Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Quick Lit - October

Welcome back to Quick Lit!  Where I always aim for short reviews of what I've been reading but rarely succeed in the short.  I felt like I haven't finished as much lately but that's partly due to starting my once every 5 year Harry Potter reread and getting through the 4th, 700+ page book, is no joke.  Even though they are aimed at (and read by) people much younger than me, I've read them all multiple times, AND I'm a fairly quick reader.  Nope, still took a few days.  Always blocking out the days I'll need to get through the last 3!

I'm on Instagram here (although it's mostly fall foliage content right now and not books) and Goodreads here (no fall foliage there!).  Linking up with Modern Mrs. Darcy here!  Two other book posts in the past month:

 And now everything else I've been reading!

The Lions of Fifth Avenue by Fiona Davis
This author writes stories set in famous New York buildings (the last was in Grand Central Terminal) and even though we've only been past the Fifth Avenue Library (almost exactly 10 years ago to the day!), I was still very intrigued to read this.  Tells the story of a woman whose family lives in the library and how their lives were shattered.  Interwoven with a person closer to present day who is investigating their lives.  I love reading about New York, and historical New York, and how different people lives.  This had a few surprising cross-overs with the Molly Murphy series I've been reading all year.  I don't remember all the details but I know I liked it. 3.5 Stars

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
Oh Harry Potter, we meet again. As I said, five years ago I realized I hadn't read Harry Potter in awhile and so decided I would reread them every five years (although I'm thinking my next reread will be sooner than that, when I introduce Luke to the series).  I started reading Harry Potter in college, when my younger sister got me to watch part of the 1st movie with her and then I got hooked on her books.  I bought the final book when Matt & I were on our trip to Hawaii and then had to "fight" him to read it on our long flight back.  I was struck by how quick the first two books went, how I didn't really feel like the story was completely fleshed out.  That is sharply contrasted by the 4th book that could have been a smidge shorter.  I know all the plot points and I know what is going to happen but it is still so fun to revisit and reread them again.  Average 4.25 Stars (Prisoner of Azkaban is my favorite of the series and helped raise that average a bit)

So You Want to Talk about Race by Ijeoma Oluo
Yes, I do want to talk about and understand race, specifically in America, better.  This did help with that and it didn't make for a comfortable read but that's kinda the point.  I appreciate Black men & women (well, I've only read books written by Black females so far on the topic of race) sharing their stories and struggles.  I don't really feel I can rate it but I appreciated being able to read it and not live it.

The Secret French Recipes of Sophie Valroux by Samantha Verant
First off, this has a fantastic cover.  Second, it's about food, set in France, and features the frequent "runs away to France to escape a life in the States" trope that I've read multiple times but usually enjoy.  I had read a previous memoir (about running away to France to escape life in the States/towards love) by this author and I could tell that this was her first novel.  The memoir was stronger and this had good bones, just a few too many cliches. 3 Stars

Find Your Path: Honor Your Body, Fuel Your Soul and Get Strong with the Fit52 Life by Carrie Underwood
I like Carrie Underwood, I've seen her in concert 3 times and I think I own all her CDs (not all physical copies of them and also not yet her Christmas album that came out in late September because that's too early, even for me).  I was intrigued by her book and finally read it.  She is INTENSE with her diet and fitness and kudos to her.  It gave me some things to reconsider food wise and I wouldn't be opposed to switching up some of my workouts but I will never do either as well as she seems to.  Still, I enjoyed it. 3.5 Stars

The Voting Booth by Brandy Colbert
This reminded of The Sun is Also a Star in that two teens meet and spend one day together, doing something that could vaguely be considered political and develop feelings for each other even though they never met before the day in the book.  I have a hard time believing that, even though both books are with teens and they might think they can fall in something like love (like like) in a day.  Voting is important and I appreicate the lengths these characters went to to do that.  I was less interested in an Instagram famous cat storyline because I am just not an animal person. But I liked The Sun is Also a Star better. 3 Stars

The Happy Ever After Playlist by Abby Jimenez
I had checked this book out of the library at least once (and then returned it) before I finally read it.  I knew it was romance but I wasn't overly impressed with the first in this series and so wasn't in a hurry to pick up this one.  Then it was surprisingly delightful; I really enjoyed the first 2/3 of the book.  Then the last 1/3 tied up a lot of ends just a little too neatly and maybe I was expecting it to be really good after I had very low expectations for the beginning and then I liked it.  Expectations ruin a lot of things.  Romance, a little racy, man and woman fall in love, there are obstacles, can they overcome them?!?!?  Nobody knows (everybody knows they will).  But I appreciate the lightness of a mostly fun romance occasionally. 3 Stars

Troubles in Paradise by Elin Hilderbrand
Elin Hilderbrand is one of my favorite authors and I enjoyed almost everything she writes. I own around 10 of her books and have read quite a few of them more than once (5 of her books I reread every. single. year.)  She is reliable and compulsively readable.  This is the third and final installment in a trilogy about a man who had a second family in the Caribbean.  His wife finds out about this when he died mysteriously on New Years Day.  She goes to investigate, her two adult sons follow, and they all get wrapped up in drama and relationships on the same island.  It's a little outlandish but mostly fun and very page-turn-y.  I really enjoy her new books twice a year even if I don't always remember all the plot points. 4 Stars

Read with Luke
Betsy's Little Star by Carolyn Haywood
This was the last chapter book I read with Luke, the continuing adventures of Betsy, this one heavily featuring Betsy's little sister, Star.  I received this book (and another later in the series) from my godparents for approximately my 8th birthday and read them both so many times.  It was one of those exact copies I pulled out to read with Luke and it was so delightful revisiting with him.  We still have quite a few Betsy books to go; we need to get back in the chapter book routine. 4 Stars

That's what I've been reading lately; what have YOU been reading?

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