Weekly Reading Round-Up

This week has been heavy on non-fiction and familiar fiction favorites for me, as I’ve been trying to work my way into Pink VIII.

Pauline Bonaparte: Venus of Empire, Flora Fraser

An engaging biography of Napoleon’s most notorious sibling. Many of you might remember Pauline’s cameo appearance in Pink I…. Yes, she really did have that many lovers.

Jane Austen’s ‘Outlandish Cousin’: the Life and Letters of Eliza de Feuillide, Deirdre Le Faye

I became intrigued by Austen’s cosmopolitan cousin (later her sister-in-law) while researching Austen for The Mischief of the Mistletoe. Rumored to be the love child of Warren Hastings, the notorious Governor General of India, Austen’s cousin lived a life a world away from the sheltered precincts of Steventon, including a first marriage to a French “count” who met his death on the guillotine. Eliza de Feuillide’s letters provide a charming, gossipy look at life in late eighteenth and early nineteenth century England and France.

Die for Love, Elizabeth Peters

An old, old favorite of mine. Peters’ Die for Love sends up the writing world in general and romance writers in particular as the dead bodies start piling up at an apocryphal romance writer convention. Hysterically funny.

In a similar vein, I also highly recommend Kasey Michaels’ Maggie by the Book, a spirited murder mystery set at the fictional WAR (We Are Romance) conference.

Naked Once More, Elizabeth Peters

The sequel to Die for Love, in which former librarian turned romance novelist Jacqueline Kirby is hired to write the sequel to mega-bestseller Naked in the Ice– but finds herself tracking down the original author’s killer instead. Much excellent snarkiness. Kirby is a sister under the skin to Miss Gwen.

What have you been reading?


  1. Allison on May 21, 2010 at 5:39 am

    I’m jumping all over the place genre wise right now…

    I’m reading through Stephen King’s Dark Tower series (very good, btw)…and I also just started China Mieville’s Perdido Street Station, which is another gritty fantasy type novel.

    The 5th book in a young adult series I adore -Vampire Academy- came out this week, Spirit Bound. Loved it very much. I also read another YA series this week, the Song of the Lioness quartet by Tamora Pierce.

    I also try to keep a classic going in my currently reading pile. I just finished Great Expectations and am starting Ivanhoe.

  2. Dayana on May 21, 2010 at 7:28 am

    OH MY GOSH! GUYS! If you guys like time traveling novels and just freaking love Engalnd as well and love American influence to England’s, then ya’ll have to read Out of the Blue by Kasey Micheals! It’s my absolute favorite novel for time travel/regency england, the only one so far, but it’s awesome!

    I’ve been searching so hard for a book like that and I found it…in my school’s library! God really loves me! So read it people, its good and also a romance novel.

    Sincerely, Dayana

  3. Lauren on May 21, 2010 at 10:56 am

    Dayana, thank you!! I love Kasey Michaels’ books, but I’d never come across that one (I just bought the latest in her Maggie series– “Bowled Over”– yesterday). Now I have to go look for “Out of the Blue”….

  4. am7 on May 21, 2010 at 11:46 am

    Julia Quinn- the Viscount who Loved Me (I remember Lauren had it on her syllabus.)
    Georgette Heyer They Found Him Dead
    Georgette Heyer The Talisman Ring
    Okay so I am graduating from college tomorrow Any ideas about something special to read right after one has graduated?

  5. Lauren on May 21, 2010 at 11:52 am

    Congratulations, am7!!!! I hope you’re celebrating like crazy.

    It’s funny; I can think of a lot of books to read IN college (Donna Tartt’s “Secret History”, Pamela Dean’s “Tam Lin”), but not about leaving college. My instinct would be to curl up with something happy and timeless like L.M. Montgomery’s “The Blue Castle”– or something light and fun like the earlier Julia Quinns.

  6. Estelle Chauvelin on May 21, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    Right now I’m reading nonfiction: The Last Stand by Nathaniel Philbrick, which is about The Battle of Little Bighorn.

    Before that I finished Romancing Miss Bronte by Juliet Gael. I sort of felt like the factual and purely invented parts of the narrative didn’t come together quite right. Mostly the former at the beginning and then almost all the latter towards the end. Pleasant enough but a little jarring because of that.

  7. Sheila on May 21, 2010 at 3:33 pm

    I just had to stay up all night to finish The Mischief of the Mistletoe (no surprise there), by the lovely Lauren Willig. What a treat you all have in store! And the real cover is even nicer than what we have seen here: very bright and Christmas-y. Sort of a spoiler: Turnip really does look like Redford, and/or the 80’s hair guy. Best wishes to all, and good luck in the June contest. Long Live Turnip !!!

  8. Amy on May 23, 2010 at 1:05 pm

    I’ve spent the week re-reading one of my fave series. The Phillip Pullman His Dark Materials series. For those of you unfortunate enough to have seen The Golden Compass movie, please don’t judge the book by its movie!!!!!

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