Time to move on to a new colour – orange!
I had initially thought that it would be difficult to gather 20 books with orange spines or covers, but found I had lots more than I had thought. What’s the predominant colour on your shelves?
See the Red Book pile here.
I also realised (after I had taken the photos, of course!) that I had forgotten to add some orange books to the pile so they haven’t been included – whoops!
Ooh, an odd and interesting mix for the first 4 orange books and I am ashamed to admit that I haven’t read (or fully read) 3 out of the 4 books here!
The Seer and the Sword by Victoria Hanley
Flame-haired Princess Torina knows nothing of battles and conquest until her father, the king of Bellandra, returns home with an orphaned prince from the neighbouring enemy kingdom. The boy prince is offered to Torina as a slave, but she frees him from his bonds and their unusual friendship develops in the years that follow.
But Torina faces terrible danger – she has an amazing gift that many would kill for, and when her father is brutally murdered she is forced to flee for her life. An evil usurper takes over her rightful throne, and the kingdom is ruled by cruelty and fear. Can Torina’s gift – to look into the future of others – help her win back what is rightly hers?
This is an epic fantasy of extraordinary scope and vision. Its twists and turns will leave readers breathless.
This is a book I inherited from my sister and she has recommended it to me a few times. She generally has pretty good taste in books, I love the cover and the blurb sounds good so will maybe have to bump this up the TBR…
Just spotted that it won several awards (listed on Goodreads), it has 436 reviews with an average of 4.11 stars – sounds like this might be a gem waiting to be discovered!
Art as Plunder: The Ancient Origins of Debate about Cultural Property by Margaret M. Miles
This book examines the ancient origins of debate about art as cultural property. What happens to art in time of war? Who should own art, and what is its appropriate context? Should the victorious ever allow the defeated to keep their art? These questions were posed by Cicero during his prosecution of a Roman governor of Sicily, Gaius Verres, for extortion. Cicero’s published speeches had a very long afterlife, affecting debates about collecting art in the 18th century and reactions to the looting of art by Napoleon. The focus of the book’s analysis is theft of art in Greek Sicily, Verres’ trial, Roman collectors of art, and the later impact if Cicero’s arguments. The book concludes with the British decision after Waterloo to repatriate Napoleon’s stolen art to Italy, and an epilogue on the current threats to art looted from archaeological contexts.
Margaret M. Miles is an archaeologist and art historian, now Professor of Art History and Classics at the University of California, Irvine. She has held fellowships at the American School of Classical Studies in Athens, the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, and the American Academy in Rome. She has excavated at Corinth and Athens, and did architectural fieldwork at Rhamnous in Greece and at Selinunte and Agrigento in Sicily.
This is a fantastic book (though academic so may be dry if it’s not your cup of tea!) which I have read cover-to-cover on a few occasions as well as dipped into numerous times since. While studying abroad in Italy I became really interested in how museum acquired their collections and began reading lots of books about some of the more controversial practices. This book is a comprehensive introduction to the ways in which art has been created, destroyed, traded, displayed and stolen throughout the ages.
The Riddle of the Labyrinth by Margalit Fox
For the first time, the full story of the race to decipher the world’s greatest puzzle.
The decoding of Linear B is one of the world’s greatest stories: from the discovery of a cache of ancient tablets recording a lost prehistoric language to the dramatic solution of the riddle nearly seventy years later, it exerts a mesmerizing pull on the imagination.
But, captivating as it is, this story is missing a crucial piece. Two men have dominated Linear B in popular history: Arthur Evans, the intrepid Victorian archaeologist who unearthed Linear B at Knossos and Michael Ventris, the dashing young amateur who produced a solution.
But there was a third figure: Alice Kober, without whose painstaking work, recorded on pieces of paper clipped from hymn-sheets and magazines and stored in cigarette boxes in her Brooklyn loft, Linear B might still remain a mystery. Drawing on Kober’s own papers – only made available recently – Margalit Fox provides the final piece of the enigma, and along the way reveals how you decipher a language when you know neither its grammar nor its alphabet as well as the stories behind other ancient languages, like the dancing-man Rongorongo of Easter Island.
I picked this up as I am a language geek and have read a few other books on similar topics which I have really enjoyed. When I was younger I came across a beautiful book about the Minoan culture on Knossos, Crete and Thera and read everything I could get my hands on to do with the topic – Arthur Evans and Michael Ventris were childhood heroes (along with Jean Francois Champillon who deciphered the Rosetta Stone … yes, I did have a normal childhood. Why are you asking?!)
I need a good, long holiday to read this book in so I can be uninterrupted and really give it my full attention.
Foxes Unearthed by Lucy Jones
As one of the largest predators left in Britain, the fox is captivating: a comfortably familiar figure in our country landscapes; an intriguing flash of bright-eyed wildness in our towns.
Yet no other animal attracts such controversy, has provoked more column inches or been so ambiguously woven into our culture over centuries, perceived variously as a beautiful animal, a cunning rogue, a vicious pest and a worthy foe. As well as being the most ubiquitous of wild animals, it is also the least understood.
In Foxes Unearthed Lucy Jones investigates the truth about foxes in a media landscape that often carries complex agendas. Delving into fact, fiction, folklore and her own family history, Lucy travels the length of Britain to find out first-hand why these animals incite such passionate emotions, revealing our rich and complex relationship with one of our most loved – and most vilified – wild animals. This compelling narrative adds much-needed depth to the debate on foxes, asking what our attitudes towards the red fox say about us – and, ultimately, about our relationship with the natural world.
Picked this up as I think foxes are beautiful, fascinating creatures but realised that I actually knew very little about them. So far I have just dipped into a few snippets of this and found them informative and intriguing – need to read the whole book soon!
I think this first section of the pile (with apologies for the two which I have inadvertently switched) is probably atypical in that it contains more non-fiction than fiction, while my normal reading diet is heavily tipped towards fiction.
Since I graduated from university in particular, I read far fewer non-fiction books so need to read more widely and educate myself.
What does your normal reading diet look like – more fiction or non-fiction?
Have you read any of the books in this post?
Are there any you might like to pickup now?
Let me know in the comments!