Sunday, January 15, 2017

Quick Lit - January

It's once again that time of the month when I link up with Modern Mrs. Darcy and share everything I've been reading lately.  And it's a lot...I really have no good reason for that...  My New Years resolution was in part to read less but 15 days into the year and I've finished 6 I might not be doing so well with that one.  As always, I'm very active on Goodreads so connect with me there! 

Other book posts from the past month:
Favorite {Grown-Up} Reads of 2016
Book Love: Mean Moms Rule: Why Doing the Hard Stuff Now Creates Good Kids Later
Friday Five: Children's Historical Fiction

And now, what I've been reading lately!

Winter Street & Winter Stroll by Elin Hilderbrand
Some rereads!  I think I've read all of Ms. Hilderbrand's books and have enjoyed most of them, these among my favorites.  The third book in the trilogy came out in October (posted about here) and Winter Stroll (#2) made my "best of 2015" list here.  These are set around the Quinn family who run an inn on Nantucket and all of the things that happen to them around the holidays.  Lovely, cozy books I'll probably reread for many years to come.  4 Stars

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
This is very much not the type of book I normally read.  The only other Sci-fy book I can think that I've read was The Martian and that was a completely different type.  This book takes place in the not so distant future (2044 maybe?) and revolves around this virtual reality most people participate/live their lives in.  Like attend school as an avatar while sitting in an abandoned van.  The creator of this game hid an Easter Egg that would give the finder/winner his billions.  Naturally, billions of people dedicate their lives to finding it.  There are a ton of 80s references and things like Star Wars comes up more than once.  It's a little terrifying to think about lives being lived completely virtually but also, not that much of a stretch.  I had some super weird dreams while reading this book.  I enjoyed it while maybe rolling my eyes a few times but I also got Matt to read it, which he is currently!  That's a pretty good sign if he's making it his single read for the year.  3.75 Stars

A Hundred Summers by Beatriz Williams
With all the hustle and bustle of Christmas I really like reading familiar books, ones I know I'll enjoy reading.  I don't want to waste my time on bad books that time of year, hence many of the rereads here.  This one is probably my favorite of hers and has grown on me a little more with each read.  The story of Lily Dane who is a socialite in the 1930s.  I so enjoy this book, especially around New Years when a large portion of the flashback part of the book is set.  4.5 Stars

Jesus Today: Experiencing Hope in His Presence by Sarah Young
This is the devotional I read throughout 2016.  I had read Jesus Calling in 2015 and so enjoyed it so asked for this one for Christmas to read last year.  Sometimes I need to be reminded to keep hoping and this was so perfect for that.  I'm reading another of her devotionals this year and then plan to circle back to Jesus Calling to repeat them all!  (Also, this one only has 150 entries so plenty of grace for the days I forgot...) 5 Stars

Victoria by Daisy Goodwin
Having enjoyed the movie The Young Victoria I thought I would enjoy this book.  And while I did, I thought it wasn't fantastically written and when I read that the author was also writing the screenplay for the upcoming (starts this week!) PBS Masterpiece program, well that made sense.  I could see how this could translate better on screen since there wasn't a lot of emotion written into the book.  I have the DVR set to record the show so we'll see if I like that better.  It was interesting but if you aren't already interested in the British royal family, I would probably avoid. 3 Stars

The Greatest Gift: Unwrapping the Full Love Story of Christmas by Ann Voskamp
I've mentioned this book before, purchasing it 6 months ago so I could read over the past Christmas season.  It goes through the Jesse Tree with reading and reflections for each day, December 1st - 25th.  It really did help me focus on the meaning of Christmas, while in the midst of all the shopping, wrapping, decorating, and baking.  I plan to read again this Christmas! 4.5 Stars

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
I've mentioned this book so many times as my favorite YA read ever and while I can now put it down easier than my first read (that one started at 11pm and ended at 3am with a finished book), I still manage to get through it pretty quick every time.  Eleanor & Park are unlikely friends who meet on the bus in the 80s.  SO perfectly captures those easy feelings of falling in love for the first time.  5 Stars

The Mothers by Brit Bennett
This book was very highly touted so I decided to read it.  It is about Nadia who "gets in trouble" with the pastor's son Luke.  They have to deal with the consequences.  I read A LOT of reviews on Goodreads trying to determine if the "consequences" involved having an abortion.  Spoiler: it did (which isn't much of a spoiler because it was first mentioned on page 2).  That gave me very mixed feelings about the book to start and...I don't think I would recommend it.  I did find the look at that church life (the "Mothers" refers to the older group of mothers at the church where Nadia and Luke met) fascinating but I couldn't connect with any of the characters.  Definitely not worth the hype for me. 2.5 Stars

Grace Grows by Shelle Sumners 
This was a reread, I think for the third time, so obviously one I enjoy.  It's not high literature by any means but every time I start it I have a hard time putting it down.  I think I read it this time in a little over 24 hours and that was fully knowing the plot and how it ended!  Definitely a super easy and enjoyable read for me.  4.5 Stars

10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing my Edge, and Found Self-Help that Actually Works by Dan Harris
I've enjoyed The Happiness Project and Happier at Home (both by Gretchen Rubin) so I thought I might like this one too.  It was a very different kind of self-help that was entirely centered around different types of meditation.   That's his theory for being happier: meditation.  Which, I don't practice BUT there was also a lot about living in the moment and fully participating in the moment without always thinking/planning ahead or looking back.  Which is a lesson I could definitely use.  Like appreciate how wonderful it feels when Luke holds my hand walking across a parking lot instead of going through my mental grocery list.  It was a pretty quick and easy read and the overall message was worthwhile. 3 Stars

The City Baker's Guide to Country Living by Louise Miller
There were points where I really enjoyed this book.  There were also points I didn't really.  I loved all the food descriptions, those were fantastic but the plot was slightly predictable and a little wandering. But, I enjoyed it and still thought about the characters after finishing so there is that.  3 Stars

The Other Daughter by Lauren Willig
This book was a bear to get through.  I picked it up because she was one of the co-authors of a book I enjoyed (The Forgotten Room, mentioned here and here) and I was ready for some fresh books in my library baskets, seeing as I'm STILL working through the end of this pile from November.  I was also in a strange, unfocused mood when I first picked it up which did help me get into the book.  I thought the characters were pretty flimsy and the plot...I just didn't care.  It may have been my mood...but this certainly wasn't the right book for me at the time I was reading it.  2 Stars

Mrs. Kennedy and Me by Clint Hill with Lisa McCubbin 
I read this on my aunt's recommendation after she saw I enjoyed The Residence a few months back.  I wasn't alive during the Kennedy administration, not by almost 2 decades but there are certain parts of that time that are still rather well known.  Clint Hill was the Secret Service officer assigned to Jackie Kennedy from right after the election until a year after JFK's death.  He recounts the time he spent with her and all the places he traveled with her, specifically covering being right there when JFK was shot in Dallas.  I don't know that the family would have wanted all those details made public?  From what I gather he didn't publish the book until Jackie had died.  Anyways, it was still a fascinating and interesting read, I got through it in a little over 24 hours and it's 300 pages (with pictures).  Recommend if you are interested in history or the presidency and those logistics.  (slightly associated reading: The Pink Suit) 3.75 Stars

Love hearing others' thought on books you've read also!  Or always open to recommendations!

December Quick Lit
November Quick Lit
October Quick Lit

No comments: