one.
Whilst this did have some grammatical errors, I loved the detail and honesty of sources and it was nice to be able to delve deeper into Grace‘s story.

AvidReader25 I‘ve always been fascinated by her story but haven‘t read a full biography of her. I may have to check this out! 2y
TheAliceEvers @AvidReader25 it‘s very good! There‘s not a lot recorded about her because she was kept out of history for so long as someone who didn‘t quite fit a narrative and only survived in folklore and songs so it‘s nice that someone has connected the dots and told her story because it is incredible and unbelievable ❤️ 2y
32 likes2 comments
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A present from my parents came in the post this morning!
This book was first published in 1949 and it is often regarded as the starting point for second-wave feminism. In the book, Simone discusses the treatment of women throughout history. It‘s split into two parts: Facts & Myths and Woman‘s Life Today.
It‘s quite a hefty one at well over 200K words but sounds like it‘s going to be worth it 💪🏻🥰

MayJasper What a lovely gift 2y
batsy Yes, lovely gift! I need to read the whole of this one day 😅 2y
zezeki Would you be interested in a buddy read? 😅 It's been on my TBR for a while, and it feels like a good book to buddy read. 2y
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Pickpick

Another reread of a very quick book I haven‘t read for a few years! I love Grace O‘Malley‘s story so much and it was lovely to read again some of the incredible things she did which I had forgotten!

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Heir of Fire | Sarah J. Maas
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Reread and still loving it 🥰

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Cocktails | James L. Butler
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A lovely evening flicking through a present from my sister, marking cocktails I want to make, whilst sipping on a baileys espresso martini 🥰

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The New Book | Allie Cresswell
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The charity shops post-lockdown are LIT!!! Q9 each ? I am so happy and excited!!

Tanisha_A Wow 😮 3y
AmyG Wow is right! 3y
KarouBlue I second @AmyG! 3y
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I Think We Are Alone | SALLY. ABBOT
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This play is nothing groundbreaking or too original but is still a really good exploration of complex issues, the main ones being death and family. The play and characters are also linked together really nicely. There‘s some funny moments which break up the heavy 😊

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Crown of Midnight | Sarah J. Maas
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#reread

Enjoying this just as much the second time around 😍