September 2017 Quick Lit

From a road trip to Indiana -- seems like a nice place, but I was obsessed with finishing Glass Houses, so...

From a road trip to Indiana -- seems like a nice place, but I was obsessed with finishing Glass Houses, so...

Each month I link with Modern Mrs. Darcy's Quick Lit as a way to talk about the books I liked, but didn't review. Well, I've been in such a back to school slump that my list is a whopping two book long this month. But really there's only one that matters:

Glass Houses by Louise Penny -- I never buy print books any more (out of room in my house), but I made an exception for this one. It didn't disappoint. These books leave me so emotionally drained, but in a good way. This one had a little different format that previous books in the series - it switched between a trial in the present day, and a murder in the past. I don't always love it when authors tell a story that way, but it worked here.

Also, I love Ruth.

Summer At Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan -- Simple and predictable, just what I needed for reading in the car while my husband drove us along the PA turnpike.

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May 2017 Quick Lit

Making my way through The Winds of War on my hammock last weekend. A long book read outdoors=Heaven.

Making my way through The Winds of War on my hammock last weekend. A long book read outdoors=Heaven.

Each month I link with Modern Mrs. Darcy's Quick Lit as a way to talk about the books I liked, but didn't review.

This is my busy season - things are crazy at work, and my kids are both playing sports while trying to complete their year end commitments for Scouts and Religious Education. Each year I say I'm not going to let them leave everything until the end, but each year we have the same situation. I am practically living out of my car at this point. Hence I need to fill my library bag with cozy, fluffy reading material.

The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet by Bernie Su and Kate Rorick - I never watched the web series it was based on, but still enjoyed this cute modern Pride and Prejudice. In this retelling Lizzie and co live in California and work in tech.

Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter - This book about a Hollywood starlet in a backwater Italian town was funny in a subtle way. I enjoyed it a lot. Perfect summer reading.

Leave the Grave Green by Deborah Crombie - I'm slowly making my way through this series. These are always reliable, good, short books I can read over a weekend.

What have you been reading lately?

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REVIEW: Paul McCartney: The Life by Philip Norman

This is my second review for The Armchair Audies.

This biography of Paul McCartney starts like a lot of biographies of stars starts - with a forward detailing the author's relationship to a star and his or her work. And so I will start this review. Like most liberal arts students I went through a Sergeant Pepper phase in college, but when I think of Paul McCartney I think of my Dad's music more than mine. That may have clouded my ability to listen to 30 hours and 44 minutes of the details of Paul's life on audiobook.

I enjoyed the history of the Beatles, and a more R rated view of their time in Hamburg that Malcolm Gladwell made famous in Outliers. I also really liked learning the backgrounds behind their songs. Fans had a tendency to make all of the songs about drugs. In many cases they were right (Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds), but they were also wrong sometimes (Fixing a Hole was about DIY, not heroin.)

But then things start to drag. The breakup, tax troubles, Yoko troubles, and drug use seem to go on forever. Many parts are repetitive as well. We must have heard about the meatloaf Linda McCartney used to make before she became an animal rights activist five times. By the end I was repeatedly checking the counter to see how much more I had to go.

I did love the narrator for this audio book. The accent was perfect. It sounded like someone who could have grown up in Liverpool with Paul.

I'd recommend this book if you're a super fan, but otherwise skip it.

March 2017 Quick Lit

Late winter means lighting candles.

Late winter means lighting candles.

Each month I link with Modern Mrs. Darcy's Quick Lit as a way to talk about the books I liked, but didn't review.

I read so many amazing books last month, which is possibly why I'm in a reading slump right now. I'm not sweating it, because these books need room to breath and percolate in my brain. If you're looking for something absorbing to read you can't go wrong with anything here.

Kindred by Octavia Butler - This is a story of Dana, a African-American woman who is sent back in time very time her distant, slave owning, white relative needed his foolish life saved. It's science-fiction mixed with historical fiction. Dana's trials had me on the edge of my seat. Before I picked it up, I was put off by the 1970's setting in this book, but really it read like it was written yesterday. Plus the main character was a time traveler, so she wasn't in the 70's much anyway.

Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly - It's funny that in the 90's when I was studying physics the story I was told is that not many women had done it before. Turns out NASA had hired many, many women physicists and mathematicians in the past, but they just didn't want us to know. Even if you don't have a physics degree read this book. It's very inspiring. If you liked Hidden Figures check out Rise of the Rocket Girls too.

Cherries in Winter by Suzan Colon - This was a quick read about a woman who got laid off around 2008, and the connection it gave her to her relatives that had to struggle before her. It was a sweet story, and it had recipes. Perfect for a winter's day.

Falling Angels by Tracy Chevalier - Two friends from slightly different sides of the track hang out in the cemetery with their friend a grave digger. It's not nearly as weird as it sounds. In fact, it's great. I read this one in less than a day because I was so absorbed in it.

The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri - I put off reading this forever. Why? Jhumpa Lahiri is so great. This book is all about forgiveness told in only the way Lahiri can tell it. You feel like you're there.

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