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Showing posts from September, 2016

Reading Roundup: August 2016

The Summer Before the War by Helen Simonson

I really liked Simonson's first book, although it had a contemporary setting rather than a historical one like this book. Like her last book, this one's great strengths are its characters and its setting. There are, however, a lot of characters in the book and some of them are more effectively realized than others. I also thought the book had a lot of hot-button issues crammed into it (war crimes, refugees, suffrage, homosexuality, class conflicts, etc) in a way that felt a little strained at times. However, despite those shortcomings, I had a great time reading it, and I still think about the characters and their little village more than a month after ending the book. I've seen at least one review recommending this book for fans of Downton Abbey, and I think that's a great comparison.

The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson

I read most of this book while finishing the fourth book of Harry Potter with the kids, and I noticed …