Friday, March 15, 2019

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.

On the Come Up by Angie Thomas: It's hard to follow up something as stellar as The Hate U Give, but Thomas managed to pull it off. Set in the same neighborhood, this book follows a new character, Bri, as she tries to make it as a rapper. When it seems like she's finally getting a chance to have her voice heard, she has to decide what she's willing to do, and who she's willing to lose, to make that happen.

Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis: I tried to be less critical of this than of the first one and just enjoy it as a fantastical children's story. Overall, I found this a quick read/listen and a pretty straightforward adventure story with some Christian elements. I'm looking forward to continuing with the series.

Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game by Michael Lewis: This is the kind of book that has a fascinating premise that would make an excellent long-form magazine article but got turned into a book instead. I found the statistics part interesting, but ultimately this is a book for baseball fans and will be enjoyed most by that audience.

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield: I appreciated this most of all as a tribute to books and reading, and secondly as an engaging mystery. Some parts were a bit too dark for me, and I found the narrator's constant grieving over someone she'd never met to be far-fetched, but on the whole it was an enjoyable read.

No Bad Kids: Toddler Discipline Without Shame by Janet Lansbury: I was a bit skeptical going into this because of what I knew about Lansbury, but I was surprised to find that this book is more or less a very concise version of my other favorite parenting books. I think the longer books may be better for providing context, example situations, and arguments in favor of these kinds of approaches, but if you're just looking for a straightforward "Tell me what to do with my toddler" read, this is a great place to start.

R For Dummies by Andrie de Vries and Joris Meys: This was a helpful introduction to R, more so than the online course I started with, which assumed a base knowledge of R I didn't yet have. Unfortunately the book was poorly edited, with constant mismatches between the text and the scripts and figures; hopefully the 2nd edition is better edited.

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón: I appear to be the odd one out on this. I found the motivation for the central plot line lacking, the description of female characters exasperating, the characters' emotions at soap-opera level, and the perspective-shifting (where 1st-person narrators shared what others were thinking and feeling) annoying. Calling it a "literary mystery" seems like a stretch to me.

I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith: I enjoyed this most of all for the authentic voice of a 17-year-old girl — not just the intense focus on your own emotions and the words and actions of others, but also a feeling of profundity for small rituals and new sensory experiences. The plot was anything but predictable, and while it dragged at times, overall I found it a delightful read.

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

Looking back:
One year ago I was reading: Broken Harbor and Queen of Sorcery
Five years ago I was reading: Wolf Hall, The Body & Society, and War and Peace
Ten years ago I was reading: Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing

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