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 on the 15th of the month.

I read a nice little stack of spring and summer 2022 releases this month, and more time vetting books for future Modern Mrs Darcy Book Club selections, and I can’t tell you about those yet. (Soon!) But I didn’t want my reading month to feel rushed, and so as you’ll see, I spent a great deal of time slowly working my way through an essay collection, a nonfiction craft book, and a lengthy sequel to a mystery I loved. (I was hoping to tell you about one more fun book in today’s round-up, but alas, I still have 40 pages to go!)

This is just a sampling of the books I’ve read since our last round of Quick Lit. If you’re interested in hearing more about my recent reads, I highly recommend tuning into my podcast What Should I Read Next. In a show about books, I can’t help but discuss my current reading. (I also share what I’m currently reading in our weekly podcast newsletter: if you aren’t already signed up, click here to get on the list.)

I can’t wait to hear about your recent reads in comments. 

Short and sweet reviews of what I’ve been reading lately

Winter Solstice

Winter Solstice

I began rereading this on Christmas Day because the snug story felt exactly right for my reading mood. In this quiet novel, five individuals aged 14 to 70-something, each dealing with their own painful personal tragedy, are unexpectedly brought together during the Christmas season in the Scottish countryside. They have each, for their own reasons, decided not to celebrate the holiday this year; because of painful events in their recent pasts they don't think they can bear it. But redemption is found in surprising places, and this bunch of distant family, friends, and strangers finds love and redemption when they didn't dare to hope for it. This was a wonderful way to close out my reading year. More info →
These Precious Days: Essays

These Precious Days: Essays

I wasn't going to read this, and then enough bookseller friends recommended it that I changed my mind. In this broad essay collection, Ann Patchett reflects on the writing life, significant friendships, bookstore ownership, and taking mushrooms (really!). I had read earlier versions of some pieces before—and maybe you have, too, because we shared them in Links I Love, but I enjoyed both revisiting those and reading her new work. You may be surprised to hear my favorite issues center not on her writing experience but on complex family relationships, as she does in "The Nightstand" and "Two More Things I Want to Say About My Father." More info →
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Moonflower Murders

Moonflower Murders

Last fall I felt like the universe wanted me to read Magpie Murders, and I was so glad I finally did! Over the holiday break I picked up the sequel, though I'll admit to being intimidated by its hefty (600+) page count. No spoilers here, but the story picks up shortly after Magpie left off. Editor Susan Ryeland is called upon to investigate a murder: in a far-away British hotel called The Moonflower, a man was brutally murdered—and the owners think the key to discovering the perpetrator of the crime lies in a book Susan edited years ago. This was a satisfying puzzle of a book, and the story-within-a-story format added extra layers of interest for this reader. More info →
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The Science of Storytelling: Why Stories Make Us Human and How to Tell Them Better

The Science of Storytelling: Why Stories Make Us Human and How to Tell Them Better

I enjoy reading the occasional book on the craft of writing, and I've been slowly making my way through this newish release this winter. Storr posits that stories make us human: we were evolved to care deeply about what happens to others, and our brains crave to understand the causes and effects of human behavior. (You know what we love most of all, according to Storr? GOSSIP. It's biology; we can't help ourselves.) According to Storr, when we better understand the physiology of stories, we tell better stories. I especially loved his copious examples, which run the gamut from Shakespeare to contemporary bestsellers. More info →
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My Contrary Mary (The Lady Janies)

My Contrary Mary (The Lady Janies)

I've thoroughly enjoyed this lively YA series that takes wild and laughable liberties with familiar historical events, giving them much happier endings than you may remember. (In fact, the dedication page reads, "For the people who feel like they have to be perfect. And for France: we're sorry for what we're about to do to your history, but it was your turn." In this new installment, which builds on the events of My Lady Jane, Mary Queen of Scots takes center stage, just before her arranged marriage to her childhood friend Francis. I enjoyed this on audio: as read by Fiona Hardingham, who also narrated my recent listen Once Upon a Wardrobe. I will say that while this story was good fun, it didn't hold the thrill of the first Lady Janies book, simply because I knew what to expect this time—although the Brexit joke made me laugh out loud. More info →
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What have YOU been reading lately? Tell us about your recent reads—or share the link to a blog or instagram post about them—in comments. 


Leave A Comment
  1. I always get so many ideas from your book lists, Anne. Thank you!

    I recently wrote a round-up of my favorite books of 2021. Sometimes it’s so hard to choose. I read such a wide variety of books last year, so my list includes Ruth Ozeki, Willa Cather, and Anthony Horowitz (just like Anne!) – all very different writers! Please visit my Cozy Burrow to see what else I chose: https://katiegilley.com/2022/01/10/2021-bookish-highlights/

    I’m looking forward to visiting other bloggers and finding more books for my TBR 🙂

    • Beth W. Weber says:

      Agreed, I went into read Rob Lowe’s memoir skeptical and really enjoyed. It gave a completely new perspective on him. The book has really stayed with me.

    • Erin says:

      Rob has two memoirs, Stories I Only Tell My Friends, and Love Life. The former was better but the second was good too! I listened to both and they’re incredible in his voice. And I’m now listening to Stanley Tucci’s taste, on Anne’s recommendation! It’s delectable! 🙂

  2. Shaeon says:

    I also read Winter Solstice (actually listened to it on audio, excellent) and My Precious Days. Perfect end of year/beginning of year pick!!!

  3. Tracey says:

    My two most standout books in the last month are Firekeeper’s Daughter (it reminded me of the show Veronica Mars but with more depth – soo good) and Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine which was more intense than I expected but had lots of humour to balance it out. I really loved them both!

  4. Beth Gross says:

    The Science of Storytelling looks fascinating.

    I’ve just started The Lines Between Us by Amy Lynn Green about smoke jumpers in the Pacific northwest during WWII.

    I also surprised myself by breezing through some regency romances that I loved– Edenbrooke and Blackmoore by Julianne Donaldson and The Kiss of a Stranger by Sarah M Eden.

    Two books I read recently that weren’t for me were 10 Blind Dates and The Woman with the Blue Star.

    I’m also learning a lot from Bonnie Gray’s memoir, Sweet
    like Jasmine.

    On my blog I posted More Books Like The Hiding Place. https://purplecrayonyourworld.com/more-books-like-the-hiding-place/

    • Hi Beth, I couldn’t find a spot to comment on your blog. Great selection of books. I wouldn’t have connected them with The Hiding Place (my favorite book of all time), but I completely see the connecting threads now that you’ve woven them so well!! I love many of the books on your list, so I think you’re definitely onto something! Added This Beautiful Truth to my TBR. I remember hearing Sarah was writing a new book and I forgot to look into it.

  5. Danita says:

    I don’t have a blog or list to send you to- just the wholehearted recommendation to listen to ANY of Anthony Horowitz books on audio. Moonflower Murdees was fantastic to listen to- seriously a great narrator makes or breaks a book for me! I am a college professor and Audio books are my stress release on the drive home- love losing myself in a British mystery on my drive!!

    • Joanne A says:

      I am glad to hear that all of the Anthony Horowitz books are good on audio. I have just listened to one and that was Magpie Murders 🙂

    • Mandy Minick says:

      Thanks for the great tip. I have wanted to reread some of the Horowitz books (because I alway miss details the first time!) but they are big books. Listening on audio would be a great way to reread.

  6. Monica Wilson says:

    I read These Precious Days in December and for January, among other books, I am reading (on your recommendations) Winter Solstice and The Snow Child for some winter reading (even though I am in CA and sat outside reading on our deck yesterday in 75 degrees!)

  7. Sandy says:

    I’ve just finished the biography “Stalin’s Meteorologist” and the novels “Agent Sonya” and “Marrying Winterbourne”, and I’m starting the novels “The Lincoln Highway” and The Cellist.”

  8. Deb says:

    I just finished The Cape Ann by Faith Sullivan as part of a 2022 reading challenge. It’s about a family living through the depression era as told by a young girl. All she wants is a new house and the design of the house is the Cape Ann. I also did a read-along with my high school granddaughter for her literature class – Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. Not for me but it’s always fun to read books the grandkids are reading.

    • Laura says:

      Deb, I loved reading that you’re reading along with your granddaughter! I don’t have grandchildren yet, but that sounds lovely! How wonderful that you and your granddaughter have that closeness and books to discuss. Good for you and for her!

  9. Kelly Hazenfield says:

    Winter Solstice is a yearly read for me along with Coming Home, another Rosamunde Pilcher family saga. The characters become your friends and you want nothing more than to sit down at Elfrida’s kitchen table with a cup of tea to learn from what happened next.

    • Ruth O says:

      I read Winter Solstice each December, and yes, I have always wanted to visit Elfrida! Love her writing so much and reread The Shell Seekers in the fall.

  10. Corey says:

    Winter Solstice is a rare re-read for me. Last time I read it, I had my local wine shop order me a bottle of ginger wine so that I could make a Whiskey Mac like they have in the pub in the book. It’s yummy!

  11. Mandy M says:

    I got Anthony Horowitz’s A Line to Kill for Christmas (hinting works!) and read it straight up. I had wanted to read it after reading Magpie & Moonflower books last year. New book did not disappoint. The new year seems to put me in a nonfiction place. I’ve read about the founder of Glacier National Park and little histories of the US Capital in January thus far.

      • Mandy Minick says:

        Hi Sue – The Father of Glacier National Park: Discoveries and Explorations in His Own Words. Author George Bird Grennell as compiled by Hugh Grinnell. Lots of interesting pictures in the book too. I’d like to go to the park book in hand and find some of the places “Bird” explored.

  12. Jelan Heidelberg says:

    My recent books feature a couple treats by favorite authors that I saved for the end of the year — State of Terror by Louise Penny and Hillary Clinton (a fabulous page-turner), Lightning Strike by William Kent Krueger (also wonderful), and The Sentence by Louise Erdrich (probably the best book I read in 2020). I also read The Last Green Valley by Mark Sullivan for my IRL book club. It’s a book that I should have loved (well-written, good story, important themes), but I found it a heavy lift. I think it wasn’t the right book for my mood. If it hadn’t been a book club read, I would have set it aside until later.

    • Ann says:

      I need to get The Sentence again. I had it checked out, but did not get to it.

      One of the reading challenges I follow says “set in a bookstore.”

  13. Ann says:

    I started These Precious Days, but did not finish it & being a library book, had to return it as others were waiting on it. I love anything Ann Patchett writes. I think favorite is her novel State of Wonder. I had read the essay about getting rid of stuff. I will definitely get back to it.

    Currently reading Honor, the Reese pick. Just at the beginning. The dialogue seemed a little too simple at first, so hoping it picks up. The story itself is interesting.

    While I waited for Honor/my local library was slower than usual/I suppose the whole “supply chain” thing, I read The Maidens, Landslide & A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler.

    I was late reading The Maidens. It was okay. Landslide was good.

    Anne Tyler is always so good and I encourage anyone who has not read her to do so. Plenty of good ones to choose from. I was so excited to see she has a new one coming out in March: French Braid.

    I’ve really enjoyed going back and reading “older” titles. I plan on doing a lot of that this year.

    I also picked up a copy of Fredrick Backman’s Bear Town, following your January IG suggestion ❤️

    And I’ve begun following some of the fun accounts you suggested. Thanks Anne!!

  14. Jacklyn says:

    I just finished Blessed Are the Cheesemakers… I believe this came into my radar from your podcast in an episode years back, but can’t be sure. Either way, it was a good start to the new year. The characters are so unique and memorable, and I know so much more about cheese than I ever would have anticipated!

    • Laura says:

      I’m reading this one now and it is hilarious! The audio is really good- her delivery is great. It reminds me of Waking Ned Divine or another of those quirky, comedic Irish/ British films from the 90s. I’m thoroughly enjoying it.

  15. Marty Suter says:

    Winter Solstice is on my Kindle thanks to Anne! Just finished up some middle grade books, which I enjoyed quite a bit: Daughter of the Deep by Rick Riordan and book 2 in The Vanderbeekers series by Karina Yan Glaser.

  16. Lis M says:

    Ahhh as excited as I am about the summer reading list, I’m glad we have time before then to keep reading other books! Thanks for the nudge to pick up Rosamunde Pilcher Winter Solstice, I mean to read it every winter and consistently forget.

    Here’s what I’ve been reading (and my family too), including adoring Love Songs of WEB DuBois, comfort reading Weather Girl, and a new favorite early chapter book for our family! https://www.everyoneslibrarian.com/blog/quick-lit-january-2022

  17. Lynn says:

    Immersed in Crossroads by Jonathan Franzen right now. Complex family drama that keeps me thinking about it when I have to put it down. Very good.

  18. Joanne says:

    I just listened to War Doctor by David Nott, and it was fascinating and shocking. I’m halfway through A Manual for Cleaning Women by Lucia Berlin, as recommended by your podcast years ago, and it is a great collection. I also started The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christie Lefteri and I’m flying through it, so atmospheric. And the audio of And Now for the Good News by Ruby Wax just became available on my library app so I guess I’ve got that one too! I may have also picked up Bad Science by Ben Goldacre, but I’ll wait to start that one. Did I mention I’ve never read more than one book at a time before…

  19. Once Upon a Wardrobe is on my TBR list, though I have to say I was not bowled over by Becoming Mrs Lewis, another Narnia-related novel. January is reading year review month for me! I actually achieved my goal of reading fewer books, but not for the intended reason. To see my 2021 favourites (and I’d love it if you’d link to your yearly review), visit me at https://susandcook.blogspot.com/2022/01/quicklit-january-2022-reading-year.html.

    • Paula says:

      Once Upon a Wardrobe is very different from Becoming Mrs. Lewis. I adored Once Upon a Wardrobe which was my first read this year, best book I’ve read in ages. Following that I read Set the Stars Alight by Amanda Dykes, another 5 star book for me. Great way to begin 2022!

  20. Caroline says:

    Currently listening to the audio version of World War Z by Max Brooks. I was told the book is much much better than the movie and the audio is fantastic. I must say I agree. Also, I am not a Zombie Story fan. The only reason I picked this up is that I read about it on Reddit and it sounded intriguing, so much that I borrowed it from the library. I’m glad I did because I’m 80% through and so hard to put down. It’s read by a talented group of people who bring the book to life! Try it, you’ll be blown away!

  21. Cutzi says:

    I just have to say that Rosamunde Pilcher is my all-time favorite author. I’ve read all of her books and they’re just right for cozy holidays – winter or summer! I’m glad you enjoyed her too!

  22. Ann says:

    I have 4 books on the table I am currently reading, all of them from the local, public library near my house. All chosen by aimlessly wandering the stacks or from the new shelf and one from a series I’m reading and the last one a re-read.
    Village Diary, copyright 1957, by “Miss Read” aka Dora Jessie Saint, is pleasant fluff about village life in rural England in the 1950’s. Written from the perspective of the headmistress of the village school, you see the characters of the village and their interactions. Nothing scandalous, no murders to solve, just ordinary life displayed.
    The Burning Page, 4th book in the Invisible Library series by Genevieve Cogman. Action in a fantasy world, where the librarians are like spies, and adventure out to rescue and collect books for The Library. Good, fun, fantasy, world travel.
    Non-fiction, A Voyage Long and Strange: on the trail of Vikings, Conquistadors, Lost Colonists, and other adventurers in Early America by Tony Horwitz. Fun and witty story of the founding of the Americas. It’s not all pilgrims and Columbus. Fun read so far.
    Non-fiction, Why I read: The serious Pleasure of Books by Wendy Lesser. It’s a thin book and I expected it to be more light-hearted. It’s more about classic literary reads and topics. It has inspired me to read better and thoughtfully.
    I’m enjoying seeing what other folks are reading. I don’t keep a serious, or static TBR, but your suggestions are making the list.

  23. Kate says:

    Is “Magpie Murders” very dark? I love suspense and mystery but do have a difficult time with really dark and twisty content.

  24. I started Winter Solstice last year, but it was due back before I got too far into it. I should give it another chance! And the “Jane” series has been a fun one — I think My Lady Jane is by far my favorite, but I’ve enjoyed reading others in the series as well.

    I finally got around to reading some of the bigger titles of 2021 this last month, including Malibu Rising and The Lincoln Highway:


  25. Amapola says:

    Over the holidays I got lost in some great books, following many of the recommendations I have seen here. And for the first time all of them were ebooks (which saved me the trouble of adding more weight to my bags):
    The Postcript Murders by Elly Griffiths, a follow up to Stranger Diaries and it was very entertaining going all meta with the death of an author.
    The Women in Black by Madeleine St. John was an enjoyable light read.
    Hour of the Witch by Chris Bohjalian, long but I couldn’t put it down.
    Our Woman in Moscow by Beatriz Williams, I liked more the espionage than the predictable romances, but I must admit that this one hooked me in and I finished it in two days.
    Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan, the best read I had this Christmas.
    Road Ends by Mary Lawson, quiet stories with fully developed characters.
    A Town Called Solace by Mary Lawson, another great story.
    * I did not grow up reading Shakespeare and my attempts to read it as an adult have not always succeeded. So I’m glad I was able to watch The Tragedy of Macbeth with Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand.

  26. Liz C says:

    The Science of Storytelling sounds nearly identical to Lisa Cron’s Wired for Story: The Writer’s Guide to Using Brain Science to Hook Readers from the Very First Sentence, which I’ve been reading and re-reading since 2013. The whole premise is just fascinating to me! Moonflower Murders is one I’ve been looking forward to – it sounds perfect for the long freezing weekends of February.

  27. Stephany says:

    Winter Solstice is the perfect book for this time of year!! After enduring a painful reading slump in November and December, my reading mojo has finally returned. In the last few weeks I’ve read or listened to several great books, including my first 5 star book of 2022:
    The Comfort Book by Matthew Haig (4.25 stars)
    The Curse of the Pharaohs by Elizabeth Peters (3.75 stars)
    A Finer End by Deborah Crombie (4 stars)
    My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She’s Sorry by Frederik Backman (4.25 stars)
    Nothing To See Here by Kevin Wilson (3.75 stars)
    Organizing Solutions for People With ADHD: Tips and Tools to Help You Take Charge of Your Life and Get Organized by Susan Pinsky (4 stars)
    Several Short Sentences About Writing by Verlyn Klinkenborg (4.25 stars)
    Piranesi by Susanna Clarke (5 Stars!)
    (I’ve been on winter break from my faculty position at a local community college so I’ve had lots of time to read.)

  28. Dayna says:

    I love reading holiday set novels around this time of year. For Christmas I read Comfort and Joy by Kristin Hannah. There were a lot of surprising plot developments that I didn’t expect to encounter going in. I really enjoyed the experience of that book and it’s setting was perfect for Christmas.

    Since reading Comfort and Joy, my first of her novels, I read The Great Alone, which intimidated me with its page count, but I couldn’t put it down. She is an amazing writer and story teller. I was so invested in that book I finished it in just a few days.

    I don’t normally have a desire to be a completist with authors and I have a large desire to read everything Kristen Hannah has written and look forward to anything new from her in the future.

  29. Jennifer Geisler says:

    Thank you, Ann, for the suggestion of Winter Solstice; I did not want it to end! I’ve just started the Precious Days and am now using it to end each day. So beautifully written. Recommendation: Storyworthy: engage, Teach, Persuade and Change Your Life through the Power of Storytelling. Matthew Dicks, elementary school teacher and master storyteller, wrote this marvelous and thought provoking book. He describes how to tell stories and shares some of his own meaningful experiences. I’ve given this book to aspiring writers and teachers for several years.

  30. Linda says:

    I have a huge pile of TBR, thanks to sales at my local bookstore and very impulsive hold requests from my public library! While I navigate what I’m going to do with this pile of books, I am finishing “Tell the Bees That I Am Gone” by Diana Gabaldon (this is my sloooooow read, so it will last a really long time. I am also starting “Harlem Shuffle” by Colson Whitehead, “Carnal Knowledge and Imperial Power” by Ann Laura Stoler, “Yoke” by Jessamyn Stanley, and “The Arabesque Table” by Reem Kassis. I am going to have to do some serious management of my library holds this month!

  31. Becky says:

    Three Girls from Bronzeville by Dawn Turner is a memoir I have been reading and enjoying. The book I was reading was from the library and I had to return it before I finished it so I ended up buying from a bookstore. I didn’t want to wait.
    It’s nice to read non-fiction once in a while. The girls in this book grew up different than I did. I was raised in a small town, rural area. The city is a whole different world for me.

    • Lori says:

      I loved this book as I live in Chicago and I’ve been so interested in Bronzeville and it’s history the past year. I knew of Dawn from the paper but nothing about her. I shed so many tears over this book. I would like to recommend An Invisible Thread which is about a friendship between an ad executive for USA Today and an 11 year old panhandler she meets on the streets of Manhattan. I recently finished it and it was so interesting and Laura the author was so amazing on how she saved this boy(she says he saved her), talk about making a difference

  32. Linda W says:

    Hi. I am in the middle of The Sentence by Louise Erdrich. The premise of an unwanted ghost in a bookstore lured me in, but the story is more complex and multilayered than I expected. Wonderful, so far. I am also listening to “No One Goes Alone” by Erik Larson. Only available in audio. A Victorian mystery/ghost story set on an isolated island. The pace is measured – Larson has taken great care with detail and atmosphere. I’m at the point where something really unnerving must be about to happen! Two ghost stories at the same time? Hmmm, how did that happen?

  33. Lori says:

    I’m reading My Dear Hamilton which I have been resisting. It’s interesting and a history lesson either refreshed or new, not sure. It might take me awhile to finish but I have Mexican Gothic waiting in the wings.I have never read anything by Rosemarie Pilcher but I’ll put it on my list.

    • Deb says:

      Lori, I enjoyed My Dear Hamilton much more than I thought I would. I learned so much about the Revolutionary era – food, etiquette, fashion. Eliz was an amazing woman.

  34. Rawles says:

    Dang it! Winter Soltice was IN MY HANDS at my local used bookstore this week, but I ended up putting it back because I just wasn’t sure and I had promised myself I would not buy any books (at least not during January) that were not already on my TBR. Retail Regret is Real!!! 😩😩😩🤣🤣🤣📚📚📚

  35. Traci says:

    I recently re-read Winter Solstice – I loved it just as much the second (or maybe third!) time around. Rosamunde Pilcher is such a good storyteller! I just finished A Town Called Solace as recommended by you – it was so good!! I’m still mulling it over in my head, and gave it a rare 5/5 in my journal.

  36. Lindsay says:

    I’m in the middle of Sally Rooney’s Beautiful world where are you … I had to pause it to read something a bit lighter/faster paced, and gobbled up Marissa Meyer’s Renegade. I somehow missed this YA series and now plan to read the full trilogy.

  37. I am starting to maybe get convinced to try this Winter Solstice, I’ve been reading the one in the Winter Street series by Elin Hilderbrand every year since it came out (as well as the rest of the series) but maybe I should try this one too? I love a good seasonal novel.

    I had my biggest reading month ever in December, knocking through some shorter books I read every year as well as quite a few to my 8 year old. My list is here!

    And I picked my 10 Favorite {Grown-Up} Reads of 2021 (because, like the Popcast says, calling anything adult makes it sound weird)!

  38. Monica Schie says:

    I hesitated to read Winter Solstice because it’s typically not the type of book I like. But it was exactly the cozy story I needed ahead of Christmas with family holiday plans changing daily because of possible COVID exposures. I really enjoyed the characters and the story.

    I just finished The Other Black Girl and am currently reading Tana French’s Faithful Place which has been on my TBR for a long time. What a great writer!

  39. Suzanne says:

    All of these books sound interesting and are things I would definitely put on my TBR. Currently I am reading David McCullough’s biography of John Adams; another non-fiction book by Kathy Izard entitled “The Last Ordinary Hour” about the author’s spiritual journey after her husband was diagnosed with a rare and potentially fatal heart disorder; and an old mystery from an author I read in the 1980s, Catherine Aird. She writes English Village mysteries and they are both erudite and charming.

  40. Tamara says:

    This last month has been a departure for me as I read two short story collections and an essay collection. My favorites were Star Wars: From a Certain Point of View and I’d Rather Be Reading. These were great interspersed with my holiday feel good romances. I also listened to The Scarlett Pimpernel, a short classic.

  41. Ali Barnes says:

    I just finished reading The Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler. It is so well written, and the story is compelling, but this was NOT the right time for me to read this. Maybe I got some good ideas of how to survive if things go really south, but it hit a little too close to home for me right now. I have got to find something lighter soon!

    • I read The Parable of the Sower about 10 years ago, and I can see how it would be difficult at this time in history! I can’t say I really *enjoyed* it even then, more like I respected it. I got to see Octavia Butler as a panelist at science fiction conventions, and she had some really interesting things to say. But dystopia is not my favorite genre.

  42. Susan Mea says:

    Just finished reading Hooked by Sutton Foster, a memoir about how crafting saved her life. She is one of my favorite Broadway performers and I found her book to be delightful. Oh William by Elizabeth Strout was one I couldn’t put down. Her characters…..so real and I loved this third book about Lucy Barton. Just started The Children’s Train by Viola Ardone, a novel about children living in poverty in Naples at the end of WWII, being sent to to northern Italy to live temporarily with foster families. I was immediately transported to Naples after reading two pages. This is going to be a great read!

  43. Samantha says:

    I’m adding Winter Solstice to my TBR for next December!
    I am currently slowly reading through Mitali Perkins’ Steeped in Stories which has led me to read or reread the old classics that she has listed. I’ve read Emily of Deep Valley, A Little Princess, and am about half way through Little Women. It’s been a comfort and an inspiration to read these great stories again.

  44. Anne, did you already mention this book? If not, it sounds right up your alley!
    AMERICAN URBANIST: How William H. Whyte’s Unconventional Wisdom Reshaped Public Life, by Richard K. Rein. (Island Press, $35.) This intellectual biography of Whyte, a pioneer of people-centered urban design, covers five decades of his research and writing, including his 1956 best seller, “The Organization Man.”

  45. Carol W. says:

    Thank you as always for these recommendations. I just finished reading Carnegie’s Maid by Marie Benedict. I loved it! It’s been on my shelf for a real long time and I’m not sure why I waited so long to read it. Highly recommend it!

  46. Jennifer Buch says:

    I just finished Magpie Murders and Moonflower Murders. I wish someone would write the rest of the Atticus Pund books. Both excellent! I just started Anthony Horowitz’s Hawthorne and Horowitz’s Murder series. So far, very good. I read many of the Alex Rider series and I am now remember how much I love Anthony’s writing.

  47. kristen says:

    I finally read The Invisible Life of Addie Larue and The Night Watchman. I was very impressed with both books for different reasons.

  48. Susan says:

    I enjoyed Winter Solstice this year and I am currently re-reading The Shell Seekers. I needed to read a book with less trauma and angst than the books that I’ve been reading lately.

  49. Aimee says:

    Oh my goodness, I just finished My Lady Jane on audiobook and I still chuckle about how much I enjoyed it. I do not like fantasy and yet I loved this kind of wacky, fantastical book that runs loose with history and accuracy – ha! Will have to add the next to my list. Winter Solstice is the first Rosamunde Pilcher book I ever read – it was lovely. Shell Seekers seems to be her most famous, which I also enjoyed, but I preferred Winter Solstice.

    Have you read Christmas by the Book? Such a lovely winter read in the midst of hard times for many people.

  50. Jana Griner says:

    In 2022, I have read 12 books so far.
    1. The Girl in Cabin 13 by A.J. Rivers. Loved it! I am reading her second one now. I love the covers of these books and will be reading all of them.
    2. Skyhunter by Marie Lu. It was very good. I love Marie Lu and will be reading the follow up book to this.
    3.Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets to the Universe by Benjamin Saenz. This was such a good book and a fast read! I will be reading the sequel.
    4. A Life Without Water by Marci Bolden. I finally read this book and it’s now a series! I really enjoyed it.
    5. Wacky Bible Blockheads. This was a cute book full of information for all ages.
    6. Golden Arm by Carl Deuker. He always writes really good sports books that also have real life drama woven in. I enjoyed it and it worked out in the end, but I was very aggravated with a lot of the characters for different reasons! Lol!
    7. Dancing Through Life by Candace Cameron Bure. This was an amazing audiobook because she read it! It was about her time on Dancing with the Stars, but also a good Christian book about what she learned and how she applied her values during this time.
    8. I Hope This Finds You Well by Kate Baer. Her first book was good, but nothing out of the ordinary. THIS ONE WAS AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!! So clever what she did! She took emails of all kinds and deleted words to make poems!
    9. Let Me Hear a Rhyme by Tiffany Jackson. I liked everything about this book, but the language. It took place in the 90s so lots of nostalgia!
    10. The Holiday Swap by Maggie Knox. A cute Christmas romance about baking a twins switching lives for a week and falling in love with new guys. I loved it!
    11. Family Affair by Debbie Macomber. This was a very short 10 chapter book and I liked it. Very good for cat lovers!
    12. The Reading List by Sara Nisha Adams. I LOVED IT!!!!!!!! A list of books brings so many people together by the shared love of these books.

  51. Dawn says:

    Just finished listening to Great Kitchens of the Midwest and still processing how I feel about it.

    In paper form, I continue to work my way through Maeve Binchy’s backlist. I also listened to The Cherry Cola Bookclub last week. It’s a delightful story of a library and bookclub!

    Started Anxious People by Fredrick Backman on audio today.

  52. Donna says:

    Love these posts as always, Anne! The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo was my first read of 2022 and I can’t stop thinking about it. Haven’t been so emotionally invested in a book in ages! The characters were so beautifully developed – so human and raw. I’ll never forget Evelyn and her story 😭❤ Also read Local Woman Missing which I absolutely loved! And finished Hostage by Clare Mackintosh a few nights ago. Such a wild ride. Had to remind myself to breathe! Loved it! Currently reading Know My Name by Chanel Miller. Almost done. I cried while reading it last night. Definitely gonna be one of my all-time favourites! 🤍

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