Quick Lit January 2018

I picked this up because the reviews are great and it was the December pick for Reese Witherspoon's book club, and I really like her picks about half the time. I read this quickly—it's definitely a page-turner—and appreciated the three different points of view. If you enjoy the domestic noir genre, this is a solid pick, especially if you enjoyed The Wife Between Us. The Skimm says this is "The Talented Mr. Ripley with XX chromosomes."
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Christina Baker Kline, author of A Piece of the World and Orphan Train recommends this. From the publisher: "The New York Times bestselling author of the celebrated A Land More Kind Than Home returns with this eagerly awaited new novel, inspired by actual events. While the dirty, hazardous job at the mill earns Ella May a paltry nine dollars for seventy-two hours of work each week, it’s the only opportunity she has. When the union leaflets begin circulating, Ella May has a taste of hope, a yearning for the better life the organizers promise. Seventy-five years later, Ella May’s daughter Lilly, now an elderly woman, tells her nephew about his grandmother and the events that transformed their family. Intertwining myriad voices, Wiley Cash brings to life the heartbreak and bravery of the now forgotten struggle of the labor movement in early twentieth-century America."
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From the publisher: "Everyone knows that timing is everything. But we don't know much about timing itself. Our lives are a never-ending stream of 'when' decisions: when to start a business, schedule a class, get serious about a person. Yet we make those decisions based on intuition and guesswork. Timing, it's often assumed, is an art. In When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing, Pink shows that timing is really a science. Drawing on a rich trove of research from psychology, biology, and economics, Pink reveals how best to live, work, and succeed. How can we use the hidden patterns of the day to build the ideal schedule? Why do certain breaks dramatically improve student test scores? How can we turn a stumbling beginning into a fresh start? Why should we avoid going to the hospital in the afternoon? Why is singing in time with other people as good for you as exercise? And what is the ideal time to quit a job, switch careers, or get married?"
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From the publisher: "In the small town of Holt, Colorado, a high school teacher is confronted with raising his two boys alone after their mother retreats first to the bedroom, then altogether. A teenage girl—her father long since disappeared, her mother unwilling to have her in the house—is pregnant, alone herself, with nowhere to go. And out in the country, two brothers, elderly bachelors, work the family homestead, the only world they've ever known. From these unsettled lives emerges a vision of life, and of the town and landscape that bind them together—their fates somehow overcoming the powerful circumstances of place and station, their confusion, curiosity, dignity and humor intact and resonant. As the milieu widens to embrace fully four generations, Kent Haruf displays an emotional and aesthetic authority to rival the past masters of a classic American tradition."
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I actually read this before our current Quick Lit window, but I haven't yet given it the attention it deserves here on the blog, and it's such a gem I wanted to make sure it was on your radar for the 2018 Reading Challenge, perhaps as "a book you can read in a day", or "a memoir, biography, or book of creative nonfiction." These 52 "micro-memoirs" are by turns quirky, witty, poignant, and laugh-out-loud funny, and so different from pretty much anything else I've ever read.
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From the publisher: "Anna Kerrigan, nearly twelve years old, accompanies her father to visit Dexter Styles, a man who, she gleans, is crucial to the survival of her father and her family. She is mesmerized by the sea beyond the house and by some charged mystery between the two men. ‎Years later, her father has disappeared and the country is at war. Anna works at the Brooklyn Naval Yard, where women are allowed to hold jobs that once belonged to men, now soldiers abroad. She becomes the first female diver, repairing the ships that will help America win the war. One evening at a nightclub, she meets Dexter Styles again, and begins to understand the complexity of her father’s life, the reasons he might have vanished. With the atmosphere of a noir thriller, Egan's first historical novel follows Anna and Styles into a world populated by gangsters, sailors, divers, bankers, and union men."
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From the publisher: "A science fiction classic that is at once eerie and prescient, wildly entertaining and ferociously intelligent."
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