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« October, 2020 »
The Resistance Man

Full of French trivia about the French resistance and the Neuvic train robbery, this was definitely a better read than the one before it. More food-and-woods, more new puppy. Maybe one of the love interests is finally gone though in a somewhat unsatisfying way. Am getting the pattern of these & like them.

The Devil’s Cave

Maybe not my favorite of these. I enjoyed it but it was a little high on tawdry-drama (naked lady found dead in a boat floating down the river, maybe something satanic going on) and low on woods-and-food stories, but there was a lot of interesting cave discussion.

The Orphan’s Guilt

These come out every October and I read them every October. It’s nice reading books set in Vermont from people who live in Vermont. They feel samey, but sometimes so does October. This one has more of Rachel and Sally, the two younger characters and I’ll be honest, I don’t like them as much. And I feel that the inclusion of people with children always putting themselves in harms way (as they do again in this book) is a trope I sort of don’t like. The overall story here is good, though it’s a little less-than-politic with how the seriously disabled character is treated. Overall a thumbs up for story and everything else, just a few points that weren’t my faves.

All the Devils Are Here

I liked this but didn’t feel like it was her strongest work, but maybe it just didn’t have enough of the things that I was looking for. It barely touches on Three Pines and many of the non-Gamache characters you’ve grown to love. It is in Paris however, if that’s your thing. And it’s very heavy. A lot of Nazi talk and maybe some retconning of Gamache’s background. Did we know his grandmother was Jewish? It’s got a lot of other Penny touches: some good librarian/archivist work, some family drama, people you think are dead. I was happy to see more of Gamache’s son and family but you still feel like there’s more going on there than was explained in this story.

The Odd Woman and the City

This was a particular kind of memoir--about growing up and now being an older woman who is single but hasn’t always been--of NYC, delivered as a series of vignettes, some pretty interesting and some less-so. Very nostalgia-heavy with some name dropping of people I didn’t really know. Was nice to feel like I was inhabiting a different place for a while.

The Runner and the Keeper-Of-Song

A lot of mixed feelings about this book which was a gift from friends, a local author. I really enjoyed the mythic aspect to this story which is a sort of pre-historic telling of some time in some part of the world where matriarchal culture and emerging patriarchal culture are having their first interactions. The world is full of superstitions. I had somehow assumed I was reading a book written by a person of color and when I looked more into the author I learned that I was not. And I’m not sure how I felt about that. The book has a glossary in the front so you can learn all the local names for things like boygirl and man/woman as well as the names for the animals. I found these somewhat distracting. This was a good tale, and well-told, but I was the wrong audience for it.