Quick Lit: Mini Reviews of Some Recent Reads – March 2019 Edition

Quick Lit

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, so instead, I’m offering mini-reviews of the books that won’t get full-page space here.

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’LL BE THERE FOR YOU

The One About Friends

By: Kelsey Miller

Published: October 23, 2018

Publisher: Hanover Square Press

Non-Fiction

Format: eBook through the library

I was so excited to read this book. Even though I learned a lot of background on the creation of the show and how it finally got on the air and stayed on the air for so long, I was hoping for more about the actual making of the show and those behind-the-scenes kinds of stories. There were some of those and references to iconic episodes like “The Holiday Armadillo” and of course the final episode with details on the taping of the scenes. But, I guess I was hoping for more of that and less of the legal stuff with NBC and Warner Brothers. That part of the book was eye-opening related to how a show actually makes it on TV and in what particular time slot but wasn’t exactly what I was looking for in relation to one of my favorite shows. I love that I can turn on the TV and find a “Friends” rerun on and know exactly which episode it is. I guess I wanted more back stories and laughs that happened while taping.

My favorite chapter was the one devoted to 9/11. I’m anxious to rewatch Season 8 and look for the hidden and subtle elements that let viewers know that the Friends’ cast was thinking of all the New York firefighters, first responders, and fans when they returned to television after the tragedy. 

Overall, it was an enjoyable read and I loved reminiscing about the show and learning the background of all the actors and how they earned that coveted role on Friends and why it was so popular.

REFUGEE

By: Alan Gratz

Narrated by: Michael Goldstrom, Kyla Garcia, Assaf Cohen

Published: July 25, 2017

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Fiction/Middle-Grade Fiction

Format: Audio book through the library

I heard this mentioned on a few podcasts I listen to and I’ve seen it all over our school as well. I was able to get the audiobook through our library and I’m so glad I did. The book chronicles three different children in three different eras, all fleeing their country. The children and their families have much to overcome in order to find entry into another country.

The audio has three different narrators to go with each child. It made the narration so much more personal and emotional. It’s a middle-grade novel so the writing is more simple than I’d like but the story is so compelling you can overlook it.

THIS BLESSED EARTH

A Year in the Life of an American Family Farm

By: Ted Genoways

Narrated by: Christopher Solimene

Published: September 19, 2017

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

Non-Fiction

Format: Audio book through my library

This is the 2019 All Iowa Reads book for the year. It’s also the choice for the Nebraska One Book One Nebraska for the Iowa and Nebraska Library Associations. Libraries all over both states will have copies of this book and several copies are available on the Overdrive/Libby system for audiobook or ebook versions. I grew up on a small farm and am surrounded by farmers in the small town we live in. Supporting farmers and understanding their sacrifices is important to me.

I enjoyed the family story the most, but around that was the science, technology, and luck that is connected to farming. Most of this book focused on the growing of corn and soybeans and the business of that. But intermixed with that was the story of a family over a few generations. The farm and family are in Nebraska, but Iowa and other Midwestern states are mentioned as well. In fact, in the book, it mentions a Chinese businessman that tried to steal top-secret corn seeds from a farm not too far from me.

Honestly, the book got a little dry and a bit too technical in spots especially when talking about pesticides or the mechanics of planters or combines. The narration was a little boring. The narrator didn’t add much inflection or emotion to his voice. But, I learned quite a bit about the difficulties associated with farming and the serious business of growing corn. It opened my eyes to the extreme chance farmers take every season to start a crop and hope that everything lines up to get them to a successful harvest.

You can see all my other Quick Lit posts by clicking, HERE.

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