Thursday, December 13, 2018

Quick Lit - December

I feel like I write these much more than once a month.  Maybe because I'm reading a lot more than once a month?  Although not as much as I would prefer lately because CHRISTMAS.  Why am I always so shocked at how much time it takes to put together?

Here's everything I've finished in the past month-ish.  Now I just have another TWELVE books to finish by the end of the year to hit my revised book goal.  I'm currently in the middle of 4 of those.  Maybe once the shopping is done but before school is done for the year I can fit in a lot of extra reading?  Maybe.  Hopefully.

Only one other book post recently:  Book Love: I'll Be There For You: The One about Friends by Kelsey Miller.

I'm linking up with Modern Mrs. Darcy, on Goodreads here, and Instagram here.  I'm in the Goodreads app at least once a day, hopefully more in the coming weeks as I knock out all these books!

A Fall of Marigolds by Susan Meissner
Usually I can remember where I get book recs.  This one I have NO IDEA but was pleasantly surprised by it.  It's told in two timelines, 100 years apart - 1911 and 2011, with one woman who survived the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire and one who survived 9/11.  They are both in possession of the same scarf and how it got from one woman to the other isn't revealed until the very end (and I didn't figure it out).  The 1911 storyline also largely takes place on Ellis Island which is a place that holds extra interest for me this year since we were almost there (as in, on the ferry that docked there while people, including my parents and in-laws got off, and we continued back to Manhattan with two tired boys).  I read a lot of books set in NYC and so I've read many references to 9/11 but this one was right there and that made it extra interesting (and horrifying) to me, as a person who wasn't there that day.  3.5 Stars
Homebody: A Guide to Creating Spaces You Never Want to Leave by Joanna Gaines
I read a few home design books a year and this one was filled with pretty pictures but I didn't find much that I could apply to my actual home.  I think it also hurt my opinion of it, having just read Cozy Minimalist Home a few days earlier and having found that a lot more practical and useful.  Also, I've only seen one episode of Fixer Upper, haven't read any of her other books, and don't follow her on Instagram.  So maybe hardcore fans of hers would like this more.  3 Stars
The Coincidence Makers by Yoav Blum
I liked the premise of this book: that there are a team of people who arrange coincidences for people so certain things can happen.  But as can also happen with an idea like that, I felt like about halfway through it got bogged down in the details of explaining this job and super natural-ish world.  So rather ehhhh about it overall.  2.5 Stars
The Pink Suit by Nicole Mary Kelby
A reread that I like enough to own!  Based on the true story of the dress shop that made clothes for Jackie Kennedy, often based off European designs but made in New York so they could say they were American made.  It follows one (fictional) seamstress who made the famous Pink Suit and her life in New York in the 1960s.  I always really enjoy this one and always end in a rabbit trail on Wikipedia afterwards, reading about what happened to the real Pink Suit.  4.25 Stars

An Age of License: A Travelogue by Lucy Knisley
This is the point of the month where I was knocking through A LOT of graphic novels and short books that I honestly did want to read but also needed to get through some books fast to hit my goal.  I've read Lucy Knisley's previous graphic memoirs and this was a shorter one that was mostly about a couple week trip she took to Europe.  It was interesting, I'll never do that "travel around Europe for a few weeks in my 20s" thing, mainly because I am no longer in my 20s and also have two small children.  But it's interesting reading about someone else doing it!  3 Stars 

Spinning by Tillie Walden
Another graphic memoir and I was surprised when I picked it up at the library at how THICK it was.  But the pages turned fast.  Started out as a memoir about the author's life as a competitive figure skating (which sounds...not fun) and then turned into more about her life.  I appreciate the time it must take to make these but I wasn't super into it. 2.5 Stars 

Displacement: A Travelogue by Lucy Knisley
Another one by Lucy Knisley, about a cruise she took her elderly grandparents on.  It made me miss cruising, super miss my grandparents and also super super glad I was never responsible for my grandparents on a cruise.  3.25 Stars

Chopsticks by Jessica Anthony
Another graphic novel, I know, a lot.  This one was told through photographs and not drawings and I just...didn't really get it.  Again, appreciate the time it takes to make but this one really wasn't for me. 2 Stars 

Frindle by Andrew Clements
How had I never read this book until now?  It's middle grade, in fact my sister recently read it to her grade school aged kids.  About a student (5th grade?) that decides to change the word for "pen" to "frindle" and then convinces his whole class to go along with it.  Their teacher is super into the dictionary and there is a battle that ensues.  This was so charming and so well done.  Would recommend for pretty much any school aged kid (or adult who missed it).  I even got choked up at the end.  (And if you liked this, then try Wednesday Wars which is longer but also fantastic.) 4.5 Stars

Something New: Tales from a Makeshift Bride by Lucy Knisley
The last graphic memoir FOR NOW.  This was a much longer book about her romance, engagement, wedding planning, and then planning.  We have different opinions on some things but there was a lot I agreed with her one - like HOW can weddings cost so much and who spends that kind of money on one???   It made me glad I am a decade + removed from planning a wedding.  3 Stars

Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are So You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be by Rachel Hollis
I saw this book all over and my sister lent it to me months ago but I just finally got to it.  I feel like I read the whole thing in school pick-up line, which isn't true but it's what I remember.  The title pretty much sums it up.  She is a pretty privileged white women, living in LA, whose husband had a fancy job where they went to the Oscars at least once.  A lot of negative reviews I saw for this on Goodreads had people complaining about all those things.  BUT, she did have some good advice and sometimes you just need a verbal kick in the behind.  4 Stars

Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty
This was very hyped and the library hold line was over 100 people long when my copy came in (I put it on hold back in September or so).  It's about 9 strangers who all go to the same health/wellness retreat in Australia.   Then things get weird.  My interest died out a little about 2/3 of the way through when said things got weird but it tied things up nicely.  Didn't like as much as What Alice Forgot or Big Little Lies but definitely better than Truly, Madly, Guilty 3.25 Stars

Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson
I didn't like the first book of hers I read but really enjoyed the other two I've already read this year.  Cute, charming, sweet YA is always a good way for me to get out of a reading slump or just get through a book fast.  Maybe because it's just nice to be reminded of falling in love as a teen and how things that felt like they were life or death at the time really, probably, weren't.  It was charming and I didn't see what was so special about the friend that was gone but overall it was pretty enjoyable.  3.5 Stars

What have YOU been reading lately?  Do you think I can finish 12 more books this year?  Books recs and encouragement always appreciated in the comments!           

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