Weekly Reading Round Up

Usually, around Halloween, I like to go and read through my favorite ghost stories. It’s become something of a tradition for me to re-read The Ghost Stories of Edith Wharton and Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House (so much better than the movie version!). But this year, what with the France trip, I’m a little behind on my Halloween reading.

In the meantime, here’s what I’ve been reading this week:

The Blessing, Nancy Mitford.

For the longest time, I wanted to be Nancy Mitford when I grew up– or at least write like her. She writes deliciously funny social satires set around the 1940’s and 50’s. The Blessing is about an Englishwoman who marries a Frenchman and the misunderstandings and complications that ensue.

Don’t Tell Alfred, Nancy Mitford.

The sequel to In Pursuit of Love and Love in a Cold Climate, the narrator suddenly finds herself shuttled off to Paris as her husband is unexpectedly appointed Ambassador to France. Beautiful scathing send-ups of Parisians, Americans, Beatniks, “Teds”, and Etonians. So much fun.

Almost French, Sarah Turnbull.

Thanks so much, Jessica, for the suggestion! This was the perfect reading for the plane to France, the memoir of an Australian who fell in love with a Frenchman and went to live with him in Paris, entirely unprepared for Gallic ways. What fascinated me was how much overlap there was with Mitford’s The Blessing in the descriptions of French peculiarities– plus ca change?

The Elusive Pimpernel, Baroness Orczy.

Once again, Chauvelin seeks him here, there, and everywhere.

Bitter is the New Black, Jen Lancaster.

I picked this up on a whim as I was looking for Almost French in the “memoir” section. I now have an extreme case of New Favorite Author syndrome. Yes, it is that good.

The Affair of the 39 Cufflinks, James Anderson.

Classic, golden age English detective story.

Such a Pretty Fat, Jen Lancaster.

Have a I mentioned that I have a new favorite author?

What have you been reading? And does anyone have any good Halloween reading suggestions?


  1. Chelsey on October 30, 2009 at 10:37 am

    Still reading Jane Austen’s Emma…it’s hard to finish when I only read a couple chapters during my daily lunch breaks. 🙂

  2. Estelle C. on October 30, 2009 at 3:17 pm

    No Halloween theme reading, although I was reading a mystery at the beginning of the week: The Ninth Daughter by Barabara Hamilton, featuring Abigail Adams as the detective. It had some really cute John and Abby scenes. I hope to see some more in the series.

    After that I read Quatrain by Sharon Shinn, a collection of four novellas set in worlds created for different series/books. The YA novella stuck in the middle of four from adult series felt a little awkward just because the protagonist’s perspective was noticably less mature, but I liked the collection overall.

    I’m now reading “This Wicked Gift” by Courtney Milan in the Heart of Christmas collection. I’m loving it but suspect that as usual I’ll just read the novella I got it from the library for and will ignore the other authors to get on with other books.

  3. Lois on October 30, 2009 at 4:46 pm

    I finally re/read the Hathaways of Lisa Kleypas this week; reread the first two, read the lastest. . . and sorry, I want Leo’s right now. 🙂

    I’m not big on paranormals, but, well, it’s Mr Darcy. . . so I’m reading now, tis the season and all, Mr Darcy, Vampyre. Thus far, I am getting into it. 🙂


  4. Elizabeth aka Miss Eliza on October 30, 2009 at 4:54 pm

    I read the 4th Charlaine Harris Grave book, Grave Secret, and it was a really good mystery!

  5. Brittanie on October 30, 2009 at 7:09 pm

    I am almost half way through Dracula and I just started Her Fearful Symmetry. Dracula is actually better than I thought it would be.

  6. Jessica S. on October 30, 2009 at 11:27 pm

    YAY!!! I am so glad you liked _Almost French_. I had just been re-reading it when I suggested it. My next suggestion in that vein is _French Milk_…I’ll have to get you the author’s name later.

    I’ve been reading some Alice Hoffman…working on _Skylight Confessions_ right now, may also be suffering from New Favorite Author (After Lauren) Syndrome. Still reading articles on second language acquisition…because it’s my job…will be reading more in French to prep a class on SLA in French for Spring.

  7. Sonia on November 1, 2009 at 8:57 am

    I highly recommend “The Ghost and Mrs. McClure” for Halloween.

    In some non-Halloween reading the Beatrix Potter by Linda Lear so far is quite engrossing. Actually, I would love to see a character somewhat like Ms. Potter in Pink!

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