Weekly Reading Round-Up

I’ve been continuing the old favorites kick this week, rediscovering more books on the back of the shelves:

— Barbara Michaels, Shattered Silk.

Okay, I’ll admit it. At one point, this was one of my less-favored Barbara Michaels novels. I adored the previous book in the trilogy, Ammie, Come Home, which has an excellent ghost story (who doesn’t love possession by restless Revolutionary War era spirits?) and a thoroughly sympathetic hero and heroine. Shattered Silk, on the other hand, was about human rather than paranormal threats. And the heroine, with the arrogance of eighteen, struck me as a complete doormat. Since then, the book has grown on me by leaps and bounds. The very lack of ghosts I found so distressing back then is rather appealing now. Human beings make much more interesting malefactors.

— M.M. Kaye, Shadow of the Moon.

Switching gears a bit…. After reading Zemindar last week, how could I not go on to Shadow of the Moon? My soon-to-be-husband took one look at the spine of my 80’s copy and said, “You’ve read that a few times, haven’t you?” Er, only fifteen or sixteen. It was my introduction to M.M. Kaye, to her wonderfully complex heroes and heroines, to colonial India and the Mutiny of 1857. It was and is a beautifully written and entirely compelling novel.

At some point, I’m going to have to stop with the re-reads and pick up something new! What have you been reading?


  1. CĂ©line on June 8, 2012 at 9:05 am

    I’ve spent the whole week between Pink 1 (and I’m really loving it as much the second time as the first time) and a French-Canadian chick lit book, I’m pretty sure nobody knows her: Rafaelle Germain… 🙂 The book I’m reading is her third it lacks the sparks I felt reading her first book. Just as the second did (lack the sparks, I mean)…

    One day, I’ll have to read M.M. Kaye… Which one of her books would you recommand reading first, Lauren, givent that all I know about India, I read in Blood Lily?

  2. Julie H on June 8, 2012 at 9:23 am

    I finished Kostova’s the Swan Thieves this week, whew. I also read a chick lit book called Arranged by Catherine McKenzie, which reminded me, in a way, of Bridget Jones’ Diary and the movie How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. And, right now I’m finishing a YA book called Kill Me Softly by Sarah Cross. It’s really well done for a YA book. It’s about the darker side of fairy tales.

    Lauren – I think you’ve finally convinced me to try MM Kaye. Same question as Celine… Trade Wind or Shadow of the Moon first?

    Just curious, what is everyone’s philosophy on re-reading? I’ve never been much of a re-reader. There are always too many new things I want to try! I think I may also be a bit afraid of being disappointed by a book that I adored the first time around.

  3. Jessica @ Quirky Bookworm on June 8, 2012 at 10:48 am

    I’ve been reading one of Peter Tremayne’s Sister Fidelma mysteries (and learning a whole lot about the 7th century as a result).

    I may need to go re-read a Barbara Michaels or two…

  4. Nancy Kvorka on June 8, 2012 at 11:36 am

    I can’t tell you how many times I have read Pride and Prejudice. I think it depends on the book.

  5. Jeffrey on June 8, 2012 at 11:58 am

    I love-love-love L. M Montgomery so am tackling The Story Girl. Not since Jane Austen and a certain Madam Willig has an author resonated with me like the story teller from P.E.I.

  6. Karin on June 8, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    I’ve read everything M.M. Kaye wrote, including all the mysteries, but I think her best out of the ‘fat’ novels is Trade Wind, so that’s what I recommend to Julie H. It’s a great exotic setting in Zanzibar. It’s a story that really stayed with me, after all these years there’s still a line in it that I remember by heart. Right now I’m reading an old Mary Jo Putney series called “Fallen Angels”, it’s got a bunch of very tormented angsty heroes.

  7. Cho on June 8, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    I’ve been working my way through much of Patricia Veryan’s books, having heard that her recommended to fans of Georgette Heyer. They’re quite enjoyable (especially the ones with bantering hero/heroine pairings, such as The Tyrant, Love Alters Not, and The Dedicated Villain).

    I have also just finished (to my great dismay, as I now do not know what to do with myself) Dorothy Dunnett’s Lymond chronicles. Simply put, they are sheer genius. Read them. Now.

  8. Kayse on June 8, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    To answer your question, Julie…

    I’ve always been a big re-reader. The way I see it, it’s like visiting old friends. If the book touched me in some way the first time around, why wouldn’t I want to experience the story a second time around?

    In the spirit of that, I’m currently re-visiting a favorite, Les MisĂ©rables. I haven’t read it since high school in the 10th grade (can’t believe that’s been eight years now), and I feel it’s up for a re-read. It is, of course, just as good!

  9. Katie on June 8, 2012 at 2:33 pm

    This week I read The Duke is Mine by Eloisa James and Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake by Sarah Maclean. Both were excellent! I am about half way through Paris in Love by Eloisa James and it is making my heart hurt for Paris! She is such a humorous writer and her descriptions of her experiences in Paris are very vivid and enjoyable.
    As for rereading books: I think that most of the time, we find certain books that really fit our tastes and personalities. Once they are read, it is only natural to try to find others like them. Part of the reason that I love the reading round-up is because I love the Pink Carnation books and I always like recommendations for others that I might like that are similar. Sometimes the other books I read are very good and they become favorites. Other times, they just don’t measure up to the books that I absolutely love. So I reread books because sometimes I just want to read a book that I know I will love!

  10. leslie on June 8, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    I loved “Paris in Love”. It now sits on my “beloved” stack on my bedside table. Ooh la la I love this book.
    I just started “Moon over Soho” second book by Ben Aaronovitch. Very weird detective series set in London.

  11. Elizabeth (aka Miss Eliza) on June 8, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    I to am a big re-reader. Also, there was a study released recently about the benifits of re-reading. Right now I can’t remember where I saw it… if I remember I’ll post.

    I finished “The Univited Guests” and really enjoyed it, great twist, but needed some editing. Then I read the short story “Some Girlfriends Can” about a girl whose boyf’s ex is a Greek God, it was meh. Than I read “Seriously, Just go to Sleep” by the people who wrote “Go the F**k to Sleep” and was let down cause it’s all PG. Now I’m reading “A Discovery of Witches” which I love the Oxford setting, and it’s a fun summer read, but it does veer to “Twilight” territory every once in awhile (better written of course!)

  12. Pat on June 8, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    I am currently in the latest Ethan Gage adventure, The Emerald Storm, by Wm Dietrich. His pragmatism always makes me laugh. I also read Off the Record by Dolores Gordon-Smith; this is a series about a WW1 veteran in England who writes mysteries and solves them. I also read the second book in a series about Reverend Clare Fergusson by Julia Spencer Fleming. Also a mystery. It takes place in current times and was good! I had to buy the first book used; our library frequently has the later books in a series but not the first. So I’ll read book one next. And I’ve started the Aunt Dimity series.

  13. Sheila on June 8, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    The Proposal, by Mary Balogh. She tells the story of Gwen, Lady Muir, a secondary , and fascinating , character in two of her other series. It was great fun to have some of these other characters return, and this is the start of a new series that also sounds great. I really loved this book.

    I also read books 2 &3 of Anna Dean’s Dido Kent series, A Gentleman of Fortune, and A woman of Consequence, They are a bit slow moving, very Austenesque, and you just want to tell Dido to get a move on with her romantic interest, she is not getting any younger. However, the last one was wonderful. There was a ghost AND a governess ! And this wonderful line about married folk “as wives all over the country discover every day, it is impossible to argue with the back of a newspaper.”

  14. Julie H on June 8, 2012 at 6:39 pm

    I’m kind of disappointed. I can’t find a copy of Trade Wind or Shadow of the Moon in my town, not even at the libraries or the used bookstores. Guess I’ll have to find one online. I’m jealous of you guys from big cities with well stocked libraries!

  15. Amy N. on June 9, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    Almost done “Pauline Bonaparte” who was not a stellar individual. I am enjoying the peek into the culture of the time period. I’m not much of a re-reader unless I need to refresh my knowledge of a series. Starting the newest book or jumping back into a series sometimes requires a little brushing up.

  16. Emily on June 9, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    I just had to buy Death in Zanzibar so I could finally return my mother’s copy. I still need to get my own Crocodile on the Sandbank – I feel guilty getting the edges of hers all frayed from over-reading.

  17. Amy N. on June 9, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    @Emily — there’s nothing like a much loved and cherished book, is there?

  18. Am7 on June 9, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    Hey Lauren
    congratulations on your engagement and soon to be marriage. I missed something, because I didn’t realise you were engaged. Best of luck to you both,
    my favorite wedding book is the sixth book A Common Life in the Mitford series. In the third book These High Green Hills they start off married and in the Honeymoon phase.

    Second of all Jeffrey be sure to check out The Golden Road, which is the sequel to the Story Girl. I read them out of order, but love both.

  19. Sheila on June 10, 2012 at 6:23 am

    To Cho(and others): There are only a handful of authors who I reread : Willig, Veryan, and Heyer. I am glad someone else is enjoying Veryan, wait till you get to the last book in the Golden Chronicles series, hanky at the ready .

  20. Carey on June 22, 2012 at 10:56 am

    I get a newsletter from the Heywood Hill bookshop in London. On the Summer Reading list is a book titled “The Fishing Fleet: Husband Hunting in the Raj” by Anne de Courcy. It is not out as I write but the summary in the newsletter and on Amazon makes sound like a lot of fun.

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