Quick Lit January 2018
The Lathe of Heaven

The Lathe of Heaven

$7.99$3.99Audiobook: 7.49 (Whispersync)
I finally read this 1971 science fiction classic as "a book you can finish in a day" (just 176 pages!) for the 2018 Modern Mrs Darcy Reading Challenge. The book is set in a dystopian 2002 Portland (so, 40 years in the future at the time of writing, which was VERY interesting to read in 2017!), and focuses on a man whose terrible dreams actually come true, a power-hungry psychiatrist who wants to harness those dreams to improve the world, and the attorney he begs to intervene (who is perhaps the most interesting character). It's a short story, with incredible depth, and I'm so glad I finally read it. More info →
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The Last Mrs. Parrish

The Last Mrs. Parrish

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. But I think I've already read enough domestic noir to last me a good long while. If YOU enjoy the genre, this is a solid pick, especially if you enjoyed The Wife Between Us. More info →
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The Last Ballad

The Last Ballad

$12.99$1.99Audiobook: 12.99 (Whispersync)
Finally, my first Wiley Cash novel! I've been meaning to read him for too long, and after this, I intend to read more. This story is a fictionalized account of the 1929 Loray Mill strike in Gastonia, especially folk hero and ballad singer Ella Mae Wiggins, and was partly inspired by Appalachian mining town backgrounds of Cash's own grandparents. Though set nearly a hundred years ago, Cash's story sizzles with life. Don't skip the acknowledgements. More info →
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When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing

When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing

I love Dan Pink's work, and have been eagerly awaiting this brand new release that's all about good timing. If most books in this genre are "how-to" books, Pink says to think of this as a "when-to" book. He examines how and why timing matters, whether it's what time of day to schedule certain tasks, what time of life to change jobs, or what difference it makes to sync up with others time-wise. Full of fascinating insights and practical implications, especially for the day-to-day. More info →
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Plainsong

Plainsong

I've been working my way through Kent Haruf's back catalog and enjoying it so much—if that's the right word. I found this to be well done, and a really beautiful book, in the end—but the rest of it is hard. In this small-town Colorado story, Haruf weaves three families together in surprising ways. This is one of those books that begs to be discussed: it would be an excellent book club pick. (Heads up, readers: triggers abound.) More info →
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Heating & Cooling: 52 Micro-Memoirs

Heating & Cooling: 52 Micro-Memoirs

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. More info →
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Manhattan Beach

Manhattan Beach

I really wanted to like this one, and it was ... fine. The story opens with Anna Kerrigan, twelve years old, accompanying her father to visit an important man on Brooklyn's Manhattan Beach. As a teen, her father disappears without a trace. Years later, her path again crosses with this man, a successful (and shady) nightclub owner, and she realizes he may be connected to her father's mysterious disappearance. If you've read The Wife, the Maid, and the Mistress, the story itself feels similar to me—a man vanishes without a trace, in 1930ish New York City—but the way it's told is completely different. More info →
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