What I’ve been reading lately: new and notable.

What I’ve been reading lately: new and notable.

Welcome to Quick Lit! This is where I share short and sweet reviews of what I’ve been reading lately, and invite you to do the same.

This past month I’ve been focusing on books that came out at the end of 2014 or the very beginning of 2015.

The Day the Angels Fell

The Day the Angels Fell

Neil Gaiman meets Madeleine L'Engle. Shawn Smucker's excellent YA novel, and I just found out another podcast guest Adam Verner read the audiobook! Listen to Shawn on Episode 84 of What Should I Read Next, and Adam Verner on Episode 31. I'm a longtime fan of Smucker's nonfiction. Read my mini-review here. The ebook is not on sale, but you do not have to be an Audible member to get this price. More info →
The Miniaturist

The Miniaturist

This 2014 release got a ton of end-of-year buzz. The writing was solid but I ultimately found the story—an exploration of love, affluence, and greed—unsatisfying, because the author left some of the most compelling parts of the story unexplored. I wouldn't bother with this one if I had it to do over. I listened to this as an audiobook, and Davina Porter's narration was pitch-perfect. More info →
The Life Intended

The Life Intended

I hinted at this book in the post in the waiting room; now that it's actually on bookstore shelves I can say a bit more. The publisher calls this Sliding Doors meets P.S. I Love You: the premise is far-fetched, but it's supposed to be. Harmel uses her strange jumping-off point to explore how suffering shapes our lives in surprising and even hopeful ways. Don't worry: it's not at all depressing, and Harmel's a great storyteller. More info →
Greenglass House

Greenglass House

It's Christmas vacation at the smuggler's inn Greenglass House, and Milo finds himself with a mystery to unravel. While I couldn't help but wonder if the author was tipping her hat to The Phantom Tollbooth, the story reminded me of The Mysterious Benedict Society. An engaging read for kids and adults alike, and a perfect choice for cozy winter evenings. More info →
The Rosie Effect

The Rosie Effect

I wanted to love this follow-up to the surprising and delightful The Rosie Project. I'm not the first reviewer to note it's twice as long and half as good as the original. Heads up: Simsion's third novel, The Best of Adam Sharp, is due out May 2, 2017. More info →

What have YOU been reading lately?

What I've been reading lately: new and notable books that are getting tons of buzz.

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  1. Anne says:

    Wah to all the bad reviews of The Rosie Effect. 🙁 I reviewed Peace Like a River this month, and I wonder if any of you would agree with my quick thought on Swede, one of the characters.

  2. Morgan says:

    Recently finished:
    The Harem Midwife- loved
    The Husband’s Secret- liked
    The Lonesome Gods- blergh
    The Happiness Project- meh
    The Bell Jar- appreciated
    Millbank- loved
    Gift from the Sea- savored
    Wuthering Heights- loved
    The Signature of All Things- liked

    Currently reading:
    Jane Eyre
    The Book Thief
    As I Lay Dying
    Let’s Pretend This Never Happened

  3. Nolo says:

    I want to show a little love to The Rosie Effect. Yes, it isn’t as good as the first. But it is a funny book about a man whose life has gotten bigger because of the changes in his life brought about by the The Rosie Project. Some parts of the book made me laugh out loud, more than the first one did. Improbable parts of the story? Sure. But not a book that should be completely dismissed.

    As an aside, I highly recommend The Journal of Best Practices: A Memoir of Marriage, Asperger Syndrome, and One Man’s Quest to Be a Better Husband. A loose description would be to say it is a non-fiction version of the main character in the Rosie books.

  4. Brenda Klassen says:

    2015 has been off to a good start. I have read:
    1) The Art of Deception by Nora Roberts * very quick read.
    2) Andrew’s brain by E. L. Doctorow * very interesting to listen to.
    3) Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella * new author for me, interesting story.
    4) The Traitors Wife by Allison Pataki * read for a Book Club & can’t wait to discuss.

  5. I felt the same way about The Miniaturist! I read it over the weekend, and I thought I would enjoy it more than I did. It was a compelling story, but I don’t feel like she ever answered how? or why?, which was very frustrating. I have the Rosie Effect on my list, but I’m currently hopping between Life after Life (kicking myself for taking this long to read it), and In the Heart of the Sea.

  6. Johanna says:

    As to Rosie Effect: Yes, exactly! You summarized it so accurately: cringing and crying where I had been laughing in the Rosie Project. I love your blog so much.

  7. Amy says:

    Adding “The Day the Angels Fell” to my list – sounds like it could be a good one to read & have “virtual book club” with my goddaughter. I gave her The Giver Quartet for Christmas & she can’t wait for me to finish reading it all so we can discuss it. I’m so looking forward to book discussions with her!

    The Rosie Effect is on my list – but will probably drift down a bit. “Lizzy & Jane” was under the tree and I’m looking forward to reading it soon. I seem to be alternating between the fiction & the non fiction that was under the tree for me.

  8. Stacey says:

    Thank you as always for being my motivation to collect my monthly books! My oldest is reading The Hunger Games right now and she has so many questions that I am working my way through the series again. It’s one of those times that I’m thankful for my questionable memory because a lot of it is ‘new again’. Disturbing story but I still admire Suzanne Collins imagination!

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