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Category Archives: I Love Books

While The Hobbit’s away, the Boys will play!

During their time off from The Hobbit my two favorite boys meaning Richard Armitage and Aidan Turner are busy with other projects.

We all know Mr A is busy being a hero in the face of a tornado.

Gary is a type of teacher that I’d like to learn a thing or two from ūüôā

I’ve never wanted to be a teacher’s pet so bad!

Mr Turner is involved in a huge project of the fantasy adaptation of  The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones directed by Harald Zwart.

The movie will be out August 23rd, 2013 and it seems to rival Hunger Games.

He’ll be playing the character of Luke Garroway, the surrogate father to the protagonist Clary Fray played by Lily Collins.

Image taken from

One thing I know is that he’s sporting a bushy beard (that’s so hot right now…) and he seemed to have chopped off the lovely locks and has a shorter do that looks a bit like a weird afro.

Not passing judgement till I take a closer look.

Wouldn’t hurt if I could run my fingers through it, but I’m guessing security would knock me down ūüôā

I believe he should keep his hair longer!

While you still have it, you should embrace it!

The book series already seems to have a huge following, although prior to the casting announcement I had never heard of it before.

I can’t lie, I read the first book in the series, meaning City of Bones,¬†to see how big Aidan’s part is, and it’s quite impressive and exciting.

I have difficulty with recommending the book wholeheartedly.

This Young Adult Urban Fantasy is a bit na√Įve and predictable, and I felt the writing wasn’t the best, however the story is interesting, and I can’t wait to see how it’s interpreted on film.

There were moments where a twist in the plot was revealed and I could have sworn it was so obvious I thought every reader would take it as a given.

In some cases I thought the twist had already been introduced.

Then again I read lot of Agatha Christie, so I’m always spoiling plots ūüôā

If you want something young and fluffy, this book will tick the boxes.

If you merely want to see Aidan prance around in glasses, wait patiently for the movie next year.

Richard III for Dummies Part 2 as in Oh Heck! It’s The War of the Roses

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’m on a quest to learn more about King Richard III.

I hope it will help with the collective reading of Sharon Kay Penman’s The Sunne in Splendour.

Just to clarify, the reading starts on the 23rd of September, with the discussion of chapters 1+5 a week later!

I know some of you, like me, will start earlier, just in case life and other nonsense get in the way!

I’ll be the first to admit I don’t really know anything about RIII, but what I do learn, I will share in a cycle of posts titled:

Richard III for Dummies.

I see it as a collection of random RIII facts that I found interesting.

I won’t be going into great details, just the bare essentials necessary to understand the book chosen for our collective reading.

It’s time to tackle The War of the Roses!

It was a terribly destructive, long-lasting civil war in England between two  families with rival claims to the throne.

The war takes its name from the two Roses that symbolized the two sides meaning, the houses of Lancaster (red rose) and York (white rose), among the English aristocracy.

Those English and their gardening…

I’m¬†not going to go into detail, but let’s just say both sides had a legitimate claim to the throne.

The clip is extremely interesting,¬†definitely more than¬†my writing ūüėČ

Just look at  it as a very long boxing match.

The war itself occurred in three phases:

The first phase was the longest and bloodiest, and resulted in a York victory.

The second phase¬†involved a rebellion¬†within the York family which provided an opportunity¬† for the Lancaster’s to reassert their claim.

They briefly succeeded, but the crown soon fell back into the hands of the Yorks.

The third phase occurred following the death of the Yorkish King Edward IV,  and was fought between Richard III and Henry Tudor a distant cousin on the Lancaster side.

¬†It’s not an easy war to follow in terms of alliances, or military progress.

There are so many twists, treachery, changing sides and battles, so I shall focus on the elements that appear in The Sunne in Splendour.

By the way, I started reading the book yesterday and I couldn’t put it down.

I thought the vocabulary wasn’t bad at all, and with the help of my trusted Kindle 3 dictionary, I didn’t come across any phrases that would prove to be challenging.

Here’s are the key elements¬†of what I’ve read.

Please be warned, there may be spoilers if you haven’t started the book yet!

We meet Richard (nicknamed Dickon, because that’s such an adorable name for a young boy…) on the eve of the attack on Ludlow village and its¬†Castle, a major base in The War of the Roses.

In the first chapter we are¬†introduced to some members of Richard’s family:

Ma Mere meaning Richard’s mother, Cecily Neville, Duchess of York, wife to ¬†Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York.

Richard’s brother Edward (Ned), 4th Duke of York, 7th Earl of March, 5th Earl of Cambridge and 9th Earl of Ulster.

He goes on to become Edward IV.

Edmund, Earl of Rutland, second surviving son of Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York.

George, only a few years older than Richard,  1st Duke of Clarence, 1st Earl of Salisbury, 1st Earl of Warwick.

I think it’s best to keep an eye out on George, as he’ll be playing a very important role later on.

The Queen Margaret of Anjou continues to raise support for the King Henry VI among noblemen,whilst the Yorkist command under the Duke of York is finding anti-royal support despite the severe punishment for raising arms against the King.

The Yorkist force based at Middleham Castle in Yorkshire need to link up with the main Yorkist army at Ludlow Castle in Shropshire.

As Salisbury marches south-west through the Midlands the Queen orders Lord Audley to raise a force to intercept them.

This results in a bloody battle, but also signified that the Queen is set on war.

Fearing that an attack on Ludlow is imminent, all the male members of the York House escape, leaving behind Cecily and her two youngest sons George and Richard.

The assumption is that no harm will come to them, as the code of conduct forbids involving women and children in fights.

Ah, but will it?

You’ll have to start reading the book to find out ūüôā

I found the character of Margaret of Anjou fascinating, but then I would!

I found this clip very interesting clip:


Richard III for Dummies Part 1 meaning a quick introduction

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’m on a quest to learn more about King Richard III.

I hope it will help with the collective reading of Sharon Kay Penman’s The Sunne in Splendour.

I’ll be the first to admit I don’t really know anything about Richard III, but what I do learn, I will share in a cycle of posts titled:

Richard III for Dummies.

I see it as a collection of random RIII facts that I found interesting.

I won’t be going into great details, just the bare essentials (according to me!).

Visuals really work for me.

They are an endless source of inspiration, and there’s nothing like an image to spark my interest.

Sorry, but this does nothing for me:

I’ve never been a fan of a man with blingbling, and the hair’s just daft!

This illustration by Martin Rowson/Guardian is a whole other story:

The hair is still daft, but from what I gather, maybe this Richard III character will offer something interesting.

Here is a quick look at the more interesting facts about Richard III, served tongue in cheek,¬†AgzyM style ūüėČ



Nope, that doesn’t mean anything to me either, so here’s a visual:

Doesn’t British History look better when there’s a Tudor around?

Well, unless you happen to be Henry’s wife…

Why should I bother with Richard III?

Richard Armitage likes him, and so should you!

OK, only joking… kinda…

Richard III¬†seems to have a murderous¬†streak in him, as he’s implicated in the deaths of Henry VI, his brother George (who allegedly drowned in a vat of wine after a stint at the Tower of London)¬† and the disappearance of his young nephews – the Princes in the Tower.

I simply love a bloody monarch ūüôā

Sorry, I forgot to add allegedly bloody…

He’s rumoured to have had a withered arm, crooked back and a¬†limp, although many believe this to be a fabrication.

One thing’s for sure-¬†he wasn’t a fan of facelift¬†and Botox!

Also, the man clearly¬†loved his jewels, so he may be the original Royal Pimp Daddy¬†ūüėČ

Richard is credited with introducing the bail system in 1484, perhaps to give himself a get out of jail free card if things got out of hand with Henry Tudor.

This may be linked to Monopoly’s Get Out of Jail Free Card, although the evidence is inconclusive ūüėČ

By the way, Richard III described Henry Tudor as ‘an unknown Welshman’, which is a bit embarrassing seeing how things worked out…

Richard was the last king to die in battle, meaning the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485, which is a bit unlucky!

Apparently every English King called “Richard” has died violently, which is a good reason to name your son and heir¬†Bob or Rupert.

King Richard’s violent death may be why Armitage would like to play him…

¬†His death at the Battle of Bosworth effectively ended the Wars of the Roses (not a battle between gardeners!), so it’s not all bad news.

Richard was the last king of the Plantagenet family, who had ruled over England for more than three hundred years, so more bad news.

Talk about not living up to your family’s expectations!

Richard’s defeat at Bosworth Field by Henry Tudor ended the Plantagenet dynasty (bummer!), but it also heralded the Tudor dynasty, so some more good news, as I actually know a thing or two about the Tudors.

Have I mentioned how much I like the Tudors?

No? Well, I do!

¬†William Shakespeare wrote¬†a¬†play titled¬†‘Richard III’.

You may think that’d it is cool for the most famous playwriter to write about you, but not so.

He was portrayed as a murdered and deformed hunchback who murders his nephews, as Shakespeare was writing at a time when the granddaughter to Henry VII was queen (Elizabeth I).

It was therefore within Shakespeare’s interests to portray Richard in a bad light.

That Shakespeare was such a suck-up!

Shakespeare wasn’t the only famous author to weigh in on the topic od Richard III.

Jane Austin in her History of England wrote:

The character of this prince has been in general very severely treated by historians, but as he was York, I am rather inclined to  suppose him a very respectable man.

My thoughts exactly on Mr Darcy…

Nude pictures of him cupping his family jewels at a party in Las Vegas have spread across the internet.

OK, that may have been Prince Harry…

At this point I must also urge you to get started on Sharon Kay Penman’s The Sunne in Splendour.

Here are a few facts I found online about the book:

The Sunne in Splendour, which is a historical novel, chronicles the life of Richard III.

The story begins in 1459 with Richard as a young boy, and ends in 1485 with his defeat at the Battle of Bosworth Field.

It’s separated into three parts.

The title of the novel, according to Vulpes Libris, is taken from the emblem of Edward IV after the natural phenomenon of a parhelion (an atmospheric phenomenon that creates bright spots of light in the sky, often on a luminous ring or halo on either side of the sun) in which ice crystals in the air give the optical illusion of 3 suns.

When the 400-page manuscript was stolen from her car, Penman found herself unable to write for the next five years.

She eventually rewrote the book and by the time the 936 page book was published in 1982 she had spent 12 years writing it.

For more info, I urge you to check out what Maria Grazia has to say about the book.

By the way, I’ll be back tomorrow with a riveting (don’t hold your breath…) post on the War of the Roses, dummy style!

I’m off to¬†read the book¬†ūüėČ

Collective Reading of The Sunne in Splendour and I want YOU to be a part of it!

You’ve probably heard about Sharon Kay Penman’s¬†The Sunne in Splendour.

It’s the book Richard Armitage mentions in the ¬†Vulpes Libris interview as one of his favorites.

This autumn and winter Fanny/iz4blue over at DistRActed musings of one ReAlity is organising a collective read of this historical fiction novel.

The group read will be accompanied by Richard III Bloggers and their ‘ fun activities‘.

Oh Dear ūüėČ

The first deadline is:

Sept 23rd : Chapters 1 + 5 of Book One : Edward

Now, I know what many of you are thinking (I’ve had these thought too…):

Firstly, that bloke Richard III? Again?

He’s not even that good-looking!

What’s up with this obsession regarding¬†some historical figure¬†I don’t really know much about!

Why should I care?

Secondly, how can I possibly read an epic novels the size of a dictionary?

I don’t have the time/language skills/background knowledge to do that.

Here’s the deal.

I don’t really know anything about Richard III.

My fascination with British History starts with Henry VIII, and why couldn’t Richard Armitage and Papa Armitage¬†be fascinated with him?

At least I’d know what the heck we’re talking about…

Then again, he’d have to be¬†called Henry Armitage ūüėČ

But I’d really like to learn more, as it seems like an important aspect to the Armitage fandom.

That’s why I’ve decided to set off on a quest.

And, you guessed it, I’m taking you with me!

I’m going to create a few Richard III for Dummies posts for all of you out there who (like me) haven’t got a clue!

By the end of it you still won’t be able to answer the Servetus RIII¬†scavenger hunt questions, but maybe a little background knowledge will help with understanding¬†The Sunne in Splendour.

That’s my second aim!

No matter if English is your native language or not, I want all of us to give the book a try.

Yes, I mean YOU!

No excuses!

That’s why I’ll be writing a post after each chapter I read¬†to help with vocabulary, phrases etc.

Don’t get me wrong, it may be a case of the blind leading the blind, or the ignorant leading the ignorant ūüôā

As the first deadline is in 15 days, that comes to roughly 1 chapter every 2 days or so.

That’s 80 pages.

I want all of us to exercise our little grey cells (as Poirot would put it).

Even if we don’t get to share our thoughts on twitter #ArmitageWatch with ¬†#RA4R3, let’s¬†read it because we can!

Let’s do it because the Armitage Fandom knows no boundaries!

Because a thing like a language barrier shouldn’t stand in the way of¬†knowing more!

Learning and being exposed to new things is one of the most endearing aspects of our community.

Who’s with me?

Illustration: Martin Rowson/Guardian

You can purchase this The Sunne in Splendour on Amazon, and help support an RA charity.

For more info go here.

For those who are having trouble with getting their hands on the book, for whatever reason, please email me at iwanttobeapinup[at]


The Other Armitage. To his lost lover

Last autumn I was looking for vids of Richard Armitage reading poems.

I think I don’t need to write why.

Sometimes a girl just needs Armitage to hear the whisper of a poem in her ear.

I think I needed some audio to this visual.

I punched in Armitage poetry into the search engine and among the many options I came across a poem.

It had been written by Armitage, although not Richard, but Simon.

I remember it resonating with me and I felt very moved by it.

A little later I tried to find it again.

The only thing I could remember was Armitage, poetry and how it made me feel.

I couldn’t remeber the title, I couldn’t remember a single word from the poem.

I could only remember how it struck a cord.

Since autumn I had been searching every now and again, but with no sucess… until tonight!

So, it is my pleasure to share with you.

To his lost lover by Simon Armitage

Now they are no longer
 any trouble to each other
he can turn things over, get down to that list
of things that never happened, all of the lost
unfinishable business.
For instance… for instance,
how he never clipped and kept her hair, or drew a hairbrush
 through that style of hers, and never knew how not to blush
at the fall of her name in close company.
How they never slept like buried cutlery ‚Äď
two spoons or forks cupped perfectly together,
or made the most of some heavy weather ‚Äď
walked out into hard rain under sheet lightning,
or did the gears while the other was driving.
How he never raised his fingertips
to stop the segments of her lips
from breaking the news,
or tasted the fruit
or picked for himself the pear of her heart,
 or lifted her hand to where his own heart
was a small, dark, terrified bird
 in her grip. Where it hurt.
Or said the right thing,
or put it in writing.
And never fled the black mile back to his house
before midnight, or coaxed another button of her blouse,
then another, or knew her
favourite colour, her taste, her flavour,
and never ran a bath or held a towel for her,
or soft-soaped her, or whipped her hair
into an ice-cream cornet or a beehive
 of lather, or acted out of turn, or misbehaved
when he might have, or worked a comb
where no comb had been, or walked back home
through a black mile hugging a punctured heart,
where it hurt, where it hurt, or helped her hand
to his butterfly heart
 in its two blue halves.
And never almost cried,
and never once described
an attack of the heart,
or under a silk shirt
nursed in his hand her breast,
her left, like a tear of flesh
wept by the heart,
where it hurts,
or brushed with his thumb the nut of her nipple,
 or drank intoxicating liquors from her navel.
Or christened the Pole Star in her name,
or shielded the mask of her face like a flame,
a pilot light,
or stayed the night,
or steered her back to that house of his,
or said “Don’t ask me how it is
I like you.
I just might do.‚ÄĚ
How he never figured out a fireproof plan,
or unravelled her hand, as if her hand
were a solid ball
 of silver foil
and discovered a lifeline hiding inside it,
 and measured the trace of his own alongside it.
But said some things and never meant them ‚Äď
sweet nothings anybody could have mentioned.
And left unsaid some things he should have spoken,
about the heart, where it hurt exactly, and how often.

Fifty Shades of Hotness Epidemic

You just know you’ve encountered a thrilling book if days later you’re still thinking about it.

I wrote about Fifty Shades of Grey by EL James in a previous post.

With all my Oooing! and Ahhhing!, my sis decided to give it a go.

She’s not one to be¬†over enthusiastic for no reason, but I have to say, She too is hooked ūüôā

As you may know, there is a lot of buzz surrounding the film adaptation and I have been wondering who would be appropriate to play the part of the dashing Christian Grey.

My first and most obvious choice would be Mr Richard Armitage.

He ticks all the boxes- sexy, mysterious, daring, a body to die for.

He definitely has that smouldering something needed for the part.

I can imagine how great he would look as the stern and powerful Grey.

Here we have a sample of the S&M in reversal ūüėČ

The problem is, Mr. Grey is described as a sexy 27-year-old.

As much as I wouldn’t mind RA playing a character who¬† likes it freaky (I REALLY wouldn’t), I’m not sure that doing it with¬†a 22-year-old virgin is something I’d be ready for.

Here are some other suggestions:

Ian Somerhalder plays a mean intense vampire in Vampire Diaries, but I’m not sure if he has the dashing good looks of



Another vampire up for consideration is Alexander Skarsgard. He definitely is primal, wild and sexy in True Blood, but is he also Christian?

In my opinion, they will go for an unknown to play the part.

I’m looking forward to seeing this story on the big screen (blush…)

Fifty Shades of Blushing Red

As I’m enjoying my looooong May weekend (can I categorise 9 days as a weekend?), I decided to treat myself to a book that wasn’t connected to fashion, my thesis paper or looming end of year exams.

I don’t really know fanfic, I’ve read the odd story here and there, usually written my¬†fellow RA bloggers ( Hello Ladies!).

I decided to take a peek at Fifty Shades Of Grey by EL James¬†as it’s been causing quite a stir.

What was supposed to be a few hours of relaxing read turned into a 2 day reading marathon.

I was hooked!

Illustration for Fifty Shades of Grey

I’m not going to write a review of the book, many others online have done it very well.

I’d just like to skim over the issues that came to my mind when reading.

You may have heard that the books have a very strong S&M flavour.

This is true, but before you dismiss it, I think you should give it a try.

I’m not really one for whips, handcuffs and plugs that don’t exactly go in the drain or socket (I’ll let you¬†guess where these go…), but the story really is captivating.

Does it get ridiculous at times?


Some moments are hot, some are…well…not so much. At times it get a bit predictable.

I never though I would say this, but¬†found myself wishing that instead of the pages upon pages of sex scenes, we’d get more insight into the characters.

And these I find quite fascinating.

I had heard that the story had started out as a Twilight fanfic.

As much as I do love the Twilights books and films (don’t judge me!), I really didn’t see Bella or Edward in the characters of Christian and Ana.

I really enjoyed the complexities of Mr. Christian Grey and couldn’t wait for his story to unfold.

I found him to be manipulative, mean and controlling.

But he’s also sexy, daring and sensitive.

I think it’s important to remember that the sex is (mostly) a medium to convey an array of emotions and issues that have little to do with the bedroom… or playroom…

So if you’re looking for some escapism and need to let your mind get away from the here and now, I definitely recommend this trilogy.

Is it the best book you’ll ever read?


It won’t expand your vocabulary¬†I was so sick¬†and tired¬†of the Oh my! Enough with that already!

It just gets really silly at times and it’s quite predictable.

But there are just days when indulging your inner goddess is what you deserve, and this will do it!

And if I’m wrong and you don’t like it, you can always spank me ūüėČ

I Love Books! Pin-Up Blonde

As you may know, I absolutely love reading ūüôā

I have just read The Turn of¬†the Screw by Henry James. As much as I enjoy James, this wouldn’t have been my first choice (I needed to read it for college for my American Gothic Literature lecture).

I am reading A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin.

I highly recommend it¬†¬†ūüėČ

Are there any books you can recommend?

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