quick lit – next page, please {september 2020}

Quick Lit - Next Page , Please {September 2020}

I read so much this month. I really surprised myself. I am 9 books ahead of schedule in my goal to read 40 books this year. I have only have 2 more left to reach my goal.

On the other hand, my Modern Mrs. Darcy 2020 Reading Challenge is not going nearly as well. I have only read 6 of the 10 categories and am missing the following: (1) a book by a local author-I’m not sure how to categorize this-local in my city or my state, (2) a book in translation-does British English to American English count? (3) A book nominated for an award in 2020 and (4) a classic you didn’t read in school.

Here’s what I read last month and what I am currently reading now.

Read

  • The Lions of Fifth Avenue by Fiona Davis. This was THE pick from Modern Mrs. Darcy’s Summer Reading Guide. And I liked it; didn’t love it but I did like it. The storyline was a bit more serious so it wasn’t a light-hearted read that I expected but I did like it and am happy to have read it.
  • The Heiress: The Revelations of Anne de Bourgh by Molly Greeley. This book imagines the life of Lady Catherine de Bourgh’s daughter, Anne, whom we know next to nothing except that she is sickly. Well, Greeley, fills in those gaps for you and gives us an idea of what might have happened when she didn’t wed Darcy. It was very interest. Thanks to William Morrow for the Advanced Reader’s Edition.
  • Untamed by Glennon Doyle. I have finished my reread of this one. And will probably read it again.
  • The Midnight Library by Matt Haig. I identified with the main character, Nora Seed, I have not experienced anything like the death of parent, the total estrangement of a sibling, or my cat dying but I did once have a sense of an overall dissatisfaction, a malaise, with my life and some of the choices that I believed had led me to that point. I have dealt with guilt and regret which are teh true villains in this story. I enjoyed this tale of Nora moving from regret to acceptance and the lessons Haig teaches on the journey. I plan on rereading this again at some point. I have also added one of his backlist, How to Stop Time, to my TBR. Thanks to Netgalley for the advanced reader’s digital copy.
  • Crazy Stupid Bromance (Bromance Book Club #3) by Lyssa Kay Adams. I love the premise of the Bromance Book Club series; a bunch of guys get together to read romance novels to help them with their relationships with their spouses/significant others. Can’t wait for #4. Thanks to Snail on the Wall via Edelweis for the advanced reader’s digital copy.
  • What You Wish For by Katherine Center. She joined Brene Brown at a virtual event and said that people mistakenly believed that Katherine Center was Brene Brown’s pen name for writing fiction. I had to admit that the thought had occurred to me as well. Her stories often deal with issues of vulnerability and forgiveness. While I liked this novel, my favorite of her’s is still Happiness for Beginners. Thanks to Netgally for the advanced reader’s digital copy. Just took me a while to get to it.
  • The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo. This is my first novel-in-verse. I don’t really count myself as a poetry girl but I really enjoyed this one. And she was delightful when she joined the Modern Mrs. Darcy Book Club last month.

Currently Reading

  • The Mother-in-Law by Sally Hepworth. Anne’s pick from my time as a guest on the What Should I Read Next podcast and the current pick of the Rocket City Mom Virtual Book Club. I am halfway through it with just one sitting so, yeah, it’s good!
  • A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith. This is the classic that I didn’t read that everyone tells me I will just love. I started giving it a go last month and haven’t really made much progress. We will see but I don’t know if I’m going to finish since I have another book in my mind for that classic category.

DNF’d (Did Not Finish Reading)

  • A Study in Charlotte (Charlotte Holmes #1) by Brittany Cavallaro. Charlotte is the sister of Sherlock Holmes, one of my favorite fictional characters but, at some point, you have to decide whether a book is for you at this time or not. I read the first few chapters and if I didn’t have so many anticipated reads I might have finished it. A book for another time, perhaps.
  • Uncommon Type by Tom Hanks. I started this on audio. I had it in my head that these were short stories from Tom Hank’s life and I don’t think that was the case. I read/listened to the first two stories and then had to return it to library.
  • Midnight Sun (The Twilight Saga #5) by Stephenie Meyer. This is a very thick hardback (and I generally like my fiction the shorter side) and it is in demand at my local library so I was unable to finish it before I had to return it. I don’t know if I am particularly interested in finishing it. After all, I know how the story ends.

Anticipated Reading

Check out the Rocket City Mom Virtual Book Club if you need some more reading inspiration. If you are a member of the Modern Mrs. Darcy Book Club, you can check out Anne’s interview with the delightful Elizabeth Acevedo here. If you’re not a member, join the fun.

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 thank you and her.

What have you been reading lately?

enjoy life…

quick lit – next page, please {july 2020}

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It’s back – my reading life that is.  I’m so happy about that! It got a huge jolt when I attended the Modern Mrs. Darcy’s Book Club Stay at Home Retreat last month.  I will have to talk all about that in another post. And I continue to be four books ahead of schedule in my goal to read 40 books this year.

Read

  • Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art by Madeleine L’Engle. A thought-provoking read by the author of A Wrinkle in Time. I haven’t read Wrinkle or watch the corresponding movie but this book makes me want to. And pick up everything else L’Engle has ever written, for that matter.
  • 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 – was fascinating. I LOVE alternate histories/the-road-not-taken stories.  As a kid, I enjoyed chose-your-adventure stories. I have been wondering what that says about me as a person but we will save that for another post.
  • Evidence of the Affair by Taylor Jenkins Reid. Although I have adamantly proclaimed that I can’t get into audiobooks, this is my second audiobook in as many months. Technically it’s an audio short story but Goodreads counts it as a book so I will too. A short read, er, listen, I finished cleaning my house to keep this one going.  I really enjoy Taylor Jenkins Reid’s work and this was no exception. This is an Amazon Original.
  • Dream Work by Mary Oliver. I have finally completed a book of poems since graduating from college with an English degree, if I don’t count Cleo Wade’s Heart Talk: Poetic Wisdom for a Better Life which I don’t but thoroughly enjoyed. I have enjoyed Mary Oliver’s essays and when we were just beginning social-distancing and reading was a struggle, someone suggested shaking things up by reading a book of poems.  Sometimes, I understood what Oliver was saying and the words were so profound.  Other times, I didn’t understand a thing and the words were incoherent.  That being said, I will probably try another book of poems very soon.

Currently Reading

  • Untamed by Glennon Doyle. Yep, still dipping in and out of this as the mood strikes. Since I have a number of other exciting things to read, not as often as before but I plan on finishing reading and journaling through it this year.
  • 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 found myself struggling to read this one in a digital format so I switched to audio and am now making good progress.
  • A Rule Against Murder by Louise Penny. This is my fourth book in the Inspector Gamache series and as I said two months ago, I LOVE this series.  One thing that I really like is that these are written during a particular season, IE A Rule Against Murder takes place during the summer.  I am enjoying reading them in the season that they take place. Another interesting thing to note is I am reading this on Kindle and audiobook at the same time.  Who knew I was pronouncing all those French words so wrong?
  • The Lions of Fifth Avenue by Fiona Davis. It’s here! My Modern Mrs. Darcy’s Summer Reading Guide Pick.  I could fly through this in a matter of hours but I am enjoying it slowly.  So far, it’s got everything that I love: writing, books, library, artifacts, alternate historical timelines.  So excited! I also enjoyed this interview with Fiona Davis, sponsored in part by the St. Louis County Library and HEC Media.

In Case You Were Wondering

Yes, I talk a lot about the Modern Mrs. Darcy’s space here and I always have. If you’re looking to kindle, or rekindle, your reading life, she’s the place to start. Her Summer Reading Guide has been the described as the “Christmas” of book lovers and her Book Club is one of two that I participate in. I’m so excited because she has decided to have “Christmas” all year long and have a Fall Book Preview on Tuesday, September 1 for the members of her Book Club and What Should I Read Next Patreon communities.  This will be very much in-line with her Summer Reading Guide but have 40 (ish) books for Fall.  My TBR may not recover.

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 thank you and her. As Anne would say, “Happy Reading”.

enjoy life…

 

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…