Wednesday, August 26, 2015

What I'm Reading, Week 33

Two miniatures from the Sarajevo Haggadah

Just yesterday, I finished reading Geraldine Brooks' People of the Book, a fictional account of the history of the very real Sarajevo Haggadah. The novel, unfortunately, failed to captivate me as intensely as the idea of the haggadah itself. Certainly, I have no complaints on the way it was written, or the characterization, or the plot in general, which definitely had enough thrills for the average fiction reader. But for a history junkie like me, I just kept thinking about the haggadah, and who really created it, and the people who used it for their seders over centuries past. This haggadah in particular is also of special note because it is one of the most elaborately illustrated and illuminated texts to survive from the medieval Jewish community in Spain.

If you're looking for an exciting story with a historical setting, you should definitely check this out, but if you have an interest in medieval European history, I think you'll find yourself wanting to go more in depth than is intended in the scope of this book.

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