Weekly Reading Round-Up

I had a lot of time to read on planes last weekend. Okay, I had a lot of time to read on a plane last weekend. Here’s what I had with me:

— Julia Quinn, Just Like Heaven

I’m a big Julia Quinn fan from way back. (I found her before the Bridgertons!) As many people have commented about this book, not terribly much happens, but you’re happy to hang out with them while things are not happening. Her characters are the sort of people with whom you could happily go on vacation and share a beach house. You know you’d have endless fun playing charades and scrabble with them.

— Sarah MacLean, Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke’s Heart.

First, a shameless plug. Come hear Sarah read from her first book at the Roger Smith Hotel at 7:00 on June 22nd! You know you want to be there…. Okay, now that that’s out of the way. I spent some time figuring out how to classify Sarah’s style, since, while she does humor well, there’s a deep, emotional undertone to all of her books. In a way, they remind me a little bit of Kleypas and a little of McNaught.

— Tracy Grant, Vienna Waltz.

When I first read this book, it was in a big, paper-y pile of manuscript. It was even better reading it in book form. I love Tracy’s characterizations, not just of her fictional characters, but of the real people who peopled the Congress of Vienna: Tsar Alexander, Tsarina Elizabeth, the Courland sisters, and, my personal favorite, Talleyrand. Tracy interweaves history and fiction so well that you really can’t tell where one ends and the other begins.

— Georgette Heyer, The Grand Sophy.

Need I say more?

What have you been reading?


  1. Christine on June 10, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    I also loved Vienna Waltz!

    I recently read Georgia Bottoms by Mark Childress and it was hysterical. I thought the ending was wrapped up a little too quickly and neatly, but I really liked the book. Also, really hard to believe it was written by a man because it was written from the female perspective so well.

  2. Pam on June 10, 2011 at 1:59 pm

    Finished and loved Mistress of Mellyn by Victoria Holt, I don’t think I’ll ever get enough of gothic governess novels. I took it with me on a short trip up into the foothills of the Italian alps, which were shrouded in clouds and mist from the rain we’ve been having for the past several weeks, and the atmosphere matched perfectly.

    I started Eat, Pray, Love today. I know, it’s even more of a cliché to be reading it while in Italy, but I will say that so far it’s much better than I expected.

    Tracy Grant is someone I’ve been meaning to check out, I’ll have to add her to the “formal” TBR list!

  3. Gina on June 10, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    I’m about a third of the way through Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency by Douglas Adams, who might be one of my heroes in life. Next up are all of the Hitchhiker’s Guide books once again, because I want to fix how I haven’t been reading much lately… I’ve been spending too much time watching Doctor Who… >.>

  4. Cho on June 10, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    The Viscount Who Loved Me (rereading) will always be one of my favourite JQ novels. I also read Something Borrowed, which in no way lived up to the expectations I had for it (the movie preview looks way better than the actual book, in my opinion), and Atonement, which I still can’t decide my feelings on.

  5. Joanne M. on June 10, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    A perfect, lovely summertime novel, The Violets of March by Sarah Jio. I’m telling everyone I know to read this one!

    And just in time to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the publication of Gone With the Wind, the publisher (Peachtree Pub.) sent me a copy to review of…. Margaret Mitchell and John Marsh: The Love Story Behind Gone With the Wind (by Marianne Walker). Can’t put it down! 🙂

  6. Lora on June 10, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    I’m rereading Soulless by Gail Carriger and Best Friends Forever by Jennifer Weiner.

    In anticipation of the baby coming in the fall, I’m saving my book budget for day care and the local library lacks a budget for anything new since about 07.

  7. rachel adrianna on June 10, 2011 at 2:14 pm

    just found and read “a proud taste for scarlet and miniver” in the library in one sitting! LOVE LOVE LOVE queen eleanor and how koningsberg weaves the story together through the various points of view. thanks for the recommend!

  8. Céline on June 10, 2011 at 2:31 pm

    Finished (and loved, obviously) The Betrayal of the blood lily and started righ away A discovery of witches by Deborah Harkness and I have to admit that I’m totally in the thumbs up category! I love this book!

    I recently bought Tracy Grant’s three books, they’re patiently waiting for me to pick them up, any time soon!

  9. Sarah on June 10, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    This week was all romance for me. 🙂 Started off with Eloisa James’ When Beauty Tamed the Beast. I loved that the hero was based on House! I plan on reading A Kiss at Midnight next. Overall, it was a great introduction for me to Eloisa James.

    I also read Julia Quinn’s Just Like Heaven, and agree that while not a lot happens, it’s still a very sweet story and such a comfort read.

    Since Colin Bridgerton made a brief appearance in Just Like Heaven, that was my excuse to re-read my favorite book by Julia Quinn, Romancing Mister Bridgerton. 😀

  10. Susan on June 10, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    I read another from the Draycott Abbey series by Christina Skye. This week was Season of Wishes. They are interesting. Well written. Contemporary with historical flashbacks. And of course, big strong Scotsmen!

  11. Angela on June 10, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    Just finished The Nibelungenlied (basis for Wagner’s The Ring Cycle)–OK, but maybe not the greatest translation. May try another translation. And just started Prophesy by SJ Parris–mystery set in Elizabethan England.

  12. Sheila on June 10, 2011 at 3:50 pm

    Room, by Emma Donoghue, an intense retelling from a 5 year old’s point of view about a woman kidnapped and held captive for 7 years. The mom’s creativity in educating her son is amazing, and it was intriguing despite a few minor lapses in the voice of the boy: usually very articulate, occassionally lapsing into toddler syntax.
    Just like Heaven was a delightful change of pace after all the stress of Room. JQ’s humor is always fun, and I loved being on the iside of the Smythe-Smith musicale.

  13. Samantha on June 10, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    I just finished “The House at Riverton” by Kate Morton and it was AMAZING!! Such a interesting story, I was hooked right up to the last page! I’m looking forward to reading her other books!

    I just started “Dark Road to Darjeeling” by Deanna Raybourn this morning and I’m loving it so far! She is such a great writer and I love her Lady Julia Grey series. I’m excited to read the next one which I believe comes out later this month!

  14. Rebecca W. on June 10, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    I also read “Just Like Heaven” this week and really liked it! Marcus and Honoria are great together. I also read Lisa Kleypas’s “Because You’re Mine” and I’m currently reading Lucy Worsley’s “The Courtiers” about the last hoorah of the English court during the reigns of George I and George II. A really fascinating read so far!

  15. Ginger on June 10, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    Zipped thru a few in the past two weeks. All my Life – a memoir by Susan Lucci, The Dark Highlander by Karen Marie Moning and Mr Irrisistable by Barbara Taylor Bradford. Overall not bad but I’m definately jacking up my to-do list for this summer from these wonderful posts!

  16. AngelB on June 10, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    I’m on a Julia Quinn kick. I read bevelstoke series before Just Like Heaven, now I’m working on the re-read of the Blydon series.

    Also read Karen Witemeyer – a Tailor Made Bride. An inspirational/christian romance set in Texas during the early days of the railroad. Had the right mix of romance and drama and character development.

  17. Elizabeth aka Miss Eliza on June 10, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    Finished reading the new Daphne Du Maurier short story collection. She’s such an amazing writing with usch a great voice, makes it seem easy. On the not easy end of the spectrum, I finished Wrapped, not really about Mummies and more about an annoying tiny Corsican, and shit all around. I haven’t hated a book that much in a long long time, and I had hope. Now it’s onto The Wise Man’s Fears, because every summer you need to read a book almost a thousand pages long 🙂

  18. HJ on June 10, 2011 at 5:32 pm

    I also love Tracy Grant’s books! I have been reading A Question of Honor by Nita Abrams (spies in Spain and France in 1813 – excellent) and In the Bleak Midwinter by Julia Spencer-Fleming (contemporary mystery, very atsmospheric with good characterisation and plotting). It’s possible both were recommended here, as my TBR list expands every time I read the weekly round-up!

  19. Nikki on June 10, 2011 at 6:27 pm

    I read “Just Like Heaven” and “Eleven Scandals..” this week too. And Sarah MacLean’s “Ten Ways to be Adored..” Just started “A Pug’s Tale” yesterday – think it’s going to be good!

  20. Shenandoah Strojek on June 10, 2011 at 7:53 pm

    I am reading American Lightening by Howard Blum about the bombing of the Times building in 1910.

  21. Ashley on June 10, 2011 at 8:20 pm

    I love Tracy Grant! Her books always leaving me wanting more. Have you read the Kindle book, The Mask of Night?

    I just finished The Golden Prince and while it is a fictional account, I really liked the characters.

    I am just starting The Swan Thieves…

  22. Katie S on June 10, 2011 at 10:21 pm

    I have been reading Judi Dench’s biography And Furthermore. I am also working on a a few Agatha Christie novels. I have been very into Poirot and Miss Marple books and movies at the moment.

  23. kiley on June 10, 2011 at 10:31 pm

    I just finished Little Bee by Chris Cleave. I strongly recommend it to any one looking for a very well written and moving book.

  24. Jessica C on June 11, 2011 at 12:02 am

    LOVE The Grand Sophy! It’s in my topic 3 favourite Heyer novels.

    This week I’m deep into The Song of Fire and Ice series. Finished Game of Thrones, raced through Clash of Kings, and just finished part 1 of book 3 (A Storm of Swords – Steel and Snow). Now onto part 2 (Blood and Gold), then Feast for Crows. These books are seriously addictive, with a dark beauty pervading the world of Westeros. After I’m finished this series I think something fluffy is in order!

  25. Tracy Grant on June 11, 2011 at 2:23 am

    So great to know you read “Vienna Waltz” again, Lauren. The first time you read it we pre-revisions, so I definitely think it improved.

    I’m reading “Game of Thrones”, which I’m finding addictive, and also “Beg for Mercy” an excellent romantic suspense by my friend Jami Alden.

  26. Virginia on June 11, 2011 at 10:28 am

    This week I read The Tsarina’s Daughter by Carolly Erickson. It’s a novel telling the story of the last Romanovs through the eyes of Grand Duchess Tatiana (the second Romanov daughter). Even though I knew how the story would end, I couldn’t help but be caught up in their lives… the magnificence before WW1, the horrors of St Petersburg during the revolution, and the simple yet brutal life in Siberia.

  27. Jeffrey on June 17, 2011 at 3:43 pm

    I have a bunch of’em going all at once.
    I’m reading the novella Nachtsturm Castle by Emily Snyder. I’m about half way through and although I’m not a huge fan of Gothic, this one is a real ZINGER. I’m also reading There Must Be Murder by Margaret Sullivan and it is charming and delightful with the cutest little illustrations. I just finished An Infamous Army by Georgette Heyer and after finishing this I now rank Ms Heyer as one of my favorite 20th century authors. Oh, and I have your Masque of the Black Tulip in my night stand also. What a line up!

  28. Hortencia on June 19, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    I’m a little late…..well a lot late to the discussion but just finished reading JUST LIKE HEAVEN by JQ and loved it! Also found THE GRAND SOPHY just yesterday at a thrift shop for a buck and it seems I was lucky! So this will be my next read and really looking foward to it!

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