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 PEOPLE WE MEET ON VACATION, AT HEAVEN’S DOOR, and THE ROAD WE TOOK. I just finished HOW TO FIND YOUR WAY HOME by Katy Regan which I loved and I’ll be reviewing it in its own post next week.
Some of my recent reviews include LOVE & SAFFRON, which I loved, and GREAT AMERICAN ROAD TRIPS – NATIONAL PARKS, which is a great resource for your summer vacation planning. I’ve also been sharing a lot of excellent children’s books lately, See them all, HERE.
APPLES NEVER FALL
By: Liane Moriarty
Published: September 14, 2021
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co
This was our book club choice for this month. Surprisingly, this is the first Moriarty novel that I’ve read. It is a chunk of a novel and frankly, I feel like it could have used a bit less detail. The first 100 and last 100 pages were pretty good, but the middle got bogged down in excessive details.
“That was the secret of a happy marriage: step away from the rage.”Liane Moriarty, APPLES NEVER FALL
The Delaney family is known as being THE tennis family in Australia. They have coached nearly all the tennis kids in their area as well as their own four children. The couple recently retired and are struggling with finding a new focus for their consuming free time. A stranger comes to their home needing assistance and ends up staying with them for a while. Then the Delaney children receive a weird text from their mom saying she is going “off-grid” and when she doesn’t return, they consider her a missing person, and all the family secrets start to come out. Of course, the Delaney children all have their own various dramas going on and secrets to reveal.
“Once you’ve hit a ball there’s no point watching to see where it’s going. You can’t change its flight path now. You have to think about your next move. Not what you should have done. What you do now.”Liane Moriarty, APPLES NEVER FALL
If you like family dramas or previous Moriarty novels, this might be one for you. It did make for a good book club discussion.
LOVE AND OTHER CONSOLATION PRIZES
By: Jamie Ford
Narrated by: Emily Woo Zeller
Published: September 12, 2017
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Back in 2011, I read Ford’s HOTEL ON THE CORNER OF BITTER AND SWEET and really enjoyed his historical fiction writing. My cousin had a library hold come in and asked if I was interested in reading the book with her. I checked Libby and it was available to borrow immediately as an audiobook so we read it together.
The novel travels to 1909 and the World’s Fair in Seattle. Earnest Young is a young Chinese orphan sold at the fair to the highest bidder after bouncing from various orphanages. His bidder, Miss Flora, is the proprietor of the well-known brothel, The Tenderloin. Earnest finds himself as part of the Tenderloin family, falling in love with two of the girls who live and work there. Fast Forward to 1962, we find Earnest worried about his wife Gracie, struggling with dementia, and their daughter JuJu who is writing a story on the 1909 world’s fair, and a young boy who was auctioned off. As their secrets come out, Earnest and Gracie reflect back on their story and how they ended up together.
Emily Woo Zeller narrates this with various voices for the different characters and maintains a good pace. This was an enjoyable listen and I learned about a point in history that I knew nothing about. Jamie Ford also shares an author’s note about his reason for writing this story.
A favorite quote from the story that I found so true both as a child and a parent:
“Parents always have a story that their children don’t really know.”Jamie Ford, LOVE AND OTHER CONSOLATION PRIZES
THE VANISHING HALF
By: Brit Bennett
Narrated by: Shayna Small
Published: June 20, 2020
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Format: Audiobook and Hardcover
I chose this for our book club this month. It’s a pretty quick read and I am quite certain we will have a lot to discuss when we meet next week. I listened mostly on audio but appreciated having the physical copy to refer back to when I wanted to reread something for clarification.
Twins sisters Stella and Desiree leave their small-town home at 16 and try to make it on their own in New Orleans. Stella decides this life isn’t for her and leaves her sister alone…eventually settling in California living a much different life than the one she left behind. A chance meeting in LA threatens to uncover Stella’s stack of lies and destroy everything she has tried to run away from.
“Secrets were the only language they spoke”Brit Bennett, THE VANISHING HALF
As much as the novel is about the twins, it is also about their 2 daughters Jude and Kennedy, a new generation of women trying to find themselves and meet up to the expectations laid before them. I liked the flow of the novel even though a few times I had to clarify when we were in the present vs the past while listening. The narration was really great as well as her voice changes for various characters.
This is a story of secrets….so many secrets. There is also a lot of hurt and pain..physical and emotional. Can you really run away from your past or will it always catch up to you at a time when you least expect it? Is your identity wrapped up in your race, gender, and socioeconomic status? Many of the characters in this novel struggle with who they are and where they came from and make you consider your own identity and how people see you based on your past.
“People thought that being one of a kind made you special.
No, it just made you lonely. What was special was belonging with someone else.”Brit Bennett, THE VANISHING HALF