Monday, December 19, 2011

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? - December 19 (& Book Buying)

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted each week over at One Person's Journey Through A World Of Books. Thanks for trying to keep us all on track each week.

Last week I finished reading:
Gwenhwyfar: The White Spirit by Mercedes Lackey. Fantasy, Fiction. Mercedes Lackey's version of the Arthurian story and the Matter of Britain. Definitely a good read.

Writing Horses: The Fine Art of Getting It Right by Judith Tarr. Non Fiction. Quite a useful resource, whether you know horses or not, and it's written in a wonderfully readable form.

I'm currently reading:
Empire From The Ashes by David Weber. Fiction, Science Fiction. An omnibus book containing Mutineer's Moon, The Armageddon Inheritance and Heirs of Empire. I've read it before, and enjoyed it last time too.

Ancient Greece by Sarah B. Pomeroy et al. Non Fiction, History. One of my former textbooks, but it's turning out to be a good read on it's own too.

Ring Of Words: Tolkien And The Oxford English Dictionary by Peter Gilliver, Jeremy Marshall and Edmund Weiner. Non Fiction. This is kind of weird. I thought I knew what this book was going to be about, but it's turning out to be something completely different. Still interesting - perhaps even more interesting for all of that. I'd thought it was going to be a more detailed biography of Tolkien's years during which he was working on the OED, but instead it's turned out to be about the words he edited. Add to that all kinds of details about the languages that he invented.

As usual, I don't really know what I'm going to be reading next, but it's a fair guess that The Art of The Hobbit is going to be in there somewhere.

I've also done a fair bit of book-buying over the weekend (and one book that came in the mail):
The book that came in the mail was
By Fire, By Water 
Mitchell James Kaplan.
The amazon.com product description:
Luis de Santángel, chancellor to the court and longtime friend of the lusty King Ferdinand, has had enough of the Spanish Inquisition. As the power of Inquisitor General Tomás de Torquemada grows, so does the brutality of the Spanish church and the suspicion and paranoia it inspires. When a dear friend’s demise brings the violence close to home, Santángel is enraged and takes retribution into his own hands.  But he is from a family of conversos, and his Jewish heritage makes him an easy target. As Santángel witnesses the horrific persecution of his loved ones, he begins slowly to reconnect with the Jewish faith his family left behind. Feeding his curiosity about his past is his growing love for Judith Migdal, a clever and beautiful Jewish woman navigating the mounting tensions in Granada. While he struggles to decide what his reputation is worth and what he can sacrifice, one man offers him a chance he thought he’d lost…the chance to hope for a better world. Christopher Columbus has plans to discover a route to paradise, and only Luis de Santángel can help him.
   Within the dramatic story lies a subtle, insightful examination of the crisis of faith at the heart of the Spanish Inquisition. Irresolvable conflict rages within the conversos in By Fire, By Water, torn between the religion they left behind and the conversion meant to ensure their safety. In this story of love, God, faith, and torture, fifteenth-century Spain comes to dazzling, engrossing life.
 The other books I bought were:
Kings of the North by Elizabeth Moon. I read the book when it first came out earlier this year, but didn't buy it until now.

The Art Of The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien, Christina Scull and Wayne G. Hammond. An examination and display of all the art that Tolkien created for The Hobbit while he was writing it. Really looking forward to reading this one.

Dragon Art by Graeme Aymer. Not sure if this one will ever get read actually, it's more of an art book.

Ghost On The Throne by James Romm. Non fiction, History. A book on the aftermath of Alexander's death and how his empire was broken up. Looks really interesting.
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