Weekly Reading Round-Up

It’s a short list for me this week (I’ve been busy wrestling with Miss Gwen, who isn’t going gently into her book). Here’s what I’ve been reading:

— Gay Daly, Pre-Raphaelites in Love.

This began as research, but turned into reading as pleasure. (Right now, the plan is for the next non-Pink book to take place in the early days of the pre-Raphaelite brotherhood, in the spring and summer of 1849.) It’s definitely worth reading just for fun. Daly explores the private lives of the major PreRaphaelite painters, reconstructing their domestic affairs through their letters and journals. I was particularly tickled to learn that the novelist Wilkie Collins had thrown John Everett Millais’s stag party. Victorian London could be a very small place!

— Kristan Higgins, Somebody To Love.

I’d intended to save this to bribe myself with– but, really, how long can one hold out against a Kristan Higgins novel? This is a sequel to The Next Best Thing, set in the same small town as Catch of the Day, and involves one of my favorite plot tropes: the down-on-her-luck heroine who inherits an old house.

(Confession: last July, when I was between books, I began writing my own contemporary romance– about a down-on-her-luck heroine who inherits an old house. About a hundred pages in, deadlines for other books started to loom and I had to put it aside. But I might post the first couple of chapters on the website for you all this summer, just for fun.)

What have you been reading?


  1. Kristen A. on May 4, 2012 at 9:19 am

    This week I finished up The Stolen Bride by Tony Hays, the latest in his Arthurian mystery series, and now I’m reading Nekropolis by Tim Waggoner, the beginning of a zombie private investigator series.

  2. Angela on May 4, 2012 at 10:35 am

    Just finished (less than an hour ago) Murder in the Marais by Cara Black–I was feeling nostalgic for Paris and thought it would help, but it only made it worse. So of course the others in the series are on my to-read list. Next up is The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection, the new #1 Ladies Detective Agency entry.

  3. Pam on May 4, 2012 at 11:14 am

    The Pre-Raphaelite Sisterhood by Jan Marsh is a good scholarly work on the women in the Pre-Raphaelite circle (muses, artists in their own right, etc.). I actually thought about that book a lot when thinking, like a sad little academic, about what Eloise’s dissertation might look like. Very readable, too.

    I’m still reading Look at Me by Brookner (so good! one of those “chapter a night” books that you want to read slowly). But I did pick up Life Skills by Katie Fforde from the library to read on a long train ride next week.

  4. leslie on May 4, 2012 at 11:27 am

    I read “Mariana” by Susanna Kearsley. I felt a little cheated at the end, but otherwise it was an excellent story.
    I also read the latest by Amanda Quick and Nora Roberts. They were better than I expected, especially “Witness”.

  5. Gina on May 4, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    I’m reading Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer, and I’m still a little on the fence about it. When I read his other book (Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close) I was grabbed immediately, and I read so much in one afternoon that I was kind of bummed for the rest of the day. This one is harder to connect to. But who knows, I’m not done yet.

  6. Céline on May 4, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    Still reading A dance with Dragons (and struggling with a azerty keyboard), but inbetween, i read Before I fall by Lauren Oliver… liked it pretty much and almost cried!!!

    Pleaaaaaaaaase, yes, share with us the first chapters of your contemporary romance!!!! I’m craving for something from you, it’s been sooo long!!! Think I’m going to have to re-read all the pink books!!!

  7. Jessica S. on May 4, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    Jen Lancaster, Jeneration X (hilarious, of course, and I have the extra pleasure of having been in attendance at one of the events described in the book!), and re-reading Meg Waite Clayton’s The Four Ms. Bradwells, which, Lauren, if you haven’t read, you should, immediately if not sooner.

  8. Sheila on May 4, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    The Peachkeeper, by Sarah Addison Allen. I don’t remember if anyone has mentioned her here, but her writing is beautiful, and her magical stories about everyday people are the kind you hate to see end.

  9. Sharon on May 4, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    I finished The First Husband by Laura Dave last night and enjoyed it. Next up is The Wedding Dress.

  10. Elizabeth (aka Miss Eliza) on May 4, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    Oh Lauren, if you haven’t watched it yet, you must watch Desperate Romantics, like pre-Raphaelite brotherhood done a la Entourage (but in a good way). I read ‘Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency’ again, because it’s been a looong time, and I’m surprised I remembered almost nothing! So fun. Now I’m re-reading last year’s Sookie to get ready for the new one that came out this week.

  11. Alexa J on May 4, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    I just finished Kristan Higgins’ Somebody to Love and I agree, it was fab!

    Lauren, please post chapters from your contemporary romance. I’m intrigued!

  12. Amy N. on May 4, 2012 at 9:13 pm

    Finished “Lost Horizon”. Received my copy of Garden Intrigue so that’s what will be next, much to the disappointment of the TBR pile.

  13. Jeffrey on May 5, 2012 at 6:50 am

    I just finished a pre-release novel: The Jane Austen Marriage Manual by Kim Izzo and plan a review of same. At first, I really did not like the heroine in this contemporary romance but the author really elevated the plot to a storming pitch over the latter half of the story. What a great movie this novel would make!

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