Quick Lit | November 2017
It's the middle of November! This month went by so fast I forgot it was time for Quick Lit. I have been doing a lot around the house and found that audio books are the best way to hold my attention while doing things that are not fun. And I have some good audiobook recs for you, too.
Do you listen to audiobooks? I know some people don't consider listening to an audiobook really "reading", and I suppose you can define your reading life however you like. For me, even if I'm "just" listening to it I'm still consuming it, so I count audiobooks in my yearly reading total. I do have Audible but am sporadic with my subscription. (One gripe I do have is that if you cancel your subscription, you lose your credits. You do get to keep your books, though).
In case you don't know, Audible is a monthly audiobook subscription service through Amazon. It's $14.95/mo if you buy a credit each month. One credit = one book. You can also pay $22.95/mo for 2 books for an entire year for one or two books. You then own your book and can download it and access it whenever you like, just like an e-book.
All of that said, my preferred method to listen to audiobooks is through my library. I'm cheap and if I'm going to pay for something, I prefer to have a physical copy :) I downloaded Hoopla. You hook it up with your library card and get to download up to 7 books a month. They have e-books, but I usually go for audio. They have a good selection, too! (At least my library does.) I just finished Lie To Me, but also found American Gods, Everything I Never Told You, and Young Jane Young available with no wait. You can place holds, too.
Anyway- now that I'm done rhapsodizing about audiobooks, here's what I read in November.
Excellent book! It's a "standard" thriller- told from two different perspectives, a mystery mixed with a psychological thriller with a nice plot twist, but I enjoyed it so much. There's stalking, dubious identities, pregnancy, and a lot of red herrings. I was surprised a few times. The author did a nice job of setting up the story- and I love that he did it in a way that showed empathy toward those who suffer from mental illness. I received it as an ARC from Netgalley and read through it in about 2 days!
I'm a big Stephen King fan and I try to read a few of his books each year. I picked up Pet Semetary in late October because I joined @Jobis89's #sometimesdeadisbetterreadalong and wanted something scary. What a perfect horror novel! I am always looking for a book that scares me and this one finally met the mark. Definitely read King's forward- he calls this a book that caused him to ask himself if he's gone too far. The beginning is a little slower (I didn't mind)- but that plot twist though! Seriously, I think this might be the scariest book I've ever read. That ending is something I'm not going to forget!!
The Nix was epic. It was long, it spun a great story, and it was thorough. But wow- did I mention it was long?!? This book took me awhile to finish, but once I bought it from Audible I made my way through it. And I'm so glad I did. The narrator, Ari Filakos, is a GENIUS. I never really understood what a GOOD narrator was until I listened to this. He's got the different voices, he does the acting, and it is truly a performance. It was such a treat! (And the award for my favorite minor character goes to college student Laura, that little asshole LOL). The Nix was a super timely book in that it isn't afraid to get political. There were so many layers and I almost feel bad boiling it down to a short synopsis- but essentially it's the story of a man called Samuel Anderson-Andersen and his quest to find out his absentee mother really is. We get to flash back from Samuel's present day back to his mother's past, and quite frankly a summary won't do it. Read it, love it, and tell me what you thought of it!
I don't believe in guilty pleasures. If something brings me joy then I try to embrace it, no matter how offbeat it might be (hi, bookstagram!) But Beatriz Williams and her colorful and vivid historical chick lit are the closest thing in this wrap up to guilty pleasure reading. I know it's not high literature, and most of the characters in this are...dumb... but I loved reading this book. A Hundred Summers takes place in Rhode Island in the 1930's. I had no idea prior to this, but there was a devastating hurricane in Rhode Island during this era that wiped out an entire seaside community. Many lives were lost and tons of people had to start over, and Williams pays homage to them in her forward. This is a fictional story of a couple of families that were affected by the storm. It's about friendship, relationships, love, dating, doing what you have to do, and loyalty. Long story short- I tore through this and walked away feeling good. It felt light, despite the heavy plot points.
Sydney on Fire was a book that was sent to me for review. I don't read a ton of indie literature but when I come across a story that works, it makes me that much happier to have enjoyed it. Sydney on Fire is one of these books! Sydney is a multiracial doctor slash badass who uses her experience dealing with her sister with an addiction problem to help solve the mystery of a missing kid. Her friend's son was taken from the hospital they work in and something about this disappearance gives her reason to believe that the police won't be able to solve this one on their own. She uses her hard earned connections to help solve this crime, and I thought it was a fun read that got to the point of solving the mystery. It wasn't be most skilled writing I've ever come across and some of the descriptions and detail through me off. but if you're able to suspend your disbelief you may enjoy the ride.
The Heart's Invisible Furies | John Boyne
Ok. There are 5 star books, and then there are 5 star books that make you re-evaluate what a 5 star book means. The Heart's Invisible Furies is one such book. It's a behemoth of a book at over 600 pages- but I loved every minute. Don't get me wrong. It was devastating, smart, happy, and powerful in places, but I walked away better for having read it. There were some brutal scenes, but it's a very vivid (and presumably real) account of what it was like to be gay in Ireland (and in the world) over the span of 50 years. I loved the author's writing and how the story slowly unfurled. I listened to this and read it, but loved the audio version because of the Irish accents. Please read it- it's one of my top picks of 2017 ;)
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