September 2023 Books – Part 2

The Door in the Wall by Marguerite De Angeli

I remember seeing this book when I was younger. Some time ago, I put a few Newberry award winners on my holds and this one seemed to stick more than the others. This is a medieval story about a young boy from a noble family. It’s a gentle adventure story. Robin the protagonist has limited use of his legs probably as a result of polio. I didn’t know the plot until I started it. It was fitting as I have mobility issues due to leg and back pain. I liked it.

3.75/5 stars. September 11, 2023.

Edelweiss by Cédric Mayen, illustrated by Lucy Mazel

I don’t remember where I got the recommendation for this one. It’s a French graphic novel. I vaguely thought it would be YA but it’s actually for adults. It took me a little bit to get into as I started looking up the words. It’s been years since I read a French book. I was using Duolingo to keep up French up until a month ago, but I’d prefer to watch French movies or TV or read to keep it up. The visuals helped as I began to understand most of the dialogue after awhile. I did learn or relearn some expressions and vocabulary. I read it out loud to myself a few times because I’ve found French easier to understand orally. The story is a slow at first but covers the relationship between an independent upper middle class woman named Olympe and working class Edmond. Olympe wants to climb Mont Blanc like her ancestor. Over the years, a lot tragedy happens in their lives. It was a bit too much because a lot of the sad events happened very quickly in the second half of the book. I did cry at the end because it is a sad book. It was movingly done and well drawn. I liked Olympe.

3.75/5 stars. September 12, 2023.

Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas

I decided to try this series because the court series books were taking too long from my library. This was the author’s debut novel and first series. The writing is rougher here than ACOTAR. It took me 3 workdays to read this and it felt slow because I was bored most of the time. The main character Calena is too perfect: a beautiful famous assassin, likes books, likes dresses, like dogs, plays the piano, a good flirt, speaks at least two languages, and of course, has two male love interests. As a character reader, I am trying to be lenient since these are more plot and setting stories. All of the characters were thinly drawn. The plot was slow. I do think a lot of the characters are likeable even though they are not that well developed. I also appreciated the small female friendship in this novel. I am not rushing to read the second novel in this series, but I may return after awhile since I’ve heard this series also gets better.

3/5 stars. September 12-15, 2023.

Sandman: Overture by Neil Gaiman

It has been many years since I read the Sandman series. It was one of the few 5 star graphic novels of my youth. I am wondering now if I would rate it as highly. I do think the ideas, art, and writing are great but having come from reading Monstress, I find the latter superior and personally more relevant. Morpheus as a character is compelling but I aso find there is a lack of emotionality because they are the Endless. It’s been awhile so I forgot a lot of the characters as well. It was fine with great visuals as usual.

3.5/5 stars. September 15-16, 2023.

Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs?: Big Questions from Tiny Mortals about Death by Caitlin Doughty

Narrated by the author. This was not as good as her previous book. It’s more for middle grade readers but it still has lots of info about death practices.

3.5/5 stars. Mostly 1.5x. September 8-16, 2023.

DNF: The Swedish Art of Aging Exuberantly: Life Wisdom from Someone Who Will (Probably) Die Before You by Margareta Magnusson

Narrated by Natascha McElhone. Juliet Stevenson narrated the first one and I was disappointed she didn’t narrate this one. McElhone has a nice voice and natural accent but she puts on a Scandinavian accent. It was distracting and unnecessary. I enjoyed Magnusson’s first book for its tips and considerations about death cleaning, but this book did not really have anything useful. She has lived a great and privileged life and talks more about it in this book. It’ wasn’t relevant to me and I found myself too bored. I thought I could bear it for the 4 hours but when I got halfway, I realized I couldn’t tolerate it anymore.

DNF. September 16, 2023.

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