Quick Lit | October 2018

Well October has been a month so far, hasn’t it? Theres so much going on in the world; I sometimes struggle to find ways I can make a difference. I want to be educated and I want to inform others. One of the things I’ve been working on this year is tracking my reading. I want to make sure I’m reading authors from a variety of backgrounds, especially stories from women and people of color. I love that this space allows me to connect with other readers from around the world and I want to be sure that I’m sharing books from all kinds of authors. I read widely to broaden my horizons, listen to the stories from people from all backgrounds, and to get inspired to facilitate change.

Here’s what I’ve read over the past month.

My Sister, the Serial Killer | Oyinkan Braithwaite

This was a slim book that knocked my socks off. Set in Nigeria, it’s a story about two very unique sisters. Ayoola is the beautiful younger sister with a nasty habit of killing off her boyfriends. Korede is the responsible older sister who is always bailing Ayoola out of unfortunate situations. She’s generally happy to save her, but when Ayoola sets her sights on the man that Korede is secretly in love with she starts to unravel. This book is dark and satirical look at family, culture, and obligation. I read this as an ARC from Netgalley- it’s out November 20th. Rating: 3.75/5

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing | Hank Green

This is probably one of the more unique books I’ve read this year. I’ve been a fan of Hank Green for years. He is the younger brother of John Green-of The Fault in Our Stars fame-but he’s a celebrity of his own right. He’s the creator of Sci Show, Vlog Brothers, and a myriad of other internet based endeavors. An Absolutely Remarkable Thing was wonderful. It’s sorta sci-fi, sorta speculative fiction. April May stumbles across the titular Remarkable Thing and has no idea what she’s looking at. As any Gen X’er would, she makes a YouTube video about it, and it immediately goes viral. It’s partly a story about being famous in the digital media age, but I honestly think this one is best gone in knowing little. Rating: 4.5/5.

Our House | Louise Candlish

I've got such mixed feelings about this book! I loved the premise- Fi coms home one day to find that a new family has moved into her beloved multi-million dollar home. She’s estranged from her husband Bram and has no idea who these people are or how they got there. The story is told in a really unique way- we get to hear her size of the situation via The Victim podcast. Bram tells his story through a word document. The beginning sucked me in but the pacing was wrong- I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop and it never did. It was also about 100 pages too long. Rating: 2.75/5

A Spark of Light | Jodi Picoult

This will land on my favorites list for 2018. Never one to shy away from the tough stuff, Jodi Picoult is at it again. The book opens with an active shooter situation at the last standing abortion clinic in Mississippi. There is no easing into this book. It’s told in reverse, so you get plopped straight into the meat of the story. The characters were vivid and my heart was beating the whole time. No matter which side of the debate you fall on, this one will make you think. Full review here. Rating: 4.5/5.

Just Mercy | Bryan Stevenson

This saying can be over used but when it fits, it fits- Just Mercy is required reading. Bryan Stevenson tells the story of how he came to be the founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, an organization dedicated to racial justice and challenging wrongful convictions. This book was heartbreakingly sad, but I couldn’t look away. Stevenson did such a good job infusing facts about the broken criminal justice system and true stories about those incarcerated. He brought humanity to these people and he’s such an inspiration. I can’t overstate how much I loved this book. 5/5

TL;DR- I recommend My Sister the Serial Killer, An Absolutely Remarkable Thing, A Spark of Light, and Just Mercy.

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Quick Lit | September 2018

Have you started watching You on Lifetime? I pictured Beck as a bit different but I think the Joe is pretty spot on. A lot of the book was Joe’s internal thoughts, but I think they’re doing a good job with bringing it to the screen.

Here’s what I’ve been reading!

Us Against You | Fredrik Backman

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This was the sequel to Beartown, and did the almost impossible; the sequel was as good, if not better than the first book! The town is still reeling after the events from last year and, making matters worse, nearly all of the star players for Beartown were recruited by rival team Hed. Backman is so talented- there are a lot of characters and a lot of story lines going on, but he manages to make the entire thing cohesive. This is a heartbreaker- so I'd advise against reading this in public. Rating- 5

When Life Gives You Lululemons | Lauren Weisberger

I've loved Lauren Weisberger's stories since her Devil Wears Prada days. Her latest focuses specifically on Emily Charlton, Miranda Preiestly's senior assistant. She’s been away from the agency for ten years working on her own image consulting business. Business isn’t what it onced was and she needs a big break. She gets involved with Karolina, a supermodel who’s amid a huge domestic scandal and works to help her get her life back. I thought the book was fine- a breezy beach read, but I honestly can’t remember much of the meat of the plot so that says something. Rating, 3.5

I’d Rather Be Reading; The Delights and the Dilemmas of the Reading Life | Anne Bogel

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I was lucky enough to be on the book tour for this one so I had an Advanced Reader’s Copy. I wrote a full review on it so I won’t stay here too long, but all in all I think it would make a perfect gift for any bibliophile. Rating, 4

There There | Tommy Orange

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I had this on my list for the ten buzzy book I want to read in 2018 list, and I’m so glad I got to it. I loved it! It's got 12 narrators and I had to take extensive notes to help me keep things straight, but it was so worth it. It was moving and powerful, but also accessible. I loved reading stories about today’s Native Americans. Great debut! Rating, 5

Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald | Therese Anne Fowler

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Even though I read a lot of thrillers/ contemporary fiction, I do like historical fiction when it's well done. Z  - A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald is a great example of the kind of  historical fiction I like. The author did such a good job of bringing  Zelda to life. It was fascinating to read about her husband's writing  process and to see how many other famous people they associated with,  but it was also pretty depressing to read about their downfall. Zelda was talented in her own right  but didn't get to fully follow her own dreams because she always  had to be Scott's muse. Still, this was well done and made me want to read more of Fitzgerald/ Zelda's/ Hemingway's works. Rating, 4.

Cross Her Heart | Sarah Pinborough

You might know the name Sarah Pinborough from her book last year, Behind Her Eyes with the fitting tagline of #WTFthatending. Cross Her Heart is different from Behind Her Eyes, in that it’ more of a slow burn and domestic drama than straight thriller, but I really enjoyed it. Her writing is gripping but know going in that it’ a bit slow for the first third. There’s no weird twist in this one, so if Behind Her Eyes wasn’t to your taste I’d recommend giving this one a try. Rating, 4.75

TL;DR- Books I'd recommend you add to your TBR list: Us Against You, I’d Rather Be Reading, There There, Z, Cross Her Heart.

It was a good 30 days.  

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