Pass the parcel

More books have arrived!
The postwoman was late today, but she brought three packages.
I'm looking forward to a mix of things. From the titles you will conclude I have too much diverse interest for my own good.
Fist up I opened the smallest one. It contained Final Theory by Mark Alpert. It's a scientific thriller (oh yes!) to do with Einstein's last secret that can save mankind... It's a what if novel. The blurb on the cover reads: 'If science is the new religion, Final Theory is the new Da Vinci Code.' That's a quote from the Times. Now, if I didn't know any better that quote would put me right off picking up that paperback. But I've heard Mark Alpert before on the SciAm podcast and read some of his (non-fiction) stuff, so I'll trust this will be a thrilling read and does not need a reference to a bestseller. You can even read the first chapter for yourself on Mark's website.

The second one (middle size) was a book I'd been meaning to get my hands on about two (or it could even be three) years ago. It was used by Professor Bob in his French Revolution podcast series (or was it famous women?). The Passionate Exiles by Maurice Levaillant (a translation). It's about the friendship between Madame de Stael and Madame Recammier. It is a bit dated (1958) but the book is in pristine condition, although it does have a slight whiff of mustiness about it. The book is based on a series of lectures Levailland gave at the Sorbonne before the Second World War on the ladies and their salons.
As I've completed the chronological art history courses at the university up till the eve of the French Revolution, it'll give me some background for next semester. Lovely. Can't wait to get my teeth into this one either.

And last of all, I opened up the biggest parcel. It's The Lost Masters: The Looting of Europe's Treasurehouses by Peter Harclerode & Brendan Pittaway. It's on the recommended reading list for those who were lucky enough to attend ARCA's Masters Program in International Art Crime Studies. I so desperately want to go to, but I simply just can't afford the tutorial fees. Which sucks. A lot. Belgium is a treasure trove for art thieves. I'd like to be one of the caped crusaders who tackles art crimes. There are currently only four (!) art crime inspectors dealing full time with art thefts. Anyway. I ordered more books on the list too. So I don't feel left out of the post grad course.

So you'll know where to find me over the course of the next few weeks. With my nose wedged up some musty books.

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