Welcome to Quick Lit, where we share short and sweet reviews of what we’ve been reading lately on the 15th of the month. This month, the 15th falls on a Tuesday, which is What Should I Read Next day around here, so I’m posting this month’s Quick Lit a day early.
I’ve been reading up a storm lately, plowing through books both old, new, and soon-to-come. As you’ll see below, my genre selections have been all over the place!
I hope you have enjoyed some good books lately. Tell us your favorite recent reads in comments?
I've been meaning to read this slim book about books for ages, and thoroughly enjoyed crossing it off my list this month. When an unnamed (but not well-disguised) Queen goes for a walk, her corgis stray into a bookmobile library parked near the Palace, so she feels obligated to take a book to be polite. The Queen finds a newfound obsession with reading—so much so that she begins to neglect her duties as monarch. A fun tribute to the power of books, packed with reading recommendations. More info →
I re-read this spare Haruf novel for the third time in preparation for a recent episode of One Great Book—if you'd like to hear me describe this book, go listen to that short episode! I only recently learned the surprising story of how this book came to be written, and discuss it there. I found this up-close look at an unlikely relationship between two long-time acquaintances in small-town Colorado completely absorbing, as we see them develop a friendship, and then something more, and Haruf hits just the right tone with his light touch. More info →
I read Krueger's first book, Iron Lake, this summer, recommended by a reader as a good series for someone who had run out of Louise Penny novels. I loved it, and snatched up this new standalone novel when it came out in early September. This coming-of-age story focuses on three Minnesota kids during the Great Depression, whose respective situations become ever more impossible due to human cruelty and circumstance. They realize no one is going to save them, so they have to save themselves—and that's when the Huck Finn comparisons start kicking in. I alternated between text and audio on this one, and it was excellent in both formats. A great story, well told. More info →
I love a good family saga, so I've been meaning to read this since the spring. To be honest, I was intimidated by the length, but when a friend assured me it doesn't drag and that Lombardo's authorial voice is gold, I picked it right up and read it in three days (and it's a 500-pager, so that's saying something!) This is the story of a married couple and their four grown daughters. In the opening pages, one daughter reveals a huge family secret, and the novel tracks what happens in the next year of every family member's life. Listen to me recommend this book in Episode 206 of What Should I Read Next, coming 10/22. More info →
This debut novel unfolds almost entirely in dialogue, and unfolds over the span of nearly half a century in a small North Carolina town. At the heart of the story is a woman named Azalea, known as "Knot" to her friends, who loves good books, cheap booze, and handsome men who don't interfere with her love of either. Trouble inevitably results, and Knot's good friends step in to help her manage it, but in a small town like West Mills, Knot finds she can't put the past behind her—even if she wanted to. It started so sad for me, but as I kept reading I was amazed to see Winslow transform this into a story of unlikely grace, a found family, and gentle redemption. More info →
This fun novel—and book club favorite—combines three unexpected elements to great effect: World War I, a love story, and Greek mythology. It begins with Aphrodite and Ares walking into a swanky Manhattan hotel during WWII, and soon enough Aphrodite's husband Hephaestus challenges her to show him what love really looks like. She obliges, and takes the reader back in time to meet four young lovers in 1917 Britain, showing her fellow gods how each couple fell in love, and what they mean to each other. It sounds unlikely but the interesting narrative structure totally works. More info →
What have YOU been reading lately? Tell us about your recent reads—or link up a blog or instagram post about them—in comments.