Weekly Reading Round-Up

This week’s reading list is a fairly straightforward one for me.

I retrieved a bunch of my old Joan Wolf novels from my little sister, and I’ve been reading through them, one after another. They’re all Regency-set, all told in the first person, all feature some sort of underlying mystery sub-plot, and the heroine is invariably horse-mad.

Last week, I re-read The Arrangement, which is what set me off on this whole Joan Wolf kick. This week, it’s been The Deception (this was my first Joan Wolf, so it will always have a special place in my heart), The Gamble, and The Pretenders. I’d forgotten just how good The Pretenders is. For those of you who like friends turned lovers stories/the Henrietta and Miles relationship, I highly recommend it.

In the meantime, a very wonderful person (ahem, Vicki, ahem) just sent me a copy of Susan Elizabeth Phillips’s latest, The Great Escape. I have a feeling I know what I’ll be reading next….

What have you been reading?


  1. jeffrey on July 20, 2012 at 8:19 am

    I’ve been wrapped up reading The Enchanted April by Elizabeth Von Armin which has come highly recommended to me. Indeed it has been a quiet but entertaining read. The author’s style is just so English, quaint, quirky, and charming. The 4 main characters have come alive and I’ve fallen in love with all of them in different ways. I can see why this was made into a motion picture! ‘Chick-lit?’ Not for me…it has a universal appeal and message.

  2. Sheila on July 20, 2012 at 8:33 am

    The Chaperone, by Laura Moriarty. At first glance, it seems to be about the Twenties vampish actress Louise Brooks, but she is just the plot catalyst in a beautifully written story about an adult orphan’s search for fulfillment, love , and identity, at a time when American mores were undergoing a sea change. Loved it, and am going to look for her other books.

  3. Ashley on July 20, 2012 at 8:37 am

    I’m working on Anna Karenina now in preparation for the movie in November!

  4. Céline on July 20, 2012 at 9:12 am

    Jeffrey, I loved The Enchanted April! Such a great read!! Did you read Vera? It was totally different, and a bit creepy, but very good also!!

    As to me…. I’ve been re-reading Black Tulip!!!

  5. Katie on July 20, 2012 at 9:28 am

    I read The Jane Austen Marriage Manual by Kim Izzo. I thought it was a good book, but it wasn’t really my thing and I was glad when it was over. I didn’t start caring about the characters until the last fifty pages or so.
    I’m about a hundred pages from the end of Compromised by Kate Noble. I have enjoyed every book I’ve read by Kate Noble and this book is no exception. Looking forward to finishing this book!

  6. Pam on July 20, 2012 at 9:44 am

    I have been absorbed in Deborah Harkness’s new book Shadow of Night (sequel to A Discovery of Witches). Magic, intrigue, and of course romance in Elizabethan England. (Though how our modern historian heroine, who is a “timewalker” can deal without toothbrushes is beyond me.) I am so riveted, it’s pretty hard to get work done!

  7. Nancy Kvorka on July 20, 2012 at 10:43 am

    I just finished The Great Escape and also read First Lady (same group of characters) by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. I enjoyed both and also reading them together. Somehow I managed to miss First Lady when it came out. I have read and enjoyed Susan Elizabeth Phillips for years.

  8. Renee on July 20, 2012 at 10:49 am

    Just read The Great Escape last week! Not my favorite SEP, I don’t think, but definitely still good.

    Next on my list is Arranged by Catherine McKenzie. An modern-day MC named Anne Blythe who gets herself into a whirlwind arranged marriage. Sounds like a lot of fun to me!

  9. jeffrey on July 20, 2012 at 11:25 am

    Oh, and I would be amiss if I didn’t give a 2 thumbs-up for The House At Tyneford by Natasha Solomons, which I just finished. Beginning in Vienna in 1938, it is the epic story of a 19 year old Jewess sent to become a maid in a sprawling manor house in England to escape the growing Nazi threat because her parents could not get her a U.S. visa. It was truly inspiring, heartbreaking and romantic. As she slowly loses her own family to WW II, she is begrudgingly ‘adopted’ by the servant staff of Tyneford, falls in love with the son of the owner, and becomes the unwitting agent of change for everyone at Tyneford. Not just a good read but a GREAT read. HIGHLY recommended.

  10. Kristen A. on July 20, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    I reread The Handmaid’s Tale by Margret Atwood (still frighteningly relevant) and am now midway through Lost Illusions by Honore de Balzac, whose name I can’t help but read in the voice of that woman in The Music Man.

  11. Gina on July 20, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    I started rereading East of Eden in the middle of reading Two Towers (and they’re both so sprawling I’m sure it will take me a while to finish either) and man, Steinbeck impresses me. Sad but great.

  12. Angela on July 20, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    Just finished The Prisoner of Heaven by Carlos Ruiz Zafon and now, sadly, I have to wait 2 or 3 more years for the final book in the series. Oh well. It’s giving me a taste for a bit of Dumas, though.

  13. amy on July 20, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    I finished Shadow of the night by Deborah Harkness. I agree with the previous comment about no toothbrushes. 🙂 I finally finished The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon. great book.

  14. Elizabeth (aka Miss Eliza) on July 20, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    I also just finished Shadow of Night, and she could use a stick like Lost in Austen right?

    I also started the 3rd Brenda and Effie novel by Paul Magrs, Conjugal Rites, which everyone should read. The Bride of Frankenstein owns a B&B in a small Northern English town! Too funny! Liek geriatric Buffy.

  15. Emily on July 21, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    I just finished Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson, a really fun old-school Regency romance. And The First Year by Lucilla Andrews, which Susanna Kearsley recommended as her “comfort read” a few weeks ago on Twitter…it was so lovely and made me cry several times!

  16. Valinda on July 22, 2012 at 6:42 pm

    The Selection by Kiera Cass! Totally awesome if you like romance with a Hunger Games feel, pick this one up.

  17. Nicole H on July 25, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    I am currently in the middle of Catch 22 – I always wanted to read it and finally am. It’s hilarious in a tragic and dark way. The whole thing is manic and crazy. I am ready for something lighter after this, though. Maybe a kids book …

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