Monday, January 15, 2018

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.

Dead Man's Folly by Agatha Christie: I liked this one, even if the solution had some of Christie's excessive complexity. It's not a favorite, but it was a solid addition to the series.

Moloka'i by Alan Brennert: This is the story of Rachel Kalama, separated from her family at age seven and exiled to the island of Moloka'i after a diagnosis of Hansen's disease (leprosy). This isn't a book I'd go out of my way to evangelize, but it was an enjoyable read. If you like happy endings, particularly improbably, sickly sweet ones, you'll probably like this one as well.

Sophie's Choice by William Styron: I can understand why this book is a classic, but I disliked all the main characters, and the titular choice had been spoiled for me years ago so it felt anticlimactic. I can see and appreciate the good in this book, but I don't think it's aged well. It's an interesting ethical dilemma wrapped in a lot of unnecessary dross and writing that teeters between beautiful and pretentious.

I'll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios: Although this is in many ways a predictable YA romance, it's also something new: It's set in a rural town (not the suburbs or city) and deals with a teenager who's come back wounded from Aghanistan. If angsty teenage romance makes you run the other way, I would not recommend this book, but for those who don't mind revisiting the drama of high school love, this is a good read.

Americanah by Chimananda Ngozi Adichie: This was a reread for me, and while I continue to appreciate the sharp observations on race in America, the characters irritated me this time around. I prefer Adichie's nonfiction to her fiction.

Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie: I would not give this book to a child, not only because it's racist AF, but because it's pretty dark, with people casually murdering people left and right. I did enjoy seeing how the book compared and contrasted with the Disney movie and the stage version. If I weren't familiar with those versions I think I would have enjoyed the book much less and just found it a bizarre, dark little classic.

After Dark by Haruki Murakami: This was a book club pick I wouldn't have picked up on my own, knowing what I know about my dislike of magical realism and Murakami's writing, but it ended up being OK. It's written very cinematically and gives you a feel for what the wee hours of the morning in Tokyo are like — I just could have done without the seeming pointless side plot where a character gets sucked into a parallel reality via her TV.

Cat Among the Pigeons by Agatha Christie: On the whole, I'd say this is one of the better Poirot mysteries, if you don't mind that Poirot doesn't appear until 2/3 of the way through the book, and if you can overlook the racist elements that pervade most of Christie's work. Aside from that, there are enjoyable characters, red herrings, all the things I like about Christie's mysteries.

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

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