I bought more books to add to my Penguin Clothbound Classics collection. This should be the last ones I buy because I now own the full-length Jane Austen novels in this collection. My goal wasn’t to own the entire Jane Austen set, but the pandemic forced me to do a little bit of retail therapy to support my small, independent bookshop.
I bought Northanger Abbey from the collection which I’ve read before and enjoyed the movie adaptation. I also bought Mansfield Park, which I haven’t read and is up next. I am a little bit weary of this novel because it’s about cousin love (the hero and heroine are first cousins !!). I’m hoping I can enjoy the book regardless. We’ll see.
Oh, and can you spot my new book-inspired vase?
In other news, I’m currently listening to the Catch and Kill podcast by Ronan Farrow. If you don’t know what it’s about, it’s the podcast where Ronan Farrow and his guests (journalists, victims, private investigators, etc.) talk about the Harvey Weinstein investigation process and everything they endured because of it. If I didn’t already hate predators as much as I do, I would hate them even more now. I’ll probably read Ronan Farrow’s book, Catch and Kill, afterwards. If I don’t explode from anger first. Have you read it?
I’m really excited for the Downton Abbey movie. With few exceptions, I prefer watching movies at home. It’s just more comfortable for me. Nothing beats pjs, bunny slippers and a good cup of tea. But I’ll have to stay patient for a little while longer and not read any spoilers.
In honor of the Downton Abbey movie, let’s talk about two timely, but fun, books.
I love this book! I actually read it years before Downton Abbey premiered and it’s the book that inspired Julian Fellowes to create Downton Abbey. That’s where Cora’s character comes from because this book talks about all of the rich American girls who exchanged dollars (dowries) for titles. The book has an abundance of pictures and illustrations and an actual American heiress directory for your perusal.
In a similar vein, this book is about the American heiresses who married into the British aristocracy. One such heiress was Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s mama. We keep forgetting Churchill was half-American. The book has a generous amount of illustrations and photographs and a great bibliography for further reference.
If you’d rather listen than read, then I recommend The History Chicks’ episode on this very subject, Gilded Age Servants and Heiresses. The episode is over an hour long.
Time for a tea recommendation. Fortnum’s Royal Blend is perfect for reading, quiet evenings at home or watching movies (like the Downton Abbey film).
If you’ve seen the movie, don’t give me any spoilers but let me know what you thought!
I found a new podcast that I love, Noble Blood. (You know I love my royal history!) At this point someone will need to invent several more hours in the day because there isn’t enough time for all the books, all the podcasts and all the afternoon teas.
Noble Blood is a narrative tour of history’s most fascinating royals (good, bad, nice, evil and fake). Hosted by author Dana Schwartz, so far we’ve had three really good episodes: The Second Death of Marie Antoinette, The Desperate Young King Charles II and The Butcher Baronet.
I don’t know if Dana did voice acting before, but she is really good at it and I’m entranced by her narrative. I love the soundtrack and the music in the background. It really sets the mood for the ominous true tales.
If you listen to it, let me know what you think. I love talking about podcasts (and books and afternoon tea).
Also my previous podcasts updates I, II, III,IV and V.
I have a new podcast that I love! I just wish I had ten extra hours in a day. There are so many podcasts to enjoy and so little free time.
Anyway, this podcast is called Queens and it’s about women (queens, empresses, consorts, princesses…) in history.
The two hosts are funny with a wonderful rapport and hilarious banter. They make history fun. I do have to warn you, this podcast uses a lot of foul language. If you don’t mind the language, then you are in for a treat. Personally for me, the foul language makes it more relatable and fun to listen to. I feel like I’m gossiping with two friends. Plus I can’t judge, I have a big potty mouth!!
Currently the podcast is covering Elizabeth of Austria (Sisi) but previous women covered are Olga of Kiev, Zenobia, Matilda of Flanders and Empress Wu. All fascinating women, none I ever learned about in school!
What’s your podcast of choice these days? xoxo, Jane
Hello. How are you? Summer season starts this weekend in the USA and I’m looking forward to lots of reading, a less hectic schedule and enjoying my patio. Here are some links that helped me procrastinate. Ha! 🙂
Do you crack your neck? You should probably stop. I crack my neck, but I promised my husband I would stop. It’s hard to stop because I think I’m addicted to it.
This post contains Amazon affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. It doesn’t cost you anything extra to use the links, but it’s also ok if you don’t use the links. I’m just grateful you are here and reading my blog. xoxo, Jane
My latest listening addition to my podcast repertoire is The Exploress. This is another history podcast that focuses on women. The title came about because the listener time-travels through women’s history, which is such a neat idea. I really love it!
I’m so grateful for smart, motivated and dedicated women who share their knowledge with us. I’m very much a woman’s woman and I believe in supporting and uplifting each other instead of tearing each other down. Anyway, I digress. The most recent Exploress episode is what life as a lady in ancient Egypt was like. Yes, please! xoxo, Jane
PS. My previous posts: Podcasts Update Part I, II and III.
It’s almost the weekend! This weekend I plan to read a book, go for a long walk and do some writing. What about you?
Here are some fun links I’ve enjoyed reading.
I love the blog Every Day Parisian. Rebecca’s story of going out on her own to live life on her terms, to travel and work as a photographer is #lifegoals and inspiration. I enjoyed reading her Paris Diaries blog post.
This Telegraph article about the exiled Greek royals is over a decade old, but I’m always fascinated by exiled royals who have to make a living somehow, even if that means selling off family heirlooms.
The Washington Post has a new podcast series about the Civil Rights movement. Will you be tuning in? I will.
Did you see this article about Notting Hill residents being upset at influencers? What do you think?
If you’re in the area next month, George Washington’s home in Virginia, Mount Vernon, will be hosting a Revolutionary War Weekend.
As most of you know, my favorite form of entertainment is reading books and listening to podcasts (and drinking tea). I’m really excited to share an update to my podcast list.
I recently discovered the BBC Radio 4 Extra podcast drama about Wallis Simpson, Wallis – The Life and Legends of Wallis Simpson. It is very well done, entertaining and engrossing. It’s a three-part series and Wallis is voiced by the inimitable Stockard Channing. Unfortunately, at the time of this writing, the podcast is available for only 28 more days. I highly recommend this podcast drama if you are at all interested in Wallis or the abdication crisis.
The second podcast drama that I recently discovered and am really enjoying is by BBC World Service, entitled Fall of the Shah. Just in time for the Iranian Revolution anniversary. It’s very well done and I can’t wait to listen to the second episode. This podcast is a nine-part series.
If you are listening to any interesting podcasts, please share. I love discovering new podcasts!
(Read more about my favorite podcasts, Part I here and Part II here.)
“Fashion history is about more than pretty clothes.” – Dressed Podcast
This podcast is phenomenal. It’s all about the history of fashion. You may think it’s frivolous, but it’s not frivolous. It’s well-researched, fun and interesting. The hosts are experts, well-spoken and well-educated. They know their stuff. Episodes are posted every Tuesday.
This one isn’t new to me, but I neglected to mention it during my previous blog post. The episodes focus on the most interesting aspects of history. Episodes are posted three times per week. Subjects range from Léonard Autié (Marie Antoinette’s hair dresser) to Alan Turing (the codebreaker) and everything imaginable in-between. Highly recommended.
This Day in History Class
This new podcast is a spin-off from Stuff You Missed in History Class (and shares the same website linked above). The daily episodes are usually about five minutes long. If you love history and “on this day” type tidbits, then I recommend this podcast.
First Draught Writing is run by three romance writers and they share their knowledge on writing and the publishing world. Their knowledge is vast. They also seem like a super cool group of women I’d really like to hang out with.
How Do You Write is a new find for me, hosted by author Rachael Herron. It’s inspiring to listen to Rachael interview other authors or talk about the writing craft in general.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Smart Podcast Trashy Books. Created for romance readers and writers alike, this podcast is just pure fun. Highly recommended.
Tea and Tattle is an absolute gem of a podcast. It’s hosted by two best friends, Miranda and Sophie. They talk about relationships, books, travel and “everything in between.” There is a new episode every Tuesday and, more recently, a new mini-cast every Friday called Tea Reads. This podcast is a pure joy! Another podcast I really enjoy is The Simple Sophisticate, hosted by Shannon Ables. She talks weekly about “intelligent living paired with signature style.” I love listening to these two podcasts.
There are many more lovely podcasts, but I should probably stop here for now. Let me know if you have any favorites! xoxo, Jane