What I’ve been reading lately: biography, memoir, and a few fun novels

Welcome to Quick Lit, where we share short and sweet reviews of what we’ve been reading lately on the 15th of the month.

Thanks to our recent camping trip—where I often read just as much as I do when we’re at the beach—I’ve read more than usual this month. Another unusual thing about my reading of late is the proportion of fiction vs nonfiction. My reading typically leans heavily toward fiction, but today I have many memoirs—and even a biography—to share. My list of what I’ve been reading lately is on the long side, but I couldn’t help myself!

I capture all my reads in the My Reading Life book journal, pictured above. If you look close you can read some of my notes about two memoirs I read this month.

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

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

Part of Your World

Part of Your World

Author:
I blew through this delightful romance on audio (as narrated by Julia Whelan and Zachary Webber). What does a city doctor have in common with a small town carpenter? Alexis is not expecting more than one night with Daniel but their chemistry is undeniable. The more time she spends in Daniel’s town, the more she learns what she wants in life but it’s not without cost. Daniel doesn’t belong in her world but she’s not sure she can give him up either. Abby Jimenez’s trademark sense of humor helps balance the moving exploration of intimate partner violence, making for one heartwarming read. More info →
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Managing Expectations: A Memoir in Essays

Managing Expectations: A Memoir in Essays

Author:
So much I didn't know! When a writer friend praised this as the best book she'd read all year, I reordered my audio lineup so I could listen immediately. Aside from enjoying Return to Me and Good Will Hunting, I knew little about Driver's life or career. Her career is merely background to this memoir in essays, which is far more about the trajectory of her life than her professional highlights. In candid, lovingly-drawn, and often poignant essays, she discusses her hair, her childhood in London and Barbados, her struggle to gain traction as an actress, her relationships with her mother and sister, and her unexpected path to motherhood. I thoroughly enjoyed the audiobook, narrated by the author. More info →
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Leadership: In Turbulent Times

Leadership: In Turbulent Times

Readers, I can barely believe I neglected to blog about one of my key reading intentions for 2022: I intend to become a "completist" of more authors whose work I love. (I may not have blogged about it, but I discussed my hopes/plans/dreams in this episode of What Should I Read Next.) Doris Kearns Goodwin is one of the authors whose works I'd like to read in their entirety: I'd download them into my brain if I could. In her most recent work, she profiles four United States presidents—Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Lyndon B. Johnson—who all governed during times when the country was uniquely beset with turmoil, fear, and also hope. She profiles each in turn, examining the innate qualities that made them promising leaders, the circumstances that honed their leadership skills, and the crises through which they were called upon to lead. Inspiring, illuminating, and—to me—surprisingly timely. More info →
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Flying Solo

Flying Solo

Author:
I adored Evvie Drake Starts Over and have been hoping Linda Holmes would give me another novel to devour! I breezed through this warm-hearted new release, which cleverly references the characters from her debut, in just a few days on audio (as narrated by Julia Whelan): it's smart, well-written, enjoyable brain candy. If you like the sound of a woman reevaluating what she really wants on the cusp of turning 40 (with plenty of When Harry Met Sally references), a second-chance romance with a sexy librarian, an older role model who lived an amazing life on her own terms, and a romance involving a beautiful and mysterious duck decoy, this is the book for you. Worth mentioning: after being disappointed by a few much-hyped summer releases with demeaning and totally unnecessary moments of fat shaming, I want to note the welcome body neutrality in these pages. Protagonist Laurie is described as being a size 18; this came up several times in the story but wasn't dwelt on as Laurie's size didn't factor prominently in the plot or Laurie's thoughts. More info →
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Search: A Novel

Search: A Novel

This book was an unexpected delight. It's a novel, written as a comic memoir (with recipes, even!), that opens with a fake premise to the second edition. The premise is this: successful food journalist and restaurant critic Dana Potowski has attended her progressive Unitarian Universalist church for more than two decades. Now the church needs a new pastor, and Dana is asked to serve on the search committee. She doesn't want to do it, because it sounds like a giant pain, plus lately she's been opting for sleeping in over attending service more often than not. But she does need an idea for her next book, and realizes that a memoir about her time on the search committee—including the recipes her readers expect from her—could be perfect. And so she says yes. Whether you're drawn to the possible religious factor here or concerned about it, you should know Dana's church prides itself on being neither religious nor particularly spiritual; more than anything this is a story of finding your path and your people, plus a close-up look at the delightfully maddening process of an all-too-human committee. I'm certain this is exactly the book some of you are searching for, right now. More info →
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I Take My Coffee Black: Reflections on Tupac, Musical Theater, Faith, and Being Black in America

I Take My Coffee Black: Reflections on Tupac, Musical Theater, Faith, and Being Black in America

Author:
I thoroughly enjoyed this memoir from the actor, comedian, and The Tyler Merritt project founder, who shares about his life and work here with a broad lens. He begins by describing what it was like to grow up in Las Vegas under the watchful eye of a strong Black mother, how a friend played him songs from Miss Saigon and just like that, he was a theater kid, how he came to embrace the Christian faith, and what it's like to live in the United States, right now, as a tall, dreadlocked Black man. I enjoyed how Merritt weaves together memoir, comedy, social commentary, and more into one unified and propulsive whole; reading this felt like sitting down with a friend who's way cooler than you and listening to them share their stories. More info →
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The Murder of Mr. Wickham

The Murder of Mr. Wickham

Author:
Let me start by saying that, because of my blog name, I get A LOT of inquiries about Jane Austen-related and derivative works. I was skeptical of this work going in, especially because Gray's premise is audacious: the story is set in 1820, and Mr. Knightley and Emma are throwing a house party. Their guests include: Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth, along with their eldest son Jonathan, Edmund Bertram and Fanny, Captain Wentworth and Anne, Colonel Brandon and Marianne, and Juliet Tilney, daughter of Henry Tilney and Catherine. And then the terrible Mr. Wickham barges in, unannounced, but because it would be an egregious breach of etiquette to put him out on the street, the Knightleys find him a bed as well. What an audacious premise! But Gray makes it work. I loved how she brought this wide cast of characters together in an unexpected and interesting way, and I especially appreciated liked how Gray didn't shy away from making one of Austen's characters the perpetrator of Wickham's murder. Lots of good fun for Austen fans. More info →
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Fly Girl: A Memoir

Fly Girl: A Memoir

Author:
This caught my eye at the bookstore because I am both fascinated by and uneasy about flying. It also reminded me of a wonderful exhibit about the history of flight attendants I saw years ago at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. From a young age, novelist Ann Hood knew she wanted to be a writer. She also knew that writers needed material, and she intended to get hers by getting out of Rhode Island and out into the wider world. And so she landed a coveted job as a flight attendant for TWA Airlines, a position harder to secure at the time, statistically speaking, than admission to Harvard. Between 1978 and 1986, Hood crisscrossed the country and the world, tending to planes and their passengers in her iconic Ralph Lauren uniform. These pages outline the massive changes in the industry during that time, but they're mostly filled with Hood's stories of what she saw in the air. More info →
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Also a Poet: Frank O’Hara, My Father, and Me

Also a Poet: Frank O’Hara, My Father, and Me

Regular readers know I adore sagas of complicated families. This new nonfiction work from Why We Can't Sleep author Ada Calhoun delivers all that and more. Thanks to the book's pre-release publicity, I discovered Calhoun is the daughter of art critic Peter Schjeldahl, who I've been quoting for YEARS (especially in MMD Book Club) about his approach to works that aren't "immediately hospitable." Calhoun's new genre-bending book is a memoir-ish look at their complex relationship—and also a profile-of-sorts about poet Frank O'Hara. I couldn't resist, devoured it in 36 hours, and put it straight on my Best of the Year list. By the time I closed the last page I'd googled a hundred things about NYC history and requested ten books from my local library. Fascinating, devastating, vexing, illuminating. Heads up for a handful of content warnings that aren't obvious from the publisher's description or reviews. 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. 

90 comments

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  1. Lisa notes says:

    Yay for your nonfiction recommendations! 🙂 I found Tyler Merritt’s book fascinating too.

    Two of my favorite nonfiction books I read this month are “Bittersweet” and “Plays Well with Others.” They’re different from each other, but alike in their goal to help us accept ourselves and make our relationships better. Very interesting!

    Here are all 8 books I recommend this month:
    https://lisanotes.com/books-i-recommend-may-2022/

  2. I enjoyed Evie Drake as well and am looking forward to Flying Solo. Search also sounds great, as does the Murder of Mr. Wickham!

    This month I’m reviewing two surprise five-star novels; a book everyone else seems to love that left me disappointed; some feel-good fiction; a chilling short story collection; and some excellent nonfiction titles I can’t stop telling people about.

    https://kendranicole.net/quick-lit-june-2022/

  3. Adrienne says:

    I’ve had a much better reading month than last time! Recent reads include:
    * The Love of my Life by Rosie Walsh – 4 stars – I enjoyed this story which had a very satisfying ending.
    * French Braid by Anne Tyler – 4.5 stars – Tyler always writes the most quirky, ordinary-but-interesting characters, and this book is no exception.
    * This Time Tomorrow by Emma Straub – 5 stars – I LOVED this unique version of a time travel story, and the relationship between Alice and her father is the gem in this book. Definitely a 2022 favorite!
    * Like a House on Fire by Lauren McBrayer – rounding up to 4 stars. This is very well written, but I didn’t enjoy the story line or the language, and the ending felt very rushed to me. Meh….
    * The Good Left Undone by Adriana Trigiani – another 5 star read for me! I thought the first half of this novel moved fairly slowly, but the second half seemed to have a faster pace and it completely sucked me in. This is a book I stayed up reading until 3am to finish. Highly recommend!

    I’m currently reading Moneyball by Michael Lewis (statistics geek here and even though I have seen and loved the movie, this book is fascinating), Watershed by Mark Barr (fictionalized story of the development of TVA in rural TN, so this is close to home for me), and The Book of Lost and Found by Lucy Foley.

    Happy Reading!

    • Mary Lynne says:

      Adrienne, I’m particularly looking forward to This Time Tomorrow. And a huge thank you for putting all your reads right here rather than putting them in a link to another site.

      • Adrienne says:

        Hi Mary Lynne! I hope you enjoy This Time Tomorrow; it is such a sweet book and the premise is original and clever. And you are welcome!

        • Casey says:

          I agree. I don’t like when people put links here, and this was really great. So glad to see all your recommendations.

    • Colleen Bonilla says:

      My husband read and loved Moneyball also. He insists that we watch the DVD at lease every few months! Fortunately, I like the film too.

  4. I’m reading Search right now and loving it. I also just downloaded from Libby, I Take My Coffee Black based on your recommendation, I believe. I can’t wait to read it. I watched one of Tyler’s YouTube videos and enjoyed it.

    I became a “completist” on author Julie Clark and I enjoyed all three of her books and can’t wait to read the next one. I hope it’s soon.

    https://sonovelicious.substack.com/p/an-author-and-her-books-889?s=w

    Happy reading!!

  5. Deb R says:

    I picked up my first Colleen Hoover book and so happy I did! I read Reminders of Him and will definitely read her others.

  6. Kristie Wilson says:

    I’m currently listening to Part of Your World and loving it. New to me author so I will have to check out her other books. I’m reading Something Wilder, my first Christina Lauren book.

    Fly Girl is now on my wish list!

  7. Claire says:

    I am reading Gossip from Thrush Green by Miss Read. I think the world would be a better place if everyone had to read one Miss Read book a month.

    • Terry says:

      Whenever I need to calm down I reread all the Thrush Green books! Another “soother” I’ve been reading is D. E. Stevenson – not quite as witty as Miss Read but pleasant English stories and lots of them!

  8. I have a copy of Part of Your World and will need to get to that one this summer. Fly Girl is on my list too. Today I’m sharing Ginger Zee’s new memoir, the second romance novel in the Waiting for Tom Hanks series, and a mystery from Iowa writer, Heather Gudenkauf.
    Now that I’m back from a school trip to DC and NYC I’m hoping I can get back to a regular reading routine!
    https://www.sincerelystacie.com/2022/06/quick-lit-mini-reviews-of-some-recent-reads-june-2022-edition/

  9. Sandy says:

    I enjoyed Search so much that I also read all of Michelle Huneven’s backlist. All well worth your time! They include Blame, Round Rock and Jamesland.

  10. Amapola says:

    Martha Grimes’ Inspector Richard Jury Series in audio has been a wonderful addition to the summer.
    The Love of my Life by Rosie Walsh
    What We Carry, a memoir by Maya Shanbhag Lang
    Everything Sad is Untrue by Daniel Nayeri
    These Precious Days by Ann Patchett

  11. Rebekah Jacobs says:

    SO many good reads:
    1) Heartbreak by Florence Williams (NF)
    2) Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Gramus (F)
    3) The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post: A Novel by Allison Pataki

  12. I read two good books on New Urbanism, plus some novels, a memoir of escaping the Nazis on the Kindertransport, and a feminist manifesto!
    Here are my reviews.

    Search sounds interesting. I was raised UU but became an Episcopalian as a teenager, and about a decade ago I served on my church’s vestry during a time when we decided we had to change priests. It was painful, but I learned so much from the process and from my fellow vestry members! And although my church is religious, one of the remarkable things about this experience was how often we forgot to pray or to think about how our religious principles could guide our decisions–it was humbling.

    • Anne Bogel says:

      It’s been a while since I read those two New Urbanism books—it was so fun to check out your reviews and be reminded of those long-ago reading experiences!

      That’s so interesting about your personal experience navigating a pastoral search. I’m wondering what you would think about the book—would it be wonderfully relatable or way too close to home? I know you’re the only one who can answer that. 🙂

  13. Sandy says:

    Lately I have read:
    So Many Beginnings: a Little Women Remix, Bethany C. Morrow
    Midnight Riot, Ben Aaronovitch
    Unstoppable, Joshua M. Greene’s 2021 biography of Siggi Wilzig, forward by Deborah Lipstadt
    The Secret Life of Miss Mary Bennet, Katherine Cowley
    After the Romanovs, Helen Rappaport

    The Wisconsin Frontier, Mark Wyman

  14. MrsLittle says:

    I finally started the Inspector Gamache series on audio and devoured it. All 17 books in a month or so, bc I listen all day at work. I was at a loss as to what to try next when I found the Bruno, Chief of Police series by Martin Wakker. It’s very reminiscent of Inspector Gamache and I’ve been similarly devouring these.

  15. Jennifer Geisler says:

    I just finished Something Wilder, a summer book guide selection. I had mixed feelings about this summer romance.
    The pluses: the unique location of the west, in ranching territory, where most of the action took place. The feisty women who led the hikes through the wilderness. The use of puzzles to move the plot along.

    The negatives: those feisty smart women made several dangerous and elementary mistakes, not believable in people who are leading strangers across remote territory. The obnoxious male characters were simply too much to bear.

    I gave this 3 stars for creativity and for including back stories for the lead characters

  16. Carolyn says:

    Added several of these to my TBR and bumped up Search. Sounds perfect for me!

    My favorites from the past month are Cover Story by Susan Rigetti and Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt. These both lived up to the hype. My least favorite was The Murder Rule by Dervla McTiernan. I love her Cormac Reilly series, but this standalone book just didn’t work for me. I also finally read Laundry Love and am ready to put so many new practices into action.

  17. Max LeMoine says:

    I’ve been loving Deacon King Kong. It was not at all what I expected when my wife read me the first page when she was deciding what books to get me for Christmas, and I have been loving where it has gone. It reminds me of Cannery Row, an examination of a place and the people who live there, but this time in New York I’m the 60’s in a project called the Cause. I can’t wait to see how it finishes, but I also don’t want it to end.

    • Anne Bogel says:

      I’m so glad to hear you’re loving it! I’ve never read Cannery Row and found that to be an interesting comparison. I hope you enjoy the ending. (I thought the wrap-up was superb fwiw 🙂 )

  18. Savannah says:

    With a newborn in tow,my reading life is consisting of books about faraway places. Scratching that travel bug while I’m home. On audio I’ve been thoroughly enjoying “Where the Rhythm Takes You,” a great narration and the descriptive paragraphs make me feel like I’m vacationing in Trinidad. On paperback, I’ve been slowly working my way through “Wide Open World:How Volunteering Around the Globe Changed One Family’s Lives Forever” by John Marshall.

  19. Debbie says:

    I’m currently reading a beautiful memoir by Helen Humphreys called And A Dog Called Fig: Solitude, Connection, The Writing Life. I was also notified that Horse by Geraldine Brooks is waiting for me at the library!

  20. Proud of what I accomplished this month. Seemed to just fly through some good books. Top rated: Spurgeon’s Sorrows and Somebody’s Daughter

    The Sound of Wings, by Suzanne Simonetti
    Adventures with Waffles, by Maria Parr
    The Ruin, by Dervla McTiernan
    Spurgeon’s Sorrows, by Zack Eswine
    Somebody’s Daughter, by Ashley C. Ford

    Finished after a long read:
    40 Days of Hope, by Paul David Tripp
    5 Minutes in Church History, by Stephen J. Nichols
    Gentle and Lowly, by Dane C. Ortlund

    My kids and I post tiny reviews/summaries at our website!

  21. Ann says:

    I had such high hopes for my June reading. I just underwent a complete hysterectomy & extensive prolapse repair (5 hours worth) and here I am at day 6 post op & not one book finished.

    Beginning to think all that anesthesia did a number on my ability to concentrate. Nobody warned me of all this fatigue.

    The one book I’ve managed to read a little is Bomb Shelter. Nice brief chapters.

    I’d thought The Change would be appropriate, but I could not get past the opening pages.

    Also have Booker prize short listed Heaven, but that is due back tomorrow.

    My list of TBRs is long and I am feeling deflated. We are under a heat wave, so despite knowing walking is a good thing, I am not quite up for that either.

    I’ve been watching some quirky older movies on Tubi.

    Must get to the new Emma Straub before it too needs to be returned to the library. Taking it one day at a time & hopefully soon: one book at a time!

    • Jess says:

      I had a hysterectomy about 18 months ago, and I was exhausted for quite awhile after. Go to bed early and take naps as often as you can.

      • Ann says:

        Thanks Jess!

        The things no one really warns one about. Each day is slightly better.

        I am such a voracious reader, that the lack of focus has really thrown me.

        Very bad habit of staying up way, way late. Would love to read more, but the eyes get tired.

        I have a total of 21 books on loan from the library. Not sure what I was thinking! I think some of pandemic supply slump has gone & I am getting them much faster.

        One I’d love to read is a recent telling of the lives of Laurence Olivier & Vivien Leigh. Long title, short version: Truly, Madly by Stephen Galloway.

        Just walked 16 minutes in this awful heat. Maybe I need to read books in cold settings.

        Gathering strength for a trip to Edinburgh in September.

        • Mary Lynne says:

          It’s definitely the anethesia that plays havoc with your focus, and the longer the surgery, the longer it takes for it to come back. Same thing happened to me after my knee replacement. Hang in there, it’ll come back. And is there a mall nearby where you can walk? It’s ideal because it is air conditioned and there’s always a bench to sit on to rest (Texas girl here).

    • Anne Bogel says:

      Ann, I’m wishing you well as you continue to recover and heal. I hope you’re enjoying all those quirky movies! Your books will be ready for you when YOU are ready for them. ❤️

  22. It’s been a slow and unproductive reading period these last couple of months. I’ve fallen behind on my Scandinavian Reading Challenge, but I’m grateful for my book club which provided incentive to finish two books, and bonus that they were both unread Book of the Month selections (one I really enjoyed and one I really didn’t). With summer now upon us, I hope to get back on track and catch up! Here’s what I did manage to read the last couple of months.

    http://www.avikinginla.com/2022/06/what-ive-been-reading-lately-april-may-2022-scandireadingchallenge-update/

  23. Ann says:

    Correction: Heaven by Mieko Kawakami was short listed got the International Booker Prize.

    Nice slim volume, so I may be able to complete it, despite my lack of focus.

    • Ann says:

      OMG. My typing.

      Heaven was short listed “for” not got.

      Trying to be accurate here. Lots of ads popping up & blocking my typing.

      For the record Geetanjali Shree’s
      Tomb of Sand was the winner. It is a larger book, so I will not be reading it for now.

      • Kate says:

        I’ve been reading Tomb of Sand. It is an absolute doorstep, but on the plus side the chapters are super-short and I’m finding the writing is so pleasing I’m not minding the length of the journey so to speak. That said I haven’t finished it yet – had to put it aside for book club reads – but I’m looking forward to going back to it. A really wonderful look at a mother-daughter relationship, atmospheric and beautifully written. The author has a great sense of humour, too, which helps.

  24. Debbie says:

    I really appreciate your being aware of fat shaming. I struggle with so many books because of this, not only being curvy myself but also because I have a family member who is in recovery from a dangerous restrictive eating disorder and finds it difficult not to be triggered by fat shaming. Thank you for taking fat shaming into account as you read and recommend books.

    Mystery used to be my favorite genre before I took some years off from reading, but in returning to it in the past few years, I find so much fat shaming. The Thursday Murder Club, for instance, has a character who is defined by being fat and how miserable he is because he’s fat. There’s so much of it that I’ve almost given up on mystery. I’m much more comfortable with current science fiction.

    • Anne Bogel says:

      Debbie, I really relate to what you’re saying about being impacted by the struggles of loved ones. Back when I read The Thursday Murder Club, the fat shaming didn’t register. Those passages would hit me in a very different way now. I’m fascinated by what you said about fat shaming in the mystery genre. I don’t know what’s going on there but I don’t like it!

  25. Colleen says:

    A Bright and Blinding Son by Marcus Brotherton (publish date May 24, 2022) via Little, Brown and Company is the best book that I’ve read this year. Based on the true story of Joe Johnson Jr who enlists at age 15 and is captured by the Japanese in the Philippines.

  26. Wendy says:

    I have been reading a lot of cozy mysteries. I read the Cinnamon Roll Murder by Joanne Fluke, the first two fairy mysteries by Daryl Wood Gerber, Aunt Dimity and the Enchanted Cottage, and A Margin For Murder by Lauren Elliott.

  27. Maureen Whipple says:

    Miss Eliza’s English Kitchen
    Absolutely delightful! Picture it as a movie and wondering who they would cast.
    Eliza’s mother is so well written.

  28. Janna says:

    I’ve been listening to anything I can find narrated by Dion Graham. I prefer his narrations of historical fiction vs. contemporary. Washington Black by Esi Edugyan was a favorite, sort of a cross between Kitchen House and Where The Crawdads Sing. I also enjoyed Defiance, the first in a trilogy by C. J. Redwood.

  29. Jackie says:

    Here is my list of books that I read this spring/summer:
    *Dutch House by Ann Patchett – quirky and odd and I loved it.
    *When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi – it’s unbelievable about what goes on in residency training for neurosurgeons. A must read!
    *A Woman in the Polar Night, by Christiane Ritter – Christiane’s husband convinces her to come live with him for one year in the Artic. The descriptions of the hardship of living in the bitter cold and the scant hut where they live will make you wonder why they do it. Hint: it’s all about nature and the landscape.

    • Adrienne says:

      I read When Breath Becomes Air several years ago, and it has stuck with me. Such a moving book, and the afterward made me bawl like a baby…

  30. Flying Solo looks adorable.

    I read two great nonfiction books this month:
    Dopamine Nation by Anna Lembke
    Mama Bear Apologetics by Hillary Morgan Ferrer

    Old-school (steamy) romance: Morning Glory by LaVryle Spencer

    Super-surprising family read-aloud: A Wonder-Book for Girls and Boys by Nathaniel Hawthorne (yes, the guy who also wrote The Scarlet Letter)

    And I reread Mansfield Park because it’d been too long. ❤️

    https://bookdevotions.com/book-reviews-may-2022/

  31. Nanette says:

    I mostly read fiction but here are a couple non-fiction books I’ve really liked. First, Viola Davis’s memoir, Finding Me. She’s had such an amazing (and traumatic life). Now I want to re-watch all her performances! Another recent (non-fiction) favorite is Shakespeare in a Divided America by James Shapiro. He focuses on the impact of Shakespeare’s plays throughout American history (including a fascinating production of Julius Caesar in Central Park in 2017).

  32. Beth Gross says:

    I read The Do Over by Bethany Turner in one day. It was a fun, breezy read that reminded me of a Hallmark movie.

    I read The Lazy Genius Kitchen by Kendra Adachi. So many helpful elements.

    I enjoyed Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir even though I’m not a huge sci fi fan. I really had to think through why I liked it when I was working on a list of Books Like Project Hail Mary for my blog.
    https://purplecrayonyourworld.com/more-books-like-project-hail-mary/

  33. Jodi Frederick says:

    I finished the following books in the last month.
    What the Fireflies Knew by Kai Harris (one of my top books this year) (print)
    I Guess I Haven’t Learned That Yet: Discovering New Ways of Living When the Old Ways Stop Working by Shauna Neiquist (print)
    The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles (another top book this year) (Ebook)
    A Severe Mercy: A Story of Faith, Tragedy and Triumph by Sheldon Vanhauken (print)
    Tiny Tales: Stories of Romance, Ambition, Kindness, and Happiness (Ebook) AND
    The Joy and Light Bus Company (audio), both by Alexander McCall Smith
    Peace Is a Practice: An Invitation to Breathe Deep and Find a New Rhythm for Life by Morgan Harper Nichols (Ebook)

    I’m continuing to read
    A. Lincoln by Ron White (print)
    Love Walked Among Us by Paul Miller (print)

    I just started
    Up From Slavery by Booker T. Washington (Ebook)
    Packing Light by Allison Fallon (Ebook)
    Where the Rhythm Takes You by Sara Dass (audio)

  34. Mary Deeter says:

    I’ve been on a nonfiction kick lately too. Just finished “James Patterson” by James Patterson and “Just Tyrus”. Thanks for the recommendations for some more nonfiction I have some fiction in the lineup next.

  35. Suzanne says:

    Since May 15th, I have read or listened to these books:
    “I Capture the Castle” by Dodie Smith. We read this in my Virtual Book club. Smith’s writing is lovely and I enjoyed this story told from the perspective of a 17 year old girl.
    “The Golden Couple” by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen. I listened to this book and made excuses to go on errands or do household chores just to be able to listen. This was a 5 star read for me. The narration in the Audible version is just fantastic.
    “The Marx Sisters” by Barry Maitland. This is the first book in Maitland’s Brock and Kolla mystery series. I would read another book in this series as I enjoyed this one.
    “Scrublands” by Chris Hammer. This was a DNF for me. I wanted so badly to enjoy this book as it was recommended to readers who enjoyed “The Dry” by Jane Harper, one of my favorite books. The characters were unlikeable to me and the pace of the book made it difficult for me to stay engaged.
    “The Night Hawks” by Elly Griffiths. This is the first book in Griffiths’ Ruth Galloway series I have read. I enjoyed the story and the characters. I will definitely read this series and will now start back at the beginning.
    “Bomb Shelter: Love, Time and Other Explosives” by Mary Laura Philpott. I read this memoir for the MMD Book Club. I listened to Philpott read her own book on Audible and really enjoyed hearing her. While she is in a different stage of life than I am and has a very different life from me, I could relate to much of what she was sharing.
    “The Man Who Died Twice” (A Thursday Murder Club Mystery) by Richard Osman. I read the first book in this series and really enjoyed it. That was the reason I read the second book and also enjoyed it. The 4 senior sleuths in this book are just fun and amazing. These books pay tribute to the capabilities of older people.
    “The Last Thing He Told Me” by Laura Dave. I loved this book. While it was a thriller it was also had a focus on love of family which I loved as a theme.
    “If We Were Villains” by M. L. Rio. This book was recommended to me by an avid reader. I really wanted to love it but the characters were all so unlikeable, except for the detective whose role was not a major role. The plot was excellent. I liked the book but did not love it as I had hoped.
    “The Guest List” – Lucy Foley. Another thriller with hard to like characters – hard for me to like. The last quarter of the book is fantastic.

    Currently reading – “Iron Lake” by William Kent Krueger (via Audible); “The Companion” by Kim Taylor Blakemore (for book club); and “Transient Desires” by Donna Leon (a Commissario Guido Brunetti mystery).

  36. Karen Q Jeske says:

    I loved Search! I loved it for many reasons, but also the protagonist, Dana, has so much in common with me. Every time I described parts of the novel to my husband he asked if I was sure I hadn’t written it.

    I also recently finished Tina Brown’s new biography of the Royal Family, The Palace Papers. It’s excellent. She’s a great writer and researcher and she has access to so many great sources! If you’re a Royal watcher at all or a fan of The Crown, I’m sure you’ll love it.

  37. I recently read and enjoyed two YA mystery/thrillers – QUEEN OF THE TILES by Hanna Alkaf (Scrabble tournament! Set in Malaysia!) and THIS GOLDEN STATE by Marit Weisenberg (A family on the run! A home DNA test!)

    And I loved the historical fiction/thriller by Chris Bohjalian – THE LIONESS. (1960s Hollywood and an African safari in Tanzania!)

  38. I also enjoyed Part of Your World and have Flying Solo and Fly Girl checked out from the library (in a larger stack than I would like!)

    Trying to get in the summer reading groove around making summer fun for my kids too (they don’t find me sitting around and reading most of the day to be fun for them…who would have thought!). Here my May Reading Recap

  39. Debbie Ford says:

    The Glass House – Eve Chase. Creepy.
    A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute. Stunning.
    Lessons in Chemistry- Bonnie Garmus. Brilliant.
    Greenwich Park – Katherine Faulkner. Gripping.
    The Rest of Their Lives – Jean-Paul Didierlaurent. Beautiful.

  40. Shana says:

    I got to hear Ada Calhoun speak this week – she came all the way to Oklahoma on her book tour. I wrote a post about it on my booksta – @okiecozyreader.

    I have the Tyler Merritt book downloaded, but haven’t gotten to it yet. I’ve heard other people say similar things. I finished Things We Do in the Dark last night and liked it (my first Jennifer Hillier). I also recently finished Nobody Gets Out Alive – series of short stories about hard living in Alaska; the Beach Trap – a fun, summer read based on The Parent Trap; and Firekeepers Daughter (which I loved). A great reading week so far!

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