Welcome to Quick Lit, where we share short and sweet reviews of what we’ve been reading lately.
This month I’ve been systematically tackling the old stuff, mostly books I picked up at a used book sale here in town earlier this spring. Plus a few titles coming this August that I can’t wait to tell you about.
Today, we’re covering the old stuff. I read a few modern classics I’ve been meaning to read for AGES, a gentle YA novel that everyone in my family had read but me and my 7-year-old, and an easy-reading (or easy-listening, for me) political memoir.
I'm so glad I finally read this. I wish I could have gone into it knowing nothing at all, but I saw too many movie trailers for that to be possible. Even so, I enjoyed (though that doesn't seem like the right word) the way Ishiguro slowly introduces the reader to three teens in a 1990s British boarding school. His prose says so much while revealing so little, as it slowly dawns on the reader what is not-quite-right about these children's lives. So well done, and it makes me want to read more of his work. More info →
I was the FIFTH person to read this newish YA release in my family! Everyone but the 7-year-old has enjoyed it so far. This is the story of 16-year-old Will Porter, who's been blind all his life. We meet Will on his first day at a "mainstream" school—not his old school for the blind—and it could be going better, though he makes a few friends and develops a serious crush. Then Will finds out he qualifies for an experimental procedure that could enable him to SEE, for the first time in his life. But he's not sure if he wants it—and from Will's point of view, we discover just how complicated this vision thing really is. Make sure to read the author's acknowledgements for some very interesting backstory. More info →
I downloaded this audiobook on my husband's recommendation, and WOW was it not what I was expecting! Imagine Mindy Kaling's Why Not Me?, but with politics instead of Hollywood production, and you've got this chatty memoir about right. While Mastromonaco does offer the promised behind-the-scenes look at the Obama White House, she also shares many personal stories about everything from relationships to packing tips to her cats to meeting the Queen. More info →
I've been meaning to read this for ages, but there's never been a good time to read a memoir about grief. I decided to read it anyway, now. This book is Didion's account of year following her husband's death, but it's really about the many years of the life they lived together. Writing in real-time, she captures emotion on the page so well. I felt like this wasn't just an exploration of her own grief and mourning, but an inquiry into capital-case Grief and Mourning. So well done, and so worth reading (if a little tough to do so at times). More info →
I can't believe I didn't read this book years ago, because now that I've read it, it reminds me so much of my all-time faves Stegner, Berry, and Robinson. I don't want to say too much, but I found this up-close look at an unlikely relationship between two long-time acquaintances in small-town Colorado completely absorbing. This is definitely one of those books where the flap copy doesn't do it justice. More info →
What have YOU been reading lately? Link up your post below, or tell us all about it in comments!