Weekly Reading Round-Up

Books, books, everywhere, and not a thing to read. I’m just about finished with the book I’m currently reading and have no idea what to pick up next. Any thoughts?

Here’s what I’ve been reading over the past few days:

— Susan Holloway Scott, The Countess and the King.

Subtitled “A Novel of the Countess of Dorchester and King James II”, this is about… the Countess of Dorchester and King James II, chronicling the unlikely relationship between the clever, wisecracking daughter of one of Charles II’s courtiers and the attractive– but not overly endowed in the brainbox– Duke of York. As always, Susan Holloway Scott does an excellent job of bringing history to life, making sense of emotions and motivations that have been otherwise lost to the historical record.

— Emily Giffen, Something Borrowed.

This was in my grab-bag at RT, which gave me an excellent excuse to finally read this tangled tale of two best friends in their love for the same man. As a former lawyer, I appreciated the (miserable) lawyer heroine. I was also rather reminded of Letty and Mary’s relationship in Emerald Ring.

— Kristan Higgins, Catch of the Day.

After reading My One and Only last week, it seemed like a good time to go back and re-read some of the early Higgins oeuvre. So good.

What have you been reading?


  1. Céline on April 22, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    I absolutely love Emily Giffin’s books, they’re always an enchantment to me! And the film adaptation of Somehting borrowed will be out in a few weeks now, I can’t wait!
    Be sure to read Something blue, the next book that tells the tale of Darcy… it’s wonderful!! I was hesitant because Darcy is such a pain in the *** but i read it anyway and found out that I loved it even more than Something borrowed…

    As far as I’m concerned, I read The Temotation of the Night Jasmine and I have to say, Lauren, that I absolutely loved it and devoured it in two days!!
    Blood Lily is patiently waiting on my night stand!! 🙂

  2. Joanne M. on April 22, 2011 at 2:11 pm

    I’m anxiously waiting for my mail to come with three memoirs by M. M Kaye — The Sun in the Morning, Golden Afternoon, and Enchanted Evening, all detailing her adventures and her enchantment with life in India. Can’t wait to get these treasures from a favorite author!

  3. Lauren on April 22, 2011 at 2:27 pm

    Joanne, I’ve been wanting those for ages! I saw them when I was living in London and have been kicking myself for not buying them then ever since. Are they finally back in print?

  4. Ashley on April 22, 2011 at 2:27 pm

    Tracy Grant’s Mask of Night and Vienna Waltz were both wonderful and had me guessing until the end. Plus, your favorite, Hortense de Beauharnais, makes an appearance in one.

    I also really enjoyed Princess of Nowhere by Prince Lorenzo Borghese about Paulina Bonaparte. I knew nothing about her life and found it really good.

  5. Joanne M. on April 22, 2011 at 2:57 pm

    Hi, Lauren — No new reprints currently, as far as I know. I purchased M. M. Kaye’s memoirs through reputable ebay and Amazon booksellers that sell used books. I searched around to find the lowest prices with reputable sellers. Hope this helps. 😉

  6. Jessica S. on April 22, 2011 at 3:00 pm

    Ooh!! I picked up The Wednesday Sisters during my Borders’ going-out-of-business sale and it is glorious. By Meg Waite Clayton. I also picked up April and Oliver by Tess Callahan — intense but lovely, Stern Men by Elizabeth Gilbert — she just has a fantastic turn of phrase, although I just started reading, I’m hooked, and Secrets of the Tudor Court by D.L. Bogdan — another tale of Henry VIII’s descent into madness and obesity, told from the point of view of Mary Howard, Norfolk’s younger daughter.

    My #1 rec is The Wednesday Sisters, though. You won’t regret it. And, of course, Jen Lancaster’s first novel is out May 3!!!

  7. Gina on April 22, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    Oh my goodness, I absolutely ADORE The Wednesday Sisters. Everyone needs to read that book.
    I just started The Sparrow by Maria Doria Russell, which is wonderful, but I don’t have too much time for reading lately because I have endless papers to write…The end of the semester kind of sucks sometimes.

  8. Gina on April 22, 2011 at 3:34 pm

    *Mary Doria Russell, actually. Oops.

  9. Sheila on April 22, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    A Lesson in Secrets, by Jacqueline Winspear. This is the latest in the Maisie Dobbs series. It is full of foreshadowing re WWII, as well as the leftist movement on Oxbridge campuses. Very scary. On a lighter note, there is just a hint that Maisie may yet become Mrs. Stratton, not Lady Compton. I also love Suzanne Arruda”s Jade del Cameron series. The premise of a former WWI ambulance driver is similar, buts veers way off to Kenya in the Happy Valley days ( remember the bolter, Idina ?), and are incredibly adventurous.

  10. Jessica S. on April 22, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    Gina, I read an MDR novel called A Thread of Grace. Excellent. I’ll keep this one in mind, too!

  11. Elizabeth aka Miss Eliza on April 22, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    Still on Jane Eyre. Damn homework that parts me from Rochester!

  12. Rebecca W. on April 22, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    I love Kristan Higgins. She was such a great find for me!

    I’m not really reading much of anything now, especially since I’m in the midst of paper writing, but I did take the time out to read Jill Shalvis’s new book “The Sweetest Thing.” Nice read!

  13. Heather G. on April 22, 2011 at 6:06 pm

    Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harknes Loved, loved, loved it….

  14. Katie on April 22, 2011 at 7:10 pm

    Last week I read India Black by Carol K Carr, The Last Illusionist by Rhys Bowen, The Alchemist’s Daughter by katharine McMahon, and The Hidden Diary of Marie Antoinette by Carolly Erickson. I really enjoyed India Black and it wasn’t anything like I expected- funny in a sarcastic way. The Hidden Diary of Marie Antoinette was enjoyable but reading stories where I know ahead of time that the ending is going to be sad is a bummer. I just started reading Between Two Queens by Kate Emerson about Anne Bassett. So far is is great and I recommend it!

  15. Cho on April 22, 2011 at 8:03 pm

    If anyone has not yet read Elizabeth Kostova’s The Historian, they really ought to. It’s absolutely gorgeous. I was riveted the entire way through, and had to be dragged away from it to do things such as eat dinner. I also reread Inkdeath (Cornelia Funke) and The Sherwood Ring (Mary Pope Osborne). Lovely books, both of them 🙂 I’m now slowly but surely making my way through Paradise Lost, which is just full of beautiful language.

  16. Liz C. on April 23, 2011 at 12:34 am

    Just finished Sarah Addison Allen’s The Peach Keeper yesterday, and really enjoyed it. It’s an adorable piece of chick lit with just a touch of magic thrown in. 🙂 It was my reward for making it through Stacey Schiff’s Cleopatra: A Life – absorbing but substantial!

    I agree with Cho re: The Historian. I’ve had Kostova’s The Swan Thieves on my TBR shelf for a year now, and hope to get to it soon.

  17. Elizabeth aka Miss Eliza on April 23, 2011 at 3:25 am

    Agree, The Historian, WONDERFUL, Swan Thieves, worst book I ever read. It was so sad to go from such a good book to such a bad book.

  18. Pam on April 23, 2011 at 10:12 am

    I tried to read Something Borrowed a few years ago and just couldn’t get past the callousness of some of the characters, but I might try again some day.

    I finished The Waitress by Melissa Nathan, which did improve enough to make me want to give another of her books a chance. The heroine, however, remained pretty unlikeable with her willful shortsightedness and lack of responsibility.

    Now I’m in the middle of the latest Charles Leonx book, A Stranger in Mayfair, by Charles Finch and am in utter bliss. It’s the perfect mix of Victorian cozy and thriller. I can’t wait for the next one to come out!

  19. Lauren on April 23, 2011 at 10:18 am

    Hi, Pam! Try “The Nanny”. It’s my absolute favorite of the Melissa Nathans (and, lo, there was loud chortling on Amtrak as I was reading it). There are moments of sheer, comic genius. “Pride, Prejudice and Jasmin Field” is also good.

  20. Tipsy Reader on April 24, 2011 at 1:23 pm

    Oo The Countess and the King — I’ve been wanting to read that one!!

    Quite frankly I’m being buried by books. When it rains, it pours I suppose! 😛

  21. Kristen S. on April 24, 2011 at 10:01 pm

    I really liked the Emily Giffin books!

  22. Shenandoah Strojek on April 25, 2011 at 7:39 pm

    Have you read Kate Emerson’s Secrets of the Tudor Court books. They are very good.

  23. Sarah on April 25, 2011 at 11:39 pm

    I love Emily Griffin’s books especially Something Borrowed. What woman has felt like the less attractive best friend!?

    I just finished reading Kathleen McGowan’s “The Expected One” which is an interesting novel regarding the Magdalene blood line.

  24. Georgia on April 27, 2011 at 10:43 am

    I have been reading P.G. Wodehouse and Dorothy Sayers (Whose Body? and Clouds of Witness). Funny because both tie right in with the post about Turnip’s type…

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