I’m sharing books that I chose for my own reading enjoyment in my monthly Quick Lit posts. Not books 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 share their Quick Lit posts. This post contains affiliate links. Click here to read more about that.
My current reads are APPLES NEVER FALL for book club, FALL TO GRACE for a read along with my cousin, LOVE AND SAFFRON for review, and LOVE AND OTHER CONSOLATION PRIZES on audio for a read along with my cousin.
Some of my recent reviews include PERSONAL EFFECTS and THE MAID. Three of the four books I’m sharing below were ones I read off of my own ever-growing to-read shelf. Part of my goal this year is to read 22 books off of my own to-read shelves. There is no more vacancy on my bookshelves and so it’s time to get reading. The final one is one that I was “pressured” to read by my nephew. It was a good kind of pressure because I enjoyed it.
WAITING FOR TOM HANKS
By: Kerry Winfrey
Published: June 11, 2019
Romance is not my typical genre, but this one caught my attention because I am a HUGE fan of Tom Hanks romcoms, especially You’ve Got Mail. So, this one piqued my interest and I chose it as my First Book of 2022 because it also helped me with my goal of reading at least 22 books off of my own shelf this year. Plus I was looking for a happy read after reading several heavy novels at the end of last year.
Annie is always on the look for her “Tom Hanks”. She wants the whole package: the meet-cute, the sweet and sensitive guy, and maybe a houseboat, just like on Sleepless in Seattle. She knows it is unrealistic in Columbus, Ohio, but she can’t get past her dream.
Unbelievably, a movie is being filmed right in her neighborhood. Her uncle gets her a job as the director’s assistant. The lead actor is, of course, the hot, up-and-coming actor, Drew Danforth, that everyone is swooning over. Of course, on his first day in town, Annie bumps into him and spills her coffee all over him. Cue…meet-cute. But, everything Annie knows about Drew from the gossip magazines is that he is a jerk. So, she is staying clear of him.
Since romance genres are my typical jam, I liked this one just fine. It moved quickly and there was a bit of a twist and a good ending. So, if you are looking for something light and fun, this one would be worth picking up. I’ll probably read the second one, NOT LIKE THE MOVIES, which features Annie’s best friend, Chloe.
“What matters is that they have hope. Sure, they find love, but it’s not even about love. It’s the hope that you deserve happiness, and that you won’t be sad forever, and that things will get better. It’s hope that life doesn’t always have to be a miserable slog, that you can find someone to love who understands you and accepts you just as you are.”Kerry Winfrey, WAITING FOR TOM HANKS
THE OTHER BLACK GIRL
By: Zakiya Dalila Harris
Narrated by: Aja Naomi King, Joniece Abbott-Pratt, Heather Alicia Simms, Bahni Turpin
Published: June 1, 2021
Format: Audiobook and Hardcover
Part of my goal for 2022 is to read at least 22 books off of my own bookshelves. I realized one way to do that could be to find audiobooks on Libby of the books I have on my shelves and then read both ways to get through them a bit quicker. This was the first to come up on my Libby holds. I was glad I had both copies because it was a bit confusing at first.
Nella is one of a few black women that work at a major publishing firm in NYC, Wagner Publishing. When a new employee joins and is in the next cubicle, Nella can’t believe that she is also black. Finally, she will have a fellow confidant and someone she can talk to about some of the racist issues that come up in the books they are publishing. She is thrilled to have another black voice in the office.
Then she starts getting anonymous notes telling her to leave Wagner now. There are lots of suspicious situations and you, along with Nella are trying to figure out what is exactly going on. Is her life in danger or is it just her job? Is there something sinister going on at Wagner? Does the new black co-worker have anything to do with it or is she in danger too?
I don’t want to spoil anything so I’m just going to say, as a white, rural Midwest woman, I didn’t necessarily understand everything that was happening. I do think the author assumes that you are familiar with black culture and issues facing black women in the workforce. I enjoyed the read and didn’t expect the mysterious reason Nella was getting the weird messages, but that could be due to my own ignorance. I chose it as a Book of the Month from last year and I can see why it would be a popular read. I loved the publishing part of the book and the behind-the-scenes of getting a book out there.
By: Fredrik Backman
Narrated by: Marin Ireland
Published: September 8, 2020
Publisher: Atria Books
Format: Hardcover and Audiobook
Wow! I loved this book so much! I listened to this one on audio and also read my physical copy. It was so good, I put all other books aside and only read this one because I had to know what was happening. This story has a dozen or so characters, but don’t let that scare you away. They are all easy to keep separate. This is not the story you expect. When there is a twist reveal about halfway through, I had to go back to the beginning and reread to see what I missed.
Reading this book is a bit like a car accident. You can’t look away but you know you should. There is a lot happening and a bit of confusion and chaos, but it’s also a bit comical and you will find yourself shaking your head in disbelief trying to figure it all out.
It begins with a bank robbery, but the book really isn’t about a bank robbery. Instead, it’s about relationships, life, and caring for others with a lot of detours along the way. Marin Ireland is a superstar when it comes to all the various voices for the characters. I love reading books that she narrates and this one was no disappointment. When I couldn’t listen to the narration I was reading or rereading passages just to keep the momentum of the book going.
This is also another book I checked off of my Read 22 Books Off of My Own Shelves challenge!
By: Stephen King
Narrated by: Frank Muller
Published: Originally 1982, reprint June 5, 2018
My nephew is a high school English teacher on a reservation in Northern Minnesota. We often have bookish conversations where he shares the books he’s been reading and teaching and I share ones that he might want to consider for next year or to share with his students. He recently had a group chat with a few teachers friends and me all about the books we were currently reading and someone mentioned Stephen King. I mentioned that I really don’t read his books because I’m pretty sensitive and often get nightmares. Then my nephew said, but, THE BODY has the best first paragraph in all of literature. Ummm, really? I knew the movie “Stand By Me” was based on this book, but didn’t really know much more about it. So, I agreed to give it a look. Wouldn’t you know, it was available immediately as an audiobook on Libby. So, I downloaded it. It’s only a 6 hour listen and I was interested the whole time. I know the movie quite well and was imagining the characters as _-_- narrated the story.
I doubt there are many that don’t know the story, but basically, a group of teens set off to find a missing teen boy from their community. This adventure reveals much about the character and personalities of these boys and will forever change the trajectory of their lives. Gordy, the narrator of the story, is now an adult, retelling this adventure that none of them have ever talked about since. It’s a classic and one I may just want to own a copy of it.