I wonder if Read Harder challenge fatigue is setting in? I have definitely enjoyed many of the books I've read for previous challenges but for some reason I am off to a slow start this year (both in my reading and writing about the books). This challenge begins with an epistolary novel as well as an alternate history novel.
For the epistolary novel (a novel told through an exchange of letters) I tried Anne Youngson's Meet Me at the Museum. I feel as though people oftentimes put their best selves on display when they write letters, perhaps knowing that the letters may be kept and re-read so you want to make them worthwhile. Anders, a professor in Denmark (whose wife has died) and Tina, an isolated, unhappily married farm wife in England start a letter writing friendship by accident. Tina was trying to get in touch with a colleague of Anders, who had died and Anders filled in some missing information. Their unlikely friendship takes a deeper turn over time and their lives become intertwined. I suppose it is all lovely and good, but frankly I was a bit bored with this one. Not the way I was hoping to start off the challenge.
The alternate history novel was definitely a fun one and the author was also a speaker at our own Festival of Books this year. Mary Kowal's The Calculating Stars is the first in the Lady Astronaut series - sweet! If you enjoyed Hidden Figures but want a made-up story about those women calculators, this is the book for you. Yes, the meteorite that knocks out most of the East Coast is a little cheesy, but the difficulties these women faced as they had to prove their mettle again and again is a reminder that the glass ceiling still isn't entirely broken, even in science fiction land. I just looked in the catalog and the second book in the series is already out - check out The Fated Sky
Here's hoping next month's books are inspiring!
Karen for Ravenous Readers
Are you doing the Read Harder Challenge this year? Check out our Read Harder page for booklists and other bits of information, opens a new window!