Sunday, 15 February 2015

Quick-Lit: February edition

We've been having another volatile winter hereabouts, both in terms of weather and in health. I found that while days of low-energy or awful weather are great for catching up on reading when you've already got a book, they're not so great for getting to the library or even putting down the phone long enough to decide what to read next. After last month's glut, this round of Quick-Lit is on the lighter side. Seeing as I've left Grandma to the craft table while I sneak off to write a mid-visit blog post, I suppose that's alright. Better luck next month.

Here's what I've been reading:

The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien
Mid-January got me musing about adventuring, specifically how the events that make the best tales for later can be downright miserable to live through. I pulled Bilbo off the shelf so he could agree with me. I only read The Hobbit a few years ago - I caught it too late in my childhood to appreciate the pacing or the tone (13-year-old me scoffed and returned Robert Jordan), and found The Lord of the Rings such a slog that I was hardly aching for more Tolkien. I was in my early twenties for that set of tomes, with a head full of Classics and History, and just wanted to allow myself to watch the movies already. I was pleasantly surprised to find Tolkien's first work to be delightful, witty, and easy on the home-with-small-children brain. This time through was even better than the first. I was sorry to leave Middle Earth behind. Maybe I'll give The Fellowship of the Ring another crack.

The Invention of Wings, by Sue Monk Kidd
This novel was a recommend from my chiropractor, a library staff pick, and had an author on my radar from many a rave Quick-Lit review. I came at it with high expectations and still was blown away. Kidd introduced me to an amazing historical figure - a woman from Charleston's upper crust who spoke out for both race and sex equality back when even the Quakers practiced segregated seating and the thought of a woman speaking in public was scandalous - and set to exploring the forty years it took for her to find her freedom and her voice. The novel's voice is split between Sarah Grimké and Handful, the slave Sarah is given as a lady's maid for her eleventh birthday. Handful is entirely fictional, but her view of urban slavery is all too real. An entirely absorbing, moving read.

Bread and Wine, by Shauna Niequist
I'm only half-way through this one, but I'm going to rave about it anyways. The book's tag line says it all: "a love-letter to life around the table". Niequist's reverence for building relationships by breaking bread strikes a chord for me too, and her style is so engaging and lyrical I never want to leave her words. I'll be picking up her other works in the future - maybe even next month.

That's all I've got for this round. Time to make coffee. For those in my neck of the woods, enjoy your Family Day!

2 comments:

  1. I still haven't read "The Hobbit" after finding the Lord of the Rings such a slog. But you've inspired me to try again. :-) The other two sound amazing. I love Sue Monk Kidd. :-)

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    1. The Hobbit is much more approachable than LOTR: no orcs and no elvish and a much faster pace. It's supposed to be written for children, but - like the best children's lit - it's full of tongue-in-cheek humour that goes right over their heads. It's like a wink to all us adult readers who probably think we should reading something more serious. I hope you like too!

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