I’m reading a lot right now, but as I am doing research for a essay/paper, there hasn’t yet been much finishing. I completed two this past week, though one is really short and is more photos than words so I hesitate to count it.
The Raven King: Matthias Corvinus and the Fate of His Lost Library
by Marcus Tanner
This book wasn’t quite what I expected, not that I’m sure what that was, I had heard it recommended on PRI’s “The World” and all I recalled from that piece was that this book was about a library, a monarch, and Hungary. While I married into a Hungarian family, my knowledge of the country and its history is quite limited (not to mention the language). I suspect if I knew more, then that Tanner wrote more of the Italian influence (which makes sense as they produced the books and Matthias’ wife) than of the library (since so much of it is unknown), it wouldn’t have been such a sad surprise to me. The writing is good, though I would have preferred a better map and the addition of a basic time-line of key events and a family tree/who’s who directory to help me when I felt mired in the details which felt quite detailed and new to this my-public-school-focused-on-American-History reader. I learned a good deal and feel that I now have a slightly better grasp of Eastern Europe in the late 15th century. If you are looking for a study of the society I think you will be disappointed. If you want to read a general history of the time and peoples I think you will enjoy it.
Cloth & Comfort: Pieces of Women’s Lives from Their Quilts and Diaries
by Roderick Kiracofe
This short book starts with an introduction explaining Kiracofe’s interest in the work and then follows with a photo/quote book from women’s diary entries surrounding their quilts. It’s short and sweet with lots of pretty pictures. I had wanted more detail of these women and their quilts and their diary entries, but that was not really the intent of this short work (it’s only about 61pages).