Bring Up the Bodies by the late Hilary Mantel is my featured book for the A to Z Challenge today.

The plan for the month is to feature daily a book I’ve reviewed in the past (or review it that day), and also highlight others: not all are included each day.

  • review/featured
  • spacetime challenge (I host this reading challenge – you can join here)
  • middle grade (childrens) choice
  • series (love a good series – there’s a challenge for finishing those, too)
  • ‘notable’ reads
  • ‘outstanding’ books
  • my books!

Featured: Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel

I read Bring Up The Bodies one winter (Jan 14, by the review date), and commented at the time that it was the sort of book to curl up with in a darkened room, with a nice warming fire. I still think that. It’s one where you want to concentrate on the book alone. The success of the TV mini-series Wolf Hall (its predecessor: the mini series runs both books together) means far more people have read it than might have done. I read it because it was a book club choice. I doubt whether I’d have picked it otherwise, but it’s one of the best books I’ve read, full of intrigue, mischief, and the sights, sounds, and smells of Tudor England.

What is the nature of the border between truth and lies? It is permeable and blurred because it is planted thick with rumour, confabulation, misunderstandings and twisted tales. Truth can break the gates down, truth can howl in the street; unless truth is pleasing, personable and easy to like, she is condemned to stay whimpering at the back door.”

Bring Up The Bodies, (p.190)

MG Choice: The Boy at the Back of the Class by Onjali Q Rauf

boy at back of class

How a refugee from Syria found himself on a chair at the back of the narrator’s class. How his story, both his history and what the locals do to help him, comes out. I read this in December 21, when the disgrace of the Government treatment of refugees crossing the Channel in small boats was at its height. As I said in my review: it’s a wonderful mix of great story telling, and information for kids that they will hear (and repeat) in their own playgrounds. Then I said much more 🙂


The Blue Bar by Damyanti Biswas. Fantastic reviews from most readers; I’m looking forward to reading it. See it on Goodreads.

Bel Canto by Ann Patchett. I read this three libraries ago (i.e. I’ve moved cities twice since). It still calls to me, in fact I recommended it to a lady browsing in Waterstones in Norwich, and had a big discussion with her about it. I think she bought it. Music plus mystery and suspense. Wonderful. See it on Goodreads here.

Black Beauty by Anna Sewell. Yes, it’s a book about a horse. A horse in Victorian England, when the author wanted people (adults) to read it and consider animal welfare more. Generally consigned to children’s shelves these days, but I reread it after I moved, and found depths in it I hadn’t seen before. I think we need to consider a new version. PS: There is no racism in this book. Plenty of animal cruelty though. [see original illustrations in this post]

Blowing my Own Trumpet

Bravo Victor (Princelings of the East #6): A would-be business guru accepts a dodgy commission and ends up searching for a friend in foreign parts; smuggling, time travel, and a beautiful spy add to his difficulties! More details here.


the boy the mole the fox and the horse

The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy. If you haven’t heard of it, where have you been? Marvellous. Worth savouring the deluxe edition!

That’s all for today, so come back tomorrow for more. I’m hoping to meet more people who like the same kinds of book, so feel free to recommend something you’ve read beginning with the letter of the day!

Bring Up The Bodies | #A2ZChallenge23

10 thoughts on “Bring Up The Bodies | #A2ZChallenge23

  • 3 April, 2023 at 7:34 am

    Oooh, The boy, the mole, the fox and the horse has been on my TBR for a long time! Thank you for the recommendations 🙂

    The Multicolored Diary

  • 3 April, 2023 at 12:02 pm

    “The Blue Bar” is good, you won’t be disappointed 🙂 I couldn’t finish “Black Beauty” as it triggered me: one of my horses looks just like the title character.

    Ronel visiting for B:
    My Languishing TBR: B
    Birds of Faerie

  • 3 April, 2023 at 2:19 pm

    How can I ever thank you for giving me MORE books to read! Good on you, though, Jemima. I bought The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse for a young friend of mine.

  • 3 April, 2023 at 5:40 pm

    Black Beauty is one of my all time favourites!

  • 3 April, 2023 at 6:37 pm

    I’ve read both Wolf Hall and Bring up the Bodies – superbly done. I’m currently reading part 3, The Mirror and the Light, and have been for some months. I read a bit then put it down in favour of something else. It’s too heavy to hold for long, and I’m finding it a bit less absorbing than the other two. It doesn’t seem to matter, I enjoy re-immersing myself in the Tudor world form time to time, and don’t seem to forget anything important after time away. Totally agree about Bel Canto – I have recommended that to several people.

  • 3 April, 2023 at 8:53 pm

    I started The Blue Bar a while ago and really need to get back to it. It’s an excellent book, from what I’ve read so far.

  • 3 April, 2023 at 10:10 pm

    I read Black Beauty many times as a child. I’m always afraid to pick up the books I loved back then because so many don’t stand the test of time and adulthood. I’m encouraged that it worked for you.

  • 5 April, 2023 at 9:03 am

    Apologies for not posting individual replies today. I’ve been to a funeral.

Comments are closed.


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