I skipped doing one of these last month. I read books in October; that is something I’m (vaguely) sure of. But they must not have made much of an impression. This month, I’ve got three that did.

First we have Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith. Everyone says if you like fantasy books, ya gotta read Crown Duel. I would agree with that assessment.

The book follows Countess Meliara (my brain keeps calling her Malaria, by the way) as she and her brother try to defend their people from the king. The king wants to break an old covenant between them and the Hill Folk, magical people that live in the forests of their land. If they break the covenant, all hell breaks loose.

They are so not ready for any kind of battle. Meliara gets kidnapped, chaos ensues. The entire first half of the book deals with the battle and the removal of the king. The second half deals with Meliara going to court for the first time in her life and learning how to navigate the backstabbing and the rumors and whatnot.

The book’s not perfect. Everyone thinks Meliara is good at everything, all the time, even when she isn’t. But overall, it’s a good one.

Next is The Designer by Marius Gabriel. This one is about Copper, a woman living in France during WWII. She divorces her awful husband and meets Christian Dior, a man working for another designer. He introduces her to the Paris bohemian art scene.

Copper makes a living as a fashion writer and tries to get Dior to start his own shop. A good portion of the book centers around a semi-sort-of-love-triangle, which made me spend an annoyingly long time yelling JUST MARRY THE RUSSIAN ALREADY at my kindle app in the middle of the night.

Still, I kept thinking about this book after I finished it, so I guess I would recommend it.

Finally we have Walden on Wheels by Ken Ilgunas. Oh boy.

This one is a memoir. Ken goes to college because that’s what you’re supposed to do, ends up over $30k in debt, and works in Alaska at places that provide room and board to pay the debt off. He cleans toilets, works as a guide, ends up a park ranger. He pays off the debt very fast, and then goes back to school for more unknown reasons. This time he is determined not to get into debt and decides to live in a van while at school.

Okay. If you like the whole Henry David Thoreau Walden thing, then you’ll be interested in this book, like I was. But the author is preachy. He makes a few good points about debt and consumerism, but holy moly. He is also, if I may say so, a privileged white dude that was able to borrow thousands from his mommy when necessary. Not everyone can do that in order to traipse through Alaska every summer.

By the end of the book it gets better. He realizes even Thoreau was mildly full of shit about some things (Thoreau’s mama did his laundry, for Christ’s sake) and tones down the BUT I HIKE A LOT AND HAVE NO DEBT AND AM THEREFORE SUPERIOR attitude.

This was maybe not the best book to read two months after buying a house. Still, I didn’t hate the book. The man had some awesome adventures and is a funny writer.

Go forth and read.

See you later!

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