Sunday, November 15, 2020

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.

Ace: What Asexuality Reveals About Desire, Identity, and the Meaning of Sex by Angela Chen: My favorite read of October. Chen not only explores the personal experiences of those who identify as ace, but also shows how the same cultural forces that make asexuality misunderstood and stigmatized limit the possibilities for people in all kinds of relationships. I definitely recommend picking it up.

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett: This was good, but it didn't make me into a fan of multi-generational family stories. There was nothing particularly objectionable and for the most part I enjoyed it, but personally I would have liked more from it.

Sabriel by Garth Nix: This was fine, but it was a little too "classic high fantasy" for me. I enjoyed the parts of the world-building I did understand, but I found it overly complex, and the book's romance was contrived. Still, it's always nice to read a classic high fantasy book with a female protagonist.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee: I have repeatedly expressed my frustration with how beloved and frequently taught this book is, and it was time I finally reread it so I could see if I was being fair in my characterization of it. In a word: yes. There are so many books that have been written in the past 60 years that better accomplish everything that Lee set out to do here. Let's give them their time in the spotlight.

Amazing Grace: A Vocabulary of Faith by Kathleen Norris: I can be a bit skittish around Christian books, but this one was recommended long ago by Rachel Held Evans and so I figured I could trust it. I found the author's experiences with faith relatable and the scholarly-memoir format enjoyable, even if Norris' "progressive" faith in 1999 still reads a bit old-fashioned today.

The Switch by Beth O'Leary: This was JUST delightful. This is like a Hallmark Christmas movie if it was in book form and took place in the spring. Predictable, yes, but funny, sweet, heart-wrenching, silly, and just plain fun.

The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune: This was a very sweet story about a by-the-book caseworker whose job involves investigating orphanages for magical youth. His journey is one of realizing that even marginalized populations who are "well cared for" are still marginalized. I had a couple of small hesitations, but on the whole I really enjoyed the read and would recommend it.

Cinder by Marissa Meyer: This was quite a clever retelling of the Cinderella story. Unfortunately, what was supposed to be a plot twist was glaringly obvious about a quarter of the way into the book, and then the book ends on an abrupt cliffhanger. I understand why it's popular, but I mostly found it disappointing.

Looking back:
One year ago I was reading: Demon Lord of Karanda, The Next Evangelicalism, and Girt
Five years ago I was reading: Justice, Sula, and A Snicker of Magic
Ten years ago I was reading: The Back of the Napkin

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