Welcome to Quick Lit, where we share short and sweet reviews of what we’ve been reading lately on the 15th of the month.
My reading life has suffered lately, largely because of my looming deadline. Isn’t it ironic that writing books hasn’t been great for my reading life? I’ve also been reading lots of backlist and ARCs for Volume II of One Great Book, coming June 21. I’m looking forward to sharing those titles in good time.
Today, I’m happy to share three recent reads I loved. (I thought about making this a longer list and sharing the mediocre as well, but the thought of writing about them after suffering through the reading of them made me want to go back to bed.)
I hope you’ve read some good books lately. Tell us your favorites in comments?
It was a pleasure to interview author Celeste Ng when she came to town on her paperback tour. To prepare, I re-read her last book, and enjoyed it even more than I remembered. The novel opens with a house on fire, literally. It belongs to a suburban family, and it wasn't an accident: as one character reports, "The firemen said there were little fires everywhere." But who did it, and why? That's the setup for this literary thriller, which explores what happens when an itinerant artist and her daughter move into a seemingly perfect Ohio community, and thoroughly disrupt the lives of its residents. More info →
Regular readers know that flying is not my favorite, so when I flew to Colorado last week, I wanted a book that was, above all, FUN. I settled on a re-read of Act Like It, which is my favorite in the series. I read it the first time at the suggestion of my friend Leigh Kramer: when I asked her for a not-so-steamy romance recommendation, Lucy Parker was her immediate suggestion. Richard and Lainie are actors in London's West End. Though talented, Richard's cranky off-stage antics are turning his fans against him, and the theater is worried they won't be able to sell tickets. Fan favorite Lanie is already stuck working with her cheating ex-boyfriend, and then it gets worse: she's asked to pose as his new girlfriend to help Richard clean up his reputation. And fans love nothing more than an on-stage/off-stage romance, so soon they're packing in the crowds. But then the lines between on-stage and off begin to blur. More info →
After loving The River so much I put it in the Summer Reading Guide, I immediately wanted to read everything Heller has ever written. This was the first book I chose. Celine is a 60+ private investigator and artist in New York City, and perhaps the reason the character rings so true is that Heller based the character on his mother, also a detective and artist in NYC. In this story, a young woman seeks out Celine to help her find her father, who's been missing for decades, so Celine and her partner head to Yellowstone National Park, where it becomes clear someone wants this man to stay missing. Read this for the way Heller writes about nature and explores the intersection of family, privilege, and the secrets we keep. More info →