My book moods changed a lot over the past month, so I have a varied set to show this time. I was in a historical lady-book mood for a while, but now I’m all over the place.
I read this because I read Girl with a Pearl Earring by the same author and I had been captivated by it. This story is similarly a fictional story based on real artwork, alternately a tapestry from the Middle Ages. It follows several characters who work on or are involved with the tapestry, from the painter, the weavers, to the commissioners, and how they interact with each other. There were a lot of characters involved, and although they were all interesting, they could have used a little more depth. The main character, if you would say there is one, is kind of a jerk, so I wasn’t rooting for him.
This one seemed a little more far-fetched to me, and there were more stories to follow, so I would recommend reading Girl with a Pearl Earring first, but I did enjoy it.
The setting of this book is in 17th century Amsterdam. I am loving historical fiction of all times. The story follows Nella Oortman, a girl from the country recently wed and sent to live with her husband, who is a wealthy merchant in Amsterdam. He gives her a wedding gift of a cabinet-sized replica of their home, but he and the other inhabitants of the home are oddly distant and mysterious around her. She begins receiving strange miniatures in the mail to furnish her model-size house and tries to interpret their meaning.
While the idea was intriguing, and the plot had me trying to figure out more about the miniaturist who was sending the gifts, there were not enough answers for me. I love a good ‘you decide what really happened’ ending, but this was different to me. I felt like I wanted to know more about what was going on.
This one has been on my shelf for a while, and I was in the mood for a teen dystopian book, so I was hoping this would be a good fit. So sad, much disappointment.
The book follows Cassia, who lives in a society where everyone is matched to their partner by a system. No one may marry outside of the system. So when Cassia sees that she has been matched with two separate people, she is confused and doesn’t know if it can be true. The Society tells her it’s a glitch, but she meets her second match, Ky, and can’t help falling in love with him.
I kept waiting for something to happen the whole book. Long story short, nothing happened. The world was actually decently built up, but there was never one enemy they were fighting against, only an idea of an enemy.
Red Riding Hood by Sarah Blakley-Cartwright – 4 stars
I want to warn you that I am not saying this is a good book, but sometimes (aka often) I enjoy books that I know are a little silly but there’s something about it that I like. The story is a retelling of Red Riding Hood as a YA fairy tale, and I am a sucker for fairytales. It takes place in a small village, where Valerie, a young girl, must choose between marrying the blacksmith’s son or running away with the outcast woodcutter. When a werewolf descends upon the village, Valerie questions herself and those around her. I recommend if you like enjoy fairy tales.
Smoke and Mirrors: Short Fictions and Illusions by Neil Gaiman – 4 stars
I have mentioned it before, but Neil Gaiman is my favorite author, and I usually like things I pick up by him. He has a beautiful writing style and I love stories he’s written about magic, myths, and fairy tales.
This book is his first collection of short stories, although he has at least two others. The stories are all different, and I would definitely recommend them. Some are a little slow, while others have a faster pace. My favorites were the last two, “Murder Mysteries” and “Snow, Glass, Apples.” This is also a reread for me, but it has been several years, so I didn’t remember most of the stories. If you have never read his books, I recommend starting with Ocean at the End of the Lane, because it’s one of my favorites and also fairly short.
That’s it for this month; I hope there are some fantastic books next month, too. I can’t wait to see what everyone has been reading! I’m linking up with Steph and Jana for Show Us Your Books. Join in and share what books you’ve read.