I didn’t get much reading in this week. Between trips out of the house and sewing projects that went awry, my attention has been elsewhere. I’m still in the middle of Cold: Adventures in the World’s Frozen Places by Bill Streever, which is quite good. The accounts of disastrous expeditions to the North and South Pole are fascinating and horrifying.
I got waylaid from that book by the release of The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches, the latest Flavia de Luce book by Alan Bradley.
This is not the cover of the Kindle version I have, but isn’t it magnificent? I like this German edition cover too.
For anyone who doesn’t know, this series of books is about Flavia de Luce, youngest daughter of a land rich (cash poor) family who lives in a manor house in 1950’s England. Flavia’s adventurous, beautiful mother disappeared during a flight when Flavia was a baby, and eleven year old Flavia has a knack for chemistry (specifically poisons) and solving murders. This is the fifth book in the series, and while it has less of a standard mystery at its core, I don’t really care. From the beginning, the series has had a number of running questions- what happened to Flavia’s mother? Why do her sisters dislike her so much? Why does everyone pretty much let Flavia run free? For most of Flavia’s life, she’s assumed a certain answer to those questions, but this book brings some different answers than she expected. Her eyes are opened a bit to those around her, and ultimately to her own potential. I can’t say a lot more, because it would ruin huge swaths of things. But I will say that I highly recommend this whole series, it is intelligent and surprising and delightful, and this book in particular hits some very well earned emotional points.
Bruce surprised me with Hollow City: The Second Novel of Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children, and I’m in the middle of it right now. This is the sequel to Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, a book which can be best summarized by: “Oooh, people with cool abilities being chased by monsters! This could be an interesting metaphor for Nazis in WW2. Oh. Not a metaphor? Actual Nazis? Ok, different than I thought, but still good… oh wait! Real monsters! RUN RUN RUN!” It was highly enjoyable, and the inclusion of weird, slightly creepy vintage photographs made it even better. I almost didn’t want there to be a sequel, because I thought it ended well, and would be an interesting story just on it’s own. But now that I’m reading the sequel, I’m really pleased. The story is expanding in an interesting way, and I’m excited to see where it goes.
So that’s one book finished this week. The girls and I are still reading The Children of Odin, which is really well written. Each story flows nicely into the next, and worrisome elements of the original stories are toned down nicely for a younger audience.
What are you reading this week?