What I'm Reading: January 5-November 23, 2021

Once again, it's time for me to write as quickly as possible about as many of the books I've read (or attempted to read) lately as possible. The rushed nature of these updates is not ideal, but hopefully there'll be less rush over the next couple of weeks between now and the end of December. I'm also fairly certain that there'll be a lot more active on the blog between now and then as well, so stay tuned. I'm behind this year when it comes to basically everything, and urgently need to get caught up.

Here are three books that I read between January 5 and November 23, 2021, in the order that I completed them:

Romancing Mister Bridgerton by Julia Quinn

370 pages

Again I have to beg for indulgence that I'm just reading my way through this series at a faster pace than several others that I arguably prefer (albeit a few of those are... more difficult reads and these are quick and easy and generally cheerful, but oh well). This is the fourth book in the series, featuring brother Colin Bridgerton, and Penelope Featherington. The two of them have both gotten kind of old without finding a partner and Penelope has literally been in love with Colin since she was a teenager. He's a jerk though! I didn't like him, specifically because of one incident that happens at their engagement ball during which he deliberately causes her physical harm. Penelope is a good character, I just wish she'd ended up with someone better!

I'm totally going to keep reading these, though.

Irredeemable Vol. 1 by Mark Waid and Peter Krause

104 pages

I can't remember where I initially heard about this comic, which is basically about: what if Superman turned evil? The character in this case isn't Superman, it's a rip-off called The Plutonian. He's got very similar powers to Superman, though. He can fly, he has lazer eyes, X-ray vision, super strength, etc. etc. So what if someone that powerful turned on the world? Well, many millions of people would die. The comic opens with him killing an entire family, one of whom is another superhero who's on his team! At this point I've read the second volume of trade paperbacks so I know a bit more, and I'll get to that when I post about Vol. 2. I also have Vol. 3 out from the library already, and might even get to that one before the end of this year as well.

Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded by Samuel Richardson

444 pages

I started this book on January 5, intending to read it over my lunch breaks at work. I finished it on November 23, having long since abandoned the reading at lunch project for a ton of reasons.

Initially I really enjoyed this book. Pamela is full of spirit and sass ("saucy" as Mr. B would call her) and I also suspected that there was no way she could possibly be a reliable narrator. In the book, she's writing to her parents about the efforts of her master, Mr. B, to seduce her. She's his mother's former companion, but the older woman has passed away at the beginning of the novel, putting Pamela in harm's way.

However much I enjoyed the beginning, the book could be about half as long and would be two times as good. It's extremely repetitive and the back half, when Pamela's virtue is rewarded, is almost unbearable.

Still, I don't think it was a complete waste of time to read this by any means. It's a great peek into life in the 18th century, along with being an early example of an epistolary novel, which I have to admit I'm a sucker for. Don't read it, it's boring, but as usual I like a jaunt through the past now and then. And still think maybe one day I'll read Clarissa, of all things!

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