Reading these two books is like peering into a magnifying lens. One is able to focus in and reflect on small details, but is also made aware that these details are inextricably linked to, and informed by, other elements in the field of view. In Material relations: the marriage figurines of Prehispanic Honduras and Maya figurines: intersections between state and household, the authors carry out focused analyses of ceramic figurines from pre-Hispanic Mesoamerica. Through the theoretical lenses of materiality, practice and mimesis, they show how figurines, as individual objects or assemblages, created social life through their portability, transferability and biographies. Furthermore, because of their association with households, they show how figurines can speak to the lives of women, children and commoners, the dynamics of households, and the relationship between non-states or culturally peripheral areas and the state. These two books stand as nuanced exemplars of microscale approaches in archaeology and a concern with intimate practices to reveal larger social phenomena.