Weekly Reading Round-Up

What with the snow and slush, it’s been a heavy re-read week for me. Something about snow screams “comfort read!” Among those comfort reads are:

— Elizabeth Peters, Street of the Five Moons

Peters’ historical Amelia Peabody books are great, but my favorites will always be her Vicky Bliss series, about a (comparatively) modern art historian turned sleuth. Start with Borrower of the Night and work your way up through Night Train to Memphis for sheer comic genius.

— Leigh Greenwood, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers: Rose

Oh, memories. This is from my 80’s romance novel collection and I’d forgotten just how good it is. Spunky heroine? Check. Seven dysfunctional brothers? Check. Bandit attacks and cameos from various historical characters? Check, check, check. So perfect for a snowy afternoon.

— Terry Deary, Horrible Histories: Wales

Okay, so this isn’t a comfort read. As those of you who follow me on Facebook know, I’ve been doing a lot of reading about Wales this week. I got this as a joke when I ordered all my heavy tomes on Wales (doesn’t everyone turn to monographs on the eighteenth century Glamorgan gentry for light reading?), but it has turned out to be surprisingly useful– as well as entertaining.

In the meantime, I’m just starting a novel I’ve had sitting on the to-be-read pile for a while now, Harriet Evans’ I Remember You. I also have designs on the new Eloisa James, When Beauty Tamed the Beast. I’ll let you know how those go….

What have you been reading?


  1. Carole on January 28, 2011 at 8:17 am

    I finished the Orchid Affair a little bit ago. I have picked up…again…Burnt Offerings by Laurell K. Hamiliton. I an determined to finish it.

  2. Pam on January 28, 2011 at 10:50 am

    I love the Horrible Histories, they are an absolute scream (and full of useful information to trot out at parties or when teaching discussion sections).

    This week I read a great new book, The Orchid something or other–you may have heard of it. I enjoyed it a whole bunch but now, to my grief, it’s over, so I’m a little ways into Silent on the Moor by Deanna Raybourn. You plugged her work back in the fall and I just cannot get enough of it (so thank you for pointing me in her direction!).

    Last week you recommended The Haunting of Hill House to me and your description of its ambivalence–is it a real haunting or a slow psychological breakdown?–made me think of a recommendation for you that follows a similar theme. Have you read The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters? It’s just terrific and really terrifying.

  3. Gina on January 28, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    Well, I just finished Orchid Affair last night! Adored it, but that’s no surprise. 😉
    Other than that, I’ve had to read Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neal Hursten and Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf for class.

  4. Chanpreet on January 28, 2011 at 2:40 pm

    I am about to get started on The Orchid Affair. By the way Lauren, I am a huge fan of Harriet Evans books and think you will like I Remember You. I know I certainly did!

  5. jamie on January 28, 2011 at 3:04 pm

    just finished orchid& loved it as well-especially the commedia del arte 🙂 next up i have the girl who played with fire by stieg laarson and midnight crystal by janye castle-stieg laarson is amazing, but dark, so i have to have some lighthearted read near by. also, lauren you mentioned the vicky bliss seris- did you read laughter of dead kings? it is the most recent addition to the series-and it was fabulous! 🙂

  6. Chartreuse on January 28, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    Recent reads:

    The Orchid Affair

    The Laughter of Dead Kings (Elizabeth Peters) — likely the end of the Vicky Bliss series.

    Blackout/All Clear (Connie Willis) — two books make one very long novel. If details of London during the blitz are your thing, this is for you, but many think it too long. It is one novel, so the books must be read in order.

  7. Debra R. Callaway on January 28, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    I received both Mischief and Orchid on Friday and read them both over the weekend. I had re-read all the other Pink books again, almost all Elizabeth Peters’ Amelia Peabody mysteries again, and a bunch of Nora Roberts stories just before I got the package from Amazon (to save on postage I allowed them to ship Mischief and Orchid together so I had to wait until Orchid was released).
    Now I have nothing to read. Well, maybe’ll have to go to the library and see if I can find something I haven’t read yet.

  8. Lucy on January 28, 2011 at 10:52 pm

    I’m still waiting for The Orchid Affair, but happily reading the Far Pavillios by M.M. Kaye which is incredible, while I wait. Speaking of Welsh history one of my all time favorite series of books is Sharon Kay Penman’s, Princes of Gwynedd trilogy, especially the first on, Here Be Dragons. Wonderful description of Welsh history and great romance between Joanna and King Llewelyn.

  9. Dawn on January 28, 2011 at 11:40 pm

    I finished my first Norah Lofts book, ‘The Kings Pleasure’, earlier this week. I really enjoyed the way she plumbed the depths of Katherine of Aragon and showed us Henry VIII through her eyes. I know it won’t be my last Lofts read.

    I am now reading the first book in Arturo Perez-Reverte’s 17th century Spanish swashbuckler series ‘Captain Alatriste’. He is a wonderful author and I have read his work before, like ‘The Club Dumas’ and I certainly have not been disappointed here.

    Debra R. – I have to ask, did you read all those over the past week? If so, I am soooo jealous. And no TBR pile?! Mine always seems to be growing, never mind my wishlist (lucky for me, my husband’s TBR and WL are just as bad).

    Lucy – You are so right about Sharon Kay Penman’s Gwynedd series or anything by her.

  10. Samantha on January 29, 2011 at 8:28 pm

    Anything by Judith McNaught for a comfort read. I particularly like Until You. Excited to to try some of the recommends above! Definitely comfort read weather in Minnesota, as usual.

  11. Abigail on January 30, 2011 at 7:46 pm

    Dawn, are you loving Alatriste? My husband and I both really enjoy those.
    And Lauren, I think I’m going to have to search for that 7 Brides book now…

  12. Dawn on February 1, 2011 at 11:53 pm

    Yes, I really enjoyed Alatriste and Reverte really sets up the reader’s interest to want to read more in the series. There are so many levels, as there is in his other works, which is why this is more than a standard swashbuckler adventure novel. My husband plans on reading it too. Isn’t it fun when you share books with your spouse?

  13. Abigail on February 2, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    Yes, I love sharing books with my husband—the only problem is the size of my TBR pile: I’ve got books that I’m interested in, and he keeps adding the ones he thinks I’ll like. Our house is going to collapse!

  14. Katie on February 2, 2011 at 5:28 pm

    I am waiting on your new book to come in the mail, so in the meantime, I just finished Christi Phillip’s The Rossetti Letter. I can’t remember if it was recommended here but if not, I highly recommend it! Very enjoyable historical fiction. I also just read Chelsea Handler’s Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang. Pretty funny and completely different than what I usually read. Just started Rhys Bowen’s fifth Molly Murphy mystery. Can’t wait for The Orchid Affair to get here!

  15. Dawn on February 4, 2011 at 12:42 am

    Abigail – My husband and I are both guilty of adding to each others TBR piles. We did a thinning out a year ago, did an inventory, organized our lists into his, hers and ours, because we got so tired of buying duplicates by mistake and not knowing what books we had and what we needed. I think we are back to where we were before but that is the life of a book lover. It is so much better when both spouses have the affliction, isn’t it?!

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