Here are four books that I read between June 26 and July 23, 2021, in the order that I completed them:
The Outlander by Gil Adamson389 pages
Well this was a book that I really almost loved, but instead just liked, for a couple of reasons, starting with the fact that I can't comprehend why Adamson would choose to title the book almost the same thing as a rather more famous historical novel.
This one starts off strong: Mary Boulton is 19, a "widow by her own hand," on the run from her late husband's brothers. The book is hyper conscious of the natural world of southern Alberta that she flees through, and it's pretty often beautiful, though occasionally a bit too self-conscious (something I always take off points for).
I was entirely on board until (spoiler coming up) Mary ends up surviving the Frank slide. This isn't a problem by itself (there were quite a few survivors of that event, contrary to popular belief). Instead, my problem was up to that point, the book very significantly misrepresents the level of development in Frank prior to the slide. Mary is depicted basically living in a mining camp, the only woman for miles, when in fact the town of Frank at the time of the slide included not just women, but children too, attending a two-storey schoolhouse.
This is usually way too pedantic for me, but for some reason I just couldn't forgive the liberties that this book took with history. Alas!
Downsizing the Family Home by Marni Jameson227 pages
Over the coming posts, there may be quite a few books like this, but this is the first one, so I'll get into things a bit more: I've been thinking a lot about downsizing. I love my home for the most part, but over the course of a lot of stress thanks to the pandemic and a bunch of other stuff, it's been feeling way too big and like way too much work, and I'm hoping to simplify things a lot in the not too distant future.
I'm a huge pack rat, so I need a lot of inspiration to make this happen.
The book in question is more about clearing out your parents' home after they've either moved into smaller place or passed away, which I hope my parents will do preemptively for me but who knows. It was a fine read but nothing earth shattering. I think I'm generally pretty good at not bringing too much stuff into my home, it's moreso the things that I have been hanging onto for way longer than I should've at this point. Last summer and early fall I managed to do a bit of a purge of some old stuff and I'm hoping that this fall I can do something similar.
An Offer From a Gentleman by Julia Quinn358 pages
There are quite a few moments in this book where Benedict Bridgerton (yes I know) laments that he basically is only ever thought of as second fiddle to his older brother Anthony. Unfortunately for Benedict, he appears to be the sole Bridgerton, so far, that Julia Quinn forgot to give a personality. He's just a dude. He can sketch things.
This is basically Cinderella in Regency romance trappings. Sophie Beckett is the bastard daughter of a lord or earl or something, and her stepmother is evil, so she works as a servant in her stepmother's house, except for one charmed night when she goes to a masquerade ball at the Bridgerton house. Benedict sees her and sort of falls in love instantly. When they eventually meet again years later, she recognizes him but he doesn't recognize her.
Honestly out of three this is my least favourite of the Bridgerton books so far and I decided to brake gently moving into the fourth book, which is about third eldest brother, Colin. I already know who he's going to fall in love with (and I think she has a secret) but I'm kinda looking forward to it anyway.
The Shadow Hero by Gene Luen Yang, illustrated by Sonny Liew169 pages
As usual, Gene Luen Yang knocks it out of the park (and I've never seen Sonny Liew's work before but he does great illustrations).
This is a comic about the Green Turtle, a superhero created for a minor press way back when, who never got more than a few issues. Yang and Liew give the Green Turtle a backstory as a Chinese-American, and explain how he comes to get his powers and mission. It's funny and I really appreciated the commentary from Yang provided at the end, along with the first issue of The Green Turtle (including its very cringy depiction of Japanese people).
Just seriously you can't go wrong with anything of Gene Luen Yang's and I'll keep saying that until proven wrong.