I actually picked this book up last week, based on this funny blog entry by Lawson (a pro blogger who calls herself The Bloggess). I’ve only read the first twenty or so pages, but I already know I’m probably going to like it. She’s got a sort of bitter playfulness to her sense of humor. Kelly certainly seems impressed, comparing her to David Sedaris. I’ll have my own review in a few weeks and I’ll tell you where I come down.
People sang the praises of Mantel’s last work, Wolf Hall, from the rooftops. It won the Man Booker Prize, amongst others. I started this novel about the court of Henry VIII, but it never grabbed me so I abandoned the pursuit. But in her review, Powers makes a compelling case to why you should read both Wolf Hall, and this, its sequel.
If that’s not enough monarchic politics for you, here’s a book on Henry VII. Owchar makes repeated reference to the Game of Thrones show on HBO (as well as Martin’s books), with regards to political maneuvering. But the line between GoT and the War of the Roses was one originally drawn by Martin, so I suppose it’s apt. (This is a double review, also touching on a graphic novelization of GoT, so that’s the incentive for Owchar’s connection.) The Penn portion of the review is heavy on the history, as the book surely is, but it’s certainly interesting if you’re into this kind of thing.
This is my third pick in a row with somewhat musty subject matter, but it’s also rather fascinating. It documents an art collector’s quest to prove a painting he purchased was actually painted by perhaps the most famous artist in history. There appears, however, to be a bit more depth than you might expect from such a book, with Silverman relating his own compulsion to exert “much effort, and lots and lots of money, into what is in the end a very expensive hobby.”