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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.

This last month has been full of lots of joy as well as new adjustments to our daily lives. Pat and I are officially empty nesters and so far, we have been enjoying the new routine. Surprisingly, we haven’t missed spending our evenings at school activities or the rush to get everyone out the door in the morning. We have enjoyed doing things on weekends that we normally couldn’t do like spontaneous outings or spending the day at the ISU vs. UNI football game. I’m finding that staying busy helps me not realize the house is so quiet. In fact, today I am golfing which is something I haven’t done in 24 years. Wish me luck!

I recently reviewed two of Wendy Holden’s books, THE ROYAL GOVERNESS and THE PRINCESS. I’m currently reading THE SAINTS OF SWALLOW HILL for book club. I’m also reading THE SIX for review and listening to PINEAPPLE STREET on audio. I’ve started watching The Crown due to my recent readings about the Royal Family. I’m also super excited that Call the Midwife Season 12 is back on Netflix and will be bingeing that soon!

Here’s What I Did Finish in the Last Month

Quick Lit featuring books I read in August September 2023


By: Mike Gayle

Narrated by: Witney White

Published: May 30, 2023

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing


Format: Audiobook through Libby

I really enjoyed Gayle’s ALL THE LONELY PEOPLE but maybe this one just a stitch more. I adored Jess and her found family after she happened upon the Museum of Ordinary People while resisting throwing away her childhood encyclopedia set after her mom died. Jess’s mom had been sick for a while which caused Jess to change a lot of her plans after college. Instead of being a museum curator, she is a receptionist in an office. Instead of finding joy in her life, she is stuck in a relationship with a man who doesn’t appreciate her dreams or interests. But, while clearing out her childhood home and having great difficulty letting go of special items, she hears about this quirky museum that holds people’s ordinary yet discarded items. This is where Jess’s life starts to change.

“Because that’s the thing about grief no one ever tells you: it’s greedy. You don’t notice at first because you’re still in shock, and there’s so much to do, from obtaining death certificates to canceling utility contracts, but hour by hour, day by day, it eats up every last scrap of energy you have, leaving you spent and empty.”

Watching Jess work through her grief and come out the other side a new and better person, even though predictable, was still heart-tugging and lovely. Excellent narration by Witney White who made me feel like Jess herself was in my ear.


By: Viola Davis

Narrated by: Viola Davis

Published: April 26, 2022

Publisher: HarperOne


Format: Audiobook through Libby

I’m a fan of Viola Davis but I wasn’t necessarily interested in reading her memoir until I saw so many people whose book tastes I trust just completely rave about it. I went into this completely blind, not knowing any part of her life story except for the few movies and TV shows I’ve seen her perform in.

Davis grew up in dire poverty in all sense of the word, going hungry, without clean clothes, in a rat-infested home. There was a lot of trauma in her life including sexual and physical abuse as well as neglect. But, through all this and an abusive father, Viola found a way to claw herself out of the despair of her life and achieve success. Her story is quite miraculous and inspiring. The way she forgave her parents blew my mind. After all the years of trauma, she still loved them, cared for them, and gave them nearly everything she had when she had so little.

“Forgiveness is giving up all hope of a different past.”

My eyes were opened to her reflections on her role in The Help. She discusses the blatant and hidden racism she faced on stage, in theater, and most recently on the set of How to Get Away with Murder. It amazes me that someone with her talent and resumé still had difficulty attaining a lead role in a show or movie.

“I knew my life would be a fight, and I realized this: I had it in me.”


Bear Town #3

By: Fredrik Backman

Narrated by: Marin Ireland

Published: September 27, 2022

Publisher: Atria


Format: Audiobook through Libby and Hardcover

I really wanted to love this. I was happy to return to Beartown and Hed and the characters that I fell in love with in the other two books. But, gosh…this was a LOT to take in. There was a 600-page build-up to the actual event the book eluded to from page one. That is a long time to keep a reader hanging on. Aside from the length, there were some really amazing parts of the story, lots of surprises, and excellent writing. But, for me, it got a bit wordy at times. The book is super depressing even though I liked the update on all the characters at the end. I began this one on audio with Marin Ireland, but at 21 hours, I couldn’t fit it all into the 14-day Libby hold so I finished with the physical copy. But, I could listen to Marin read to me all day long. She is a top-notch narrator.

Backman is such an amazing writer and I marked so many pages of quotes that I wanted to remember. Here are just a few:

“Our children never warn us that they’re thinking of growing up. One day they’re just too big to want to hold your hand. It’s just as well we never know when the last time is going to be or we’d never let go.”

“Things always happen quickly when everything goes to hell.”

“It’s a human right to be able to choose who you love, but it’s also a human right to choose who you hate.”

“You have to make the most of the happy endings whenever you get a chance. “

So even though I will always be a Fredrik Backman fan, this one was just a bit too depressing and long for me to actually love it like I’ve loved so many of his other books. But, if you are a completist and need to finish the series like I did, go in knowing that it won’t be an easy read.

Did Not Finish


A Gentle Approach to Cleaning and Organizing

By: KC Davis

Narrated by:

Published: April 26, 2022

Publisher: Simon & Schuster/Simon Element


Format: Audiobook through Libby

I’d been seeing this around the internet and I was curious so I added the audiobook to my Libby holds. This book is written for those who struggle with cleaning and have let things get out of hand. This hits on depression, hoarding, and deep clutter issues, not for those who are looking for regular advice in the daily routines of cleaning and organizing. If you have never had a routine for cleaning or have gotten in so deep that you don’t know where to start, then this is the book for you. The author takes small steps and reminds you frequently that you are not a failure and you can do this on your own.

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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