What I’ve been reading lately.

What I’ve been reading lately.

I’ve been reading a lot lately. There’s snow on the ground, but I’m deep in summer reading guide prep. I’ve been working my way through long books that deserve posts of their own, and shorter books I won’t be able to share for months. (Some short books deserve posts of their own, too.)

Today, I want to share the fast and fun books I’ve been reading lately—the books you could read in one sitting, if you really wanted to.

DEPT. OF SPECULATION

17402288by Jenny Offill

This slender novel was a surprise pick on many a best-of-2014 list. Now that I’ve read it, I don’t see what the fuss is about. If I liked it, it would be for its authentic narrative voice and voyeuristic feel. But as the couple’s story unfolded, I just didn’t care. It’s a quick read, but I kind of raced through this one—and not in a good way.

FAIREST

Fairest by Marissa Meyer: a book I can't wait to read in 2015 | Modern Mrs Darcyby Marissa Meyer

I blew through the latest (and originally unplanned) installment of The Lunar Chronicles in an afternoon. This slim volume is wholly devoted to Levana (that’s the evil queen, to the uninitiated), and it lacked the spark and humor of the other books. But if you’re a fan, I wouldn’t skip it.

 MY YEAR WITH ELEANOR

by Noelle Hancock

10321825I loved the idea of this book. When Hancock loses her way after losing her job, Eleanor Roosevelt’s admonition to “Do one thing every day that scares you” inspires her to get her life back on track. I wish there was more of Eleanor in this memoir, which felt lightweight (and surprisingly vulgar) compared to the great lady herself. My advice: skip this and go straight to the source: the fantastic You Learn By Living, the compiled columns in My Day, or Doris Kearns Goodwin’s popular history No Ordinary Time.

BRAVE GIRLS

21412264by Stacey Radin

There is some great information here, but this didn’t need to be a full-length book. Most of the data and anecdotes come from Radin’s work with her nonprofit, Unleashed, which grew tiresome. On the other hand, it was crystal clear that teaching vulnerable middle school girls to champion a cause they believed in taught them to advocate for themselves.

21437200VERONICA MARS: MR. KISS AND TELL

by Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham

So much fun for Veronica Mars fans, and a bit stronger than the first fiction attempt. (Don’t get me wrong: I ate that one up.) This book picks up where the movie left off, with a case that hits uncomfortably close to home for Veronica. I read it in two days.

What have you been reading lately?

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45 comments

  1. Breanne says:

    I read both Veronica Mars novels this month and loved them, so fun to see what happens next in Neptune and to the characters.

    I’m excited about the summer reading guide, mostly because it means that summer is coming….=)

  2. I’m finally getting back into the link up after missing it for a few months! One of the books I just finished last night that didn’t make it in my review post was A Duty to the Dead by Charles Todd – sorta like a Maisie Dobbs-lookalike that wasn’t quite as good…but enjoyable all the same.

  3. April Clark says:

    Yes! 3 of these books were on my TBR list. Now just 1 is (Mr. Kiss and Tell). I love culling out the mediocre ones so there’s more time for books I will really like.

  4. Molly says:

    I recently finished Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty and really enjoyed it. It didn’t grip me as quickly as What Alice Forgot but was still very good. Another book I picked up recently (not high literature or even a novel) is Goodnight iPad by Ann Droyd. Yes, it is a parody, but it is a parody well done.

  5. Cassie says:

    I felt the same way about Dept of Speculation, I just didn’t see what everyone else was talking about. And I have been very impatiently waiting for the Lunar Chronicles to get close to wrapping up so I don’t have to wait once I get started.

    • Anne says:

      That’s smart about The Lunar Chronicles. I just read the first three books in August, and I definitely felt like I needed to reorient myself with all the characters. And I’ll have to do it again when Winter comes out in November! I was impatient but waiting definitely has its advantages with a series like this.

  6. Cath in Ottawa says:

    Dept of Speculation just arrived for me at the library so that’s next in my queue! I just finished All the Light We Cannot See (which I liked) and am now reading The Romanov Sisters, which I’m struggling with a little bit. That being said, it’s ALWAYS good to be reading when it’s minus 37 degrees Celsius with the windchill …

  7. liz n. says:

    Oy, I’m reading anything BUT “quick” reads right now: “Moby Dick” and “The Year of the Flood.” I rarely have more than one book going at a time, but I couldn’t decide which to read first. I’m also enjoying a visual feast with one of Trish Burr’s embroidery books that I was extremely lucky to find at Half Price Books!

    • Anne says:

      This week I had to make up for the previous week’s reads: I was working on a giant Doris Kearns Goodwin novel and Middlemarch, both in the 800 page range! (Still working on Middlemarch…)

      • liz n. says:

        I love Middlemarch so, so much! But I won’t be picking it up any time soon! I will definitely need something lighter after these two!

  8. Corby says:

    I just finished The Paris Winter by Imogen Robertson. Good quick read and three interesting women trying to fund their way in a new world order….women having more freedom to choose what they want to do in life

  9. Annie says:

    I didn’t love Dept of Speculation either, although her description of what it’s like to have a baby who won’t sleep was spot on. Thanks for steering my reading time.

  10. Stacey says:

    Oh bummer. I heard so much about Department of Speculation that I was really looking forward to it. I read a lot this month too. I suppose it’s a benefit of the crazy snow and cold! Thank you as always for hosting this link up. I love keeping track of what I’ve read each month.

  11. Sarah says:

    I loved Dept. of Speculation. Also, the Veronica Mars was SO great, as a fan–I couldn’t put it down, either. I thought, wow, could you stop picking on Weevil? So, I thought it was not going to be good, but then it did! 🙂

  12. Erin M. says:

    I don’t have a post to link up, but I’ve recently finished The Fringe Hours by Jessica Turner, Divergent (I’m a little behind the rest of the world!), Own Your Life by Sally Clarkson, and the River of Time series by Lisa T. Bergren! I’m working on several right now and might have to do a post like this at the end of each month since I’m reading more!

  13. Vanessa says:

    Dept. of Speculation has been on my to-read list for awhile but I might just skip it after hearing you didn’t think it was special. I’ve been taking on too many ho-hum books lately and need some winners!

  14. Kayris says:

    I couldn’t sleep last night and ended up staying up until midnight reading “We Were Liars.” I’m still can’t decide if I liked it or not. It took awhile to take off, and while I didn’t see the surprise ending coming, I felt nothing but fury towards the adults, especially grandfather “oh no, brown people on my island!” Sinclair.

    I’m reading a nonfiction about vodka, which is actually super interesting, and Marie Lu’s latest, The Young Elites, which I am struggling with.

  15. Anne says:

    I had an Eleanor Roosevelt quotation on my college dorm room bulletin board, freshman year, but I’ve never read a book about her! This one sounds good.

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