Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Quick Lit - March

It's time to talk about everything I read this month!  Besides these books, which got their own posts (and which may or may not have actually been read in the last 30 days.):

Book Love: The Sea of Tranquility
Book Love: Christy Miller & Forever Friends

Book Love: The Little House Series
Book Love: Moon over Manifest

{5} Books in Paris

As always, linking up with Modern Mrs. Darcy.  You can also find me on Goodreads!  I take great pleasure in marking books as read and getting them off my to-read list!  Friend me if you are over there too!

All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai
I mainly picked this book up because it sounded like something my husband might read and I'm always looking for books he'll read.  And I was intriguied by the premise: a man lives in the 2016 that the people of the 1950s thought we would have: flying cars, robots doing everything, basically, the Jetsons.  Then through some time-travel incidents, he ends up in OUR 2016 and thinks it's all sorts of backwards.  Why don't we have all this crazy innovation?  So he tries to get back to his 2016.  And time-travel things happen.  It started strong.  Then the end was a bit too much time-travel-y?  I mean, there are inherent problems with that sort of story line and this definitely got a little muddled towards the end.  But the premise is still intriguing and if you are into sci-fi-ish reads, you might enjoy this too (I don't think my husband is going to read it, back to the library it goes.)  3 Stars

4:09:43: Boston 2013 Through the Eyes of the Runners by Hal Higdon
I added this book to my to-read list since we were just in Boston last fall and saw the finish line for the Boston Marathon, it was right around the corner of our hotel (which did get a mention in the book).  The book seemed to mostly focus on the stories of runners who were done and away from the finish line when the bombing occurred (I've learned that 4:09 is a pretty slow time to run the Boston Marathon).  And it was a lot of lead up to the bombing and not a lot of the aftermath of it.  BUT it did make me want to run the Boston Marathon even though I have no desire to really run any marathon, Boston just sounds like fun.  (It's never going to happen because I'm never going to run a marathon in order to qualify, much less have the times to qualify.) 3.5 Stars

Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink
I read this book at least once in my childhood and I still have my copy (which I believe my godparents gave me some 20 years ago).  After reading all the Little House books this year it was really interesting to read the story of Caddie and her family, who are based on the author's grandmother growing up in Wisconsin, roughly the same time as Laura Ingalls.  I can't help but compare the two books and they do have a similar tone, probably largely due to the time and location.  Caddie's family seems down-right wealthy compared to the Ingalls but her adventures are just as wonderful.  I really enjoyed reading this again and would recommend to any fans of the Little House books, especially because this is one, pretty easy, book to get through! 4.5 Stars

Make it Happen: Surrender Your Fear, Take the Leap, Live on Purpose by Lara Casey
This could be a really good book for people who need that push to do whatever it is that they dream of doing.  Maybe I've just read too many similar books lately but I just wasn't too inspired.  There was some good stuff in there, but I didn't walk away with any major life changes or revelations or the push to do whatever it is that I "want" to do.  I mean, adoption is the big thing right now and we are already working at that pretty hard.  But I do think this would be a very good book for others...I just am not the ideal target audience right now.  3 Stars

Chasing Slow: Courage to Journey off the Beaten Path by Erin Loechner
I loved this bookErin lived many busy years in Southern California where her husband worked in film and she did design, even having their own show for two seasons.  She seemingly had it all, and then things happened and a (near) cross country move (to a familiar place...) happened and they went on living their still wonderful lives at a slower place and with more gratitude.  She talks about slowing down to focus more on what really matters and it resonated so much with me, even without an show to give up.  It really made me think and her writing style was so relatable.  I loved it.  4.5 Stars

My (Part-Time) Paris Life: How Running Away Brought Me Home by Lisa Anselmo
First of all, this cover gets an A+ from me and I most definitely judged this book by it.  It's what made me want to add it to my list.  And I'm a bit of a sucker for the "I quit my life and moved to Paris" genre that I have mentioned here many times.  This had a lot of those elements that I enjoy but also a lot about dealing with grief which was a different take.  I still really enjoyed it, as I do most of the type, and it, again, made me a little glad that moving to Paris and dealing with some of their (seemingly) crazy laws is not in my future.  3.5 Stars

Dinner: A Love Story by Jenny Rosenstratch   
I read her How to Celebrate Everything book before my last Quick Lit and really enjoyed it, enough that I picked up this one about making family dinner a priority (and with recipes).  I grew up eating supper with my whole family almost every night (until high school marching band practice got in the way) and have such fond memories of those days of us all packed around the table sharing a meal and our days.  It was always going to be a priority in our house.  What I appreciated here was the confirmation that it's important, how to make it a reality when there are busy work schedules involved (not that I have that...), with plenty of good recipes.  I marked WAY too many to make, things that look easy enough I'll actually attempt them!  And then maybe I'll feel slightly more accomplished in the kitchen.  4 Stars

This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper
I picked up this book after Matt and I watched the movie a few weeks ago.  We were both pleasantly surprised by the movie, liking it more than we expected although we went in with very low expectations.  Warning: there is a decent amount of language in both the book and the movie and some strange situations and it's definitely not for everyone.  BUT it was an interesting look at family and I really like the idea of the Jewish shiva - sitting for 7 days after the death of a loved one.  Certainly would make for interesting family dynamics. 3.5 Stars

You Can Buy Happiness (And it's Cheap): How One Woman Radically Simplified Her Life and You Can Too by Tammy Strobel 
I'm a sucker for books about minimalism (ish) and people making rather drastic changes to their lives (she lives in a tiny house now!).  It could have used a little more editing maybe because it was a little scattered but it was barely 200 pages so, again, easy to get through regardless.  And she gave me some things to think about as far as possessions and reasons for simplifying.  Not the best book I've read about living with less but not the worst either.  3 Stars

First Women: The Grace and Power of America's Modern First Ladies by Kate Andersen Brower
I've read a lot of White House books lately and this one was by the same author as The Residence which I read and enjoyed last fall.  In our very heated current political climate, it's rather refreshing to took a mostly non-political look at the presidents and their families.  This one focused on the First Ladies from Jackie Kennedy through Michelle Obama but the writing felt rather scattered, jumping between different ladies.  I do feel like I "know" them all a little better now, especially the ones that came before I was alive.  Obviously Hillary Clinton was included and there were frequent mentions of what Bill's role might be if she was elected.  This book was published last October, maybe?  Pre-election anyways.  Maybe they should have waited until the election to publish instead of including all the speculation because it feels dated already.  Just include Hillary's role as first lady and go through Michelle Obama, that seems like it would have been the cleaner cut-off point.  Or wait until the election and then include what needs to be included because now it's a rather moot point what Bill's role would be if Hillary was president.  Those parts just really took me out of the book which I mostly enjoyed.  3 Stars

All the Light we Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
I heard this book mentioned so many places as a great World War II read.  I think maybe it was overhyped for me.  While I enjoyed it, it also wasn't super easy to get through.  Parts were just the horrors of what was happening at that time which makes me feel like a horrible person for even saying it was hard to read because living through it had to be a million times worse.  Overall, not the most compelling WWII book I've read but that might just be the overhype issue.  It was good.  Just not "oh my goodness amazing".  3 Stars

What did you read and enjoy in the past month??

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