Welcome to Quick Lit where I share books that I chose for my own reading enjoyment in a mini-review format. There are not books I received for review, but books that I’ve been wanting to read or that have 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.
Some of my recent reviews include a great book for future entrepreneurs and middle-grade readers, IDEA MAKERS.
I’ve also been sharing a lot of excellent children’s books lately, See them all, HERE.
Since it is summer and we recently added a TV to our porch, I’ve actually been watching more shows than normal…which is a big deal for me. I’m still working my way through the Gilmore Girls and have finally hit Season Four. My husband and I are watching Only Murders in the Building on Hulu. It’s an interesting show and we are still in the first season but are liking it so far, mostly due to Steve Martin and Martin Short. Finally, I’ve been to a few movies in our local, small-town theatre. Of course, I loved Top Gun: Maverick (saw it twice)! My husband and I also saw 12 Mighty Orphans. We went in knowing nothing about this movie and it was really fabulous. Such a great true story of perseverance and loyalty and of course, football. Check it out if you like movies based on real people/events. Finally, you know I had to see Where the Crawdads Sing. It’s an all-time favorite book and the movie was just as great. The differences between the book and the movie are minimal and mostly due to timing. I really, really loved it.
As I have mentioned in the past, 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 seventeen books from my shelves and moved them out of the house. Here are 3 books I read and listened to in the last month.
THE HIGH FIVE HABIT
Take Control of Your Life with One Simple Habit
By: Mel Robbins
Published: September 28, 2021
Publisher: Hay House, Inc
Format: eBook through the Library
I first saw Mel Robbins on Instagram when she was talking about her breast implants getting recalled and having surgery to remove them. I’m not sure what interested me at first, but after watching a few interviews and videos, I admired her approach to life and continued to follow her on Instagram. She has over two million followers and is the real deal. She tells you like it is with kindness and gusto and encouragement to go after your dreams.
I really, really loved THE HIGH FIVE HABIT. I highlighted numerous passages and messages of advice in the book, I ended up printing them from my Kindle highlights so I could look at them again and again. I had 6 pages worth! I haven’t started giving myself the high five in the mirror yet, but I have adapted some of her other habit tricks into my daily life and I’m seeing a difference in my attitude and routine.
No one else is still thinking about what happened five years ago, but you. No one else is keeping score as diligently as you. You are the one cataloging all your flaws, mistakes, and problems, and it’s keeping you focused on (you guessed it) all your flaws, mistakes, and problems.Mel Robbins, THE HIGH FIVE HABIT
I think this would be a great gift for kids going off to college, someone starting off on their first job ever, or really anyone that needs motivation or a new outlook on their daily routine. Highly recommend!
ONE OF US IS LYING
One of Us is Lying #1
By: Karen M. McManus
Narrated by: Kim Mai Guest, McLeod Andrews, Shannon McManus, Robbie Daymond
Published: May 30
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Format: Audiobook through the Library
This has been on my reading list since I taught freshman English during the pandemic. This book was part of our literature circle curriculum and so I had planned to read it. But, once I realized I only had to do two rounds during my long-term subbing gig, I chose two other genres to read with the students, so this one has been on my list since.
It came up a few times on my Libby holds and I kept bumping it because I wasn’t sure I was in the right mind-space to read it. I have a hard time reading teen angst or teen drama novels when I’m in the midst of teen dramas at school. I tend to see the situations in the book in the students I teach or in our kids’ friends so I tend to stay away from them. But, since I’m a couple of months out from school and it came up again in my holds I gave it a listen.
Four friends are in a classroom for detention when a classmate dies which appears to be an accident. The four students: the beauty, the brain, the criminal, and the athlete, feel like their detention was framed but can’t connect the dots to find out who actually put them all there. But, when it’s revealed that the victim has an agenda against the four students and they all have secrets that could turn into motives, a murder investigation begins. The audio narration includes four different voices for the main characters which I liked. It was quite fast-paced and held my attention. I didn’t expect the ending and again, what tends to happen with teen novels, made me roll my eyes a bit at the improbableness of it. There is a follow-up to this novel, ONE OF US IS NEXT, but I’ll probably pass on reading it.
THE WHITE ROSE NETWORK
By: Ellie Midwood
Published: February 4, 2022
This was our book club choice for the month. I have said this again and again. I can’t believe every time I read a new historical WWII fiction novel, I STILL learn something new. This novel is based on the lives of Hans and Sophie Scholl, siblings and college students at Munich University that started the White Rose Network, a resistance organization to the Nazi regime.
The novel follows their story quite closely and accurately. It begins with Hans and Sophie’s arrest by the Gestapo and then travels back to how the White Rose Network began until their arrest and punishment. This was one of those novels that grab your attention right away, then gets bogged down a bit in the middle with details, and then ramps up again at the end. It’s on the shorter end at less than 250 pages, so is a quick read.
Our book club enjoyed it and had a good discussion about the bravery of Sophie and her friends to build a resistance “army” of sorts right under the eyes and ears of Hitler. If you like WWII stories based on real people and events, be sure to check this one out. Also, there is a middle-grade novel called THE WHITE ROSE that also tells Hans and Sophie’s story from their sister Inge’s perspective. I have downloaded the audiobook to listen to.
Sophie stared at the columns of fire rising ominously against the backdrop of Gothic Cathedrals with their gargoyles looking merrily on, imprinting this hellish destruction of everything living and breathing into her memory on purpose.
Unlike the others, she had no right to avert her eyes.Ellie Midwood, THE WHITE ROSE NETWORK
Unlike the others, she had to witness it to write about it in all its grisly detail.
Unlike the others, Sophie firmly believed that the people were born for more than obliterating one another with showers of fire and shrapnel.