Top 2 books I purchased for myself this weekend:
1) Renaissance Secrets: Recipes and Formulas (description & review)
Bought at the bookshop of the V&A. So far I've learned the secrets of Venetian crystal, Medici porcelain, Raphael's favorite glue, and more. If I ever get sent back in time to the 1500s, I will be a very wealthy man.
Leechcraft: Early English Charms, Plant-Lore and Healing, by Stephen Pollington. Purchased at the bookshop of the British Museum.
Although this does deal with early (pre-Norman Conquest) medicinal traditions in England, the title doesn't refer to leeches in the familiar, annelid, sense. Apparently the term in Old English refers to medicinal practitioners themselves. Thus, it is a book about herbs and remedies (including 3 early translated texts on the subjects). Mostly I just love reference books.
Top two books I purchased for my daughter:
50 Dresses that Changed the World - at the V&A, she was absolutely fascinated with the fashion exhibits, so I picked this up for her at the bookshop. Since then she's read about Princess Diana's wedding dress, Queen Elizabeth IIs coronation dress, and more. She loves it.
Then, when she wanted to be with me in the British Museum bookshop, this caught her eye and she begged me to buy it for her.
Iznik Pottery, by John Carswell.
What's a caring father to do when his six-year-old daughter suddenly takes an avid interest in ancient Turkish pottery? She spent a good part of the train ride home either reading captions or asking me to read bits of it to her. I have a feeling I'm going to know a lot about Iznik pottery before long.
6 days ago