This Week, I Read… (#1)

I’ve decided to post weekly about my progress on the reading challenges, because monthly would make for loooooong posts, and posting individual books as I finished them might start to feel like spam.

I’m also going to take pics of as many of these books as possible, though anything I read as an e-book, I’ll just use a cover image.  Because I’ve tried to get pics of my Kindle, and they always look terrible!

So, here goes.

1 - Solitude of Self

#1 – Solitude of Self, by Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Staying with my husband’s family over New Year’s, I was invited, as always, to read whatever I liked from their collection. I found this tiny print edition of Stanton’s last speech on the bookshelf in our guest bedroom, and having just come off of #readwomen in December, it seemed like a great way to start the new year on a feminist bent.

2 - The Nine Tailors

#2 – The Nine Tailors, by Dorothy L. Sayers

My feelings about this book are complicated.  On the one hand, Lord Peter Wimsy is a treasure and a delight.  I love his mannerisms and his Britishisms.  I love the atmosphere, the lovingly detailed descriptions of the church and its environs.

I hate the mystery.  This story in particular manages to encompass both of the things I dislike about mysteries, figuring it out too soon (the “twist” of the final revelation I had figured out as soon as the victim was found), and not being able to follow the agonizingly complex whodunit–because damn me if I could keep up with the endless stream of concealed identities and shady alibis.  I’m still not entirely sure I understand what happened!

I’ve been told that many of the other books in the Lord Wimsy series are better, but this one didn’t convert me to a fan of the genre.

Dragonfly_in_amber-1

#3 – Dragonfly in Amber, by Diana Gabaldon

Oh, the Outlander series.  I read the first one years and years and years ago, and I loved it, though I felt like it was pretty wordy.  I reread it just before New Year’s so I’d be ready to dive into the rest of the series–I got the e-book bundle of the first seven books, released when the final installment came out.

This one’s no different.  I still love Jamie and Claire (and I’m willing to get to know Roger, so we can see how he and Brianna turn out, or don’t, as the case may be).  I love the parts where we get to see Claire coping with a life without modern technology, and how she adjusts to Jamie’s family, and all the other personal stuff.

I’m less fond of the war and political intrigue.  Not that it’s bad, or even unnecessary, because it’s not.  I just feel like it takes forever to slog through!  Sprawling historical fiction is a thing, I know that, but this could have been tightened up a lot.  (I have the feeling that doesn’t get any better as the series goes on, though I still intend to read them.  Maybe not just yet, though.)

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#4 – Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

My first 5-star book!  I laughed, I cried, it was a grand time and I see now why pretty much every booklr I follow adores this one.  I don’t think I’ve ever read a story about teenage angst, isolation, and love that was so beautifully written.  If you haven’t read it yet, even if you don’t read YA, read it.  It’s lovely. I insist.

So, four books in one week, plus I’ve started two more.  I’m a book monogamist, I don’t usually read two books at the same time, but one is, let’s say, rather challenging, so I’m reading something a little fluffier alongside it.  More on that next week!

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