The Summer of Her Life HC
Thomas von Steinaecker and Barbara Yelin offer up a very elegant and beautiful exploration of memories and how they inform our concept of a life well lived. The book follows the life of Gerda Wendt as she spends her days mostly alone at a retirement home and the story flashes between her past and her twilight days.
Yelin's painting informs the dreamlike nature of Frau Wendt's memories, infusing the story with a forlorn sense of regret while also showcasing happier memories. Much of Wendt's life was framed within her sense of feeling invisible, that awkwardness shaping her personality and future. She embraces math and science and a life of scholarly pursuit, largely out of a sense of wanting to concentrate on, "Things that were just like me: numbers and stars...which are still there even when you're not looking."
There's no answers or sense of right or wrong in her decisions on how to conduct your life. The book does an excellent job of navigating through the different periods of her life and the time she spends alone at the end of it to simply represent alife and the value of it. The subtleties of the storytelling and the reflections offered throughout are focus enough, giving us a melancholic yet beautiful exercise in a character driven slice-of-life drama.
A House Divided: The Accursed Inheritance of Henrietta Achilles Vol 1
If you haven't figured it out yet, I love me a book with some great faces. And boy, does this book have some really great faces:
It also has a compelling story about a young orphan girl who inherits her uncle's house. The trick is, he was a wizard and she's now responsible for everything in the home. And it's a pretty big home.
So big that entire wars are being fought inside it as treasure hunters and others seek out the secrets of the tower. Secrets may include but are not limited to: bandits, panther demons, quiche, a jungle, and a pretty great army of kobolds.
There's also some really great character development as even a lot of the minor characters get moments to shine and build up plenty of intrigue.
I really enjoyed Pawlitza's art quite a bit as their linework infused a lot of tone and style to the world building, and the coloring just made everything pop.
If you're looking for an all-ages book that's safe to give to the young'uns but also offers a lot for older readers then I definitely recommend giving this series a shot. I found it to be really engaging and just a lot of fun.