quick lit – next page, please {june 2020}

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If the pessimistic in me chooses to look on the bright side, I believe that I am adjusting to this new “normal” (I can’t decide whether this is a good think or a bad thing) and thus my reading life is slowly coming back. I read five books this month.

I am four books ahead of schedule in my goal to read 40 books this year.  I have read two of my five must-reads from Modern Mrs. Darcy’s (MMD)  Summer Reading Guide. And I have completed four of the 10 categories in the MMD 2020 Reading Challenge: (1) a debut novel, (2) a book recommended by a source you trust, (3) a book outside your (genre) comfort zone, and (4) three books by the same author.

Read

  • The Cruelest Month by Louise Penny. I have completed my third Louise Penny this year and thus have completed the MMD 2020 Reading Challenge of three books by one author. Last month, I said that I couldn’t decide whether I liked this series or not.  Well, I have decided.  I like it. A lot. It is unlike anything that I have ever read before.  Penny’s use of language is so beautiful that it sometimes doesn’t feel appropriate to the crime-solving mysteries that are these books.  I am convinced that it will take more than one reading of each to fully comprehend what is happening; something that I am looking forward to doing.  Penny also sets this series in seasons of the year and I am trying to read according to the season that it is.  The fourth, A Rule Against Murder, is set during the summer months and I hope to start and finish it before Fall arrives.  But, alas, I have so many good things to read this summer
  • Strike Me Down by Mindy Mejia. This is my third book from MMD Summer Reading Guide. It wasn’t a must-read pick; it was just available at my local library so a snatched it up while I had the chance. I feel kind-of “meh” about this one and not because the author didn’t do a good job; the subject matter wasn’t all that interesting to me.  I did want to find out what happened and thus I kept turning the pages.  So, there’s that.
  • Daily Rituals: How Artists Work by Mason Currey. I picked this up from my library a couple of years ago, started it and didn’t finish it. However, it is recommended reading for the writing group I am in so I got it from the library again and forged through it.  This book looks at the habits and rituals of 237 artist, writers, composers, etc. and discusses their process for creating their work.  If I got anything out of this it is that no two artist work the same.  Each one’s process is suited to their lifestyle and temperament.  I think, I have been looking for a formula to produce my own work and hoped someone would tell me what that was.  But, in reading this book, I learned no one can tell me what it is.  I have to discover it on my own. I’m glad I finished it this time.
  • Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World and Become a Good Ancestor by Layla F. Saad. If you weren’t burrowed under a rock, as a lot of us probably wished that we were, you are aware of the racial tensions that dominated the news cycle last month. My social media feed was inundated with these “Antiracists Book List” and this pick was one of the few that kept showing up on.  As a woman of color, I wasn’t sure that I wanted to read about racism but curiosity got the best of me and I wanted to see what this one was about so I borrowed a digital copy from my local library.  I read it in one night, even though it is meant to be read and journaled through over three weeks and I am not the intended audience.
  • Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah. I have long proclaimed that I can’t get into audio books! But my friend and coworker, Ginger, let me borrow this one from her and I couldn’t put it down-err, stop listening to it. I learned SO MUCH! About apartheid in South Africa, racism, socioeconomic conditions and the long-lasting effects, parenting, perspective.  I love Trevor Noah’s accent and the book was so funny, making the abject horror bearable to read, I’m sorry again, hear. This was definitely a 5-star read for me, my second of 2020! Some have said this is the best audiobook that they have ever experienced which doesn’t bode well for me as a search for another.

Currently Reading

  • Untamed by Glennon Doyle. I am LOVING this book! I restarted it last month and am still journaling through it, chapter by chapter.
  • Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art by Madeleine L’Engle. This is the second book recommended by that writers’ group I talked about earlier. Thought-provoking.
  • The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner. This is my third must-read pick from the MMD Summer Reading Guide and happens to be August’s pick for the MMD Book Club. I’m not very far in so I can’t tell whether I like this one or not.
  • Rodham by Curtis Sittenfeld. This is my second book by Sittenfeld and I love her writing style. Plus, the premise of this novel – what if Hillary hadn’t married Bill – is fascinating.

In Case You Were Wondering

Yes, I talk a lot about the Modern Mrs. Darcy’s space here.  Her Summer Reading Guide has been the described as the “Christmas” of book lovers and is my quintessential guide to a fun summer reading experience.  Her yearly Reading Challenge, helps me break at my reading rut and also give some structure to my reading life.  Plus, it’s the only challenge I will take a stab at it.  I have failed to complete it three years in a row.  But I still try.

Anne also does a Quick Lit post every month discussing what she is currently reading, to which I am linking this post.  If you’re here because of her,  I can’t thank her, and you, enough.

I hope you’re reading life is getting back on track.

enjoy life…

 

7 thoughts on “quick lit – next page, please {june 2020}

  1. Lisa notes... says:

    I’ve been doing awful on keeping up with my reading challenges this year. The craziness of 2020 wrecked my well-laid reading plans. 😦 However, I have been able to read books more easily again, after having trouble in March. I also read Me and White Supremacy and took LOTS of notes, along with a lot of other antiracist books. The biggest one currently is Stamped from the Beginning. I was trying to do the readalong with MelanatedReader on Instagram, but I couldn’t keep up the pace so I’m just going at my own pace now.

    I loved Trevor Noah’s book too, although I didn’t hear the audio book. Untamed is on my list, especially since I keep hearing wonderful things about it.

    I still haven’t been back inside our library but I’m loving the curbside pickup! 🙂

  2. Elena Wiggins says:

    I just finished Madeleine L’Engle’s A Circle of Quiet, which is the first of her Crosswick Journals. I enjoyed it as much– maybe even more than– Walking on Water. She is witty and endearing and just talks about the writing life in such a fascinating way. And YES to the audiobook version of Born A Crime! Trevor Noah’s voice was perfect for his book. I’ve listened to audiobooks narrated by the authors where I thought it would have sounded better with an actual voice actor/narrator, but he does a phenomenal job and brings the story to life. Another very well done audiobook (that I believe Anne Bogel has chatted about and maybe on the MMD Summer Guide if I am not mistaken) is Lovely War! There are a few different narrators and the book is narrated by Greek gods. Its such a creative writing style and works so well, especially on audio!

    Linking my recent reads, if interested!

  3. Valencia Taylor says:

    We’re like reading twins! I felt the same way about Strike Me Down. Meh,but I wanted to see what happens. Can’t say enough about Born. A Crime. It is gold standard audiobook. I also listened to The Cruelest Month. I think that’s my preferred way to read Louise Penny. Can’t wait to read Mexican Gothic!!

    • shannanenjoyslife says:

      I’m going to have to give Louise Penny a listen on audio book. It might be a good way to reread since I was saying that rereading might be in order. I keep hearing good things about Mexican Gothic. Anne says it’s really good on audio so I might have to give it a shot. Thanks for being here.

  4. Lis Moriarty says:

    I love love love Rodham… Thanks for sharing your thoughts on “Strike Me Down” – I have it on my shelf thinking that my husband and I both might enjoy it (especially with the Twin Cities ties since that’s where we live).
    MMD Quick Lit is the best and I love going through so many different pages seeing what everyone’s reading. Here’s what my family and I have each been reading recently – https://www.everyoneslibrarian.com/blog/quick-lit-july-2020

    • shannanenjoyslife says:

      I’d be interested in knowing what you thought of Strike Me Down. Not being from the Twin Cities, I didn’t get all the references although I did look up a few things on Google. Thanks for being here.

  5. Katie says:

    You convinced me to add Rodham to my TBR! I’ve taken it on and off a few times. I wasn’t so sure about the topic, but I do love her writing style too so that’s a good point. It’s back on for real. Thank you!!

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