Weekend Reading

It is a truth universally acknowledged that when an author has a new book to write, other peoples’ books suddenly become much more attractive. In other words, I went on a Barnes & Nobles spree yesterday. I should be working on Book VI this weekend– but I have a feeling I’ll be reading these instead:

1. A Model Summer by Paulina Porizkova (about a young model on the loose in Paris in the 1980’s).

What I know about models and modeling wouldn’t fill a small thimble, and books written in the present tense usually make my teeth grit together in a painful and dentally disadvantageous way, but I happened to tag along after a friend to Porizkova’s reading last week. I was hooked by the time she finished reading the first excerpt. She has a gift for evocative metaphors, such as comparing the face of an aging model to “a 1950’s glamour shot that had been crumpled into a ball and smoothed out”.

2. The Courtesan’s Secret by Claudia Dain (marital shenanigans in the drawing rooms of London).

This is another case of felicitous happenstance. Yesterday, Dain appeared on History Hoydens to speak about her current book. Intrigued, I wandered over to the bookstore, flipped it open, and found this line: “Hawksworth, for all that could be said against him, had a most even and agreeable disposition. It was his finest trait. It may also have been his only trait.” Enough said. Since she also has a backlist of previous books, I see further bookstore trips in my future.

3. To Taste Temptation by Elizabeth Hoyt (Georgian romance).

This has been on my list to buy for a while, since I loved Elizabeth Hoyt’s previous series, The Raven Prince, et al. Perfect for a rainy weekend.

4. A Song for Summer by Eva Ibbotsen (a young girl’s coming of age in 1930’s Austria).

Ever since a friend gave me A Countess Below Stairs, I’ve been slowly doling out Ibbotsen books to myself, trying to make them last as long as possible. As early 20th century comedies of manners, they remind me a bit of Angela Thirkell, Nancy Mitford, and L.M. Montgomery, but they also have a lovely, deep strain of romance. Since this is my last unread Ibbotsen, I may continue to hoard it for a bit rather than reading it this weekend.

What are you reading this weekend?


  1. Lois on May 9, 2008 at 2:00 pm

    Hi, and so happy to see you have a blog! 🙂 Me, I’ve been reading Julia London’s Desperate Debutantes Series. I just have a little bit more of the first to finish, The Hazards of Hunting a Duke, then will be going to the second, The Perils of Pursuing a Prince. 🙂


  2. Julia on May 9, 2008 at 2:01 pm

    If you enjoy “Countess Below Stairs” I have some recommendations for you. In addition to your books here are a few recent favorites of mine:

    1.The Dark Queen
    2.The Courtesan
    3.The Silver Rose

    They are a series by Susan Caroll that I found to entertain myself between Pink books.

  3. Julia on May 9, 2008 at 2:01 pm

    If you enjoy “Countess Below Stairs” I have some recommendations for you. In addition to Pink books here are a few recent favorites of mine:

    1.The Dark Queen
    2.The Courtesan
    3.The Silver Rose

    They are a series by Susan Caroll that I found to entertain myself between Pink books.

  4. Lauren on May 9, 2008 at 3:34 pm

    Thanks, Lois and Julia! I’ve been looking for new authors/series recently– I was re-reading the Amelia Peabody books for the sixteenth time yesterday and decided it’s really time for something new when you can recite the dialogue along with the characters.

  5. Lois on May 10, 2008 at 10:21 am

    Oh geez, I haven’t reread anything that much that I can do that. . .yet. Might get there one day. LOL I have a couple of books that I always go to if I’ve read a few books in a row that just weren’t all that good for me, and I start wondering if it’s the books or just me. Always gravitate to those particular books as a break, and laughs. 🙂


  6. Lois on May 10, 2008 at 10:22 am

    Oh yeah, the point of the above was to say that I’m getting close to the point where perhaps I can read along with them. . . How to Marry a Marquis is the big one. 🙂


  7. Denise on May 10, 2008 at 5:49 pm


    Reading Carloyn Myss right now, but just finished Rosamund Pilcher’s “Blue Bedroom” & Liz Carlyle’s “Three Little Secrets.” Of course, loved many of the R Pilcher’s short stories, who wouldn’t?

    Cheers, Denise

  8. Ashlee on May 10, 2008 at 6:25 pm

    Hi! This is kind of in response to the second comment about Susan Carroll’s books. The next in that series is called The Huntress, and just as good or even better than the previous ones (I fell in love with the series about a year and half ago!).
    But right now, I’m reading as many books as I can by Shannon Drake and Julia Quinn.

  9. Amy on May 10, 2008 at 7:10 pm

    This weekend I’m determined to finish “My Name is Red” by Orhan Pamuk. It’s part murder mystery, part love story set in 16th century Istanbul. Very different and challenging to the mind due to the Islamic methods and rules of painting people, objects, stories, etc. around which the story takes place. A good read but not a quick one.

    The Crimson Rose is next on the shelf, just in time for Mother’s Day reading on a sunny porch, with a cup of coffee and the family anywhere but on the porch.

    I also enjoy the mystery/romance of: Laurie R. King (Mary Holmes); Laura Jo Rowland (Sano Ichiro); Candace Robb (Owen Archer); Karen Harper (Eliz I); Sharon Kay Penman; and E. Peters/B. Michaels.

    Lauren, it was a pleasure to meet you in Annapolis and to gain some insight on how you pull it all together.

    Thanks to all for new reading suggestions.

  10. Chelsea :) on May 11, 2008 at 3:40 pm

    I picked up the Masque of the Black Tulip when I saw it was about a Harvard gal solving a bit of historical mysteriousness. (I lived in Boston for two years for grad school and was pining for some Beantown references.) However, I was even more pleasantly surprised with the 18th-19th century England storyline! 🙂 Thank you! I’m now backtracking and reading Pink Carnation now… and I’m hooked.

    Anyhoo, have you checked out Deanna Raybourn’s “Silent in the Grave” series? They’re amazingly good reads, too. Female super sleuth in Victorian London.

    Happy Reading (and Attempted Writing)!
    Chelsea 🙂

  11. Camille la Flamme on May 11, 2008 at 11:59 pm

    “Rilla of Ingleside”, the eighth (last) book in L.M. Motgomery’s “Anne of Green Gables” series. I’ve been working on reading the books for three years now.

    Still can’t find a copy of “The Blue Castle” by the same author. 🙁

  12. Lauren on May 12, 2008 at 12:22 pm

    Chelsea, I just read “Silent in the Grave” a couple of weeks ago and loved it! There was one bit in particular that I thought was sheer genius, where one chapter ends with the hero saying something particularly provoking, and the next chapter begins with him saying, in wounded tones, something along the lines of “There was no need for you to kick me quite so hard.” Hee hee. It was such an Elizabeth Peters moment.

  13. Lauren on May 12, 2008 at 12:25 pm

    Hi, Camille! Which is your favorite of the Annes? I started out as an “Anne of the Island” partisan, went through a “Rilla” phase (the whole “Rilla-my-Rilla” bit works so well), but I think I’m back to “Windy Poplars” these days….

  14. Lauren on May 12, 2008 at 12:26 pm

    Hi, Amy! It was so nice to meet you in Annapolis, too– thanks so much for coming out for the Book Festival!

  15. Jen on May 21, 2008 at 12:28 am

    So thrilled to see that you, too, are an Ibbotsen fan! I read A COMPANY OF SWANS a couple of years ago (checked out from the library as it was still O/P at the time).

    In recent weeks, I’ve read A SONG FOR SUMMER and I just read COUNTESS over the weekend! Truly wonderful books. I just came across one more that I have not read, THE MORNING GIFT, and I plan to grab it soon. I was just thinking along the same lines as you were in that I want to hold off on this last one just so I have it to look forward to this summer!

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