quick lit – next page, please {march 2021}

Read

  • Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers, the third book in The Wayfarers’ Series. I may have even liked this one the best of all three but I’m not sure.  It’s definitely tied with the second book which I also read this month.
  • Address Unknown by Katherine Kressman Taylor. WOW! This read is only about 76 pages (including the Afterword) and was initially published in 1938.  It’s releasing again in June. Everyone should read this book! Thanks to Ecco for the advanced reader’s copy.
  • How to Be Fine by Jolenta Greenberg and Kristen Meinzer.  I bought this book when they were featured on The Modern Mrs. Darcy’s Stay at Home Book Tour last year.  The premise is that Greenberg and Meinzer spent a number of years, living by the premise of 50 self-help books, a great number of which I have read. My take-away? It’s time to stop reading and purchasing so many self-help books and put the ones that I have loved into action.
  • A Spindle Splintered by Alix E. Harrow. This is a novella by one of my must-read authors. I love how Harrow examines the fairy tale of Sleeping Beauty and reimagines it in an interesting way.  I also love how I can tell that she has done her research while it’s not academic at all. Spindle releases October 5.  Thanks to Tordotcom and Netgalley for the Advanced Reader’s Copy. I have pre-ordered.
  • The Comfort Book by Matt Haig. My second 5-star read of the year. I love how comforting this book is. I highlighted and annotated this advanced reader’s copy so much. And who couldn’t use a comfort book this year? I have preordered this one so that I can dip in and out of it whenever I wanto to. Thanks to the Penguin Life and Netgalley for the Advanced Reader’s Copy.
  • Deep Work by Cal Newport. This was on my Unread Shelf taunting me so I finally buckled down and finished it.  Interesting insights that I hope I can implement in doing my work.
  • Binti by Nnedi Okorafor. This is a sci-fi/fantasy. I’m still confused sometimes by these two genre: which is which? Can they be combined?  Binti was a novella. Other readers have really enjoyed this; I was confused by what was happening.
  • The Artist’s Journey by Steven Pressfield. Another volume taunting me on my Unread Shelf.  I enjoyed Pressfield’s Do the Work and The War of Art more.
  • Professional Troublemaker: The Fear Fighter Manual by Luvvie Ajayi Jones. This is one of those self-help books that I was referring to earlier.  A different take on something that I’ve read a lot about. Jones has a different style and vibe which I am sure will appeal to some. I am sure that this will be helpful to a lot of people. Thanks to Penguin Life and Netgalley for the advanced copy even though I read it after it was released. Oh well!
  • Running Down a Dream: Your Road Map to Winning Creative Battles by Tim Grahl. Another one of those self-helps.  Not sure what this is saying about me. LOL.
  • The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner. This was my Book of the Month selection for March.  I got it because it seemed to have everything I like in a novel: two storylines (one historical; one contemporary) that come together. It was a book about a want-to-be academic/researcher.  It was about a woman coming into her own.  I wasn’t interested in the contemporary storyline; I didn’t care what happened.  It probably was my mood, not the author’s skill.
  • A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers. This is the second book in The Wayfarers’ Series. I’m really enjoying this series.
  • Intimations: Six Essays by Zadie Smith. Don’t normally read essays but these were written during the early months of quarantine.  Wasn’t what I was expecting.
  • The Echo Wife by Sarah Gailey. Another volume that was taunting me from my Unread Shelf.  It was weird.  I think it’s going to be a movie; I will watch it and will probably enjoy it more than the book.
  • The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown. This self-help book is one that I really enjoyed and marked it up.  I was not unfamiliar with the concepts having already read some of Brown’s later work but I’m happy to have it in my library to refer to later.
  • Mastering the Art of French Eating: Lessons in Food and Love from a Year in Paris by Ann Mah. This was December’s Modern Mrs. Darcy [MMD] Book Club pick.  I finally finished listening to it on audio. Thank goodness I did; reading all those French words wasn’t working out to well for this American.
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston. This was my favorite book for my English major studies and it was the MMD Book Club pick for March.  I was afraid that it was going to hold up in my estimation, 20 years later. It did.  It’s still amazing.

Currently Reading

  • Writers & Lovers by Lily King.  This is the MMD Book Club pick for the month of April.  I’m enjoying the peek into a writer’s life although it is a bit too close to real life right now. I’m still in my fantasy/sci-fi mood. Thus, my other currently reading…
  • Troy by Stephen Fry.  The only reason I know about this book is because Libro.fm offered it to me as an advanced listener’s copy.  Thanks Libro.fm. I have always been fascinated with the story of Troy since my college World Lit class. Fry is providing the backstory in a non-threatening way. It’s academic but delightfully so. He even tells you not to try to remember everything he’s telling you.  I love it and definitely enjoying being carried away to a fantasy world. It releases on June 22.

I’m linking up with Anne’s Quick Lit post. If you are here because of her, thank you. 

Let me know what you’re reading in the comments below.

enjoy life…

an original poem

I’m bringing you something a little different today. A few years ago, I took a creative writing class and we wrote a variety of poems in different styles and formats. Below, is my favorite from the class.

My Sonnet

I find myself compelled by unseen force 

To move onward, against my will almost

Then pushed back from that place, I am, of course

Propelled again and again to that coast

The crashing breaking whirling swirling, beats

Upon the shore leaving me so pristine

Undeterred the wave returns to the deep

Pushing me to retreat return retreat

This is the movement of my journeying

In and out in and out progress regress 

That if I could only find accepting

Would be to me my version of success

A peace that passeth all understanding 

Secure in a love that’s everlasting

quick lit – next page, please {february 2021}

I can’t believe that I read 13 books this month. As I said last month, I have been not watching television mindlessly and playing Rise of Kingdoms on my phone and have been reading instead.  I have taken this time mostly from my evenings and right before I go bed. The number of books I have read this year makes me wonder how much time was I wasting watching television and playing games? It’s alarming!

A couple of caveats to this month’s numbers: (1) I participated in the 24in48 Readathon during a weekend in February.  During this time I completed three books I was halfway through.  (2) One of these 13 is a short story but Goodreads counts it as a whole book and I’m going to do the same.

I continue to make a dent in my Unread Shelf this month; I read four books and DNF’d one book. I read very broadly across genres: a couple of sci-fi, which I have found to be very enjoyable right now; two memoirs; a short story; and a book that was written and illustrated by the same person.

Read

  • My Friend Fear: Finding Magic in the Unknown by Meera Lee Patel. I am fascinated by the intersection of words and pictures, writers and painters. This little volume about fear is beautifully written and illustrated by Meera Lee Patel. I had the pleasure of meeting her at Parnassus Book Store when this released. I love the artwork and the nuance you can find in each painting.
  • A Promised Land by Barack Obama. Very long but very informative. I loved how he took the time to tell us why and how he arrived at the decisions that he was making, even if I didn’t agree with his conclusions. I listened to this on audio.
  • Art and Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking by David Bayles. One of the writers that I follow (sorry, I can’t remember who) recommended this little book. I got it from my local library and immediately wanted to begin highlighting and taking notes, ergo, I bought my own copy. A great resource, I will refer to again and again.
  • Artemis: A Novel by Andy Weir. A fellow reader, hi Brigid, recommended this to me when I told her that I was feeling like reading more sci-fi. A heist on the moon! Say no more.
  • Who is Maud Dixon?: A Novel by Alexandra Andrews. Thanks to Snail on the Wall and Edelweiss for this very fun read. I didn’t read the ending like I normally do, so I didn’t see the plot-twist coming, which was surprising.
  • Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig. I loved Haig’s novel, How to Stop Time and how he explores time and depression in a lot of his work. Reasons to Stay Alive is his memoir about his depression and how he worked his way out of it. It was full of tips that he has found to help him with his mental health. A very meaningful read.
  • Mr. Death by Alix E. Harrow. This was a short story by an author who is fast becoming one of my favorites. I adored the ending. And Goodreads counted it as a book read, so I did also.
  • Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal. I read this because it was the Modern Mrs. Darcy Book Club February pick. Stradal told this story in a very unique way; the protagonist only had one chapter in her voice. The rest of the story was told in the perspective of everyone around her during the course of her life. I had not experienced this before and it was different. I don’t know if I would like all stories to be told this way, but it was very enjoyable. Plus, he was a sheer delight in his interview with Anne.
  • A Psalm for the Wild-Built by Becky Chambers. This novella was WONDERFUL! A 5-star read and one of my favorite for the year. Engaging but comforting. I cried from relief at the end; it was the release I didn’t know I needed. I don’t typically read sci-fi but on a recommendation from Brenna, a fellow team member on the podcast What Should I Read Next, Episode 268, I read Chamber’s A Long Way to a Dark Angry Planet. With this title, I believe that I will read anything Becky Chambers’ writes. I wish that “Psalm” would release immediately; all of my friends need to read this because, as the dedication says, it’s “for everyone who needs a break”, and after the year we have had, we all need this break. A HUGE thank you to Snail on the Wall and Edelweiss for early access to this one. It releases July 13.
  • Save Me from Dangerous Men by S. A. Lelchuk. This is the first in the Nikki Griffin Series. The second releases April 13. It is on my TBR.
  • The Power of Writing It Down: A Simple Habit to Unlock Your Brain and Reimagine Your Life by Ally Fallon. This was one of those that was sitting on my Unread Shelf. Yay! This one is great if you are looking for a way to get out of your own way and change your life. Highly recommended to anyone curious about a way to do that without hefty therapy costs.
  • Flunking Sainthood: A Year of Breaking the Sabbath, Forgetting to Pray, and Still Loving My Neighbor by Jana Reiss. Another one that was sitting on my Unread Shelf.
  • Good Apple: Tales of a Southern Evangelical in New York by Elizabeth Passarella. This is laugh-out-loud funny and I love LOL memoirs. Entertaining but thought-provoking, a very good combination.

Currently Reading

What’s some books you have enjoyed recently? Did any of these pique your interest? No? No matter. The real point is that we…

…enjoy life.