Here are three books that I read between July 18 and August 7, 2021, in the order that I completed them:
Empire of Ivory by Naomi Novik405 pages
This series about dragons and the Napoleonic Wars is so dumb and smart and charming and readable. In this volume (and I swear I didn't plan it out this way), the English dragons are dealing with a deadly disease, and Temeraire and Lawrence have to travel to Africa to try to find a cure. This is kind of a halt to the action although it all comes crashing back at the end of the novel. Looking forward to the next one, which I hope to get to next year sometime.
This One Summer by Jillian and Mariko Tamaki317 pages
This is a graphic novel about a young girl who goes to the beach with her family during the summer every year, and this happens to be the summer that she's at that awkward border between childhood and young girlhood. She's an only child and kind of a jerk to her parents sometimes, and they're kind of jerks to each other sometimes, and she's got a sweet somewhat younger friend named Windy who is being raised by hippies and it's just pretty sweet and also occasionally harrowing. As usual with graphic novels I just felt like it went by too fast for me to really connect with the material like I should've. Definitely worth checking out if you're a bigger/better fan of the format.
All-of-a-kind Family by Sydney Taylor189 pages
This book was part of my ongoing quest to find some of the more memorable books that I read in childhood. I wasn't sure initially if this was one of them, but there are many scenes that actually came back to me as I read the book, so I'm certain I've encountered this one before. The all-of-a-kind family in question is a poor Jewish family of five girls that live in New York around the turn of the century. The book describes several episodes of their lives from library visits to religious observance. I'm curious how I came across a book about Jewish children as a young Catholic, but here we are. Another very worthy old children's book that would may warrant some additional adult context and information for a young reader of today. God do I ever love old children's books.