I had one final short read that I snuck in for the end of February: All the Horses of Iceland by Sarah Tolmie. A short historical fiction that creates the back story for how horses came to Iceland. Told in the manner of an ancient Norse saga, the book follows the travels of a trader through Central Asia, across the steppes of Mongolia through Khazaria and home to Helmgard. Along the way, he meets a mysterious white mare, who protects him and the small herd of horses he’s trying to get back home. The book is really too short to develop much detail of character or plot (it’s only about 115 pages), but it does do a fine job of outlining the feel of an era before the modern age, while struggles for wealth and power play out across many different cultures in Asia and Europe. I mostly enjoyed the passages where the white mare runs the show. I felt like this one would have been better served with more development of the story beyond what was in essence a short story.
Currently, I have 3 books on the go. I’ve been reading Aiden Thomas’s Lost in the Never Woods and I’m in the last 20% of that. This is a contemporary retelling of Peter Pan, set with missing children and a dark shadow inhabiting the woods of Oregon. I just started listening to VE Schwab’s first published book, The Near Witch, which was re-released in 2018, and is filled with all the gothic, ghostly atmosphere of windswept moors and things in the night. Finally, I’m about 25% through a print read of Devices and Desires, which is a nonfiction history about Bess of Hardwick, a contemporary of Elizabeth I in England, and who was a driving force in architecture and landscaping in the period as she worked her way through husbands (4 in total) and built some amazing homes which stand to this day.
Lots of good books on my TBR for March, and I’m hoping the longer month will mean a few more titles off the TBR list as I’m working through that right now!
4 thoughts on “Reading Wednesday: March 1, 2023”
What interesting books you read! I’m slowly working my way through Demon Copperhead while I knit these days.
I have very eclectic tastes and a really long TBR to be sure! I have heard VERY good things about your book – and I love Kingsolver’s writings so I suspect that one will be a must-read for me too.
All the Horses of Iceland is one I’ve been considering reading (eventually). It sounds neat! And Lost in the Never Woods I’ll get to… maybe soon… I’ve been meaning to read it since it came out, anyway. But I guess I’m kinda nervous about the Peter Pan retelling, since I love that original story.
I enjoyed Horses but really wanted it to be more of a full course meal than the appetizer it was. More thoughts on Never Woods forthcoming – I just finished it this morning. A mixed bag for me.