Weekly Reading Round-Up

There are a whole bunch of new books I’ve been wanting to read (Meredith Duran’s A Lady’s Lesson in Scandal, Loretta Chase’s Silk is For Seduction, Tana French’s Faithful Place), but I’m saving them to use as bribery later in the summer, so, instead, I’ve been back to some old comfort reads.

— Donna Andrews, Murder with Peacocks.

One of the best madcap comedies out there. Watch out for Uncle Horace in his gorilla suit.

— Barbara Michaels, Vanish with the Rose.

A gentle Gothic with just a frisson of the supernatural.

— Barbara Michaels, Houses of Stone.

A Gothic… about someone who studies the gothic. Set in sweltering summer in the South, this is a traditional summer read for me.

What have you been reading?


  1. Georgia on July 29, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    I’m reading Soldier, by Grace Burrowes. It is sweet, if a bit long. Also finishing David Copperfield.

  2. Christy on July 29, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    “The Phantom of Pemberley: A Pride and Prejudice Murder Mystery” by Regina Jeffers. Usually I won’t read Jane Austen sequels but this was a freebie on hubby’s nook and it is keeping my interest thus far. I just finished reading “Christy” by Catherine Marshall per the recommendation of you, Lauren. I really liked it and the main character has a great name. 😉 I just got “The Scharlet Contessa” by Jeanne Kalogridis from the library. I really enjoy her novels and am curous to begin this new release. I’ve been reading “Little House on the Prairie” by L.E. Wilder to the kids this summer and my summer allergies and laryngitis have made it take much longer than I expected. I plan to be done by the start of school. It’s good to have a goal. Yes?

  3. Christy on July 29, 2011 at 12:13 pm

    oops. “Scarlet Contessa”

  4. Tracie on July 29, 2011 at 12:20 pm

    I’m about two-thirds of the way through “A Countess Below Stairs” by Eva Ibbotson, which was recommended to me by someone who said that if I loved Downton Abbey, I would love this book. She was right; I haven’t been able to put it down! The story centers around a young countess who had to leave Russia with her family after WWI. As they are now impoverished, she goes to work as a domestic at the estate of the Westerholme family, where the new earl is just returning after being wounded in the war. This book has all the elements I like – a smart heroine who’s a survivor, a good love interest and a slowly simmering romance, well-developed, interesting peripheral characters, and a nasty villainess to boo.

  5. Christine on July 29, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    I’m realizing I’ve come to rely on these Weekly Reading Round-Ups to find new books to read! I finished The Trinity Six, which someone recommended (loved it) and now I’m reading Clara and Mr. Tiffany, also from here. The first 30 pages or so were really slow but it’s gotten a lot better since.

  6. Gina on July 29, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    I haven’t started them yet, but I went to Border’s yesterday to take advantage of the sales and picked up a few things. I geeked out when I found a biography of Genghis Khan, I bought an Agatha Christie novel because I’ve never read one before, and I bought a Bill Bryson book, Neither Here Nor There.

  7. Ammy Belle on July 29, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    Wow … I forgot about Houses of Stone! I haven’t read that in AGES … I think I will go root around for it this weekend – thanks for reminding me! 🙂

  8. jamie on July 29, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    haha, i re-read houses of stone after you posted on gothic books earlier 🙂 also re-read jane eyre, absolutely my favorite gothic. am reading jim butcher’s new one, ghost story at the moment, along with the corinthian by georgette heyer- i too have taken advantage of borders sale!

  9. Pat on July 29, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    I’m reading the new Jim Butcher Dresden novel, Ghost Story. I’ve also been working my way through the Aurora Teagarden series by Charlaine Harris. Next up will probably be Barbara Cleverly’s Joe Sandilands story, Folly du Jour.

  10. Pam on July 29, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    I’m reading To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis for my book club this week. It’s hard to describe–time travel sci-fi meets Victoriana?–but so far it’s engaging.

    I spent this afternoon at Isola Bella, one of the Borromean islands in the middle of Lago Maggiore in Italy, and saw the bedroom (maybe even the actual bed?) where Napoleon and Josephine slept for two nights in August of 1797. Definitely had a Pink moment–there’s also a very ornate and “intriguing” garden!

  11. Rebecca W. on July 29, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    Thanks to your suggestions a few weeks ago, I just took out the first Amelia Peabody novel and I’m really looking forward to reading it over the weekend!

  12. Sheila on July 29, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    Mr Rosenblum Dreams in English, by Natasha Solomons. Mr R and wife Sadie are Jewish refugees from Germany who went to England in the 1930’s. She misses her family and old life, he wants desperately to completely assimilate and builds his own golf course when rejected by 15 different clubs. The writing is lovely, characters very realistic, and the story is based on the experiences of the author’s grandparents.

  13. Céline on July 29, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    Still reading a Storm of Swords, book three in the Ice and Fire series. I love it!

  14. Virginia on July 29, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    And I’m reading A Feast for Crows, book four in the Ice and Fire series. I’m half way through and, as everyone else in previous posts have said, am missing some of the point of view characters from the previous books. I do like some of the new characters and I love how the world has expanded even more in this book. I’m so impressed with GRR Martin’s world building.

  15. Sharon on July 29, 2011 at 3:28 pm

    I love Donna Andrews! I just finished Ten Beach Road by Wendy Wax and did not like it. Unbelievable a lot! I am currently reading The Darling Dahlias and the Naked Ladies by Susan Wittig Albert. So far Ms. Albert has not let me down with her China Bayles mysteries, the Miss Potter series and now the Dahlias.

  16. Leila on July 29, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    I love To Say Nothing of the Dog, Pam! It’s an excellent light and funny book with a number of fun literary references. I am currently reading The Rose Labyrinth by Titania Hardie which is okay but not brilliant thus far. I just finished Poison Study by Maria Synder which was lovely and had a nice, resilient heroine. I am also reading the newest Patricia Briggs novel (finally) River Marked as well as Jane Eyre.

  17. Christie on July 29, 2011 at 4:18 pm

    I just finished A Beautiful Blue Death and The September Society by Charles Finch. He was nominated for an Agatha Award. Detective stories set in Victorian England. Good reads and not totally predictable. Also read Quicksilver by Amanda Quick, one of my favorite romance authors.

  18. SusanN on July 29, 2011 at 6:19 pm

    Sooo many good books on everyone’s lists. I’ve read many, have many others in my TBR pile, but some are totally new to me (all of Lauren’s)!

    This past week, I finally got around to MK Hobson’s The Hidden Goddess. Also, B. Michaels’s Wings of the Falcon and Connie Brockway’s As You Desire, both of which I think were reccies from here. Also, since I needed a good laugh, I read one of Shelly Laurenston’s books, Beast Behaving Badly. (Yeah, I admit it, they’re silly, but I really do laugh aloud while reading her stuff–so that makes them winners for me.) And just started the latest in Moira Moore’s PNR Heroes series.

  19. Pauline Costantino on July 29, 2011 at 6:19 pm

    Just finished Confessions of a Jane Austin Addict and The Rude Awakening of a Jane Austin Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler which were delightful. Now reading the Jester by James Patterson.

  20. Ashley on July 29, 2011 at 6:46 pm

    I just finished The Distant Hours (love love love Kate Morton) and French Lessons by Ellen Sussman, which was a nice tour through Paris and a look at love. Now I am reading The Red Queen by Phillippa Gregory.

  21. Shenandoah Strojek on July 29, 2011 at 8:13 pm

    I am reading the Nancy Drew series. Classic mysteries that never get old!

  22. Amy N. on July 29, 2011 at 9:35 pm

    @Lauren — love Barbara Michaels. @Gina — I’d love to know if the Khan book was a good read. What Agatha Christie did you pick up? I’ve never read one either but my Grandmother read them all and many times over. I’m almost finished THE HAJ — if only I wouldn’t find myself reading through my eyelids so often~ Fam is away so it’s time for a book run — so many ideas…

  23. Jessica C on July 29, 2011 at 11:12 pm

    Finished The Hunger Games, and read Catching Fire and Mockingjay – all by Suzanne Collins. They were great – the lead character, Katniss, has such a strong voice, and seeing the world through her eyes made the story very powerful. Not for the faint of heart though!

    Then moved on to “The Tapestry”, the first of the Hound of Rowan books by Henry H Neff. YA fantasy, with a nice blend of magic and mythology.

  24. Janine on July 30, 2011 at 7:44 am

    Since I am currently addicted to Regency Romance this week’s pick was Candice Hern. I happened to find “A Proper Companion”, the first installment of her Regency Rakes Trilogy, for a 99 cents on an e-book sale and thought I’d try it out. Loved the first book. Her style reminded me a lot of Georgette Heyer. Also read the two other books in the series and enjoyed them. Very delightful. Although “A proper companion” was definitely my favorite ot the three.

    Don’t know what I’ll start now. Maybe I’ll finally get around to Lucinda Riley’s “Hothouse Flower”, if I can go on a hiatus from my RR obsession, that is.

  25. Gina on July 30, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    @Amy N. – I’m sure the Genghis Khan book will appear on these round-ups when I finish it one of these days! It’s called Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World by Jack Weatherford. He also wrote one on Mongol queens which sounded interesting.
    The Agatha Christie I bought was The Clocks. I was sort of under the impression it wasn’t important to find the first one, since I think that’s out of order. Is that all right?

  26. Ashley on July 30, 2011 at 7:09 pm

    @Amy and @Gina – I recently started reading Agatha Christie for the first time because of Deanna Raybourn. She advised that you don’t need to read them in order. I suggest Murder on the Orient Express as a great first read. I also really liked The Murder of Roger Ackroyd and The ABC Murders, though the latter is not what I would consider a quintessential Christie but I never saw the end coming!

  27. Gina on July 31, 2011 at 1:00 am

    Thank you! Glad it’s not a big deal, and I’ll look for those ones you mentioned.

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