quick lit – next page, please {february 2019}

Per usual, I’m linking up with Modern Mrs. Darcy to discuss what we have been reading last month.

Currently Reading

  • This Messy Magnificent Life: A Field Guide by Geneen Roth. Yep! Still going. It seems like I get more and more from it. Amazing, isn’t it?
  • The Life-Changing Habit of Tidying Up and Spark Joy by Marie Kondo. I’m rereading these because I am working on my intention to “create home” in our first ever Enjoy Life Project. I have finished clothes (which I invite you to check out) and books (post coming soon).
  • The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón. I love books about books and that’s what this is with a lot of mystery thriller thrown in, which is not my typical genre. It was recommended in Anne’s post, 20 Books About Books and Bookstores. I thought I had read a good number of them; turns out, I have only read three or four. The mystery part has got me a bit and even though the writing is excellent, this one is feeling like a bit of a slog.
  • Draft No. 4: On the Writing Process by John McPhee. I was on the fence about whether I would finish this one. It looks like I haven’t yet.

Read

  • Gods in Alabama by Joshilyn Jackson. So, last month I stated that this one didn’t grip me like her most recent novel, Almost Sisters. I spoke too soon. It was excellent. I did NOT see the twist coming. I have been thinking about it a lot recently. Liked it very much.
  • The Curated Closet: A Simple System for Discovering Your Personal Style and Building Your Dream Wardrobe by Anuschka Rees. I have been working my way through this book for over a year. Meaning that I have been completing her recommended exercises, compiling a style mood board on Pinterest, and determining Looks I Love.  After cleaning out my closet using the KonMari Method, again, (shameful promotion coming up, LOL) you can read about that over here, I was able to breeze through the rest of the book. I will be referring to this one often.  I like that it is different from most style books by not placing the reader in a box, like Bohemian, Chic, etc.  You determine what you like and experiment to find what works for you.

On Hold/Abandoned Reading

Draft No. 4: On the Writing Process will probably be down here next month.

What have you been reading?

enjoy life…

 

quick lit – next page, please {january 2019}

Quick Lit {January 2019}I’m happy to say that I am getting back into the grove of my reading life after the Holidays. Here’s an update, which includes the return of an old favorite – did the pic give it away?

Currently Reading

  • This Messy Magnificent Life: A Field Guide by Geneen Roth. The astute readers of the blog will note that I read this one last month, and the month before that. Yes, I’m still reading it-savoring it slowly. Not wanting to miss anything this go-around. Have you ever read a book like that?
  • Gods in Alabama by Joshilyn Jackson. Her most recent novel Almost Sisters was tied for my best book of 2018, so naturally I was curious enough to read her backlist. I’ve got to tell you, this one isn’t gripping me like Almost Sisters did but I am just over halfway through so there is still time.  The setting of Alabama remains the same, and there is an interracial couple as well. And, of course, there’s been a death.  I’ll have to see how I feel at the end.
  • Draft No. 4: On the Writing Process by John McPhee. Have you ever read a book that seems to go over your head? Well, this is that one for me. His writing style is so (what’s the word I’m looking for) elevated? Most of it is slipping past me.  But I wanted to read some more books on the writing craft and maybe, I am not to his level of writing expertise which is why I am struggling through these essays.  We will see if I am able to finish this one.
  • The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón. I love books about books and that’s what this is, with a lot of mystery thriller thrown in which is not my typical genre. This book was translated from the original Spanish and I don’t know if that is what is making the book feel older than it actually is.  Published in 2001, the story is set in the late 1940s but with the sentence construction, I feel like it’s actually taking place pre-1800s.  I am scared of this one (the mystery thriller bit) but the writing is excellent and the storyline is fascinating.
  • The Life-Changing Habit of Tidying Up and Spark Joy by Marie Kondo. I’m rereading these because I am working on my intention to “create home” in our first ever Enjoy Life Project. I’d love for you to pop over and read about it if you haven’t already done so.

Read

  • I’ll Be There for You: The One about Friends by Kelsey Miller. I got hooked on the TV show Friends while in college. I love this show. My hubby bought me the complete collection while we were dating.  And I love behind the scenes insights of just about anythings so picking this up was a no brainer.  It was also fascinating to discover that the writers and producers think that if there had not been a 9-11, the show would not have lasted as long as it did.  For you other Friends fans out there, do you have any thoughts on this?
  • The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin. A reread of the first book that I read about books. I HEART this book.

On Hold/Abandoned Reading

  • Becoming Michelle by Michelle Obama. I own this one so when my library holds come in I must reprioritize, am I right? I have no doubt that I will get back to it soon.

So, what do you think of my list? And how about you? What have you been reading? Head over to Modern Mrs. Darcy’s to see what the MMD community has been up to.

enjoy life…

quick lit – next page, please {my best books of 2018}

I have decided to do something that I have never done before here on the blog.  I am selecting the best books that I read in 2018. I am not going to cover every category (there are so many); I’m just going to highlight categories that had multiple selections that I really liked.

Fantasy

Circe by Madeline Miller

Runner-Up: Time’s Convert by Deborah Harkness

I do not read fantasy. I read The Illiad  and The Odyssey for school, along with other fantasy classics that were required reading.  But I have never read them for pleasure.  But towards the end of 2018, I was longing for something fun and pointless – an escape from the seriousness of my usual picks which tend to fall heavily in the Nonfiction/Memoir/Autobiography category-very worthwhile but often weighty material. I mentioned this to a friend who suggested that I try to read something that I don’t generally read.  I’m so glad that I did.  With these picks, I was able to suspend belief and just read for the sheer love of words-no deep thought, no lessons to learn, no new knowledge to implement into my life.

But a good story, no matter the genre, is always going to teach us something or make us see something in a different way. Miller’s Circe was amazing.  Miller took the character of Circe in The Odyssey and expanded her back story and made me see her in a whole new light.  I love books that do that.  And Time’s Convert, the fourth book in the All Souls Trilogy also accomplished that.  It was interesting. It was engaging and both books were an absolute delight to read.

Fiction

Almost Sisters by Joshilyn Jackson

Runner-Up: The Ensemble by Aja Gabel

I am still pondering Almost Sisters which I read with the Rocket City Mom book club.  The setting, the characters, the storyline. This was a book with very weighted themes told in such a light and palatable way. For a full review of this one, check out my review on Rocket City Mom.

I also loved The Ensemble, a debut by Aja Gabel.  That novel, about the lives of musicians in a string ensemble, also has stuck with me and I will probably read it again.

Memoir & Autobiography

Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton

Runner-Up: We’re Going to Need More Wine by Gabrielle Union

Memoir/Autobiography and Nonfiction are what I generally read.  I read quite a few books in this category but it wasn’t really hard to narrow down my two best ones.

I didn’t read Love Warrior when it first came out. The reason: I was being a prejudicial snob. I don’t know if you remember but there was a lot of discussion around it.  Glennon released a book about saving her marriage while that very marriage was ending. I was convinced that she had absolutely nothing to teach me. I was wrong.

We’re Going to Need More Wine was so funny and if I indulged, I would have needed more wine.  I laughed so hard, I couldn’t stand it.  My girlfriends laughed so hard they couldn’t stand it. This book was awesome!

Nonfiction

I’d Rather Be Reading: The Delights & Dilemmas of the Reading Life by Anne Bogel

This Messy Magnificent Life: A Field Guide by Geneen Roth

My reading guru, Anne Bogel released her second book, I’d Rather Be Reading. I adored this little volume for making me realize that I wasn’t the only crazy person in the world when it comes to my love for books and for reading. I laughed. I cried.  What more can you want from a book?

I have had an interesting relationship with Geneen Roth’s work.  Her idea that it’s not about the food when it comes to weight and healthy eating was an idea that I had quickly dismissed as bologna.  Her first book, Women Food and God sat on my shelf for a year before I opened it. Then I read the first few chapters and put it away and it sat on my shelf another year before I was ready to receive the wisdom inside.  This Messy Magnificent Life is a follow-up. I love it so much, I am rereading it now.

The Winners

This Messy Magnificent Life: A Field Guide by Geneen Roth

Almost Sisters by Joshilyn Jackson

I can’t decide between these two so there you have it: my two best books of 2018. What were yours?

enjoy life…

Per usual, I’m linking up with Modern Mrs. Darcy and her Quick Lit posts.  Head over there if you are looking for more reading ideas.