Quick Lit, Reading, Reviews

Quick Lit April 2019 – What I Read (And What I Didn’t!)

Today, readers across the blogosphere are gathering to catch up on all we’ve read in the past month at modernmrsdarcy.com. Join in here!

What I Read

Where the Crawdads Sing – Delia Owens has crafted a book with exceptionally beautiful writing and storytelling that lingers in your mind well after you’ve finished the book. My only hesitation in saying “I loved it!” comes from some graphic accounts of encounters between a few characters and a sinking feeling I had by the end of the book that science had won over the truth that humanity transcends nature. Our souls are unscientific, not bound by genes or the recycling of DNA over millennia, and it is our souls that makes us unique, different from the animal kingdom. However, whether I agree with the overarching ideas presented, Owens has created a literary gem. The setting of the North Carolina marshes and coastline is so alive that you will feel like you’re there the whole time you read the book (which is more than fine with me! NC beaches are pretty much my favorite places in the world). The poetry included throughout is gorgeous, and the characters live on the pages. (Side note – I am so thankful that Owens stuck with a few main characters that are fully developed and did not overpopulate her novel!) Overall, Where the Crawdads Sing is a moving and atmospheric novel with all the marks of a classic for years to come.

Sarah Morris Remembers and Sarah’s Cottage – More D.E. Stevenson. I know, I’m a broken record. There’s nothing better for middle-of-the-night sleeplessness than a comfortable author who creates characters that are good and steady friends to the reader. [While we’re on the subject of what people call “comfort reads,” who’s your favorite comfortable author? I’m curious!] And another question: why is that when finally all of my children sleep through the night on a regular basis, I get insomnia? Is it a hardwiring in the body that tells a regularly sleep deprived person, “Remember, you don’t sleep much at night?” Whatever it is, it’s maddening.

Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World – Everyone can benefit from this book. So much of the facts and principles Cal Newport introduces about technology in our lives we suspect but we don’t really know for sure (or don’t want to know for sure). It’s not a punishing , guilt-stirring book, however, but helpful and insightful. The main idea is to limit your optional technology (think social media, streaming video, blog consumption), for thirty days and then see what you gained and what you lost during that time and determine what’s really valuable to you. I’m a fan. And I’m putting Cal Newport’s earlier book Deep Work on my summer TBR.

What I Didn’t Read

Confession time: I have started The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah at least five times. Most recently, I picked it up earlier this year, determined to get through it. I got almost halfway this time. Why can’t I like this book so many people rave about? It’s one of the highest rated books on Goodreads, for goodness sake! But, I’ve tried, I’ve really tried, and I’m done trying. It’s not the book for me. I guess I prefer a book with more subtlety. The characters and the setting seemed overdrawn and overly tragic top to bottom. I couldn’t get into the way the father and the older sister treated other people. It was both unbelievable and unforgivable from the get-go. Maybe I’m missing the point, but that’s my only explanation.

That sums up this quick lit for April! May the rest of your spring be full of sunshine and good books!

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7 thoughts on “Quick Lit April 2019 – What I Read (And What I Didn’t!)”

  1. Susan @ The Runcible Pen says:

    D.E. Stevenson has caught my eye when browsing Kindle deals, but I haven’t read her. Maybe you have nudged me to give her a go! I hope you get some good sleep soon. We had a third, late child, so I am doing night duty all over again. At least now there are e-readers, so I can sneak in some reading while getting him to sleep 🙂

    1. MiaTheReader says:

      Oh yes, e-readers were such a blessing to me for my 2nd, 3rd, and 4th children! I didn’t mind those middle of the night feedings nearly as much. Wishing you lots of sleep soon, though! And I hope you like Stevenson! Listening Valley is my personal favorite.

  2. Megan -- booksandcarbs says:

    I’m also a HUGE D.E. Stevenson fan! I devoured Spring Magic on a recent flight home. I think I’m to the point of having read slightly more than half her novels at this point. Eventually, I’ll read them all!

    I did finish The Nightingale (listened via audiobook, which maybe helped), but I didn’t love it and haven’t been tempted to read The Great Alone or to try any of Hannah’s earlier books. Different strokes for different folks!

  3. Michelle R. says:

    Is it too stalker-ish if I say that I think I’ve just found a bookish “bosom friend”?? I clicked on the link from your recent comment on Modern Mrs. Darcy and have been browsing your posts, thrilled at finding someone with such like-minded tastes in literature; L.M. Montgomery, I Capture the Castle, Dickens, Jane Eyre, Chronicles of Narnia… and I saw mentions of Elizabeth Goudge, D.E. Stevenson (just read my first of hers!), The Great British Baking Show, Lazy Genius Podcast, Code Name Verity, Sarah Clarkson…
    Your reviews are spot on and seem to be mostly books that I’ve read or are on my to-read list, so I’m looking forward to adding even more to my list!
    Oh, and I didn’t get far with The Nightingale, either… the characters felt contrived and I found myself rolling my eyes at their drama I thought I was the only one…
    Looking forward to future posts…

    1. MiaTheReader says:

      It’s nice to meet you, Michelle! I love finding bookish bosom friends (they’re so rare!) and it’s especially nice to meet a book friend who loves old books but appreciates newer releases, too. Please keep me in the know when you find a great book, old or new! And yes, the word “contrived” for the Nightingale is just perfect. However, I love lots of books other people have no use for, so I’m doing my best to live and let live, haha. Thanks for commenting and hope to hear from you again.

  4. Tina says:

    I’ve also never been able to get through The Nightingale. I loved The Great Alone though.

    1. MiaTheReader says:

      Glad to know I’m not the only reader feeling that way about the Nightingale! =)

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