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 on the 15th of the month. (Or the 14th, if the 15th happens to be podcast day.)

I have piles of good-looking new releases I’m excited to read soon, but as you’ll see I’m making myself lean towards backlist titles right now. The 2021 Summer Reading Guide just came out a few weeks ago, and because I read sooo many brand-new books to put that together, I need to balance out my reading life with older books for a bit.

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 on what I’ve been reading lately

Parable of the Sower

Parable of the Sower

Author:
I revisited this modern classic for the first time in over a decade this month! I'm stunned once again by how modern Butler's 1993 dystopian novel feels today. This series—a planned trilogy that was never completed—is the most realist of Butler's fiction. The setting is California, 2026, where a Black teenager named Lauren struggles for survival in a world gone to pieces, ravaged by climate change and drug abuse of epidemic proportions. Despite the overwhelming and terrifying obstacles she faces, Lauren isn't ready to give up yet, and bands together with a group of fellow travelers to head north in search of rumored safety, with the hopes of founding a colony for her Earthseed religion. Utterly gripping, and a great introduction to Butler's work. More info →
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The Count of Monte Cristo

The Count of Monte Cristo

Author:
I'm elated to finally cross this off my To Be Read list! Over the years I've been floored by the superlatives readers use to describe this behemoth of a novel—epic, thrilling, the best book they've ever read. Recent What Should I Read Next guest Ahtoosa Dale gave me a well-timed nudge and a hot tip: to read the audiobook, specifically the version narrated by John Lee. Forty-seven hours later, I finally understand why readers love this tale of a man thrown into prison for a crime he didn't commit and his long quest for retribution. This was wonderful on audio, but I did turn to SparkNotes on a half-dozen occasions for clarity on plot twists. This was A LONG BOOK, and while it won't go down as one of my lifetime favorites, I'm glad I read it. More info →
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Father of the Rain

Father of the Rain

Author:
I LOVED Lily King's most recent book Writers and Lovers, and enjoyed our conversation with her about it this spring in the Modern Mrs Darcy Book Club! Afterward I was eager to pick up more of her work—and while this 2010 novel was highly praised when it came out, I wasn't familiar with it until I stumbled upon an intriguing interview with the author. This is the story of a deeply dysfunctional Boston-area family, centering on daughter Daley and her charming alcoholic father, whose orbit she cannot escape. I love a book with an interesting structure, and I enjoyed King's choice to tell the story in three sequential sections: we hear from Daley at age 11, in 1972, then years later when she is 29, and finally in her 40s. While much of the content is emotionally difficult, I found the resolution to be satisfying. More info →
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Morningside Heights: A Novel

Morningside Heights: A Novel

Author:
I read this months ago for possible inclusion in the 2021 Summer Reading Guide, and while it would have been right at home in the "Generational Sagas and Family Stories" category there wasn't quite enough room. The book opens in the early 1970s at Columbia University (oddly, this was one of three books in a row I read this spring prominently featuring the school), when a 22-year-old student falls in love with her professor, an esteemed Shakespeare scholar. It's love, and it's meant to last—and the novel follows the couple over the course of the next four decades. Ambitious student Pru's career aspirations are derailed when she gets pregnant shortly after marriage, but the couple is happy enough—until her husband begins developing symptoms of early onset Alzheimer's, at the age of 57. The heart of the story is how each of them, but especially Pru, struggle to cope with his illness; while there are glimmers of hope, this is ultimately a tragedy, sensitively told. More info →
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Mend the Living

Mend the Living

De Kerangal's new novel Painting Time is one of my favorite reads of 2021 so far (don't miss it in this year's Summer Reading Guide!). I closed that book eager to read more of her work, and decided on this award-winning 2017 novel. I purposely chose this edition with the same translator from the French, Jessica Moore, but it's also available in a different translation with the title The Heart.) This is the story of 20-year-old surfer Simon Limbeau—or, more precisely, the story of his heart, and the numerous people affected when the family decides to donate Simon's organs after he dies in a tragic accident: his family and girlfriend, the surgeons involved in the harvest and transplant, the hospital staff, the recipient, and her family and friends. I found this to be moving and deeply fascinating—and also heartbreaking. Given the storyline that's obvious in hindsight, but I was caught off guard by how desperately sad some sections were. More info →
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Anne of Manhattan

Anne of Manhattan

Author:
This has been on my radar for YEARS at this point! Longtime blog readers know I'm a soft touch when it comes to classic retellings; and even though numerous readers I trust gave it three stars I couldn't resist seeing for myself. In this Anne of Green Gables update set at Manhattan's fictional Redmond College, Anne is shocked when her old nemesis Gilbert Blythe appears in her class on the first day of school. She didn't know he'd transferred from Berkley to be closer to his ailing father after his cancer diagnosis—and if he gets to pick up where he left off with his longtime redheaded crush, so much the better. I enjoyed seeing how Starler updated these familiar characters for the 21st century (a heavily-tattooed Fred Wright was a character I wanted more of!), but I'd hoped for a more robust plot. I listened to the audio version, which was highly listenable as narrated by Carly Robins. More info →
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The Hollow Inside

The Hollow Inside

I recently got to be part of an actual bookstore event for the first time in over a year for this book's launch! (Click here to watch.) This YA debut with serious Glass Castle vibes tells the story of Phoenix, a teen who's been on the run with her mother Nina for many years. The two subsist by stealing food, clothes, and anything else they may need to get by, and move frequently from place to place in their ongoing efforts to evade Phoenix's father. But after Nina make a startling discovery, mother and daughter set out on a mission: to extract revenge on the man who ruined Nina's life. This small town coming of age story features two great villains; I couldn't wait to find out what would happen to Phoenix and her family. The author is a local bookseller; that personal connection made my reading experience even more enjoyable. More info →
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Broken Horses: A Memoir

Broken Horses: A Memoir

Author:
I've long enjoyed Brandi Carlile's music but knew nothing about her personal life (unless the simple fact that she's one of The Highwomen counts). I was on the fence about trying this one, but I'm so glad I did: the audio was superb. Each chapter flows beautifully into a song—or more often, two. Because Carlile draws heavily from her life experience when writing lyrics, this format works beautifully: her stories leave you hungry to hear the music, which often captures the experience she just wrote about in prose. After talking to numerous friends and fellow readers, I'd be inclined to pass this up in print, but the audio version was exceptional. So you know what to expect: the last 90 minutes of the audiobook consists of all those songs together, as a bonus chapter. 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. 

P.S. 8 calming nonfiction books to read when you’re stressed, a few notable spring reads, and 13 excellent YA historical novels for readers at any age.

more posts you might enjoy

87 comments | Comment

87 comments

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  1. Wow, so many titles that are unfamiliar to me! I am especially intrigued by Lily King’s book, I’ve loved what I have read from her. I have always wanted to read The Count of Monte Cristo but am intimidated by the length. . .

    I read several thrillers this month, and enjoyed some more than others. My reviews for this month include quite a few books that have been making the rounds in book clubs and on Instagram (The Push, When the Stars Go Dark, Addie LaRue, The Four Winds), and I had some slightly spicy takes on them.

    https://kendranicole.net/june-2021-quick-lit-fiction-reads/

    • I’m reading The Push right now. The author is from Toronto, and I live about an hour away. I probably wouldn’t have picked it up, but I thought the story of how she got her publishing deal was interesting, as well as how quickly the book skyrocketed to the top of bestseller lists all over the world so quickly! It’s a good, quick read. I started it yesterday afternoon and will finish it today.

      • Jennice says:

        The Parable of the Sower is one I’ve been trying to get a t my library for months. Everyone seems to be reading it, so I’m having a little FOMO lol I’m going to give in and buy it. I just finished reading Because He’s Jeff Goldblum by Travis M. Andrews and just today I finished Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid. Next up, I’m reading A Burning by Megha Majumdar, Scarlet by Marissa Meyer and The Housekeeper and the Prfessor by Yoko Ogawa(audiobook)

  2. I’m impressed you managed to get through Parable of the Sower as an HSP – I had to give up on it, and even so the images haunted me for over a week. Last month’s reading included two very different books I think will be 2021 favourites – hedonistic 70s rock and roll (Daisy Jones and the Six), and how to darn socks (The Art of Repair). You can read all my reviews at https://susandcook.blogspot.com/2021/06/quicklit-june-2021.html

  3. Lori says:

    Can’t wait to read Broken Horses and Anne of Manhattan. I just finished reading the propulsive Already Toast, which is an account of the author caregiving for her husband when he is diagnosed and treated for lymphoma. She talks about caregiving in literature, including Anne’s House of Dreams, which is the fifth book in the Anne of Green Gables series.

    Yesterday, I finished The Nickel Boys. WOW. It was so good in so many ways. I recommend it to anyone who likes a good story, told in simple language, and with a twist that is hard to predict.

  4. Stacy says:

    I’m listening to the Final Revival of Opal and Nev. I just started Intermediate Thermodynamics by Susannah Nix… her books are so fun!

  5. Dee says:

    Hi, I wondered about Brandi C book, so the audio is now on my list. I read Thursday Morning Murder Club…great. I can’t wait for next one in series to come out. Read Excuse me while I ugly cry, fun! (thank to you for suggestion) Starting Vinegar Girl, older one but I missed it. Happy summer reading to all!

  6. I can’t wait to check out Brandi Carlile’s memoir “Broken Horses”. Thank you for hosting this link up Anne!

    My reading life hit a rough patch this month and has slowed way down. I did score “Malibu Rising” by Taylor Jenkins Reid as a lucky day checkout from my library. I’ve also continued the comic series, “Lumberjanes” and explored nonfiction books about permaculture and nature.

    https://lifesapearl.com/what-ive-been-reading-lately-june-2021-quick-lit/

  7. Lis M says:

    Ooooh thanks for the review of Morningside Heights – I really want to read it and glad it was almost in the summer reading guide in the family drama category.
    Also I know I keep seeing meh/fine/not bad reviews of Anne of Manhattan but I too so want to read it for myself.

    Here’s what my family and I have been reading – summer feels like it’s here with books such as Malibu Rising, Ace of Spades, Last Summer at the Golden Hotel and a few others too

    https://www.everyoneslibrarian.com/blog/quick-lit-june

  8. Gayle Lawrence says:

    I finished Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir this weekend and rate it as the best books on Audible I’ve heard in a long time. The narrator did have a great story to work with and that’s always a great place to start. I don’t want to say anything else about it because I want it all to be a surprise for you as it was for me. It’s funny, heartbreaking, scary, and thought provoking. When is the movie coming out?!

  9. Amapola says:

    Clap when you land by Elizabeth Acevedo, I finally went back to this book and again love her way with words and the Caribbean context that I know so well.
    Know my Name by Chanel Miller, in which she tells the story of becoming a rape victim seeking justice and how it affected her life.
    The Unseen World by Liz Moore, a woman trying to understand her father. The last section of the book was not as good as the first part, but as a whole it was a good read.
    The Good Sister by Sally Hepworth, the main character kept me hooked into the story. This is not a mystery, but rather a family drama.
    Martin Walker’s “Bruno, Chief of Police” won my heart as a new crime series set in France. The writing is solid as well as the cases and characters. Fans of Louise Penny or Donna Leon will enjoy this one.
    A Girl is a Body of Water by Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi was my favorite read of this month. This is a story teller that knows how to get you listening and wondering what happens next in this coming-of-age story set in Uganda. This is a story about women and finding one’s way in a patriarchal society, but never feels preachy or heavy handed.

  10. S says:

    I am currently reading The Ride of Her Life by Elizabeth Letts and features the true story of Annie Wilkins, a broke 60 something life long Mainer, who leaves her family farm to ride across the country on her horse, accompanied by her dog, to California in the 1950’s. So far it’s really interesting as she finds kindness, along with some frightening moment’s on the road, as people along the route offer her meals and accommodations.

  11. Ginny says:

    I finally read One to Watch on audio. I had a 10 hour (total) drive this past weekend, and this book was the perfect companion. I tried reading it last summer in paper form, but it wasn’t the right time for me. I strongly recommend it for road trips—it would be ok to listen to (IMO) with high school aged kids in the car. It mentions sex, body parts, and there is a lot of swearing, but the love scenes are closed door. Very entertaining if not surprising, and it addresses timely issues.

  12. Maria Ontiveros says:

    Just finished Book 2 in the Sandhamm Series (closed circle) and enjoyed it. Read the disturbing but excellent The Push. Was disappointed by Heaven, My Home (follow up to the excellent Bluebird, Bluebird) and thoroughly enjoyed Garlic and Sapphires!

  13. Susan says:

    Last week my Book Club discussed “The Giver of Stars” by Jojo Moyes. It was a big hit. I am reading Amor Towles. Currently in “Rules of Civility” and I am next on my library hold list for “A Gentleman in Moscow”.

  14. Megan says:

    Parable of the Sower is such a great, tough read. I highly recommend adrienne marie brown and Toshi Regan’s Octavia’s Parables podcast to listen to with the book. They go chapter by chapter, unpacking the content and offering thoughtful reflection questions. Helped me feel less alone/terrified/overwhelmed while reading.

  15. Debbie says:

    I’m currently reading Tears of Amber by Sofia Segovia. The Murmur of Bees by this author is one of my all time favorites and so I decided to read this, her second novel translated to English. I was hesitant at first because I’m kind of burnt out on WWII novels. Tears of Amber is different, and follows the lives of two German farm families during and after the war and takes place in the part of Germany that once was Prussia. It is told mainly from the point of view of the children, yet shows how difficult life is for these families, coping with two evils: Hitler and Stalin. I’m about 40% into this novel and am enjoying it.

  16. Tracey says:

    May was an awesome high-quality reading month for me. The three highlights were:
    *Little Blue Encyclopedia, a hidden gem 2019 debut novel by Canadian author, Hazel Jane Plante. It was a very creative and ambitious concept that I won’t give away too much of because it was fun for me to go in not knowing much. In my opinion, Plante totally delivered on what she set out to do here. One of the best books I’ve read in a long time!
    *We Are Never Meeting in Real Life by Samantha Irby. I was finding this book of essays quite funny but was thinking it would probably be a four star read at first because there wasn’t much emotion or substance to it at first. Not that I needed serious but I wanted a feeling aside from funny. Turns out she was just easing us in and there was some great heartfelt (and still hilarious) content there further in to it.
    *Funny Boy is another debut novel by a Canadian author, this one from the late 1990s by Shyam Selvadurai. It’s a coming of age story set in Sri Lanka where the author was born and it tells the story of the pre-1980s civil war period there. I look forward to reading more by Selvadurai.
    Funny Boy and Little Blue Encyclopedia are also own voices books by 2SLGBTQ+ authors so would be great choices for pride month (or anytime!).
    Also liked The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and A Most Beautiful Thing by Arshay Cooper
    Not for me: Long Way to a Small Angry Planet. I try to dabble in SFF. Once in awhile it works out. This time it really didn’t.

  17. patricia says:

    On my next to read pile is ‘Project Hail Mary’ by Andy Weir, author of ‘The Martian’ which I loved both as a movie and a book.

  18. Julia Reesor says:

    I have just reserved the audio version of Parable of a Sower from my library. I am currently listening to The Other Woman by Sandie Jones and Nomadland by Jessica Bruder. A few that I recently finished that were of note to me are: Sunflower Sisters by Martha Hall Kelly, The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune, Remember by Lisa Genova and Find you First by Linwood Barclay.

  19. Christina says:

    Morningside Heights intrigues me…ever since my family cared for my grandma during her battle with Alzheimer’s, I’ve had a soft spot and interest in seeing how others portray caretaking with this particular diseas.

    Here’s what I’ve been reading lately: some fiction and nonfiction on racism and other diverse voices. I especially like LeZottés Show ME a Sign – technically a middle-grade read, but thought-provoking nonetheless

    http://alookatabook.com/2021/06/12/june-2021-recent-reads/

  20. Julie says:

    Brandi Carlile’s Broken Horses is a gift to the soul. It truly makes you want to be a better person and lift others up. I’m a super-fan, so read the book and listened to the audio at the same time. While the book is fantastic, I recommend the audiobook to hear her beautiful songs.

    Recently finished The Last Thing He Told Me and What Could Be Saved – loved them both! Starting While Justice Sleeps and listening to The Thursday Murder Club…all suggestions from this community.

  21. Karen J says:

    I am not often a science fiction fan, however I enjoyed the dystopian Parable of the Sower so much when I read it last year (at the height of the pandemic) that I immediately jumped into Parable of the Talents. I kept checking the publishing date as current politics seemed so eerily similar in many ways.
    I have Broken Horses in my library queue. I am a huge Brandi Carlisle fan. If you ever have a chance to see her live, grab it. Best concert ever.
    A few books I’ve finished recently and found worthy of my reading time are We Begin at the End by Chris Whitaker, Kitchen House by Jennifer Ryan and Leave the World Behind (in audio)

  22. Two recent five star reads for me:

    WE BEGIN AT THE END by Chris Whitaker – the writing is wonderful and the characters are STILL on my mind.

    THE FIRST DAY OF SPRING by Nancy Tucker – chilling, compelling and heartbreaking.

    • Karen says:

      Thanks for the backlist titles. I don’t want to miss a great read. I just finished Of Salt and Women. Short quick read but the characters are going to stay with me for quite some time. Now reading How Beautiful We Were. These two books are so well written I will be spoiled for the summer fluff I usually enjoy. Themes of power and corporate greed, destruction of the land and its people make for heavy reading. And yet these are the type of books that illustrate why I read.

  23. Carolyn says:

    For the start of the summer reading season, I’ve been reading backlist titles, balancing more serious literary fiction with some lighter reads. I really enjoyed Ask Again, Yes and Rules Of Civility. Attachments was a quick read with more substance than the typical beach read. How To Manage Your Home Without Losing Your Mind, Daisy Jones and the Six, and That Sounds Fun were 3 stars each for me on audio. I’m currently reading The Accidental Beauty Queen and enjoying it very much.

  24. Michelle Therese Ball says:

    I am a huge fan of Books in Translation…we do a very poor job in the US of reading translated works (okay off that soapbox). What I wanted to say was The Heart, the alternate translation of the Maylis de Kerangal novel, Mend the Living is an all time favorite. I think one of the things that international publishing does so well is not hitting you over the head…when you read the jacket copy, it doesn’t scream this is an important book and tell you how to feel. My feelings and thoughts come from the actual book not the hype surrounding the book. And I think following the translator is just as important as the author. It is like choosing an audio book that Bahni Turpin narrates, it matters.

  25. Jan Wright says:

    I read The Parable of the Sower for the first time this year. While disturbing and at times hard to read because of it, it is so beautifully written and is one of my favorite books I’ve read this year. I’m hoping to read the second in the series sometime this year.

  26. I just finished A Song for Her Enemies by Sherri Stewart. I enjoyed the story: the transformation of Tamar, the kindness of Neelie, the love story of Tamar and Daniel. I didn’t want to stop reading. I fell in love with the characters, held my breath through the action, and shed tears at the heartbreaking moments. A beautiful story to help me remember what happened.

  27. Beverly J Wrigglesworth says:

    I started out by reading “I’d Rather Be Reading” by a certain Anne Bogel, from which I learned about this blog and signed up. I really enjoyed the humorous essays in that book; and so much of it I have lived and am still living (lack of bookshelves, anyone?) I read “The Count of Monte Cristo” several decades ago, but remember that I loved the book. I’m sorry that Tracey didn’t like “Long Way to a Small Angry Planet.” I found it quite entertaining, although I am a big fan of science fiction, especially this type of space opera. My mystery book club read “Vera Stanhope #8: The Seagull” for our June read. Vera is a lead detective in a Northumbrian, England town, and this book involved part cold case murder and part current murder. I have watched every season of the television program “Vera” to date, but this is the first time I actually listened to one of the books. I did listen to the audio book and loved the narrator’s Northumbrian accent for the characters. I also read “East”, a YA novel that was a 2003 ALA Notable Children’s Book and School Library Journal Best Book. The story is Edith Pattou’s retelling of the Norwegian folk tale “East of the Sun and West of the Moon,” and she did a fabulous job.
    I am currently 2/3 of the way through Dead End by Nancy Mehl, the third in the Kaely Quinn series. Kaely is the daughter of a convicted serial killer, but she became a Christian and then an FBI profiler. This series is best read in order.

  28. Adrienne says:

    Hello! Last week I had to drive ~1400 miles for work, so I had a lot of time to listen to audiobooks. Here’s my list of recent reads:
    * The Whispering House by Elizabeth Brooks (audiobook) – I enjoyed this but just didn’t find it as gripping as I expected, and it was a bit predictable – 3.5 stars.
    * News of the World by Paulette Giles (audiobook) – I picked this up in print a couple of years ago and never finished it, but the audiobook version held my interest. Great story!! 4 stars
    * The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner – I enjoyed the three narrative tales, set in two time periods, and the author pulled the threads together in the end in a way I didn’t expect. And it’s obvious she has done a lot of research into medicines/poisons used in the time period, and those details were fascinating. 4 stars
    * The Push by Ashley Audrain – I read this for a book club, and while I found it dark and disturbing, I thought the structure was well done and the book certainly held my attention. 5 stars
    * The Nature of Fragile Things by Susan Meissner – 4 stars
    * The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid – I wanted to like this book, but the more I read about Evelyn Hugo, the more I disliked her. It reached a point where I found myself loathing Evelyn and I simply could not read another page about her, so I ditched this one.

    I’m currently reading The Rose Code by Kate Quinn (it’s fabulous) and re-reading The Midnight Library by Matt Haig (also fabulous) for my book club. Happy Reading!

  29. Erika K says:

    I want to recommend “Early Morning Riser” by Katherine Heiny. Like the main character Jane, I have suddenly become weighed down by family obligations but the book gave me reasons to laugh and reflect.

    Another recommendation is “Reading the Seasons: Books Holding Life & Friendship Together” by Germaine Leece and Sonya Tsakalakis. Two Australian bibliotherapists discuss the books they recommend to clients and to each other for both comfort and insight. The correspondence between the two was engrossing and it was fun to see which books they picked.

  30. Ann says:

    I’d bought Malibu Rising as my BOTM June pick & was reading The Invisible Husband of Frick Island, while I waited for it to arrive. I had just finished The Venice Sketchbook, which reminded me of A Room With A View & the movie Summertime with Rossano Brazzi and Katharine Hepburn. So when Malibu Rising arrived, I could not resist & I’ve jumped into it! It is a quick read so far and I’ve been able to catch up to ReadwithJenna’s reading schedule for June.

    Just to mix things up, I went into a really neat used book store in the Houston Heights neighborhood called Kaboom (cute name!) and found a 1970s copy of The Raj Quartet by Paul Scott. This is all one volume and the store owner warned that I should not drop it on anyone’s foot! It is heavy, even though it is a paperback copy. One of the books in the quartet is The Jewel In The Crown, which I’ve always loved. These are all set in British India. Something I always obsessed over. This may be a book for a future rainy day, or even wait till Winter.

    I have a TBR pile that includes When The Stars Go Dark & I have Daisy Jones and The Six waiting at the library. I’ve popped awake at 5:30 a.m. and may squeeze in some valuable reading time. I think the rest of the family is headed to the beach today, but I may stay home out of the heat and read!!!!! We are under a heat advisory. So I’ll continue reading Malibu Rising and Frick Island simultaneously.

  31. So many of your books were ones I didn’t know much about except the Joshua Henkin one. I’ve read him before and he even joined our book club once via phone call. His book has been on my maybe list for this fall.
    Between the school year ending and a quick trip to see family, I didn’t get much reading done. I’m sharing 2 fiction books I listened to on audio. One I heard about on WSIRN.
    https://www.sincerelystacie.com/2021/06/quick-lit-mini-reviews-of-some-recent-reads-june-2021-edition/

  32. Kay Lyn says:

    I also crossed off “The Count of Monte Cristo” from my bucket list by listening to the audio version by John Lee and it DID make my list of all-time great books! It didn’t take me long to get involved in the story and soon I was finding ways to listen to it! I was sad when it ended and wanted to tell every one I knew to run fast to grab this novel! I know the length puts off a lot of people, but it is time well spent! Wonderful novel!! A definite CLASSIC!

    • Susan says:

      What a great post Beth!! You’ve included a bunch of my favorites! Have you read any by Bodie and Brock Theone – all fantistic historical fiction. My daughter reads Christian fiction and loves series’; I went to the Christy Awards page and found a ton of books for her to try.

  33. Kristy Ensunsa says:

    I appreciated your comments on the Count off Monte Cristo. I finally read it last year and thoroughly enjoyed it, though agree it is a time commitment. A good winter read for the adventure and the rich story.

  34. I love Count of Monte Cristo, although I will admit that I liked how the movie adaptation ended better than I liked how the book actually ended! (And I made my husband read it–unabridged–after he lost a bet to me, and the ending made him totally HATE it, ha ha!)

    I hadn’t heard of this title by Octavia Butler and have been meaning to read her for years, so this is giving me even more of a nudge to finally pick up her work!

    Here’s what I’ve been reading lately, including the first of the books off of my own “Summer Reading List”:

    https://www.toloveandtolearn.com/2021/06/15/loving-and-learning-lately-36/

    • Anne says:

      I have heard this about the movie version and … I get it. I found the original ending pretty unsatisfying as far as certain characters’ plotlines were concerned, and it sounds like the movie remedied some of this.

  35. Ruth O says:

    I enjoy reading about what’s being read here. I have just finished When the Stars Go Dark and really got hooked. I have started Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk, and Surviving Savannah, and have While Justice Sleeps on my TBR pile. It’s summer reading program time at my 2 favorite libraries, too!

  36. Jessemy says:

    I’m so glad you’re reading Mend the Living! I read The Heart when it came out a few years ago. It’s one of the books that inspired me to learn how to write a novel. I’m so curious if the two translations are very different. Wonderful that de Kerangal is available to English readers now, too.

  37. I am VERY curious and a little concerned about Anne of Manhattan. I almost picked it up at a bookstore when traveling last week but have heard too many mixed reviews about it! Now it’s waiting on my library hold shelf for me!

    I got in a bit of extra reading time on vacation but mostly just enough to make up for the reading I didn’t get to when preparing for vacation!
    My June Quick Lit

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