Shelf Control is a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves created and hosted by Lisa @ Bookshelf Fantasies. Pick a book you own but haven’t read, write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up! For more info on what Shelf Control is all about, check out Lisa’s introductory post, here.
The Birth of Venus
by Sarah Dunant
Alessandra Cecchi is not quite fifteen when her father, a prosperous cloth merchant, brings a young painter back from northern Europe to decorate the chapel walls in the family’s Florentine palazzo. A child of the Renaissance, with a precocious mind and a talent for drawing, Alessandra is intoxicated by the painter’s abilities.
But their burgeoning relationship is interrupted when Alessandra’s parents arrange her marriage to a wealthy, much older man. Meanwhile, Florence is changing, increasingly subject to the growing suppression imposed by the fundamentalist monk Savonarola, who is seizing religious and political control. Alessandra and her native city are caught between the Medici state, with its love of luxury, learning, and dazzling art, and the hellfire preaching and increasing violence of Savonarola’s reactionary followers. Played out against this turbulent backdrop, Alessandra’s married life is a misery, except for the surprising freedom it allows her to pursue her powerful attraction to the young painter and his art.
Sarah Dunant is an author I’ve been meaning to read for several years; she specialises in historical fiction set in Italy, and historical fiction and Italy are two of my favourite things. I actually bought my copy of The Birth of Venus in the Uffizi Gallery’s gift shop, after seeing the painting that inspired it in the flesh, during my trip to Florence a few years ago. Whenever I see this book on my shelves I remember that holiday and that gorgeous city, so it’s about time I read it!
What was the last book you bought on holiday? Are there any books you associate with a specific place?
This Friday marks the beginning of Tome Infinity and Beyond Round 3, which I’m really looking forward to, but I’m also trying to get through as many NetGalley reads as I can this month, too. Sadly I’ve been in a bit of a slump recently, so I’m hoping the readathon will get me through several brilliant sci-fi reads!
I just finished The Beautiful today, and I’m sorry to say I didn’t like it at all. I think Ahdieh’s writing style just isn’t for me and the plot and characters didn’t work for me – look out for my review this Friday!
I’m hoping to start Sea Witch tonight. Like The Beautiful it’s another book that I got through NetGalley and I still haven’t read it even though I love stories about witches. Next weekend I’ll be in Denmark and this book just happens to be set there, so I’d love to have it under my belt before I go!
I’m really excited about my TBR for Tome Infinity and Beyond Round 3, but the book I’m most excited for is Devils Unto Dust. I mentioned earlier this year that I quite like westerns and I’m expecting to really love this one considering I also loved Dread Nation.