Sneak peek: October 2009 royalty books

Tons of intriguing books about royalty are coming out next month! I had a hard time picking just seven to feature in this sneak peek. You'll find the full list on the Books page on October 1.

The Queen Mother by William Shawcross. The official biography of Britain's Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, consort of King George VI, mother of Queen Elizabeth II.

The Lady Queen: The Notorious Reign of Joanna I, Queen of Naples, Jerusalem, and Sicily by Nancy Goldstone. Biography of the only female monarch in her time (the 14th century) to rule in her own name.

Lady Jane Grey: A Tudor Mystery by Eric Ives. This biography depicts Lady Jane as a forceful, educated woman with a strong legal claim to the English throne.

The Impossible Bourbons: Europe's Most Ambitious Dynasty by Oliver Thomson. About the family that won the the crowns of France, Spain, Naples and Sicily.

The Poison King: The Life and Legend of Mithradates, Rome's Deadliest Enemy by Adrienne Mayor. Biography of first century BC ruler King Mithridates VI of Pontus, who used poisons to eliminate rivals.

Wolf Hall: A Novel by Hilary Mantel. Thomas Cromwell wins Henry VIII's favor by helping the king annul his first marriage. But Henry is volatile. What will be the price of Cromwell's triumph?

The Queen's Mistake by Diane Haeger. Fiction. Catherine Howard denies her heart's desire in favor of her family's ambition when she becomes the wife of Henry VIII.

(As always, publication dates are subject to change.)

If I had to pick just one of these books to read — well, I'd hate to skip all the Tudor books (for some reason "Wolf Hall" looks particularly interesting), but I think I'd go for "The Poison King" because I like ancient history, too. Which book would you choose?

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