Books: Recent Reads

Mpepper/ January 13, 2021/ Reviews

I’ve been meaning to make a YouTube video for this, and I might still do that, but for now it’s faster to just write about the handful of books I’ve read recently.

Meghan and Harry: The Real Story

Overall, I think Lady Colin Campbell is trying to be fair. She mentions numerous times how she wanted to Meghan to succeed, how so many of the royal family members hoped Meghan would find the right fit. Campbell blames Harry in large part for enabling Meghan rather than teaching her the ropes. But in the next breath she also suggests Meghan isn’t all that interested in being taught, either. The net effect leans toward damning the couple, and as I’m no big fan of Meghan, that didn’t bother me. But a lot of this book is repetitive, and there are places where Campbell goes on at length about things when one pass would do. Her sweeping generalizations about America(ns) were also questionable. And the book needed a solid edit and proofread. Overall, I gave it three stars, though it’s really more like 2.5 or 2.75.

The Stephen King Story

This is an old biography (1992) by George Beahm. I found it when unpacking some old boxes and decided to re-read it. Besides being outdated, it’s largely a publishing history of King’s work (through 1991). It does talk about King’s childhood, his time at university, and mentions a couple of his stalkers, but the focus is on publishers, books, various editions of those books, etc. Markedly absent is any mention of King’s drug addiction. I remember really liking this book when I was younger, but I’m sure there are much better and more interesting texts covering [the] King.

The Case of the Bizarre Bouquets (Enola Holmes #3)

I really liked the movie, which was my introduction to Enola Holmes. But if you’ve read my past posts or watched my YT, you know the first book was… a disappointment. Very different from the film version. The second book was a bit better, and this one… is about as good as the second, I suppose. I have mixed feelings about


the villain being a deformed crossdresser. I think the author was trying to make a point about beauty and the superficial—Enola disguises herself as a “beautiful” woman and notices how differently she is treated—but that seems undercut by having the antagonist(s) be physically ugly and, in one instance, having deformity be a source of mental illness.

What I’m reading now:

Finally, I’ve picked up A Conjuring of Light, which finishes off the Shades of Magic trilogy. I loved the first book, didn’t enjoy the second, so I’m curious to see where the third leaves the series for me. There’s a thing that sometimes happens… You can tell when an author falls in love with one of his or her characters because suddenly there’s an emphasis on them. And that’s great if the reader is also as in love as the author, but if the reader isn’t, overall affection for the book or series can wane. That happened for me in the second book (I’m not a fan of Lila Bard). I can definitely talk about it in a future YT video if anyone is interested. Actually, I probably will talk about it, even if no one cares…

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