Thursday, September 15, 2016

What I've Been Reading Lately (Quick Lit)

Today I'm linking up with Modern Mrs. Darcy's Quick Lit to bring you some short and sweet reviews of what I've read in the past month. For longer reviews, you can always find me on Goodreads.

My reading has definitely slowed down compared to all the reading I did during my travels and downtime this summer, but I'm still keeping up a good pace! Here's what I've read in the past month.

Bread & Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table with Recipes by Shauna Niequist: I'm not the kind of reader who's into "food memoirs" as a genre, and I definitely don't read cookbooks for fun, but I understand why I see this book pop up over and over again. Niequist convinced me that I could learn to cook, if I wanted to; that I could run a marathon, if I tried; and that if I really just need a nap right now, that's OK too.

Beyond Consequences, Logic, and Control: A Love-Based Approach to Helping Attachment-Challenged Children With Severe Behaviors, Volume 1 by Heather T. Forbes and B. Bryan Post: The authors present suggestions for dealing with children who act out due to past trauma, though they unfortunately underpin them with pseudoscience and oversimplifications of how the brain works. If the testimonies are real, their method sounds like it's very helpful, but I recommend skipping the whole first chapter.

The Mystery of the Blue Train by Agatha Christie: This was an enjoyable if decidedly average Hercule Poirot mystery. It had a slow start — Poirot doesn't even appear until maybe a quarter of the way in — and I picked out the killer pretty early, but I still didn't piece it all together before Poirot explained it.

Oh Crap! Potty Training: Everything Modern Parents Need to Know to Do It Once and Do It Right by Jamie Glowacki: I don't yet have a personal testimony to this method's success or failure, but this was the method overwhelmingly recommended for potty training on a mothers' Facebook group I'm part of, so I decided to give it a shot. The author rambles and goes on tangents a bit, but her explanation of the actual potty training method is solid and I feel pretty comfortable giving it a try.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by Jack Thorne: This was a pretty meh contribution to the Harry Potter world. Where the original books each introduced new magical elements, this stays within the bounds of the world we already know, which makes it read more like decent fanfiction than anything. The play format also leaves out a lot of the details that made the books so enjoyable.

A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving: I ended up really enjoying this novel, as I became entrenched in the world of the story and its colorful characters. It's rich in symbolism without being heavy-handed, making it a good choice to read, discuss, or analyze. I highly recommend the audiobook!

All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely: This is an outstanding contribution to the national conversation about racism and police brutality. The authors manage to cover a lot of ground in a relatively short young adult novel, and I found it to be well done. Definitely recommended for everyone!

The Martian by Andy Weir: I was on the struggle bus for a good chunk of this novel. I liked the character interactions, but the very well-researched problem-solving that makes up most of the novel was too technical for my liking. Maybe I'd like the movie better.

How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America by Kiese Laymon: I don't feel I can provide any sort of definitive judgment of this collection because I'm not the target audience, but for me personally, I liked many parts of it while feeling like the whole was searching in vain for some cohesion or conclusion.

What have you been reading this month? Share over at Modern Mrs. Darcy!

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