winterbadger: (books)
[personal profile] winterbadger
Recently completed:

Love and War in the Apennines by Eric Newby (1). A charming account of the author's initial captivity as a British officer in an Italian POW "camp" (a repurposed orphanage) and his wanderings in central Italy after the Fascist government surrendered. He recounts several months spent among the rough and poor, but amazingly kindly peasants of the region, who risked a tremendous amount to shelter and support escaped POWs like him. His descriptions of the people, the landscape, the lives of wartime farmers and herders, and his unsparing portrait of himself are fascinating and tremendously readable.

The Seven Wonders by Steven Saylor (2). The author of the acclaimed Gordianus the Finder mysteries was begged by hs fans to write prequles, tellign some of the oft-referred to experiences of his protagonist as a young man. This is (chronologically) the first, a series of short mysteries solved by the newly adult Gordianus as he follows his former tutor on a tour of the Seven Wonders of the World, from Greece to Asia Minor to Babylon and finally to Egypt. Bite-sized mysteries tied together with a "road trip" narrative and a little extra meta-story besides. Very enjoyable.

In process:
The Venus Throw by Steven Saylor
With Zeal and Bayonets Only by Matthew Spring
The Philadelphia Campaign: Brandywine and the Fall of Philadelphia by Thomas J. McGuire
Queen Victoria's Book of Spells Edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling
Empire of the Mind: A History of Iran by Michael Axworthy
Little, Big by John Crowley
Eastward to Tartary by Robert B. Kaplan
Borderland: A Journey Through the History of Ukraine by Anna Reid
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