Winner of the Man Booker Prize and National Books Critics Circle Award in 2009, the novel Wolf Hall is large in every sense of the word. Hilary Mantel tells the familiar story of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn with a fresh perspective: through the eyes of the much-maligned Thomas Cromwell, a common man who rose to become the adviser to the king. Cromwell is practical and strategic; he is loyal to those he serves, and to those who serve him. He is also intelligent, observant, and calculating, and possessed of a quick, dry sense of humor. Readers gain a unique perspective on life in London and at court in the 1520s-1530s (the book ends in 1535, but a sequel is in the works). This is an excellent read for those already somewhat familiar with this era, and those willing to adjust to Mantel’s grammatical style (nearly every “he,” “him,” or “his” refers to Cromwell).