The first week of July just flew by, didn’t it? I’m still struggling to pick up blogging again on a regular schedule so I decided to steal an idea from my friend Melissa at Life:Merging and do a weekly update. This might have to last throughout the summer while I give most of my energy and attention to work and our summer reading craziness. It was pretty busy this week despite having a holiday on Thursday. I really love Independence Day, but I dislike spending it in Phoenix which I had to do this year because of work. It’s been a tradition in my family to spend the holiday in Springerville, AZ where my grandparents live and it makes me melancholy to not be there with my aunts and uncles and cousins. This year I had a little barbecue with my dad and we watched baseball and chatted. I left just after dark and got home in time to watch the fireworks that many of my neighbors were launching on their own. Really, not a bad day.
I finished a couple of books this week – Standing in Another Man’s Grave by Ian Rankin and Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein. The Ian Rankin was the first book to feature a retired John Rebus. He’s working for the cold case unit (as a civilian) of the Lothian and Borders police when he discovers a link between several disappearances that could indicate a serial killer is at work. He teams up with his former partner, Siobhan Clark, and in his usual rogue style he attempts to solve the case. I really loved seeing Rebus back at work and being in the wonderful Edinburgh setting, but the mystery part of this novel was just so-so. It was a bit lackluster and the ending was really unsatisfying. However, I’ll read any novel featuring Rebus.
Rose Under Fire is a companion novel to the marvelous Code Name Verity, one of my favorite books from last year. I got an advance copy from NetGalley and started it as soon as I could. This novel focuses on an American Air Transport Auxiliary pilot, Rose Justice, a young woman from Pennsylvania who goes to England to transport planes. While making a delivery to France she loses her way and is captured by the Nazis and sent to Ravensbruck concentration camp. She suffers incredible hardship and cruelty while forming intense and lasting bonds with many of the women she is imprisoned with. Like Code Name Verity, the female friendships are really well done here and I love how the women rely on each other for emotional and physical sustenance. It seems horrible to say that I loved a book about the atrocities that happened in concentration camps, but this is quite good and features strong young women who never give up – qualities I admire in Wein’s novels. It will be released in the US on September 10 and is already out in the UK.
I’m still planning the Mary Stewart Reading Week for September 15-22. More details coming soon!
Have a great week, everyone!