Thomas Cromwell and the Tudor Court have had something of a resurgence in popular culture. While Showtime’s melodramatic “The Tudors” focused on Henry VIII and his six wives, Hilary Mantel’s Booker-Prize winning novels Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies dramatized the political rise of Henry’s chief minister, Thomas Cromwell. Tracy Borman’s vivid new biography, Thomas Cromwell: The Untold Story of Henry VIII’s Most Faithful Servant, is a timely addition to histories of the era.
The eccentric and purposeful Lady Lavinia Truelove enters her stables early in the morning, unseen by her peers, where she plans to subdue and ride the erratic, untamable Lucifer. She’ll show her husband that she’s a horsewoman to be reckoned with, as well as two sights higher than the woman she thinks may be capturing her husband’s eye.
Do animals have a Santa Claus? This is just the sort of question Jan Brett would ask. In her new book, The Animals’ Santa, a young snowshoe hare in a cozy striped vest doesn’t believe all the other animals when they talk about Santa. Brett’s classic illustrations capture the precious details and gentle beauty of the snowy wood, and children will treasure this tale of believing in Christmas.
BookPage called Brett at home in Massachusetts to chat about this sweet Christmas story.
Whether you light a menorah every year or are new to the Jewish Festival of Lights, you’ll find something to appreciate among this year’s Hanukkah picture book offerings. All three involve combinations of rhyming verse and fine art, as well as new takes on old traditions.
The 12 constellations that form the houses of the Zodiac are the backdrop for this intriguing debut novel. Cancrian Rho is attending school when she begins to have a recurring vision of a dark mass entering the universe beyond Pisces, the 12th House. Like everyone else, Rho has heard rumors of a mysterious 13th House, ruled by an evil renegade named Orphiuchus, and she suspects this might be his return to the Zodiac.
After establishing that he’s not any of the Andy or Andrew Millers you might have heard of, this English Andy Miller introduces his ambitious vow to read 50 great books within a year—and, better still, to chronicle the struggles and discoveries involved along the way. This he does with candor and good humor
The Christmas season is full of touchstones: Santa with the Rockettes at Radio City, small kindnesses from strangers and boisterous shouts of, “God bless us, every one!” These new books pair nicely with a crackling fire on a frosty night.
There’s nothing like a Regency romance novel when you’re in need of proper manners, steaming cups of tea and English village intrigue. Julie Klassen delivers just that with The Secret of Pembrooke Park, a thought-provoking novel that explores the definition of treasure—in God’s eyes and in man’s.
You can’t help but fall in love a little with the bookworm, with his bright eyes and shy smile, on the cover of Alice Kuipers and Bethanie Deeney Murguia’s Violet and Victor Write the Best-Ever Bookworm Book. Composed of collages made of bits of text, fanciful book illustrations and cartoonish children, this book intrigues even before reading it aloud.
The diamond mines of Marange in Zimbabwe serve as the setting for this portrait of a family in turmoil, which focuses on a tenacious 15-year-old boy named Patson Moyo. Patson and his little sister, Grace, adore their father, a man who has dedicated his life to teaching. But it is their new stepmother, known simply as “the Wife,” who compels her husband to leave his home and seek wealth by moving to Marange, where her brother James is involved in mining. In Marange, she claims, there are “diamonds for everyone.”