If you ignore the cookie press, the serving platters, and the white tablecloth, what you see on my Wish List are books--books that I'd like to research my various writing projects. Some of them are for my current WIP, Flower of the Desert: Book II of the Chronicles of Tancred.
The book that's been on there the longest is Jerusalem Delivered, a sixteenth century Italian epic that tells a very romanticized version of the First Crusade. Tancred plays a good-sized role in the epic, along with Clorinda and Erminia, two Muslim princesses who form a love triangle with our doughty hero. I've been able to access a free Kindle version of this book, but the translation of that one leaves something to be desired, and it's not as easy to flip through as an actual paper copy.
Another book needed for researching Flower of the Desert is The History of the Seljuq Turks. This is a translation of a twelfth century Turkish historian that chronicles the reigns of all the Seljuk sultans. I currently have this book out on interlibrary loan, but it's due back in a week and I'm far from finished with it. It would be a hassle to go down the library to renew it, but it may be easier than scraping together $190 to purchase the book.
The next book on the list is more for curiosity's sake than for research. The First Crusade: The Call from the East is a new book by historian Peter Frankopan. From what I've heard, Frankopan argues that Emperor Alexios had a far greater role in the First Crusade than is traditionally acknowledged. Although it's too late to change anything in Road from the West, I'm interested to see how Frankopan portrays Alexios and his appeal to the West for help.
It's hard to stay focused on one period of history when there are so many interesting eras to be studied. One person who has always piqued my interest is James Stewart, the Earl of Moray, half-brother of Mary, Queen of Scots. James turned Protestant under the tutelage of John Knox, but because of his illegitimate birth was unable to claim the crown of Scotland. There's not much information on the man, but this book, James Stewart, Earl of Moray: A Political Study of the Reformation in Scotland, looks like a good--albeit expensive--source for more study.
The book that first introduced me to the Earl of Moray was James I: The Fool as King, by Otto Scott. The Earl of Moray, who became the regent of Scotland after Mary's imprisonment, plays an important part in the early life of James I. The copy I read as a teenager is still sitting on my mother's bookshelf. I'd like to have my own--especially if I write a novel about the Earl of Moray, as I plan to in the far off future.
What books do you have on your Amazon Wish List? Are you waiting for someone to buy them for you for a birthday or for Christmas, or is your Wish List more of a shopping list of books you'll eventually buy for yourself?