Quick Lit: Mini Reviews of Some Recent Reads – December Edition

I’m trying to read more books that I choose for my own reading enjoyment. Not for review, but because I’ve been wanting to read them or they caught my attention. Most of them have been talked about ad nauseam or have been on my to-read list for a long time so they don’t really need a full review. But, I’d still like to give them some space here on the blog.
I’ll be linking up with Modern Mrs. Darcy and her monthly Quick Lit link up. Be sure to head over to see others link up their Quick Lit posts. 

I have just 5 days left in the classroom. As overwhelmed as I have been with lesson planning and grading papers, I am really going to miss this routine and seeing the students every day. But…..I AM READY to get my life back and especially back to regular reading! 
I mostly read over Thanksgiving and then the rest of have on audio while I’m getting ready in the mornings. These are the books I’ve finished in the last month and deserve a little space here. 

DEATH OF A SALESMAN
By: Arthur Miller
Published: 1949
Format: eBook
I read/taught this to the Freshman Honors class. They read it after reading OEDIPUS REX and compared the two tragedies. I have never read this Miller book before. I’ve only read THE CRUCIBLE. This is a very short play and can be read in a few hours. It was a bit confusing because there are numerous flashbacks and conversations with people that aren’t really present. The students were confused at times and even I was until I got the hang of the story.

Willy is a troubled gentleman who has been a salesman his whole life. He doesn’t know anything else, yet finds himself without a job. His wife Linda and two sons, Biff and Happy, are deeply concerned about his tendency to hallucinate and drive erratically. This unhappy tale weaves through Willy, Biff, and Happy’s lives full of regrets, anger, and sadly, not much forgiveness. It’s a tragic tale but one that still encouraged some really great discussions. 

BENEATH A SCARLET SKY
By: Mark T. Sullivan
Published: May 1, 2017
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Format: eBook
This came highly recommended by a friend of mine so I purchased this Kindle version and then bought the paperback as a birthday gift for my cousin so we could read it together. She finished it before I did, but we were both affected by this story.

Historical fiction fans will love this WWII story based on a true person and real events. It is set in Milan, Italy, which for me, was a new WWII setting. I loved the descriptions of the Swiss Alps and the lovely streets of Italy. But, the horrors described by Pino were devastating. What this young man went through to save Jews by helping them climb the Alps to being the driver of Hitler’s right-hand man in Italy was nothing short of amazing. The research the author accomplished and the time spent writing this story were amazing and it’s one I haven’t forgotten even a month after finishing.

FOR THE LOVE
By: Jen Hatmaker
Published: August 18, 2015
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Format: Audiobook
I listened to this book read by the author. It’s been on my list for some time and I purchased it as part of an Audible deal. I’m not sure I would listen to another audiobook by her as I felt like she was yelling at me the whole time. I liked what she had to say about being real, letting go of the hurt and anger, and sharing the love. I liked the content and it was inspiring. Just didn’t like it on audio.

SISTERS FIRST
By: Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Pierce Bush
Published: October 24, 2017
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Format: Audiobook
I listened to this one through my library’s overdrive app. Jenna and her sister Barbara alternate reading their own stories in each chapter. I easily could tell the two voices apart and absolutely loved this collection of stories from their childhood to adult life. Their stories ranged from sister bonding to the trouble each of them got into (even when it made the front pages) to their careers and Jenna’s marriage and family. All of this while growing up as the daughters and granddaughters of Presidents of the United States.

I found this to be an enjoyable listen, no matter what political side you are on. Their story of sisterly love and devotion to family was heartwarming.

MY LIFE WITH BOB
Flawed Heroine Keeps Book of Books, Plot Ensues
By: Pamela Paul
Published: May 2, 2017
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
Format: Audiobook

I love the idea of having a Book of Books (BOB) and wish I would have started one myself. Unfortunately, Paul’s tales of books she read, travels to France and Thailand, and life in New York was a bit boring. Once she tells of her time as a New York Times children’s book editor, I became much more interested. 

She reads her own audiobook, which I appreciated. But, the editing was a bit off as I could noticeably tell when she had stopped reading and restarted. I was constantly fixing my volume. Most of the books she discusses, I had never heard of or will probably never read. But, I appreciated her love of reading and the joy books brought her during some of the most difficult times in her life. Including, the death of her father and her appreciation for him encouraging her love of reading. 

I’m beyond anxious to get back to reading. I have so many great books waiting to be read. I’ll be starting with THE DEAL OF A LIFETIME and then who knows where my bookshelves will take me! 

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1 Comment

  1. The Sketchy Reader on December 18, 2017 at 6:38 pm

    Eclectic list. Thanks for your reviews!

    I'm linking over from Modern Mrs. Darcy,
    xo,
    Ricki Jill

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