Sunday, 5 November 2017

A Royal Riesling

At last, a post to re-introduce my foray into the blogging sphere once more! I've decided to write my "first" post about a well beloved series written by the talented and thorough Philippa Gregory. By the mere mention of her name, Ms. Gregory has produced a vast collection of English historical fiction, pointedly circling around the country's female characters - the women both behind the throne as well as on it. Most importantly, she shed light on the women always seen as a shadow behind the man. It is also she who had sucked me into the whirlwind of historical fiction and I am now finding myself craving more. What better way to satisfy that craving than to explore The Plantagenet and Tudor Series written by Ms. Gregory.

The series revolves around the key female figures during The Wars of the Roses and the Tudor family's reign in England. It's not the first time I have come across Ms. Gregory and this particular series, in fact, I have read a couple of the books (out of order) long ago before I realized they were a part of the series. This recent decision to plunge into the medieval English world came by while I was browsing around my local bookstore for something new to read (mind you, they also had a great sale going on so I simply couldn't resist). It was there that I saw many advertisements for Ms. Gregory's latest instalment in the series, The Last Tudor. Intrigued, I picked up the book and held it with me while I continued my search along the aisles of the store and then I decided at the very last moment to put the book down. But that did not mean that I put down the idea of diving back into the world of historical fiction.

In fact, I decided to do a quick Wikipedia search on the new book and learned that it was a part of the series. It was then that I also read the recommended reading order, that is based on the timeline of historical events. And so it brought me to buy ebook versions of The Lady of the Rivers and The White Queen.

The Lady of the Rivers is written from the perspective of Jacquetta of Luxembourg and The White Queen is written from the perspective of Jacquetta's daughter, Elizabeth Woodville. With added mystical elements, Ms. Gregory has interpreted the lives of these two women in a unique way that only Ms. Gregory can accomplish. I quickly ploughed through The Lady of the Rivers, realizing how hungry I was for a good read. Soon after, I finished the book and dove straight into The White Queen.

Thus, here we are today. I found myself with a magical day off, and so I had a quiet dinner at a restaurant and ordered a glass of riesling (Cave Spring VQA, Niagara) and nestled myself in my little booth and took out my new, trusty Kobo Aura. My brain was still fresh with details of Jacquetta's rise and fall and rise again within the English realm, and so reading the beginning of her daughter, Elizabeth's journey kept me hungrily turning the page for more. Despite the namesake of this blog, I felt that the glass of white wine paired perfectly with the book I was reading.

Dressed in business casual, I felt classy and like a joined the ranks of Elizabeth's ladies-in-waiting. Deeply immersed in my reading, I gave a little start when the waitress asked if I would like some dessert. Eager to continue my little escape into the medieval English world, I ordered a Bailey's coffee and a little brownie for dessert. Satisfied with my food, beverage, and entertainment, I went back home and decided to write up my blog post.

It is likely that I will finish the post and then wrap myself in my blankets and continue reading The White Queen, for I am helplessly enchanted by Ms. Gregory's imaginative perspective of these medieval women.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Narnia: Walking In as a 20-Something

A classic children’s series written by a notably talented author. Like many notably talented authors, his works contain traces (albeit, obvious traces) of his beliefs as a person, values, traits, maybe even characteristics of the man behind the words. It’s safe to say that we all know that The Chronicles of Narnia is heavily influenced by Judeo-Christianity, particularly the concept of a higher, spiritual power (God) who rules all mankind. He most explicitly uses the terms “Son of Adam” and “Daughter of Eve” throughout the duration of Narnia.

Image taken from Goodreads

However, the purpose of this post isn’t to discuss what has been mentioned many times before. Although I’m sure I can debate and discuss the usage of Christianity in Lewis’ series, I would rather touch upon the literary goodness of it, purely for enjoyment purposes. I would like to, however, refer back to the series’ Christian tendencies, if only to discuss the underlying purpose of the text, which is synonymous to a modern-day Canterbury Tales - but maybe a little less “olde tyme” and definitely not as focused on sins and such. Maybe it would be better to liken Lewis to Chaucer, but I could include a number of Christian authors to compare Lewis to. Briefly, The Canterbury Tales are a series of stories told about different pilgrims and their vices. The Tales were told to children as an early kind of bible study material (can you imagine reading about some adulterous priest in a bible study circle). I suppose this is the only thing that directly connects the two works together, as Narnia is indeed a children’s series.

So why am I - a 20-something, broke university student, pursuing some form of higher education - enjoying a children’s series? Is it the different stories? The action? The “reading between the lines”? Or maybe NOT “reading between the lines”? Is it the fact that I can immerse myself in a completely different world, other than the one I know and (sort of) love?

Truth is, it’s all of that and more. It’s a colourful series that can potentially join the ranks of the timely classics (or is this already a thing). I have currently completed two out of the seven stories in the series and I am completely immersed in the beautiful land of Narnia. The Harper Collins adult edition has the entire Chronicle in the order that they see most fit. I was originally going to read it in the order of publication, but instead opted for the more economic and convenient option, which was to request that I receive the compiled adult Harper Collins edition for Christmas.

Of course, my Secret Santa came through and I have only now been able to take a crack at the series as a whole. I almost forget that it is a series meant for a younger audience when I speed through the chapters. I suppose the reason it has kept me so captivated as a 20-something is because it’s a wonderful break from all of the other long readings I have to do for my own program. The innocence of the characters (if only just a few, Edmund was a little nasty for most of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe) almost makes me sigh in longing for those much simpler days. However, I wouldn’t trade in what I know now and what kind of person I am today just to re-live that kind of innocence, but rather I appreciate it a little more after delving into this series.

This post isn’t meant to be a review of The Chronicles of Narnia - there are a ton floating around, I’m sure - but I just wanted to share my thoughts on this series as I read it in my 20-something years. What I have once appreciated as a young child I find that I can now also appreciate as a young adult. Obviously, my perspectives are quite different now and I see these stories in a different light, however, that hasn’t hindered me from enjoying the series for what it is.


Follow Me on Bloglovin'!

Monday, 20 January 2014

The Beer, Books and Blogger

About Me
Kim is a twenty-something who has completed her degree in English and is now blindly navigating the maze we call life. Working full time as a waitress, she is currently in the midst of figuring s**t out and hoping for the best. Finally able to read leisurely without the stresses of completing assigned readings, Kim has thrown herself into the world of fiction and hasn't been found anywhere in reality since.

About the Blog
I started this blog in an effort to fulfill my blogging resolution of the New Year. I have committed myself to writing a review of a book and I figured that it would be a great opportunity to create a blog where I can share the books I have read. I plan on filling this blog with not only reviews, but also different musings in relations to books I may be currently reading or have read in the past.

As for the name, I had originally wanted to name it “Bucks and Books” as a play on “Starbucks” because I spend a great deal of time at any Starbucks location within a reasonable distance. Yay, cheesy alliterations! Alas, some other blogging soul beat me to the punch, and I thought of the next best thing and that was beer. Have you ever read a book while slightly buzzed on beer? I have, it’s most relaxing, I promise you.

October 13, 2017

Just a quick note here that the above description of my blog was originally written on January 20, 2014. This was during my tenure at university and I am now a fully fledged adult (just kidding, I'm a child in a woman's body) seeking to rehabilitate my lost, creative spirit. I intend to continue this blog just as I had set out to do 3 years ago, and read a ton of books and write about them with a cold brew in hand! To keep with the integrity of the blog's name, breweries or bars/restaurants/pubs with great brews will also be featured on my blog, should I happen upon any hidden gems around the city (which is very likely).

I've kept the original blog description mostly as a reminder to myself that this was once all I had wanted to do. Now that I am very different from who I was all those years ago, it is comforting to know that some things - such as my desire to pick up blogging once more - never change.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin


If you have an questions, concerns or just want to say hi, please don't hesitate to send me an e-mail at I will do my best to answer all e-mails as soon as possible.