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 BEFORE SHE WAS FOUND and THE LAZY GENIUS KITCHEN.
I’ve been sharing a lot of excellent children’s books lately, See them all, HERE.
I’ve recently DNF’d a few books. They just weren’t suitable for me at this time. I may return to them later, but for whatever reason, I just couldn’t give them my attention. Those books include THE PARIS BOOKSELLER (I’ve read and enjoyed this author before, but this one was not for me.) FALL TO GRACE (A big book that was taking way too long to get to the meat of the story.) GREAT OR NOTHING (As a LITTLE WOMEN fan, this remake took a plot turn that I just didn’t like.)
As I have mentioned, I am trying to read more books off of my shelves, but it’s hard to do that when review books come in the mail and new books are constantly being released. So, I added some of the books from my shelves to my Libby audio holds. Then I can read faster by dual reading…reading the physical copy and listening to it on audio. I’ve now read 14 books from my shelves and moved them out of the house. Let’s just not talk about all the new books that keep arriving every month. *sigh*. You can see all those, HERE.
SOLD ON A MONDAY
By: Kristina McMorris
Narrated by: Brian Hutchison
Published: August 28, 2018
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
I had the physical copy of this one, but listened on audio and really loved it. The audio didn’t include the author’s note which I’m glad I had the physical copy to read about the author’s reason for this story as well as an interview with the author. The paperback copy also included discussion questions and this would make a great choice for book clubs.
A single newspaper photo of two children holding a sign that says “2 Children for Sale” changes the lives of the photographer, Ellis, an editor’s secretary, Lillian, and the family in the photo. The events that spiraled after that photo are devastating and lead Ellis and Lillian to risk everything to mend a broken family.
I was thrilled to read a historical fiction novel that wasn’t set during the war. I needed something different and this one was perfect for me right now. I don’t quite remember exactly how the physical copy ended up on my shelf, but I think it might have been a gift. The author wrote the story after seeing an actual photo of a mother shielding her face and four children sitting next to a 4 Children for Sale sign in 1948. Even though this particular story is entirely fictional, it is based on the author’s research into this photo and the follow-up article about those siblings in that 1948 photo.
The story was compelling and the characters were easy to like and root for. I’ve been wanting to read Kristina McMorris’s books after reading one of her stories in GRAND CENTRAL. I’ll be adding more of her books to my reading list.
Brian Hutchison narrates the story and his voice reminded me of Rob Lowe’s so much that I had to check again just to make sure he wasn’t the narrator. He put a lot of emotion into his reading and made the listening experience enjoyable.
THE LINCOLN HIGHWAY
By: Amor Towles
Published: October 5, 2021
This was our book club choice and it took every day to get it read because it is nearly 600 pages long. This was my first Amor Towles novel so I can’t compare it to his other ones, but I would definitely read more of his work. Towles is amazingly talented at writing and I have so many pages marked with quotes, I couldn’t possibly share them all here.
“There are few things more beautiful to an author’s eye, he confessed to Billy, than a well-read copy of one of his books.”Amor Towles, THE LINCOLN HIGHWAY
This is a story of 4 teen boys spending just ten days together on a journey that seems to have no end. One obstacle and detour after another kept the reader guessing as to what could possibly happen to them next. The various people that crossed their paths and the wild situations they found themselves in had a bit of a “Forrest Gump” feel to me.
Our book club chose this novel as we all live along or near the actual Lincoln Highway, but our area of the highway was barely mentioned. Most of the novel takes place in New York City which I wasn’t expecting.
This isn’t a quick read, but it is quite a story and one I think fans of Towles, coming of age, or adventure stories would appreciate.
“The funny thing about a picture, thought Wolly, the funny thing about a picture is that while it knows everything that’s happened up until the moment it’s been taken, it knows absotively nothing about what will happen next. And yet, once the picture has been framed and hung on a wall, what you see when you look at it closely are all the things that were about to happen. All the un-things. The things that were unanticipated. And unintended. And unreversible.”Woolly in THE LINCOLN HIGHWAY, by Amor Towles
THE PEOPLE WE KEEP
By: Allison Larkin
Narrated by: Julia Whelan
Published: August 3, 2021
Publisher: Gallery Books
Format: Audiobook and Hardcover
I didn’t expect to get drawn into this novel immediately, but I did. After reading THE UNSINKABLE GRETA JAMES, I wasn’t expecting to read another novel about a young singer trying to find her way so soon after, but I am here for it.
I mostly listened to this on audio even though I had the physical copy that I read a few chapters from. Julia Whelan narrates it and I think I would listen to Julia Whelan narrate the phone book. She is such a fantastic narrator and her emotion in this story was particularly riveting.
April is a 16-year-old abandoned by both her mother and father, left to live alone in a dumpy camper. One night she sets out on her own to start over. The rest of the story will have your heart aching for April as she overcomes loneliness, the hurt of broken relationships, betrayals, and eventually finding people to love and that love her back. This will be a definite favorite of the year for me.
“When you have happy accidents, it’s best to own them. They don’t happen often enough.”April in THE PEOPLE WE KEEP by Allison Larkin
ALL CREATURES GREAT AND SMALL
By: James Herriot
Narrated by: Christopher Timothy
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Format: Audiobook and Hardcover
This author is one of my dad’s favorites. I remember seeing him reading this series when I was a kid and I can finally say I’ve read the first book in the series. I listened to it on audio which was just as enjoyable as reading the physical copy.
Herriot chronicles his first years of being a veterinarian in the English countryside. His stories of delivering calves and other baby animals were my favorite. If you love farming, animals, or memoirs, I suggest giving this a read. It’s a classic, and I expect I’ll eventually read the others in the series.
THE BOOKISH LIFE OF NINA HILL
By: Abbi Waxman
Narrated by: Emily Rankin
Published: July 9, 2019
Format: Audiobook and Paperback
I chose to read this now because the follow-up, ADULT ASSEMBLY REQUIRED is set to publish this week and I have an eBook copy for review. I’ve had a paperback copy for a while, but started it on audio since that was what I had time for at first including one day with a lot of driving. But, I finished the last 100 pages in the paperback because I felt like I was missing out on not seeing the planner pages. The end of nearly every chapter has a page from Nina’s planner which to a planner nerd like me was delightful. Then in the author’s note, she credits the planner page to Happy Digital Download which I thought was pretty cool.
Nina has every reader’s dream job, she works in a book store. Nina is an only child of a world-known photographer mother and an unknown-to-Nina father. That is until he dies and she suddenly has a brother, sisters, nieces, and nephews and a will to worry about. Nina thought her life was predictably planned out and lovely. Then she also met Tom. All of these new people and interactions create a lot of anxiety for Nina and she has to try to figure out how to manage it all if she wants all these wonderful new people to stay part of her life.
I’ve read Waxman’s THE GARDEN OF SMALL BEGINNINGS which I thought was absolutely delightful and I feel the same way about this one. She writes creative and quirky characters with a lot of wit and heart. Readers will sympathize with them, cheer them on, and wish they could be friends. I’ll be reading the follow-up very soon!
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