Wednesday, May 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.

My new job has definitely curtailed my reading time, but I've managed to get through a few books anyway thanks to the power of audiobooks. Here's what I've finished in the past month!

We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families: Stories from Rwanda by Philip Gourevitch: I had read a few memoirs previously by survivors of the Rwandan genocide so I thought I knew the basics of the story, but Gourevitch actually spends relatively little time on the months of the genocide itself. He provides the history of Rwanda that set the stage for what happened, but more than that he focuses on the silence of the international community and the huge challenge that was the aftermath of the genocide. If you want to learn more about the Rwandan genocide, I think it's important to read memoirs of actual survivors, but I think this book provides a valuable companion to those stories with a wider view.

N or M? by Agatha Christie: This is the only Tummy and Tuppence book I know I had read before, and I'm not sure if I was actually able to figure out the solution or just remembered it (probably the latter). Nonetheless, I found it quite a delightful read with a clever solution — nothing spectacular, but still good.

Storytelling with Data: A Data Visualization Guide for Business Professionals by Cole Nussbaumer Knaflic: This is an eminently readable and practical guide to designing data visualizations that are most likely to achieve their intended effect. The members of the data team at my work are all reading this book and then working on a pair exercise to practice the process laid out in this book. I'm looking forward to it!

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows: I found this just as delightful the second time, possibly more because of the excellent audiobook production with five different narrators. It's the perfect blend of solemnity and humor, talking honestly about the German occupation of Guernsey while also providing a post-war setting that allows for some lightness. Balanced with the vast unfairness of what the Germans did during the war, there are several gratifying moments in the book where characters get exactly what's coming to them, and it helps to restore a sense of justice in what is clearly not entirely a fair world.

Sadie by Courtney Summers: This was a listening experience unlike any I'd had before! There are two alternating stories: One is a podcast about a young woman who's gone missing after her younger sister dies, narrated in the popular style of true-crime podcasts; the other is the first-person narrative of this young woman, Sadie. I found the book enjoyably suspenseful while also dealing carefully with difficult subjects. I wouldn't call it a favorite, but I found the writing very well done and enjoyed the unusual format.

Harry Potter à L'école des Sorciers by J.K. Rowling: It was an enjoyable challenge to reread this first Harry Potter book in French, and even better was rewarding myself for finishing a chapter by listening to the corresponding episode of Harry Potter and the Sacred Text. Both the different language and the experience of revisiting it as a sacred text gave me a new appreciation for the details of the story.

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

Looking back:
One year ago I was reading: A Soldier of the Great War and Half the Sky
Five years ago I was reading: This Star Won't Go Out, Ivanhoe, and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
Ten years ago I was reading: The Book of General Ignorance

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