twitterature monthly reading linkup short reviews

Welcome to the very first Twitterature link-up! For the lowdown, head over here, or try this Cliff Notes version: this is the place to share short, casual reviews of books you’ve been reading. (It’s fine if they’re not 140 characters; do them in a style that works for you.)

Here’s what I’ve been reading lately:

Drowning Ruth by Christina Schwarz

1st line: “Ruth remembered drowning.” This psychological thriller steadily builds until you finally discover what happened at the lake that night.

To Sell Is Human by Dan Pink

Chock-full of interesting tidbits: are most people ambiverts? What’s the best conversation starter? A modern classic: smart, funny, wise.

White Jacket Required: A Culinary Coming of Age Story by Jenna Weber

Great read for finding out more about the author, but for the lowdown on culinary school, stick to Ruhlman. Do NOT read while hungry!

Betsy-Tacy and Tib by Maud Hart Lovelace

“Betsy and Tacy become friends with Tib, whose real name, I am sorry to tell you, is Thelma.” -Meg Ryan, You’ve Got Mail. Charming.

Listening for Madeleine: a Portrait of Madeleine L’Engle in Many Voices by Leonard S. Marcus

For those intrigued/appalled/bewildered by the devastating New Yorker piece, this collection provides the ultimate (inconclusive) 360 review.

Below Stairs: The Classic Kitchen Maid’s Tale That Inspired Upstairs, Downstairs and Downton Abbey by Margaret Powell

A 1920s British kitchen maid reveals what it’s like to be lowest-of-the-low in a Big House. Makes the Crawleys look like saints. 3 stars.

The Four-Hour Chef by Tim Ferriss.

Only Tim Ferriss could cram so much vulgarity into a cookbook. I love the small-effort/big-results concept…but 3 recipes bombed already. Pass.

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  1. Favorite review: Betsy-Tacy and Tib (always loved that line from You’ve Got Mail). 🙂 If I’m going to reach my reading goal this year, I’m going to have to make reading a priority…I’ve been in a slump lately! 🙁

  2. Niki says:

    Ok, so I just cleaned my bedroom. Quite a task. BUT, I made sure we moved the bed so now I’d have a shelf to put books on, closer to my head. (Get in bed. Read. While still in bed – lay book on shelf and turn off light. Sleep.) So much nicer than getting up out of a warm bed to return book or turn off light! 🙂 I love it that I can see what you’re reading, and immediately check it out from my library, or get a sample for my kindle. So many books out there that I’ve never heard of and maybe wouldn’t have given the chance. Thanks for your lists!

  3. Heatherly says:

    I read the Betsy-Tacy books in response to Meg Ryan’s character in You’ve Got Mail . Same reason I read the “Shoe” books! Grin. You can find good book recs anywhere!

    • Anne says:

      Sarah, that article was a common theme through Listening to Madeleine. If you’re at all interested in the topic, I’d highly recommend picking it up. I was fascinated by the many and varied interpretations by Madeleine’s friends, family, and peers on her memoirs.

      • Sarah says:

        Ok, I might add it to my list. But now I’m afraid I’ll be more disappointed. Reading “Circle of quiet” now and it makes me sad that some of her memoirs are fictionish. But I loved finding out she went to Ashley Hall in Charleston school and loved it. It was right across Ashley Avenue from my medical school in Charleston. I love any connection to charleston, and to think I went to school across the street from where she did is something fun.

        • Anne says:

          Sarah, not all of L’Engle’s friends, peers, and loved ones considered her memoirs to be fictional. Luci Shaw (whom I greatly admire) said that she thought Madeleine felt she was writing about her life in the best way she could without speaking negatively about those closest to her–she felt she could tell the truth about herself but not be so frank about her husband, for example.

          Many of the people interviewed for Listening for Madeleine were questioned directly about the New Yorker article, and their responses were varied–and interesting.

  4. Tim says:

    On the life downstairs in English manor houses, have you ever read P.G. Wodehouse’s Something Fresh, the first of his Blandings novels? Great take on the life of the servants, seen through the eyes of two characters who have been hired not to serve but to pretend to be servants while they try to recover a misappropriated artifact. When one of them is facing the prospect of first walking in to the servants’ dinner and has to figure out if he has precedence over the first footman or not, his terror is palpable and hilarious.

    I’ve read this book more times than I can remember, and watching the new season of Downton Abbey has prompted me to pull it out and read it again.

  5. Malisa Price says:

    Anne, I love this link up idea! Gretchen Rubin says the lengthier book review, the less she wants to read the book. I am so glad you are doing short blurbs about the books.

    My sister, Heidi (the one who was pregnant and looks like my twin), adores Betsy-Tacy books and if she had her way would have named a child after them!

    I’ve been hearing alot about Tim Ferriss’s books, I might have to add it to my list. And I just added Below Stairs to my library wait list!

    • Anne says:

      Well then, that won’t be the first time I’ve agreed with Gretchen Rubin! I love long reviews when they’re worth reading for their own sake–like, if they’re hilariously funny or otherwise highly entertaining–but those are few and far between.

  6. Pingback: Twitterature: Current Reads - The Deliberate Reader
  7. Jillian Kay says:

    Thank you for this link up. I’ve been in a reading rut, and I just spent the last 1/2 hour adding books to my holds list at the library that I hope will get me out of it!

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