What I'm Reading: July 18-August 7, 2021

I'm once again not attempting to get caught up on all the books I've been reading recently, but I'm going to do my best to get through as many as I can. Time for blogging is very limited these days, I must say, now that swimming time has gone back up again.

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 Novik

405 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 Tamaki

317 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 Taylor

189 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.

Five Years Ago This Month: September 2016

Five years ago this month...

...I reviewed The Age of Innocence. I've left The List behind with the impression of Edith Wharton as One Of The Greats but this novel wasn't my favourite. It's good but lacking a certain je ne sais quoi that's present in The House of Mirth. I'll certainly be reading more of her work.

...I looked back at September 2011. It was a big month, both in my memory and in terms of the blog, in that I abandoned the project of reviewing romance novels. I still reviewed some though, such as...

...I reviewed The Boss. Still a recommendation that I pass along to people as an alternative to 50SoG. The author has finished the series, if you're interested.

...I profiled Board Member Shelby Foote. Seemed like a cool dude. Will I ever finish these profiles now? I guess we'll see.

...I was distracted. There was a fair bit going on, it seems.



Current Distractions, Belated August 2021 Edition

Well, summer in my part of the world is officially over now that it's after Labour Day, although it's likely we'll have a little bit more nice weather over the coming weeks. I had a good summer, although the past month wasn't really full of much reading. I did everything from attending a funeral and a wedding, travelling out of my home province for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic, and just general socializing. Sadly, my home province looks like it's about to implode with new coronavirus cases. Please keep Saskatchewan in your thoughts and/or prayers.

Reading
As per usual, check out the What I'm Reading tag instead of this.

Watching
The Green Knight
Sleeping Beauty
Lethal Weapon
Iron Man
The Incredible Hulk

Swimming
Hoping to be back in the pool three times per week throughout the fall, but we'll see what the virus has to say about that.