Welcome to Quick Lit, where we share short and sweet reviews of what we’ve been reading lately.
This month my reading was heavily influenced by these 8 books recommended by readers with great taste. This month I also read several books I’ve been looking forward to for a long, long time, and took another stab at a book I abandoned this spring.
I'm a big fan of Newbery winner Rebecca Stead, and the reviews on her new novel are fantastic. I was underwhelmed by the composite structure and thought the ensemble cast only worked so well, but my biggest regret has nothing to do with Stead's writing. This was the first time I handed one of her novels off to my kids (in this case, my 10-year-old) without reading it first, and boy was I sorry. The three interwoven plots tackle the Sturm and Drang of adolescence, and my daughter wasn't ready to read about cyberbullying or sexting. Not bad, but nowhere close to When You Reach Me, and definitely for middle school and older. More info →
I loved Adam's previous book Introverts in the Church, so I've been looking forward to this for a long time. I very much enjoyed (and at times felt painfully convicted by) this book, which explores: what listening really is (it's probably not what you think), why it's worth doing, and why it's so terribly important in a culture that never stops talking. Relatable and wise. More info →
I used to love personal essays, but it's been a while since I've cozied up with a good collection. I'm so glad I took Katie Gibson's advice and dug into this collection. In this eclectic collection he covers writing, farming, city life, puppy love, and politics, and more. My favorite essays are "Here Is New York" and "Will Strunk." The first needs no explanation; the second pays tribute to the author of The Elements of Style. More info →
I gave the hardback version of this debut novel a try back in the spring and abandoned it halfway through. But in October this was one of the 8 books recommended by readers with great taste. Marybeth Whalen specifically recommended the audio, so I downloaded it and started again, from the beginning. This time it hooked me. The narrators' accents—especially for Ove—are fantastic. I laughed and cried and couldn't stop listening. But do yourself a favor: don't even think about finishing this novel in a public place, and think about removing your mascara first. More info →