Thursday, September 14, 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.

I again spent almost all this month reading Infinite Jest on Kindle (which I finally finished!), so almost everything else this month was on audio. I picked up a ton of short reads because I needed to feel the accomplishment of finishing some books after two months of dragging through one long one!

Murder in Green Meadows by Douglas Post: At first I didn't think I would like this once I realized it wasn't a typical murder mystery, but it ended up being quite twisty and clever. Each character has a distinct personality, and they're not always exactly what you think. The ending was excellent.

Bel Canto by Ann Patchett: This was a beautifully written book about a group of diplomats and one famous opera singer being held hostage by a group of ragtag terrorists. I wish we weren't told upfront how the standoff would end, as it made that ending unsurprising and simply sad.

Runaway Alice by Frances Salomon Murphy: This was a sweet if simplistic book from the 1950s about a young girl finding a permanent foster home. It's idealistic in the way that The Boxcar Children and The Famous Five are idealistic about childhood, and I don't think I'd hand it to a foster child today, but otherwise it's your pretty basic coming-of-age story.

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass: This short book provides a good introduction to what life was like for American slaves in the 1800s, and it should be a necessary read for all Americans. I found it a much better firsthand account than Twelve Years a Slave.

We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie: Adichie manages to provide a compelling and surprisingly comprehensive introduction to feminism in this essay, from why feminism is still relevant today to why we need to talk about women's rights specifically and not just human rights.

Giovanni's Room by James Baldwin: This reminded me strongly of Hemingway's work, what with the ex-pats in Paris getting drunk and having sex and generally being disillusioned with life and themselves. I understand that this book had historical significance as a gay novel, but in a modern context it just seems sad.

The Labors of Hercules by Agatha Christie: I found it fun to see how Christie adapted and modernized each of the different Labors to match some modern-day crime. None of the stories are, in and of themselves, masterpieces, but as a collection this was a nice departure from the usual Poirot mysteries.

Taken at the Flood by Agatha Christie: This was a decent Poirot mystery, but it ultimately suffers due to Lynn Marchmont and her awful "if you abuse me out of jealousy I will love you for it" attitude.

Mrs. McGinty's Dead by Agatha Christie: This is a good, solid, typical Hercule Poirot mystery. You've got a cast of characters on whom suspicion is thrown pretty much equally, you've got a host of clues that don't all arrange themselves into sense until Poirot fits the pieces together for you, and you've got enough of a twist to be satisfying without feeling like it's too far-fetched to be realistic.

Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace: It's difficult to offer a succinct summary of this behemoth. Let's just say my good and bad lists were balanced, and you are going to be very disappointed if you're looking for any of the many plot lines to resolve in the end.

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

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