Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Quick Lit -- January

I am always late to this party, but I want to join Modern Mrs. Darcy with a Quick Lit post featuring brief reviews of this month's books.

The photo above may suggest that I spent a cozy evening by the fire, sipping a Moscow Mule and savoring a great book.  The pic actually reflects a family movie night in which we watched a forgettable tween made-for-TV movie about a figure skater who has to be a hockey player for a reason you would not believe.  I won't even tell you the title because you don't need to see it.  Many toe pics away from the classic and much beloved (by me) The Cutting Edge.

Even if I haven't been reading and drinking by the fire, I have done some reading this month.  Here's what's worth sharing ...

It Was Me All Along by Andie Mitchell -- I am a sucker for transformation stories.  Nothing I love more than reading about someone who digs themselves out of debt, leaves a cult, or loses eight dress sizes.  I had never read Andie Mitchell's blog, but I enjoyed her memoir about her years of compulsive eating and the steps she took to change her body, change her life, and find her career calling.  Every weight loss story is about way more than food, and I liked Mitchell and the way she wrote about her weight struggles and her relationship to food, friends, and family.

The World's Strongest Librarian by Josh Hanagarne -- I am also a sucker for Mormons.  Ever since I read Under the Banner of Heaven (which, yes, I know, is NOT about mainstream Mormonism), I have been intrigued by this fast-growing faith.  Mormonism and struggles with faith are only one aspect of Hanagarne's memoir though.  Fortunately, I am also interested in librarians (coulda, shoulda, woulda been one myself) and in people who overcome tremendous personal obstacles.  Hanagarne tells his story of living with and beyond Tourette's with thoughtfulness and humor.

The Lake House by Kate Morton -- We all know Morton can tell a story, and this one kept me thinking and guessing.  All the readers' questions are answered at the end, which is lovely, but I wish things were tied up a bit more subtly so I could pat myself on the back more for having paid attention.  Morton does a great job of layering and building her story as she shifts from character to character, present to past, and storyline to parallel storyline.

The Bookseller by Cynthia Swanson -- I raced through this Sliding Doors-esque story.  You will too!  Easy to get lost in both of Kitty's lives.

Paulina and Fran by Rachel Glaser -- I wimped out on giving this one a GoodReads rating.  Paulina is a memorable if not lovable character (actually tough to hate a character who is so unapologetically narcissistic).  I really enjoyed the art school setting, which was new and entertaining to me.  Definitely a book that makes you not want to go back to your twenties (though that decade, for me, did not include strange and frequent sexual encounters, artistic angst, and near homelessness).  Not every one will like this book, but I suspect they will remember it.  I think it will stick with me, though I'm not sure in what way.   Read some other reviews before you dive in.

Currently reading ...
The Making of Us by Lisa Jewell -- An ebook bargain I am really liking.  Good news is that Jewell is British and has written lots of other books.  Always good to have a new well from which to draw.

O, Pioneers by Willa Cather -- listening to this audiobook -- starting slow, but I know it will be worth my time

In case you missed it, I did write about my 2015 Reading Highlights.  And, of course, if you visit Modern Mrs. Darcy, you'll find many other Quick Lit lists to peruse!

What are you reading these days?  I'd love to know.  Stay warm and try a Moscow Mule if you haven't yet.

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