Tuesday, August 1, 2006

Book Selection of the Month (August '06)

You guys know how much I LUB historical fiction. *g* That is why, after giving it some thought, I have chosen The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory as the next BBC selection.

TOBG is one of my favorite books. It’s entertaining, compelling, and simply fascinating; I swear, the oh-so-luscious Eric Bana playing King Henry VIII on the upcoming movie version didn’t affect my decision. (Well, just a bit LOL. Oh, isn’t he yummy? *sigh*)

When Mary Boleyn comes to court as an innocent girl of fourteen, she catches the eye of Henry VIII. Dazzled by the king, Mary falls in love with both her golden prince and her growing role as unofficial queen. However, she soon realizes just how much she is a pawn in her family’s ambitious plots as the king’s interest begins to wane and she is forced to step aside for her best friend and rival: her sister, Anne. Then Mary knows that she must defy her family and her king, and take her fate into her own hands.

A rich and compelling tale of love, sex, ambition, and intrigue, The Other Boleyn Girl introduces a woman of extraordinary determination and desire who lived at the heart of the most exciting and glamorous court in Europe and survived by following her own heart.

For Trollop and all you lazies (you better listen, grr!): I’m gonna tell you guys already, the paperback version is 672 pages; DO NOT WAIT till it’s near the end of the month before you start reading, ya hear me?! LOL I promise, it’s a good one. *g*

BBC discussion, as always, will be on the last Monday and Tuesday of the month (August 28-29). Now, keep these questions in mind while reading the book:
  • Why does Philippa Gregory choose Mary to narrate the story? Keeping in mind the relationship between the observer and those observed, is Mary a good, trustworthy narrator? As Mary ages, how is her loss of innocence reflected in her telling of the story?
  • Mary professes her love and admiration for Queen Katherine and feels she can’t betray her. In what ways are her honorable ideals compromised as she embarks on her adulterous affair with the king? Recount the whirlwind of events preceding Anne’s becoming queen. Do you agree that “from start to finish” Mary “had no choice” but to betray Queen Katherine?
  • In general, what are your impressions of the sisters? Keep in mind Anne and Mary’s discussion: “So who would come after me? ... I could make my own way.” Also, when Anne says, “Hear this, Mary... I will kill you.” Why are these statements significant, particularly given their timing?
  • Share some of the characteristics that you like about historical fiction. For you, what aspect of TOBG stands out the most? How does the book change your impressions of life in King Henry VIII’s court? Discuss the level of corruption in the court. Does it surprise you? Were you aware of Anne’s dogged and exhausting pursuit of the king? Did the way Anne became queen shock you?


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34 comment(s):

Blogger C Bradshaw said...

I knew it! LOL! Harlot, I knew you're gonna pick this book for the next BBC discussion. :P

Unlike some of the ladies here, I haven't read any of Philippa's books, but I can't wait to start with this one. Sounds really good.

8/01/2006 02:09:00 PM  

Blogger Petra said...

Oh goody! I love PG. This is a good timing too. It's time I should reread The Other Boleyn Girl. LOL

For those who have yet to read it, I agree with Harlot, it's good, ladies. :)

8/01/2006 02:10:00 PM  

Blogger Jolie said...

Oh, finally a book I actually have.

Good questions!

8/01/2006 03:34:00 PM  

Blogger Danielle De Barbarac said...

Great choice, BBs. My friends always recommend this book to me. I guess I have to get the book now. LOL

8/01/2006 03:35:00 PM  

Blogger Isabella said...


Love the questions. I think this book is really good for discussion. Excellent choice BBs. :)

8/01/2006 03:48:00 PM  

Blogger Vixen said...

I haven't read this but have wanted to for awhile. Good choice Harlot.

8/01/2006 03:56:00 PM  

Blogger Lola Lovegood said...

Ohhhhhh goodie! Great selection Harlot =)

8/01/2006 04:02:00 PM  

Blogger Vicious Trollop said...

I've been dying to read this book for ages!

Glad Harlot let us bully her into choosing it LOL

8/01/2006 04:11:00 PM  

Anonymous Roxanne said...

This will be my first BBC book!! :)

8/01/2006 04:12:00 PM  

Blogger Marg said...

This is a very entertaining read! Good Choice!

8/01/2006 04:28:00 PM  

Blogger Serendipity said...

This had better be good Harlot or I am sending my biting child to you!

I just ordered mine from e-bay since out of my hundred thousand book, this is one of the ones I don't have. Of course, my mother will probably informed me that she has this book in her stash. I think I remember her bluberring about it a few months back.

Hey Roxanne, glad to know you're still breathing! Drop me a line, or drop by my blog.

8/01/2006 04:28:00 PM  

Blogger Harlot said...

For those who have yet to read it, i hope you guys like it. If you love historical fiction, this is a treat. ;-P

Hope you can join us this time. :)

I just said the other day you're a cool mom. Now i'm not taking it back! LOL I think a biting child is worse than a big dog. Oh god. :S

8/01/2006 04:53:00 PM  

Blogger Ladybug said...

OK, does this mean I have to finally get a copy? Well, I should check Ebay.

I've heard a lot of good things about this book. Harlot, this better be good, seeing it's my first BBC book. :)

8/01/2006 06:23:00 PM  

Blogger Jordis said...


8/01/2006 07:41:00 PM  

Blogger Lollie Rose said...

So it's official? Ok, I'll try to get the book from the library.

8/01/2006 07:45:00 PM  

Blogger DaisyJo said...

I loved this book - so much so that I own all three in the series. This will be my first BBC book as well. It's the perfect time to re-read it again.

8/01/2006 09:17:00 PM  

Blogger Lorelei said...

Fabulous choice, BBs!

Daisy, I too loved this book. Have you read her latest one, The Constant Princess? It's good too. Now I'm waiting for The Boleyn Inheritance.

8/01/2006 10:12:00 PM  

Blogger Vixen said...

OMG, this book is HUGE (I'm having TBH flashbacks, LOL). I was doing some pre-vacation book shopping and since I couldn't find the last BBC book I grabbed this one when I saw it. I felt so left out last month *pout*.

But despite the length I'm looking forward to reading it

8/01/2006 10:31:00 PM  

Blogger Harlot said...

It is long LOL. But TBH is longer. Also i'm pretty sure the print of TOBG is bigger than those in the pages of TBH. Hope you'll like it!

Welcome! Glad you can join us. :)

I too will be reading; been so long since i've read it i'm not sure i can answer all the questions LOL. Guys, check out the questions at the back of the book (yes, where i got ours :P). Of course we're not using all of them (LOL there are 16 i think) but they serve as a good guide. ;-P

8/01/2006 11:20:00 PM  

Blogger Menchie said...

Harlot, thanks for stopping by! Glad to know we have something in common. :D

Love your blog and am planning to join the bbc this time. Already thinking of when I can get my hands on the book, if my two rugrats will leave me alone long enough for me to get a chance to finish it.

8/01/2006 11:57:00 PM  

Blogger Vanessa said...

Oh nice, I just got this book after Trollop mentioned the movie last week! :D

8/02/2006 12:00:00 AM  

Blogger Marg said...

Harlot...I'll be in this time! I have actually just managed to get hold of the last two months books as well!!

Oh, and I just started Watermelon in the last couple of days!

8/02/2006 05:47:00 AM  

Anonymous Kandi said...

Sounds like a good book! I'll have to see if I can find it! :) Look forward to discussing it with ya'll!

8/02/2006 08:45:00 AM  

Blogger Harlot said...

Trollop will love that. She's nutty about MK. LOL About the last two books, we really had a good time discussing them, i think DIRTY GIRLS especially. I really think our BBC is getting better each time. :D

Hope you can get a copy. Now if you really can't, email me!

Menchie, Vanessa,
Sooo glad you ladies can join us! :D

8/02/2006 10:50:00 AM  

Blogger Rachel said...

Oh wonderful book! Great choice!

8/02/2006 02:21:00 PM  

Blogger Lollie Rose said...

I just got the book from the library! I can't believe I got it!

Will start reading it tonight. :)

8/02/2006 10:30:00 PM  

Blogger Devonna said...

The Other Boleyn Sister has been on my TBR list forever...I really need to get it read, preferably before the end of the year.

8/02/2006 10:33:00 PM  

Blogger Lollie Rose said...

Devonna, why don't you join too? I saw their discussion last time and honestly a bit jealous I couldn't chime in. This is my first BBC book. I think it's always fun to discuss books. :)

8/02/2006 10:38:00 PM  

Blogger Devonna said...

Not this time, lollie rose. I'll be watching though. I've got about 8 books in my immediate TBR piles that I want to finish before I start anything else. This one, I'm hoping, I'll be reading right after that.

8/03/2006 10:25:00 PM  

Anonymous Zayra said...

I love Philippa Gregory and this is one of my favorite books. Great choice, and what a great blog you have here.

Greetings from Argentina!


8/04/2006 09:00:00 PM  

Anonymous Bethydiane said...

I read this book a couple of summers ago and I read The Queen's Fool last summer. The Other Boleyn Girl instantly became one of my favorites. I love Gregory's writing, she recreates this time period and turns it into a huge soap opera. I can never put her books down when I start reading them. Guily pleasure, without the guilt. :)

8/06/2006 12:17:00 PM  

Blogger Harlot said...

Bethydiane, Zayra,
Welcome. :) Hope you two can join us on our discussion at the end of the month!

8/06/2006 01:35:00 PM  

Blogger Gun_Wielding_Bitch said...

I like this book thus far. I'm trying to remember this is fiction but it is hard since I looked up the facts about all the Henry VIII scandals.

About the movie; Nat Portman would be a good choice for Anne, Scarlet for Mary? No way can she pull off the innocent act. Eric Bana as Henry? No way! He is A) not blonde/blue B) Henry was pasty and ugly and swollen.

8/09/2006 03:49:00 PM  

Blogger VioletEyedDreamz said...

I read this book earlier this year, and I just have to say you all are in for an amazing read. It is my favorite read of 2006. I always get jealous when people read my favorite books for the first time. Enjoy Everyone!

8/11/2006 06:33:00 PM