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 BACK TO THE PRAIRIE on audio, ONE DAY IN DECEMBER in hardcover, and THE HEALING POWERS OF HONEY and AND THE CLOUDS PARTED on my Kindle.

I’ve also been sharing many excellent children’s books lately, in celebration of Non-Fiction November plus some Christmas Books for Kids. See all the children’s book reviews, HERE.

As I have mentioned, I am trying to read more books off 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 23 books from my shelves and moved them out of the house. Here are 5 very different books I read and listened to in the last month. You may notice all the books were on audio this month. It isn’t that I haven’t been reading other things, but I haven’t really finished anything except one book that I’ll be sharing in its own post next week. In this season, listening to audiobooks is about the only way I have time to read.


By: Jennifer Ryan

Narrated by: Jasmine Blackborow

Published: February 23, 2021

Publisher: Ballantine Books

Historical Fiction

Format: Audiobook through the Library

Britain is struggling in the first years of WWII. The BBC radio program often shares ways to use the food rations and tips for stretching supplies. The radio program decides to stage a contest to find a first-ever female host for their program, someone on the front lines that can speak to the people and help them find ways to survive this horrible war.

Four women (two of them estranged sisters) are fighting to win the competition. Think Great British Baking Show meets Top Chef except it is all on the radio. Each month the women are given a challenge using only food rations. One uses whale meat, another uses Spam but I guarantee as awful as those two things sound, your mouth will water at the descriptions of the food.

Even though these women are competing against each other, they all have struggles and end up leaning on each other during their difficult circumstances. The joy for me was the end of the novel and how each of the women changed and became stronger because of this competition. The narration was great and the author also shared a really great note at the end along with recipes for some of the war-time foods commonly prepared.


By: Julie Otsuka

Narrated by: Traci Kato-Kiriyama

Published: February 22, 2022

Publisher: Knopf


Format: Audiobook through the library

I chose this after reading Otsuka’s THE BUDDHA IN THE ATTIC. Many have raved about her newest book, but I actually liked Buddha more. The story begins by describing a collection of people who swim laps at the pool throughout the week. They all have issues to escape and leave behind in the water. But, when the pool starts to crack and their visits to the pool must end, most of the swimmers go about their lives except for one. Alice is slowly losing her memory but when her days at the pool end and her routine is messed up, her memory worsens. This short novel is about people who spend their days as part of each other’s lives and move on when it ends, some without a thought of their pool friends. Then it moves into Alice’s story, focusing on her slow decline as well as her memories of life during the war in a Japanese American camp.

I liked the story, but it felt more disjointed than I had hoped. I enjoyed the narration though and enjoy Otsuka’s style of poetic writing.


By: Lisa Fipps

Narrated by: Jenna Lamia

Published: March 9, 2021

Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books

Middle-Grade Fiction

Format: Audiobook through the library

Ellie is a middle schooler and is a bit overweight. She is constantly teased at school and is even fat-shamed daily by her own mother. She has created a set of “fat girl rules” to live by and stay under the radar. Since she lives in Texas, she has the ability to escape to the swimming pool in her backyard. That is her safe space.

A new friend, her dad, and her therapist begin to show Ellie that she has value and that she doesn’t need to be defined by her weight. This middle-grade story is great for any kid that feels outside of the norm or is bullied for any reason. Ellie is a regular kid who just needs to realize she is worthy of kindness, love, and laughter.


By: Jojo Moyes

Narrated by: Julia Whelan

Published: October 8, 2019

Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books

Historical Fiction

Format: Audiobook through the library and Hardcover

As I started reading this, I stopped and went, “Wait? What?”. After reading THE BOOK WOMAN OF TROUBLESOME CREEK, I first thought I wasn’t interested in reading the same story again. I did some research and saw a lot of backlash toward Moyes about copying Richardson’s story. But, I decided to keep reading and I am so glad I did.

Even though this is also about packhorse librarians in Appalachian Kentucky, this is a much different story. Are there similarities? Yes. But there are also similarities in all the WWII books I read. Moyes creates a unique friendship of very different women that come together to fight for their library when a group gets upset over a certain book circulating among the patrons.

I absolutely loved this story of friendship, books, and the fight for freedom in an area where women’s voices don’t want to be heard. Julia Whelan is a ROCK STAR at this narration. All her voices are spot on and she made this such an amazing listen.


A Year of Healing and Heartbreak in a Chicago ER

By: Thomas Fisher

Narrated by: Thomas Fisher

Published: March 22, 2022

Publisher: One World


Format: Audiobook through the library

This is billed as a personal perspective of a doctor’s time in the ER during COVID. I would say it is less about COVID and more about the systemic issues related to health care in an inner-city hospital. Thomas Fisher works in the University of Chicago ER and shares stories of patients that left him frustrated due to the lack of care he was able to give them. He writes certain patients a letter and other chapters are more of a diary of his days during that month in the ER.

I don’t doubt that our healthcare system is a joke and there are major issues when it comes to equal care and equal costs. His insights were similar to my reading of THE HOSPITAL which shared the struggles of small-town hospitals competing with larger conglomerates.

While I understood his frustrations and sympathized with the sad health cases he shared, it wasn’t exactly the book I was expecting and definitely not a happy story. This might have been a timing thing for me, but it wasn’t a great read for me. The author narrates it himself.

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.

This post contains affiliate links. If you choose to make a purchase through the above links, I may receive a small commission without you paying a cent more for your purchase.

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