Wednesday, November 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.

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs: This was my favorite book of October. I found it more compelling and readable than some other true accounts of former slaves, though her experience was different enough from many others that you wouldn't want to read this in isolation.

The Fisherman by John Langan: This was supposed to be a horror novel, but it was pretty boring. Most of my book club felt the same way, and everyone wondered why it had such high ratings on Goodreads. I think it would be a terrifying horror movie, but it didn't translate to the page.

Midwives by Chris Bohjalian: This started out promising, but I ended up feeling pretty bored by it. It's the story of a court case, and it's implied that there will be another layer — the defendant's daughter coming of age — but that never materializes, so you're left with just a blow-by-blow of the trial. The complex ethics at the heart of the novel are more interesting than the story itself.

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Jean-Dominique Bauby: It's mind-boggling to think of someone composing an entire book in their head and then dictating it one letter at a time via blinking one eyelid. And yet — I can't escape the fact that this made the book much weaker than if it had been carefully crafted and edited on paper. It's a short enough book, and enough people have resonated with it, that it's probably still worth a read, but don't expect too much from it.

The Secret History by Donna Tartt: I like books that are entrenched in the logistics of complex situations, and that's part of what made this read so enjoyable — you know from the opening pages that one of the characters is going to end up dead and that the narrator had a hand in it, but it's the way things fall apart in the aftermath of the murder that made this such a compelling read.

Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks: Faulks is an excellent writer, by which I mean he creates a very real sense of place, with descriptions of sights, sounds, textures, and emotions that bring the trench warfare of WWI alive. Unfortunately, I personally found the book hard to get through and could not connect to any of the characters nor understand their motivations.

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

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