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 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.

Series: December Quick Lit
Coming Clean: A Story of Faith

Coming Clean: A Story of Faith

Author:
This was one of my favorite nonfiction books of the year. A new release shouldn't be priced this low, so snatch it up while it lasts. More info →
Goodbye Stranger

Goodbye Stranger

Author:
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 →
The Listening Life

The Listening Life

Author:
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 →
Essays of E. B. White

Essays of E. B. White

Author:
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 →
A Man Called Ove

A Man Called Ove

Author:
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 →

What have YOU been reading lately?

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56 comments

  1. Vanessa says:

    Just finished A man called Ove and can’t say I liked it. I didn’t like the character himself, as he seemed emotionally abusive by withholding all love and smiles. I know he had his troubles, everyone does, but his unkindness spread in waves around him. I also thought it read more like a screen play than a book. Backman was able to draw some laughs and tears, but otherwise the book was flat to me.

    • Anne says:

      Did you read it on paper or do the audio book? (I abandoned the hardcover but a friend convinced me to give the audio a try, and I enjoyed that version so much more.)

      • Vanessa says:

        Paper. I suppose that a good narrator could make a difference to a book. When Cherry Jones narrates the Little House on the Prairie series, there is more poetry in it.

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