quick lit – next page, please {february 2020}

If you were here for my What’ I’m Into – Keeping Me Sane for February, you will know that I have been exhausted, dealing with a ton of anxiety and was stressed out.  That made for a very unusual reading month for me. I only completed two and a half books!

Read

  • Save the Cat! Write a Novel by Jessica Brody. I think most of us at some point want to write a novel and I am no exception. But I had no idea where to start.  Save the Cat gave me a place to start.
  • Playing Big: Find Your Voice, Your mission, Your Message by Tara Mohr. I first found out about this book in 2012 but it was a case of right book, wrong time. This month, it was right book, right time. I had an epiphany while leaving a meeting this month.  I have been “playing small” in my life. I have been doing less than what I am capable of and even less of what I want to do in the road. Tara (you know I love the book when I call the author by their first name) is going to help me with this.   I’m so happy I read it. I am already implementing a number of strategies and have referenced the book many times since my initial reading.
  • The Girl in the Plane by Katherine Center. True, this is a short story but Goodreads counts it as a book so I am going to also. It is the connecting story between Katherine’s two books: How to Walk Away and Things You Save in the Fire, both of which I have read and enjoyed.

Currently Reading

  • The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix Harrow. I wanted to enjoy this one slowly, especially after hearing Alix Harrow discuss it at the Modern Mrs. Darcy Book Club meeting in February 2020. I am really looking forward to finishing this up when I am finish reading the books I need to read.
  • The Wedding Party by Jasmine Guillory. I have loved reading lighter fare during this season and will finish this one soon, if I haven’t already done so, by this post.

I didn’t abandoned any books this month.

What about you? How has this season affected your reading life?  What have you enjoyed recently?

And per usual, I am linking up with Modern Mrs. Darcy’s Quick Lit post.  If you are here, because of her, I’m grateful. Thank you for being here.

enjoy life…

quick lit – next page, please {january 2020}

Happy Valentine’s Day.  I love and adore my Valentines, the Hubby and the Buddy Man. They both know I love books and loved them before either of them came along. LOL

So, with that in mind, here’s a recap of the nine books that I read in January.  I am well-ahead of my goal to read 40 this year. These picks also contributed my sanity last month.

Read

  • Still Life by Louise Penny. Over in ModernMrsDarcy land, people LOVE the Inspector Gamache series. I have never read any of them – and there are currently 23. For the MMD Reading Challenge this year, one of the categories is three books by a single author so I thought that now would be as good as time as any. These seem to start off a bit slow but I have been told numerous times that these take a while to get going and that the series really picks up in book 4.  Don’t know if I will make it that far but I am enjoying Penny’s writing style so, we will see.
  • Old in Art School: A Memoir of Starting Over by Nell Irvin Painter. I can’t remember who recommended this book to me but my interest in it might have had something to do with my turning 40 and wondering if there is life to be had over the hill. LOL.  It might also have started an interest in reading about creatives in memoirs and fiction.
  • A Fatal Grace by Louise Penny. This is the second book about Inspector Armand Gamache series. I am chugging along.
  • Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. This was January’s Rocket City Mom Virtual Book Club pick for January.  I had avoided reading it until now but I am glad that I did. My full review is here.
  • The Principles of Uncertainty by Maira Kalman. Nell Painter sent me down a rabbit hole of writer/artists: artists who write or writers who draw and paint perhaps because I might want to do that one day.  Who knows.  Anyway, Maira Kalman, an artist who has illustrated for the New Yorker was in the rabbit hole so I picked a copy of this from the library to see more. It was a brief read. I liked it.*
  • Two Girls Down by Louisa Luna. This is the first book about PI Alice Vega. I read this because I’m interested in Luna’s second book about Vega, The Janes, released January 21, which Anne Bogel previewed in her Winter Preview. She said that she was hooked from the first line.  Plus, this is my fourth crime mystery (not a genre I usually read) this month and I might be a bit over it. I have placed The Janes on hold at my local library.  We will see what kind of headspace I am in when it comes in.
  • Undercover Bromance by Lyssa Kay Adams. This is the second book in the Bromance Book Series and it was AWESOME!!!! My first 5-star read of the year. It releases on March 10th so thanks to @WhatKariReads for sending the ARC my way.  Romance is a great genre for when things are dreary and bleak. The story always ends well.  This one did and I loved it.
  • The Painter by Peter Heller. Last year, the Modern Mrs. Darcy book club read Celine also by Heller which I thoroughly enjoyed. I adore Heller’s writing style. And since I have this new inclination to read about artists and creatives and the book is about a painter, it was a no-brainer to pick this up from the library. I’m glad that I did.
  • The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory. The second book in The Wedding Date series and my second romance of the month. Yep, January was that kind of month.

Currently Reading

 Abandoned Reading

My theme/word of 2020 is Savor so I really do want to relish everything that I read. I am not going to say that this has happened with everything that I have read this year but it definitely means that I am not going to be upset if I don’t finish books that I start this year. To that end, here’s what I have abandoned so far.

So, whatcha’ readin’?

Per usual, I am linking up with Modern Mrs. Darcy’s Quick Lit post.  As you can see, she is an excellent resource when you can’t figure out what to read.  And if you are here, because of her, I can’t thank her, and you, enough.

enjoy life…

*I also discovered that Maira Kalman had illustrated an edition of Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style – the quintessential book on writing with clarity.  Yeah! I bought it.

quick lit – next page, please {best books of 2019 edition}

quick lit. best books 2019 

Last year, I selected the best books that I had read in 2018.  I enjoyed it so much that I wanted to do a 2019 edition. Like last year, I am not going to cover every category.  I don’t read every genre. But I’m just going to highlight the ones that I read that had multiple selections that I loved.

Romance

My Oxford Year by Julia Whelan

Runner-Up: The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams

I do not read romance. But traveling back home from the Modern Mrs. Darcy Book Club Event in Winston-Salem last year, I plowed through a lot of What Should I Read Next podcast episodes, including Episode 203 where Emily Carter, a now-repentant book snob, confessed to giving romance novels a chance and loving them, especially in a particular time of life.  With the weather being gray and gloomy, I decided to brighten my reading experience.  Last year, I read fantasy. This year, it was romance.

I selected Anne’s pick for Emily, The Bromance Club. This book was so much fun.  The premise asks the question what would happen if men read these books as a guide to communicating and romancing their significant others.  In Lyssa’s books, the answer is hilariously effective. I cannot wait for the second one in the series.

With the success of Bromance Club, I started looking for more great romance books.  Bookish friends (who I met at the Modern Mrs. Darcy Book Club Retreat last year) recommended My Oxford Year. This was a romance novel that dealt with very serious theme. I am still processing this one – the sign of an excellent book for me.

Fiction

Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Runner-Up: Midnight at the Blackbird Café by Heather Webber

I read one book by Taylor Jenkins Reid a few years ago.  Then, wanting to read a book that everyone was talking about when everyone was talking about it, I bought Daisy Jones and the Six. I will definitely be rereading this one.  What Reid did was masterful.  I was tempted to Google Daisy Jones and the Six.  She made the characters so believeable.

Midnight at the Blackbird Café was an absolute delight.  I have selected it as a Rocket City Mom Book Club Pick in 2020.

Memoir & Autobiography

I Miss You When I Blink  by Mary Laura Philpott

Runner-Up: Save Me the Plums: My Gourmet Memoir by Ruth Reichl

Memoir/Autobiography and Nonfiction are what I generally read and I read quite a number of selections in this category.  But two have stood out. Save Me the Plums is an memoir that reads like a novel.  It was a real page-turner.  I couldn’t wait to see what happened next. And that’s saying something for a memoir.

Miss You When I Blink taught me the most this year and I read it twice – a couple of months apart. I selected it as a Rocket City Mom Virtual Book Club pick. You can read my full review here.  Mary Laura joined us to discuss the book – one of my highlights of my year.

Nonfiction

The Bullet Journal Method: Track the Past, Order the Present, Design the Future by Ryder Carroll

Guys! Mommy-Brain is a very real thing.  And as my year got busier and busier, I couldn’t keep track of it all. Enter The Bullet Journal Method, which has been described as “KonMari for your mind”. I have used the techniques in this book very successfully and return for a refresher every couple of months.

The Winners

I Miss You When I Blink by Mary Laura Philpott

Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

I have decided to pick a fiction (including romance) winner and a non-fiction (including memoir/biography) winner. So there you have it.  My best books of 2019.

What was the best thing that you read last year?

enjoy life…

Per usual, I’m linking up with Modern Mrs. Darcy and her Quick Lit posts.  Head over there if you hacing difficulty figuring out what to read.