Thursday, April 15, 2021

Quick Lit - April 2021

I like feeling a bit on top of things and lately I have been feeling...not that way.  It feels like more of an accomplishment than it should to actually have this posting on the 15th!  And in the morning!  I've been doing a lot of reading lately, I don't know how (maybe less reading would help me feel on top of everything else in my life...should consider that) because life has felt pretty busy since the weather has warmed up.  Even if our plans mostly consist of playing outside, family bike rides, running, and walking to pickup (which isn't far but does take longer than driving).  Plus, Sam has realllllly not been a great sleeper (nighttime and naps) since we took the side off his crib so that has been...not fun.  Not fun at all.  

Linking up with Modern Mrs. Darcy, I'm on Instagram here (where I sometimes post about books) and Goodreads here (which I keep very updated).  

One of my three posts since my last Quick Lit was actually book related:

Everything else I've been reading! 

Birds of a Feather, Pardonable Lies by Jacqueline Winspear
These are Maisie Dobbs books #2 & #3.  I am still working through the series and getting more used to her writing and the setting.  I liked #3 the best of the 3 so far, maybe I found the mysteries more interesting and easier to track?  I'm going to keep going but for some reason there are no available copies of #4 in the library system, crazy for a book more than 10 years old! 3.5 Stars

Come Fly the World: The Jet-Age Story of the Women of Pan Am by Julia Cooke
I was really looking forward to this book because I really enjoyed the TV series PanAm.  And we took this trip right after I had watched the premiere of the show and it just made flying seem more glamorous than it had before.  This book was some the history of PanAm and what stewardesses jobs and requirements were like back then, but also some of the moments in history that PanAm was a part of (they did routes for years of taking soldiers to Vietnam as well as ferrying them to Hawaii or Australia for leave).  It wasn't quite what I was expecting but I mostly enjoyed it.  Cover is great. 3.25 Stars

Everything After by Jill Santopolo
This book really reminded of Grace Grows and Last Night at Chateau Marmont, all books where musicians are getting famous and NYC plays a prominent role.  This was a girl who had broken up with her college (?) boyfriend when later (nearly a decade) she recognized a song playing on the radio as one he had sung to her.  They were back in each others' lives.  I was halfway through the book and I had three very viable options for how the book would end, which was good.  Also, there was a character named Diana which I always like to see.  This was pretty much exactly what I expected it to be. 3.75 Stars

The Duchess of Cambridge: A Decade of Modern Royal Style by Bethan Holt
The British Royals are the only "celebrities" I will admit to being fascinated by.  I got up at 4:30am, on my first day off in 4 months, to watch Will & Kate's wedding.  We went to London 13 months later, largely because I decided I wanted to while watching their wedding.  I am definitely interested in books on Kate's royal style.  This was a better book so if you feel drawn to read about the British Royals' style but just want to read one that and not this. 3.5 Stars

Fighting Words by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
This was a engrossing but hard book to read, covering topics such as foster care, abuse, parental abandonment, and self-harm.  BUT it was a worthwhile read if those are not triggers for you.  Two sisters, in foster care after bad situation after bad situation.  Obviously some harm and hurt in their past.  It was not a cozy pre-bedtime read (which is mainly when I read it) but I appreciated it and really felt for the girls.  I feel like I still need updates on these (fictional) characters to make sure they are ok.  (They are doesn't matter.) 4 Stars

The Ex Talk by Rachel Lynn Solomon
I try to balance out my historical and current day (ish) set books, so I am not drowning in historical fiction, which is what my TBR seems to be full of, fiction wise.  This was a modern book I could get quickly from the library so I read and enjoyed it.  Two work enemies of sorts pretend to be ex's for the sake of a radio show/podcast.  Then they might stop being enemies and maybe something more.  I don't listen to radio shows but I do love some podcasts which made this extra fun.  3.75 Stars

Dragon Hoops by Gene Luen Yang
Almost every graphic novel I've read has been great and they are always quick reads, just a heads up if you are trying to sneak in some more books.  This was about a California high school basketball team who keeps coming up just short in the state finals game.  I know.  I wasn't immediately gripped either by the topic but I heard it was great so I picked it up.  And it was great.  Graphic novelist blow me away with their ability to draw AND tell a story (I'm not sure I can do either) and I really felt for all these kids. 4.25 Stars

Sustainable Minimalism: Embrace Zero Waste, Build Sustainability Habits that Last, and Become a Minimalist without Sacrificing the Planet by Stephanie Marie Seferian
Luke will tell me "Mom, you love getting rid of stuff." and he's right, I do.  There is something so calming and freeing about newly cleared space where space didn't used to be clear.  I am also getting more interested in reducing what we throw away and using less plastic, especially one time use plastic I don't see a way we will ever fully eliminate it from our lives but little changes we make can help.  So I appreciated that this book focused on both those things and how to do them together.  The zero waste tips start easy (many of which we already do) and get harder (most of which we don't) but I'm trying to implement 5 actionable items from the book and then in a few weeks/months/year, slowly do more.  This book was very inspiring. 4.5 Stars

The Lieutenant's Nurse by Sara Ackerman
I've read all of Sara Ackerman's released books (3) this year and have really enjoyed them all (if I get to it, there will be a blog post coming about them).  All have been set on Hawaii during World War II.  This one was mostly set on Oahu (and on a boat on the trip to Oahu) in the days before and after the attack on Pearl Harbor.  About a nurse who came to Oahu to follow her Minnesotan boyfriend but became friends with a lieutenant on the boat ride over.  I really enjoyed it.  It made me miss Hawaii, cruises, and be glad I'm not living in real war-time. 4 Stars

Growing Boldly: Dare to Build a Life You Love by Emily Ley
Emily Ley is another author I've read all her books (adult books, I think she has one for teen girls too which I haven't read) and I'm on my 3rd year of her Simplified Planners.  I have read A LOT of books in this "take control of your life and live your dreams" books in the last ~5 years.  I don't know if that just means it's a popular genre or if subconsciously I just have dreams I should follow but am not.  It did make me think about a few things I could do that have been simmering in my mind though so that's something.  Apparently I'm all about actionable steps this month! 3.75 Stars

Cleo McDougal Regrets Nothing by Allison Winn Scotch
This was not exactly the book I wanted to be reading over Easter, political set doesn't exactly scream "He is risen!" to me.  BUT, it's the book I had here so it is what I was reading.  Cleo McDougal is a young senator (37, my age) who is considering running for president when a former close friend from high school speaks out against her.  That leads to Cleo's team wanting her to come up with 5 regrets from her past that she's make amends for/take some step against (she's all about actionable steps too).  I appreciated that it was a political novel that actually wasn't very political (you can assume which party she represents but it never actually says) and looks at how our representatives and senators run their office (even fictional ones) and think through things is interesting to me.  I really enjoyed it. 3.5 Stars

Minimalist Moms: Living and Parenting with Simplicity by Diane Boden
I was on a minimalism streak this month and also for the last, say, 6 years.  I've been listening to the Minimalist Moms podcast for awhile and appreciated her book by the same name (she lives in Ohio, which is close to Indiana and her name is Diane which is very close to Diana!).  I liked that she emphasized getting enough sleep and zero waste as well as the usual topics of clearing your schedule and shelves.  Both minimalism books I read this month were black and white paperbacks which I supposed is easier on the environment but strange not having the pretty glossy colored pictures.  I just found it noteworthy in books on minimalism.  3.5 Stars

Read with Luke
The Fuzzy Apocalypse by Jonathan Messinger
A long time ago, over 3 years, I wrote about liking the Finn Caspian story podcast for kids because Luke liked it so much which was helpful for me.  Quiet time went a lot better when he had a stack of episodes to get through.  He still listens to Finn, there are still new episodes being made and I think he's listened to all of them multiple times.  This is the first novel that I don't think is direct from a podcast episode but I haven't listened to nearly all of them so I can't be sure.  Luke didn't seem to know what was going to happen next so I'm assuming original story.  Finn is 10ish and lives on a spaceship and him and his friends are given a lot of freedom in exploring space.  Just go with it.  They have adventures, this one on a planet that is about to explode.  Quick chapters and we already have the 2nd book in the series to go when we finish our current read aloud.

What have YOU been reading?

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