A quick NaNo update, then on to the book pre-review: I’m up to date on NaNo as of last night with 13,438 which means less than 150 of a cushion. I burned my earlier cushion because I had other responsibilities and I’ve been running migraines for the past umpteen days. On the other hand, the story is coming together nicely. I have completed the first stage or act, and though I will probably blend the first and second a little in the edits so the second main character doesn’t come in too late, I’ve begun Nat’s introduction into the story and it’s going well.
The pre-review of Catherine the Great by Robert K. Massie
Normally I would not review a book before I finish reading it, but this one came out on Monday, and I wanted to give a mention. I requested the book through Library Thing because Massie’s Nicholas and Alexandra was one of my favorite books in my teens, and held up amazingly well when I reread it a short while ago. The biggest surprise in the reread is that the book was non-fiction.
Catherine the Great has that same ability to transform history into a pageant of interesting people doing interesting things. What seems organized and coordinated from the dates and events list most history books depend on becomes a chaos of often petty emotions and rulers who are set with their backs against a wall to make crazy decisions.
I often forget, in the telling, that I am once again reading a non-fiction book, despite the narrative telling style and the interjection of diary entries and letters as appropriate to support the unfolding events.
If you haven’t tried history through Massie’s pen, you owe yourself the favor of picking up Catherine the Great. Whether fascinated with Russian history or not, you will be by the end, and for the writers in this crowd, it provides a close and personal look at the inner workings of a royal court that could prove useful in fleshing out stories set in this timeframe, or even ones with a royal background.