Wilde in Love by Eloisa James

If you can see the cover, this is a paperback romance novel. I really wanted something light and fluffy after Sapiens. My current reading goal is to alternate between nonfiction and fiction when I can.

I chose Eloisa James for a couple of reasons. I have been trying for years to find something akin to Georgette Heyer’s romance novels. No one can really replace Heyer. This was my second or third go at trying to find someone who can capture her way with late 18th century romances. I think I should give up trying to find something similar. I had read James’s memoirs of living in Paris and I remember liking it.

This novel was ok. I gave it three stars on GR, but I think it’s firmly 2.5 stars. While I was not particularly annoyed or bothered by the characters, I did not really feel invested in them. The male lead Alaric was not interesting. He is an adventurer but the reader never actually sees him being adventurous. While I liked the female lead Willa a bit, she also felt oddly underdeveloped. The book was a bit slow and very predictable. All of it takes place over a couple weeks at a house party in the country. I wish there had been a change of scenery once.

I know a lot of people read these novels for the titillating romantic scenes, and while these weren’t bad, they aren’t really the reason I read novels. I look for and like banter between the characters. I actually wanted to hear more about the friendships or the sibling relationships between the characters.

This is the first in a series and there is a cliff hanger ending to tease about the fate of the secondary characters. I am actually a bit tempted to read the next book in super skimming mode to see what happens. I also want to give James another go because this is not her most famous series.

Read June 19-20, 2020.

Sapiens: A brief history of humankind by Yuval Noah Harari

This is one of the most dense books I’ve read in awhile. It’s not actually that long compared to some other nonfiction history books, but it has a lot of history, ideas, and thoughts. Probably too many ideas.

I really liked the start of the book. After reading the Jean M Auel series, I have been more interested in human kind’s life pre-Agricultural Revolution. This book presents what life could have been like for early hunter gatherers including an exploration of the Cognitive Revolution. Early homo sapiens were not that different from us and genetically the same. They were intelligent and had their own complex system of beliefs, rituals, and relationships. They were clever hunters. The extinction of megafauna coinciding with homo sapiens migration is a sobering reminder of human consumption and survival.

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FO Fridays: Gladys

Socks are a good projects. Very straightforward and useful results. I have enough sock yarn stash for more than half a dozen pairs of socks. Even though I’ve stopped making my Barn Raising Quilt, I need to keep using sock yarns. I wear them a lot when running in the cold months. I actually need to darn some handknit socks at some point.

The pattern is interesting with the Guernsey pattern. I did not memorize it until the foot though. It’s a well written pattern except for a couple of minor bits. I would recommend it.

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