Quick Lit - Or, What I've Read So Far in 2015

I haven't done a book post in forever...but I have been reading - of course. We live about a mile from the closest library and three blocks from the best indie bookstore in the city, which means actual physical books have once again found a permanent, messy place in our home.

I mentioned last month that I signed up for Modern Mrs. Darcy's 2015 Reading Challenge, which has been a great reminder of all the books I haven't read. And since I hit my goal of 50 books in 2014, I raised the bar and hope to hit 60 in 2015 (check out my progress on Goodreads!). Honestly, I don't think I'll make it - I've only read 6 books so far this year. But hey, why not challenge myself a little bit?

I've been gorging myself on fiction lately, and finally started reading the Harry Potter series (check off a book that everyone has read except me from the MMD list). I am not a fantasy lit fan, but I'm enjoying Harry more than I expected (surprising, right?).

Read on for the reviews...

I started off 2015 by reading Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein - a dark, raw story of two best friends told through journal entries of their struggle to survive World War II as pilots and spies.

The book opens with one girl captured by the Nazi Gestapo in France and slowly unraveling the story of her career as a spy in the British service, and halfway through picks up with her best friend - who crashed the plane that brought her to France - trying desperately to rescue her.

The ending was a cold shock and left me thinking hard about what lengths friends should go to save each other.



I decided I needed a little bit more light reading after that one and promptly checked out the audiobook for Food: A Love Story by Jim Gaffigan. I had listened to Dad is Fat earlier and laughed my way through it.

Food is a bit more rambling and feels more like comedy sketches put to writing - meant to be heard, not read. But if you enjoy listening to someone poke fun at Americans' health binges and torrid affairs with fast food, you'll enjoy Jim's new book.

If you love audiobooks or want to try them out, you can get two audiobooks for free here on Audible.com - no strings attached. Yay for free books!

I dove into heavy literary fiction once more with The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman. It's the story of a childless couple living on an isolated island off the coast of western Australia, caring for the lighthouse after World War I. A boat with a dead man and a crying baby washes up on shore, and the couple makes a decision that leads to heartbreaking results.

The writer switched back and forth between present and past tenses, which made the narrative feel jumpy and awkward at times. But as I read the story, I kept asking myself - what would I do if that was me? 

I'm not sure my answers were completely satisfactory. Yet it was a thought-provoking exploration of the loyalty between husband and wife, and the love between mother and child - or one who claims to be mother.

I can't forget to mention two of my choices for the MMD 2015 Reading Challenge. 

I never read To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee in school - can you believe that? And I still haven't technically read it. But the audiobook by Sissy Spacek was fabulous, and it's good enough for now. I saw the classic black and white film starring Gregory Peck years ago, so I was already familiar with the story. But I still found myself tearful and shocked and angry at different times, and it just made me anxious to read it again.

And of course, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling is a book "everyone" has read. I go back and forth between listening to Jim Daly read the books and reading them for myself. Either way, it's pretty satisfying.

What have you been reading this year so far?

Linking up with Modern Mrs. Darcy's Quick Lit blog hop!

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