Welcome to Quick Lit, where we share short and sweet reviews of what we’ve been reading lately.
This month I’ve blown through a stack of recent and brand-new releases and I’m happy to finally get to talk about them.
I've been looking forward to this one for a long time. Great message (and one I'll probably never stop needing to be reminded of). More info →
Abbott has a reputation for writing real nail-biters but this is the first of her work I've read. In her newest release (just out in July), she builds her domestic suspense around an elite teen gymnast—an excellent backdrop for a creepy mystery because in this high-stakes world people will stop at almost nothing to get what they want. Abbott kept me guessing the whole way through: just when I thought I had the mystery figured out, she pivoted again. Recommended reading for fans of Mary Kubica and Gillian Flynn. More info →
I'd read a few interviews with the author and they left me eager to hear more of this story. I was captured by Vance's description of the hillbilly culture he grew up in: he said in one interview that "hillbillies, rednecks, and white trash" were the only people in America it was 100% acceptable to still make fun of, even by the supposedly "culturally sensitive." To Vance, these people were his family, friends, and neighbors. In an unusually nuanced approach, he reflects on his upbringing in rural Eastern Kentucky and the Rust Belt town of Middletown Ohio, coolly assessing the bad and the good of the culture that raised him, and examining why he was able to largely escape its woes while so many others cannot. An eye-opening, timely, and highly readable memoir. More info →
As you know if you've hung out on this blog for a few minutes, I'm a huge fan of this series and the lastest installment—#12!—didn't disappoint. I don't want to give even hints of spoilers to those of you not this far along in the series, so I'll just say that Penny returned to the big-picture plot in this latest mystery in a big way, and I loved it. More info →
First Oprah picked this, and I resisted. Then I heard about Whitehead's construct—that his "underground railroad" is an actual locomotive, powered by coal and running on actual track below the surface—and I was intrigued. Then I found out Whitehead is coming to my town later this year for my favorite literary event series, and I bought the book. While I felt like my time was well spent, it didn't blow me away ... although I may change my mind after I've heard the author speak about his own work. (I did this on audio, and while it was fine, it didn't add anything to the story. If I had it to do over again I'd stick to paper.) More info →
What have YOU been reading lately?