Not bad, it’s been about two months since my last batch of mini-book reviews, lol 😛 As always, this batch features books I’ve read that, while I had a few thoughts on it, they didn’t warrant review posts of their own. Included in this batch of reviews are mostly classics and one fantasy novella 😉
The Canterbury Tales
By: Geoffrey Chaucer
Format/Source: Mass market paperback; my purchase
Lively, absorbing, often outrageously funny, Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales is a work of genius, an undisputed classic that has held a special appeal for each generation of readers. The Tales gathers twenty-nine of literature’s most enduring (and endearing) characters in a vivid group portrait that captures the full spectrum of medieval society, from the exalted Knight to the humble Plowman.
Gah, I finally got around to reading this! It’s been on my wishlist for quite a long time and I actually started listening to bits of it last year via LibriVox when I was sick but I got impatient in the end and picked up a copy of the book. Well, I appreciate how expansive this classic is, featuring people from all walks of life in Medieval England and taking part in this tale. The stories range from chivalrous and thematic to bawdy and hilarious and some where more interesting that others but yeah, it’s one of those classics you can’t just pick up on a whim. In restrospect, I think perhaps I should’ve have chosen this book as my travelling read whenever I was outside (not to mention it made for a hefty carry in my purse) but some of them were so long that they just didn’t hold my interest like others. So yeah, it was an okay reading experience for me overall but I’m glad I took a crack at it 😛
The Sentinel Mage (The Cursed Kingdoms #1)
By: Emily Gee
Format/Source: eBook courtesy of the publishers
Her magic may be the only thing that can save a prince—and the Seven Kingdoms.
In a distant corner of the Seven Kingdoms, an ancient curse festers and grows, consuming everything in its path. Only one man can break it: Harkeld of Osgaard, a prince with mage’s blood in his veins. But Prince Harkeld has a bounty on his head—and assassins at his heels.
Innis is a gifted shapeshifter. Now she must do the forbidden: become a man. She must stand at Prince Harkeld’s side as his armsman, protecting and deceiving him.
But the deserts of Masse are more dangerous than the assassins hunting the prince. The curse has woken deadly creatures, and the magic Prince Harkeld loathes may be the only thing standing between him and death.
I remember seeing this book time and again whenever I was browsing the shelves in the bookstore but never thought to pick it up. I received a free eBook copy of this book when I signed up for Rebellion Publishing’s mailing list. I was in the mood for a fantasy novel and decided to pick this up as it was one of the shorter titles on my TBR pile.
By: William Shakespeare
Conspiracies and intrigue are rife in the court of Henry VIII as a Duke is executed for treason, having been tricked by the Cardinal. And when the King falls in love with Anne Bullen and decides to divorce his wife, he causes an irrevocable rift with the Catholic Church. After the King’s secret marriage to Anne, courtiers fall in and out of favour and deaths abound, with far-reaching consequences.
Sad but funny story: in counting how many plays remain that I have yet to read, I totally forgot about this play. I guess it goes to show how often it’s remembered in the entire body of work, which is pretty sad :3 I’m honestly surprised that he decided to write a play on Henry VIII given how recent his reign was, but given everything that happened during his time, it seemed pretty ripe to stage a drama (I mean, why else do we have all these adaptations and historical fiction titles focusing in and around Henry’s reign?) 😉
By: Marcus Giralt Torrente
Format/Source: eBook; my purchase
Paris depicts a man’s journey through the labyrinth of his memories, a search for his origins that will uncover an old family secret and turn his world upside down. A mesmerizing and haunting story by award-winning author Marcos Giralt Torrente, a master craftsman calibrating nuance and impact with a true gift.
I picked this book up during a sale on Kobo. I never heard of the author or the book before encountering it on Kobo, but I quickly learned that the author is Spanish and, as someone keen on reading more literature by Spanish authors, I thought it would be interesting to check out this title.
The Sunken Cathedral
By: Kate Walbert
Format/Source: Advanced reading copy courtesy of Simon & Schuster CA via the GoodReads First Reads programme
Marie and Simone, friends for decades, were once immigrants to the city, survivors of World War II in Europe. Now widows living alone in Chelsea, they remain robust, engaged, and adventurous, even as the vistas from their past interrupt their present. Helen is an art historian who takes a painting class with Marie and Simone. Sid Morris, their instructor, presides over a dusty studio in a tenement slated for condo conversion; he awakes the interest of both Simone and Marie. Elizabeth is Marie’s upstairs tenant, a woman convinced that others have a secret way of being, a confidence and certainty she lacks. She is increasingly unmoored—baffled by her teenage son, her husband, and the roles she is meant to play.
I’ve never read anything by this author but it was the premise that caught my attention. It sounded interesting–about a pair of friends who survived the Second World War and living now in New York City. I was pleasantly surprised to learn I had won an ARC of this novel via GoodReads. This book will be available in 09 June 2015.