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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REVIEW: Wide-Open World by John Marshall

I have been on a travel writing kick ever since I had a square for it on my Summer Reading Bingo card last year. That must have been how I ran across Wide-Open World by John Marshall. It was a worthy addition to my current reading obsession!

This was a real life book about doing something kind of crazy that was at the same time relatable. It starts with a couple with two teenagers that is drifting apart. Their marriage isn't terrible, but it's not great, and they feel like they're about to lose their kids to facebook and adulthood. They would love to drop it all, and travel for a year, but aren't sure how to swing it. They realize that by leveraging volunteer work they might be able to swing it.

I'll cut to the chase: these are not self righteous, I'm better than you because I help people instead of traveling types. If you're afraid reading this book will make you feel bad about your next trip to the hotel swimming pool don't be. These are people who initially use volunteer work as a way to help them travel, but who end up being changed for the better by it. This book includes the good, the bad, and the ugly, and that's what makes it so likable.

Other armchair travel I've enjoyed:

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