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.  

Today’s round-up has more nonfiction in the mix, partly to balance the heaps of brand-new fiction I’m reading for the 2021 Summer Reading Guide, and partly because I’ve found myself on a kick with books about the craft of writing (which inspired last week’s blog post). I frequently enjoy books about art, creativity, and the writing life—just not so many consecutive great ones on audio

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

What I’ve been reading lately: the new and the notable

If We Were Villains

If We Were Villains

Author:
I listened to the audio version from Libro.fm for a buddy read with a friend (funny thing: I finished the book, she did not), and it made me realize how much I enjoy books set in the theater world or with a connection to Shakespeare. This book has both, along with a really fun dialogue structure. Oliver Marks has just been released from jail after serving a ten year sentence, and he's finally ready to tell the truth. Ten years ago, Oliver was part of a close-knit group of Shakespearean actors at Dellecher Classical Conservatory, where rivalries and romance affect the troupe off stage with just as much drama as their performances. Their final year reads more like one of Shakespeare's tragedies. When violence erupts, the group tries to find out what happened while covering the truth to protect each other. This campus mystery is perfect for fans of Donna Tartt. More info →
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Amazon
Buy from Audible.com
Buy from Bookshop
A Swim in a Pond in the Rain: In Which Four Russians Give a Master Class on Writing, Reading, and Life

A Swim in a Pond in the Rain: In Which Four Russians Give a Master Class on Writing, Reading, and Life

Author:
Though I've enjoyed Saunders' work in the past, I wasn't eager to pick up anyone's hefty analysis of Russian short stories. I'm so pleased that I listened to my writerly friends who said "this is fascinating, you have to read it!" In this workbook-like book, Saunders explores the craft of writing through the lens of four Russian short stories. It's surprisingly engaging, especially on audio, with narrators like Nick Offerman, Rainn Wilson, Glenn Close, and Renee Elise Goldberry. Listening felt like sitting in a fantastic lecture hall with my favorite literature professor, and now I want a physical copy for making notes. You don't need an English degree or any interest in Russian lit in order to pick this one up—a healthy dose of nerdy curiosity will do. More info →
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Amazon
Buy from Audible.com
Good Neighbors

Good Neighbors

Author:
As a literary thriller, this book is very well done, but wasn't right for me, at least not right now. Wildly praised by friends, and for good reason, Langan creates a solid set-up and fantastic payoff built around unjust accusations and terrible things happening in a tight-knit suburban neighborhood. The action gets going when a sinkhole opens in the neighborhood park—an inciting incident that hit a little too close to home since sinkholes are prevalent where I live. My reading taste leans toward the lighter side these days, so this was not the right time for me to pick up this tense, noir-ish novel. However, if you love true crime, dysfunctional family drama, or well-written mystery, this may be exactly right for you. Sensitive readers should be aware that this book contains violence, abuse, harm to children, and other trigger-warning-worthy content. More info →
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Amazon
Buy from Audible.com
Buy from Bookshop
How to Be an Artist

How to Be an Artist

Author:
Saltz fits a bounty of inspiration into a short 150 pages in his handbook for letting go of self-doubt and enjoying the creative life. I listened to it on audio and thoroughly enjoyed his snappy, slightly snarky tone. I've been on something of a kick with books about creativity and craft lately, and this one stands out as a book to return to again and again. I took SO many notes while reading, and I shared a few of them in a quick IGTV video for What Should I Read Next. Whether you consume art, create art, or want to engage with art, this is an excellent pithy read, well worth your time. More info →
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Amazon
Buy from Audible.com
Buy from Bookshop
Hades, Argentina

Hades, Argentina

Author:
In 1976, Tomás Oriilla moves to Buenos Aires to reunite with his childhood crush and complete medical school, but when an oppressive regime "disappears" him, he lives for years in New York as Thomas instead. Answering a summons back to Argentina, Tomás finds himself communing with ghosts and reckoning with his past. This book is undeniably well-crafted, and critics are calling it ambitious with good reason. It's difficult to describe the balance of warm endearment and weighty prose in this sad, haunting novel. I'd never read about Argentina in 1976 and found the history fascinating, but the tough content made for a difficult read for me at this time. Readers who like darker literary fiction and want to read about this specific part of history will enjoy this unique novel. Content warnings abound, so take care as you pick this up. More info →
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Amazon
Buy from Audible.com
Buy from Bookshop
That Sounds Fun: The Joys of Being an Amateur, the Power of Falling in Love, and Why You Need a Hobby

That Sounds Fun: The Joys of Being an Amateur, the Power of Falling in Love, and Why You Need a Hobby

Author:
Readers, I know it's right there in the title, but this book is FUN. If you have the print version, don't miss out on the lists of what sounds like fun to Annie F. Downs' podcast listeners—they're in tiny text throughout the book and such a delight to peruse! In her joyful book on how fun is individualized and unique, Annie shares why we need to pursue fun in our own lives. She also declares that what sounds fun to you is individual, and you don't need to be good at something in order to enjoy it (which reminds me of my rock climbing days). I loved the many mentions of Dolly Parton in this charming book about family, passion, and trying new things. You can listen to WSIRN Episode 198: Reading for the FUN of it to hear Annie gush about Dolly and talk about the importance of fun in her reading life. More info →
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Amazon
Buy from Audible.com
Buy from Bookshop
Her Dark Lies

Her Dark Lies

Author:
J.T. Ellison's newest thriller takes place at a gorgeous villa off the Italian coast, where the beautiful setting clashes with sinister events. The book opens right before a big society wedding, and nothing is going right for the bride and groom as skeletal remains were just found on the island they reserved for the wedding. Could this be an omen? As more guests arrive, we learn that almost every character has something to hide—and then they start dying. With suspicions and secrets swirling, the bride realizes that she knows very little about her groom's first wife or the circumstances around her death. Twisty and treacherous, this gave me serious Rebecca vibes with a dash of And Then There Were None. More info →
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Amazon
Buy from Audible.com
Buy from Bookshop

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. A whole stack of middle grade books to read in one weekend, 15 immersive books about lesser-known historical events, and 9 books that changed my mind about chores.

more posts you might enjoy

117 comments | Comment

117 comments

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  1. Lis M says:

    Oooh of course my TBR grew but this time with nonfiction.
    Thanks for the recs of How to Be an Artist and That Sounds like Fun – I also like that one I’ll listen to and one I’ll read in print format.

    I’ve been on a kick of romance and highly emotional books including Instructions for Dancing + The Intimacy Experiment (highly recommend both of them!). My husband is fully binging The Broken Earth trilogy and our family has been listening to Flora + Ulysses so we can watch the movie.

    https://www.everyoneslibrarian.com/blog/quick-lit-march-2021

    • Robyn Klassen says:

      Just finished the Lady Astronaut books. They keep getting better and better! The third one has a gloriously satisfying endings.

  2. Lisa notes says:

    I wouldn’t naturally pick up “A Swim in a Pond in the Rain” but after reading your description, I’m adding it to my list!

    I’m proud of myself for finishing my biggest book so far in 2021: Stephen King’s, 11/22/63, all 849 pages. 🙂 The library helped by loaning the ebook, the paperback, and the audiobook so I could go back and forth depending on the situation. It was good!

    I also finished a great book about the impact of the coronavirus, Apollo’s Arrow.

    I recommend 7 books here:

    https://www.lisanotes.com/books-i-recommend-february-2021/

  3. Adrienne says:

    ‘If We Were Villains’, ‘How to be an Artist’ and ‘That Sounds Fun’ all look wonderful! No 25 star books this month, but I did read some wonderful books, including:
    * ‘The Searcher’ by Tana French (3 stars) – I listened to the audiobook, and enjoyed it, but to me, this book just seems so muted compared to other Tana French novels. It’s less suspenseful, less twisty, and less intense than the Dublin Murder Squad books, and although I enjoyed it, I wasn’t riveted by this story.
    * ‘The Midnight Watch: A Novel of the Titanic and the Californian’ by David Dyer (4 stars) – In the author’s notes, David Dyer describes himself as having a “Titanic obsession,” and this book is his fictionalized retelling of the events surrounding the failure of the Californian to respond to the distress signals of the Titanic as she sank. Dyer states he developed this book from eyewitness accounts, transcripts of the US and British hearings on the Titanic’s sinking, and from the many articles and writings that covered the events. He introduces a fictional newspaper man, John Steadman, to carry the story in this book, and it’s very well done.
    * ‘I Was Told It Would Get Easier’ by Abbi Waxman (3.5 stars) – I enjoyed this story of a mom and daughter, Jessica and Emily, on a college tour, told from both perspectives. It’s funny, and I enjoyed seeing the same events described oh so differently by Jessica and Emily.
    * ‘Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church’ by Rachel Held Evans (5 stars) – It took me a sweet forever to read this book – I think I started in almost a year ago – but I’m so glad I finished it. It’s a reflective book, which includes short essays, and memoirs organized around the sacraments of the church, including baptism, communion, confession, anointing, and marriage. I disagree with the author on some things, but this book gave me much to ponder, and her descriptions of marriage and the church in the last section of the book are the best I have ever read.
    * ‘The Last Garden in England ‘ by Julia Kelly (4 stars) – I really enjoyed this story of three women in three timelines, 1907, 1944, and present day, connected by a fabulous English garden and a secret. This is the first book I have read by Julia Kelly, and I’m looking forward to reading more of her work.
    * ‘The Lying Game’ and ‘The Turn on the Key’ by Ruth Ware (both 4 stars) – These are both so good, with twists and turns that I never saw coming, and with interesting, and flawed but sympathetic characters. So well done!

    Happy Reading!

    • Lisa Toner says:

      I love Ruth Ware! I think my favourite books by her are The Woman in Cabin 10, and The Death of Mrs. Westaway.

      • Adrienne says:

        I loved ‘The Woman in Cabin 10,’ but haven’t read ‘The Death of Mrs. Westaway’ yet. Will have to try that one soon!

  4. Lindsey Brackett says:

    Did you ever read The Two Family House? I saw it in a friend’s quick lit post a month or two ago and snagged it from the library on a whim. Compelling and dysfunctional, yet hopeful. Hit me just right in the “not too heavy but not too light” reading place. Also just finished The Alice Network (how did I miss this when I was also gushing Code Name Helene??)

    • Brittany says:

      I read this in high school and was just talking to my husband about reading it again. We live in Florida near Eatonville where Zora Neale Hurston lived! I originally read the book with a high school teacher who I did not respect (I LOVED all of my other language arts teachers and enjoyed the books I read with them!), so I didn’t really enjoy the book the first time. I have a feeling I would change my mind with all I know and love about Florida at this point in my life.

      • I finally read Their Eyes Were Watching God last year. Beautiful. I used to live near Eatonville! I had an Orlando address, though, and used to teach at Southwest and Chain of Lakes middle schools.

      • Kara says:

        I did not read this book in school (sadly) so this was my first experience with it. I would encourage you to give it another read! The story itself is engaging, but there’s so much more to unpack beyond the basic plot points.

    • Lisa Toner says:

      Looking forward to reading Their Eyes Were Watching God!! It’s on my list and already on my Kobo (it was on sale, lol!)

  5. Priscilla Basilio says:

    I’m currently reading An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon which is about a generation spaceship but it’s divided like the antebellum south. Very interesting. I’m also reading How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House and Age of Swords by Michael J. Sullivan.

  6. Beth Gross says:

    I recently read The Power of Writing it Down by Allison Fallon and re-read The Lazy Genius by Kendra Adachi

    My favorite recent read was In the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel Philbrick about the whaling ship Essex in the 1800s.

    I forgot how much I loved true life adventure stories, so it was fun to find some new ones and revisit some old favorites while working on a list of More Books Like Unbroken.

    https://purplecrayonyourworld.com/more-books-like-unbroken/

    • Mimi says:

      I love so many on your list. Now I’ve added a couple of these to my TBR list. No surprise because Unbroken is one of my favorite nonfiction books.

    • Hi Beth, you had so many great titles that I wouldn’t have linked to Unbroken, but now I definitely see it, especially in the helpful ways you broke the books down by categories! I didn’t see a place to comment on your blog. I loved Hannah Coulter, The Hiding Place, We Were the Lucky Ones, Boys in the Boat, and Endurance.

  7. Katie says:

    I’m currently reading The Devil and the Dark Water by Stuart Turton. I recently read Dune by Frank Herbert for the first time and Dark Matter by Blake Crouch and loved them both. Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant was very good as well.

  8. Julie says:

    I am tearing through the Ruth Galloway mysteries by Ellie Griffiths and so sad to be reading the last one (12) though another is promised thus year. I also loved Sorrow and Bliss. Five stars. I am using a new books only Instagram to track reading this year: @nursebeanreads.

    • Emma says:

      Oooh, I LOVE the Ruth Galloway mysteries! I came to them after reading ‘The Stranger Diaries’ at the end of last year, and I find them the ultimate comfort read! Trying to ration them, but I’m already up to book 7.

  9. Peggy says:

    Loved “the four winds” by Kristin Hannah. A wonderful exploration about the concepts of home and family. and a remarkable mother/daughter relationship.

    • Kathy says:

      I am almost finished this one. It’s going to be hard to pick another book to read after this one – it is so good.

  10. We read “If We Were Villains” last fall in my real life book club. It was amazing and inspired one of our best discussions!

    The first half of my March reading month was heavy on the audiobook experience. I listened to two celebrity memoirs, “Open Book” by Jessica Simpson and “The Rural Diaries” by Hilarie Burton Morgan. I also enjoyed a couple romances, “Suddenly You” by Lisa Kleypas and “The Honey-Don’t List” by Christina Lauren.

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

  11. Lizabeth Snell says:

    Highly recommend Steal Like an Artist & other books (&blog) by Austin Kleon. Endless food for our creative souls. 🙂

  12. Cassie says:

    I’m devouring the knitting in the city series. I also just finished the Lily & dash series which I really enjoyed.

  13. That Sounds Fun is the only one on your list that I knew anything about. I almost bought it when I was in Target but wasn’t sure it was for me and now I am thinking I should have grabbed it.
    My list is weird for me this month as well. They were all on audio, all non-fiction, and two of them were celebrity memoirs. All my other reading was for full review posts. So, this is what came in on my library holds.

    https://www.sincerelystacie.com/2021/03/quick-lit-mini-reviews-of-some-recent-reads-march-2021-edition/

  14. Nancy Andrews says:

    I’ve been catching up with new releases that my library just received by favorite authors this month. Really enjoyed A Fatal Lie by Charles Todd, the latest Ian Rutledge Scotland Yard mystery. I also found Charles Finch’s An Extravagant Death excellent. Going back in time An English Mystery by Charles Hare satisfied my Agatha Christie loving heart!! So grateful for soooo many good books to choose from!!!

  15. Susan says:

    Good variety in my reading life lately:
    -Currently reading Wintering by Katherine May. Really resonating with me. Beautiful prose. One I will keep and re-read over the years.
    -The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner. For an email chat with a friend. So glad it is a friend read, as it is one I found myself wanting to talk to someone about. Loved the story, and the themes of grief, love and community.
    -An Extravagant Death by Charles Finch, audiobook. Narrator James Langton brings this 19th century English detective series alive for me.

  16. Ariana Burris says:

    I recently devoured Cinder by Marissa Meyer in one day. So outside my comfort zone but it was exactly what I needed. I haven’t been surprised by an ending in a while, but this one snuck up on me. Lots of bonus material at the end and I thought I had more book!

    • I was just thinking last night maybe this series is the comfort reread I need right now! Cinder was actually my least favorite of the quartet but I loved the other books so much. I hope you enjoy the rest of the series too!

  17. Kim says:

    I just finished If We Were Villians and LOVED IT! Controversial opinion – I thought it was so much better than The Secret History (which I hated!). Glad to see someone else reading this too!

  18. Wendy Barker says:

    Someone a little further up recommended a book by Blake Crouch and I also recommend Recursion by him. In nonfiction I recently finished On Fire by Naomi Klein. It’s a fabulous exploration of how the Green New Deal could and must be implemented. I think every politician should have to read it.

  19. Betsy says:

    I don’t know if it’s pandemic-related, but I’ve really needed some light, fun reads lately, or at least something where I know I’m not going to be devastated at any point. I’ve been reading Jenny Colgan. If you’re feeling the need for something similar, I recommend The Scottish Bookshop series, start with The Bookshop on the Corner. This weekend, I finished The Cafe by the Sea, which is the first book in the Mure series. Also recommend this one.

    • Adrien says:

      Love the Mure series! Weirdly, I think it’s better than the Scottish Bookshop series. Heads up though, I think it’s the 3rd or 4th Mure book that gets real sad. I was not expecting it and probably would have waited to read it if I had known since I was looking for happy Scottish escapism.

  20. Jaia says:

    I love Jerry Saltz. He’s a fantastic art critic with an incredibly approachable point of view. He’s also super active on Instagram where he posts a lot of controversial art that is great for sparking conversation.

  21. Patti Rose says:

    Kristin Hannah’s newest release, FOUR WINDS. Well researched, well written but way too depressing right now. It’s about the drought and dust bowl of the midwest in the 1930’s. The utter devastation of the land and the horrors for the people. I need more uplifting stories after this year of tension and sadness.

  22. Cara says:

    I just finished That Sounds Fun and it was fun and inspiring and exactly what I needed to hear (recommend the audiobook too) after the infamous 2020. I’ve never heard of Annie F. Downs before but I feel like she’s my new best friend now.

  23. Brandy says:

    Some work friends just decided to start a book club and our first choice was The Guest List by Lucy Foley. A pretty good mystery about a murder at a wedding, where you don’t find out who does until the end!

  24. Maria Ontiveros says:

    Listened to Killers of the Flower Moon, and it felt like listening to a good pod cast. Read and loved Bluebird, Bluebird! Promptly ordered two other books by Attica Locke, including sequel to Bluebird. Thanks for recommending that one! Next up on tap for me is Sharks in the Time of Saviors.

  25. Jackie says:

    For lighter reading that brings warm and cozy thoughts and feelings, I highly recommend the following books by Susan Branch:
    A Fine Romance-Falling in Love with the English Countryside
    Martha’s Vineyard-Isle of Dreams
    Girlfriends Forever
    And I am about to order The Fairytale Girl also.

  26. Caroline Kempster says:

    I’ve just finished The Push by Ashley Audrain which I loved! Definite We Need To Talk About Kevin vibes! Great for any psychological thriller/suspense lovers. Loved reading a different interpretation of motherhood to the usual picture we get in fiction. I’m definitely going to look into If We Were Villains and That Sounds Fun as I’m on a personal quest to have more fun in life!

  27. Cheryl Powers says:

    Just finished The Untelling (Tayari Jones) and Never Have I Ever (Joshilyn Jackson). Both very good; Never was really hard to put down at bedtime!

  28. Suzanne C says:

    After reading all. the. books. in January and February, I’ve been enjoying the beautiful March weather and not really reading that much. I’m working my way (slowly!) through Their Eyes Were Watching God and a 3-month buddy read of Doris Kearns Goodwin’s Team of Rivals.

  29. Ann says:

    I’ve got Sorrow & Bliss waiting TBR. I just finished The Midnight Library & I know I will not be popular, but have to say, I did not really like it! So frustrating. I struggled to get into it. Then found that there were parts where quite frankly my mind wandered. There was a chapter that felt like a filler: actually listing lives. Then when things got good, it felt predictable that they could not stay that way. Currently reading The Push. Another one that did not grab me at the start. Now I feel a Sybil (as in Sally Field) vibe & not sure I want to “go there,” but it is moving along. I have What’s Mine And Yours TBR also from BOTM. The best thing I have read so far, that I started last year & finished in Jan. was Shuggie Bain. Well written, strong, complex characters.

  30. Carolyn Miller says:

    Just finished a cozy mystery Long Island Iced Tina by Maria DiRico (also writing as Ellen Byron). Just started Fatal Fried Rice by Vivian Chien, another cozy mystery set in the Ho-Lee Noodle House. Great reads!!!

  31. Tracey Mitchell says:

    I’ve added Hades, Argentina to my list and might check out That Sounds Fun too!
    Speaking of fun, my favourite book of the past month, hands down, was Hench by Natalie Zina Walschots, which is about the temps who work with super villains. It is delightful, different than anything I’ve read, social commentary without being didactic, and just so, SO good.
    I also enjoyed Butter Honey Pig Bread by Francesca Ekwuyasi, Ring Shout by P Djeli Clark (a few too many monsters, lords and realms for my tastes *BUT* the fact that I finished it despite that speaks to how good the other stuff in the book was), The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui.

  32. Gayle says:

    I just finished your book, Don’t Overthink It. My husband and I have been trying to make a decision that we have pondered over for some time. I was telling him about your book and describing the part about buying the flowers. When I was done, we both looked at each other and said,
    “Let’s just buy the flowers!!”.
    Thanks for helping us make a slightly complicated decision a little easier!

  33. Brittany says:

    I am currently reading the fun adventures of Ignatius Reilly in A Confederacy of Dunces. I picked it up at my husband’s suggestion, and I must say that I haven’t laughed so much at a book in a long time! It’s been a lot of fun!

  34. Lee Ann says:

    I just read and enjoyed The Midnight Library, which you recommended fairly recently. Thanks!

    Last night I stayed up late to finish Anthony Horowitz’s The Word Is Murder, a sort of meta-mystery – a murder occurs, and the ex-police office consultant hired by the London PD to help with the case hires…Anthony Horowitz to write his story. It was twisty and fun. CW: There is one fairly graphic description of a murder victim.

  35. Pamela says:

    I finished Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger and listened to French Women Don’t Get Facelifts; The Secret Of Aging With Style And Attitude by Mireille Guiliano. I will be adding That Sounds Fun! to my list.

  36. Paula says:

    I finished A Swim in a Pond in the Rain last night. I’m not a writer, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. The Nose by Nikolai Gogol was worth the price of the book to me. So funny! Adding Her Dark Lies to my TBR list.

  37. Mary says:

    My top recent reads:
    “Beginners: The Joy and Transformative Power of Lifelong Learning” by Tom Vanderbilt chronicles his own exploration of acquiring new skills. Readable and motivating.
    Maryrose Wood’s middle-grade novel is the charming story of a Brooklyn family who buy a farm and become farmers with some unexpected help.
    “How to StopTime” by Matt Haig is fantasy with history built in. At times dark and suspenseful it is the story of Tom, who is much, much older than he looks.
    I listened to “The Uncommon Reader” by Alan Bennett. It made me laugh out loud. I also adored the way the queen grew as a reader.
    I am listening to Audiofile’s “Audiobook Break” podcast is currently airing “David Copperfield” wonderfully read by Nicholas Boulton. I love listening to a well-performed classic.

  38. Sandy Knight says:

    I just finished Next Year in Havana. It is a good review of the politics of Cuba and a beautiful love story. I also read Where Crickets Cry. I loved it, very thoughtful. I finished the 6 books in the Janet Evanovich, Lee Goldberg series, Fox and OHare. Such a fun read!

    • I really enjoyed Next Year in Havana too! When We Left Cuba and The Last Train to Key West (all by the author and following the same family) were also good, but Havana was my favorite. And I loved When Crickets Cry! I have been reading a lot of books by Charles Martin since that one, but it is still my favorite of his! Linking recent reads, if interested!

    • That was such a great book! I had no clue about Russian politics during that era, so I learned a lot while also enjoying the plot. I didn’t think I would enjoy a book with one stationary setting, but it worked!

  39. Renee says:

    I may be the last person on earth to have read Lily and the Octopus by Steven Rowley. Charming and sad…i also loved my recent read of his very different book, The Editor about a young writer whose first book is edited by, wait for it, Jackie O. Short lusted already for my favorite book of 2021.

  40. Juliet Betzelberger says:

    I loved “That Sounds Fun,” but I listened to the audiobook. It introduced me to Annie, who I love to listen to while I am making dinner 😊

  41. Suzy says:

    I was not impressed with All the Ways We Said Goodbye, or Gold, by Chris Cleaves. And I didn’t exactly LIKE Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro, but it certainly raised a lot of questions and discussion! Passing was a fascinating addition to The Vanishing Half, but I didn’t really understand her intent in writing it… I abandoned The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet, but really enjoyed The Other Mrs. by Mary Kubica, that was a good thriller. But my favorite read for early March is The Rosie Result, the third entry in the series! Wow! It was back to the fun and uplifting story of the first book! I loved the way Don Tillman talked, I felt a kinship to him.

  42. Christina says:

    I already put That Sounds Fun and How to Be an Artist on my TBR list.

    I had a bit of a “blah” month in that I DNF’d a bunch of books that I had hoped would be 4 or 5 stars. Some of them ARE good – just not for me right now.
    However, I have to say that the WWII novel The Things We Cannot Say is a 5 star read, and I read a brand-new nonfiction book by a brand-new called Fulfilled about the culture of dieting and how we need to change our perspective on nutrition, weight, dieting, etc. That one was very good, too.
    Those books, plus a few more, are reviewed here: https://alookatabook.com/2021/03/15/march-2021-recent-reads/

  43. Betsy says:

    I just finished The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai. Such a wonderful book! Lots of underlined passages about love, loss and forgiveness. I’ve heard that Amy Poehler has bought the rights for a possible Netflix series?

  44. Bonnie says:

    A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World and They Both Die at the End. Both excellent for putting you in the footsteps of the protagonists, with unusual stories that will stay with you. Both are very good on audio.

  45. Donna says:

    I am appreciating your lists. Seems I keep running into WWII stories ….. and while I really like the era , it’s time to introduce some more areas in my reading. Thanks!

  46. I really liked how Carola Lovering handled the points-of-view in her mystery/thriller TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE.

    Right now, I’m reading Ashley Schumacher’s AMELIA UNABRIDGED. I don’t usually read YA/contemporary YA, but I’m so glad I picked this up because so far it’s great! 🙂

  47. Megan says:

    I just borrowed “How to Be An Artist” on audio from the library via Libby. Thanks for the suggestion! I just finished “The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street” by Karina Yan Glaser this morning (great story), and am ready for something new for my commute home this evening.

  48. Anne Simpson says:

    If We Were Villains sounds interesting, as does the George Saunders one. I think I have That Sounds Fun in my library queue.

    Two books I’ve finished so far in March and enjoyed thoroughly: Jane Austen’s Letters (so much snark and wit! Loved it.) and Set the Stars Alight by Amanda Dykes (beautiful prose and a lovely paean to the power of story).

  49. Carolyn says:

    Thanks to the randomness of my library holds process, I’m currently making my way through 4 very different books:
    Vanessa Yu’s Magical Tea Shop by Roselle Lim, The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman, The Dearly Beloved by Cara Wall, and Far From the Tree by Robin Benway. I normally read one book at at time, but I’m enjoying the variety. I also have the audio for all but The Thursday Murder Club. Unfortunately, none of the narrators have been able to draw me into the books.

  50. Aimee says:

    Books I’ve enjoyed:
    – Murder in Old Bombay – I am a cosy/cozy mystery person and love stories set in and about India so this one was a real treasure! Can’t believe it’s the author’s first novel – very well written.
    – The Last Story of Mina Lee – It feels wrong to say I enjoyed it because there’s such injustice and inequity in the story. Instead I will say it was a moving book and a great example of why women are the backbone of society (in my humble opinion).
    – Winter Solstice – Such a charming book that I went on to read her most famous novel, Shell Seekers. Shell Seekers has the multi-generational family saga dynamic going and was quite good but I enjoyed Winter Solstice more.
    – Currently reading Shipped and though I can’t give a final assessment, think I can safely recommend it as a beach or spring break read.
    – Nonfiction books I’ve enjoyed: Buy the F*ing Lilies and Everything is Figure Outable

  51. Katie says:

    Does anyone know how the new JT Ellison compares to The Guest List by Lucy Foley? They sound similar… society wedding on an island, comparison to And Then There Were None. I loved The Guest List.

  52. I just finished Bravey by Alexi Papas on Audible. She is an Olympic runner, actress, and filmmaker. For anyone who has ever felt awkward, lost, out of place, suffered trauma, or is aspiring to raise good kids, this one is for you!

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