I am absolutely in love with this novel's narrative voice and will probably reread it all over again some day just to enjoy that some more. Some people online called the narrator "one of those precious 'wise children'" and they were WRONG WRONG WRONG (or else me thinking that the narrator sounds like I sounded inside my own head at the age of eleven has warped my perspective). The plot is nothing to write home about but the language and the characters are delightful. <3 <3 <3 for this book.
Twixt Art and Nature: English Embroidery in the Metropolitan Museum 1580-1700, exhibition catalog for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, by Melinda Watt et al.
I'm linking to an exhibition review for this book, with pictures, because I didn't really *read* it - I skimmed most of the text - I treated it the way I'd treat an actual museum exhibition (only with less walking and more page-flipping). And so having you go look at some pictures from the book seemed sensible. Anyway, the objects represented are absolutely stunning and the photos are crisply taken and superlatively reprinted. If you're at all interested in handwork, I suggest you track down a copy of this book so you can oooh and ahhhhh and flip back and forth and squint to make out the fine details of the stitches. This sort of book always points out to me that no, really, people back then were every bit as complicated as modern people, just in different ways. Because anyone whose brain was capable of this squirrelly, inventive, multi-layered work would've been equally capable of any modern task (assuming they didn't die of culture shock first).