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 started this month at the beach, which is always good for my reading life—or at least for my reading quantity. I re-read old favorites so they would be fresh in mind for upcoming episodes of One Great Book, and plenty of advanced review copies so I could share them with patrons in our One Great Bonus episodes. And I also enjoyed reading a new-to-me old mystery, just for the fun of it.
Today’s list is a little longer than my Quick Lit lists usually are, but I couldn’t bear to leave any of these titles off.
I hope you’ve read some good books lately. Tell us your favorites in comments?
Marais's debut Hum If You Don't Know the Words was a 2017 Summer Reading Guide selection and I've been looking forward to her new release, which comes out tomorrow, July 16. The book tells the story of three women, two sisters, Ruth and Delilah, and the much younger Zodwa, whose lives become intertwined after the sisters discover an abandoned day-old baby on their doorstep. Each of the women is actively dealing with a personal crisis, and in rotating points of view, we learn each about each woman’s secrets and situation. An absorbing tale of friendship, and redemption, and the transformative power of love. More info →
While this doesn't technically come out until August 13, many of you have your hands on it already because it's a July early-release Book of the Month selection. As a novelist, Center has said she is “interested in the ways people bounce back,” and after our protagonist and veteran firefighter Cassie throws a few very public punches at a community event, she struggles to figure out how to do just that—in a new firehouse that is reluctant, to say the least, to welcome a female firefighter into their boys' club. Her new position is complicated further when she falls for her fellow rookie, and is forced to finally think about her feelings (ugh). A fast, feel-good read. More info →
After enjoying Shawn's YA novel The Day the Angels Fell, I've been eager to read this new release, his first novel geared toward adults, which hits shelves tomorrow. The story begins with a death: a son discovers the body of his father, he's filled with guilt and fear, he doesn't want to tell his sister he was the first one to know. But why? As the memories come pouring back over the ensuing days, the reader begins to find out what went on in this troubled family. Recommended for Billy Coffey fans. More info →
This is my second-ever Daniel Silva book. I love a good spy thriller—they're perfect poolside reading—and this one has much to recommend itself: tight pacing, an intriguing setting (in the international art world), characters exchanging F. Scott Fitzgerald lines over dinner. I particularly appreciated how Silva took his inspiration from all-too-real international events: this time, the 2018 murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and the involvement of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. In this book, Silva asks what if?, imagining how events might play out in the real Middle East. Don't miss the author's note at the end. More info →
When I was recently reviewing my second quarter reading, I realized that I hadn't finished an audiobook since March! That's unusual for me, and it means I get less reading in—so I immediately downloaded a few promising titles from Libro.fm. This new title from the author of Kitchens of the Great Midwest follows several generations of a Minnesota family as they establish themselves in the brewing industry—and fall to pieces in the process. Despite the family feud and plenty of tense moments, the tone is relentlessly hopeful, and the story hugely listenable. (I walked six miles yesterday just so I could get to the end!) Coming July 23. More info →
When a Minnesota reader mentioned that Krueger may be just the ticket for Louise Penny fans waiting for the next Gamache novel, I immediately downloaded the series' first book from my library. This procedural set in rural Minnesota features a strong sense of place, long-running grudges, and an ousted sheriff seeking justice where the authorities will not. Recommended for Louise Penny fans, yes, and also those who enjoyed Snow Falling on Cedars and this year's Summer Reading Guide pick The Current. More info →