It's time for another edition of Quick Lit, where, joining with Modern Mrs. Darcy, I share bite-size reviews of what I’ve been reading lately. I am so excited about the books I'm sharing this month. We have inspiring handcrafts, an ancient Greek love story, balm for a divided America, and one very resourceful Marsh Girl.
First, a pair of fiction picks I adored (for very different reasons):
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
This lush story follows Kya, a sensitive, intelligent girl who has been abandoned by one after another family member until she is left alone to fend for herself in the wild marshes of coastal North Carolina. Called the “Marsh Girl” and shunned by folks in town as “swamp trash”, Kya must learn to make her own way. I wanted to stay out there, “way out yonder where the crawdads sing,” with Kya a little longer — even after turning the last page.
The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
I finished this book and felt completely heartbroken (in the best way). The central focus of Achilles is a love story between Achilles and Patroclus. As I’ve heard the author, a classics scholar, tell it, this story is not meant to be a retelling of The Iliad, but an imagined backstory and complement to the Trojan epic. Since finishing this book, I read a review that complained the plot felt more YA than classical.
I agree that the story, told from Patroclus’s point of view, is a romantic one, but I can't help but wonder whether the same critique would have come up if the protagonists were not a same-sex couple. For me, the love story felt authentic, and the perspective breathed fresh life into an age old tale. I can’t wait to get my hands on Miller’s new book, Circe…maybe next month!
Next up, two nonfiction titles I loved:
Print Pattern Sew by Jen Hewett
I am relentlessly drawn to craft books, blogs, and enticing workshops — even though I don’t often carve out time to actually make the projects. Hah! Jen Hewett is one of my absolute favorite people to follow, and since she is a resident of the San Francisco Bay Area, there’s actually a chance I could take a workshop from her not too far from home. Her new book, Print Pattern Sew, is beautiful, and filled to the brim with clear instructions for projects featuring her trademark block prints. I’d love to come back to this one over my next holiday and dig into a few of the projects.
Braving the Wilderness by Brené Brown
This was my first Brené Brown book, and I have to admit it was sitting on my shelf for a year before finally making the time to read it — and I’m so glad I finally did. With chapter titles like “People Are Hard to Hate Close Up. Move In.” and “Speak Truth to BS. Be Civil.” the messages in this slim book feel like exactly what our country needs to hear right now. If I could, I would totally beam this contents of this book into the heads of everyone on the planet!
Pro tip: the audiobook is read by Brené Brown, so that could be a great way to get it into your life — if you’ve ever heard one of Brené’s TED talks, you know her delivery is fantastic.
I hope you enjoyed this little peek into my reading life as much as I enjoyed sharing it. Let's do it again next month! And please feel free to share a link to your own reading list in the Comments, or just share the title of one of your recent favorites — I would love to hear about it!