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

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

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

I’ve been trying to stay on top of spring’s new releases. Today I’m sharing 5 of my favorites.


by Rachel Held Evans

22574709I’ve been impatiently awaiting a new release from Held Evans, and this one doesn’t disappoint. The author’s adult experience with the church mirrors my own, and that’s not a coincidence: the book explicitly addresses the struggles millions of American millennials have with organized religion. The book is structured around the seven sacraments, so it’s no wonder that though categorized as a memoir, there’s a lot of theology here. (Readers of her blog and past books will have a good idea of what to expect.) Very fun to see my own church make a cameo appearance. Honest, moving, relatable. Release date: April 14.


by Lauren Winner

18669493People of faith are used to hearing metaphors for God—usually the same ones, over and over again. In her new book, Winner pushes aside these overfamiliar images to explore some of the more obscure biblical metaphors for God: clothing, laughter, fire, a laboring woman. More exposition than memoir, although my favorite parts were her insights from the class she taught at the local women’s prison. Intelligent and detailed, but not dry. Release date: March 31.


by Elizabeth Berg

23256785Berg’s brand-new novel is based on the incredible and iconoclastic life of French novelist Aurore Dupin, better known by her pen name: George Sand. Berg’s portrait of Dupin’s life, work, and motivations is fascinating, but like so many novels of this type—The Paris Wife, Loving Frank, The Aviator’s Wife—Sand’s voice never felt right to me. (If you like that type of novel, add this to your list.) This was my first Berg novel and I’d like to give her another try: what should I read next? Release date: April 14.



by Caroline Starr Rose

Starr Rose’s follow-up to sleeper hit May B. The year: 1587. The setting: Roanoke island. Two girls—one Native American, one just off the boat from London—form an unlikely friendship in the midst of dangerous relations between the settlers and the Roanoke tribe. YA historical fiction, written in verse, (which has “a book in a genre you don’t usually read” written all over it, at least for me). The verse makes for quick reading, so your kids will enjoy plowing through a 400 page book in record time. Release date: March 10.


by Lisa Genova

22716194I went on a tear and read all of Genova’s works in one short month this spring, enjoying her fictional but uncannily accurate portraits of those affected by various neurological conditions—Alzheimer’s disease, left neglect, autism. In her latest book, she tackles Huntington’s, a lethal neurodegenerative disease which has no treatment and no cure. Genova describes it in her forward as “the cruelest disease known to man.” I couldn’t get through this book, but not because it wasn’t good: it might have been too good. Genova’s tale of a Boston police officer’s progressive illness wrecked me. A gripping read, but not for the faint of heart. Release date: April 7.

What have you been reading lately?

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  1. Julie R says:

    Blue Birds sounds like something my daughter would like. Would you recommend it for an almost 10 year old who is an advanced reader?

    • Anne says:

      Probably, but that will depend on the 10-year-old. There is some violence, but it’s not more serious than most fifth graders’ assigned reading for school.

  2. Sarah says:

    Always so happy to see your suggestions Anne, and also delighted that some of them are Christian fiction and non-fiction (I have no problem with people whose beliefs differ from mine or who choose to read different types of literature, but I often find it’s so hard to find good religious material for those who are interested.) Thanks for sharing! Can’t wait to check these out.

  3. Meredith says:

    I am about 2/3rds of the way through Outlander on audible, working through Thirteenth Tale, Tess of the d’Ubervilles and The Geography of You and Me. Way too many on my TBR list, but I’m plugging away 😉

  4. Leah says:

    I’ve only read one novel written in verse and was VERY hesitant about it in the beginning (would it feel too hokey/gimmicky, would I get a good feel for the characters and the story?) That book? brown girl dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson. I was lucky enough to have received an early copy, but it’s one I MUST own in hardback – or even a trade, just as long as I own SOME sort of finished copy. I’m not too big on YA or memoirs, but this one completely surpassed any and all expectations. Highly, highly recommended if you haven’t already read it!

    I’m typically a one-book-at-a-time kind of girl, but these past few weeks I’ve gone a little crazy. Throughout childhood and on into high school/college, it was the norm for me to be in the middle of 5, 6 books at once. I cut back over the past few years and only recently remember just how much I enjoyed it. This week I finished Clifford Jackman’s The Winter Family – a delicious gritty western, basically Tarantino in book form and Joel Fishbane’s The Thunder of Giants, a fictional take on real-life giant Anna Swan. I enjoyed it while reading, but it’s not one I would revisit.

    And I’ve fallen back in love with audiobooks. I’m almost finished with Erik Larson’s Dead Wake, about the sinking of the Lusitania, and man oh man I will be sad when this one is over.

    • Anne says:

      I keep hearing great things about Brown Girl Dreaming but haven’t read it yet. Thanks for the nudge.

      Erik Larson’s new book sounds so interesting.

  5. Karen says:

    My favorite Elizabeth Berg book is What We Keep. I know you shouldn’t “judge a book by its cover”…..but I do! And I love her covers. I know…I’m shallow :). As for Inside The O’Brien’s….I was disappointed. I LOVE Lisa Genova’s books. They are educational and good stories. I just could not connect to the characters in this one. Maybe it’s because she presented so many differing reactions? At times I felt like I was reading a case study instead of a novel. Regardless, I am glad I read it as It raised my awareness to Huntington’s Disease and the agony of the disease. My favorite part is that she is using her work to raise funding to find a cure.

  6. Jennifer says:

    I wouldn’t read any more Elizabeth Berg. When I was in college (25 years ago) I read Talk Before Sleep and absolutely fell in love with it. I gave a copy to my mom who read it and loved it and gave copies to her best girlfriends. I’ve tried reading a couple other of her books since then and just can’t get into them. For me, she’s a one-hit wonder.

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