Monday, 17 August 2020

Recommended Reading | Books Featuring Museums


My recommended reading posts have always been a way for me to highlight the books I've read within a year and want to recommend to all to pick up too... I'm keen to expand this series of mine now, featuring throughout the year (not just at the end), to include recommendations based on specific topics.

Today I'm taking a look at three books that feature museums... I have a whole list of topics I'm keen to cover in this series, with this museum topic being one I stumbled upon having read, and loved, a few books during the first half of this year that had museums central to the plot. So whilst this topic wasn't on my original list for this series, it is a post I am happy to have curated with titles I hope others will enjoy too.

All the books featured in my recommended reading posts I have read myself and would, of course, recommend.

In this book we see the unfolding relationship between Tina Hopgood & Anders Larsen, with the two 'meeting' via letter. Tina writes to a professor at the Silkeborg Museum in Denmark, however unbeknown to her this professor is now deceased, and so she receives a reply to her letter from Anders, a curator at the museum. The two initially discuss Tina's letter and the Tollund Man, who plays a prominent role in the story, but soon find themselves opening up to one another more and welcoming each other in to their lives.

This book is told in an epistolary format, with the letter correspondence between Tina & Anders feeling simple, intimate, reassuring and hopeful; they are experiencing similar seasons of life, and it is just precious watching how they help each other and the growth of them both as characters.

Taking place during WW2, Hetty Cartwright is in charge of the evacuation, and subsequent safekeeping, of a number of animal exhibits from the Natural History Museum... These animals are to find refuge at Lockwood Manor, a country house that has opened its doors to the museum. After arriving at Lockwood Manor, it isn't all plain sailing for Hetty as she encounters run-ins with Lord Lockwood and soon finds her stuffed animals going missing.

There is mystery to this historical fiction novel and also a female/female love story.

Whilst the previous two books featured real museums, the one found in Where We Belong is fictional - Hatter's Museum. 

After much hardship and loss, Cate and her son, Leo, are set to stay at Hatter's Museum temporarily; a place that has been in the family for years, but one that the pair of them know very little about... Hatter's is owned by Richard's family - Richard being Cate's husband & Leo's father, a man who is no longer in their life. They arrive to a frosty reception from Araminta (who currently runs & takes care of the museum) with little knowledge of not only the building, but this familial past of Richard's also.

As history and long held secrets reveal themselves, we see a transformation in all the characters - including the museum, as Hatter's feels very much like a character in its own right.
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This is a short list for books featuring museums, but one that includes three gems. 

All of the books mentioned make for wonderful reads, with well developed characters, atmospheric settings, and plots that keep you engaged, but it is probably worth noting that I did also find them all to be books best read at a slow pace, savouring the stories and appreciating the finer details.

If you have any recommendations to add to this list, be sure to leave them in the comments below!
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2 comments

  1. I love books that are set around museums somehow. I'll definitely have to look for these 3!

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    1. The setting of a museum definitely has a draw - all the history!

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