Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Book reviews- Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother and The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating

Product Details
Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother- The Official Biography- William Shawcross 
Generally, I found this an interesting book. The first fifty years of the Queen Mother's life were interesting as I didn't know that much about her life during that time, and indeed my knowledge of that period of history is a little vague. The last ten or so years were interesting, as I remembered some of the events quite clearly, and it was interesting to contrast the world as it was then with the world she was born in to.
I did find the long lists of charities she supported and official engagements a bit dull and repetitive. I also felt that, as it was an official biography, it was a bit...sanitised. (This could also be because Princess Margaret burned a lot of her mother's letters- if they had been in the royal archives, perhaps there would have been some more revealing insights. Also the QM seems to have been quite discreet, so it is probably impossible for anyone outside of her family to know what she really thought).

An interesting read, over all- especially if you are prepared to skim over the slightly dull parts!

The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating- Elisabeth Tova Bailey

Product DetailsThis is a very short book, which focuses on the snail that the author is given during a bout of reoccurring, debilitating illness. I found this quite a soothing book, as if it was somehow infused by the slow movements of the snail. I loved snails as a child (there is a photo of me with them crawling all over my arms) but I didn't know that much about them (or if I did, I had forgotten it). The author's observations of the snail were interspersed with her later research on the biology of the snail, which was fascinating.

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