Quick Lit

Welcome to Quick Lit where I share books that I chose for my own reading enjoyment in a mini-review format. These 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.

My current reads are THE PUZZLER (I’m loving it even though I’m reading it slowly!), THE BUDDHA IN THE ATTIC, ROOM AND BOARD, VERITY (for book club) and CARRIE SOTO IS BACK is my audiobook.

Some of my recent reviews include a fun fiction IN HER BOOTS, a non-fiction book on shared death experiences AT HEAVEN’S DOOR, and a middle-grade biography HERO FOR THE HUNGRY.

I’ve also been sharing a lot of excellent children’s books lately, See them all, HERE.

I finished the Netflix series, Anxious People based on the book by Fredrik Bachman. The six episodes follow the book a bit differently in the sense that the whole book is mostly in episode one and then you work backward to fill in the gaps. I still really enjoyed the series on Netflix. Now that Call the Midwife Season 11 is on Netflix, that will be my next binge. Just need to find the time!

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 eighteen books from my shelves and moved them out of the house. Here are 6 books I read and listened to in the last month.


By: John Green

Narrated by: John Green

Published: May 18, 2021

Publisher: Dutton


Format: Audiobook through the library

Even though I didn’t agree with everything John Green says in his reviews of life during this Anthropocene, I appreciated his insights. I found the bits of history intermixed with personal stories really fascinating. I didn’t know the history of the Teddy Bear and also loved his connection to the Hall of Presidents at Disney World. I too have a binder full of my scratch and sniff stickers that still hold a scent. His review of sunsets was spot on and I heartily give Iowa Sunsets 5 stars. Other stories of Super Mario Kart, Monopoly, and Googling Strangers had me nodding along in agreement.

Green narrates the audio and I found him to be a relatively slow narrator. I had to bump up my usual narration speed quite a bit, but I also noticed he obviously narrated these stories in chunks as the tone of his voice and the audio would change. Green doesn’t shy away from sharing about his mental health. I wondered if some of the narration was done when he was really struggling mentally and then others when he was feeling especially peppy.

Overall, I found this collection of stories to be quite interesting and a joy to listen to and it has caused me to think about what things I might give 1 -5 stars in my own little world.


By: Joanne Bischof

Narrated by: Emily Sutton-Smith

Published: August 31, 2021

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Historical Fiction/Christian

Format: Audiobook through the library

I received a Libby notification that a book I had recommended they add to the collection is now available and since I suggested it, I was first in line. I bumped it at the time because I didn’t have time to listen. It came up again today and I started listening. I have NO IDEA why I would have recommended this to Libby. I can’t find a single connection to this book through the podcasts I listen to or friends I follow. So, I am really not sure how it was added to my Libby, but I actually really enjoyed it.

The story travels back and forth in time from the early 1900s in the small mining town of Kenworthy, California to the same in the modern day, however, Kenworthy no longer exists. Johnny, recently separated from his wife, finds an old place to purchase and fix up for him and his kids. His home is connected to a time in history that he finds quite fascinating and learns about a shocking connection to a woman he just met.

Juniper and her young daughter, Bethany, are trying to survive after her mining husband disappears. Their mine has been salted and there is no more work for anyone. While praying for her husband’s safe return she learns a shocking secret that could change everything for the people left behind in Kenworthy.

This is a Christian-based historical fiction, but Christianity doesn’t overpower the story, it just helps to define the character and the decisions they make. I knew next to nothing about mining towns and what it meant to “salt” a mine. I enjoyed the dual timeline and the two parallel stories of spouses struggling with the unknown of their marriages. I listened to the audio and the narrator was easy to listen to and used different voices to define the characters.

Fans of historical fiction or Christian fiction will appreciate this story.


By: Mike Gayle

Narrated by: Ben Onwukwe

Published: July 13, 2021

Publisher: Grand Central


Format: Audiobook through the library

Katee of the podcast, Currently Reading, led me to this gem of a book.

Hubert Bird is a lonely old man. His wife died several years ago. His son is a drug addict and he has no idea where he is. His daughter lives thousands of miles away in Australia. He has no friends except for the ones he made up when his daughter calls every week. Then one day, a chance meeting in the apartment complex opens up Hubert’s world to a whole new community of people. But, how will he ever tell his daughter that the old friends never really existed but he really does have some amazing new friends now?

If you love a good curmudgeon story like A Man Called Ove, Hubert will steal your heart as well. Hubert moved to England from Jamaica in the 1960s and faced racism both in the workplace and on the streets. When he met a white England woman, he had no idea how awful people could treat them because of their mixed-race relationship.

This story jumps back and forth between the life that Hubert and Joyce built together and Hubert’s life now as a widowed man. He is a kind man whose heart has been hardened by life’s circumstances but finds there is still space for more love inside. There are a couple of surprising twists towards the end of the story that I didn’t see coming. I also got a bit emotional at the end. Overall, it was a really lovely story of friendship, healing, and love. The audio is narrated well and was an enjoyable listen.


By: Taylor Jenkins Reid

Published: June 1, 2021

Publisher: Ballantine


Format: Hardcover

I purchased this last summer and sadly, never got around to reading it. So, when it was my turn to choose a book for our book club I chose this one. It was the perfect end-of-summer read! I really don’t feel like I need to say too much about this since I’m sure everyone has heard about it. But, it had all the qualities I love in a story: siblings, family drama and secrets, and a fast-paced story with characters I loved and hated. We had a great book club discussion and I absolutely loved it.


By: Alfred Lansing

Narrated by: Simon Prebble

Published: Originally 1959

Publisher: Basic Books


Format: Audiobook through the library

A couple of people suggested this book to me and after waiting several months on the library hold list, it finally came in at a time that I could listen. It is a gripping story, one that became popular again after the recent finding of the Endurance in March of this year. It tells the real and horrifying story of 27 men who set sail in 1914 for Antarctica. But, just shy of reaching their goal, the ship became trapped in ice and the men had to abandon it, spending an unimaginable amount of days and months working their way back home in some of the most unbearable circumstances.

If you like true adventure stories, this one is a must-read. I liked the audio, but I wondered if the physical copy had photos included. I did google quite a bit after reading to learn a bit more about this journey.


Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions

By: Randall Munroe

Narrated by: Wil Wheaton

Published: September 2, 2014

Publisher: Dey Street Books


Format: Audiobook through the Library and Hardcover

This one has been on our shelf for a few years. Our son received it as a gift and it grabbed my attention too so when he was done I added it to my to-read shelf. I found I could get the audio on Libby so decided to dual-read it. I recommend that you have a physical copy on hand to look at because the author is also a cartoonist and has fun illustrations throughout the book to help explain his answers.

When the cover says it answers absurd questions, that is no joke. There were questions I couldn’t even grasp the understanding as well as crazy questions that he doesn’t even answer because they are too “Weird and Worrying”.

I really found the questions related to guessing on the SAT really interesting and had a great conversation with our son about the probability factor since he is studying statistics and finance. Some of the questions were completely over my head but his explanations were clear and understandable. Especially when combined with his comic-style illustrations.

If you have a science geek or an older child that asks a lot of “What If” type of questions this might be the book for them. Science combined with humor makes learning fun…even for adults!

What good things have you been reading? I’ve also read books that I reviewed for publishers. Check them out, HERE.

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

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