Children's Books, Quick Lit, Reading, Reviews

Spring Quick Lit Update 2021

It’s spring, it’s spring! We’re drinking in greenness and azaleas and sunshine and yellow pine pollen (unintentionally) and books, books, books!

Today I’m doing a quick lit recap of what I’ve been reading lately. Let’s start with fiction.

Still Life – I know I’m really late to this party of readers who are crazy about Louise Penny’s novels, but now I am here and loving it. I have fallen deep into Louise Penny’s Three Pines series, featuring the kind, wise, fatherly Inspector Gamache. Penny is a splendid writer and her books are transporting and thoughtful, despite the murder mysteries they revolve around. I am on number 7, listening to most of them on audio. Because they’re set in Quebec, it is nice to hear the proper pronunciation of the French words and names sprinkled throughout the books. 5 stars for the series.

The Kitchen Front – While I promised myself I would not read another WWII book set in continental Europe for a loooong time, I will never be able to resist a book about the English home front during the war. This book had an appealing plot but, sadly, was a bit saccharine. The character development was rushed, and it was very much a character driven novel. I liked Jennifer Ryan’s other two books much better. 2.5-3ish stars.

Mr. Dickens and His Carol – This is a lovely book that transported me right into Victorian London. I read it shortly after Christmas, and can’t recommend it as a December read more, especially if you’re a fan of Dickens. 4 stars.

How the Penguin’s Saved Veronica – I had a hard time getting through this book. Hazel Prior’s debut novel, Ellie and the Harpmaker, was beautifully written, but maybe I’m just not an animal lover enough to enjoy all the info about penguins, or a cold weather lover enough to enjoy the Antarctic setting in her latest book. [But I don’t know…I did like Where’d You Go, Bernadette?] The characters didn’t quite seem developed or nuanced enough to seem like real people you’re getting to know as you read, either. 2.5 stars.

Jack – I am ashamed to say I had to return this to the library before I could finish it. I blame Louise Penny. Up to this point, I have been mesmerized by all of Robinson’s writing, and expected to soak in her beautiful thoughts and words as usual when I picked up her newest book. Yes, the wording of the conversation between the two main characters was exquisite, but it was extremely hard to get through more than two pages at a time. I plan to try again someday to finish it.

I’m currently reading Across Five Aprils for the first time at the recommendation of my mom. I generally avoid Civil War stories because, well, the time period makes me cringe. But this book with its thoughtful characters and setting on the border of North and South is timeless and beautiful.

Non-Fiction

Don’t Overthink It – Though I’ve read Anne Bogel’s blog for many years, I’ve never picked up one of her books until this past winter. I love her writing style! She has a conversational approach and explains her topics in clear but enjoyable English. I wouldn’t call myself an overthinker in general, but after reading this book, I can see how anyone can fall into an overthinking trap about various facets of life. I’m not in the middle of Bogel’s Reading People.

The Life You Long For: Learning to Live from a Heart of Rest – This is the best book I’ve read this year. Christy Nockels writes a thoughtful and loving book urging us to understand who we are as God’s beloved and then live from that place of understanding, instead of striving. It’s hard to describe how great this book is, how both deeply meaningful and practical it is, but I hope you’ll pick it up.

The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz – Wow, this book blew me away. Not only did it read like a novel, I was pulled back in time by it, reliving it as if I didn’t know how the story ends. I had never understood how much of an underdog England was at the start of WWII, or what dire situations Churchill faced in being completely unready for a war. When I finished it, my husband picked it up to read and is enjoying it, too.

Read Alouds

I read aloud every day to my kids, ages 11, 9, 6, and 4. In this past spring semester, we’ve read The Prairie Thief and Red Sails to Capri. My six-year-old loved The Prairie Thief but the rest of us weren’t as enthused about it…we found the story to repeat itself a good bit and stall out in the first half. We are all loving Red Sails to Capri, with its historical setting on an island near Italy, humorous and real characters, and adventure. Next I am thinking about reading aloud a book I loved when I was a girl, Jane Flory’s The Golden Venture. I checked it out from the library many times and then one day, it was on the free pile at the front door! We’ll end our history studies this year on The California Gold Rush and this book made that time period seem real to me when I was a kid; I’m hoping it will do the same for my own kids!

What have you been reading lately? I’m always searching for more great books!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

5 thoughts on “Spring Quick Lit Update 2021”

  1. Dianna says:

    I love your reading lists! I also loved Hazel Prior’s first novel and I picked up the penguin one, but I haven’t read it yet. I blame the documentary we had just finished watching on Antarctic researchers for my purchase. I’m still excited to try it, but it’s too bad you didn’t like it as much.

    I just finished Prudence Crandall by Elizabeth Yates and loved it so, so much. I’m going to take a dive into more of her writing soon!

    1. MiaTheReader says:

      Yes, get The Life You Long For! It is amazingly wonderful. And I didn’t even know Christy Nockels had a podcast until I got to the end of the book! I plan to check it out, though there are so many good ones I keep meaning to check out….seems like everyone has a podcast now! =) The amount of noise and talk that goes on just in my own household of seven drives me away from turning on another voice when I get a free minute, but I know there is a lot of good in hearing others’ ideas and wisdom. Thanks for stopping by this online space!

  2. Becca @ The Earthling's Handbook says:

    A book I recently read to my 6-year-old, which introduces some interesting cultural and historical issues without being too heavy for a 4-year-old or too simple for an 11-year-old, is “In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson” by Bette Bao Lord. It’s about a girl and her parents leaving their ancestral clan compound in China and moving to Brooklyn in the 1940s. New friends of many races introduce Shirley to American life and especially the excitement of baseball. It’s very inspiring about the opportunities for everyone in America while also giving glimpses into Chinese traditions, plenty of funny bits, and adorable illustrations.

    1. MiaTheReader says:

      I have heard of this book but never picked it up to look at it closely! I’ll have to do that soon. Thanks for the recommendation and for stopping by!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have you Subscribed via RSS yet? Don't miss a post!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.