Review: Lady in Waiting: My Extraordinary Life in the Shadow of the Crown

Title: Lady in Waiting: My Extraordinary Life in the Shadow of the Crown
Author: Anne Glenconner
Genre: Nonfiction, Memoir
Publisher: Hachette Books
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: March 24, 2020
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

An extraordinary memoir of drama, tragedy, and royal secrets by Anne Glenconner–a close member of the royal circle and lady-in-waiting to Princess Margaret. As seen on Netflix’s The Crown. Anne Glenconner has been at the center of the royal circle from childhood, when she met and befriended the future Queen Elizabeth II and her sister, the Princess Margaret. Though the firstborn child of the 5th Earl of Leicester, who controlled one of the largest estates in England, as a daughter she was deemed “the greatest disappointment” and unable to inherit. Since then she has needed all her resilience to survive the vipers of court life with her sense of humor intact. 

A unique witness to landmark moments in royal history, Maid of Honor at Queen Elizabeth’s coronation, and a lady in waiting to Princess Margaret until her death in 2002, Anne’s life has encompassed extraordinary drama and tragedy. In Lady in Waiting, she will share many intimate royal stories from her time as Princess Margaret’s closest confidante as well as her own battle for survival: her broken-off first engagement on the basis of her “mad blood”; her 54-year marriage to the volatile, unfaithful Colin Tennant, Lord Glenconner, who left his fortune to a former servant; the death in adulthood of two of her sons; a third son she nursed back from a six-month coma following a horrific motorcycle accident. Through it all, Anne has carried on, traveling the world with the royal family, including visiting the White House, and developing the Caribbean island of Mustique as a safe harbor for the rich and famous-hosting Mick Jagger, David Bowie, Raquel Welch, and many other politicians, aristocrats, and celebrities. 

Review:

This is a memoir written by one of Princess Margaret’s ladies in waiting.

Anne Glenconner has had a fascinating life. She talked a little about her relationship with Princess Margaret and the royal family, but I found her own biography so interesting. Some of the stories were funny, such as how when they were children, Anne and her sister planned how they would kill Hitler themselves if he invaded England. There were also tragedies, like the deaths of two of her children.

Anne was also connected with many famous people. Her husband developed the Caribbean island Mustique, which is still a popular destination for celebrities and royals.

The stories about Princess Margaret were great. Anne gave an inside look at who she was in private. There was a lot more to the book than just Princess Margaret’s life, but there were some interesting anecdotes about her.

This is a great book for readers who are interested in the royal family.

Thank you Hachette Books for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

The Other Windsor Girl: A Novel of Princess Margaret, Royal Rebel by Georgie Black

The Other Side of the Coin: The Queen, the Dresser and the Wardrobe by Angela Kelly

Have you read Lady in Waiting? What did you think of it?

TBR Thursday – March 5

TBR Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly Faye Reads, where you post a title from your shelf or e-reader and find out what others think about it.

My pick this week is Get a Life, Chloe Brown (The Brown Sisters #1) by Talia Hibbert.

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Chloe Brown is a chronically ill computer geek with a goal, a plan, and a list. After almost—but not quite—dying, she’s come up with seven directives to help her “Get a Life”, and she’s already completed the first: finally moving out of her glamorous family’s mansion. The next items?

• Enjoy a drunken night out.

• Ride a motorcycle.

• Go camping.

• Have meaningless but thoroughly enjoyable sex.

• Travel the world with nothing but hand luggage.

• And… do something bad.

But it’s not easy being bad, even when you’ve written step-by-step guidelines on how to do it correctly. What Chloe needs is a teacher, and she knows just the man for the job.

Redford ‘Red’ Morgan is a handyman with tattoos, a motorcycle, and more sex appeal than ten-thousand Hollywood heartthrobs. He’s also an artist who paints at night and hides his work in the light of day, which Chloe knows because she spies on him occasionally. Just the teeniest, tiniest bit.

But when she enlists Red in her mission to rebel, she learns things about him that no spy session could teach her. Like why he clearly resents Chloe’s wealthy background. And why he never shows his art to anyone. And what really lies beneath his rough exterior… 

Have you read this book? What did you think of it?

Review: David Attenborough (Little People, Big Dreams)

Title: David Attenborough (Little People, Big Dreams)
Author: Maria Isabel Sánchez Vegara, Mikyo Noh (illustrator)
Genre: Children’s, Picture Book
Publisher: Frances Lincoln Children’s Books
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: February 4, 2020
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

In this book from the critically acclaimed Little People, BIG DREAMS series, discover the life of David Attenborough, the inspiring broadcaster and conservationist.

Little David grew up in Leicester on the campus of a university, where his father was a professor. As a child, he spent hours in the science library, collating his own specimens and creating a mini animal museum. When he was old enough to go to university, he studied science and zoology—but what he wanted most of all was to be close to the animals he was studying. So, he started working in television, visiting animals in their natural habitats, and telling the world the untold stories of these animals. This moving book features stylish and quirky illustrations and extra facts at the back, including a biographical timeline with historical photos and a detailed profile of the broadcaster’s life.

Review:

Sir David Attenborough is passionate about nature. He has always loved learning about how the natural world works. He created many tv shows about animals and nature. He was also knighted by the Queen for his work on documentaries about planet Earth.

I didn’t know some of these facts about Sir David Attenborough before reading this book. For example, there are many species of plants and animals named after him, such as a frog named Pristimantis Attenboroughi. He is an inspiring man who has done a lot of work to preserve our natural planet.

This is a great story to teach children about the life of Sir David Attenborough.

Thank you Frances Lincoln for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Stephen Hawking (Little People, Big Dreams) by Maria Isabel Sánchez Vegara

Martin Luther King Jr. (Little People, Big Dreams) by Maria Isabel Sánchez Vegara

Have you read David Attenborough? What did you think of it?

‘Waiting on’ Wednesday – March 4

This is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine. In this post we highlight a book that’s highly anticipated.

The book that I’m waiting on this Wednesday is To Have and to Hoax by Martha Waters. The expected publication date is April 7, 2020.

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Goodreads Synopsis:

In this fresh and hilarious historical rom-com, an estranged husband and wife in Regency England feign accidents and illness in an attempt to gain attention—and maybe just win each other back in the process.

Five years ago, Lady Violet Grey and Lord James Audley met, fell in love, and got married. Four years ago, they had a fight to end all fights, and have barely spoken since.

Their once-passionate love match has been reduced to one of cold, detached politeness. But when Violet receives a letter that James has been thrown from his horse and rendered unconscious at their country estate, she races to be by his side—only to discover him alive and well at a tavern, and completely unaware of her concern. She’s outraged. He’s confused. And the distance between them has never been more apparent.

Wanting to teach her estranged husband a lesson, Violet decides to feign an illness of her own. James quickly sees through it, but he decides to play along in an ever-escalating game of manipulation, featuring actors masquerading as doctors, threats of Swiss sanitariums, faux mistresses—and a lot of flirtation between a husband and wife who might not hate each other as much as they thought. Will the two be able to overcome four years of hurt or will they continue to deny the spark between them?

With charm, wit, and heart in spades, To Have and to Hoax is a fresh and eminently entertaining romantic comedy—perfect for fans of Jasmine Guillory and Julia Quinn. 

What books are you waiting on this week?

Review: Surprise Under the Stars (Creature Campers #2)

Title: Surprise Under the Stars (Creature Campers #2)
Author: Joe McGee, Bea Tormo (illustrator)
Genre: Children’s
Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: March 10, 2020
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

The Creature Campers are back for another adventure! To pass their map and compass skills test, they must find their way to a hidden spot in the forest, where a picnic feast awaits!

Follow Norm the Bigfoot and his friends as they brave a swampy lake, a scheming creature collector, and a starry night surprise to get to their deliciously sweet reward—and learn the true meaning of teamwork and trust.

Review:

I loved the first book in the Creature Campers series, so I was excited to read this one.

In this story, they have to do a classic camp activity, which is learn how to use a compass. They have to follow a trail to find a special pie. However, the activity is spoiled by the villain, Barnaby, who uses a magnet to attract them to him and disrupt their compass.

This was a funny story. The villain ended up messing up his own plot when he got trapped and the kids had to rescue him. It was a great ending to the story.

Thank you Andrews McMeel Publishing for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

The Monster Squad by Joe McGee, Ethan Long (illustrator)

Have you read Surprise Under the Stars? What did you think of it?

Top Ten Tuesday – Books With Single-Word Titles

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and it is now hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme is Most Recent Additions to My Bookshelf. Here’s my list:

1. Thorn (Dauntless Path #1) by Intisar Khanani

2. Jinxed (Jinxed #1) by Amy McCullock

3. Influence by Sara Shepard and Lilia Buckingham

4. Guts by Raina Telgemeier

5. Suzanne by Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette, Rhonda Mullins (translator)

6. Dry by Neal Shusterman and Jarrod Shusterman

7. Mooncakes by Wendy Xu and Suzanne Walker

8. Winterwood by Shea Ernshaw

9. Reverie by Ryan La Sala

10. Slay by Brittney Morris

(All book covers from Goodreads)

What’s your list of books on your Top Ten Tuesday?

Happy Pub Day – March 3

Happy Pub day to all of these new books!

Only Mostly Devastated by Sophie Gonzales

The Grace Kelly Dress by Brenda Janowitz

Every Reason We Shouldn’t (Every Reason We Shouldn’t #1) by Sara Fujimura

The Forgotten Home Child by Genevieve Graham

The Electric Heir (Feverwake #2) by Victoria Lee

Please See Us by Caitlin Mullen

I Hope You Stay by Courtney Peppernell

Blame the Dead by Ed Ruggero

The Vanishing Deep by Astrid Scholte

What books are you most excited for this week?

Review: Only Mostly Devastated

Title: Only Mostly Devastated
Author: Sophie Gonzales
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, LGBT
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: March 3, 2020
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

SIMON VS. THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA meets CLUELESS in this boy-meets-boy spin on Grease

Summer love…gone so fast.

Ollie and Will were meant to be a summer fling—casual, fun, and done. But when Ollie’s aunt’s health takes a turn for the worse and his family decides to stay in North Carolina to take care of her, Ollie lets himself hope this fling can grow to something more. Dreams that are crushed when he sees Will at a school party and finds that the sweet and affectionate (and comfortably queer) guy he knew from summer isn’t the same one attending Collinswood High.

Will is more than a little shocked to see Ollie the evening of that first day of school. While his summer was spent being very much himself, back at school he’s simply known as one of the varsity basketball guys. Now Will is faced with the biggest challenge of his life: follow his heart and risk his friendships, or stay firmly in the closet and lose what he loves most. 

Review:

Grease was one of my favourite movies as a kid, so I was so excited to read this retelling. This book broke my heart and put it back together again!

Ollie and Will had a summer romance while Ollie and his family were visiting his sick aunt. When his aunt was still sick after the summer, Ollie’s family ended up moving there to help her family. Ollie started school and mentioned to some new friends that he had a summer fling with Will. What he didn’t know was that Will went to that school, and no one knew he was gay.

This story had great representation. There were gay and bi characters. Some of the characters made comments that they thought were jokes in front of others, who they didn’t realize were gay. The guys who were friends with Will would make jokes about being feminine or liking guys, which just made him more uncomfortable with revealing his true self. At the same time, there were others who were more open and accepting.

I loved this story! I highly recommend it!

Thank you Wednesday Books for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

Have you read Only Mostly Devastated? What did you think of it?

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? – March 2

This blog meme is hosted by Book Date. It is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week.  It’s a great post to organize yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment, and er… add to that ever growing TBR pile!

What I just finished:

This weekend I finished Only Mostly Devastarted by Sophie Gonzales.

What I’m currently reading:

I’m currently reading Wolf Hall (Thomas Cromwell #1) by Hilary Mantel.

What I’m reading next:

Next I will be reading The Forgotten Home Child by Genevieve Graham.

What are you guys reading this week? Have you read any of these books?

Jill’s Weekly Wrap-Up – March 1

Here are my reviews for the week with my ratings:

I did 8 weekly blogging memes:

How was your week? What did you guys read?