Mini Reviews for Books I’ve been Reading Recently #4

Hey guys,

How has your weekend been? Mine has been very unproductive. I keep trying to write this essay but it just isn’t happening so I am writing a blog post to escape haha.

This kind of post is becoming a pretty common occurrence. While this started because I was reading a lot of short books that I couldn’t stretch into a full review, now that I have started back at Uni I am not reading as much so it’s a great way of talking about my course books that I’ve had to read that don’t deserve a full post. This is shorter than the other times I have done this because my uni work has been holding me back on my reading. Same as last time, I was very kindly sent a few of these via Netgalley but obviously all my thoughts are all my own and receiving it didn’t differ my opinions in anyway. Also, as I did get them on Netgalley, most of them are not actually out yet – but I will link to their Goodreads pages so you can find out when they do come out or if they already are. The ones I received via Netgalley will have (N) beside their title.

Love’s Sacrifice by John Ford
A. T. Moore’s thorough commentary on Love’s Sacrifice is designed to be of use to all kinds of readers, from students of Early Modern drama to specialists in the field. The notes provide full explanations of obscure words and phrases, and offer analysis of many aspects of staging and interpretation. The text for this edition is based on a fresh study of the quarto of 1633, the only authoritative early text. In his introduction to the play, Moore reappraises the evidence for the play’s date of composition. He also looks at the circumstances of the play’s genesis, presenting detailed discussions of both the theatre where Love’s Sacrifice was first performed and the acting company for which it was written. Arguing that Ford’s adaptation of his source materials is the key to interpreting this remarkably allusive play, Moore provides a wealth of new information about Ford’s sources. The introduction also includes a survey of critical responses, an overview of the play, stage history, and a bibliography of relevant secondary material. This new volume in the Revels Plays series is the most detailed and comprehensive edition of Love’s Sacrifice ever published–and the first modern-spelling edition of Ford’s tragedy in more than a century. The play’s textual history is discussed in an appendix. A second appendix examines possible links between Love’s Sacrifice and the real-life story of the murdered Italian prince and musician Carlo Gesualdo.
Review: Once I got into understanding the language I really enjoyed this. I love love triangles and this had all of that going on. It’s very dramatic and I think that really encapsulated a lot of the theatre of the day.
Star Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Score Rating: 7/10

A Chaste Maid in Cheapside by Thomas Middleton
Blurb: Written for the adult players at the open-air Swan theatre in 1613,this master-piece of Jacobean city comedy signals its ironic natureeven in the title: chaste maids, like most other goods and people in London’s busiest commercial area, are likely to be fake. Money is moreimportant than either happiness or honour; and the most coveted commodities to be bought with it are sex and social prestige. Middleton interweaves the fortunes of four families, who either seek to marry their children off as profitably as possible, to stop having any more for fear of poverty, or to acquire some in order to keep their property in the family. Most prosperous is the husband who pimps his wife to a rich knight and lets him support the household with his alimony. Like many early modern critics of London’s enormous growth, this play warned: the city is a monster that lives off the money the country produces. 
Review: This is a play that I had to read for my English literature course. I found it confusing; partly due to my struggles with the language of the time and also in part to the many different storylines and sub plots. There is a lot of characters all with very different agendas and it definitely took some time to understand what was happening. The themes were interesting and once I began to understand the language more I gained an application for the irony to them.
Star Rating: ⭐⭐⭐
Score: 6/10

Austerlitz by W.G Sebald
Blurb: Austerlitz, the internationally acclaimed masterpiece by “one of the most gripping writers imaginable” (The New York Review of Books), is the story of a man’s search for the answer to his life’s central riddle. A small child when he comes to England on a Kindertransport in the summer of 1939, one Jacques Austerlitz is told nothing of his real family by the Welsh Methodist minister and his wife who raise him. When he is a much older man, the fleeting memories return to him, and obeying an instinct he only dimly understands, he follows their trail back to the world he left behind a half century before. There, faced with the void at the heart of twentieth-century Europe, he struggles to rescue his heritage from oblivion.
Review: I read this for my english literature course. It was a middle of the road read. Not outstanding but not horrible either. I found the writing style oddly likable despite the sometimes confusing dialogue and no chapters. The pictures were slightly distracting though.
Star Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

Love Model by Adam Boustead (N)
There currently isn’t a blurb published for this yet on goodreads.
Review: This was the most bizarre book I have ever read. There were so many different POV’s you couldn’t keep up with who was who and you didn’t care for any of the characters because you only met them for 10 lines and then they were gone. There was no plot, at least no plot that you could actually follow because of the hodge-podge of writing styles and characters individual arcs. It was like someone had taken out massive chunks of the story so that it no longer made any sense. Was there supernatural elements or not? If so how did it happen? When did Noah and Alice meet? Why were so many people killed? What did S&M have to do with anything and why did it get a trigger warning at the start when it had nothing to do with the story? More so, why did the incestuous rape not get a trigger warning? Its just unbelievable! It just left me feeling very very confused. Its only redeemable quality was that it was very short so I can’t be mad at it for being so unbelievably confounding.
Star Rating: ⭐

The Masque of Blackness by Ben Jonson
Blurb: The Masque of Blackness was an early Jacobean era masque. The masque was written by Ben Jonson at the request of Anne of Denmark, the queen consort of King James I, who wished the masquers to be disguised as Africans. Anne was one of the performers in the masque along with her court ladies, and appeared in blackface makeup. The plot of the masque follows the ladies arriving at the English Court to be “cleansed” of their blackness by King James. The Masque of Beauty was written as a sequel to The Masque of Blackness.
Review: I read this for my English Lit Course. It wasn’t amazing, but I really found the backstory and criticism of this rather interesting so that brought my enjoyment of the original text up. It was only 10 pages long in terms of written dialogue so it allowed me to really analyse and digest the language in comparison to the longer texts on my course which I always end up having more confusion over.
Star Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

So these are the books I have read recently. I do have a full length book review coming soon if you have been missing them so don’t worry! I hope you enjoyed this and I will see you tomorrow! Have a great day ❤

Are you more of a long book or a short book person?
Did you still like this kind of post with lots of mini reviews?
Any Novella recommendations since Netgalley’s has dried up?

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