This book recently won best history & biography for 2012 on Goodreads.com. New York Times bestselling author Sally Bedell Smith brings to life one of the world’s most fascinating and enigmatic women: Queen Elizabeth II.
The Maid: A Novel of Joan of Arc, by Kimberly Cutter. This one I'm half way into. It's really good. Fascinating subject, vivid depiction of a brutal time in human history, and Cutter's portrayal of Joan is brilliant. My son asked about this one -- the cover shows Joan in armor -- and I told him the premise and started reading a few lines. "Keep reading," he said. The next day, he asked, "Can you read more of that book to me?"