Thursday, February 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.

Who Thought This Was a Good Idea? by Alyssa Mastromonaco: This was a fun and fairly quick read. I found the book enjoyable to read, funny if not laugh-out-loud so, and vaguely helpful as a career guide (maybe if I were 10 years younger it would have been more helpful). I had some frustrations with the editing and organization, but it's a short book and I'd say it's worth the read.

A Kiss Before Dying by Ira Levin: I read most of this twisty thriller in one sitting, and I was impressed by the many ways in which the author keeps the reader in suspense. It was a skillfully plotted book that I think anyone who loves suspenseful novels will enjoy.

The Black Stallion by Walter Farley: I can definitely see why this has been such a popular children's book: it has adventure, suspense, and lots of horse talk. It's a bit dated and a bit predictable, but overall I enjoyed the read and think kids today would still enjoy it.

The Clocks by Agatha Christie: This one had an unusual and delightfully creepy premise that's unlike most of Christie's closed-set murder mysteries. I liked that the solution was simple but unexpected. This ranks up with my favorite Poirot novels.

How to Be an Explorer of the World by Keri Smith: This is like a book version of The Art Assignment (which it predates). Each page suggests an experiment or new approach to experiencing, observing, or documenting the world. There are different prompts that would be good creative jump starts for visual artists, writers, actors, and scientists.

The World According to Mister Rogers by Fred Rogers: This collection does a nice job of demonstrating the unique person that Fred Rogers was and the breadth of wisdom that he shared. We could all benefit from these reminders about how to be the best kind of human, especially coming from someone who modeled everything he taught.

Strangers in Their Own Land by Arlie Russell Hochschild: This book seeks to explain what the author calls the Great Paradox — that the areas of the country most devastated by pollution are also most populated with conservative voters, who vote for candidates supporting deregulation and less oversight. This book doesn't offer a step-by-step plan for winning over the South to the Democratic Party again or solving the environmental crises that make up the main focus of the book. But it did provide me with a fuller picture of some of my fellow Americans, and for that it was worth the read.

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon: This one lived up to the hype — it was an adorable, feel-good romance that was predictable but not as much as I expected. If you're looking for a light, sweet read or just want to remember what it was like to fall in love for the first time, this is a great pick.

Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson: This was basically what I expected — a cheesy (no pun intended) business metaphor in book form. What I didn't realize was that the book is extremely short and is pretty much just the cheese metaphor story. I didn't find it particularly valuable or revolutionary.

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford: This was pretty much exactly the bittersweet, heartwarming piece of historical fiction it was billed as. I learned more about Japanese internment camps and about Seattle jazz in the 1940s. I can't say I recommend this as a great love story, but as a family drama and a work of historical fiction? It's great.

Mandy by Julie Andrews Edwards: This was a sweet children's book in the vein of other classic "orphan girl" stories like A Little Princess. Ten-year-old Mandy finds an abandoned, overgrown cottage and sets about making it her own secret home. It was predictable but sweet and worth checking out.

"Multiplication Is for White People" by Lisa Delpit: As a compilation of others' research on race and education, this is excellent. Where Delpit inserts her own beliefs and theories, they tend to be anecdotally based and sometimes contrary to existing research. The end result is a mixed bag; you could probably get more out of one of the many other sources she cites.

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote: There's a reason this is a true crime classic. I was surprised that it's not set up to be suspenseful, but that ended up being a wise choice so we could get deep dives into the lives of the victims, the killers, and the detectives simultaneously. As long as you're not bothered by Capote filling in the gaps with his own imagined scenes and conversations, it's a great read.

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

This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. Thanks for supporting A Cocoon of Books!

No comments:

Post a Comment