Sunday, January 15, 2017

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.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by J.K. Rowling (as Newt Scamander): This is supposed to be funny, but it fell flat for me. The "margin notes" from Harry and Ron were sparse and repetitive. Not worth reading unless you somehow feel an obligation to read every book in the Harry Potter universe.

Three Act Tragedy by Agatha Christie: I must be starting to recognize Christie's style, because I figured this one out quite early in the book. Still, it's a testament to Christie's writing that even when I identify the murderer early on I still enjoy the read and fitting all the pieces together.

Five on a Treasure Island by Enid Blyton: This was very sweet; it has the same feel as The Boxcar Children but less boring. It was an enjoyable and fairly uncomplicated adventure story, and I would happily share this with my kids, as well as read the sequels.

One for the Murphys by Linda Mullaly Hunt: I had very mixed feelings about this book. I liked the character relationships and the way the ending was written. I disliked the haphazard way the foster care system was portrayed. I also thought it conflated poverty and abuse in an alarming way.

Ficciones by Jorge Luis Borges: I liked this short story collection more than most. Many of his stories are some kind of philosophical argument in story form, which you really have to be in the right frame of mind to appreciate, but which offer opportunities for reflection and reference long after closing the book.

Winter of Fire by Sherryl Jordan: This was so great! It's a bit of a predictable "chosen one" story, but I enjoyed the read and finished it in one day. It reminded me in part of the story of Esther, and it also has clear parallels to the history of slavery in the United States.

The Wonder by Emma Donoghue: This dragged so much that I found it hard to care too much about the "mystery" element. It's hard to make a book exciting when a lot of it consists of the main character sitting in a room watching a girl read and say prayers for 8 hours at a time. I also didn't appreciate the continued refrain of "These Irish Catholics are so ridiculous and ignorant."

Death in the Clouds by Agatha Christie: Reading these books back to back you really do see how Christie writes along the same grooves time and again, but it doesn't make the solution any easier to piece together or the book any less enjoyable to read. Overall, this was typical of a Hercule Poirot book — no better and no worse.

Dracula by Bram Stoker: It's hard to believe it took me so long to get around to reading this classic! As you might imagine, it suffers from some of the hallmarks of its time — namely, long stretches of inaction and an old-fashioned view of women's purity — but for all that it's quite good and still enjoyable for a modern-day reader.

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

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