Well, seeing as I don’t have much new to report on the knitting front (still working on the same two shawls and blanket as before), I’ll jump right into the book reviews.
First up, Traitors of the Tower by Alison Weir. Now, I’ve read both fiction and non-fiction by her. I’m not a fan of her fiction. Her writing style just doesn’t gel with what I want to read. This book however is non-fiction so I thought it would be fine.
I really should have read the blurb about the book before putting it on my wishlist (I received it as a Christmas gift). Based on the title and the author, I was expecting proper biographies of people imprisoned in the Tower of London. Instead, the book in my hand was slim with slightly bigger text than usual. It was a QuickReads book (again, this is listed on the website, I just didn’t notice it before putting it on my wishlist). It felt really simple (duh), which made me not like the book because I wasn’t expecting it. It’s fine as a quick reference book, but a bit of a disappointment (partly of my own making).
The next one, a novel by Michelle Lovric, The Book of Human Skin.
I haven’t been able to decide whether I liked the book or not. The narrative is compelling, especially after about a quarter of the way through, so I had to finish it. Some of the characters were repulsive. I read through Sor Loreta’s and Minguillo Fasan’s sections as fast as I could because I didn’t want to spend any more time than I had to with them. Both are warped and insane and just unpleasant. So, the book it well written and it’s a great work of fiction, but I can’t say if I still actually liked it.
I also was a bit unsure about the decision to write Gianni’s sections with incorrect spellings and grammar. It was hard to get used to it. I could hear him just fine and I don’t think the non-traditional writing created any more depth to his voice.
It took a bit too long for my taste to get to the point where all of the narratives come together. I’m sure some of Sor Loreta’s sections could have been condensed. The entire book felt a bit long-winded now that I think about it.
On the whole, the book was very readable, but I wouldn’t read it again.