I’ve had a good mix recently of non-fiction and fiction reads – though I’ve had better luck on the whole on the nonfiction side!
I’ve been rereading L. M. Montgomery’s journals for the…third? fourth? fifth? time. I’m on Volume IV of her Complete Journals (as opposed to the previously published Selected Journals). Volume III covered most of WWI, and Volume IV covers the next several years, including the 1919 flu epidemic. It was interesting to see what she said about the flu – more than I remembered, but still not very much. No mention of things like masks or lockdowns!
I also read Free-Range Kids by Lenore Skenazy, which I liked a lot. It basically advocates for giving kids more freedom and worrying less, with some good arguments on why parental fears are often overblown. She did become a bit of a fear-mongerer about fear-mongering, though, in a strange way…
The Home Edit by Clea Shearer and Joanna Taplin was a super fast read with advice on home organization. I watched one episode of their Netflix show and liked their concepts but found the organizers and the people they were helping utterly exhausting – lots of full-blown screaming over the amazingness of an organized pantry. Which seems…a bit much? So I thought I’d read the book instead, to explore the concepts with less intense energy!
Next was Jesus and John Wayne by Kristin Kobes du Mez, which was not at all light but very fascinating. It offered a lot of insight on cultural and social trends of the last seventy years, including how Trump got elected.
On the fiction side, I read Skyward by Brandon Sanderson, because I keep hearing good things about Sanderson. This one didn’t quite work for me though. A distant future sci-fi novel, I never fully believed the world-building, which made it hard to fully invest in the story. There was a final twist that sort of explains things, but it was a little too late.
I went on to a real world YA novel, Thirteen Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson. The premise seemed appealing – Ginny has thirteen envelopes from her recently deceased, wild child aunt, which send her on a journey to London and beyond. She has to complete a task in each letter before opening the next envelope. It sounded good – but Ginny was very disappointing as a character. She had no agency, mostly just being pushed through the story by either the letters or the people she meets, and she doesn’t even react very much to some very strange circumstances. Too bad, because this sounded good!
But I did wind up with a good fiction read, Paladin’s Hope by T. Kingfisher, final one in the trilogy. I enjoyed this one a lot, as I’ve enjoyed the entire series. The last line sent me hunting around the internet to see if there’s any hint of a Book 4 – so far, no sign of it, but I really hope there might be! A few things seemed to set it up so well.
So there’s my odd mix of books this month! What have you been reading lately?