Welcome to Quick Lit, where we share short and sweet reviews of what we’ve been reading lately.
I’m currently doing major Summer Reading Guide prep (aka reading a ton of titles coming out between now and July 4) but I’m trying to mix it up—because otherwise I start to suffer from major new fiction fatigue. This month I enjoyed 3 strong recommendations from my fellow readers, a Newbery book that’s been on my TBR for too long, and a modern classic I’ve been meaning to read for a decade.
Will and I were fighting over who got to read this first! The author is a former hostage negotiator for the FBI. His workplace tales were fascinating, of course, but I was also impressed at how he took those principles and applied them to everyday life—like negotiating a salary, or buying a house, or having normal, everyday conversations with your kids. This is one I want to read again, because I'm certain I didn't absorb everything on my first read. (I happened to read this RIGHT before we put our old house on the market, which was perfect timing!) More info →
I just loved this. It’s a Newbery Honor Book, set during WWII, and the plot is set in motion when two children—one of whom is very much unwanted—are evacuated from London into the British countryside. (If you think this sounds like Everyone Brave Is Forgiven you’re exactly right.) I'm very much looking forward to the sequel, due out this fall. More info →
Confession: this is the first time I've read the whole thing, not just excerpts. I listened to the Claire Danes audio version. Her narration was understated (in a good way), which made the story extra-creepy. I'd recommend the audio, but I'm so glad I finally read this in any format. More info →
In December 1984, a very real assassination attempt was made on Margaret Thatcher's life at the Grand Hotel in Brighton, where Thatcher was staying with her cabinet. That thwarted attempt was Lee's jumping off point for this novel. He imagines what might have happened, telling the story through the eyes of three different characters: a conspirator in the plot, the hotel manager, and the manager's teenage daughter. I was impressed at how Lee made each of these characters spring to life, instead of making this a cardboard retelling of 1984's events. An interesting, quick read. More info →
This was recommended to me on the What should ANNE read next? episode of What Should I Read Next. This was a well-written, genre-bending story, and I have to agree with what this book's fans urged me to do: don't read the description, just dive in. I was surprised at how much it reminded me of A.S. Byatt; a must-read for fans of the show Once Upon a Time. More info →